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A Visit to the Central Valley

My husband is retiring this spring, and we are looking at the Central Valley area as a potential place to move. Mosquitoes love me way too much so the beach area is a no go, plus the air conditioning bills would be super high.

We plan to look at San Ramon, Grecia, and Atenas while on a trip in late May/early June. I've read about a two day seminar held in San Juan that is supposed to be educational for potential expats. Has anyone on the board attended something like this? It's held the last Thursday and Friday of every month except December.

I write YA and children's books so I will be looking for other writers/authors, but can always do critiques online if necessary.

Also, since I seem to be a mosquito magnet I wonder if anyone has suggestions for repellent?

I've spoken to someone in a Spanish class I'm taking who used to live in San Ramon. She says wonderful things about it.

We are psyched for the trip and look forward to our visit.

You may want to read this article, regarding mosquitoes as unfortunately they are found in other areas of CR not just at  the beach. Watch out for standing water such as in puddles, plant pots or even in some  plants themselves, that collects in the rainy season.

The seminar you are referring to, has been enjoyed by many people, for many years.

Wonderful! Thank you.

What a pity ..like most Gringos you all huddle in these same places LOL and never learn Spanish or assimilate with the local lovely people TRY HEREDIA and it's surrounding areas It is closer  to the BEST hospitals, restaurants,Shopping malls, WIFI, bus routes.things to do like live music in the many parks,  and much more YET  thankfully still has  not become a Gringo Gulch, with high prices geared to Gringos..
THAT is because so Gringos have even heard of Heredia  (Known as  City of the flowers) few even have ventured here HAHA so sheep will be sheep .YOU may at least come and visit and see the beauty for yourself...BUT i wonder if you will,  after all the touting that goes on here on  this site  for those places being  THE BEST   places to live ( MAKES ME CHUCKLE :) ..those places  you mentioned WHICH are BTW at least about 70 minutes fast drive to MAJOR hospitals,  God forbid you have a heart attack.!
The local clinics are NOT equipped  for such emergencies and have to bring you here or to Ugly San Jose  to a fully equipped Hospital ready for traumas, no matter what the  brainwashed  tell you
.PM me I will show you around for free, as I have many other folk  before,  who have been amazed by its beauty, charm low prices yet upscale areas..and now intend moving here .. and  wonder why lack of a mention on this site....THat is because most here are Oblivious to it and those who PRETEND to know it are telling the lie of the century ..take a look you will love it.
I don't want to make it another Gringo Gulch,  but we could use a few more Gringos..though most of our excellent schools are now teaching English... so soon they will be as fluent as the Gringos  (so no need to huddle ). Also we are only a 25 minute drive from the Airport. Good Luck  but remember RENT FIRST..
PLEASE Remember that the CENTRAL VALLEY is HUGE and consists of MANY other areas NOT just Grecia, San Ramon, and Atenas ...Heredia is the Best part of the Central Valley voted =so because of our mild suny Spring like temperatures year round AND the Incredable VIEWS of Volcanoes and lush green coffee plantations and flowers...
PM me if you have questions :)

Ellen B. :

My husband is retiring this spring, and we are looking at the Central Valley area as a potential place to move. Mosquitoes love me way too much so the beach area is a no go, plus the air conditioning bills would be super high.

We plan to look at San Ramon, Grecia, and Atenas while on a trip in late May/early June. I've read about a two day seminar held in San Juan that is supposed to be educational for potential expats. Has anyone on the board attended something like this? It's held the last Thursday and Friday of every month except December.

I write YA and children's books so I will be looking for other writers/authors, but can always do critiques online if necessary.

Also, since I seem to be a mosquito magnet I wonder if anyone has suggestions for repellent?

I've spoken to someone in a Spanish class I'm taking who used to live in San Ramon. She says wonderful things about it.

We are psyched for the trip and look forward to our visit.

Hola Ellen,

Welcome to expat.com!

