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Private Tailor-made Retirement Tours and Consultations

These time-tested private retirement/relocation tours are given by Christopher Howard, the country’s leading authority and author, and are designed for retirees, Boomers, individuals, couples or small groups who have special needs or who can’t take our fixed-date retirement tours. This custom retirement/relocation tour leaves no stone unturned and is packed with insider information and useful contacts that only Christopher can provide from his 32 years of living here.

This is the only private retirement tour that was fully licensed and approved by the Costa Rica Government and Tourism Institute (ICT) in 2004. None of theother private retirement tours have this distinction. Would you take a private tour in the States that was NOT licensed or accredited? Accreditation says a lot about the integrity of those who operate any tour. A license is issued by the government to select travel agencies in Costa Rica who meet stringent requirements designed to protect clients, ensure the quality of customer service, comply with certain economic guidelines to guarantee that the business is not a fly-by-night rogue operation in accordance with LAW 5339.

BONUS: On all of our tours find out how Costa Rica's affordable public health care system (La Caja) and its private health care system (INS) work and who should use which service.You will see several of the hospitals on all tours.

Private Tailor-made Custom tour/Consultation  Sign Up NOW

Options and Cost:

  • $449 per day for individuals on the Central Valley Private Tour. ($399 if paid in full and in cash at time of the tour)
  • $599 per couple per day for the Central Valley Private Tour. ($499 if paid in full and in cash at the time of the tour)
  • Special two-day price $999 per couple for the Central Valley private tour. ($949 if paid in full and in cash at the time of the tour)
  • $599 per couple for private Central Pacific Beach Tours or Arenal + an additional cost for lodging and meals for clients, guide, driver and transportation. Please call for details.
  • Special small group rates - Call for information.

ALL private tours include a highly-trained professional driver and touring van so that Christopher can devote 100% of his  attention to giving you the best possible tour for your money and meet you specific needs. It is impossible to drive and give clients one’s full attention at the same time.

Christopher HowardThis one-of-a-kind custom tailor made tour was created to meet the specific needs of individuals, couples or small groups. It is also designed for those who cannot come for regular fixed-date tours or who have special issues they can’t share with large groups. This fact-filled tour was created over 13 years ago and almost 1000 people who have taken it have moved successfully to Costa Rica. In 2007 the tour was mentioned on “Good Morning America.”

Participants will have a private phone consultation with Christopher before the tour, be given a packet with valuable contacts, maps, special articles by Christopher Howard and a FREE copy of his perennial best selling guidebook, “The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica.” Virtually everything is covered on this tour and the information is unbiased. You will come away with the knowledge you need to relocate successfully and seamlessly to Costa Rica. The country’s most prominent lawyers, realtors, movers, builders, educators, insurance people, health care specialists and more are on call to address your special concerns if you need their services. NOBODY has Christopher’s connections or provides more information for your money. Christopher’s services do not end with the tour.

Transportation, lunch and coffee breaks are included. Lodging in the Central Valley at a SPECIAL discounted price for our clients is $50 per night with a buffet breakfast is included. Christopher received NO commissions for lodging, so he can provide the best rates for his clients. A money-saving one or two-day add on tour is an option for those who want to revisit areas without having to spend the money on another trip (conditions apply).


ADD-on Private Tailor-made Custom Tour/Consultation Options


Option 1: Two-day Central Valley Tour, our #1 private tour

This is the most most popular private tour/consultation and is a carbon copy of the Central Valley Group Tour but without the two-day seminar. Although you can customize this tour, here is the standard itinerary with the seminar to give you an idea of what you will see and do: Central Valley Tour


The following  two tours may be added on to the Central Valley tour as the second  or third day

Option 2: One day Jacó and/or Quepos

The Central Pacific is one of Costa Rica’s jewels. It extends from Puntarenas in the north to the Barú River in the south. The closest and most accessible beaches to San José are found in this area. The beaches are sunny year-round, the weather is hot and the ocean warm. Whether you want to retire or just live in a tropical paradise, the Central Pacific Coast has something for you. Some of the outdoor activities the area offers are: golfing, sport fishing, yachting, canopy tours, river rafting, parasailing, hang gliding, mountain biking, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, bird watching and a lot more. There are even places to study Spanish and practice yoga in this part of Costa Rica.

* $100 surcharge to go to Quepos due to the distance


Option 3: One day tour

Coffee Town Tour (Naranjo, Palmares and San Ramón)

This special one or two-day tour of the western Central Valley will expose you to life in the quaint coffee towns. It will will expose you to life in this part of Costa Rica. San Ramón is the hub of this area, where the pace of life is a little slower.

