Costa Rica is very proud of its "Model Democracy" and a very literate population with a large middle class. They call themselves "Ticos" and are very hospitable to foreigners. As one of the most beautiful countries in the world, the government strives to protect its natural beauty. A great percentage of the country is located inside national parks and preserves.
Costa Rica is a land of many climates ranging from the warm sunny beaches of the Caribbean and Pacific coasts to the cooler highlands around the Central Valley. Average Temperatures at sea level are in the high 80s F and in the mountains in the low 70s F year round in the Central Valley.
The rainy season (also called the green season) is from May through November and the dry season is from December through April. During the Green season, it will usually rain in the afternoons or not at all. Rarely does it rain all day every day, but it can.
Alajuela located on the outskirts of and 30 minutes from San Jose and is the second largest city in Costa Rica. Alajuela is also home to Costa Rica's largest internatioal airport. As you head east to toward Alajuela from the airport you will get the real feel of Costa Rica with lots of coffee faarms, and oxcart or two, horses, and lots of green hills with spectacular views. There are plenty of homes and land available for every budget and taste. As in most of Costa Rica you that housing varies greatly with expensive homes often built near more modest residences but nobody seems to mind. The state of Aljuela is also home to the Arenal Vocano which is the most active volcano in the world. You can also enjoy the many shops located in Sarchi where they make many forms of wood furniture and art.
Cartago was the first capital of Costa Rica. The capital was moved after the Irazu volcano erupted in the early 60's. Made up of beautiful country side and spectacular mountain views the Cartago area offers peace and tranquility .
The turquoise waters of the Caribbean Coast invite all paradise seekers to enjoy miles of sandy beaches and coconut palms. This coast offers world-class fishing as well as the most important nesting sites for the green sea turtle. Because of the climate, excellent scuba diving is possible. The Caribbean Coast features a laid-back lifestyle.
You will find beautiful beaches, rivers full of wildlife, and majestic mountains. It is a land with a varied ethnicity. As a result of this, the Caribbean is a unique blend of languages, cultures, food and of course dance. October is a great time in the Caribbean coast town of Limon. Enjoy watching (or particapate) in the celebration of the annual Carnival. The Caribbean consists of 125 miles of beautiful coast line between Nicaragua and Panama. Forest land extends inland for the Plam lined coast. The coast is a haven for fishing ethusiasts and lovers of Birds and exotic wildlife. Be sure to visit the coral reef at Parque Nacional Cahuita, where snorkeler4ws and divers get upclose to the residents of the shimmering reef or just relax and enjoy the sun.
The Escazu - Bello Horizonte, Trejos Montealegre areas are very popular neighborhoods with the foreign residents. So much so that as you go down the main road and see the KFC, McDonalds, TGI Fridays etc....its hard to think that you're not back in the US. Here you can find high rise penthouse apartments, luxury accomadations and simple homes. Many of the finest homes in this area are owned by wealthy Costa Ricans that enjoy being nearby the Malls, top rated Hospitals and great night life. Many private bi lingual schools are located here or near by. If you like a Beverely Hills type of locations then you will love the upscale living of Escazu.
Heredia has all of the natural flavors that Costa Rica has to offer. There is a variety of housing options from inexpensive simple homes to multi-million dollar mansions. Definitely something for everyone here. Heredia is nice and cool and as you go higher up into the mountains in areas suh as El Castillo, home to the beautiful La Condesa Hotel, San Rafael and Barba. This area is located 25-30 minutes from San Jose and offers a beautiful rural environment with polenty of homes and lots available
The Central Valley, including San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago: Surrounded by towering green mountains is a tranquil green oasis amid city life. Nightlife is vibrant and international restaurants are plentiful. Museums, including the 100 year-old National Theater and several dance and theater companies provide a wide range of entertainment. The geographic diversity of this region is evident with two active volcanoes, Poas and Arenal, as well as tropical forests, and a multitude of nature activities.
Just west of San Jose this area has seen tremendous growth in recent years. A big push has come from the beautiful highway that begins at La Sabana and currrently ends at Ciudad Colon and will continue on toward the Central Pacific beaches when the Ciudad Colon - Caldera highway project is completed in 2.5 years. This will put the ocean less than a half hour away. Santa Ana is a great place to live as it offers a warm, dry climate year round and is near the CIMA Hospital and Medical Tower (state of the aret facility), Multiplaza-Costa Rica's largest mall, PriceMart, the Intercontinental Hotel, Marriott Courtyard and the Comfort Inn Hotel, the Form office complexes and much more. Here again you will find a good mixture of Costa Ricans and foreigners enjoying life to the fiullest in one of Costa Ricas favorite neighborhoods. "Downtown" Santa Ana retains its local small town flavor and is very much like the majority of small towns in Costa rica with a church opposite a park and soccer field at the center of town. Definitgely a boom area as the city grows westwardly.
The Pacific Coast is blessed with seemingly endless miles of beaches. The National Parks here feature the beauty of the south Pacific paradise, dense rich green jungle, and a showcase of tropical nature. The private Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the richest in the world on the Continental Divide, and is the only known home of the very rare golden toad. Carara Biological Reserve harbors an incredible variety of wildlife including the endangered scarlet macaw.
Playas de Nosara is a long established coastal settlement that has attracted people from all over the world. Famous for its miles and miles of unspoiled beaches, acres and acres of green reserve areas and wide variety of wild life and lush jungles, it is the utopia for those who cherish the natural beauty of Costa Rica. The village of Nosara offers an airport with daily flights from San Jose, medical clinic, post office, typical Costa Rican Restaurants and bars, a well stocked grocery store and hardward store. The foreign community of the Beaches of Nosara is blessed with wonderful gourmet restaurants, botique hotels and there is even a french bakery. The famous Nosara Yoga Institute has programs in session all year long and the surfing is on the top of most surfers list.