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A Comprehensive Perspective on Living in Costa Rica

Discover what it’s really like Living in Costa Rica

Living in Costa Rica is a dream for many people, and it’s not hard to see why. With its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and lush rainforests, it’s a paradise on earth. However, living in Costa Rica is not without its challenges. In this article, we will discuss my experience of living in Costa Rica and provide you with some tips on how to make the most of your time here.

Costa Rica: A Land of Natural Wonders

Costa Rica is a land of natural wonders, and it’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to this beautiful country. The country’s lush rainforests are home to an incredible array of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and toucans. Its pristine beaches are perfect for surfing, sunbathing, and swimming, and its volcanoes provide a unique opportunity to witness the awesome power of nature.

Living in Costa Rica: The Pros and Cons

Living in Costa Rica is not all sunshine and rainbows. While the country offers many benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some of the pros and cons of living in Costa Rica:


  • Low cost of living
  • High quality of life
  • Warm and friendly people
  • Great climate
  • Incredible natural beauty


  • Bureaucratic and slow-moving government
  • Poor infrastructure in some areas
  • Language barriers
  • High crime rates in some areas

Tips for Living in Costa Rica

If you’re thinking of moving to Costa Rica, here are some tips to help you make the most of your time here:

  1. Learn Spanish: While many Costa Ricans speak English, it’s always a good idea to learn the local language. Not only will it help you to communicate with locals, but it will also give you a deeper understanding of the culture.
  2. Embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle: Pura Vida is a way of life in Costa Rica, and it means “pure life” in English. It’s a philosophy that encourages people to live life to the fullest and to appreciate the simple things in life.
  3. Be prepared for bureaucracy: Dealing with government bureaucracy can be frustrating in Costa Rica. Be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting in line and filling out paperwork.
  4. Consider hiring a lawyer: If you’re planning on buying property or starting a business in Costa Rica, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system.


Costa Rica is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. From its affordable cost of living to its excellent healthcare system, it is an excellent place to live. However, like any country, there are pros and cons to living in Costa Rica. We hope that this article has provided you with a comprehensive perspective on what it is like to live in Costa Rica and helps you make an informed decision on whether it is the right place for you.

-Co-written by Johanna Alvarez (Immigration expert) and Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of living in Costa Rica?

The cost of living in Costa Rica is generally lower than in the United States and Europe. It varies depending on the region, but on average, a couple can live comfortably on around $2,500 a month.

Do I need a visa to live in Costa Rica?

Yes, you need a visa to live in Costa Rica. There are several types of visas available, such as a pensionado visa for retirees or an investor visa for those starting a business.

Is healthcare good in Costa Rica?

Yes, healthcare in Costa Rica is generally good. The country has a universal healthcare system, which means that everyone has access to healthcare. Private healthcare is also available for those who want it.

Can I own property in Costa Rica as a foreigner?

Yes, foreigners can own property in Costa Rica. However, there are restrictions on owning property near the coast or border areas. It’s important to work with a reputable lawyer when buying property in Costa Rica.

Is it safe to live in Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is generally a safe country to live in. However, like any country, there are areas that are safer than others. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions, especially in big cities.

What is the weather like in Costa Rica?

The weather in Costa Rica varies depending on the region. The coast is generally hot and humid, while the central valley is cooler. The rainy season is from May to November, but it’s usually sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon.

Can I work in Costa Rica as a foreigner?

Yes, it’s possible to work in Costa Rica as a foreigner. However, you need to have a work permit. The permit is usually tied to a specific job, so you can’t work for any other employer without getting a new permit.

What is the culture like in Costa Rica?

The culture in Costa Rica is influenced by its Spanish colonial past and its natural environment. Costa Ricans are known for their friendly and laid-back attitude, and they value family, community, and nature. The Pura Vida philosophy is a central part of the culture, which emphasizes enjoying life and being happy.


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