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Tell me about Costa Rica

Old 06-29-2014, 03:52 PM
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Default Tell me about Costa Rica

CR looks to be a great place to retire. And a great place to vacation.

For vacation (fishing ... of course). East or West Coast?
Best months for fishing?

If someone was looking to retire down there, where would you look first?

Thank!
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Old 06-29-2014, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Gamecatcher View Post
CR looks to be a great place to retire. And a great place to vacation.

For vacation (fishing ... of course). East or West Coast?
Best months for fishing?

If someone was looking to retire down there, where would you look first?

Thank!
Panama may be the preferred retirement spot in that part of the world now. With that said, places on the Pacific coast like Los Suenos are supposed to be very nice. Not cheap, mind you. My dad's best friend bought two condos there when they first built the place. He prefers the fishing in Guatemala, but is still bit dodgy compared to CR.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:27 PM
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Quepous is a decent choice. My advice is to rent a house down there for six months then decide whether you want to live in a prison the rest of your life. Beautiful country, great people but they all live behind fences and bars.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:30 PM
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Great looking football team too
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironworker View Post
Quepous is a decent choice. My advice is to rent a house down there for six months then decide whether you want to live in a prison the rest of your life. Beautiful country, great people but they all live behind fences and bars.
Spent a lot of time in Southern, Eastern and South Central Africa. Had friends from there visit me here. One commented, "A house like this in Africa would never be without a serious fence around it."

Been around the world and I think most of North America is the only place where houses are NOT fenced!

But, thanks for the advice. Would be a culture shock to someone who wasn't expecting it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:03 PM
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Tell me about some fishing operations down there. If retiring there is an option, I have to vacation there as much as possible.

Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jdm61 View Post
Panama may be the preferred retirement spot in that part of the world now. With that said, places on the Pacific coast like Los Suenos are supposed to be very nice. Not cheap, mind you. My dad's best friend bought two condos there when they first built the place. He prefers the fishing in Guatemala, but is still bit dodgy compared to CR.
.. Guatemala for fishing, but with a bit of ......


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Old 06-29-2014, 10:53 PM
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Fences? Bars? Naw, I have an Airedale Terrier !!!!
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by REDWEISER View Post
.. Guatemala for fishing, but with a bit of ......


True. Our friend tells us that before the guerrilla war finally ended, the "common sense solution" was to have a couple of guards at the gate of the Fins and Feathers complex with Remngton 870 riot guns. He is a doctor, but had traditionally done his charity work in the Dominican Repbulic because he started working there in the 60's and 70's when he was a resident in Charlotte. a buddy of his did charity work in Guatemala and said he got robbed at least once by the rebels. they were apparently very apologetic, but they said they needed his meds and equipment. Polite guerrillas. Whoda thunk it?
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:03 AM
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Check out www.tropicalfishing.com/costarica for info about fishing throughout Costa Rica.
If you are looking into retiring there you would most likely aim for the Pacific coast.



Originally Posted by Gamecatcher View Post
Tell me about some fishing operations down there. If retiring there is an option, I have to vacation there as much as possible.

Thanks.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:40 AM
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We vacationed near Quepos a while back. The sailfishing was ridiculous, probably 20+ per boat each day.

I can say that dysentery on a boat w/o a head is not fun.

My real estate philosophy (now I need money to institute it):

International- follow surfers. Figure out the hot surfing spot and you'll probably have the next up and coming vacation spot. Surfers want safe and cheap. Once they are there facilities follow and things get built up. Costa was like this, then Panama got hot. Honduras seems like the spot now

Domestic- follow the artists. Artists move into cheap areas. After artists gays and trendy yuppies move in and then everyone else follows. I've seen this happen in LA, Philly and NYC.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:36 AM
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Interesting advice, to say the least i live in Quepos Costa Rica and work / retired here, and it's tough, been here 7 years. When i came down, i would say about 10-15 other couples moved in at the same time, and out of those, none are left, just me and the wife. I am super laid back, not a drinker and speak Spanish and i think that is what saved me, but I've seen lots of people really upset with their move here, and don't know of many gringos here that can make it past two years.

The best advice i saw from the people above was the RENT BEFORE YOU BUY, that would be my number 1 rule. Not only can you decide if you like it, but you will also find cheaper real estate to buy if you live here a while. I have rented here 7 years and I am just starting to think about buying. I keep thinking that would be a neat place to live, I rent a house in that area, and then don't like it. So renting first is a must. Also, when you first get into town, there are lots of Costa Rican people that speak perfect English and they all want to help you. Those guys make money off of dumb white people, so don't use their help. It's best to find the Americans living here, and then you have a 50 / 50 shot of not getting taken advantage of If you ever get serious, send me a PM or an email to john@queposfishadventure.com and I can answer any questions. I love it here, the fishing is great (and getting better every year because of the new commercial fishing regulations), it is super laid back and SAFE. I can also direct you on where to buy a boat for cheaper, and which mechanics won't rip you off, and which fiberglass guys to use when you need boat work done, which lawyers are real (some are setup just for fake real estate deals and then they disappear) and have the importing system figured out.

The Atlantic side of Costa Rica is super dangerous, you want to live on the Pacific side where it's safe.

Love to help!
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:10 AM
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What is dangerous about the Atlantic side?
Friend of mine just bought a lot there for 250k. I'll try and find out area.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by The Revenge View Post
What is dangerous about the Atlantic side?
Friend of mine just bought a lot there for 250k. I'll try and find out area.
I thought that would stir up some controversy.

