Single woman considering move to costa rica

Hi everyone - I am an active young looking 60 year old woman about to be divorced. NOT looking to meet a man but AM looking to move to Costa Rica possibly which I fell in love with many years ago and make many friends. i just returned from Panama (boquete) which I really liked but for many reasons would prefer CR. Here are my questions - hope there aren't too many!
1. When I visited years ago a few times, I loved the areas of Dominical and Nosara as I love living near nature and wildlife.  However, since I am 60 is it silly to live somewhere that is not near hospitals? And how far are the nearest hospitals to those places?
2. Which area is safest for a single woman and besides the Central Valley which area has second largest expats? Do they get together and help each other? One thing about Boquete is that the expat community is VERY strong and you are not alone. You meet everyone and get alot of info.
3. Activities that mean alot to me - yoga, biking, gardening, tennis - do they exist in these places?

I thank everyone for their time - I am going through alot on a personal level and will have half of what I am living on now so need to make this change and its a little scary so any advice will be welcome.

Hello sherryring,

welcome to! :)

The nearest hospital to Dominical is in San Isidro de General, which is a good size city and supports much of the area, as opposed to going to San Jose. I also know they built a new CIMA hospital just outside of Liberia too. Both of these places have healthy ex-pat communities that engage in various activities. Safety is always an issue and it can be difficult to change your mind set when coming down here. It's not so much about where you live but how you live. I have no fear about my personal safety, since I do not engage in risky behavior, but there is a lot of crime and it is specifically targeted at expats. Most of this includes, fraud (real estate, business, immigration), advantageous crime (car break-ins, home break-ins when away, purse snatching) and embezzlement (I won't sue you if you pay me off). And there is always the “blue-eyed-tax”. The price I ask for is usually 20% higher than what my Tico husband would pay. I always tell people to know a good lawyer and never sign anything until it is reviewed by them. Even a rental contract! I know way too many people who have been scammed here.
I have always found the expat communities to be very warm and engaging, regardless where I have been. A quirky bunch, but that's why we are here! Good Luck!

we have much in common please email me in terms of simularites. Please email me


I am Carene  from Vancouver  and single in late 50's 
I also play tennis.
Am considering doing the same as you

Lets stay in touch-  I  have  talked to several single ladies and I think it would be great to live in a place with some single lady friends as a support and activity circle.   Here is my email for communicating further

cmorton   at   globaltech dot bc dot ca


My 60 year old partner and I (53 years old) retired to Costa Rica last year from California and are very happy here on the Southern Pacific Coast. By your description of yourself, I think you would do well in this area, which is considerably more rainy, less developed and lush than the North Pacific Coast.  The rent for a casa on the Coast is considerably higher that in the Central Valley, which boasts the highest percentage of ex-pats.  The Central Valley is definitely more urban, busy, social, with more restaurants and services than where we are, which is basically jungle and very rural.  We live about 30 minutes south of Dominical. Nature and activities are abundant (beach walks, hiking to waterfalls, snorkeling, etc).

We have visited Boquete and thought it quaint, but we missed the friendly Tico folks who have a strong identity, the quality of the houses, the ocean and jungle views and the nature adventures within reach of us.

The road are difficult to navigate to get to a house of an elevation that is comfortable - lower down on the beach is hot and buggy and often noisy (village life!) You must be comfortable with driving in difficult conditions, really anywhere in Costa Rica, but moreso on the coasts.

There is a public hospital near us in Cortez for basic items, but the best private hospitals (often preferred by ex-pats) are in San Jose.  I have had services at Clinica Biblica there and found the doctors and the care to be exceptional and reasonably priced.

There is strong ex-pat community of Canadians and US ex-pats in our area, as well as many Europeans. Often we get together for meals, parties and "ladies" lunches at local restaurants.  We have many single retired ladies, primarily in your age group, among whom you would find like interests - cards, swimming, yoga, gardening, golf and perhaps tennis, as perhaps one of the hotels has a court (although it might be a bit hot).

