Aug 04 2016

Retire for Less in Costa Rica – August 4, 2016

Welcome to our Retire For Less In Costa Rica Newsletter

Paul and Gloria

In This Issue: 



Monthly Costa Rica Weather Report for 11 Towns in Costa Rica–June 2016


You’ll notice that we now show rainfall and temperatures for eleven towns in Costa Rica:

  • San Ramón de Alajuela
  • Atenas
  • Nuevo Arenal
  • Quepos
  • Near San Isidro de General
  • San Rafael de Heredia
  • Tinamastes, Perez Zeledon
  • El Cajón de Grecia
  • Grand View Estates, Siquirres
  • Volio de Cachí, Orosi Valley
  • Escazú

This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas. You can click on the map above to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns in which you are interested.

Do you track the weather data for your town in Costa Rica? If so, we’d like to talk to you about including it in our monthly report. Anybody interested?? (NOTE: we plan to include weather reports for both Puriscal and Santa Cruz in the coming months.)

Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June

If read every month, the following “observations, facts, & tidbits” can give you great insight into the areas of the country in which you might be interested. They are personal insights from folks with their feet on the ground in these towns.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • June had 16.75″ of rain, which is still above the average for the month.
  • Interestingly, our coolest high temp (70 F) was sandwiched between our two warmest days (78 F).
  • When it’s cloudy, the highs tend to be in the low 70s, but when it’s sunny, the temps pop up a few degrees.
  • The weather in our area, San Ramón, tends to be a little cloudier, hence cooler, than the rest of the Central Valley. In addition, San Ramón sits at 3500 ft. elevation, while Palmares, Naranjo, Sarchi, and Grecia are slightly lower and warmer, with more sun.
  • Atenas center sits at 2,290 ft. elevation, while our weatherman, Lance’s elevation is 2670 ft. Some might say that Atenas is not located in the Central Valley.
  • We had one healthcare tour this month, with four people, a one-day tour of San Ramón, and a one-day intro to alternative medicine in Costa Rica tour. Which means we had three weeks to do nothing…but we never do nothing!
  • In our 20 minute talks at conferences, we speak about our lives, our $2,000/month budget, and the “purpose of purpose,” or, as we call it, “what do you do all day?”
  • costa-rica-map_cropped4Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of San Ramón:
    • 2015 – 103 inches
    • 2014 – 120 inches
    • 2013 – 111 inches

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • Our weather records for June may be a bit corrupted because we have imported measurements from a nearby location to fill in gaps in our own records.
  • Early in the month, our old digital thermometer, which monitored humidity as well, was pinched from our patio table by some nefarious person. The perpetrator also pinched a cheap digital calculator which was likewise left outdoors – but he/she failed to pinch our rain gauge standing in plain sight in the middle of the yard. With the help of a friend, who happened to be in the USA at the time of the dastardly act, we were able to replace the thermometer within a few days.
  • While deprived of the ability to monitor temperatures at our own place, we decided to improvise. For each day, we gathered temperature highs and lows from a monitor set up by friends in Pica Flora with a connection to the Internet. Meanwhile, we were able to measure rainfall at our own place but kept a comparative eye on rainfall in Pica Flora.
  • As the crow flies, Pica Flora is about 3/4 of a mile away from our place in Vista Atenas. But, it is at a lower altitude and tends to be warmer. In Costa Rica, seemingly small differences in altitude can translate to significant differences in temperature. On any given day, small distances between geographic locations can translate to significant differences in rainfall. On one day in June, we measured over 1 1/2 inches. On the same day, Pica Flora measured 0.3 inches. This kind of discrepancy is not unusual and can happen over even shorter distances. It is an example of microclimates at work.
  • We now have a temperature/humidity system, most of which does not have to sit outdoors in the open and attract evil-doers. The main unit always sits indoors and provides a display of time, current indoor and outdoor temperatures and current indoor and outdoor humidities. It has a memory to record daily highs and lows. For whatever its worth, it also displays the current phase of the moon. A small inconspicuous monitor normally sits outdoors and wirelessly transmits temperature and humidity data to the main unit. It can be located in places unlikely to be seen by a thief. Even if it was found, it would probably be left alone because there are no markings to indicate its purpose and it is useless by itself.
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of Atenas:
    • 2015 – 63.70 inches
    • 2014 – 73.59 inches
    • 2013 – 63.84 inches

