Why We Chose Costa Rica
People often ask, “Why did you choose Costa Rica?” In answer, we often cite the following:
- Stable democracy since 1821 (this may be the biggest factor of all).
- The people are warm and welcoming.
- Can drink water in 95% of the country. In some countries, like Mexico, it’s bottled water all the way.
- Energy self-sufficient (85% hydroelectric, plus wind and geo-thermal energy)
- Improving infrastructure (roads, communications, etc.) – we’ve seen many improvements since we’ve lived here.
- High literacy rate (97%)
- 20% of the population speaks English, with the goal of being a bilingual country
- Excellent and cheap transportation system
- No Army so defense funds go to other areas
- Freedom without major restrictions to do, say, and be what you like
- Good national universal healthcare system and affordable private healthcare
- The weather in the Central Valley is outstanding, with comfortable spring-like temperatures. Take a look at our weather data articles for specifics.
- Costa Rica is SAFER, and has a lower crime rate, than some of its neighbors, with 12.1 homicides per 100,000.
- It’s a small country, 51,100 sq km (19,730 sq mi) – twice the size of the state of Maryland and just under the size of West Virginia
A BIG advantage of Costa Rica is its small size. Matter of fact, it’s downright tiny, but good things come in small packages. It’s the third smallest country in Central America, measuring only 464 km (288 miles) in length, N–S , by 274 km (170 miles) in width, E–W.
This is not a disadvantage but rather a big advantage. Because it’s small, everything is convenient, usually just hours away. One can actually drive from coast to coast in about 6 hours. When I lived in Puebla, Mexico, it took me 8 hours just to get to Acapulco. I loved living in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, but it was a long way to the beach, and as a whole, it was a lot more congested. Here, especially if you live in the Central Valley – where 70% of the population lives — everything is close, almost no matter where you live.