We have been offering customized relocation and retirement tours of Costa Rica since 2009. Click here for details.
Here are some of the reviews we have received:
“We planned a special custom trip with Gloria and Paul for our second trip to Costa Rica. We were thinking of moving to the area from the U.S. and wanted to gather all of the information that we could. Beforehand they reached out and asked us if we had any specific areas we would like to address. We mentioned that we have 2 young, school aged children and that we would likely volunteer in the area. We didn’t expect that Paul and Gloria would be able to address the young child aspect given that their website and experience is centered around retirees, but we knew we wanted them to show us around anyway. We liked how open they were on their blog and we thought their advice was thoughtful and practical.
Paul picked us up right on time (maybe even early!) for our adventure. What followed was an incredible day of relaxed, friendly conversation and experiences expertly tailored to our anticipated needs. They were spot on. We met kind people who invited us into their homes and gave detailed tours (there’s no polite way to ask to see inside bedroom closets; I am thankful that they were warmly included). We were impressed when we met a family with a delightful, bright 10 year old who shared with us her schoolwork and even a previous test so we could get an idea of what our kids would be facing. And around town, Paul couldn’t drive far without sharing warm greeting with Tico friends.
We were touched by the thoughtfulness of Paul and Gloria and by those who so generously let us peek into their homes and lives. We felt we met our new friends. We know where we’re going to bank, pay our bills, purchase medication and where to go when we get the sniffles. I know where I’m going to volunteer, where I’m going to beat my husband at paddle ball, and which parks we will stroll with our kids in tow. All of this, discovered in 1 a day tour that was expertly and intimately planned.
Gloria and Paul have continued to be helpful friends even after the tour. They’ve sent us articles in response to questions and most recently Gloria reached out to show us that there was a private school fair and even attached a recent article ranking Costa Rica’s private schools.
Paul and Gloria went above and beyond during their trip and have continued to make sure we have what we need before our move. I have to admit that as much as my husband was originally enthusiastic about the tour, I had to be convinced. Luckily, it was, hands down, the best decision we (he?) made. I could have spent weeks scouring the town and I still wouldn’t have the information nor the type of positive experiences that Paul and Gloria fit into 1 day.
Thank you, Paul and Gloria. I know I will have friends here when we move, and you made the idea of moving here accessible and far less intimidating. We are deeply grateful and indebted to your kindness. You both went above and beyond during the tour and continue to do so to this day. If you have the good fortune to meet Paul and Gloria through a tour, they will give to you the best type of gift: the one you didn’t know you needed. And, if you’re like us, it’s a gift that we now can’t live without. “
Sara & Ian T.
“Donna and I just finished the medical tour that Paul and Gloria (Retire For Less in Costa Rica) offer. It was excellent! Two days of information and tours around hospitals and clinics as well as educational and cultural centers and even information on some of the banking. The tour is designed to introduce a new arrival to the Costa Rican system of health care that includes, not just the body but the whole person. I highly recommend this tour to anyone that is new, or relatively new in country, especially to the people that live in and around the central valley. Paul taylors the two days to the groups needs as far as their ability, including any and all physical limitations, and his own experience and contacts with the people at the various institutions makes this tour extremely personable and pleasurable. It is a really great opportunity to learn more about the health care and how you can tailor it to your own needs, and learn more about what is available to enhance your experience while living in Costa Rica.”
David and Donna H.
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the fact that I could have one of your personalized tours around San Ramon and area.
It was so interesting to meet all of those expat contacts of yours, many of whom have lived there for a number of years and others who were just settling in. It was inspiring to see the many and varied ways in which they are organizing their lives and finding ways to be productively involved in their communities.
Since I was mainly interested I rental options (as opposed to buying,) I’m glad I got an idea of some of what is available out there.
The “walk about” in San Ramon was kind of fun because I got to watch Paul “in action” so to speak. It was cool to see how he has connected with so many people in the community and was bumping into someone he knew about every half block or so!