I do understand you're wanting to initially look in the Central Valley towns.  The majority of people looking into the expat life will initially feel more comfortable with established Gringo communities.  It is only natural.  It gives you a great starting point.  It's also a relaxing, comfortable environment to retire in.

If you are a person who prefers the fast city life,  a lot of noise, crowded/blocked roads, the need to be close to a "mall" and less than friendly locals, I agree that you should look into the Heredia area.  It is closer to nightlife, plays, etc.  From where I live just outside of San Ramon, I would have to drive a whole hour to reach these destinations.  And then I would have to come home to the absolute silence of the evening in the country.  Well, I do hear the stream that runs through the middle of my property year round...so annoying.  In the morning we are awoken by the troop of monkeys that live on the property, the numerous birds and wildlife, it's just the price we pay.  But oh so miss being close to those malls.  🤓

Emergency care is of course a long drive.  I live outside of the city so it does take me 10 minutes to reach the hospital.  I believe there is nearby emergency care in pretty much every town you listed.  For extreme high standard care which you might need, it is 1 hour away.

You will probably want to learn espanol as the majority of Gringos here have.  It will be necessary and you will enjoy and have a much happier experience with your new home environment knowing the native language.

Your idea of starting out with one of these towns is a great idea.  It's quiet, many Gringos to help guide you in your new life and it gives you a central location to begin exploring for what part of the country "you" find to be your piece of paradise.

If you have any questions on any of these areas, just ask, we are happy to help!

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Well done dave..spelled with SMALL "d" I guess you have a clever way of making my response disappear and it had VALUABLE information regarding a NEW hospital in out very small very peaceful village of San Rafael de Heredia..It may surface but if not you have done an injustice AGAIN by Criticising Heredia and its quiet peaceful surrounding villages a place which you OBVIOUSLY KNOW NOTHING about there is NO NOISE , no more traffic than your devine place and FRIENDLY people here you also managed to insult .... As for the Uniquely castle designed mallI have n=been twice in 27 years BUT some people LIKE a nice CLEAN Mall...next to a Price mart (like Costco) and Pequeno Mundo huge discount store not chinese goods..Or do you also hate bargains LMAO...?Shame on you Cyber bullying? PM me for the BEST new medical find with ALL tests and EKG results professionally written In ENGLISH.. on lab on site all within 3 hours .All for $195 ..Beat that Dave andOh you "hospital 10 minutes away? PLEASE give is the name so we can see what equipment and facilities are available and any SPECIALIST doctors there as inOUR new hospital?lab here in our quiet little village no traffic and GEAT roads,..so don't show your ignorance by PRETENDING  that you have been here,You would get a nose bleed if you left your area... Let me know if my longer ost shows up very good for those looking for Excellent INexpensive Specialists who do EKG's  blood tests urine and poop tests all results written professionally within 3 hour visit and a free extra visit with the dr..who charges only $80 for FULL body exam.  and inclus=des free visit and gives her cellphone number in case...

pebs :

Well done dave..spelled with SMALL "d" I guess you have a clever way of making my response disappear and it had VALUABLE information regarding a NEW hospital in out very small very peaceful village of San Rafael de Heredia..It may surface but if not you have done an injustice AGAIN by Criticising Heredia and its quiet peaceful surrounding villages a place which you OBVIOUSLY KNOW NOTHING about there is NO NOISE , no more traffic than your devine place and FRIENDLY people here you also managed to insult .... As for the Uniquely castle designed mallI have n=been twice in 27 years BUT some people LIKE a nice CLEAN Mall...next to a Price mart (like Costco) and Pequeno Mundo huge discount store not chinese goods..Or do you also hate bargains LMAO...?Shame on you Cyber bullying? PM me for the BEST new medical find with ALL tests and EKG results professionally written In ENGLISH.. on lab on site all within 3 hours .All for $195 ..Beat that Dave andOh you "hospital 10 minutes away? PLEASE give is the name so we can see what equipment and facilities are available and any SPECIALIST doctors there as inOUR new hospital?lab here in our quiet little village no traffic and GEAT roads,..so don't show your ignorance by PRETENDING  that you have been here,You would get a nose bleed if you left your area... Let me know if my longer ost shows up very good for those looking for Excellent INexpensive Specialists who do EKG's  blood tests urine and poop tests all results written professionally within 3 hour visit and a free extra visit with the dr..who charges only $80 for FULL body exam.  and inclus=des free visit and gives her cellphone number in case...

