99. Costa Rica is 99% green. It is almost totally carbon free, and the most environmentally protective country in the world and most of it still looks like it did when the dinosaurs walked the earth. You have to love and respect somewhere, which places nature above money. This haven will blow you away.
98. Hiking. There are so many spectacular places to hike; National Parks, volcanoes and mountains that the scenery seems to go on and on forever. You could spend eternity clunking around this little paradise and never see all there is to see; there is an endless supply of “secret spots.”
97. The Leatherback Turtles are in jeopardy of extinction around the world, due to mankind's growth and poaching. Yet Costa Rica is one of the leaders in protecting these iconic creatures with dozens of Sanctuaries and Conservation programs. Take some time and volunteer; you can make a difference.
96. The one constant you always hear is how terrible the roads are in the interior of Costa Rica, yet personally, we love it. How cool is it to bounce down a river bed that they actually call a highway, give it a number, and put it on the map.
95. The Simple life. Almost every single day you will see a man and his son, riding in an oxen cart, taking their produce to market. They don't have a care in the world and why should they?
94. The Nicaraguan People, who make up the majority of the labor force, are some of the gentlest, loving human beings, I have ever come across.
93. The sugar cane, which makes everything taste so good. Just try a glass of Coke and it will remind you of when you were a child, pulling that No Deposit No Return bottle out of the machine and popping the top on the metal opener.
92. Wooden Furniture. One of the most unique towns in the world: Sarchi. Almost every single person that lives in this pueblo is a furniture maker. There are dozens of stores selling handmade beds, tables and rocking chairs, that you want to buy it ALL.
91. The Cost of Living in Costa Rica is a fraction of what you will pay to live at the beach in California or Florida. What continues to impress is how the Costa Ricans live such a fulfilling life, without all the luxuries and materialistic BS that we feel is so important in North America.
90. Let me make this perfectly clear: this is NOT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA or CANADA. That is why we moved here and that is why we continue to live here. Please do not come here, and expect this to be like it is back at home and want to change this utopia to everything you had before. If you want that, STAY THERE. We won't miss you...
89. Horseback riding on the beach, which seems to be every person's romantic fantasy, makes for a great afternoon. There are some very remote Beaches where you might be the only people galloping down the sand.
88. Soccer. What? You ask. Soccer? (Or Futbol as the Tico's call it). When the teams are playing every single bar is packed and everyone is wearing the colors of their favorite team. But when the National Team is playing, like in the COPA or WORLD CUP; look out. You do not want to have a heart attack on that particular day as every single Costa Rican is watching the game. They all have on their blue, white and red, and the entire country comes to a halt as they cheer on their heroes. You just have to love how passionate they are about their country. It isn't even the sport that I really like, as much as watching how excited they get when it is on. And when they win? WOW!!!!
87. Everybody walks. As you have probably read, the Costa Ricans have some of the longest life expectancy on this earth, and there are Blue Zones all over where many people live to be over 100 years old. There is something very special about seeing a family, all dressed up, walking to church on Sunday.
86. Respect and Camaraderie for your fellow man, is something that is instilled in the Ticos from a very young age. They very rarely judge people and are always there to help a person in need. If you get a flat tire here, the odds are 4 or 5 people will stop to help you change it.
85. Bakeries and the bread. There is nothing like the smell of a fresh “hot out of the oven” loaf first thing in the morning.
84. So many countries have given up their currency and gone to the dollar, but not here. They are so proud of their Colones, as it gives them such a sense of independence. Who puts Sharks and Hummingbirds on their bills?
83. No pressure Street Vendors.
82. All the Public Holidays.
81. Traditional Parades and Festivals.
80. Civilized Elections. With the US elections getting more and more contentious, we are reminded again, WHY we left and moved to CR. The anger and the bantering were almost too much to take. So glad I live here. During Costa Rica's election, everyone comes out and supports their candidate. They wave the flags of their political party, and put bumper stickers on their car, but as soon as it is over, they go back to life. No one complains about the President or says horrible things. They support whoever wins, as this is their country. They respect those rights of each person to vote as they choose, and they all come together for the goodness and sake of Costa Rica.
79. The deep-sea fishing in the Papagayo is some of the best in the world. And if catch and release sport fishing is your thing, some of the largest and most powerful Marlin and Sailfish are biting. It makes for a trip that you will never forget.
78. You gotta love a country where there is a Fried Chicken place on every single corner. Colonel Sanders would be honored. We didn't say it was healthy, but it sure is finger lickin' good.