Even though Health Stuff was not my main area of interest I did find I learned a lot of useful information from you two about that and about banking in Costa Rica as well.
It was also good to find out about cultural events and even to attend an Oboe Concert while in San Ramon.
A tour like yours was very helpful even in cases like mine where I speak Spanish fluently and have had experience living in Latin America, because you are showing so many of the specifics of living in Costa Rica.
Thanks for a fun, informative time!”
“Outstanding authenticity on Health Care Tour, Folks! Great Company. It’d be great to emulate yours, and experience some of that lifestyle, soon enough…I hope.
Thanks for a great local experience!”
“I know Paul is tired after the two day tour. His Grecia restaurant choice was good—we never expected to find good Mexican food in CR! Seriously, there was a lot of information. We appreciate it all.
We really enjoyed the people we met. Especially around San Ramon. Steve and John were incredible and seem like they have endless energy. In Grecia, Annie and Frank were true prizes. I can see why you and Paul think so much of them. We really liked them and think it’s great everything they’ve done and are doing.
The key is we met a lot of great people. They certainly aren’t just “hanging around until it’s over” in CR- they are making lives and an impact. We think that’s great!
The touring around towns was great! We really learned a lot just walking around town, walking into shops, markets, and culture centers, and just getting a feel. To give you one example, after we had driven through San Ramon a couple times last year we were sort of afraid to get out of our car and walk around. After spending the day walking around with Paul we would have no trouble living there and would not be afraid at all. In fact, we are now only considering two places in CR- Atenas and San Ramon (though we would bop to Grecia, San Ramon, and Palmares to go out for day trips and noshing around).
At any rate, thank you very much for the tour. Thank you very much for all the information. We both really enjoyed the days and learned a lot about Costa Rica.”
T and B
“This is Mike from Portland, Maine with whom you met 3 years ago on my visit with you to take part in a tour of San Ramón. I was there for a tour of the Central Valley, but It was a week or so before Paul launched his medical tours and I think I was the “trial run” so too speak as I saw several clinics and hospitals. At one point Paul opened a door in the waiting room of a hospital and several patients looked up, saw these two gringos staring at them, well Paul started speaking in Spanish and within seconds he had those folks laughing as though he was Johnny Carson (does that show my age?)
I really enjoyed my time with Paul that day, from the barbershop, to the local Red Cross office, to his car mechanic and his favorite little restaurant on the second floor of a building downtown San Ramon…I’m so happy for you guys following your dreams and living the life many others only wish they could have.
All the best too you both. Stay safe, stay healthy.”
This is a very overdue THANK YOU for our Healthcare Tour last month. It’s hard to believe we’ve been home almost a month as we have been so busy!
Paul did such an amazing job showing us the many options for health care in Costa Rica. His inside knowledge of the workings of the public and private systems was invaluable to us, and gave us the confidence to begin planning our move to Costa Rica.
We also very much appreciate your organizing skills and communication leading up to our tour. The lunch in San Ramon was also very informative (and delicious) and we were happy to have met Steve and learned about the Community Action Alliance and all it is doing for the San Ramon area. We also appreciated the opportunity to go furniture shopping with you! A real-world lesson for the future.
Since returning home, our heads have been spinning with all of the information we learned from you both. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge with us, and for taking us on a great tour. We hope to see you again.”
Cheryl and Mike C.
The tour was excellent!!!!!!
Now I know who I want to be when I grow up,…..The bilingual dude with a thousand friends. Not kidding. Paul was amazing.
Hasta luego y Pura Vida.”
“Let me just start by saying the best thing that could have ever happened to us was meeting Paul and Gloria Yeatman at the International Living conference in San Jose last year. We just came back home to the States after another two week adventure. It was a dual purpose trip. We came to check out the San Ramon area as a retirement haven as well as take care of some medical issues. We could not have accomplished as much as we did without the kindness of Paul and Gloria to start the ball rolling for us. They lined us up with a hotel, doctors, and of course tours. We do not feel they only see things through rose colored glasses. To put it simply, they really are just honest and gracious hosts whose love of Costa Rica and the Tico lifestyle just radiates from them.
