Due Diligence when relocating to Costa Rica

Because I know there are several readers of my blog who are considering relocation to Costa Rica for retirement like me or other reasons, I must link to this article: Due Diligence when relocating to Costa Rica on the Live in Costa Rica Blog and Tour website. It is one of the best summaries I’ve seen yet of some basics which you must consider if you are even thinking about moving to Costa Rica.

Landing in Limon for my annual Caribbean Trip.

And the feature photo at top is my shot of “Whale’s Tail Beach” Uvita from a plane.

My 3 Most Important Things to Do Before Moving to Costa Rica

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Central Valley Day 1

Whew! Sitting in a seminar for two days was tiring, but a full day of touring was just as much so but more fun! We circled through all the neighborhoods and important places for living of San Jose then into suburbs of Rohrmoser, Escazu, Santa Anna, Heredia, Barva, and San Rafael. We saw a large house with a grand view (photo) that is now a boutique hotel plus inside a North American style suburban neighborhood home with two-car garage that was for sale. At the hotel we had tropical fruits and a short Spanish lesson. Then we had lunch at a place where the chicken is roasted over a wood fire using coffee tree wood. Nice! We had our “farewell banquet” a night early tonight and exchanged emails. And oh yes, we went to one of the largest Saturday Farmers’ Markets near Escazu in Rohrmoser and a big Walmart that had marimba players entertaining. Great! Here’s just a few of the photos from today:

The August 2014 Live In Costa Rica Tour Group of 17
Group at Hotel Posada el Quijote
Autopista from Escazu Walmart
 The multi-lane is only in the city and to airport with rest of country two-lane highways.
Marimba Entertainers at Escazu Walmart

View of Central Valley from Posada el Quijote
And oh yes . . .
Rohmorser Saturday Farmers’ Market

Meeting and Eating

The two day seminar is over, my head is full and maybe spinning, and we went out to eat again tonight. There are some fabulous restaurants here in San Jose and back on the beach. Tonight I had El Chicote Salmon Steak with veggies followed by the best Coconut Flan I’ve ever eaten! Didn’t photograph tonight’s food, but here is one from Jaco. Tomorrow we begin the two-day Central Valley Tour which is probably where I will start out if I do move. The seminar has been brutally honest and I now know how difficult it can be to make the move – meaning the decision is not made yet! We leave at 7:30 in the morning for another full day, so off to bed! (Hoping the guys singing in the bar will finish soon!)  Pura Vida! On Friday night!

A Shrimp Salad
Someone ordered in Jaco Beach.

Meetings and Memories

Today was the first day of our two day seminar. Today was a lot including residency, real estate, ARCR services, laws, moving, customs, learning Spanish, culture and a guy my age telling about his experience. It was mostly helpful and interesting, though tiring and a little dizzying. In addition to the 4 new people for the rest of our tour we have several here just for the seminar with a group of about 27 representing all sections of the U.S., Canada, Israel, and England. All kinds of people are considering a move to Costa Rica. No photos made today, but I still have memories of the beaches. (And extra photos!)

Playa Bejuco, Costa Rica

Beach Properties & Back to City

Another beautiful day of sunshine until late afternoon, rain for dinner and sleeping!. And if this is the way rainy season is most of the time I will like it! In both Gambia and South Florida it was usually in the afternoons and they say that is true here sometimes, but not this week so far.

We looked at two beach condos at Jaco Beach with one on another empty beach seen below and the condos are like really nice condos in South Florida. They are tempting to buy because some, like the one in the photo, have been slashed to less than half the original asking prices because they are not all selling or maybe have overbuilt. This could mean I might get a good deal later on a rental, though the guy said an investor-owner can make more renting in season to tourists than he could on me year around. They can get as much per week in season as I would pay per month, so I’m not likely to end up in one of these. The ocean view is from an area of properties where you could build with just the lot selling for $160,000! You pay for these views! I’ll look at poor man’s property on my own next week.

Click to enlarge photo and note that these are web-sized. Please contact me to use one and I will send you a larger file.

From building property looking over the mouth of
Tarcoles River where it flows into the Pacific

“King of the Mountain!”
Crocodiles in the Tarcoles River

 Another near empty beach! This one by condo below.

Lobby of one of two condos we visited. A Vacation Condo mostly..
Reminded me of South Florida! Very nice!
For two days after our two-day seminar, we will be looking at properties in the Central Valley area, closer to more services and shopping, medical, entertainment, etc. I’m back in San Jose and Hotel Autentico for a week now. It will be nice to stay unpacked for awhile. Tomorrow our two-day seminar is led by ARCR, the Costa Rica Resident’s Association where all our questions will be answered by lawyers, movers, doctors, and expats who live here. Then I do my own thing for 4 days. A full two weeks! But fun! And educational!

Birding Adventure Scheduled

Resplendent Quetzal by Charlie Doggett
Near Savegre Lodge, Talamanca Mountains, Costa Rica

I was saving all four of my personal days after the tour for business if needed, but realized I could get enough done in two and found a travel agent to set up a birding trip for my last two days. I’ll get private transportation (90 minutes) from San Jose to and from the Talamanca Mountains, Los Quetzales National Park, and Trogon Lodge on September 3 & 4. It comes with a birding guide early before breakfast on the 4th to help find and photograph another Resplendent Quetzal bird (above), the most sought after bird for birders in Central America. The photo here was made on my 2009 birding trip. Hope I get another one as good or better than this! Plus there should be trogons, hummingbirds, and many other cloud forest birds, other animals, waterfalls, and landscapes. A cloud forest is a rainforest in the mountains with mostly different species of flora & fauna than seen in the lowland rainforests.

Well, I’m excited and ready for my flight early tomorrow morning and the beginning of the Live in Costa Rica Tour. I plan to make a post tomorrow night and each night for the two weeks, with a photo of the day each night. Please send a link to this blog to anyone you know who is interested.
http://costaricadecisionprocess.blogspot.com/  This is where I will finalize my decision to move (or not move) to Costa Rica. 

Just One Day & I’m Nearly Packed

I’m excited and have most of packing done for leaving day after tomorrow morning. I’ve contacted a travel agent about using my last two free days of exploring for a birding trip. I’ll decide tomorrow if I do that and it is likely.

I’m now in the International Living “Costa Rica Insider” Forum, a blog and website full of information to supplement what I get from Chris Howard and the ARCR which I have joined. So there should be no excuse for not having the information I need.

For any family or friends who need emergency contact, I have activated the Global Plan on my Verizon phone. When in San Jose we are at Hotel Autentico, while I’m not sure about the traveling hotels Sunday through Tuesday nights along the Pacific Coast, a different one each night. And if I go birding or whaling, I will be somewhere else on the night of Sept. 3.

Everyone knows that my legal name “Charles” is “Carlos” in Spanish. Well, Chris tells me that my nickname of “Charlie” is “Carlitos” in Spanish. It might be fun to have a new nickname if I move to Costa Rica, but all you Norte Americanos can continue to call me Charlie!