This Week in Costa Rica

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This Week in Costa Rica is a weekly, online radio program and podcast by US expat, Dan Stevens

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10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job and Move to Costa Rica

Here at This Week in Costa Rica, we have always been big fans of Josh, Park, and the writing talent at Viva Tropical.  Last week we posted a great article by one of their writers, Camille.  This little piece just lit up on our social sites and we thought it’d be nice to share it with our regular readers.

Viva Tropical

Nationals and residents of Costa Rica seem to all share one integral thing: a deep love for the country that surrounds them. Native Costa Ricans, expats, and even travelers who have spent time in this land of monkeys, waterfalls, and surfing, speak about the area with deep admiration and pride.

Arturo Sotillo

Arturo Sotillo

Costa Rica has become one of the most popular places in the world for North American retirees and expats to relocate. What exactly is it about this beautiful country that lures people to pack their belongings and invest their lives there?

Here is our list of the top ten reasons that inspire many people to make the move to Costa Rica.

1. Stunning Nature Abounds

Costa Rica is literally covered in natural wonders. It has epic volcanoes with spewing lava that create natural hot springs you can soak in. It has tall mountains you can climb to see the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

It has hundreds of miles of shoreline varying from black to pink to gold to white. It has dolphins and whales for you to watch on and off shore. The sea varies from enormous waves for exciting surfing to calm and still for snorkeling and diving.

The land is covered in old growth trees, swaying palms, and beautiful flowers. Rushing rivers and waterfalls flow through mangrove forests or reveal themselves deep in the jungle.

Animals take refuge in the lush landscape and the Osa Peninsula is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Howler monkeys live in the trees in your backyard. Sloths cross the road causing traffic jams. Toucans and scarlet macaws fly over your head.

Costa Rica is easily one of the most magical and beautiful countries on Earth.

2. Great Healthcare is Affordable

Healthcare is top-of-the-line and inexpensive, which has brought a new kind of tourism to the country: medical tourism. Hospitals in the capital of San Jose offer world-class care. Procedures including dental work, surgeries, and more are available at a fraction of the cost of the U.S. and are extremely high quality.

Costa Rican citizens receive free healthcare and residents can pay a low fee to join the national healthcare program. Private healthcare plans are incredibly affordable starting at around $50 per month. Even the out-of-pocket medical costs for those with no coverage is staggeringly low compared to the U.S.

3. Comfortable Climate Year Round

While there is a distinct wet and dry season in most of the country, temperatures on both coasts average between the high 70s and low 80s year round. Even in the rainy season there is typically some sunshine every day. This comfortable weather allows you to enjoy outdoor activities and nature every day of the year.

4. Its Proximity to North America

The capital city of San Jose is an airport hub for flights to North America and has inexpensive, direct flights to major cities in the U.S. including Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, and New York. These flights often cost less than national flights across country. This makes it easy to stay close to family, have visitors, and run home to stock up on certain comforts that can’t be found in Central America.

5. The Established Expat Community

Because Costa Rica has been popular among expats for years it has a well-established supportive community in most of the coastal towns as well as in San Jose. These communities have created excellent schools for children, health-focused stores, markets, restaurants and cafes, and other practices like yoga, pilates, and bodywork.

The communities are very supportive and make integration into a new country much easier. Living in a small town with like-minded people, you may even find yourself in a closer community than the one you were in back home.

6. A Healthy Lifestyle

Eating less processed foods and more local fruits and vegetables, being outside with nature every day, and using your body to achieve more tasks are all changes that take place for most people who move to Costa Rica. Many report losing weight because they become much more physically active.

The slower-paced lifestyle and immersion in nature help one to fully relax which is incredibly health beneficial. Not to mention, outside of the city there is much less pollution and toxic fumes than cities in North America.

Want to get yourself, and your money, out of the USA? 

Want to get yourself, and your money, out of the USA? 