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • Finally, the rainy season has begun. Although we received 20 inches of rain this month, it was less rainfall than the previous two Junes.
  • We only had 2 days all month without measurable rainfall, though only 3 days had 2 inches or more.
  • We’ve been in Costa Rica for over 25 years and own the B&B, Chalet Nicholas,located in Nuevo Arenal.
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of Nuevo Arenal:
    • 2015 – 208.34 inches, setting a new record!
    • 2014 – 184.95 inches
    • 2013 – 164.75 inches

Lance M’s Central Pacific Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • June was a busy month, with our daughter and one of her friends visiting. They managed to do some activities in between the rain. The rain shouldn’t have bothered them since everything they did was water related. We had a nice visit and great cookout while they were here.
  • Temperatures were fairly steady, with a few days in the high 80’s and low 90’s, with only a couple of hot days.
  • Starting to get the garden ready with some fresh dirt compose and mulch.
  • Our landlord has started putting in a new drive way and we are building a carport.
  • Map_Quepos_SanIsidroTotal rainfall for the last 2 years in our area:
    • 2015 – 130.3″ / 330.96 cm
    • 2014 – 73.5″ (as of February 2014 when I started measuring it for this newsletter).

Gordon’s Villa Nueva (San Isidro de El General) Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • June was a slightly cooler month, with a low of 64F, and a high of 86F.  The average temperatures were also down a degree or two.
  • The rainfall came in at 12.75″, 32.4 cm, up slightly from last month’s of 11″. We had 6 days of no rain, and 3 days of less than 0.1 inches. The most rainfall in one day was 2.2″, so nothing really drastic to report on the weather at all …. I gotta say, life here in San Isidro de El General is mighty fine!
  • GordonPorchWe did some work around the yard in June, – we made a concrete block “wall” 2 blocks high around the patio to keep the friendly Mr. Toad out of his favorite bathroom!  We also recycled an old tire by wrapping rope, with glue, around it, put some legs on it, (thank you Pinterest) and now have an ottoman for the patio!  And of course, there were lots of weeds to pull in our two flower beds = the joy of the rainy season!
  • As this year is our 30th wedding anniversary, we are taking a 2 week river boat cruise down the Rhine river in Europe.  We leave from Budapest, and end up 2 weeks later in Amsterdam, so there will be no report from me for the month of July.  This is something we have talked about doing for some time now, so we are really excited about it.  I’ll be back in the August issue to tell you all about it!