On our first day, Paul gave us a tour of San Ramon so we would be familiar with where we needed to go to take care of business. We ate lunch at “Paul’s famous $1.00 lunch spot.” The food was tasty and the price was right. Can’t beat that! The whole town is only 14 square blocks so everything is within foot range. NO CAR REQUIRED – a big plus in our book! We also stopped by their friend, John’s, place and were entertained by his little buddy Scrappy. Next stop was the cabinas where we met Caesar (“best landlord in the whole country”) and Realtor Frank, who was only too happy to offer his assistance in finding us a nice little rental niche to plant roots.
The second tour was a little farther up in the mountains above the cloud forest to the beautiful little town of Zarcero, also known as “little Switzerland”, with its delightful animal shaped topiary garden in front of a gorgeous newly restored old church. There we met expats Tom and Marsha and had a nice visit at their home.
Gloria also treated us to one of her gourmet dinners one evening: Mediterranean style pasta, salad, homemade bread and key lime pie for dessert. Yum! Yum! We met yet another expat couple, Dean and Randi, along with Paul, the “monkey man,” next door. John also joined us for dinner, and a good time was had by all. It turns out Dean and Randi used to be involved in road racing back in the US the same as my husband and I. Need I say, we hit it off instantly.
Now as for the medical side of things, we were very impressed. We had absolutely no qualms about seeing doctors in a foreign country, and we totally trusted Paul and Gloria’s recommendations. Living on Social Security, we can no longer afford health care in the US. We first saw Dra. Maria Hernandez, general practitioner at Grupo Medal, and met her husband Johann who runs the business end. Dra. Hernandez was very accommodating. She made it a point to see us at 7:00 a.m. due to a medical commitment in San Jose where she spent the rest of the day. She examined both of us and spent an hour of her time discussing our issues and charged us a mere $60.00 with three FREE follow-up visits – unheard of back in the US! She changed my husband’s sleep medicine which has made quite an improvement, and she also referred him to a local gastroenterologist for further evaluation of stomach problems. When we left, she gave us a reassuring hug and kiss on the cheek and we reciprocated.
Dr. Sergio, the gastroenterologist, performed a gastroscopy and colonoscopy with three biopsies for a grand total of $560.00 including a FREE follow-up consultation – again unheard of in the US! It would have cost us at least four times as much here. Dr. Sergio’s office is new and immaculate with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. I watched both procedures on a flat screen TV, no different than here in the US. The biggest and most important difference is that these doctors have a genuine concern for their patients and will take time to listen. Dr. Sergio reassured us several times to go back home and not worry. Everything has been taken care of. That is peace of mind! We will not hesitate to use either one of these doctors again. Oh yes, Dr. Sergio and I both have family in Toronto and he is a big Bluejays fan. Our nephew is a pitcher for the team. That just raised the comfort level up a notch.
Once again, Paul and Gloria were generous enough to pick us up at the hotel and take us to the clinic and sit with meduring the procedures. Afterwards we all celebrated with breakfast at Aroma Cafe. Our stay at the La Posada Hotel was excellent as well. Jaime (owner) and his staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome, all the way from his daughters serving breakfast to the cleaning crew. The room was very clean, with beautiful locally-hand-carved wood furnishings and modern fixtures in the bathroom. Since we had an extended stay for medical reasons, they even offered us free laundry service and a discounted room rate for the second week. At $60.00 per night, it was a bargain. We highly recommend it for anyone heading that way. Miriam at the front desk is such a sweetheart. She could not do enough for us. Not a day went by that we did not stop by and chat with her. If we were tired from our daily trekking around town, she would call and order dinner for us, and a friendlyTico on a motorbike would deliver it shortly thereafter. She was a great wealth of information about the area being a Tico herself. She also lived in the US for a few years and knows exactly where we are coming from. It didn’t take her long to realize that Tico life is the good life.