77. There is a famous saying in Costa Rica. “The only thing consistent is the inconsistency.” You will never be bored here that is for sure. Every day is an adventure, and you never quite know what to expect. Learn to embrace it, and love it. Life is short; don't get worked up over stupid things.
76. Big Guanacaste trees!!! So beautiful and massive; they will take your breath away.
75. Butterflies. All the Butterflies. Ever seen a Blue Morpho? When you do you will know.
74. Ice Cream; and when you taste the Helado in Costa Rica you will never go back to Haagen-Dazs again. Ben and Jerry; you ain't got a prayer.
73. Surfing. Costa Rica has some of the tallest surf waves in the Western Hemisphere; second only to the North Shore of Hawaii. So grab your boards and come on down.
72. Great Restaurants. Most people's biggest fear is that they won't have anywhere to eat. Well, you can put that notion to sleep. There are at least 72 to choose from here in our little area.
71. Latin Music that echos from all corners of the country. Although you may not always understand the words, the beat and the romantic sounds are easy to absorb; and everybody is always smiling and dancing.
70. The Golfo de Papagayo, is the large body of water that is just off the coastline of Guanacaste. Tucked in the back of this huge mass of ocean, are the beaches that make up our little Shangri-la. Matapalo; Playa Ocotal: Playas del Coco; Playa Hermosa; Playa Panama and Bahia Culebra are some of the most pristine shorelines you will ever encounter. The water is super calm, almost like a big lake, so it is very enjoyable for everyone.
69. The women. The Ticas are some of the most attractive ladies on earth, and definitely some of the sweetest. They are always smiling and always friendly, and they make you feel like you are more than welcome in their country. This could easily be in the Top Ten.
68. Chocolate. Believe it or not, Costa Rica has some delicious chocolate. A good chunk of this country harvests Cocoa and they turn it into some yummy stuff. Sorry Switzerland.
67. The Rodeos and Horse Parades!
66. Creative Road work. Don't try to figure it out, just go with the flow and appreciate the paved side when you are on it.
65. Faith in God and Respect of Religion.
64. Fresh Fruit.
63. Great and inexpensive Car Washes.
62. The beauty of Electrical Storms.
61. Inexpensive TV.
60. Zip Lines and Canopy Tours. Fly through the jungle!
59. The Vibe. Everyone is so relaxed and so chill. Why stress out man?
58. Easy to make friends. One of the biggest concerns new people have, is that they will be lonely. It is the exact opposite. Everyone goes out of their way to make the new guy feel welcome and to introduce them to others. Your biggest problem will be that you won't have enough hours in your day for all of your social activities.
57. The craziness of the place. You see it all here, from entire families riding on a scooter, to a guy walking his pet farm animals. Hilarious and great to see all at the same time.
56. Driving around town in a Golf Cart.
55. Seafood. Fresh Fish Ceviche every single day for lunch, with some Tabasco sauce and a cold Pilsen. Grilled Mahi Mahi, Sea Bass, Red Snapper, Wahoo and Grouper for dinner, just caught that morning.
54. Sunday is family day, and no matter what you think is important, they are not going to show up to fix your A/C. Super special.
53. Farmers Markets. On just about every corner of every town is a farmers' market, with the freshest vegetables Mother Nature has ever produced.
52. Papagayo Wind. Cooling breezes all dry season long. In the shade with a find breeze and all is good.
51. 51% of Costa Rica is a rain forest and it has the largest percentage of protected land in the world. Over 5% of the entire world's biodiversity is packed into this little country.
50. We have GREAT internet at the beach. Better than most US cities.
49. Very few Bugs. We hate bugs. That is why we live in Guanacaste. Because of the dry season, we have almost no bugs at all, unlike the rest of Costa Rica, where some of them look like small Pterodactyls.
48. Sea Life. The Papagayo Bay is home to over 25 species of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.
47. Dog Lovers Community. There are almost no street dogs and great organizations to help out with stray neuter clinics and finding dogs (and Cats) homes.
46. Great network of Pharmacies with in house, free consultation.
45. It feels like home. This place is so serene; it just felt like HOME the second you step off the plane.
44. Awesome Grocery stores. Check out Auto Mercado and let us know.
43. Great Health and Vet Care. Costa Rica is famous for its health care, considered some of the best in the world. The Vets in the country are so caring and so attentive, and they will nurture your babies back every single time. Their fees are a fraction of what it would cost in North America, and most of them make house calls too.
