After 6 years we no longer live in Costa Rica because we didn't like it and moved back to the USA.

There will be a book later this year and so make a note to come back here in several months to look for it. In the book I outline all the problems that led us to leave Costa Rica, and also give tips as to how to be happier in Costa Rica if - after reading my book - you still want to move there.

I will tell you here now that Costa Rica is not for everyone. There are certainly those who love living there. And there are also a lot - up to 50% it is said - who move back home after 2 or more years.

I will give some main reasons here but if you really plan to move there I hope you will read my book when it comes out, for more about the many reasons you may not like it there.

Here are some of the main reasons you may want to reconsider MOVING TO COSTA RICA:


    I thought driving was dangerous in the USA. I guess it is dangerous everywhere.
    But in Costa Rica it is ridiculously dangerous! For several reasons:
    A. The Transito (Transit) Police often do not enforce driving and parking laws so people drive and park very dangerously.
    B. Drivers often pass on blind curves, blind hills and other double yellow line situations!
    C. People often park right in the middle of the street instead of over to the side, sometimes even forcing you to pass their parked car on a blind curve or hill!Or they drive way too fast in areas that are marked for 20mph like downtown or in heavily populated areas.
    D. People often don't stay in their own lane on very narrow roads or drive too fast on a narrow dirt road. I was run off the road once by a huge truck barreling towards me on a narrow dirt road on the way home!
    E. Trucks will sometimes barrel towards you on a mountain road curve in YOUR lane. Why? The lanes are not wide enough for a big truck to otherwise make the turn. You're just supposed to expect it! We were almost killed several times by this method. (Suicide by driving!)
    A. This also has to do with Driving. 
    Sometimes the rain or fog is so thick you can't see a thing. On a narrow mountain road this is treacherous. I was literally almost killed or injured in a wreck at least half a dozen times in rain and fog where I could not see 6 feet in any direction, least of all the road in front of me!
    After this happened several times I was afraid to drive any more. I did drive but was careful not to drive when rain or fog was likely to occur (which is part of every day during most of the year, and sometimes there is no way to predict it at all).
    B. The weather is so often rainy that it forces you to stay home for a good part of the day every day for months on end. Remember that it rains about 8 months out of the year and can easily and often rain up to 8 -12 or more hours per day. Even in San Ramon which is only a Moderately rainy area at 100 inches per year, it rains so much everyone complains about not being able to work or play outside for days and weeks on end, the roads being muddy and so on.
    C. The rain is so heavy it causes things like bridges to wash out, trees to fall in the roads or on your house, mud slides to make the roads impassable, your car to get stuck on a muddy road, your car to slide off the road over a cliff or in a ditch, and so on. The rain is unlike anything you've likely ever seen in the USA or other countries. Look up "rain in Costa Rica" on youtube, or "bridges washed out in Costa Rica" for example.
    D. Also many areas have nearly constant fog for months on end which creates a very uncomfortable environment and can cause a lot of mold to grow in your home which is not healthy and not pleasant. If you live at the beach it's worse. You will have to wash and dry your clothes often even if just hanging in the closet. You will have to wash down your walls with an anti-mold substance. Your furniture may get ruined. Your cabinets may fill with mold. One measure is to run an air conditioner 24 hours a day but that is expensive as electricity is expensive and only a very expensive solar system can handle 24 hour a.c..
    E. Many people do not realize that Costa Rica is very windy from December through March or longer, each year! Some areas, the wind is frighteningly strong and will tear off roofs, shingles, blow trees down, and so on!
    A. There is no Amazon unless you want to pay or can afford to pay about DOUBLE the price for everything due to very high shipping costs. There is no way to get good prices on things except if you make a trip all the way down to Golfito near Panama to buy and truck back large appliances.
    Things like electronics: tv's, stereos, phones etc will cost you about double what you will pay in the states. Yes, even at Walmart or Sam's which are 2 of the only big name stores in Costa Rica. The reason is high import taxes on everything.
    B. Also the variety of available products is very limited. Finding something as simple as a good ceramic non-teflon frying pan or 100% cotton sheets that are soft and comfortable is very difficult. Finding 100% cotton pants or shirts that are of good soft quality is difficult and more so if you are big or tall.
    Getting the latest phone or computer at a good price? Forget about it!
    Many people have friends or family bring them what they need once or twice a  year. That can work pretty well IF you have friends who can afford to travel and want to come to you. NOTE: During the pandemic there was no way for people to come there for months! The chances of further pandemics are pretty high.
    C. Food. Many things you may love to eat are either not readily available or are simply not as good quality as  you like. Meat for example. Costa Rica meat is often lousy.
    Veges are sprayed heavily with chemicals, some of which are illegal in the USA. Organic you say? Well, there are organic veges and fruits but they are a) expensive and b) not Certified with the assurances you get in the USA.
    Frozen foods? Very limited. And expensive.
    Restaurants: Very expensive for Mexican and Thai restaurants if you can even find those. Some Mexican food I ate was just horrible! They had NO idea how to cook good Mexican food! Tico (Costa Rican) food is considered bland in general and jokes are made about "Costa Rican cuisine" because their "cuisine" is not anything to brag about, to put it mildly.
    Pizza? You can find a decent one sometimes but you may have to try every place in town before finding one or two that are decent. And the good ones will be expensive!
    Don't count on finding paper towels or any way to dry your hands if you have to use the bathroom. There are no laws about it and many restaurants will either have no paper towel machine or it will be empty. You may not even find toilet paper but that's more unlikely.
    Bathrooms in restaurants may not have hot water nor paper towels. The same is true for grocery stores or other stores if they'll even have one at all for you to use!