Steve’s San Rafael de Heredia Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • Heredia-MapJune was a rainy, cloudy month, and was about a degree cooler than May. There was some wind, but not that bad, and there was a scattering of sun here and there. It was just the way I like it.
  • My first five years of recording weather data gave me a false sense of what it was like here. I had June pegged as the month with the most consistent rainfall – always between ten and thirteen inches.  I could count on that consistency in planning the garden. Then, last year, it went off the charts, at 24 inches. This year it was high again — 22 inches. I don’t know what to make of it.
  • We had a bumper crop of tomatoes coming in when the heavy rains began and there was so much moister in the soil and the plants, the tomatoes began bursting on the vine. So we resorted to picking them green, before they popped. Some of the greener ones we wrapped in newspaper. After about two weeks we unwrapped them and they were nice and red, and sweet.
  • There was less volcanic ash this month, which was a relief. We were tired of sweeping it off the porch and washing the cars. The last Saturday in June, Maria mopped the porch in the morning and in the afternoon we noticed it was covered in ash again, and then we saw on the news that Turrialba had erupted that morning.
  • We’re now half way through the year and year-to-date rain was 53.2 inches, which is the highest total in seven years of recording rain data. We’re off to a good start.
  • Costa Rica typically has some dry periods during June and July. This phenomenon is called a veranillo in Spanish (little summer). The first one is called el veranillo de San Juan because they say it happens around Saint John the Baptist’s saints day, June 25. Sure enough, on June 24 the rains slacked off and it was dry until the 29th. This is the first time since we’ve been here that the veranillo came so close to the correct date. The other veranillo is known as la canicula, and it happens in July (if we’re lucky). I’ll say something about that in my July report.
  • Finally, I wanted to say something about rainfall levels. As an avid (rhymes with “rabid”) gardener, late at night or in the wee hours of the morning I frequently find myself musing about gardening trivia. One thing I like to think about is: What is the ideal amount of rainfall in an average month? I guess it is about 10-12 inches. This keeps the garden moist, but not wet, and minimizes the need for watering. But, of course, it also depends on how the rain is spread out over the month and what one is growing, because each plant has different moisture needs – other interesting questions to ponder. And then there is the pond. I collect lots of rainwater and keep it pumping through the pond in order to keep the water clean and clear. Fifteen to twenty inches of rain a month is ideal for the pond. At least, that’s my latest theory.
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of Heredia:
    • 2015 – 144.9 inches
    • 2014 – 115.1 inches
    • 2013 – 111.3 inches

Bonnie’s Tinamastes, Perez Zeledon Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • TinamasteMapLast month I wrote about how much we enjoy walking to Feria Organica Tinamastes on Tuesday mornings. Another favorite activity is walking with Marley to the local internet café, Beija Flor.  The owner, Omer, and his family are moving to Germany for six months, and he has decided to close the cafe and put the business up for sale.  I’ll be at the Beija Flor table at the feria at least through the end of the year, selling vegan bagels, pita, sourdough and ciabatta breads. I love people, and it will be a great way to meet people in our community. If you’re in the area, please stop by to say ‘hi’.  Beija Flor’s table is just to the right of Tony Warren’s produce booth in the far right corner.
  • We’ve just had visitors from Tucson for three weeks. We took them to our old area and spent three nights in San Marcos de Tarrazu.  It was great to get back and visit the friends we miss so much there.  I love the clear, blue skies in the mornings there, but I was reminded of how cold it sometimes gets at night.  In the seven months that I recorded the weather for San Marcos, our temperatures ranged from 52 to 92 degrees.  In the two months that I’ve been tracking the weather here in Tinamastes, our temperatures have ranged from 71.5 to 80.3.   The weather here is just right…warm enough to wear tank tops and shorts every day, and I never feel a need to wear flannel pajamas at night.
  • We have a little studio casita that will make a nice short-term vacation rental. And with the help of our friend from Tucson, we’ve started renovating a small house on our property that will be a great place for people to stay to check out our area for longer periods.  We have a fair amount of work left to do on that, so we’ll be keeping busy in the coming months.
  • In last month’s observations, I mentioned the relative lack of infrastructure in our new area. Very high on that list is the lack of sidewalks.  I recently twisted an ankle and did a face plant on the asphalt while walking on the highway, and I was instantly reminded of how much easier life was when we had sidewalks to get from Point A to Point B.  Some kind neighbors cleaned my wounds and drove me home so Joe could take me to the EBAIS in Platanillo.  It’s a tiny, part-time clinic, but I hit the jackpot as it happened to be open when we got there.  The doctor and medic got me right in and stitched me up.  If the clinic had not been open, we would have had a 40-minute drive to the hospital in San Isidro, so I’m thanking my lucky stars (although I have to wonder where those lucky stars were when I took that tumble).  I’m planning to find out how much it will cost to put in about 1 km of sidewalk from the cemetery at one end of Tinamastes to the Mini Super/Soda Elizabeth at the other end, and I want to organize a fundraising campaign to make that happen.  Please stay tuned!