As for safety, there is petty theft here, but most folks have a dog and a locked gate.  I have never felt unsafe at night or in any of the local towns, but I do not act like a tourist nor do I have any business dealings within the Tico community. Bill and I are renters, where the US casa owner navigates and manages most all of our business transactions.

I recommend an investagative visit in the area that most appeals to you, find out where the local gringos go hang out, go ask them questions and then rent for 3 - 6 months to see if you like the area, the community and the weather.

You mwill find some of our adventures on my blog:

Best wishes on taking this leap!  It is a lovely, spiritual peaceful country - just perfect for restoring the soul!


Hi from Carene  in Canada  Single lady

Thank you to all the info and comments shared so generously by those already living in CR!  It is priceless and hopefully save all us wanna be in CR from costly mistakes.

I have a suggestion

We all have these issues in common but even more so for the single ladies.        Where to go settle.     So seems like we all need to travel around a bit to check out where we feel most at home.
And this depends on what we need or want in a new country.

Me?   I like to play tennis and pickleball, do some pilates or yoga or biking, I want to have a lot of new friends to do things with.     And I like the ocean.

From my research it looks like living in the suburbs around San Jose offers you most of these activities and getting around by bus or taxi is OK.     I have found a lovely B & B in Atenas and the owner is also a single lady.   GREAT  prices.  She said-   dont get a car-  it is not IF  you will be in an accident it is when.   She is a goldmine of information.   I thought to start my scouting there.   The weather is great there.   

But I dream of living by the ocean so traveling to the Pacific coast is a must.     I don't want just have jungle and peace-  I am active and curious and a social creature.  But is it too hot and humid?      Is getting around a nightmare?  THe roads are full of potholes and just read about guy's axel  breaking at night hitting a pothole-  Sooo    NOt  that excited about relying on getting around myself by car...   

One can hire a  driver for a day-  but  at $100 for a lot of days it gets pricey.     

Traveling around is one of the things that seems to be not that easy.     

So here is a suggestion-  we singles (men not excluded)     pick a month  (and rates go way down until the dry season starts- and BTW  the wet season means it rains most afternoons for a while then it clears up)

WE book a place together-   we decide where we want to travel to or explore, we share costs, we make friends.

Safety in numbers and savings in sharing costs.


Sounds like an idea.I will be following everyone's comments as I am still reserching still. . Tx everyone.

Thank you SO much for this wealth of information Jamie. I am curious about how much more money rentals are in your area.. Can you give me a ballpark or if you feel more comfortable e-mailing me my email is [email protected]  My only concern is the roads as you mentioned in that area - I remember Nosara was a nightmare!
  Carene - Lets stay in touch. I am actually going to do a relocation tour which is what I did in Panama and it was very helpful but not sure when I am going to do it - hoping in the next 6 months but I have alot to get through here first. I would have loved to do it your way but feel this is the best thing for me but will let you know when i decide. If you make plans before that please let me know as things change.  I have already been to costa rica a few times so have a feel for it though much more to learn before i take the leap.  I am social as well but feel that the southern pacific coast will still offer these things plus give me what i am looking for but we can talk more about it.
  Pinkops you sound like you are just beginning so also stay in touch!

Carene - you can also use my email of course and I will write to you separately in the next day or the way - WHAT is pickle ball???

I am a womam going through a divorce too.  I am moving to Costa Rica in May. I am 57 years old. I think in Escazu and Santa Ana there would be the activities you are thinking about.  And medical facilities are very close.  These are big Expat settlement areas.

I am not for sure yet what area I will finally settle in but I am starting in the Central Valley.

We should stay in touch.

Yes lets definitely stay in touch. Sorry you are going through this as well. But in the end, its all meant to be and will be great. I may take a relocation tour either in Aug or Nov and then decide. I would probably be ready to make the move shortly thereafter as I have to sell my house here and that may take at least that time.
  Where do you live now?