There are many, many others, enough to fill a book!
Which is what I am in the process of putting together.


I will tell you that I wanted to leave after only 3 years but got stuck there for 3 more due to not being able to sell my house and property! It was torturous to be stuck there! (It is torturous to be stuck anywhere, right?)

My wife and I are SO GLAD TO BE BACK IN THE USA now!

Even with the political insanity here, it's still better than living in Costa Rica.

Roads here are generally great - at least where we live!
The rain is much much less...
The options for buying food are plentiful!
Traffic laws are enforced at least to the point where there are few people who drive as idiotically/insanely as they do in Costa Rica.
Using Amazon or other mail order options for purchases makes shopping a breeze and where we live we are no more than 15-30 minutes from just about any big chain store you have heard of! Restaurants abound (although this is one thing that is similar to Costa Rica: Most good restaurants are Expensive nowadays! But take pizza for example: The supermarket has Frozen Pizzas that taste Better than most of the pizzas we bought at pizza restaurants in Costa Rica! Add some of your own toppings and they are both affordable and delicious! Mexican food - it's easy to buy the ingredients and make your own!

So again, these are just some of the reasons MOVING TO COSTA RICA was not for us, and may not be for you either, so I do hope you will consider reading my book before you choose to move there!


This is a blog about moving to Costa Rica and our goal is to give you information you are not getting on the other "move to Costa Rica" web sites and blogs.

Moving to Costa Rica is a popular idea and many people are interested but few do it and even fewer do it successfully.

Why is that?

We hope to share with you why that may be and help you make your move successful, if - after reading this web site - you still want to take on the challenge.

We are making this move on a "shoe string" budget and if you are also doing it on a shoe string budget hopefully this blog will help you see the challenges you are up against and help you deal with them.

If on the other hand you have plenty of money to make your move, this blog will help you make your money go further and/or help you find ways you may have not thought of to save some of your money. (Everyone can use more money, right?)

Who we are:

We are a couple who have a budget of a little over $1300 a month and we have heard we cannot live on this amount of income, and we have heard that we can, and after considering all sides of this question we have decided to go for it and find out for ourselves whether we can or not.

Our reasons for moving to Costa Rica are mostly that I was sick and tired of "working for a dying" (as opposed to "working for a living") and I was sick and tired of living in a big U.S. city and had wanted to move here to Costa Rica since I first discovered it in the '90's.

If you poke around this blog you will find all kinds of info about the cost of living in Costa Rica, the customs and culture of Costa Rica, where the best places to live in Costa Rica are, how to buy property in Costa Rica, the weather in Costa Rica, and many other subjects that you will want to read more about before making your own move to Costa Rica!

Please comment and let us know what you think of our blog, what your own experiences and opinions are, and why you are here reading about our move to Costa Rica!



This blog is subtitled "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Beautiful" and that means we have written about the difficult challenges we faced, especially during our first 2-3 months of living here.

We want you to know, from the outset, however, that we overcame all these challenges and after awhile we got our life set up here and now things have settled down and we enjoy living here way more than we enjoyed our lives in the United States!

After almost a year now, we are VERY HAPPY ABOUT OUR MOVING TO COSTA RICA!


We have turned off comments due to too many phony spam posts!
So if you wish to comment or have a question please contact me directly via the CONTACT US link at the top of the page in the MENU area.

Costa Rica Army Ants Will Clean Your House

April 22, 2017

What I call Costa Rica Army Ants are actually more like National Guard or Peace Corp ants or something along those lines. They’re smaller than the army ants of Africa, but they’re very aggressive and have a bite that hurts a lot – I’ve been told. But aside from their aggressive nature, they are helpful…

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Health Care For Expats In Costa Rica

August 22, 2017

There are several options for health care for expats in Costa Rica. First there is the CAJA which is required for all legal residents to pay into. The CAJA as it is called, is basically Costa Rica’s National Health Care plan and it’s pretty good and covers all your health care needs. However the CAJA…

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Costa Rica Immigration

September 8, 2016

The last stop at the end of the Costa Rica Immigration Process Costa Rica immigration is not hard but it does take some time and some money and some work on your part (not much work, really, if you hire a good attorney). There are various types of Immigration to Costa Rica, and although you…

