As the skies over Canada inevitably turn a light shade of gray, and the windowpanes are slowly conquered by an opaque frost, the urge to join the flocks of birds and head south for a few months becomes apparent. Having experienced over thirty Canadian winters prompted me to question, why do we live in such frigid temperatures when there are perfectly decent, warmer countries that exist a few hours away? This led to a year’s worth of research on international investment properties and the discovery of Costa Rica.
The country of Costa Rica (or ‘Rich Coast’) is located in Central America, just south of Nicaragua and North of Panama. Much of the landscape is rainforest and covered by gorgeous shades of green. It contains five percent of the entire world’s biodiversity; including eight-hundred species of ferns, one thousand different kinds of orchids, two-thousand types of trees and two-hundred different species of mammals. This is all contained in an area about the same size as West Virginia, and the government and people are watchful when it comes to protecting the rainforests and natural areas. This has led to over a quarter of the country being designated a protected nature reserve.
Needless to say, Costa Rica had everything we were looking for, including year round temperatures at about 25 – 28 degrees Celsius. My wife Stephanie and I headed down in September and bought a property in a beachside town called Playa Tamarindo. We have now spent a significant amount of time there over the last few months and have come to enjoy it more and more.
When spending any amount of time in a tropical “developing” country, one must be prepared for the inevitability of things moving at a much slower pace. This can sometimes be challenging for North Americans, when they have to wait longer in lines at the post office, the bank and for food in restaurants. The lovely people in Costa Rica are simply used to a slower lifestyle. This has significant benefits to North Americans and Europeans that are looking for rest from the fast paced Metropolis’ that many of us have grown up in.
One of the appealing factors of moving to Costa Rica is that so many people from Canada, the United States and Europe are choosing to live there. This makes for a very multicultural group of friends, with the Costa Ricans or Tico’s included among them. The Tico’s and Tica’s of the country are generally very friendly and easy to talk to, if they speak English or you speak Spanish.