This tour is led by Christopher Howard or our experienced bilingual tour guides and investment/real estate professionals, hand-picked by Christopher Howard because of their knowledge of the area. Whether you are interested in renting or buying they will show you a sample of available properties.This tour includes their services and may be taken at the end of Christopher's regular Central Valley tour or at another time.

With 100,000 residents in the greater area, Palmares and San Ramón have many of the advantages of city life but retain their Costa Rican charm while offering all services, cultural activities, and a lower cost of living compared to other areas.

San Ramón

The bulk of your time will be spent concentrating on understanding the lifestyle here. At about 3,000 feet above sea level and temperatures in the mid-70s year round, many of these properties have spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, and can still be rented or purchased at reasonable prices.

San Ramón, with about 70,000 residents, is quickly becoming one of the best values in the entire country for retirees to live and invest. Only 45 minutes to the airport near San Jose, the beaches of the Pacific Coast, and 1.5 hours to the famous Arenal Volcano, its temperature climate, lower cost of living, access to all services and cultural activities, a major hospital/clinics, and a large branch of the University of Costa Rica, make it an excellent town for living and investing.

We´ll take some time to tour this pleasant town, known locally as the “City of Presidents and Poets.” We will experience daily life here by walking through the main square, with its charming and peaceful park, Romanesque and Gothic cathedral and museum and cultural center.  We’ll introduce you to actual expats and retirees who have purchased property and/or built a home so you can learn more about their experiences and potentially get to know the type of neighbors and friends you might have in San Ramón.

San Ramón has one of the most active volunteer and community service organizations in the entire Central Valley called the Community Action Alliance. We’ll meet members of the organization so you can learn about how to stay active here and help local residents.

We’ll sample the local cuisine.


Palmares is the picturesque neighboring town to San Ramón featuring a towering church, verdant mountains and valleys, and a bustling downtown. With its spectacular views of the Aguacate Mountains, Palmares is an ideal place to get acquainted with the Pura Vida lifestyle for which Ticos are famous. Palmares is home to a traditional Spanish bullfighting ring, where matadors test their skills against large bulls at various times throughout the year.

During the last two weeks of January the town hosts its “Fiestas,” a large fair organized by a local committee which has become one of the largest cultural and social events in the country. This fair lasts for two weeks, with two special activities including the “Tope,” a huge horseback parade through the town and the “Carnaval,” complete with variety of food vendors, bars exhibitions, and entertainment. It is claimed that during these days over 500,000 people attend this fiesta.

We will explore this manageable town, seeing its vibrant center with its markets, schools, banks, and cultural activities. We’ll also see the main church of Palmares, a beautiful building made completely from stone, a rarity in Costa Rica. 


The town of Naranjo, settled in 1830, was originally known as “Los Naranjos” (the Orange Groves) due to the abundance of orange trees in the surrounding area. Although the name has been shortened and the amount of orange trees has decreased, this city of 35,000 has remained an important agricultural hub for Costa Rica. Naranjo is located at the base of the Espírito Santo Hills in Costa Rica’s gorgeous Central Valley, about 30 miles from San José.  The area surrounding the town is dotted with farms growing all kinds of crops–  mainly coffee, rice,  and sugar cane. The elevation of the town is around 3,398 feet, the temperature is a consistently cool 68° F  


Option 4: Lake Arenal  and Guanacaste Private Tours

* Both of these tours MUST be taken in conjunction with the Central and/or Combination Tour

(subject to demand) *Call for prices and availability.

Christopher is looking forward to helping you design your own custom tour.

NOTE 1: This is NOT a real estate tour but a lifestyle tour for people of all ages who are thinking of moving here. At the request of former clients a few carefully selected properties are included to give you a sampling of what different living situations are like.

NOTE 2: Once again, this tours includes a highly-trained professional driver and van so that Christopher Howard can devote ALL of his attention to your specific needs.

*Available most weekdays and weekends except for the last week of each month we have our regular tours.

Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed! - Contact us for prices


Option 5: Pacific Beach Tour and two-day seminar

South and Central Pacific Beach Retirement Tour

NOTE: This tour was originally offered on our home page. Since most people ended up signing up for the Combination Beach and Central Valley instead, it was moved to this “special” tour page. Furthermore, the majority of the people who choose to take this tour stated at its conclusion that they should have signed up for the Combination Tour and stayed two more days in order to become familiar with the Central Valley.

This Relocation/Retirement Lifestyle Tour will familiarize you with the Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal beach areas in the Southern Pacific to Jacó Beach in the Central Pacific. It is a MUST for potential retirees and others who want to live by the ocean in a stunning tropical setting. The two-day highly-informative retirement seminar is included.

