Beach family base for 6 months?

Hi all, I am new to this forum. After some big life changes recently I am planning to move to CR for between 6 and 8 months from next October 2020 with my two young children - aged 6 and 4. I will be on my own so this is pretty scary. I am setting myself up so I can work remotely when away but we will be on a budget. I am looking for a long term base in one beach town so we can get to know the local community and then make shorter trips around the country during our stay. I will need access to some childcare, good yoga studios and a town where we can access to a good doctor's practice should the need arise. I am not sure whether to home school but I would be interested in hearing what schools are recommended and public vs private, bearing in mind my children only speak English at the moment. Most important is a good sense of community, safety in terms of security and also the beach for swimming and somewhere with other families so we could make friends. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks so much,


The public school year begins in mid-February and ends beginning of December, so that doesn't seem to be a good option for you. Note that some of the public school facilities are very basic.  Private schools may keep to this calendar, but others do use the American calendar, however they are not 'inexpensive.'  Homeschooling may be your best option, since you will only be here a short time, and will not be a legal resident.

To enter Costa Rica, you are required to have a return ticket showing your return flight within 90 days... Once in the country, you then need to exit the country before your 90 days visa is up, to renew it, possibly by visiting the neighboring countries.

You should check out whether your rental home has a good internet connection, when intending to work online, as this varies greatly, throughout the country, even 'block to block.'

Regarding your children, I guarantee that in 6 months they will learn Spanish better than you will, enroll them in a private school  or a public school (will accept them even if you are a tourist, I know it from experience). I recommend Playas del Coco where I lived for 9 years, it is the less expensive of the beach towns, with schools, doctors, supermarkets in town and close to Liberia, the second largest city in Costa Rica. El Coco, as we call this town, won't impress you, no beach town impresses,though; but is livable. Most rentals will offer internet and utilities included. You must consider the time your coming since high season starts by the middle of November, so try to close the deal with off season prices.

Thank you so much for this info, really helpful. :)

Thank you and very helpful, I have no doubt the kids will be fluent in 5 mins! :)

I spent 8 months last year, at Cocles  Beach.

Homeschool and Local Langage classes.

Very diverse area. Yoga, meditation, many sites for the Children. Nature parks. 

Dr and Cline 10 mins away in Puerto Viejo and Hospital in Limon 45mins with International airport.

Panama border is 30 mins away for the Panama Run/Passport stamping. 
There are sustainability communities, you can find

May great opportunities in the area.  Yet can seem slow at times. Its the Island Life. Take it day by day and enjoy the sun :) … iving.html

Best and Enjoy :)

Although labelled as such, Limón International airport, the current passenger flights are only domestic charter flights..

Hi, I've got a place in Jaco and spend a couple months there every winter, and have been quite happy with it.  Its not the fanciest town in the country (nor the most expensive), but its large enough to have a clinic and stores for nearly everything you need, yet small enough to have a low crime rate.  I'd be leery of anything on the East coast (or San Jose), as I've heard crime is much higher there. Generally I'd suggest looking for a small town on the West coast.   
     Jaco also has a good English speaking non-denominational protestant church (Horizon Church), with mostly ex-pats from US & Canada, which was like an oasis of fresh air for me my first time there.  (  My Spanish is non-existent, and I really felt overwhelmed my first time there, with no idea how to do or find anything.  Having a community of helpful, English speaking people was a real Godsend for me.  I made a few friends and now have someone to call (in English!) where do I go for this, or how can I find that.  For a single mom with small kids and no Spanish, I would suggest finding such a place to help you out with everything.   Google translate is very good, but you still need to have friends. 
     Just my 2c.  Oh FWIW, I've been there 4 or 5 times now, and never yet been asked to show my return ticket, so I'm not sure what that's about.  Good luck!

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