Irina’s El Cajón de Grecia Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • ElCajonDeGreciaMapYes, it rained a lot in June – in fact, the 511 mm (20.1″) we measured are in par with last year’s November rainfall numbers, which was 518.5 mm (20.4″).
  • In the meantime, the temperatures were one degree down from last year when we had an average high of 28.0°C (82.4°C) and an average low of 19.2 °C (66.6°C). However, they were similar to 2013 (26.3 °C and 19.5 °C) and 2014 (27.2 °C and 18.8 °C).
  • With the increased rainfall came the expected plethora of fauna. The garden is blooming exuberantly and plants are growing fast in front of our eyes. It became necessary to split many plants to reduce overcrowding, especially in the root balls. Our friends appreciated the give-aways a lot.
  • Butterflies are in abundance – sometimes 10 to a bush in a large variety of sizes and colors. A feast for our eyes.
  • The “afternoon” thunderstorms frequently came in the morning last month, often before noon, even as early as 10 AM, requiring adjustments to schedule and outside tasks. You gotta love the rainy season!
  •  2015 rainfall for year: 107.6 inches (273.23 cm)

Mike’s Grand View Estates (Siquirres) Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • SiquirresMapJune was a dry month in the Caribbean. It was still humid, of course, and we got enough rain to keep the vegetation green and the water running in the taps. However, with rainfall in the month only totalling 10″, it was just 1/6 of last year’s total for June, and 1/3 of that from 2014. We recorded no rain at all for 17 days (57%) out of the 30 days in the month. About a third of the month’s rainfall came on June 11, when we had a “tormenta. The wind seemed to bring the rain in from every direction at once.
  • Many of our days started off clear, but clouded over later in the morning as big clouds billowed up over the mountains behind us. The hottest part of the day was in the hours just before noon.The temperature data indicated that June was only marginally cooler than May despite us being in the middle of what is supposed to be our mid-year rainy season.
  • Total rainfall for the last 2 years in our area of Grand View Estates:
    • 2015 – 305.7 inches
    • 2014 – 208.2 inches (May through December)

Juan Miguel’s Volio de Cachí Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • map-CachiWe had 2 1/2 times as much rain in June as we did in May. Despite that, we still had 11 days without rain.
  • Usually, our daytime temps are pretty stable from day to day, but in June they were all over the place.
  • Our average overnight humidity was up to 97.5%  this month and the average daytime humidity was 62%. Daytime low humidity was 47% and daytime high was 94%.
  • Finca Update: Papua and Indonesia got a surprise of 10 new guineas that hatched this month. Sofía and Rosita are cranking out the milk. We’re getting 2 goatsmilkgallons a day currently.  That turns into a good bit of cheese. Also, I started a new renovation project wherein I was planning to raise the height of all the windows. (They were all at Tico height, so when I stood at the window, I had to crouch.) However,  I only raised half of them;  I razed the other half.  I had a brainstorm to knock out the whole wall out and make another terraza.  It’s a mess around here currently.
  • We had a small carnival come to town for a week.  It was our big excitement for the month.

Tim’s Escazú Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • Nice rain during June, well above average of other years. Total rainfall at the end of June is slightly above average as well. We had 11 days with no rain and three days with just a trace of rain.
  • The end of the month rain slowed down for the famous “Veranillo de San Juan,” or St. Johns’ Summer, which starts around June 24th which is John the Baptists day.
  • Agreeable temperature during the month.
  • If you are in the market for insurance — automotive, homeowners, liability or medical — contact us at Garrett Brokers, a family owned business that has serviced the expat community for more than 35 years.
  • Escazú County is one of 20 counties that make up the San Jose Metropolitan Area. It is west of the downtown San Jose area, with the Escazú mountains as its backdrop.

