Top 10 Living In Costa Rica Tips

Many retirees and people tired of the United States’ politics, rules and regulations are interested in retiring in Costa Rica! So, I have created this post about my Top 10 Living In Costa Rica Tips.

While Costa Rica is a great place to retire on less money, it is not for everyone. Some people  like you perhaps, may buy a home and move there without doing their due diligence or even the slightest bit of research. Then, they find themselves unhappy here, sell their home and move back to their home in the USA , Canada, Italy, etc ..

top 10 living in costa rica tips

Living In Costa Rica

On the other hand, if you do your due diligence and follow at least most of the Top 10 Tips To Retire Successfully in Costa Rica, you will likely make a successful transition to their new lives in Costa Rica.

After many years of visiting Costa Rica, talking to many expats, and now living there myself, I have composed the following list of tips! I hope this will help you to immigrate successfully to Costa Rica as I did!

Top 10 Living In Costa Rica Tips

  1. Visit Costa Rica at least a few times, at least one of which will be an extended stay of at least a month where you want to buy or rent
  2. Learn Spanish – at least enough to communicate on a basic level. That said, the more you learn to speak Spanish, the better your chances will be of assimilating into the culture. So make a commitment to try to master the language over the years. (You CAN do it if you try!)
  3. Use your language learning to make local friends. Even if you don’t speak Spanish fluently you can make friends with locals! It may turn out your local friend will try to learn English while you are learning Spanish and you can help each other.
  4. Celebrate and be grateful for the great things about living in Costa Rica! This depends on what you like. You may love the abundant nature (birds, monkeys, exotic insects, rainforests, etc.). Your neighbor may love the beautiful beaches, white water rafting or other adventures! And someone else may be here because of the kind Ticos. Then still others may love the more relaxed “tranquilo”, “pura vida” lifestyle Costa Rica has to offer.
  5. Don’t question the way they do things or try to change the way things are done. That is, you will never understand why Ticos do things so differently than gringos. Likewise, they will never understand why you are the way you are. Ticos have a different view of life due to their upbringing within their culture. While you may never understand it, it is best you accept it and adjust to it. (Sure you can joke about it with your Gringo friends – this may actually help you deal with the adjustment. But in the final analysis you have to be okay with the differences.)
  6. Remember: Costa Rica is not just a different version of your home country, your state, or your town. It is completely different in many ways that you’ve never encountered before. You are “not in Kansas anymore” and you will have to learn that they have their own rules, a different way of running businesses, a different way of banking, and so on. But while it’s different, it can also be a lot of fun to learn about and very rewarding to be part of!
  7. Don’t spend time exclusively with Gringos, and especially don’t spend too much time with Gringos whose favorite thing is to complain about everything! You especially should avoid gringos who constantly complain about Costa Rica and its culture and people.
  8. Do your homework and know what problems you may expect. Yes, there are always problems, no matter where or how you choose to live in this world! Costa Rica has it’s own set of “down sides”, so find out what they are. I am an honorary Boy Scout because I believe in their motto: Be Prepared! For example, are there a lot of bugs where you are going to live? How much rain and/or wind and/or hot sunny days can you expect per year? Are you in an area that gets flooding, volcanic ash, or mudslides?
  9. Get recommendations from trusted locals – Ticos and Gringos - for attorneys, builders, mechanics, dentists, and other service people. Don’t go by an ad or one – possibly planted – recommendation on some web site.  Finding a good mechanic is as hard here as it is in the USA, for example. So get to know the locals and get their recommendations!
  10. Get together information for emergency situations and put it on your refrigerator. This would be things like the local hospital emergency room, an ambulance, a taxi driver, the local all night farmacia is there is one, your doctor, your dentist, the police closest to you and so on.

Hopefully this list will help you have a successful immigration to Costa Rica! Be sure to see our How To Guides for finding an attorney, buying property and so on.

We sincerely hope this post on the Top 10 Living In Costa Rica Tips will help you have a very happy retirement  in Costa Rica!