What’s the Best and the Worst Costa Rica has to Offer?


What’s the Best and the Worst Costa Rica has to Offer?

Having lived in Costa Rica for eight years I can tell you from experience about the best things Costa Rica has to offer.  First is the weather.  Yes we have a rainy season -May thru mid December and a dry season mid-December through April.  We get lots of rain in the rainy season, always rains in the afternoons and that’s why Costa Rica is so lush  and green.  The dry season brings sun and the many flowers burst with hundreds of colorful blooms.  People get out more and everyone seems to be smiling.

Next, Costa Rica has plenty of drinking water.  And for the most part it is good water.  It comes out of the natural springs of the mountainsides and flows down into the valleys.

The soil of Costa Rica is very fertile and with the help of plentiful rainfall,  crops can be grown year round.  So you never would suffer from hunger.  Bananas grow wild, so do may other types of tropical fruit.

Warm friendly ticos are one of Costa Rica’s greatest assets.  They genuinely like North Americans.  And many speak English, esp the youth of Costa Rica.

Life is slow and easy here.  No one gets in a hurry, until they get behind the wheel of an automobile and then esp the male population changes their personality  and become aggressive and act in unintelligent manner.

If you like outdoor recreation, it is abundant here from the mountains to the beaches.

Medical care is good.  I have a private insurance and use the Cima Hospital in Escazu.  Cost is much less that the medical care in the USA.  Costa Rica has a gov. run health care system but people I spoke to who use it says it is slow and many times not  efficient.

If you have children, in the central valley of San Jose you will find very good private schools for elementary as well as high school.   University education is very good, esp the University of Costa Rica located in San Jose.

So now,  in my opinion, what are  the worst aspects of Costa Rica?  If I had a magic wand to solve the biggest problem I would say it is crime.  Petty thieves are the worst problem,  you really have to watch out for your belongings esp cameras, purses, etc.   When I first came to Costa Rica and saw all the homes with bars on the windows, I was very puzzled, but soon learned why these bars are needed.  Unfortunately,  lately the criminals are becoming more sophisticated and aggressive  now some of them have guns.  The police force doesn’t  seem to be  strong enough  and seem inadequate in controlling crime.

Many foreigners, as well as the Costa Ricans,  live in gated communities where they feel safe.   There is a guard at the gate to monitor who comes and goes.

Patience is a virtue you cannot be without.   Things  just do not get done fast here in Costa Rica.  Mostly due to the massive bureaucracy.   And you will need an attorney to help muddle thru it.

Cars are expensive here in Costa Rica.  Because the gov. puts a steep tax on automobiles, and they are expensive to run due to the poor roads which have a lot of potholes.

Yes, the roads in general need upgrading and do have potholes.  Many roads in the remote areas require a 4×4 vehicle.

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