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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.


Thanks for a fantastic tour!

The tour was beyond our expectations! Good lodgings, nice scenery, excellent food , restaurant choices and so much more.Your tour showed us areas of Costa Rica we had never seen before. All of the expats you introduced us to were extremely nice, helpful , relaxed (Life in CR), and really happy with their lives in Costa Rica.

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'Deciding where to retire is much too important to be left to chance. My wife and I have been researching the advantages/disadvantages of living as retirees in a number of States in the US in addition to a number of other countries (we currently live in California). Originally from Scotland and Ireland, we ruled out our home countries due to the miserable climate they both experience. Our research indicated that Costa Rica was worth inclusion on our shortlist. It seems to have so much going for it - friendly people, wonderful climate, reasonable cost of living and an abundance of excellent housing stock at low prices.

This brings us to Christopher Howard. His retirement tours seemed a great way to get an in-depth look at the good, the bad and the ugly in a short time. Christopher claimed to be an expert in Costa Rica and all it can offer retirees. An easy thing to claim, more difficult to prove! As my wife had prior work commitments, I took the tour on my own. I chose the inland tour, as I couldn't see us living on the coast due to the higher humidity (three years living in Florida had been enough). Although I imagine that his Combination Beach Tour is excellent judging from what I experienced while with Christopher.

You can check his website www.liveincostarica.com for the full itinerary I enjoyed. Presentations by Immigration experts, ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica) Board Members, Lawyers, Realtors for renting and/or buying, Relocation company, Learning Spanish, US Embassy services, Culture, Health Care, Dental Services, Insurances, Tax issues, Banking and Investment and, very importantly, presentations by Expats who had taken the plunge and moved to Costa Rica. These people were very informative, giving the best and the worst of their experiences. I was also taken on two full days of tours around San Jose and some of the smaller valley towns (Atenas and Grecia), seeing examples of housing and given an idea of prices that I would be expected to pay to buy/rent in these areas. Visiting stores, Farmers' Markets and even a hospital were on the itinerary. An especially enjoyable treat was a Spanish lesson in a beautiful boutique hotel (Hotel Posada el Quijote) given by Wagner who owns a local language school http://www.spanishforexpats-cr.com. Attending a performance by the Costa Rica Philharmonic at the magnificent Teatro Nacional and a wander round the Mercado Central will live long in the memory.

I went home with a comprehensive idea of just what it would mean to retire to Costa Rica. There is no way I could have achieved this under my own steam. Christopher Howard speaks Spanish fluently, has an easy-going attitude, a great sense of humor, a comfortable familiarity with the local 'Ticos' and he was able to open doors that would otherwise have remained closed to me. He helped place Costa Rica at the top of our retirement choices.

I have no hesitation in giving a wholehearted recommendation of Christopher and his Retirement tours. Apart from his knowledge of the country - he's a genuinely nice guy. Pura Vida!

As an aside, I can confirm that this testimonial is genuine, non-solicited and that I have no link with Christopher other than attending his tour'.

Gerry McKenna
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"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. 

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.

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"Specializing in Extraordinary Vacations to Costa Rica"

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