The South Pacific coast is reminiscent of the Hawaii or a tropical version of California’s Big Sur with the mountains coming down to the sea. Every imaginable water sport and outdoor activity can be found here. You will see the areas of rapid growth in the path of progress along Costa Rica’s spectacular Central and Southern Pacific Coast and have the opportunity to visit a few of the choice developments and tour some fantastic homes.

This tour is perfect for beach lovers and includes a mix of sightseeing, interesting activities, viewing properties and meeting some nice people who have moved here along the way. 

A two-day seminar covers all aspects of living, investing and relocating to Costa Rica rounds out this tour.

BONUS: On all of our tours find out how Costa Rica's affordable public health care system (La Caja) and its private health care system (INS) work and who should use which service.You will see several of the hospitals on all tours.


South Pacific and Central Pacific Beach Tour  Sign Up NOW
7 day Beach Tour

Tour includes:

  • A valuable two-day seminar by the ARCR with local experts in their respective fields. You won’t want to do without it!
  • Private Phone Consult with Christopher Howard prior to your arrival
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Hotel stay for however many nights your tour is
  • Most meals (75% of meals are covered. We give you a couple of free nights in San José to try some of the great local restaurants we recommend)
  • Rental Properties to be viewed (when available)
  • Comfortable Air conditioned mini bus
  • Private driver and bus so that Christopher can devote 100% of his attention to giving you the best possible tour and you specific needs
  • Led and conducted by Christopher Howard a 31 year resident and citizen of Costa Rica and Costa Rica’s most read author on retirement and living in Costa Rica.

As an added bonus tour participants will also receive: A FREE copy of the 15th edition of Christopher’s best selling guidebook, ”The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica”


Tour Prices:

Pax Cash Credit Card
Individual $2,199.00 $2.287.00
Per Couple $2,399.00 $2,495.00
  • DISCOUNTS Available
  • Cash at the time of the tour $100 discount

In order to provide personal service we limit the size of our tours, so be sure to book early!

Note: Most people who take this tour say at its conclusion they should have signed up for the Combo Tour to see the Central Valley while they were here.



Dominical and Uvita beachThe Central/Southern Pacific beach area is one of Costa Rica's jewels and perfect for retirement. It extends from Puntarenas in the north to beyond Playa Tortuga/Ojochal in the south. The closest and most accessible beaches to San José are found in northern part of this area. The beaches are sunny year-round, the weather is hot and the ocean warm. Whether you want to retire or just live in a tropical paradise, the Central and Southern Pacific Coast have something for your retirement dreams. Some of the outdoor activities found here are: golfing, sport fishing, yachting, canopy tours, river rafting, parasailing, hang gliding, mountain biking, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, bird watching and a lot more. There are even places to study Spanish and practice yoga in this area.

Here is one retiree’s take on the Central and South Pacific: "It was our experience that the west coast was very much like where we came from San Diego, California. The ocean was similar to that of California (but warmer). There has been a lot of American-style investment here. Prices, as you’d expect, are higher as you get closer to the water."

Saturday: Day 1 - Arrive in San Jose. Our staff will meet you at the airport and transport you to your Hotel.

Sunday: Day 2 - A buffet breakfast at the hotel. Then a 7:30 departure for Costa Rica's gorgeous Dominical and Uvita  in the South Pacific. On the way you will receive a packet of materials and will be given orientation/mini seminar about the tour. Christopher will narrate and make comments about all of the points of interest along the way.

We will take Highway 27 to the Costal Highway or Costanera. We will then pass by Jacó Beach, Hermosa Beach, Esterillos Beach, Esterillos Este, Parrita and Quepos  on our way to lunch in the Dominical-Uvita area.

We will then check into the Río Mar Resort after stopping to see a beach or two on the way.

A delicious dinner at our hotel will round out the day.

Monday: Day 3 - Breakfast and check out of the hotel. We will head north along the new gem of a costal highway. This new road cuts over an hour off the trip from the Central Valley to the southern beaches.

We will pass through the town of Matapalo on the way to Quepos. The Quepos and adjoining Manuel Antonio area is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations and offers some of the most beautiful beach resorts in the world. The area has many activities to keep you busy and happy during your retirement such as rafting on either the Naranjo or Savegre rivers, horseback riding, four-wheeling, hiking and canopy tours in the incredible mountains that serve as a backdrop to the area. Quepos is also Costa Rica’s sports fishing capital and a new full-service marina is being built next to the town.

After we check into our hotel we will have lunch and then visit beautiful Manuel Antonio Beach and see the other sites in the area.