Your post was and is posted just as you posted it.  No one touched a thing.  👍🏽 🌝

...and in no way did I find the need to personally attack you.  Lighten up.  🙃   I've said it many times, there are many people, Gringos, that do enjoy living in the Heredia area.  And, as I've said, everyone likes something different and have their varying opinions.  They are just opinions.  Each person should explore "all" areas of the country and find "their" bit of happiness.

And yes, I have been to Heredia and the surrounding foothills many times.  It's just not for "me."  ✌🏼

- Expat Dave

Pebs;
Al your comments are still there ........ You post many things that come up with you not understanding replies ....... you must have good "stuff" in Heredia!

TerrynViv :

Pebs;
Al your comments are still there ........ You post many things that come up with you not understanding replies ....... you must have good "stuff" in Heredia!

Ohhh, that would explain a lot.  😎

- Expat Dave

Thanks for your reply.  I found it very helpful.  I plan to travel there later this year.

Ellen B. :

My husband is retiring this spring, and we are looking at the Central Valley area as a potential place to move. Mosquitoes love me way too much so the beach area is a no go, plus the air conditioning bills would be super high.

We plan to look at San Ramon, Grecia, and Atenas while on a trip in late May/early June. I've read about a two day seminar held in San Juan that is supposed to be educational for potential expats. Has anyone on the board attended something like this? It's held the last Thursday and Friday of every month except December.

I write YA and children's books so I will be looking for other writers/authors, but can always do critiques online if necessary.

Also, since I seem to be a mosquito magnet I wonder if anyone has suggestions for repellent?

I've spoken to someone in a Spanish class I'm taking who used to live in San Ramon. She says wonderful things about it.

We are psyched for the trip and look forward to our visit.

Welcome. I'll tell you to beware of tours or seminars in terms of them trying to sell you property. Otherwise some are well worth it. Just don't let yourself be talked into anything until you rent in the area for awhile.

Mosquitoes are everywhere but less in the cities. Do you want to live near town or out in the country side? Near town there are a lot less; out in the country it depends on weather and time of year etc.

I like a geranium based repellant I found here and if you look on amazon you can read reviews of various types; there are also electronic ones which seem to help. And Avon Skin So Soft has great anti-mosquito reviews too.

Where I live near San Ramon sometimes they can be pretty bad and other times not bad at all. But usually not swarming or terrible, just pesky. Overall I'd say "not a big problem".

You could always build a screened in porch as well...

I've heard b vitamins repel mosquitoes as well as certain colored clothing. Have you done some research on mosquitoes? Check the many info pages you can find on google for more info.

Good luck in your move. We like the San Ramon area, the people here are friendly and the town has all the stuff you need.

Thanks Terry and Viv.. but I still don't see them ( Mrs Magoo ? ) True I do have some nice goodies ,,,some still in great shape ...,,🏠🌟

Thanks Terry and Viv I don't understand the replies??
True I have some nice goodies , ,,💲💲lol

Oh I just got the double entendre...nope I don't use any "stuff' I guess it's popular in your area...here nope we are fun..but tea totalers and definitely despise druggies . sorry.. innocent me thought for a moment that you were referring to furniture...now I realize that you mean that here illegal "stuff". Duh!

Ellen,

I believe the seminar you are referring to is put on by ARCR ( Association of Residents of Costa Rica). It is decent and they cover a wide variety of topics and speakers ( doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc ) as well as a couple of expats. If you search ARCR or ARCR.com you should find them.

