Consider Living in Costa Rica

peterchristopher's picture

There are times, of course, when it pays to distrust the common knowledge.  But when it comes to considering living in Costa Rica, I think the common knowledge can be taken to heart.

  • Costa Rica has protected about 25% of its land in natural parks
  • Costa Rica's electricity is primarily from renewable sources (some C.R. hydro projects).
  • You can drink the water.
  • There are beautiful birds.
  • It's close to the U.S. and a cheap plane flight.
  • The people are usually friendly.
  • There are abundant climate zones to find the climate you like.
  • There are a variety of kinds of foreigners who live here.
  • There are many useful online resources.
  • The Spanish language is not too hard to learn.
  • Foreigners have the right to own property.
  • Traffic fines are small.
  • You can go shopping in Panama to get some things cheap ;)
  • Free dogs.

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I guess this means we will be more careful where we go on our moto.  We did recently get a ticket for not having our original title, for having a baby on the motorcycle, plus we didn't have our passports - 6,000 colones altogether.  Well, I'm glad we just gave the police 5 kilos of pig for the New Year's dinner, that ought to be worth a little leeway, although I don't know for sure whether the trafico cares what we gave the fuerza publica.

New laws in Costa Rica...

Roy is right.  They are passed and being enforced. 

Frankly, I have no problem with the DUI enforcement and laws.  They only fine you $410 for a first offense at just over the limit, but higher levels of alcohol or second violations can mean confiscation of your car and jail time.   The result is that those who want to drink and party are using limos, taxis and designated drivers.   Not a bad deal...

The fine of $250 for having a cell phone to your ear while driving seems a little excessive to me, but it was not my decision...  You can use a blue tooth device with no problem.. But cannot hold the device to your ear... go figure... Blue tooths were probably big Christmas gifts here...

Fines for running a red light are big ones too...  In the past, common sense or lack of seemed to prevail and stop signs and red lights were suggestions...  Somehow it is illogical to sit for 1 or two minutes at a stop light at 2:00AM when nothing is moving within a block of you in any direction.  Here you used to just go.. In the US, you waited because a cop may behiding nearby or there may be a camera and you receive the ticket in the mail...  Now with BIG fines Ticos will pay attention to them. 

I guess the philosophy is that "only with big penalties" will Ticos pay attention..   They also passed a large fine for offering a bribe.  I do not know if that is enforceable if the violator was asked for a bribe by the officer......hmmmm....  I am sure that the "graza de Toucan" is a thing  of the past..  Maybe 20,000 or 40,000 colones is the norm now...

And life goes on in Costa Rica



 I think life in the US has become very fear based (perhaps partly homeland security induced), and some expats bring that with them, some almost to the point of paranoia.  I am not afraid.  I try to make good decisions and go with the flow.  Bad things can happen, but recovery from bad things is largely based on your attitude.  If you are fear based, CR is not a good place for you to live.

did it pass and actually become law?

Hi Roy, Did those proposed fines actually become law?  I thought this was like the "expel foreigners after X days" and "increase the requirements for residency" talk that it just all talk and hand-waving.

beautiful list

Very nice list, just one thing I am not sure I understand what you mean.  What do you mean "let go of fear"?

Living in CR

 We have lived in CR for almost 6 years.  We have never regretted our decision to live here.  It is, however, a different life than the lives we had in the US.  That is what we were looking for.   (We live on the Caribbean coast, much different than living in the Central Valley.)

Mostly, it has been a wonderful growth and learning experience.  I recently made a list of what I have learned.  I will share it:

I have learned:
-Increased patience in all things
-Increased tolerance towards our fellow human beings
-Deep breathing and meditation to keep stress at bay
-To celebrate each and every day
-Rain is a gift
-Sunshine is a gift
-Healthy food is a gift
-To find humor during times of disaster
-To accept that things are just things
-To be grateful for all we have 
-To live in today
-To let go of fear
-To smell the flowers
-To cherish the wildlife that surrounds us
-To live simply

Reasons to live in Costa Rica.

All the reasons given are valid except for one. As of a few days ago the traffic fines have become huge, some exceding a quarter million colons in fines. Drunk driving can bring a number of years in jail and the loss of your car and license.

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