Category Archives: Keeping Busy and Happy in Costa Rica

Retirees should be aware that in Costa Rica many landmarks have nicknames

As if it is not hard enough to find one’s way around Costa Rica, many places that were renamed are more frequently referred to by their nicknames. Recently, the bridge over the Virilla River on the General Cañas Highway was baptized Alfredo Gonzalez Flores bridge in honor of the president who governed from 1914 to … Continue reading Retirees should be aware that in Costa Rica many landmarks have nicknames

Another effort to reduce traffic in San José

Retires, residents and Costa Ricans who live in or near San José know that efforts are being made to reduce the growing traffic problem. There are now several commuter train lines which transport people from the suburbs and neighboring towns to San José. Car pooling and bus travel have also been encourage to help alleviate … Continue reading Another effort to reduce traffic in San José

Retirees and Costa Rica’s Hidden Giants

Almost everyone who lives in Costa Rica or has visited has heard of these volcanoes: Irazú, Poás, Turrialba, Rincón de Vieja and Arenal. Of these giants only only Turrialba (webcam http://www.worldcamera.net/en/webcams/central-america/costa-rica/211-turrialba-volcano) and Arenal are active. There are many lesser known volcanos because they have not erupted recently or are difficult to reach. In fact, vulcanologists … Continue reading Retirees and Costa Rica’s Hidden Giants

The Largest Mall in Central America is in downtown San José

Over the last twenty years a number of large U.S. style-Malls have sprung up around the Central Valley like those in San Pedro, Escazú, Zapote, Heredia, Moravia and most recently in Alajuela. The grandeur of these shopping centers rival their counterparts in the U.S., Canada or any other place in the developed world. Ironically, the … Continue reading The Largest Mall in Central America is in downtown San José

One of Costa Rica’s Most Unique Museums….a gut-wrenching experience for some

Most foreign retirees no little about Costa Rica’s OIJ or Organismo de Investigación Judicial (Judicial Investigation Department). In Costa Rican slang it is known as Las Tres Letras (three letters). Founded in 1973 OIJ is special unit operated by the judicial branch of the government whose purpose is to investigate and solve crimes by using … Continue reading One of Costa Rica’s Most Unique Museums….a gut-wrenching experience for some

Retirees Can Find Excellent Dining Options in Five of San Jose’s Adjoining Neighborhoods

San José is currently undergoing a gastronomic renaissance. Around 85 restaurants can be found in the city’s Barrio Amón, Barrio Aranjuez, Barrio Escalante, Barrio Dent as well as Los Yoses. Barrio Amón is slightly north of downtown with the other four areas just to the east. All five districts touch each other and are concentrated … Continue reading Retirees Can Find Excellent Dining Options in Five of San Jose’s Adjoining Neighborhoods

Birdwatching and Expat Retirees

With approximately 850 species of birds and being an important corridor for bird migration between from North and South America, Costa Rica has always been a popular spot for tourists who are interested in bird watching (avituismo in Spanish). During the last five years, this activity has also grown locally with over 3,000 Costa Ricans … Continue reading Birdwatching and Expat Retirees

Yuca 101 for expat retirees in Costa Rica

Yuca is widely consumed in Costa Rica but it is known by several different names such as Manihot  or mandioca and casabe or casava in other countries. Don’t make the mistake of confusing yuca with yucca. It differs from the yucca, which is an unrelated fruit-bearing shrub from a different family. Yuca root is the third … Continue reading Yuca 101 for expat retirees in Costa Rica

Retirees and Eggs in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica it seems that everyone and everything has their day. Some of these special days are official holidays, while others are not. Here are a few days that are recognized in Costa Rica: Mother’s Say, Father’s Day, Children’s Day, Senior’s Day (for retirees), Secretary’s Day, Earth Day, people’s Saints Days, Gay Pride Day … Continue reading Retirees and Eggs in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not a place where boredom is on the agenda

If you choose to retire and/or relocate you really have no excuse for being bored since there is a wealth of activities to keep busy and happy. In fact, at times it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to participate in so many interesting things here. For instance, in the weekly entertainment … Continue reading Costa Rica is not a place where boredom is on the agenda

Retirees Shopping at Pricesmart in Costa Rica

Excerpts from an article on Q Costa Rica appear in the blog below. I liked the article so much it inspired me to write something similar on the subject for those thinking of relocating or retiring here. Q Costa Rica is an informative on-line publication for expats. Retirees and other expats always wonder about shopping … Continue reading Retirees Shopping at Pricesmart in Costa Rica

