Places to Retire in Costa Rica

May 08, 2023 By Susan Kelly

Retirees moving to Costa Rica from the United States may be pleasantly surprised by the country's low cost of living. For more than four decades, our nation has served as a desirable location for those planning to retire in another country. Think of these best places to retire in Costa Rica:


On the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, at the southern point of the Nicoya Peninsula, lies a sleepy little town called Montezuma. The last few kilometers going into town are unpaved, meaning you will be jostled about in your vehicle as it travels down a road full of potholes. The advantages of this secluded location are that one has more solitude, and the natural beauty is mostly untouched. The beaches are composed of sand in some parts and rocks in others, but they are all picturesque and backed by thick vegetation in every location.

Rivers and swimming holes formed by nature may also be found in Montezuma. There are a few waterfalls, the tallest of which is around 25 meters (nearly 80 feet). The Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve was the first protected area in the nation and is widely regarded as one of the finest locations on the planet from which to see seabirds, capuchin monkeys, jungle cats, and white-nosed coatis. If your ideal retirement lifestyle includes scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing trips, this coastline is an excellent location to consider. The selection of restaurants, cafes, and even a grocery store in Montezuma is somewhat limited but rather good.

Santa Teresa and Mal País

Santa Teresa and Mal País are two villages that can be found on the Nicoya Peninsula. These two towns are joined by a length of sand that is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The waves around this shore are famous for their surfing. The local surfing community has been a driving force behind the growth of the area's infrastructure and services, changing what was once a fishing town into an up-and-coming alternative for retirement for those who like the beach.

This location is also a paradise for food lovers. The high-profile surfing population has brought in chefs of world-class caliber, several of whom have created restaurants that are competitive internationally. However, this region of Costa Rica continues to be a good option for travelers on a budget. It would be possible for a couple to retire here for less than $1,500 a month. The most significant disadvantage is restricted access. A dirt road connects Santa Teresa with Mal Pa's; however, during the dry season, the road is full of potholes and dust, and during the rainy season, the road is muddy and may sometimes be inaccessible.


On the coast of Guanacaste Province in the far northwest of Costa Rica lies the beach town of Tamarindo, which is quite popular with expats. Surfers paved the way for Tamarindo to thrive and establish its current prominence. Tamarindo has more than two miles of beach with smooth sand, and the waves that break there are outstanding quality.

Nowadays, the region is a favorite destination for all kinds of foreigners, especially retirees. Because of its popularity, Tamarindo is more costly than other towns of a similar size and kind in Costa Rica. The prices of housing, eating, and grocery are equivalent to those in smaller cities and towns in the United States. In addition to the area's natural beauty and its residents' welcoming nature, Tamarindo offers a diverse selection of restaurants, convenience stores, surf shops, and other types of businesses.


This hamlet in the northwestern corner of Costa Rica is located at a high elevation and has a pleasant climate, making it an ideal location for ecotourism. The cloud forest is often regarded as one of the most impressive natural attractions in Costa Rica. The amazing biodiversity that it maintains is a testament to its importance. This forest is home to tens of thousands of different kinds of insects, hundreds of different kinds of birds and mammals, and more than 2,500 different kinds of plants, including 420 different kinds of orchids.

Monteverde is located at an elevation of 4,662 feet and has a climate comparable to the Pacific Northwest. The average annual temperature is around 65 degrees, with abundant yearly precipitation. This area is considered one of the most productive agricultural districts in Costa Rica. Farmers are responsible for producing garlic, flax, dairy products, and coffee. If you are looking for a peaceful, isolated lifestyle in which you can easily forget about the world's problems, Monteverde is an excellent location to consider for retirement.

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