Every morning for breakfast, i read the paper and it's weekly that some american is robbed over there. 95 percent of the time it's on the atlantic coast, and the other 5 percent of the time it's in a place north of us called Bejuco, which I wouldn't recommend either. There was one story i read about two months ago (in the newspaper) where a guy built an awesome house by Puerto Viejo, then went back to the states for two weeks, and when he came back, there was only a slab left, they had completely disassembled the house and taken everything! I saw the picture of the slab, it was pretty humorous since it wasn't my house. Another story that I see about once every two months is where they push a tree across the road, and the mug people, or shoot them and take their car and stuff. There was a big group of volunteers that were tied up last year, they were in an awesome beachfront rental property, and somebody came in, stole all their stuff and tied them up. The guy was putting stuff in the car and they got away by running through the woods. Then once a customer of mine was over there Tarpon fishing, and they hit him in the back of the head with a coconut and took all of his stuff. That was in Limon itself around 7pm, right after dark.

I think the problem is there are alot of really nice houses that are super remote and not really defended, and then there are poor gangster inner city types that live in Limon and have to support drug habits. That being said, I have never had problems here in Quepos nor has anybody that I know, it's just over on the other side.

But really, it's got a dangerous vibe to it as well, kind of like a Downtown New Orleans or downtown LA feel, think inner city. I used to import alot of cars and they all come in through Limon, and there are banks in Limon that have sandbag bunkers out in front of them with guards, it's just not like the rest of costa rica.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:29 AM
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you missed it by twenty years!
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:45 AM
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I just got back from a week in Tamarindo, on the North, Pacific coast. The town struck me as really safe, and was a fun place to visit. There were real estate mags all over that were obviously geared towards gringos. We also met several ex-pats living there. There were tons of good restaurants, and the vibe was friendy and easy.

All of that said, the place is by no means developed by US standards. Many roads are not paved. We were told the power goes out pretty often. Driving around you will dodge horses, chickens, bikes, etc... That might be part of the charm for some, but I would imagine it would drive others crazy.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:25 PM
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Costa Rica is a great country but its not what most folks think. I could live there but then its certainly not like being on vacation every day.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:58 PM
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I lived there for several years and it is not for everybody. If you are planning to retire, spend A LOT of time there before you make the move. Spend a month during the rainy season in Guanacaste if that is where you are considering, then come back in February for another month for some of the dry time. Or go and stay from November to February.

Things operate differently than most (Gringos) can handle for extended periods of time. Monopolized power, phone, cable, internet and cell phones with generally accepted terrible customer service. If the slow life is what you want, it's there, along with amazing fishing and scenery. Just be prepared for a completely different way of life.

The farther you get from San Jose, the more Wild West it is and also more difficult to find things you are accustomed to having.

BTW Keep 20 greenbacks in your passport for a quick Pura Vida from the traficos.

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Old 07-01-2014, 08:02 AM
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I been a little too busy to post the full response I want to but a couple points i definitely agree on

while it is a great vacation spot, Living here long term is not for everybody, it is a big change from living with in the US, culturally and just day to day life conveniences, it s not for everybody, but paradise for many,
lots of living expenses are more than what you pay in the US but you don't need much to be happy or be ahead of the jones here
it is a slower paced life with most locals having a much lower standard of person job performance that they find acceptable, so it can get frustrating trying to get things done quickly, or correctly

$20 does not seem to get you out of traffic infraction anymore as they revised all the traffic laws a few years ago, but i never seem to get stopped anymore.

it is not 3rd world, but a developing country. with one of the highest standards of living in Central America


some of the more developed areas will have lots of american expats which can be helpful, but land prices will be higher near popular areas, the further you go away from popular developed areas the cheaper land will be but you also get away from the good grocery stores, variety of restaurants and services.

people which seem really helpful , make big promises, and know everything generally are not, or are getting commission.
but the shadiest people I have every dealt with here we both gringos, one a "quasi- lawyer" ad another owned tour, lodging, charter booking company" Quepos sail fishing charters" - not Sailfish Quepos, who posts here, he actually is a nice helpful guy

Caribbean side here (and most places on Central America) is definitely more dangerous with rougher crowd, avoid areas large port cities on Caribbean side like Limon CR, or Colon panama, both dangerous places, US embassy usia;ly has travel warnings issued fro gringos visiting either of these places. that being said the caribbean side away from bigger cites, does have its own beauty , white sand beaches clear carribean water and coral reefs.

the fishing here on the central pacific is world class, and is does seem to keep getting better over the past few years since they have been cracking down on commercial fishing. we have had 2 banner record setting years for sailfish, with long season of perfect weather and huge numbers of fish which are on par with the numbers that get caught in guatamala without being in a dump, plus were have more marlin here and it seems that CR is becoming the new marlin hot spot for the pacific, with the numbers getting caught , lost of 150-350 lb fish perfect for stand up tackle, and if you can make it further offshore to the FADS (100to 150 miles offshore), the numbers there are unbelievable, the Carol Libby just broke the world record for most blue marlin caught in a season releasing 400 + blues in 61 days of fishing.
depending on season we have good to excellent fishing for Mahi or yellowfin tuna

and we also have a great variety of inshore fishing, rooster fish, cubera snapper, groupers etc, I don't know if guatamala has anything like that as I have need seen anything but sailfish and a occasional marlin pic from there.
i usually try to post somewhat regular reports on THT to show the fishing here, but I am a bit behind, season has been very busy.

I have allot more info about the central pacific fishing, and the area in general on my site www.EpicFishingCostaRica.com or you are welcome to contact me with any questions
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by La Vida CR View Post
the shadiest people I have every dealt with here we both gringos, one a "quasi- lawyer" ad another owned tour, lodging, charter booking company" Quepos sail fishing charters"
X2
yeah, the QueposFishing dot com people owe me money too, definitely some of the most shady people i've met here
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