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New members of the Costa Rica forum, introduce yourselves here - 2018

Hi all,

Newbie on the Costa Rica forum? Don’t know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Costa Rica if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

Hi,
Laura Lee here. I just retired and have been trying to plan a 3 week trip to Costa Rico. Several people I worked with ( USACE restoration job) have visited or have family there. I really want to stay away from the tourist scene as am serious about looking for a new area to live. I am hoping to make contact with expats that can help me find simple accommodations for 2-3 weeks. A sub-contractor's niece who lives there has been searching for me a room, but time is running out as I had planned to fly there 15th or 16th of Feb. I am open to suggestions. This will be my 1st trip to Costa Rica. My intention is to rent a car. Hope to make some friends with expats from the USA. Got to get my feet wet somehow!
Most certainly don't mind paying for a little touring of possible areas of interest.

Find an area that interests you, then search [airbnb](https://www.airbnb.com/s/all?location=Costa+Rica) for a room.

other than San Jose, would you recommend an area I should search? Maybe a little north?

You must have some criteria of what you are looking for in your chosen area,

Where have you asked your friends to check out?
What do you consider to be 'simple accommodation?
So you have  a budget?
Weather?
Are you going to look around for future living quarters?

buenos dias everyone,

new to the site just checking out all the links
haven't been to CR since 2010..possibly move there
one day,,south of tamarindo crowds
maybe playa negra..marbella area..
but did not seem to be much going on
down there hopefully that has changed a bit.
i hear many new roads
montezuma area is beautiful but would like to be close to airport
and NO not San Jose

Thanks for having me
Petra

:dumbom: Hi and Welcome ..
I just HAD to answer that nickname ...because a dear old friend  of mine played the part of Petrocelli in the TV Series Barry Neuman or Newman.. I forget ...Scorpio I remember LOL...
I just googled him seems he's still alive and kicking... AND married now it seems
Anyway if you are a "beach person"  UGH.. sorry not for me ( our paths may never cross)
I lived on gorgeous beach in Barbados 3 feet from the water ...
How much snorkling can one do? Burned my skin to a frazzle and BORING!!!!!  I read everything in both libraries .. and after much painting and decorating the house  (3 times in 2 years) ..I started reading the PHONE book!   and if THOSE beaches compared to ou shabby ones was not good enough...then I guess our paths will never meet..But good luck to you anyway...
as for being Bored in Costa Rica Never ..there are not enough hours in  the day....  :dumbom:

Hi and Welcome ..
I just HAD to answer that nickname ...because a dear old friend  of mine played the part of Petrocelli in the TV Series Barry Neuman or Newman.. I forget ...Scorpio I remember LOL...
I just googled him seems he's still alive and kicking... AND married now it seems
Anyway if you are a "beach person"  UGH.. sorry not for me ( our paths may never cross)
I lived on gorgeous beach in Barbados 3 feet from the water ...
How much snorkling can one do? Burned my skin to a frazzle and BORING!!!!!  I read everything in both libraries .. and after much painting and decorating the house  (3 times in 2 years) ..I started reading the PHONE book!   and if THOSE beaches compared to our shabby ones , was not good enough...then I guess our paths will never meet..But good luck to you anyway...
As for being Bored in Costa Rica Never ..there are not enough hours in  the day....  :dumbom:

Greetings all : my name is Craig, this is my first note on the site, I have been retired now for 4 years now and am looking to Central America to live a more simple and slower pace of life. I am coming down in March and planning to stay for a month or so, would like to stay in the north coast area and explore my options there during that time, planning on finding an Airbnb for the first few days and then looking for a more long term living arrangement for the duration of my stay.  I would very much enjoy hear from those of you who would be willing to communicate. Was planning on renting an auto to explore the areas but not at all against using the local bus systems. I am very fit and enjoy swimming and other physical activities. Ultimately wanting to find somewhere not to far from the ocean and with a bit of land so as to grow some fruit/ vegetables and get closer to the land. Maybe even finding an old panga to restore and enjoy fishing in the local waters. So, thank you to all who will respond, I look forward to hearing from you.

Hola Craig,

Welcome to Expat.com!

Renting a car is great but renting it for a month may get quite expensive.  You will want to have insurance on it.  Also, take pictures of the rental if there are ANY scratches or dents in it at all prior to driving it off the lot.  The buses here do go pretty much anywhere you can imagine.  It just takes a lot longer to get anywhere.  But, if you're here to relax and enjoy life, that may not be a bad thing.

The first step is to do exactly what you are planning - come down and explore for yourself to find what suits you best.

