Exploring Costa Rica
Swap Your Tie for a Deckchair in the New Costa Rica
Big changes in Costa Rica since my last visit a few years ago.
Sitting across the aisle on the flight from Atlanta was a group of college students who were headed to Costa Rica for spring break. (Spring break in Costa Rica? When I was a kid, I was
lucky to make it as far as Florida.)
The students told me they were going to Costa Rica's Central Pacific
beaches, long known to avid surfers but only recently discovered by amateurs and students on spring break. "We hear
it's about the best surfing this side of Waimea," said Mike, referring to the Hawaiian beach famous for its high and treacherous waves.
Costa Rica Central Valley
They planned to first spend a few days with a relative in Escazú, an
upscale town in the Central Valley not far from San José. I'd always thought of the Central Valley as a haven for
American retirees, but Mike explained that his uncle is far from retired--he runs a website consulting service from
his home in Escazú and has clients all over the world.
Costa Rica Central Valley attracts retirees, as
well as North American and European business people to its Central Pacific beaches
and available real estate properties. (Image: Pixabay.com)
It's not unusual for a web consultant to work from home in Escazú or
a dozen other cities here. Costa Rica continues to attract retirees, but also
North American and European business people…young people who like to work from home…and investors who see big
opportunities in this country. Many work from home, thanks to the availability of high-speed Internet connections,
and others are part of a growing high-tech sector that has benefited from investments by foreign companies such as
Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Microsoft--just to name the giants.
Central Valley Property
The change is reflected in the property that's available and real
estate developments in the works. A house on the market today in the Central Valley is likely to include a room
that can be used as an office, and newer developments often have playgrounds and parks designed for families with
That's true not just in the Central Valley but also on the North and
Central Pacific Coasts. Sure, crime is still a problem in San José (I have my own crime story about this city I'll
share another time) and some other areas, but that isn't stopping expats of all ages from living in Costa Rica for
all or part of the year. The climate is near-perfect, property is reasonably priced, and health care is
Playa del Jacó I met Mike from the plane again. Jacó used to be a charming little town on the Central Pacific
Coast. It's still charming, but growing fast, thanks largely to the availability of houses and condos on the beach,
some for less than $200,000. Mike had a bandaged arm from a surfing accident, and so was checking out condos for
his parents. With his aunt and uncle already living in Costa Rica, Mike thought it wouldn't be hard to convince his
folks to buy a second home here: "My dad is an architect, and he could do a lot of work from home."
By Don Ediger