Best Places to Live in CR

I"m new to this forum. Currently I live in Ecuador, but feeling like I will want to make a change next year. There are so many places to see in this world. I would like to hear from expats and locals about where you are in Costa Rica, and what areas you think are the best, and why.  I am thinking of moving to Costa Rica, but hardly know where to begin looking.  I'm hoping to be inspired by what you say.

You need to start by visiting.  DO NOT take anyone's word on what is the best.  I hate to sound negative but you cannot even begin to comprehend what is "best" until you have visited.  If you want to have a reply from people who are here then you need to prioritize your request ....... what do you want ..... hospitals, beaches, night life, access to an international airport, shopping, and the list goes on and on.
Cheers .... Terry

Hello globalwoman :cheers:

You may want to read experience from members shared on the Costa Rica forum to have a global idea about Costa Rica.

Our living in Costa Rica guide also have lots of informations to provide.

Best regards


HI Terry, Hi Kenjee,

Thank you both for your responses.  I don't generally take someone's word.  I do my best to do my due diligence, then make a decision. As far as visiting, I probably won't be able to do that.  (Incidentally, that is how I came to Ecuador -- sight unseen).  So, whatever my research and exploration gives me will be the resource I need and use to determine if CR is the place for me. I am drawn there by the possibility of living and having access to alternative people, paths, and modalities. In throwing out the question, I was kind of just trying to see where people are and what they like (in a general way) about where they are.

I apologize for not being more specific; what I am mostly interested in is a small community or town with not too distant access to a larger one (with transportation options), in a warm climate. Not interested in beaches, but really want to live in a green scenery. That's it basically. I speak intermediate Spanish but something I continue to work on. I will check out the forum and the guide you mentioned, Kenjee.  Kind of interested in learning which cities are most popular with expats, and for what reasons. 

I wouldn't mind knowing where you both are and why you like the location, if you don't mind sharing.

Thanks, much.

My wife and I are located approximately 17km south west of Puriscal.  We are in a community called Altos de Antigua .  We searched all over Costa Rica back in 2010 and found the beach area (where we thought we wanted to be) too hot and humid for us.  We really liked this area and in the following few years we rented houses within our community (four different ones) before we decided to build our own.  We are about 20 minutes from Puriscal and around an hour to San Jose.  There is a back road down to the Pacific coast, again about an hours drive.  We can do most of our shopping in Puriscal and there is an up to date hospital there.  We are about an hour and ten minutes from SJO.  These were all factors on our original priority list except for the ocean view  :D

Friends of ours here in Costa Rica, have traveled a few times
to Equador and have told us that it is much less expensive there.

As a place to start you may want to check out the requirements for residency.

Thank you, Terry!  It sounds like you are living in a wonderful place.

Yes, that is what I have heard, too.  Thank you, Kohlerias.

You may want to consider the San Ramon area. Lots of green, some areas have bus service to San Ramon (Piedades, etc)
There are quite a few expats in the San Ramon area but not a ton. I prefer it that way.
There are, however, expat communities around San Ramon if you like that.

San Ramon is around 15-25k population but with surrounding communities, much more. It's a "bustling" small town with all the amenities: hospital, doctors, banks, movies, restaurants and so on.
45 min to international airport, 1 hour to San Jose the capitol, hour to the beach, 2 hours to Arenal Volcano/hot springs area, forests all around...

Hope this helps.

What do people think of samara as a place to go for a few months? I am a 45 year old public interest attorney living in the US. I am hoping to take off a month or two this winter to explore an area in Costa Rica. My main interests are flat/water kayaking, hiking and sketching. I am looking to stay primarily in one spot so I can get a flavor for the community, perhaps learn art from a local (or expat) and do some volunteering with the community. I had originally chosen nosara but it now seems to me to be too built up touristy young and expensive, and I am not into surfing. I was also thinking of Torteguero because there are so many river kayaking opportunities but I hear the area can become unbearable after a few days. Am now thinking samara might be a good choice? Again I am not into overly touristy trendy or surfing type places. Any thoughts about where to stay and or reasonable month long accommodations there would be so appreciated! . Many thanks! Stefanie

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