Costa Rica Weather Report for June 2016





Our Weatherguys and Weathergals

Our San Ramón Weatherguy, Paul Yeatman

Meteorology has been Paul’s lifelong hobby.  As a child, he devoured books about the weather and earth sciences vigorously. Later, he took a few college courses in meteorology, and still later, he served as a meteorologist for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  Now, Paul gets to practice his avocation in Costa Rica, albeit on a very small scale with just temperature and rainfall data, probably the two most important factors regarding the weather. He wanted to include weather info on our website to help people decide where to live, although weather is just one of many factors to consider in determining where to relocate. Current weather data is from our current home at about 3,000 ft. elevation and 10 minutes outside the town of San Ramón. Weather data prior to December 2012 is from our previous home at about 4,000 ft. elevation and 10 minutes outside the town of San Ramón.

Our Atenas Weatherguy, Lance Turlock

Lance and his wife, Diana, moved to Costa Rica over 4 years ago after living 30+ years in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (Vancouver and environs). They live in the Central Valley near the town of Atenas and are at an elevation of about 2700 feet. They have no need for air conditioning or heating. Overnight low temperatures are comfortably cool (low 60’s). Daytime highs can be relatively hot (high 80’s, low 90’s), but rarely uncomfortably hot.Lance started to keep track of daily temperatures and rainfall in order to have factual ammunition to help disabuse friends, relatives and acquaintances of any misconception that the weather must be like that of a tropical jungle.

Our Nuevo Arenal Weatherguy, John Nicholas

After many visits to Costa Rica, John and Cathy Nicholas moved from New York to Costa Rica in 1991.  They chose Arenal for its sacred, majestic beauty, its lush wildlife, its relaxing lifestyle, and its proximity to activities and sites such as the Volcano Arenal and the beaches. They own the B&B, Chalet Nicholas, which has been in operation since 1992. Temperatures and rainfall are measured at Chalet Nicholas which is located at approximately 2,200 ft. elevation and 1 mile west of the town of Nuevo Arenal.

Our Central Pacific (Quepos) Weatherguy, Lance Miller

LanceM2I was born in a very small town in northwest Iowa and raised on a farm. When I was 18, I joined the service, in which I spent 22 years before retiring in 1990. For the next twenty three years my family and I lived in south central Pennsylvania. After having a stroke in 2012, I was unable to work and that is when my wife and I began talking about retiring. Thanks to your newsletter and a website we found about San Isidro, we began looking at Costa Rica. We came down in March 2013 and looked around for a week. Went home, packed up, and moved here in April. We settled in a small village called Playa Matapalo which is located between Quepos and Dominical. We later moved to Quepos. The word Playa means beach. It is so nice to lie in bed and listen to the ocean. Pura Vida.

Gordon_photo_croppedOur Villa Nueva (10 minutes NW of San Isidro de El General) Weatherguy, Gordon Stanley

Gordon and his wife Bea moved here from Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada, where he used to track the correlation of the winter hoer frost and the spring/summer rains. After 30+ years as a Purchasing Agent for a retail lumber yard/Homes Manufacturing company, he decided to say “Adios” to the snow and ice. They arrived in Costa Rica Oct 2, 2014, and originally lived in Quebradus, which is 15 minutes NE of San Isidro de El General, but as of November 2015 now live in Villa Nueva, which is 10 minutes NW of the city.  They are at a altitude of about 800 meters, living in a rental house that friends built on their acreage.  The fruit trees are abundant, and in the rainy season the water in the nearby streams can be heard from their deck.  They overlook a beautiful valley, and enjoy watching the sun setting behind the hills every night!

SteveJohnsonOur San Rafael de Heredia Weatherguy, Steve Johnson

I’m a weather geek and have been recording daily weather data for the last 4 years in Concepcion de San Rafael de Heredia. We live at 5,000 ft. (1,500 meters) elevation, above San Rafael centro on a low ridge that comes off of Cerro Chompipe (between Barva Volcano and los Cerros de Zurqui). We have a 60 mile wide view from Turrialba Volcano east to somewhere around Cerro Turrubares west. I first lived in CR as a Peace Corps volunteer (1968-71), married a tica school teacher, and moved back to Costa Rica in 2009. My wife grew up in downtown San Rafael just three miles away, and the weather is quite different there. I am also an avid gardener and birder.