Costa Rica is our kind of place. The people are laid back and it doesn’t take a lot to make them happy. We can’t wait to get back there. All in all, this whole trip and the Tico culture immersion was a very positive experience for us. Period. Paul and Gloria helped us find exactly what we were looking for and more. We can’t thank them enough for everything they have done, and I am sure we will be expat friends for life.
Looking forward to calling the land of Pura Vida and tranquilo home.”
Kyle and Diane B.
“Thank you so much. The medical tour was fabulous and really cleared up complexities. It provided lots of options and paths for us to take when we arrive.”
We are still talking about what an amazing time we had with you and Gloria. We accomplished so much more than we imagined was possible in one two-week trip. Our dream of moving to Costa Rica is now a solid reality. We know where we want to live. We have a house. We have so many new expat friends, and even a Spanish teacher we both like. All of this is thanks to you and your fabulous guidance. You are doing so much more than acting as a guide. You have saved us months of time, thousands of dollars. Your help means that we will have a successful and facilitated beginning in our new country.
The tour the first day was so much fun. Finally getting to see Escazu, Santa Anna, Rohmeser. Places we had only read about. The delightful visit to your friends Dom and Alisa’s house where we were generously fed and had lots of questions answered on their patio overlooking the mountains, with the sounds of bird calls filling the air. That was quite an introduction to the possibilities of building a good life in Escazu.
We really enjoyed the ride all the way up to the top of the mountain, when we looked down we were both strongly reminded of Maui. We liked having a casado for lunch at Laly’s. We think that getting our cell phone hooked up with your help was the high point of our visit to Santa Anna, though we did not expect the service to include that.
We surprised ourselves by liking Grecia. We thought a city would be most interesting, but we liked small towns better when we were there on the ground. It was how much fun we had that day with you and Gloria that made us decide to go spend a few days in San Ramon.
Our best decision was to contact you, our second good decision was to go to San Ramon. You and Gloria even drove us to the grocery store and helped us get set up in the cabina. We met so many good people, and the first dinner on your porch was a magical evening. You introduced us to Johann so we felt sure we had a good Spanish teacher. We are both looking forward to learning Spanish. The day at the beach, swimming feeding the monkeys was what we were hoping to find. The day trip to Tortuga Island was such a great bargain. Good boat, happy crew, and all so affordable.
Dinner the last night before we left was the best meal we had en Costa Rica. Gloria is an outstanding cook. We are looking forward to our return.
The Costa Rica you showed us is accessible, affordable, and full of opportunity for us to build a new life and new community. You shared so much of the structure and groundwork that you have already done. We will enjoy joining the Community Action Alliance and the active expat community in San Ramon. Our beginning in Costa Rica is going to be completely different than what we planned, and so much better.
You provide so much. we would strongly recommend your services as guides. If after reading the Retire For Less In Costa Rica website people feel a sense of agreement with your philosophy they will greatly benefit from your services. Thank you both for all your work and assistance. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.”
Lorca W. and Robert C.
“…The second testimonial we would like to give is for Paul Yeatman. You introduced us to him and Gloria as people of quality. On your tour we found two places we felt comfortable. One was Grecia. After the tour we wanted to go back and spend a little time looking about. In talking with Paul, while still in your hands, we discovered he would be available to show us around the area.
With very little notice Paul put together a detailed itinerary that met our needs exactly. We looked at rental units and properties that were for sale. We viewed a wide spectrum of housing options and had the chance to meet some wonderful expats living in the area. We found Paul’s thoughts, ideas, advice and explanations to be complete, objective and well reasoned. At all times his approach was relaxed and we found him extremely companionable. But more than that he conducted himself to the highest standards of professionalism. He never forgot our objectives or our goals and everything without exception was tailored to our needs.
