Where Did you Decide to buy Your Home

Hi Expats-

Was wondering if you could share with me the area you decided to buy your home and why you chose that particular area and what you love about that area.

This is an easy one for me.  We came here in 2010 and had it in our mind that we wanted to be on the Pacific Coast with an ocean view.  We put 2700 kilometers on our rental vehicle in three weeks (no small feat in Costa Rica).  We found the higher elevations more palatable to our way of living.  There were a number of areas that would have worked but for better or worse we have hung our hats in [url=]Altos de Antigua[/url in La Palma 17 km south west of Puriscal.  Infrastructure, safety, proximity to a hospital and international airport all came into play.  I cannot stress enough that you need to have boots on the ground to make your own decision!
Cheers .... Terry

Initially a choose Guanacaste because of the kind of business I opened catering to tourist. Lived there for 10 years but heat and boredom drove us out. I came across Palmares, Alajuela and fell in love with it. We have small children and there are many schools to choose from. The town is clean, it has sidewalks!, one traffic light, and the people is very nice.

I originally lived on the Pacific Coast for many months and while I loved it, there were a few things that made me not want to live there:
1) the cost
2) too many tourists
3) the weather (too hot/humid)
4) too far from major hospitals and San Jose( the only "major" city in Costa Rica)

I then looked at Puriscal, San Isidro and San Ramon.

San Isidro, while having cooler weather still has the same problem of being too far from San Jose, in fact it's a very dangerous highway according to locals.

Puriscal is nice but again it's a long curvy road to get there from San Jose. That was the main reason I decided on San Ramon. I still like both of those other towns and I could live there; I just like San Ramon better.

San Ramon is only 40 min. or so from the San Jose Intl airport. San Ramon has a fairly large hospital too and "all the amenities".

San Ramon has almost anything you want to buy so you don't need to go to San Jose' unless you just want to go to Walmart or another super store, and in that case you go to Alajuela which is at least closer than San Jose.

San Ramon is large enough of a town that there is some "hustle/bustle" to it (good or bad, depending on your preference), and it has banks, restaurants, a super store or two, all the chain stores (Artelec, Gollo, CasaBlanca, Roe's, etc), a cinema, doctors, and  dentists by the hundreds it seems, and it's got surrounding areas that give you a choice of climates.

We chose to live at 2850 feet elevation about 15-20 min. outside of San Ramon [] and when we go to the coast, boy, do we thank our lucky stars we live here and not there! When we had to take the car to Puntarenas for RTV inspection my wife and I were like "Thank goodness where we live is not THIS hot!" Yes we have hot days but overall we have much cooler and cloudier weather at our altitude and location.

What I particularly like about where we live is the Nature! We have a forest on one side of us, and all around us are trees, trees and more trees, mountains and a view of the ocean in the distance (Esparza, near Puntarenas, and the Gulf of Nicoya is the view from our front porch. We have neighbors but none too close at this point.

So the 2nd thing is the Views we get of the sunset every evening; and all day long the ocean/gulf, and in the rainy season we get really interesting and beautiful cloud formations and we get lightning off in the distance that is like a light show, especially after dark. The view is always changing, like hourly, in the rainy season, as clouds come and go. When it's clear which it is most nights, we get the twinkling lights of Esparza in the distance.

As to Nature we have toucans, parrots, and all kinds of interesting birds, monkeys, and interesting insects like "carbuncos" which are like the lightning bugs of the USA except the carbuncos are 10 times the size and both eyes light up! Something to see! We hear bird calls all throughout the day and some at night too, and they're very interesting. Sometimes they make me laugh and there's always a bird, or some animal or insect that amazes me in some way, every day.

These are the reasons we chose San Ramon and we think we made a great decision!

Let me add that Costa Rica is "the land of micro-climates" so you can live 1 km. away from someone and they can have very different weather than you have! It's a fact! Altitude is very important, and so is how the mountains are situated around you and what weather pattern they cause. So you can't just go by someone saying "San Ramon is this" or "Puriscal is that"; maybe the actual towns are, but living "around" a town can be totally different. North of San Ramon has completely different weather than the west of San Ramon, for example.

after we lived 1 month in MANY areas ,first being MOST of the Gringo Guches (We never learned Spanish in those places) and it felt just like living in the USA which we were trying to escape)  and we even tried the beaches NOT very pretty (after living on the Gorgeous beaches in Barbados, )and because of the crime and unbearable heat) we moved very quickly)
Then we discovered the little known area of HEREDIA HILLS  with it's perfect climate .(75 to 85 degrees F year round.
And  Even though their are small hospitals and Clinics with limited modern machinery, in the outer areas of C,R.     we Decided that also being 19 minutes from The Heredia Modern Hospital and 20 minutes from what we feel is the BEST private hospital  "La Catolica," and also 20 minutes from all the Major Hospitals in San jose.both Private and the local CCSS (Cajo was a boon as we were both over 50 made us feel very secure...not to mention it is a 10 drive to  the charming city of Heredia  (bus at our gate takes 15 minutes) and 20 minutes to the Airport,
The fact that things here even food,restaurants and rents and homes are less expensive helped

So that was 25 years ago and we still love check it out..and YOU decide ..GOOD LUCK .
THis area is little known by other Gringos fortunately ( NOT that we dislike our own ,but preferred to absorb the local culture   and dread turning it into another Gringo Gulch ,  and driving up prices )

WE have just shared our secret as we may have to move home due to familu health O HO{R NOY ..but I have older sisters who live in England Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
More Reasons??
The lush Greenery and the INCREDIBLE Views of the Irazu Volcano ( only an hour to its base) and views of Twinkling City lights and the climate and lack of swarms of tourists and Gringos clinched the deal  (we wanted and did learn Spanish and even though we drive to see friends who are now sorry but live in those areas)to areas we call Gringo Gulches (Escazu, Santa Ana,Grecia and a few more mentioned on this site) Fine if you need to hold hands with other Gringos))

OOPS the edit button did not work..please excuse the typos :)

Joel and I (Robin) are interested, too.  Where can we get a small home (2bed/2bath) or a condo of the same size for about $200,000 US Dollars?  Looking for a quiet area and prefer gated or with other expats.  The beaches are beautiful but the V. Valley near the big lake would be great!  We have yet to visit but may this fall.  Any ideas?  Any good websites to go to?

Robin and Joel

Suggest you visit first or at least rent for an extended time,  prior to purchasing anything.

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