BonnieViningOur San Marcos de Tarrazu Weathergirl, Bonnie Vining

Bonnie, her husband Joe, and their dog Marley moved from Tucson, Arizona to Costa Rica in mid-2015. Bonnie was a CPA, turned software engineer with IBM for 20 years and later opened and operated a specialty coffee shop, founded a non-profit dedicated to connecting musicians with appreciative audiences, and managed a school district theatre. A self-professed “data geek”, she enjoys being our weathergirl while pursuing her other passions which include traveling, gardening, cooking, hiking, meeting people, and hanging out with Joe and Marley. They are enjoying retirement life in the town of Tinamastes in Perez Zeledon which lies at about 2475 ft. elevation, after moving from San Marcos (4,800 ft. elevation) in the heart of Costa Rica’s prime coffee-growing region.

Our El Cajón de Grecia Weathergirl, Irina JustIrina-with-mariposa-at-la-P

Born in Germany, Irina spent 40+ years in the USA (all on the Pacific coast) before she and her husband Jim moved to Costa Rica three years ago. For the 20 years prior, they owned and operated a vineyard in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, famous for award-winning pinot noir. During that time, it became critical to keep precise records of daily temperatures, rainfall and pertinent weather patterns to accurately forecast seasonal tasks, such as when to prune the grapes, when to harvest, when to protect them from an early or late frost. As little as one degree made the difference between a bountiful harvest – or a lost crop. After moving to el Cajón de Grecia, the Justs continued to take daily readings of temperatures and measurements of rainfall because they quickly discovered that the micro-climate in the foothills of Poás differs widely from the weather in nearby Grecia.

mike-wise-photoOur Grand View Estates (Siquirres) Weatherguy, Mike Wise

Carmen and Mike Wise, together with their 2 large dogs, drove to Costa Rica from Calgary, Alberta a little over 3 years ago. Carmen is a professional musician. She was a guest clinician at Suzuki workshops in Costa Rica for many years, so developed good friendships here. Their network of friends helped them ease into the Pura Vida life! They built their own home in the gated community of Grand View Estates. It is located about 9km ESE of Siquirres, at an elevation of 200m. Their home has expansive views out to the Caribbean. Although the climate is tropical rain forest, it never gets too hot. They don’t need air conditioning. They run a small bed and breakfast (see Mike still works as a financial advisor, serving his Canadian clients. Telephone, email and Internet, supplemented by occasional trips back to Calgary, make living and working in a remote location possible. He does his own research and writes a quarterly newsletter Investing Wisely (see

JMArthurHeadshotOur Volio de Cachí (Orosi Valley) Weatherguy, John Michael Arthur

Mike uses the moniker Juan Miguel in Costa Rica. He and his partner, Michael, both native Texans, moved to Costa Rica a year and a half ago and they have never looked back.  Mike spent thirty years practicing medicine as a Family Practitioner in his hometown near Dallas.  The retirement destination was quickly narrowed down to Costa Rica and, after three years, they found a 3 1/2 acre farm complete with a river in the Orosi Valley.  Mike spends his life now as what one of his heroes, Thomas Jefferson, called a “gentleman farmer.” Days are spent tending to the over 125 fruit trees in the orchard, milking the goats for homemade ice cream and cheeses, gathering eggs from the chickens, ducks, and geese and turkeys and like Jefferson, creating special nurseries for monitoring and recording the best vegetable and flower results, and finding creative ways to use the river and land.