42. Great Manicure and Pedicure's. There are many great spots to pamper yourself for way less than North America.
41. Volcanic Mud Baths. Less than a 90-minute drive from the beach, are some of the most relaxing and rejuvenating mud baths in the world.
40. Easy to Give Back. You CAN make a difference in Costa Rica. There are about a dozen charitable organizations right here at the beach, where you can donate your time, energy and money, and the country and the people are truly thankful. Save the monkeys or save the ocean: build a church or build a school; the ability to give back is endless. Please come here and help us make a difference.
39. The Wildlife. The nature, wild and animal life here is overwhelming. You will not believe how many thousands of creatures you see every single day, and the fauna will take your breath away.
38. Costa Rica Style Bull Fights. The Bulls don't die and everyone has a great time.
37. Gallo Pinto - Rice and Beans. Fuel to get out and enjoy yourself every day.
36. World Class Bilingual Schools.
35. Clear Night Sky. tilt your head skyward here, and prepare to be blown away. You can see MILLIONS of them, every single evening; and the moon shines brighter here than anywhere on this earth.
34. RUM. Easily could be Number One on the list. There is Ron Flor de Cana; Ron Centenario; Ron Zacapa; just to name a few; and at a fraction of what this stuff costs back home.
33. Fruit. Oranges, Grapefruits, Bananas, Mangos, Papayas, just to name a few.
32. Watering Holes. Great local places to have a drink, shot or local Chiliguaro.
31. World Class Scuba Diving. Big Pelagics, huge schools of fish, Manta Rays, Sharks, you name it. Forget the Caribbean, Costa Rica Pacific Ocean Diving is the best.
30. Rainy Season. Everything is green and the afternoon showers cool everything down.
29. Everybody knows your name… This place is like CHEERS: everybody knows you. It is such a remarkable feeling, to walk into any restaurant, bar, grocery store or professional office, and be called out by name.
28. NO TRAFFIC JAMS IN GUANACASTE. Occasionally, you gotta wait for a herd of cattle to cross the road, but no one is in that big of a hurry anyway.
27. Food Tastes natural. All good ingredients grown and sold locally. You can taste the freshness.
26. Fresh and natural eggs.
25. Lizano Sauce is one of the local salsas, which are famous in Costa Rica. It is a mix between a sweet BBQ sauce and a mild steak sauce, and it has one of the most unique flavors in the world.
24. The Beaches in this country are stunning. There are hundreds of beaches that you can visit in just a day trip, some of them where you will be the only two people on the sand. Others are packed with bars and restaurants; just depends on what you crave. There are snorkel beaches, and surfing beaches; black and white sand; miles long or just a tiny little cove; all waiting for you to discover. Some of them, you can only get to by boat, or 4×4 making it a real adventure.
23. Hummingbirds. There are 338 known species in the world, and 50 of them reside here.
22. The Real Estate in Costa Rica, in our opinion, is some of the most fascinating that has ever dotted the globe. We have views that blow away Laguna Beach, Malibu, Hawaii, Cabo or the Mediterranean and at a fraction of what those properties costs.
21. White Water Rafting. There are dozens of rivers you can pound down, and some even with Class V; the most dangerous.
20. From December to April, in the Papagayo area, there is not one single drop of rain. This is the only area in the country that experiences the dry season, and it is the reason we almost all live here. The weather is PERFECT. Every day is 85-90 degrees with 20% humidity, and the evenings get down to a nice cool 70 degrees. Many of the trees lose their leaves and flower, and the bougainvillea and hibiscus are exploding with colors. There are consistent breezes all day and night long, turning this place into the perfect tropical retreat.
19. The most extraordinary tree in the world, is called the Cortez Amarillo, and they are everywhere in Guanacaste. They flower the brightest and most radiant Yellow, which you can see for 50 miles. Sometimes, in the distance, it looks like the entire hillside or mountain range was brushed with yellow paint.
18. Waterfalls. There are hundreds of them, all over the country, and usually very accessible. There is nothing quite like swimming under a gigantic Catarata, surrounded by jungle, the sounds of the wild animals howling in the canyons, echoing for only you to hear. Exotic toucans hanging in the trees, scoping you out; you almost expect Tarzan to come flying across on a vine.
17. Hot Springs. There are entire rivers of bubbling hot water, pouring out of the sides of the volcanoes here; breathtaking lagoons and pools, gushing and flowing with 104-degree water. They are some of the healthiest places you can visit, and so relaxing it is almost intoxicating.
16. The Guanacaste International Airport (LIR); need I say anything else? What a blessing; only 20 Minutes Away. It has one many awards for the best airport. If you have flown in and out of LIR you know.
