Best place to live on the Pacific Coast

We are moving in August 2017 to Costa Rica and would like to get some recommendations on an ideal coastal town at the Pacific Coast, not too touristy and expensive and not too many expats and no highrises.
Looking forward hearing from you all!

Not to deter you in any way shape or form but have you visited the west coast and rented for any length of time?  Back in 2010 we were of the same frame of mind and thought we wanted to be on the west coast and we ended up at 2900 feet above sea level.  If you have visited and stayed there for a period of time, please ignore this post  :top:

Hi Terry, thanks for your reply but we already live right now at 3300 meters in Cusco, Peru and would like to be back at the coast next August.

Then best of luck tomrich!
You already know what you want.
Cheers .... Terry

Hi Terry, so you don't have a particular place on the Pacific Coast in mind that you could recommend for us to live?

Not having lived there would make it improper for me to suggest anything.  Hopefully there are people out there who live in this area that could better advise you.  We still like visiting the Dominical area!

thanks Terry!

I would recommend the Tamarindo area.  Not necessarily Tamarindo itself, but the coastal areas north (and to a lesser extent, south) of Tamarindo.  I live just outside of Tamarindo and only go into that tourist trap when absolutely necessary. 

Brasilito, Potrero, and Coco are nice towns with a good mix of Ticos and Gringos.   Please, please, please rent for at least a year before buying anything.  I'm tired of buying stuff that Gringos leave behind after they figure out that this ISN'T the paradise they thought it was.  ;)

As far as expensive goes, anywhere on the Pacific coast will be expensive compared to the rest of the country, but in my opinion, you get what you pay for.  You could, of course, live in a small concrete pizza oven and eat rice and beans and ride a cheap Chinese motorcycle everywhere and live dirt cheap.  But is that realistic?   I find that it costs me as much to live here as any small town or rural area in North America, 

I think if you ask most expats if Costa Rica is cheap, they will say no.  I've heard of Ticos going to Panama to buy Costa Rican products cheaper than they can get them here.   I've no idea how people around here make ends meet.  A typical wage around here is $2/hr for unskilled labor.

Hi thewizz, thanks so much for your kind, detailed and funny message. I will check out those three towns and no, we will not buy at all but rather rent to be safe.



We like it close to Parrita, we have a great beach called Bejuco.
We don't need a car here, the bus goes to Paritta every half hour for only 400 colones.  Our town has about 50 stores and even a Walmart... Maxi Pali.   Bejuco Beach

thanks so much for this, Sanbuenaventuraman!!!! we will check it out!

If you are swimmers, it would be advisable to search out which beaches are the safest and not end up with one that has experienced drowning from  many riptides.

I recommend you look in the southern pacific region of Costa Rica.  The area has plenty of water which has of late become a problem in many parts of Guanacaste.  There's NO high rises and once south of Manuel Antonio, there's no real tourist influence, more just an international residential community with expats from North America, Ticos and lots of folks from elsewhere around the globe.  The towns of Ojochal and Uvita offer nice low key living at less expensive cost than most other areas along the Pacific coast. 

Steve Linder
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Thanks, Steve! that was very helpful as we already had read about the area south of Manuel Antonio. We will check out Ojochal and Uvita.

Be sure to check out the distances to groceries and hospitals etc.  Some of the locations in the mountains take up to an hour to get down from.  Also make note that if you get too high you'll be living in the mountain fog until after lunch time "and it's impossible to dry laundry outside", you'll need a clothes dryer for sure.  The biggest problem we found when we lived in a remote area was that someone always had to be home "the petty theft in Costa Rica is a major problem".  One guy left his home for about five hours, and when he returned even his toilet and sink were gone.  If you live in a remote location "be sure to be in a gated and guarded community", and of course be prepared to buy an over priced car.

thanks, Sanbuenaventuraman, we will definitely not move to the mountains as this is where we are coming from right now.

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