Thanks Dave. I will know more about my plans in a couple of months. I really want to live nearer to the beach but may start out closer to the city. However, I would really want a car because if I move to Costa Rica I want to explore all the amazing areas! I know cars are expensive but also if you live near the beach don't you need a car to get down the mountain (if you are living higher up) Anyway, I think what I may do is take a relocation tour in August or November. I did that in Panama and got so much great information that it made me feel alot more comfortable.
  My only other concern is that I will need to be on somewhat of a budget - not a bad one but a budget nonetheless. I really don't want to pay more than $1000 for a house and i think the beaches might be out of my reach. Anyway, I need to take a break from obsessing over it. Costa Rica has always been my dream ever since I first visited. Whereas Panama (bouquet) was really great but didn't steal my heart in the same way.

Hi Everyone!
I think I'd fit right in with all of you!  I'm going to be 53 and am just trying to refi my house (can't do til late August!) and want to move to Central America.  I feel like I'd have the best connections and interests with folks from Costa Rica.  I'm a true nature NUT!  I'm hesitant to spend a bunch of money for a relocation group tour type thing even though it might save me lots of mula.  I think just talking with new friends/EXPATS there (like Carene and Elciddad) could be just the ticket.  Time flies so I'll be there soon and I am thinking that Central Valley would be best to rent and do my research by taking bus all over CR with some new pals like yourselves!  I am soooo excited!  I really want to see a Toucan each day and get to where seeing monkeys is so commonplace they're like the neighborhood dogs  :  )

you sound like a nature nut just like me! looking forward to meeting you! Will keep in touch and let you know where i land..

Yeah Sherry!  You DO look young - my God!  The more good new friends and desire to figure it out, the better!  I am really excited - this refi has to happen but I feel good about all.  Let's definitely stay in touch, sherry, AND everyone else who wants to have some feeling of belonging when we get to CR!  :  )

Sherry and all:

Right now I live in Denver.  I fly to CR this Saturday and finish my TEFL program in San Jose.  I will be down there hanging out and studying for two and a half weeks.  Then back to Denver for a few weeks then moving down there mid May.

I will keep you all posted on how it's going and any tips I can pass your way.


Thanks Dave.  I will definitely give you a call.

I envy you Labup!


Well with Dave already there to help with his advice and me settling there soon, you will already have some in country contacts when you come in August!  And with Sherry heading down soon too, we will have our own little group of expat single women.  (Excluding Dave on that one.  Ha).  Maybe we can be our own version of the Golden Girls but set in CR.  gosh, what a great idea for a reality show!!  jajaja

Yay!!   That will help make the transition a lot easier.

Now, instead of this transition seeming difficult and out of reach, I am wanting to dive in asap!  Just need to be able to go for a walk in the morning in a jungle - that is my hope.  I want to refrain from seeing monkeys as pests because they are all over my porch and eating all of the fruit.  :  ) What a great thought!!  My name is Lisa, by the way, and I live in Boise Idaho which is a fine place but so dry.  It may be my old lady house but if CR pans out, I think medical and life overall will kick Boise's butt!  Yay!!!!!

oops we lost our guy - but that's ok.  I can imagine he felt he was in the wrong thread.  Anyone who lives there will have helpful hints.  Some gal on the Carribbean side was being a little weird by demanding money for her knowledge - what do you guys think of that?