In short, Paul provided everything we needed to further our due diligence. We can’t thank you enough for introducing him to us and we can’t recommend Paul Yeatman highly enough. As a tour guide he was everything we could possibly want and more.”
Kevin and Roxanne R.
“Just wanted to tell Paul how nice it was to see him the other day. (Your tour guests) were very nice people. Of course they had a very good tour guide. I also want to thank Paul for all his help in finding us our house in Grecia. My friend Meg and I enjoyed being with you and seeing what was available in the San Ramon and Grecia area. Paul, you showed us all kinds of places, and of course when I saw this one that did it. Bob and I have really enjoyed being here and we owe it all to you. Again thank you, thank you.”
“Our first visit to Costa Rica in April of 2010 was a 4-day tour of the Central Valley. On the tour we zeroed in on the area in which we had the most interest, centering on San Ramon. We were only able to spend a half day in San Ramon on the 4-day tour, so after the tour ended we hired Paul Yeatman to take us on a 2-day excusion. He secured us a cabina where we stayed for the next 3 nights and we began to explore the city, concentrating on services such as the hospital, pharmacies, stores, super markets and restaurants. Paul was very helpful in introducing us to key people in the area, who all made us feel welcome. After we had toured the city and surrounding area, we decided to spend a day at the beach. Paul was happy to take us to Playa Dona Ana, Esterillos and other beaches. We found Paul and his wife Gloria to be gracious hosts, and we decided that we wanted to stay in the cabinas where they live. We have been living here for 3 months now and are elated with our new environment and new friends. I highly recommend Retire For Less in Costa Rica tours to anyone who is planning to retire here.”
George and Gail H.
And here are some endorsements of our website and newsletters:
“Hi. I want to thank you for your newsletter and let you know how helpful it has been for me. Several years back I started researching for a retirement destination for my husband and I. We did not want to stay in the States. Your newsletter helped with so much information that helped us. Two years ago we made our move here to Atenas. We couldn’t be more happy. Thank you for you dedication and time put into your newsletters.”
“My husband and myself would like to take the time to thank both of you for putting out great information and staying grounded. We have been following a couple of people for information on Costa Rica and recently have been turned off by the others. Like the others you have many followers because of the quality of the information that you put out. Unlike the others you two haven’t decided that you are “stars” and suddenly started acting as if you need security where ever you go. Thank you for leaving the Brad and Angie out of your articles and leaving all the amazing amounts of top quality information people need. I really love that you give so much of your own personal experiences and information. It really makes it easy for us to see what it will take for us to move there. Quality people put out quality work.”
“Love how the posts here are never sugar-coated. We always get to hear the good and the bad!”
“So happy to find your site! My fiance and I are in the process of buying property (Santa Teresa on the Nicoya peninsula) with an eye toward retiring there in several years. Your site is a god-send!
Pura Vida and saludos!”
I have been following your blog for several months as I was trying to decide whether to spend my winter in Mexico or Costa Rica. Your newsletter has been a tremendous resource for me as I attempted to come to a decision.
I have now been in Monteverde since October 30 – your observations regarding the Ticos is spot on. They are friendly, generous people. I have never had a problem with my muy basico espanol. There is always somebody close by to help with the communication.
Your monthly newsletter is the most in depth source of information that I have encountered. When friends ask me about Costa Rica – I direct them to your newsletter. Everything that you need to know is in there.
Happy New Year, from a Canadian glad to be away from the ice, snow and frigid temps of the Great White North!”
Love reading your articles! I have no doubt that you would find happiness anywhere you went! Love your open-minded, positive attitude :)”
“Hi Gloria and Paul,
I have been enjoying your newsletters, articles via International Living, website and the presentation you gave at the November Fast Track 2012. Thanks so much for being so “transparent” with your spending and budget, it has really helped Gene (my hubby) and me to get a better sense of the real cost of living. I love your down to earth advice for a simple and worry free life. :)”