As always, I recommend perusing through the forum section as there will be a lot of questions answered there.  Anything else, just ask!  ☀️🌴

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Thanks Dave: I am sure there will be many and as you have said quite a few already have. I was wondering about the ease/ reliability of finding an agent to help me look while here, as mi espanol is a work in progress.  Are the auto rentals there at the airport .? Most likely I will be flying into San Jose I imagine, coming from LAX I believe it’s the only hub there in CR  for flights from LAX. Also I understand it to be about 4-5 hours from there to the coast.  I was hoping to settle in around the middle of the peninsula so I would have good access going north or south to explore, any suggestions on a good locale to start from.

Cragers :

Thanks Dave: I am sure there will be many and as you have said quite a few already have. I was wondering about the ease/ reliability of finding an agent to help me look while here, as mi espanol is a work in progress.  Are the auto rentals there at the airport .? Most likely I will be flying into San Jose I imagine, coming from LAX I believe it’s the only hub there in CR  for flights from LAX. Also I understand it to be about 4-5 hours from there to the coast.  I was hoping to settle in around the middle of the peninsula so I would have good access going north or south to explore, any suggestions on a good locale to start from.

Actually you would probably want to fly into the Liberia airport.  I am not familiar with that airport at all so anyone else?  How are car rentals set up there?

And his questions on, "I was hoping to settle in around the middle of the peninsula so I would have good access going north or south to explore, any suggestions on a good locale to start from."  ???

- Expat Dave

Cragers :

Greetings all : my name is Craig, this is my first note on the site, I have been retired now for 4 years now and am looking to Central America to live a more simple and slower pace of life. I am coming down in March and planning to stay for a month or so, would like to stay in the north coast area and explore my options there during that time, planning on finding an Airbnb for the first few days and then looking for a more long term living arrangement for the duration of my stay.  I would very much enjoy hear from those of you who would be willing to communicate. Was planning on renting an auto to explore the areas but not at all against using the local bus systems. I am very fit and enjoy swimming and other physical activities. Ultimately wanting to find somewhere not to far from the ocean and with a bit of land so as to grow some fruit/ vegetables and get closer to the land. Maybe even finding an old panga to restore and enjoy fishing in the local waters. So, thank you to all who will respond, I look forward to hearing from you.

Renting a car is a double-edged sword. It's expensive as hell and personally although it's much more expensive I recommend full coverage. I wrote a whole review of Eurocar on here somewhere and  you might want to check that out if you can find it. I agree with the recommendations Dave gave you re taking photos etc.

The thing about renting a car:
You will find out how dangerous it is to drive here (depending on where you drive and luck to some extent) and while some people seem not to mind, for me driving here is super stressful.

Buses are much less stressful in terms of not driving, but they have their own set of problems. Again depending on where the bus goes and what type of bus it is etc.

If you rent a car be much more alert and careful than you would be in the US or Canada. Here trucks will come into your lane, people will pass where it's illegal and unsafe to pass, there may be huge holes in  the road with little or no warning, a person may just decide to stop right in your lane on a highway to stop and talk to a neighbor, 4-5 family members may walk with at least a few of them in your lane even though the road is narrow and by going around them you may have to go into the other lane, etc.

An advantage of driving a car is in fact to see how people do drive here; and of course you can stop and pee or eat or check out a view or whatever.

I still take buses around and do for the most part prefer them over driving. However if it's a long trip it can seem like a VERY long trip.

Reasons:
   * if you're tall as I am my legs get very uncomfortable from not being able to stretch them out or even sit up straight. (If tall, try to sit on the aisle to put your feet on the aisle; but then to be safe you have to be aware and bring them back out of the aisle when people walk by)
   * People on buses tend to be used to sweltering heat and they won't even bother to lower the windows so it's often like a sauna in there. Sometimes the windows cannot be pulled down but often then can but the people just don't do it.
   * Generally the seats are not comfortable in general, not just uncomfortable for tall people. Some buses are fairly comfortable except for the leg issue; some are not.
   * Sometimes the bus conductor plays a futbol game very loud or some awful music, then combine that with babies crying, people talking too loud on their cell phone, etc; it's a bit of a cacophony, but Welcome to Costa Rica, where most Ticos seem to enjoy noise. Then sometimes you get a nice quiet ride. Just depends...

The good things about the bus:
   * You  can sit back and relax and not worry about traffic
   * Most people are very nice and even if you don't talk to anyone you can observe the people and get to know what they're like to some extent.
   * it's cheaper then driving - much cheaper
   * You don't have to worry about your car being broken into. (If you do rent a car, know they are targets. Personally I keep stuff in the back seat because trunks are notoriously easy to break into. Keep stuff covered up though with trashbags or a blanket or jacket or whatever so they don't see a lap top case or etc from outside. )

Hi Pebs,

thanks for welcome.never saw that TV show with pertocelli.
yes i agree some of the beaches in CR no match to barbados
we seem to have alot of gray silty beaches on the pacific coast of CR.
Montezuma a much differant story but as always just a changing of the tide
wipes it all clean.

Thanks again,
have a wonderful day
Petra

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