Where to live in CR as a single

Great posts and responses everyone!

My situation is rather unusual. My intent is to retire to CR as a single male at age 62. I also would most likely prefer to live no more than 30 minutes from a beach (be it Pacific or Caribbean), and to live somewhere not too "sleepy" as I am still quite energetic and would like to have things to do. Even though the Central Valley sounds beautiful, it may be too "quiet" for me. any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks - Martin

Many singles move here, so it isn't unusual at all.
Puriscal may suit you.
If you decide on a area where many tourists head to, it may be harder to make friends as these people will be transient.
It will depend on what lifestyle you enjoy, but you will need to put 'boots on the ground' and check out areas that interest you, by yourself.
The Central Valley has lots to offer, with easy access to  most of the annual and cultural events are held in the San José area.

Residency info.

Thanks so much...I plan to visit soon but am looking to have as much good advice as possible so that I can narrow down my choices ahead of time..

Just an FYI .... Puriscal is considerably further than 30 minutes from the beach.
Cheers .... Terry

Yes...I should have added that it was further from the beach, but it  isn't   too sleepy... :sleep

I've been unable to even find Puriscal on a map!

It may be called Santiago on some maps as its original name was Santiago de Puriscal.

if you're single  you wanna be close to San Jose, or at least Alajuela. IMHO.

Thank you...Santiago is most definitely on the maps. Anywhere closer to beaches that are still relatively affordable and quiet?

It seems that most expats don't have a great opinion of San Jose. Where is Alajuela in relation to San Jose and also to the beaches?

You would be best to study a Costa Rica map  to see how the towns  relate to each other, since you have never been here. Make sure to check out the other maps, too.

Only you can decide what particular area suits you....and this will require at least a visit or two.

Thanks...I've studied the maps but they tell me nothing more than longitude and latitude (and, of course, altitude!). I plan to visit but am trying to narrow down locations to put on "priorities list"  to visit first based on feedback from the community I'm sure you folks that are there, and have been for some time, can help me to narrow my search. To further narrow, I can tell you that I don't mind the heat at the lower elevations but don't want to be in the middle of a tourist area that charges tourist prices for meals, etc.

I have been here for many years, but have not lived at the beach, in tourist areas or solely in an area where 'expats' tend to reside. We all have different requirements and have had to hunt around to find what suits us and our budgets....just like you will have to do.

Good luck.

Thank you.

Alajuela is the closest city to the international airport SJO.

I say that if you're single and really want nightlife and dating the area around Alajuela and San Jose is best because that's where the online dating scene is best and that seems to be how most people find dates these days.  A friend here told me that, that outlying areas away from the San Jose area are not very online-dating friendly.

Of course if you want to try to meet people the old fashioned way that can happen anywhere. But that said, there are less singles in the smaller outlying towns and not so many easy places to meet singles. More population = more dating opportunities.

Yes, San Jose is a big dirty city with bad traffic. But decent bus service and fairly reasonable taxi service and lots of places to go and things to do. But if you want to meet women there is no better location for that than San Jose in my opinion, with Alajuela coming in 2nd.

If you want to be at the beach and yet avoid touristy areas, your dating options may be very limited. If you're young enough to get into surfing and surfers, someplace like Dominical might work.

You mentioned that the "central valley may be too quiet for you". Most of the beach towns are actually sleepier than many parts of the central valley unless you're talking Jaco or maybe a couple others, not sure.

Great response! That's exactly the kind of information that I'm looking for.

kohlerias :

You would be best to study a Costa Rica mapmaps driving directions  to see how the towns  relate to each other, since you have never been here. Make sure to check out the other maps, too.

Only you can decide what particular area suits you....and this will require at least a visit or two.

Please contribute many good articles like that!

You make me feel energetic, very helpful article
mapquest driving directions

Well Martin
If I may be so bold to say that these innocent looking 'Local girls will eat  you alive (Pardon the pun...)
I have lived in . a few countries in my acting/singing days...but never seen such young aggressive girls as here...
When my B&B was in full swing I had many many single men WHY.  I'll never know. but I  did.  and was often seen around town with them ..usually showing them our" little known " area on THIS site anyway..which seems t huddle around the Gringo areas..I actually ran from in Los Angeles.
HEREDIA on THIS site anyway.. but not wanting to mix business with pleasure , fool that I am I let some good men slip away. but be warned that those innocent looking girls who sit in the park to meet the Gringos..ALL pretend to be teachers ..but ahem not so they will get your $$$ somehow . 
i have never seen such quiet aggression they literally used to hit on my ex husband without so much as a blink at me..and in those days . i was not so shabby...and
i thought the Hollywood babes were bad .
now i am sure many will think this is sour grapes..not at all ask
pompy here lol.  He paid me compliments bigtime about my looks in the past of course eh " Pomhino"..sorry never can remember  the  " nicknaame"
/ so i can and could hold my own and found it al so amusing As the song goes... just try to be a bit choosy or you will as many of my ex gusts are doing , paying for a baby you never had anything to do with creating...poor souls one got the big prize by being taken for everything $450,000 by by an 18 yr old
no fool like a young handsome fool i guess . he kept buying her brand new cars i would see in her little Tico Humble little house (for a while .According to him she kept "totalling " them..SURE !
i did feel sorry for him because he was a handsome 42 yr old who had just lost his wife to bc,,and was paying for her baby until he discovered it was her mechanic /car salesman's child ..sad really. Just a "word to the wise" i had many 17 yr olds asking me to introduce them to any of my  ''Gringo guests '
" no matter how old .  their words..
i wanted to say "go hang around the Casinos in Heredia or San Jose..but instead i just politely declined. :)
Now and then you may meet that "one in a million "ladies who do not, as some of my Tica friends are, but they are usually professional ladies not gold digging for sure.
i could tell you some hilarious stories about my male clientell meeting those "Teachers " LOL .  The hookers are mostly in San Jose Casinos and at the beaches especially Jaco...But i anm sure you will quickly learn toavoid the pony teachers Good luck ..sorry this soap opera got to be so long..but it was fun letting you know what to expect...mostly...Have fun ..but watch your wallet hehe ...

One thing I wanted to say is that Puriscal is not only far from the beach but it's the only "town of size" around where it is located and while it's been 8 years or so since I was there, back then it was pretty dang sleepy. Has it gotten to be much more "busy" and "happening" in those 8 years?
I really don't know but it's hard to imagine it being a great mecca for singles...

If night life is what you want, some beach towns have some but as Kohlerias said they are mostly tourists there. If you want to possibly meet someone for long-term dating or more, I'd suggest anywhere closer to San Jose. Really that's about it if you don't want to be in a tourist town.

Smaller towns like Puriscal and San Ramon etc really aren't great for night life from what I've seen. I mean, a few gringos going out together yes, but as far as meeting local women... not so much.

Anyone who lives here in Costa Rica please correct me if I'm mistaken.

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