Is This My Colonial Town?

We started at our day of looking for rentals at 9:30 AM and went to 5:00 PM. My driver/helper is Alex Palma who drives a cab, serves as a concierge mainly to tourists, Realtors and for tourist transportation (506-8846-6868) and was very helpful after I finally made it clear I wanted to see furnished apartments only and got to his computer to show him what I had found online. He was pushing his town of Santo Domingo partly because he lives there and then I found he has what we call a “Mother-in-law’s Apartment” in his house that is available. Nice but not what I wanted. I did fall in love with Santo Domingo though.
We looked at a very nice condo in Santa Rosa neighborhood of Santo Domingo that I loved and it was right beside the INBio Park which I see myself volunteering at sometime in the future. It was wonderful condo for only $600 a month but not furnished! I may later get an unfurnished place because I like to decorate, but not for a year at earliest. So we move on!
 In another adjacent community (all suburbs of San Jose) named San Pablo we saw a wonderful furnished condo with pool for $900 which is more than I want to pay at first and it did not include utilities beyond water. We saw a brand new simpler and modern condo in Belen that was $750 plus utilities but it was another unfurnished one even though listed with the furnished ones. I could easily live there but I must start with a furnished apartment.
Finally our contact was able to meet us at 4:00 PM to show us a two-bedroom, one bath apartment just 5 blocks from the Santo Domingo plaza and church where everything is located and just what I wanted to be near. It is a colonial Latin American town that centers around a full block plaza with a big Catholic Church facing it. There are several needed businesses including a supermarket, the weekly farmers’ market, and a smaller 7-day a week fruit and vegetable market. There are several Sodas for a variety of lunch choices (we ate at one) and my favorite, a POP’s Ice Cream right on the square. I felt I had found my place! It rents for $600 a month furnished and with all utilities except electricity which will probably cost $40 month even with some a/c use says Alex.
I’m going to sleep on it a few days and then may offer a retainer if they will hold it for me until January to begin a 12-month lease then. Pray that I make the right call. This could be the first step in the decision to really do it! To really move to Costa Rica!
Earlier in the day we got ice cream at POP’s and ate it on a park bench in the Plaza. I hastily took a couple of photos on my pocket camera that are not very good, but must show them now!   🙂
Iglesia del Rosario, Santo Domingo (built between 1838-1844)
In another part of town there is a larger church, Basílica de Santo Domingo de Guzmán (built in 1856)

Central Plaza, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica

The Missed Sunset

Photo I made on my 2010 tour from a Guanacaste beach south of Tamarindo. For more on the best tour of Costa Rica see

We would have seen something like this on our south beach tour had it not been raining each evening. And I’m also including the Caribbean (Atlantic) sunrise photo also made on that trip. Both beaches are quite appealing to me, but I will probably start out in the Central Valley while I check out the whole country then decide on a more permanent place to settle.

Pacific Sunset in 2010

Caribbean Sunrise in 2010

Wherever I live, I will get to see both of the above as I travel about the country. TODAY Alex Palma is showing me rentals in smaller towns 30 minutes + from San Jose. His favorite he has already told me is Santo Domingo de Heredia which looks good online and is home of the INBio Park. We are also going to Atenas and some other places and will eat lunch in a Soda. (If you don’t know, “Soda” is the Costa Rican name for a little Mom & Pop Cafe where you can eat lunch for $3 to $5 and is on my radar as my dining out choice.) Well, time to go. I’ll report back tonight!