Take Your First Step and Do Your Due Diligence on Costa Rica
Top reasons why Costa Rica is worth considering for relocation:
– The freedom to live a more self sustainable lifestyle with fewer restrictions
– Affordable Top Quality Medical Care
– Super low property taxes
– Rich soil, year round growing conditions,
– Slow pace of life, less stress and more time with family
– Comfortable climate of 75 degrees +/-10 year round
Considering relocation requires a lot of due diligence. We try to cover as many of the important things you need to know and that you may not even think about!
In just 3 days with us you will learn some of the most important tips, tricks and lessons that we and many others who have gone before you to relocate to Costa Rica have experienced. Our relocation tour is one of the best ways to find out if Costa Rica is right for you!
Towns We Visit
San Ramon, Costa Rica is a growing and historical city known as the “City of Poets and Presidents” Strategically located in the Northwest corner of the Central Valley, San Ramon is within 45 minutes of the capital of San Jose as well as the beach and port of Puntarenas. The steady increase of both national and over 500 foreign residents brings a strong argument to support locals’ love of this region of Costa Rica’s Central Valley. With incredible Ocean and Central Valley views and an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-26 Celsius) San Ramon is considered to have one of the best climates in the world.
Commonly referred to as either Santiago or Puriscal, this area has small town traditional feel with incredible views of both the Central Valley and the Pacific Coast. One reason the area is so popular is that it is known to have the perfect climate. With an average altitude of 3,600 feet, this part of Costa Rica typically sees moderate temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take 10 degrees. The lack of wind and longer green season also make it quite attractive. Located 45 minutes outside of San Jose, Puriscal is great option for those looking to get away from it all!
Located in the Central Valley just 6 miles from the Pan American Highway, Grecia is less than an hour from San Jose and only 30 minutes from the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Grecia features stunning views of the Central Valley, San Jose and the Poas volcano.
The town of Grecia is on the warmer side but the surrounding hills have a wonderful climate that warrants a visit on our tour as a benchmark area to consider.
The day begins with a meet and greet breakfast. You’ll quickly get to know the people who are on the tour with you, and it won’t take long for you to realize that joining the tour was a great idea. Seeing the ‘real’ Costa Rica – the good, the bad, and everything in between – from those who chose Costa Rica and through it all, still love to call it home, is what the tour is all about!
There is so much to know about even the tiniest of details all over Costa Rica, and your tour guides, Tim, Tyler and George, have a wealth of information and personal knowledge that they generously share with you. You can learn things from the guidebooks and your research on line, but spending a lot of quality time with quality people who’ve lived it and are real about sharing their experiences can’t be beat!
Several ‘Benchmark’ towns are covered on day one. You will experience local cuisine, meet local business owners while touring their various businesses, and be given the opportunity to ask questions. Seeing for yourself what the various options for purchasing items versus shipping items is just one of the very important pieces of information that we will provide for you to have in your ‘due diligence’ arsenal.
We will introduce you to many of the people in the various cities that we visit on Day 1 who have made the transition and relocated here. This is your perfect time to personally ask them questions and hear their stories of relocating, moving, likes, and mistakes. We have found that this is the best way to hear a lot about the different areas and personal perspectives on the the Central Valley.
Rest assured that you can be as busy and involved as you choose to be in Costa Rica. You will hear from local community organizations about events and volunteer opportunities, as well as walk through an activity center that hosts everything from exercise classes to orchestra practice and cooking parties …. all with a view of the Pacific Ocean!
You will be shown a variety of towns and neighborhoods, many with ocean views, some with mountain views, and personally tour rental homes, homes for sale, new home developments, and vacant land. Each of these options are covered in order to give you a well rounded idea on what is available and what options you have even for building your own place, if that might be what you are looking for. Both George and Tim have personally built homes in Costa Rica, and they are able to answer your questions and give you a fair assessment of good value and quality construction, as well as tips to glean from and pitfalls to avoid.
Finish off Day 1 watching a sunset that is second to none at a dinner party in one of the beautiful homes in the area with views of the Gulf of Nicoya, the Pacific Ocean, and the tranquility of the Central Valley mountain ranges. Spend the evening with the tour group and hosts along with others in the area who have made the change to Costa Rica, for a relaxing, yet very informative evening. Get to know those who could be your neighbors and friends while experiencing life as we know it for yourself!
Start your second morning of the tour off right with the sun rising and the Pacific Ocean as your view while enjoying a breakfast that includes world-renowned Costa Rican coffee and fresh, local, tropical fruits. It’s another great time with expats in the area to continue conversations and glean more information about the area before heading out for the day.
San Ramon has some of the most premier medical offerings in the Central Valley. You will spend the morning meeting various English speaking doctors, touring medical facilities, and being introduced to state of the art dentistry in the area. Be sure to bring your prescriptions so that you can compare availability and prices from our favorite private pharmacists. We will also familiarize you with many of the things that we think make San Ramon one of the best places to live in Costa Rica – from daily living and shopping, to points of interest.
As Day 2 continues, you will begin to see how the areas that we visit are conveniently located to everything you need for living in Costa Rica – from the airport to excellent private hospitals, restaurants to shopping. Learn about private hospitals, our favorite veterinarians, and where to go for free medical care and prescriptions.
