Costa Rica as a place to live
- My husband and I and another couple have discussed moving to Central
America. Our friends recently visited Costa Rica and looked at
property in the Lake Arenal area. They like the area because it's not
as hot as the coastal areas. Could someone tell me what the average
temperature is in the Lake Arenal area?
I've read a lot about Panama being more affordable and oddly enough,
having better roads than Costa Rica. I know most people love where
they live in Costa Rica but wondered if anyone had any experience
traveling/living in Panama v. Costa Rica. If so, what were your
opinions of Panama v. Costa Rica. Hope I don't tick anyone off with
- San Carlos is between 78 to 82 degrees F year round. Our elevation is about 2,500 feet. Therefore, if you are in the low lands, add about 6 degrees (if I remember correctly, add 3 degrees F for every 1,000 feet)
I find La Fortuna pretty warm for my taste. Of course, if you have a jungle nearby then you will find things cooler from the breeze, if you are in it's path.
Ask more questions if you want, we have a finca in the lowlands.
- I am replying off group because I don't feel like
getting into one of the endless arguments that things
like this can bring about. The person asking the
question doesn't usually step on toes, but the one
answering seems to draw a lot of fire of late. Who
I can answer a few of your questions. I moved to CR
several years ago. Santa Ana to be exact. That is west
of San Jose and south of the airport at Alajuela. I
had to come back to the US for medical treatment a
year ago and will be returning in a month or so.
In June I took a trip to Panama because some friends
of mine who live there have been pushing me to come
and check it out. I spent a couple of weeks in the
Panama City area. A few quick impressions. Compared to
the Central Valley of CR, Panama City is very hot and
humid. In Santa Ana I needed neither furnace or A/C.
In Panama City A/C is a must. From what I saw, the
cost of living in Panama is probably about 20% lower.
Costa Rican roads are pretty bad. The ones I was on in
Panama were comparable to good roads in the US. (The
US has some areas where the roads aren't so great
too.) In Panama you can definitely see the US
influence. We ran that ditch for about 100 years. CR,
although many people speak English, isn't nearly as
Americanized. Neither is it as modern. As I have told
other people, Costa Rica compares to Panama about like
The Old West compares to modern Denver. There is a
charm about that, that I enjoy. Moving to Panama would
not be nearly the adventure that CR has been. It would
be more like moving to Phoenix. I can't help you on
the temperature at Arenal. I am sure it is cooler and
dryer than tbe San Jose area. The problem I would have
with living there is that it is so far from anywhere.
That is okay for awhile, but I would soon get tired of
it. Also, old duffers like me seem to require medical
help once in awhile and it is a lot easier to find in
the San Jose area than around Arenal, though I
understand there is a shaman up there who is quite
One of the things I like most about CR is the people.
I have made a number of Tico friends, and a few Ticas,
and they are really nice people. Even though I know
they can't afford it, I get calls from them to see
when I will be returning and I also get emails on a
regular basis from a Tica who has access to a computer
and keeps others informed as to what I am doing. I met
a few Panamanians while I was there and I think they
are pretty nice also, though they have been
"Americanized" more. Nothing wrong with that, but the
"charm" is missing.
Having said all that, it is really an individual
thing. You need to first visit and second live for
awhile in a place. Whatever you do, don't make the
stupid mistake some people make of buying a place
before you know the area.
If you have any questions I might be able to help
with, feel free to email me at the above address.
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- Well, I meant to reply off group and I guess you know
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Just my attitude showing but I enjoyed your reply, and thought it was
perfect for this forum. I can't imagine why you would be hesitant to give
your honest assessment. I haven't had the chance to travel to Panama (or
many other places for that matter) and enjoy reading a good comparative
Thanks for doing so, even if you didn't intend to share.
Back to lurking.
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shores of beautiful Puget Sound.
- The nearest hospital around La Fortuna would I think be Ciudad Quesada. From all I have heard, it is good, and Alec had to try out the clinic - which also was good, except they liked Alec's humour, which is not a good sign.
The biggest problem being out in the hinterlands is that you had better learn Spanish or you are going to be very lonely.
That was a great reply, loved it. Perfect for this list and am sure woke up some brain matter and got people thinking about what a great list this is...right on.
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