The La Fortuna area has a wealth of activities for expat retirees

One of the pluses of relocating to Costa Rica is the abundance of exciting outdoor activities for staying busy and happy. You simply cannot be bored! The town of La Fortuna is good starting point for exploring once you more here. Tourists have been flocking to this area for years to take in the natural … Continue reading The La Fortuna area has a wealth of activities for expat retirees

San José’s Gran Hotel Costa Rica – a favorite spot for expats

Few foreign residents know the history of of San José’s famous Gran Hotel Costa Rica. The Gran Hotel Costa is located in the heart of San José on Central and Second Avenues and between 1 and 3 streets. It is right across from the National Theater, and on the east side faces the Plaza de … Continue reading San José’s Gran Hotel Costa Rica – a favorite spot for expats

Cost-conscious retirees can find bargains during September

Costa Rican businesses offer discounts at the end of the fiscal period, which runs from October 1 and ends September 30. Large retailers like Walmart have rock-bottom prices, with discounts of up to 70 percent on selected items in stock. For many businesses the cost of sitting on inventory is very high, which is why … Continue reading Cost-conscious retirees can find bargains during September

Another Exciting Activity for Retirees in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s annual Festival de Ballenas or Whale Watching Festival is a must for expat retirees. It has been eight years (2009) since the first edition of this festival was held. Originally, only 4,430 people atended the event. This year more ten times that number are expected to come to the community of Bahía Ballena, … Continue reading Another Exciting Activity for Retirees in Costa Rica

Retirees and Beach Safety in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world on both its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. However, appearances can be deceiving. Some of the country’s beaches a perfectly safe for swimmers while others have dangerous under currents. Unfortunately, every year a few tourists and Costa Ricans drown because they do … Continue reading Retirees and Beach Safety in Costa Rica

Another new treat and an event for expat retirees

About a month ago I wrote an article about one of Costa Rica’s savory delights — the Churchill. For those of you who didn’t read the story a Churchill is a type of snow cone that is made with different flavors of syrup, powered and condensed milk and sometimes ice cream. This dessert was invented … Continue reading Another new treat and an event for expat retirees

Ceviche Tour For Retirees and Other Expatriates

Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in Latin America. Although it is prepared very differently in every country. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt, and cilantro, may also be … Continue reading Ceviche Tour For Retirees and Other Expatriates

A Festival in San José for the General Public and Expat Retirees

The third edition of the Paseo Gastronómico La Luz will be held on Sunday April 24, 2016 in San José’s Barrio Escalante. This annual activity gets its name from the pulpería de La Luz which for many years was a well-known mom and pop-style general store and famous landmark in Barrio Escalante. Now this neighborhood … Continue reading A Festival in San José for the General Public and Expat Retirees

Ticos celebrate Juan Santamaría Day with music, parades and dance

Many expats associate the name of Juan Santamaría only with the name of the country’s main airport, just to the south of the city of Alajuela. Few know about the historic significance of Juan Santamaría, who originally had enlisted as a drummer boy in the army and became a nation hero on April 11, 1856 … Continue reading Ticos celebrate Juan Santamaría Day with music, parades and dance

San José’s Famous Plaza de la Cultura to Get a Face Lift

A couple of years ago I published an article about san José’s La Plaza de la Cultura (see below). In it I go into to the history and and description of this famous downtown landmark. In March of 2016 it was announced that this famous esplanade will virtually be rebuilt. It is estimated the plaza … Continue reading San José’s Famous Plaza de la Cultura to Get a Face Lift

Where retirees in Costa Rica can find entertainment on any given weekend

In Costa Rica there is something for everyone and everything for someone, especially on weekends. Retired expats have no excuse for being bored. Below are several ways to find out what is going on. Friday’s edition of the Tico Times on-line, usually has at least one article featuring a weekend activity. La Nación, Costa Rica’s … Continue reading Where retirees in Costa Rica can find entertainment on any given weekend

Two Interesting Cultural Activities for Retirees in Costa Rica

Today, Saturday February 7th, El Festival Amón Cultural will take place in downtown San José’s Barrio Amón. This historic neighborhood is where all the old coffee barons use to live and is full of old mansions that have been converted into restaurants, hotels, and shops. The city’s Parque Bolívar Zoo is also located on the … Continue reading Two Interesting Cultural Activities for Retirees in Costa Rica

New Technological Advances Make Bus Travel Much Easier in Costa Rica

As I have alluded to in previous blogs traveling by bus is inexpensive in Costa Rica. Expat retirees can go almost anywhere in the country for very little money. Two new innovations will make bus travel even more attractive. Starting in 2017 you will be able to pay with a prepaid card when using some … Continue reading New Technological Advances Make Bus Travel Much Easier in Costa Rica