7. The Stable Government and Economy

Costa Rica abolished its army in 1950 and has kept its spot as one of the most stable democracies in the world since then. It is the only country in Latin America to make the list.

The economy is also experiencing steady growth with greater foreign investments as well as tourism which bodes well for those looking to invest in the country.

8. Kind, Generous Local Culture

Local Costa Ricans, Ticos, are some of the most hospitable, nature-loving, peace-oriented people on earth. They love their country and are welcoming to tourists and expats who love it too. Costa Rica has a 95% literacy rate and nationals are highly educated.

Raised in an amazing ecological environment, most are quite knowledgeable on plant medicine, wildlife, and other aspects of nature that many people in North America never study.

The smaller coastal towns tend to have very integrated communities where locals, long-term tourists, and residents are friends. It’s also fairly common for families to be multicultural with one local Costa Rican parent and one foreign parent.

Be sure to listen to our weekly podcast!

Be sure to listen to our weekly podcast!

9. Outdoor Adventure Opportunities

With unlimited hiking trails, white water rafting, excellent swells for surfers, rivers for kayaking, and standup paddleboarding, Costa Rica is an adventure lovers dream. High adrenaline activities are very popular here including ziplining and bungee jumping. In Costa Rica, even a simple walk on your nearby beach can become an adventure.

10. The Pura Vida Lifestyle

What may truly set Costa Rica apart from the rest of Central America is its dedication to the words “pura vida”. Pura vida is more than a phrase, it is a way of life. When locals say “pura vida” it is a reminder to themselves and the rest of the world to relax, let things go, and be grateful for what you have.

Isn’t that why most people get off the grid after all?

It may not be the place for everyone, but Costa Rica is an exceptional option for anyone looking to live abroad in Latin America. These are just a few of the many reasons to move here.

We spoke with Josh Linnes about living as an expat here in Costa Rica.  That interview can be found below.

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Why Life Is Healthier in Costa Rica

Viva Tropical - The stunning nature, fertile land, and native superfoods make Costa Rica an easy place to become health conscious. Expats looking to lead a healthier lifestyle have been planting their roots in Costa Rica for years, making healthy living even more accessible for future transplants. Here is why life just seems to be healthier down in Costa Rica.

Indigenous Health Foods


Some of the healthiest foods in the world grow naturally in Costa Rica.

Young coconut is cheap, plentiful and full of nutrients. The fresh coconut water contains vitamins and minerals, is incredibly hydrating, and has shown significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.

The tree fruit noni grows wild and is praised for its immune boosting effects and cancer fighting properties. Concentrated fermented noni juice is available in most pharmacies, farmer’s markets, and in some healthy cafes.

Antioxidant rich cacao and coffee farming is a huge source of industry. Fresh, local coffee is sold everywhere as well as dark, pure chocolate made with raw cacao.

Healthier Outdoor Activities

With national parks, volcanoes, rivers, and miles and miles of beach, Costa Rica is an outdoor lover’s playground. Being fit and having fun could never be easier. Surfing is an extremely healthy form of exercise and is a huge part of the culture in Costa Rica. Calmer bodies of water allow for paddleboarding and kayaking. The many national parks, mountains, and volcanoes make for great hikes, or one can simply take long walks and runs on the beach.

Established Yoga Community

The influx of expats has spread yoga all over the country. Most towns have at least one, if not several, studios offering daily classes. In addition to burning calories, building strength, and improving flexibility, yoga facilitates in digestion, detoxification, and stress release, making it a holistic form of exercise.

Organic Cafés, Stores and Farmer’s Markets

Local food in Central America is delicious and a must-try for a cultural experience, but it is certainly not the healthiest cuisine. Unlike many other Central American countries, health food is very accessible in Costa Rica. Most towns have organic vegetarian cafés, shops selling all natural products, and farmer’s markets with organic local produce, cold pressed coconut oil, and raw foods.


Check out our radio interview with the author, on This Week in Costa Rica! 

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