Photo-Tim-GarrettOur Escazú Centro (Barrio Los Profesores) Weatherguy, Tim Garrett

Tim Garrett was born in Costa Rica, and with an international background, with strong European and Latin American influence.  He loves spending time outdoors with whatever activity that comes his way. He works as General Manager of Garrett Brokers (, a family owned insurance broker, that has serviced the expat community for more than 35 years. They handle Automobile, Homeowners, Liability, Medical insurance and more. Garrrett Brokers, where both English and Spanish are spoken, is even a stop on the Retire for Less Ultimate Healthcare Tour.

Related Articles:


Top 10 list of pros and cons of Container House Living

On a budget? Want to live simply? Like the idea of tiny houses? Check out this article by Jimmy Lee of And take a look at the end of the article for information about two container homes for sale right here in Costa Rica.

JimmyLeeContainer House Living

by Jimmy Lee, ContainerHomes.Net

What is it like to live in a shipping container home?

Not a 4-6 giant container home, but a single unit. A 20ft or a 40ft container. This would be a “Tiny-House” experience. The size of your container home matters. Firsthand, you need to minimize and then minimize again. Don’t bring your giant luggage bags, just travel with plastic garbage bags. Just kidding! But not really, there is no room for your giant bags in a small 20ft, 160q/ft box.

Here is the list of Pros:

1. Your house is portable, if you decide to sell it or move it.

2. The re-sell value will stay the same and/or most likely increase. Then you can sell it and move it.

containerhome3. Its a steel security box. This is great if you plan to leave it for several months.

4. The roof can be stacked up for a second or third floor, or used as a roof top deck.

5. When you set it down on it’s foundation you can create extra space underneath for  storage.

6. You can fit your car or truck into one. This is great if you need to leave your car for several months.

7. No leaks in the roof for about 75 years. If you buy a new one, or one in great condition.

8. You can weld things all over it. Inside, you can weld shelves and hinges for beds,etc. Outside you can weld metal for fences and even weld a swing set to the side.

9. You can use them as building blocks, like legos.

10. There are hundreds of thousands of these containers for sale worldwide.

List of Cons:

1. They are very small.

2. They are loud to live in.

3. They conduct electricity, so hire a good electrician.

4. The roofs collect water and will rust then leak. So buy a new one. Or put a roof over it.

5. They get very hot and very cold. So insulate, put a roof over it and paint in with a white reflective paint.

6. There is no storage space. So build your beds on top of draws.

“Thats it!

More Pros then Cons!

So contact us!

Jimmy Lee

James Lee has lived in San Ramon, Costa Rica for 17 years. He is a Chiropractor and Container Home Builder. He has built over 27 projects in the past 11 years. Located in La Union, San Ramon de Alajuela, Costa Rica.


Our Ultimate CR Healthcare Tour

We are proud to offer the Ultimate Healthcare Tour of Costa Rica. When asked what he liked best about our healthcare tour, one of our guests wrote, “the wide variety of places we saw, the experts that Paul HCTOUR_030arranged for us to meet and talk with, and an emphasis on all aspects of health, not just doctors and hospitals. Mental health is just as important as physical, if not more so.”HCTOUR_008

We’ve lived in Costa Rica for over seven years and have used the Caja, Costa Rica’s public healthcare system extensively, as well as the private system, when needed. We’ve learned the system and have been referred up the ladder to see specialists in the maze that is the Caja system. Gloria’s even had surgery here.

Our blend of personal insights and on-the-ground experience combines to answer your questions about whether or not Costa Rica’s healthcare system could meet your individual needs.


But, while it is focused on healthcare, you will learn a lot more about living and retiring in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. Most of the second day of the tour takes place in the town of San Ramón where we live and use the services. And you will come to our home for lunch that day to listen to two presentations.

Our tour is designed to save you both time and money, packing a lot of information into a short period of time. Our goal is to show you the possibilities and to try to demystify Costa Rica’s healthcare system. Our tour lasts two days and 1 night and includes lodging, transportation, meals and non-alcoholic beverages.