It is ARCR.net

I spent seven days in Liberia and travel to Santacruz and Tambore, I never saw or felt any mosquitoes in all that time.

This is the dry,,,and in Guanacaste...a very dry season, so mosquitoes are not yet a major concern, at least for those who don't draw their attention, although mosquitoes can breed in both wet & dry conditions.

An announcement today and in Spanish.

From December through the end of semana Santa no need to worry about mosquitos here in Guanacaste.Just like clockwork the beginning of April the northeast winds die down and allows for a more westerly seabreeze.Humidity increases allowing for a return of mosquitos.The season is changing.We could feel it this evening while checking the surf out front of the house.It should rain soon.Time to break out the repelente.

I don't know what they are but some kind of tiny little bugs I don't even see are biting the hell out of my elbows this week.
I know that at least at some of the beaches, at least some of the time, there are "no see 'em's". Are these their mountain-bread kin? Or ? Whatever these bites are from, they itch like hell.

And by the way, unless you live in a City (i.e.; less nature, more buildings, cement, steel, cars) , everywhere in Costa Rica has biting insects at least some of the time. I'd say anyone who says otherwise is probably lying.

However, I've never had any serious problem from any bite; the worst is that occasionally they cause me to itch for a few days.  I don't think it's sold here but there's a form of OFF "plant based" Insect Repellent without DEET in it that I use, which works quite well. Next trip to the states I'll try to buy several bottles  because I've never seen it here.

Thank you. Yes, I am familiar with sand flies. They are no fun and the bites last longer, on me at least, than mosquito bites.

Pesky little buggers,they are called sancouros,we have them here at the beach in the Rainey season.

I had to resort to some cortisone cream to stop these insects spreading and itching, as I was told that the multiply under the skin... :o

Ew!  :o

I am NOT A LIAR and live in the fresh air of Heredia Hills 8km from the town of Heredia and NEVER had bug bites...
EXCEPT at a friend's house in Santa Ana, which is crawling with IRE ANTS UGH they eat me alive so I never visit friends there and how they put up with tuem God only knows HERE WE HAVe NO BUGS IN Concepcion de San RAFAE>.maybe because of the Spring like weather average &0 85F,,,
YEAH here comes a little  rain ...maybe soon time to plant our veggies but only iittle rain April alas...

EVERYWHERE IN COSTA RICA DOES NOT HAVE BITNG BUGS Pity you did not choose the right areaSan Ramon ..If you knew ANYTHING about Heredia Hills you may learn something unless you are brainwashed by your the ur neighbors where YOU live I guess this is mostly for San Ramon ?or whomever is getting eaten alive..maybe if he got out of his little Gringo Gulch click he would learn something about Costa Rica..UGH the posts on this site are so  frigging DUMB  and ..GET a LIFE and drive OUT of your GULCHES and NO I DO NOT LIVE IN A NOISY CITY ..which you seem to think...full of  MISINFORMATION for newbies here

YES and have LOTS of commissions for all those services,,I have never heard a good report about them from HUNDREDS of guests at my then B&B 28 years in biz mostly full so LOTS of people moving here SOME waiting the 5 years for residency which I see posted ere a lot YES IF YOU USE that company..maybe so...It took us 9 months ..and I got my friend his so fast he could not believe it I have a pghoto of him holding up hid res card at ImmigrationI ONE day..but then afte 28 years here I DO know a few people DO NOT earn commissions for helping either ,,so those waiting all he years sadly Good luck.. wouls avoid that group and do it yourself,,cheaper and faster,Are they gaining interest from all those dollars they get from unsuspecting newcomers ? hence many years wait? mmm maybe ??

Sorry for the typos...I had to run and had no time to edit as some really retirees have hours to sit at the boring computers ha sorry I have more interesting things to do..lol

Claro..

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