Puriscal hosts your second evening on the tour as you join George and the group at his personal, custom built home for another great meal. Enjoy the view of the Central Valley lights and the Pacific Ocean from an incredible patio and meet a whole new set of friends to visit and learn from.
Your hosts will greet your morning with a home-cooked meal and more time to take in what it could be like to ‘live in the view’. It’s a great time to re-cap some of what you’ve been taking in, ask more questions, and imagine what relocating might mean to you.
Puriscal is another ‘Benchmark’ town that will be explored on Day 3. The surrounding areas, the local medical facilities, and other necessary information for daily living are on the agenda. Seeing the availability of items from places like PriceSmart (Central America’s version of Costco) can put you at ease and help you to realize that you can find anything you need when you know where to look!
What better way is there to hear a presentation from an immigration lawyer about the ins and outs of gaining residency and other legal matters than attending a lunch at a restaurant with another view above the Central Valley? Our recommended attorney will shed light and help make heads or tails out of many legal matters. His knowledge and availability for questions will be of great value to you in your fact-finding mission.
After lunch, as we part ways and you continue on with your Costa Rican adventure, we will always be available to you as you make the decision of whether Costa Rica is right for you!
Why should I take your tour instead of reading about Costa Rica online?
Other’s opinions online can be helpful, but being here in person is the best way to get informed for an important decision like relocation. We introduce you to people who have made the escape to Costa Rica and let you hear their stories, mistakes and successes first hand. With seminars, you only see what people want you to see. We try to give you objective perspectives and let you see the good, bad and ugly for yourself.
What is Medical Care like in Costa Rica?
Good and affordable healthcare in Costa Rica is of utmost importance if you want to move to Costa Rica. For that reason, public and private health care is probably one of the top items on your list of concerns. We take you to multiple Private and Publicly run medical centers so that you can get accurate information and pricing. In addition you will hear first hand medical experiences from others currently living in Costa Rica.
What should I bring?
Pack as lightly as possible. We load and unload the bus each day. We are very casual.
Be sure to bring:
- A good sun hat
- A light rain jacket
- A comfortable pair of walking shoes
- List of your medications (For price comparison and availability)
- A sense of humor, a sense of adventure, and a lot of patience.
Is Costa Rica safe?
Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in Central America. You will learn how to avoid the higher crime areas and how to easily determine the really safe areas of CR. You will be able to judge for yourself after visiting the many areas we experience on the tour.
Are US dollars accepted in Costa Rica?
Yes, as are debit and credit cards….but wait until you get here and get advice from us on how to exchange your dollars.
Do a lot of people speak English in Costa Rica?
Yes, it is a required course in all of the schools. You will be surprised at the amount of people who speak conversational English. English is a requirement for higher paying job positions and many Costa Rica’s have a strong desire to learn. Tourist areas and most service industries (restaurants, hotels, etc.) also have a very large population of English speaking Costa Ricans for ease of communication on your fact-finding trips.
What is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica?
All year round is a good time to visit Costa Rica. Many who live here prefer the ‘rainy season’, as it is lush and green, with sunny mornings and cool afternoons. Tropical rains fairly steadily increase from May through November. The dry season from December through April is the high tourism season with dry weather and higher hotel prices. You should spend time in the area in which you become interested in both March (the driest month) and October (the rainiest month)
What documents will I need to enter Costa Rica?
You will need a valid passport and a valid driver’s license if you plan to drive.
Is the water safe to drink in Costa Rica
As a general rule, yes, tap water in Costa Rica is safe to drink. The areas where we will be travelling to are in the mountains of the Central Valley where there is significant annual rainfall. We have never experienced an issue personally or on one of our tours.
What's the weather going to be like?
Weather in the Central Valley is comfortable. During the months of May through October, be sure to have a light rain jacket or umbrella in the afternoons. You shouldn’t need warm clothes unless you would like a light sweatshirt for the evenings or early mornings.
Since meeting, I have been taken by Tim and his compassion for my situation, and his natural initiative to help me recognize our retirement dream. It would be an understatement to call his efforts “help”. It is the single reason we had the confidence to continue. I would not only recommend working with Tim Burke and Why Not Costa Rica, I would say it is the best way I can think to smoothly transition to the sometimes thorny utopia!
Marc Cimini, San Diego, California
These are the people that you can trust to tell you everything that you need to know about relocating to Costa Rica, and it be the TRUTH!!! They are very knowledgeable, kind, caring, giving Christian people. We are big fans of this family and their business!!
Jamie Graham Clark, Mississippi
Like a majority of expats, I researched the most common Google results regarding living in Costa Rica, and while most were generally accurate and informative, a number of sites were too simplistic, exaggerated, or outright disingenuous. After moving to Costa Rica, reality quickly proved that my knowledge and preparations were somewhat lacking. Laws, costs, and procedures regularly change in paradise which is why nothing compares to relevant, practical, and up-to-date information. “Why Not Costa Rica” rises to the challenge by equipping potential expats with contemporary, sensible and highly-beneficial insights. Tim Burke knows how the game is played and his wide-ranging experience and proven understanding will help you avoid wasting time, energy, and costly mistakes. I wish “Why Not Costa Rica” was available when I made the transition.
Steve Cevera , San Ramon, Costa Rica