Around  5 pm, weather permitting, we will have a cocktail and view a spectacular sunset from hotel high above the ocean.

A mouth-watering dinner will follow.

Tuesday: Day 4 - Breakfast at the hotel and check out. 

From Quepos we will gradually work our way up the coast to our hotel in Jacó Beach. We will visit a couple of beautiful beach areas along the way, view some homes and meet a couple of expats who reside in the area.

We will have lunch at a luxury hotel at beautiful Esterillos Beach.

Next we will do a driving tour of Jacó Beach. Then we will check into the quaint South Beach Hotel where you will have some down time to explore the beach, swim in the pool or check the town of Jacó. Dinner will be in downtown Jaco Beach or nearby Play Hermosa.

Jacó is conveniently located just 72 miles or about two hours from San José. This Key-West-like town is a very popular weekend retreat with Costa Ricans and tourists. A growing retirement community can also be found there. Jacó is by far the most developed beach town in the Central Pacific region and has excellent tourist infrastructure. An eclectic mixture of foreigners and locals gives Jacó a sort of cosmopolitan feeling.

Boredom will not be a factor here for those interested in retirement. There are pizza parlors, international restaurants, handicraft shops, bars, discos and late-night spot where you can party until the wee hours of the morning. Water sports, especially surfing and sport fishing, attract scores of people to the area. You can also explore the natural wonders of nearby forests on foot, horseback or a canopy ride through the treetops. The Jacó community’s new Plaza Coral Mall features 60 stores, a food court and two formal restaurants. The new mall caters to both tourists and local residents.

Just two miles down the coast from Jacó lies Playa Hermosa. Do not confuse this idyllic surf community with the beach with the same name in Guanacaste. Hermosa (“Beautiful”), as its name indicates, is protected as a national wild life refuge. Because of good year-round waves, most people come to Hermosa to surf. Many international surfing tournaments are held here every year. However, there is plenty to keep non-surfers busy, especially at nearby bustling Jacó. Hermosa is also a prime retirement area and has a foreign community.

San CarlosWednesday: Day 5 - Return to San José. On the way we stop at the five-star Marriott Los Sueños resort, marina and golf course.  Next we will stop at the Tarcoles River bridge to view the crocodiles from afar.

From there we will stop for a delicious lunch in the town of beautiful San Ramón, meet some Americans who live there and view an affordable housing project.

We return to San José on the main highway and check into the hotel near the Sabana Park. Free evening.

Thursday: Day 6 - Breakfast at the hotel and pre-seminar orientation at 7:30 in the lobby of the hotel. At 8:00 the first day of a highly-informative relocation, living and retirement Seminar You will hear from some of the country’s foremost authorities in the fields of real estate, law, health care, moving, medical care, insurance, learning the language and more - everything that a person wishing to relocate to Costa Rica will need to know. A few people who have moved to and retired in Costa Rica will share their experiences with you. You will make new friends and begin to make a network of valuable contacts. A delicious buffet lunch is included. Happy Hour is scheduled after the seminar. Free evening.

Friday: Day 7 - Second day of the seminar with lunch included. You will hear more from the rest of Costa Rica’s experts including your retirement tour guide, Christopher Howard.

Saturday: Day 8 - Transportation to the airport included for the participants on this month’s retirement/relocation tour.

Not Included: International airfare, alcoholic beverages, hotel room upgrades, extras in hotels (laundry, telephone calls, room service) and a couple of dinners. Regarding the latter, we want you to explore the restaurants in san José on your own in order to get an idea of the variety of different cuisines that are available here. Your guide will give you a list of restaurants you may want to try.

SEE the home page possibility of taking an add-on tour after your tour is over to explore certain areas in depth.

*See Tour Schedules for dates and availability or Sign Up NOW

New Books Availables

By Christopher Howard
Available in E-book

Version through

Costa Rica Books

Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica
Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for tontos (dumbells)


Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus. These are the only retirement tours that are:

* Licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and Tourism Institute (ICT).
* Featured on the NBC Today Show, CNBC World Business News and Fox News.
* In 2010, we won the prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Most Unique Tour in Latin America.
* All tours are led personally by Christopher Howard, the author of 17 editions of the #1 perennial bestseller "New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica — the official guide to relocation." Christopher has lived in Costa Rica for34 years and is Costa Rican citizen. Absolutely nobody has his proven expertise, connections or time-tested credibility.

Contact us

"Specializing in Extraordinary Vacations to Costa Rica"

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U.S. 800-365-2342 or  877-884-2502
Mobile 011 506 8849-0081

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