Hi Sherry
ˆalso am in your age bracket divorced 11 yrs ago
ˆlive in a LOVELY area of CR called San Rafael de Heredia which is a moderate climate and CLOSE to all expecially hospitals .I was a3 acre B&B /fruit farm YET 10  minutes from towns and villages 22 years ago..I retired and have 3 apartments and 2 rustic Chalets and the main 2 story 4 bedroom house (FAR too big for me now I may rent it also and live in one of the apartments NOT huge but cozy Hot showers and TRANQUIL .BUS STOP at electric gate ..Fruit/veg farmers mkts 5 minutes away by bus ... now for me..also has a furnished  apartment below ALL have gorgeous VIEWS of Volcano and city lights, private and in SAFE area NOT hot and muggy like our beaches which lately hav e become drug infested
MY big concern was to be CLOSE to Hospitals for my guests and THANK GOD because now I have been making LOTS of use for them ..Heart arrhythmia and I slipped on an outside cement steps cracking 2 bones in my spine .Thank God I am at least waling couls have been worse
So If you like the lovely Countryside and Close to everything (2 small mkts on our road ..This is a heavenly change ..I retired from my B&B after 22 years and NOW rent MONTHLY the chalet and the cozy apartments furnished ... Far less money but far less work
So if interested email me and I will send photos
BUT I would need to know WHEN you inteneded to move as they are few and fill up with ex pats FAST for same reason (NICE to have English speakers close by to take care of each them. In emmergency at our age good to have friends nearby yet private We also have a few gringo Hang outs in Villages ..although I dont hang out in bars Those teen days are over but the older guys hang there ...
My friends from FL want me to keep  an apartment for them that are considering a permenant move so I need dates THEY a couple great fun ...should be arriving around June 1
If you can as I changes from High mainneneance living to the Simple life 22 years ago You wouls love it I also have wireless Internet so never lonely for chatting with friends ... and all have views Patios and Privacy or company whatever ..
Let me know my private email is
I also am a wealth of knowledge for new arrivals ... Rents furnished with free Utilities and Internet run from 450 to $500 I have lovable QUIET dogs and an outdoor kitty but prefer my tenants not to have pets ..but share mine :)

[email protected]


I give my 22 year living here  Advice for FREE But id she is living on the DANGEROUS Caribbean side maybe she HAS to charge for her desurity there :)
BUT if it is the older lady I am thinking of she does not DEMAND but simply aslks if anyone caares to donate as her pension is very low ..I understand that IF it is a necessity...

TRUE ESCAZU *The ZOO" as we refer to it  and Santa Ana is Gringo Gulch LOL
Both is  where all the sheep run to and in my opinion I may have well have stayed in USA....I am a single /DIVORCED  lady here 22 years and not lonely without  hearing the "YEAHS "  but the SI's

I lived in Santa Ana the first  3 months and felt I may as well have stayed in the USA if I was NOT going to live in the REAL Costa Rica like the HEREDIA hills 10 minutes from several towns and 20 minutes for a world apart. Upscale but HALF the price and FAR less dangerous for break ins.
the gorgeous hills of HEREDIA Tranquil and LUSh ...and AWESOME Views of Volacanoes and greenery...YET 10 minutes from many towns I can drive to ugly San Jose and ESCZU in 20 minutes except for rush hours ..but RARELY do so me a headache LOL
.and THEY pay 3 times as much as we do for RENT , groceries , and EVERYTHING..I am not a follower, as you an tell, so I live on AWAY from the Gringo Gulches ,speak FLUENT Spanish . pay less for Groceries and furniture clothes etc ..and never had a break in AND Personally I like to absorb the WAY of life yet still have ENOUGH Gringos to chat with if to each his own SOME do not mind paying to live amongst the traffic, Noise of construction and feel the nescessity of HAVING to have Gringos everywhere thus never learning Spanish.I also am in your age range and Divorced , and  feel MUCh safer having lived in the ZOO my first 3 months ..some just CANT let go of the USA so ...Then it is for them...I rent 3 apartments on my fruit farm and 3 chalets so always have Gringos around
I have wireless Internet TRANQUILITY ,VIEWS< Bus stop at gate BETTER highways and streets than the Zoo..and lovely local folk.
SOME  people over "that way "never even LEARN that HEREDIA an Upscale town . with WEALTHY Costa Ricans , and students from around the world. $ UNIVERSITIES , YES and a COUNTRY CLUB..SAFE  and has EVERYTHING even alls and cinemas and UPScale restauarants  as well as local clean Cafes (sodas) and a BRAND NEW HOSPITAL Even a MALL with quality and lower rices due to lower mall rents ... BRAND new fancy Hospital ..but 95% of those people do NOT speak Spanish after living here 20+years.. so sad ..LOL
GET TO KNOW THE REAL beauty of COSTA RICA ..? or follow to Gringoland ?

sorry I think I already did  put an ad on your site ,,Thanks because I already have a couple e and ONE single lady renting :
that was an ad ,,this is a get together LOl "for ladies alone  who want to feel safe,,, Scuuuse me !!!

