I’ve lived in Costa Rica for ten years full time and I’ve been coming to this amazing country since I was born (thanks to my mom). I’ve seen many changes over 30+ years and I feel lucky that I get to call this place home. I just finally got approved for my citizenship (only took 4 years of patience) so I feel this article is even more special that I can say I am officially Tica 🙂
- Full Service Gas—So when I am in the USA I have to remind myself what it was to pump gas myself. The great thing about Costa Rica is that gas is the same price at every gas station and the bonus—it’s also full service. So, no need to get out to pump gas. Yippee!
- Great year round weather—really no matter where you are in Costa Rica, the weather is nice. In Guanacaste, we have well over 300 days of sunshine or year and the least amount of rainfall than any other part of the country.
- The people—The Ticos are great, fun-loving people who know how to have fun, appreciate family and take things con ‘calma’. No reason to rush around and be crazy all the time. We can learn a few things from the Ticos.
- The culture-A country where there Is no army, where money is focused on education and health, where government offices close down for a day to celebrate the local fiestas (this would have never happened up north) and where having fun with friends and family and taking it easy is more important.
- The “Visitor” vs “Residente/Nacional” line at the airport. What you ask? Yes—the best kept secret to being a resident or citizen of the country is when I fly back to Costa Rica I get to hop in the short line (often times no one or only a few people are in that line while the hundreds of visitors are in the long visitor line). Yes, membership has its privileges.
- The shortcut roads named after animals—Only in Guanacaste could you drive on a dirt road shortcut called the “Monkey Trail” or “Donkey Trail”. These well known short cuts could look like horse trails or ATV paths, but they are actual legal roads which shave about 20km off your commute to the city of Liberia and also to the beach town of playas del Coco.
- No stoplights– When I left the city 10 years ago, I left stoplights. The great thing about where I live is that the nearest stoplight is 45 minutes away. Traffic? What’s that?
- Access to bilingual Education– One of the best things about living here is that my sons, 6 and 8, who were born in Costa Rica, have had the privilege to some of the best teachers and bilingual education in the country. La Paz Community School is located within the same community where I live in Flamingo Beach (www.lapazschool.org) and Kian and Elijah are lucky to speak two languages perfectly—no accent, and not too much effort. They are lucky kids!
- The Vacation within Costa Rica— Many people will ask “where do you vacation when you live in Costa Rica”. My answer? Other parts of Costa Rica. You can never get bored travelling this country—from majestic volcanoes and waterfalls to beaches, rivers, lakes, coffee plantations, the Carribbean coast, there is so much to see. As a resident, you also get resident discounts—another perk.
- Nature—everywhere you look there is something beautiful to see. From amazing trees and flowers to even more amazing animals (monkeys, sloths, iguanas to name a few), every day is different here.
I had to limit myself to a Top 10 list, but trust me, there are many other reasons I love calling Guanacaste home! Pura Vida!