Sample Itinerary

You’ll visit:

  • At least two private hospitals in San Jose area
  • Hospital Mexico, the largest and best public hospital (they even do open heart surgeries there)HospitalMexico
  • An insurance broker for a presentation on the various supplemental health insurance options, including public, private, and international plans
  • A senior living retirement community
  • CPI language school for a presentation about how learning Spanish increases your options for healthcare and some basic medical Spanish.
  • Our local hospital here in San Ramón
  • A local EBAIS (community clinic)
  • The office of our dentist in San Ramón
  • A local Seguro Social office where you would sign up for the Caja (national healthcare coverage)
  • A pharmacy
  • A local feria (farmer’s market) where you will see the abundance of fresh food available.
  • The local Cruz Roja (Red Cross) to learn about their services and programs.
  • A health food store (macrobiotica), and more!


You’ll learn:

  • If the Costa Rican healthcare system could meet your needs and put your mind to rest, once and for all, about this sensitive subject.
  • About the public system and how it works, about the private healthcare system, and how you can use a combination of both to your advantage.
  • About the EBAIS – where healthcare starts in Costa Rica.
  • Approximately how much you would pay for Caja.
  • About medical tourism in Costa Rica.
  • About home health care in Costa Rica.

Prices: $650 for a couple, $550 for a single.
Please contact us if you are interested in booking a tour. Space is limited.

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Featured Property – Lake Arenal: Hot Deal on Beautiful 3BR 2BA Home-$89,900

rs1600076_img-8_largeListing ID:RS1600076


Location: Nuevo Arenal, Arenal, Tilarán, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
View Type: Garden View, Mountain View
Elevation: 518.16 m (1,700.00 ft)

rs1600076_img-7_largeTotal Lot Size:602.72 m² (6,487.60 sq ft)
Total Living Area:115.00 m² (1,237.84 sq ft)

Interior Features Included: Handicap Accessible, Natural Wood Finishing
Exterior Features Included: Fence, Fenced Yard, Garden, Patio
Security Features: Gated

Floor Type: Tile
rs1600076_img-14_largeYear Built: 2008
Parking Type: Attached Garage
Number of Parking Spaces: 3
Telephone: Yes
Internet Types: DSL Internet
Television Types: High Def. Satellite TV

This house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms is located in Nuevo Arenal, rs1600076_img_largeGuanacaste Costa Rica, in the county of Tilarán. This countryside and mountain property with garden and mountain views is situated in the rain forest of Costa Rica. The land area of this house is 602.72 square meter (6,487.60 square feet), and it has a living space of 115.00 square meter (1,237.84 square feet).




Listing ID# RS1600076

Click here for more photos and to contact the realtor for this property.

Though we recommend you rent, rent, rent when you move to Costa Rica, we realize that some folks will still choose to buy, either early on or after they’ve been here for a while. We recommend purchasing properties under $150,000 because they are both easier to buy and easier to sell. Though we are not realtors, we work with trusted realtors who have many other properties in this price range available. The homes we feature are just a sample of the properties the realtors we work with have, both above and below $150,000.

Click here to check out our other properties under $150,000 and read about what to do before you buy.


Study Spanish During Your Costa Rica Vacation:  Fun, Language, & Culture in One!

Still looking to book your vacation? As many know, Costa Rica is safe, easily accessible with direct flights from several airports, including European hubs, and only a few hours from Newark, Dallas, Houston, or Miami. Currently more than 10 different airlines are flying daily to Costa Rica:  Southwest, United, American Airlines, Jet Blue, Delta, Alaska Airlines, Spirit, WestJet, Interjet, Frontier, Sun Country Airlines, and EXTRAirways-AppleVacations.


Once you’ve settled on Costa Rica, the next easy step is registering with our top-notch CPI Spanish Immersion program — your best option to maximize your 1 week or more vacation – fun, language and culture all in one!

Take a well deserved break. We at CPI Spanish Immersion Costa Rica are here to help you with either last minute arrangements OR for your future vacation!

Click here for all the info and to contact CPI Admissions.

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