15. EXPATS in Costa Rica. Almost all of them are excellent examples of what we preach every day. They come here with an open mind, and want to assimilate into a new culture. They give back; donate; help the Costa Ricans; try to make this a better place. They bring money, and create jobs and opportunities; employ people; pay taxes; and start dozens of charity foundations. When there is work to be done, it is almost always the gringos doing it; beach clean ups; rebuilding of schools; Toys for Tots; they give back and get involved. It takes a certain type of person, to move to another country, and start an entirely new life.
14. Sailing. The freedom that you sense when you are running hard across these huge bays, is something everyone must experience. There are some awesome sailboat and catamaran tours that take you to these private coves; where you feel like you are the only one who has ever dropped anchor there. The marine life you see and the beauty of the hillsides are a vision you will never forget.
13. English spoken. Almost everybody speaks English. It makes it very easy to transition. Even though it is a great challenge to learn Spanish, all our Costa Rican friends want to speak in English.
12. Playas del Coco is the coolest beach town; hands down. It is a great mix of First and Third World. It is the oldest fishing village in the country, and the favorite weekend and holiday spot for the affluent Ticos. When I first moved here, it was a bit of an eye sore, to be honest with you, but it has come a long way. It is so quaint, and adorable, and has such an incredible feeling to it. You will fall in love and like most of us; you won't want to leave. VIVA COCO!!!
11. Playa Hermosa - The Beautiful Beach. Check it out; you will see exactly what we mean.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!! We are down to the final list.
10. Your Rescue Dog. The precious creature that steals your heart from the first second you spot them.
9. Coffee. Nothing better than a fresh cup of Costa Rican Coffee from the land of the best coffee in the world. Some of the best coffee never leaves the country and is consumed here.
8. Costa Rica Sunrise. Here you get up with the sun and you will see this majestic heaven come alive at 5:15 AM is evidence of something greater than you. To watch the volcanoes light up, with vibrancy and energy; to see the mist over the valley slowly dissipate; to hear the Howler Monkeys and Parrots come alive; the Hummingbirds whipping around my pool; no traffic noise; those amazing breezes; the sun slowly heating up your face; this is living. Why are you not here?
7. Walks on the Beach. There is no better place to enjoy a relaxing walk on the beach on any of the hundreds of beautiful beaches all along the Rich Coast.
6. Beach Massage. You will no longer know how you survived all those years, without a regular massage on the beach, under a palm tree. The smell of the salt and the cool breeze in your hair, as her magical hands work wonders on your body.
5. Pura Vida. The PURA VIDA is REAL. When you first hear about this “thing” you think to yourself; it's a scam. Nobody is that happy. Nobody lives life care free. Everything is PURA VIDA, and they mean it. Life is too short to get bent out of shape over nothing. Too many people wake up every day, miserable. They hate their existence, their hate their jobs, they hate where they live. Not here. Everybody is content; everyone loves their life; and why would they not? This is the most endearing place in the universe.
4. Parties. Nobody parties like the Ticos; nobody. They have a Fiesta, it seems, almost every other week. We love it!!!! PARTY baby!!! What we find the most impressive, is that there almost never seems to be any problems. This is the only country in the world, where you can put 5000 people in one place, at one time; pump them full of booze, and nobody gets in a fight. Everyone is just dancing and singing, drinking and partying, joyous as can be
3. BEER. Costa Rica has great national beer and now the microbrew scene has exploded. You can find a great beer anywhere you might find yourself thirsty.
2. Sunsets. It is kind of a rite of passage, a mandatory requirement for living in Costa Rica; everyone wanders down to the beach at 5:30 PM. You crack open a cold beer, find your spot on the sand, and sit back and soak it all in. It comes slowly and powerfully, but it will change your life. As the sun dips down below the ocean, there is a fireworks like display of colors, which shootsw across the sky. No two are ever the same, and there is never a bad sunset.
1. If you ask anyone who has spent even the smallest amount of time living in Costa Rica, they will all agree on one thing. The People, The Costa Rican, The Ticos; they are the reason we live in Costa Rica. They are the warmest, most friendly people you will ever encounter. They have so much pride, and are so thankful for everything they have. They welcome you to their land, and never ask for anything in return; just that you love this place as much as they do. You will never, for one minute, ever feel like you are not accepted or wanted. God Bless Costa Rica - The Pearly Gates on Earth. PURA VIDA!!!
Hope to see you soon. What is taking you so long?