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What the clients say

Here what a few of the 1000s of clients we have helped say about Christopher's tours. Please fell free to contact them.


"Thank you for being an excellent tour guide. We received tons  of information on your informative tour and really enjoyed and valued the time we spent with you. Every single conversation we had with you was great – no matter what the topic. We are sure that you are Costa Rica's #1 source for people who want to get deeper insight into this multi-facetted country. Your tour was worth every penny we paid and more."
All the best,
Holgar and Connie Doege
February 11, 2015
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It was extraordinary to me that you contacted me in person by phone before I left for San Jose to get a feeling for my objectives in coming to Costa Rica and taking your tour.  I know that not everyone on your tours is interested in seeing real estate, but I did appreciate and found it helpful to  see a sample of different living situations as a  a small part of your tour. 
I thought your tour gave a very balanced view of how it would be to live in the Central Valley. You told us both the good and the bad, didn't sugarcoat or idealize any of the information and you certainly did not try to "sell" us on anything or any place.
The visit to Walmart was most instructive. I had heard that prices in Costa Rica are higher than in North America for many goods. However "higher" is a subjective word. As a Canadian, I did not in fact find most retail prices to be any higher than in Canada, and some were actually lower. The trip to the outdoor farmers market showed how cheaply one can purchase terrific fresh produce. Strawberries for about 65 cents Canadian in September!
The walk around Atenas, followed by the trip up the hill to where there are North American style enclaves was very helpful in putting the things I read online into context - so important. And lunch at the restaurant where they roasted the chicken over coffee plant wood was seriously the best chicken I have ever have tasted. You certainly fed us well on the tour.
Your followup service has been great so far, starting before I even left San Jose. 
I firmly believe that contacts with the right people (competent, responsive, and willing to help) are the single most crucial thing no matter where you live, but particularly when coming to a strange country with a different language. Through you, I was put in contact with the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR), a terrific resource (and one of the main reasons for choosing Costa Rica over Ecuador), a great realtor and with a lawyer who has proven to be knowledgeable and a good communicator (which is important when trying to find your way through legal processes in a strange country). 
Because yes - we have decided to move to the Central Valley! I hope to see you when John and I come back in January to start the residency process and hopefully buy a house.
You and your network of contacts and resources are just the absolute best!
Heather Griffiths
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In planning a possible move to Costa Rica as a retiree, I wanted to get the full picture and create a sequential checklist of what to do before making the big decision. The Christopher Howard Live in Costa Rica Combination Tour was definitely the best choice to help me, especially with the needed two-day seminar included. Then his book The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica was the best source to answer just about any question I had along the way. I also recommend a membership in ARCR, Association of Residents of Costa Rica, who have helped me every step of the way. Christopher also introduces you to this helpful organization. 
The combo tour helped us compare lifestyles and housing on the Pacific Coast with those in the Central Valley, meet settled expats, see and compare shopping possibilities from a Farmers' Market to a Walmart, and sample the culture. Plus we had excellent meals at every location! It is okay if the tour helps you decide not to move, as happened with a few - making an informed decision is the purpose of this tour! Now, I've decided I'm headed for a simpler life in Costa Rica soon! I've blogged about the decision along the way at Moving to Costa Rica. If seeing how someone else did it will help you make your decision, read my blog and add your comments or just email me. 
Hello Chris,
I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for the great tour you provided to all of us.  I realize now that it would have taken me many months if not years to gain the perspective I now have on Costa Rica. 
Pura Vida!
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My retirement plans include living in a Latin American country.   Since Costa Rica is on my list, I took Christopher Howard’s Combination Tour in August 2014.  The tour included a tour of the South Pacific beaches, Central Pacific beaches and Central Valley and a two day seminar presented by ARCR.

The tour was very well organized.   When I arrived at the airport in San Jose, I was met almost immediately by someone who guided me to my shuttle bus to the hotel.  The tour bus driver, Santiago, was excellent.  He maneuvered the bus in some very difficult situations.  He went to the extra trouble of putting everyone’s luggage on top of the bus so that we would be more comfortable.

The hotels and restaurants were very well chosen to present a good cross section of living in Costa Rica.  Service was very good at the hotels and restaurants.  There was always a good menu choice at the restaurants.

Along the way, Chris showed us selected properties. There were some beach properties, houses in subdivisions, houses in very remote locations and houses in the Central Valley.  We were able to tour the properties and in several cases talk with the owners who are expats.

We had a chance to visit several grocery stores and even a Walmart.  It was good to compare prices and to see how expensive the imported goods are.

During the tour, many questions were asked.  Chris provided answers based on his experience and knowledge.  During the trip, Chris provided a running commentary as we traveled on the tour.  During the trip, we were provided a short Spanish course with diploma.

One of the benefits of the tour was getting to meet other people considering retirement in Costa Rica.  Each of us made new friends.  It will be interesting to see where each of these new friends chooses to live in retirement.

The seminar was very informative.  It was almost an information overload after two days.  It made me think of many aspects of living in a foreign country that I had never considered.

I recommend the Combination Tour for anyone considering retiring in Costa Rica.

For anyone considering living in a Latin American country, I recommend Christopher Howard’s book, The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica.  This book is a very good resource.  It provides a lot of information about Costa Rica and other Latin American countries.

John Rasbury, 
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New Books Availables

By Christopher Howard
Available in E-book

Version through

Costa Rica Books

The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica
Guide to Costa Rica Spanish 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.

Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award

Read more about this honor

Contact us

"Specializing in Extraordinary Vacations to Costa Rica"

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