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  • Yvonne
    Apr 2, 2009
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      To answer your question, we live in the Lake Arenal area. We absolutely love it here. If you have never been, you should visit.

      We too agonized over where to live and made several trips. I will go over our thought process a little. Everyone is different and everyone has different priorities.

      We considered the Central Valley and it certainly had benefits in that it has everything we could want and didn't seem so foreign. But we didn't want to move to Costa Rica and live in the city.

      We also strongly considered the beaches. We love the water. But it can be pretty hot there and we didn't want to have to pay for air conditioning - and we would have needed it.

      We looked at San Ramone - it was close to the city - but not in the city. But it had no water - meaning no beach and no lake. On good days, you might be able to see the Pacific - but we really found no home we liked.

      So we decided on the Lake Arenal area with all the lake activities. I was a little worried about being so far away and wondered if there would be anything to do. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very nice community of both gringos and ticos who included us quickly. There were lots of activities - but not as obvious as the ones would be in the Central Valley. Stores are much smaller here. But we know the names of the shop keepers and their families. We can ask them to get products that we use that they don't have. It is very different living in a small town - as we had come from a big city in the US. One of the great things is there are monkeys and toucan's in our yard. Washing dishes, I see coatimundi's walking by. Saw a tayra the other day too. Plus many birds come to the feeder. We are busy taking pictures and trying to identify them in our bird book. We never were bird watched before - but it is impossible not to be excited by the quanity and variety and beauty of them.

      Malls and theatres are missing. But we go to the beach often (it is less than 2 hours) and they have some nice stores. And most likely once a month or so we go to the Central Valley - which does have everything. Sometimes groups go in together to to see a show. I kind of see it like living in Connecticut and venturing into Manhattan every now and then.
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