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Moving to Costa Rica’s Central Valley

Moving to Costa Rica’s Central Valley

November 25, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Expats have been moving to the Central Valley of Costa Rica for years and it’s easy to see why.  The spring-like climate, central location, and the ex-pats community are just a few of the reasons more and more ex-pats are continuing to make the Central Valley their overseas destination. The Valley’s altitude of 3,000 to 5,000 feet makes it comfortable all year round, and it has a climate that’s like few others in the world. Daytime highs (Fahrenheit) are usually in the 70s or low 80s, and lows at night are usually in the 60s. With these temperatures, AC or heat is very rarely a necessity.


It’s also hard to beat the Central Valley when you’re looking for a beautiful, friendly place. Many parts of the Central Valley are nestled among forests, mountains, and farms. There are many villages where ex-pats have been living side-by-side with Costa Ricans for generations. This has allowed for strong communities to evolve, providing schools, clubs, sports, and a huge range of cultural activities.


Like the name would suggest, the Central Valley is central. You can be in San José, the country’s capital, and its suburbs within an hour to an hour-and-a-half at most from just about anywhere in the Valley. There you’ll find the best shopping in the country, including North American-style malls and warehouse shopping clubs. It’s quite common for ex-pats living in the Central Valley to pop into San José for shopping, dinner, and a movie. If you want to hit the beach, it’s an hour or so to the Pacific.


The Central Valley holds about 2/3rds of Costa Rica’s population; it is also the place to find high-end residential communities, excellent medical facilities, fascinating restaurants, luxurious hotels, and incredible natural wonders including volcanoes and rainforests.

– Retire in The Central Valley, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s reputation as a retirement destination is well deserved. Expats are attracted to Costa Rica for numerous reasons, which include the lower cost of living, excellent health care, modern infrastructure, beautiful beaches, rainforests, lush valleys, and cool mountains. By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best healthcare in Latin America. Not only that, but the country’s public and private health systems are constantly being upgraded; with new hospitals, new equipment, and improvements in staff training. San José, the country’s capital located in the Central Valley, has the best public and private medical care in the country, making it very attractive to retirees.

-Lifestyle in The Central Valley, Costa Rica

It’s hard to beat the Central Valley when you’re looking for a beautiful, friendly, and relatively inexpensive place to live. Nestled among forests, mountains, and farms are villages where ex-pats have been living side-by-side with Costa Ricans for many decades. As a result, supportive communities have formed, providing schools, clubs, sports, and a huge range of cultural activities. This built-in ex-pat community will leave you with plenty to keep you busy.


If you find it difficult to choose which climate you prefer, or you want a change from the usual; you will be glad to know that the comfortable temperatures of the Central Valley are just one hour by car from the closest tropical beaches of the Pacific Coast. If you are looking for mountain living, but not willing to relinquish the beach, the Central Valley allows for both lifestyles.


As in many other parts of the country, ex-pats in the Central Valley have the opportunity to socialize with local residents, who happen to be some of the most successful and most educated people in Latin America. In some parts of the Central Valley, you can find suburban communities like those in upscale parts of California or Florida. The west of San José, you’ll also find rural areas where country estates overlook Costa Rica’s stunning mountain ranges. Throughout the Valley there are historic towns that will remind you of another age; some of the most popular towns are Atenas, Grecia, Escazú, Heredia, and San Ramon.


The rich volcanic soil of the Central Valley has also made this an ideal spot for agriculture. Coffee plantations blanket the mountainside; gourmet coffee from this area is highly renowned.


Costa Rica is renowned for its Pura Vida lifestyle. The Central Valley, with its lush mountain ranges, exquisite coffee, and friendly locals offers the perfect lifestyle for those looking to slow down and enjoy life.

-Real Estate in The Central Valley, Costa Rica

Real estate prices in Costa Rica and the Central Valley, in particular, remain reasonable. The most popular areas for foreigners are to the west of San José, including towns like Grecia, Atenas, San Ramon, Sarchi, Escazu, Santa Ana, Puriscal, and Ciudad Colon.  But if you head east of the capital, you’ll also find attractive towns and neighborhoods like San Pedro, Pinares, the Granadilla/Altamonte area, Curridabat, Tres Ríos, Barrio Escalante, the Orosi Valley, and Cartago. Prices in the second set of towns can run relatively cheaper than the first list. Throughout the Central Valley, you’ll find quick access to private schools, restaurants, shopping malls, and excellent medical facilities.


Moving to the Central Valley of Costa Rica will make the experience of transitioning to a new country, an incredible one. You will be able to experience the pleasures of a new culture and new terrain, while still being able to have world-class commodities and infrastructures in place for you to live your best life!

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