Costa Rica has become one of the most popular destinations in the world for expats and retirees. If you’re thinking about moving to this tropical paradise, here are 5 points that may help you decide.
Relocating to a country where there is already an established expat community is a big advantage for expats. Costa Rica is one such place where an expat community has grown and developed over the years. These communities not only provide support and practical assistance to new expats, but are also involved in other activities like setting up schools, markets, health clubs and restaurants.Natural beauty
Many move to Costa Rica for the abundant natural beauty alone. Even though the country is small in size, there is great variety in its natural reserves. From sandy beaches to mountain towns, it is easy to get lost in the many natural wonders of Costa Rica. One such place of stunning natural beauty is Coco’s Island, which is a 36-hour boat ride from Puntarenas. This is a diver’s dream come true because of its underwater world of sea creatures such as tiger sharks, reef sharks and whale sharks. Then there’s also the famous Arenal Volcano that rises majestically above the rainforests, and Cerro Chirripó, the region’s highest peak. If beaches are more your thing, then head to the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines where there are nearly 300 sandy beaches that are perfect for swimming and surfing.
Costa Rica is known to have one of the best health care systems in Latin America. Both private and public healthcare systems are constantly being upgraded with new facilities and equipment, while the costs continue to remain affordable.
Costa Rica frequently features in the World Health Organization rankings for long life expectancy. Citizens are eligible for free healthcare while residents are required to pay a low fee to become part of the healthcare program. While the public healthcare system provides quality medical care, many locals and foreigners prefer private facilities in order to avoid the long queues. Private healthcare also enables you to choose your own doctor or specialist. Private healthcare comes at a higher cost, but is far cheaper when compared to countries like the United States.
Costa Rica’s democracy has been stable still 1949 and it abolished its army in 1950. It is considered to be one of the most stable democracies in the world. Many factors have contributed to this stability such as good leadership, educational opportunities and an egalitarian society. Since it doesn’t have an armed force, it steers clear of military involvement in neighboring countries. Costa Rica’s economy too has displayed steady growth and stability allowing for more foreign investments and tourism in the country.
The locals of Costa Rica have a reputation of being hospitable and friendly towards foreigners. Many of the smaller towns have close-knit communities consisting of locals and residents from other countries. The population is also naturally health-oriented because of their proximity with nature. Many foreigners come to Costa Rica just for its health and stress-free lifestyle. Local fruits and vegetables are the staples of the Costa Rican diet and in fact, many types of tropical fruits found in the region are also shipped to countries across the world.
The climate is ideal too, with mainly two seasons – dry and rainy. During both seasons, the place enjoys abundant sunlight. The town of Grecia, in particular, is known to have one of the best climates in the globe. Due to the pleasant weather and lush natural surroundings, it’s possible to engage in many fun outdoor activities like white water rafting, sea kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and wildlife tours.
Costa Rica is known for its simple and slow-paced lifestyle. While this may be the very reason some people relocate, it could become a source of frustration for others. Those who thrive on the hustle and bustle that is characteristic of big-city life may find the Costa Rican lifestyle a bit dull. However, the larger cities do have more entertainment options and some areas also enjoy a lively nightlife. This is especially true of the more tourist-centered areas of the country. Another way of stepping up your social life is to join an expat club and participate in their activities.