Lori! You lucky girl :-)))))  I can't wait to hear how it goes for you. I am not nearly as ready as you are - have to sell this darn house first and deal with all the other obstacles that I have. Please stay in touch!!!


My  3 rental apartments only refer to the subject  of single women  living alsone  amd ae usually full but for that reason I would save  for them....

I will not be able to rent your place because I have a dog.  You state you have dogs but do not want your tenants to have them.  My dog is family to me so I cannot move without her.  Sorry.

oh yeah

hi Lab ip  I adore and have rescued many dogs,,and slowly and sadly they are getting old at the same tome so I am sending them one by one to heaven :(
What kind of dog is she/he? Big small? Indoor Outdoor? I am too old to have more as they have kept me trapped many times because I wont leave then alone to travel Unless I have REAL doggie lovers to help  RARE  here in CR

Who knows,,by the time you arrive I arrive I may not ANY :( pets ..I swore no more for ME ANWAY  because they are all my babies and until they pass on SOME of them are a bit territorial but NEVER vicious ..just a bit jealous of foreign furry faces :)
So do jeep in touch and in any case  I would love to meet  you and the other ladies as I have been here 22 yrs and I am told I  am a wealth of keep my email and phone ..and let  me know before your adventure begins
Best of Luck

A lot of what? help? Hope so...It can be a bit awesome when you dont know safe areas etc...

I am from England and USa well traveled as I was a singer/actress and you?
New York, Los Angeles. Barbados,to name a few and you?

QOQ something in common..letd chat after  Easter rush..., my email is
[email protected]

look forward to a new friend ..what genre ???


Hey all:

I am here!  Yay!!   I have started a blog about my experience here so if you want to become followers and see my adventures and misadventures you can see my latest post here and also sign up to follow it if you want to.  :)  Pura Vida!


Ooops, forgot to post the site.

So excited to hear about your adventures :-))))))

do you have a private e-mail that i can communicate with you as well? mine is [email protected]

Yes, labup at

WOW I just replied to your post about dreadful showers, waiting for hot water etc ..and nOT being able to put Toilet paper in Toilet WHERE ELSE HAVE we been putting it the past 22 years HOW YUCKY  I don't know WHERE you are in Costa Rica but in 22 years I think I have covered most of it and have only HEARD about the very old fashioned way of plumbing ..No one I know has had such horrors Sure makes Costa Rica sound AWFUL and dirty YET it is known as the Switzerland of the Central Americas ( EXCEPT for the NOT freezing weather of course many climates Our area is not hot and muggy but airy and about 76 deg year round never too hot and muggy
Yes you MAy in some very cheap hostels maybe in San Jose find unusual showers BUT
REALLY " ON Demand" showers mean JUST THAT you get water ON DEMAND ..NO waiting Water gets Hot when used to save re heating Huge water tanks at great expense just to get cold and then re heated automatically over and over .so most are water 'ON DEMAND" I am so confused Are you sure you were turning it on LOL?
I would hate to think visitors here had to go through what you did just to take a shower and use a bathroom..Yes we even have fast foods UPSCALE and modest Excellent restaurants..

no outdoor toilets LOL and even high speed iNternet and yes MALLS..and Country Clubs IF so desired ,
I guess depends on where you are living ..WHERE ARE YOU LIVING I am curious,and cant wait to hear..
Pack your things and get to Central Valley and CIVILIZATION