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Costa Rica Residency

September 13, 2016

We had been notified by our Costa Rica residency attorney of the date of our Costa Rica residency final appointment. Finally the day came – the day we’d been waiting for since we got here last year! So the day of our final appointment finally came, and we got up at 5:30am which is about…

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The Return of the Costa Rica Army Ants

February 27, 2017

After I woke up yesterday morning, I went out to my front porch to see what the day was like and see if there are any visitors waiting for me there. (Sometimes there are amazing visitors like a 12 inch long walking stick or a huge praying mantis, or maybe a toucan in a nearby…

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Day 4: STILL Looking for a good used car in Costa Rica

November 21, 2015

Got up early to look for a car. Decided we liked the Hyundai Galloper diesel 4×4 so went looking for various ones to look at that might be cheaper than the one our friend-of-a-friend showed us. He wanted $8400 which seems high even for Tico car prices which tend to be almost double U.S. prices…

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Our Move To Costa Rica: Day 1

November 14, 2015

To move to Costa Rica is a dream for many. It was for us and now it’s a reality. Read all about our move: the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful! We don’t sugar coat it as other blogs do!

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Retiring In Costa Rica

October 18, 2016

Retiring in Costa Rica was my choice because I was sick and tired of big city life and Costa Rica gave me an opportunity to  live out in the country or “campo”. Here we have birds, monkeys, exotic insects, beautiful sunsets and all that goes with living the “country life” instead of horns honking and…

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Costa Rica Hurricane Or Tropical Storm

September 12, 2016

Today we experienced a Costa Rica hurricane or something very close to it! All I know is, it was pretty much a disaster and we had to jump into emergency mode to deal with it before everything in our house got wet! So we were out working on the drainage ditch next to our driveway…

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Another Living In Costa Rica Adventure

September 10, 2016

I always say “Living in Costa Rica is always an adventure”, and so  this is yet another Living in Costa Rica adventure! We started out the morning waking up… (yeah sure, we all start the day that way!) … but to the sight of this snake (picture below) when we opened the kitchen curtains: He…

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How To Live In Costa Rica On A Budget

May 31, 2016

TIP #1 on How To Live In Costa Rica on a Budget Buy a property so you don’t have to pay rent. Property in Costa Rica is cheap enough that you should be able to sell your house and buy something really nice and have money in the bank leftover. This way you can live…

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Costa Rica Insects

August 27, 2016

People often ask, when considering moving to Costa Rica, “What about the Costa Rica insects? Are they a problem? Are there a lot more than where we live now?” and so on. The basic answer is that it depends on where you live in Costa Rica and where you live now. Carbunco Okay but I…

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Driving Costa Rica

May 1, 2016

Driving Costa Rica is do-able and can be rewarding, but one has to be very careful as it is generally more dangerous than driving in the USA. Here is what to watch out for.

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Why are some things so expensive in Costa Rica?

August 4, 2016

This post is a question to all my readers: WHY are some things SO expensive in Costa Rica??? We all understand that Costa Rica is far from the USA, Japan, Colombia, Europe and other places where quality items might be imported to Costa Rica. And so importing those things might cost a bit more. So…

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Our New Tico Friend

March 27, 2016

This is our new Tico friend. He is squatting on our property but we’ve decided to let him stay. Turns out he has no legal rights here in Costa Rica so he is no threat to us. Actually our new friend is an iguana, pretty sure he’s what they call a “black iguana” but I’m…

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Videos: Living In Costa Rica

March 27, 2016

These are videos about LIVING IN COSTA RICA. These will be  mostly videos of scenery, animals, insects, and so on – anything we take a video of in Costa Rica that we think you might enjoy seeing or you might want to learn something about. So, below you will find embedded youtube clips and/or playlists…

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VIDEO GALLERY Of Home Construction In Costa Rica

March 26, 2016

This is a video gallery of home construction in Costa Rica near San Ramon. The house is being constructed with a cement foundation but the walls are SIP panels (Structural Insulated Panels) fortified throughout with heavy steel posts. Note that Panacor – the company who makes the SIP Panels used here) does not sell their…

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Building A House In Costa Rica

March 20, 2016

Building a house in Costa Rica is different than building in the USA or other countries you may be familiar wtih, in that standards are often different, materials are often different, and even if you know nothing about building you should probably read up a little and just BE there – at the building site…

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Photo Gallery Of Home Construction In Costa Rica

March 20, 2016

Here are some photos I took of a home construction in Costa Rica. This particular house is being made from SIP panels which are a heavy duty styrofoam type of material. The advantages of this can type of home construction can be read about in this post about building a house in Costa Rica. The…

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Another Car-related Costa Rican Adventure!

January 5, 2016

Well things have gone fairly smoothly the past week or so… so that meant (apparentlly!) that it was time for another Costa Rican Adventure! It started out normal enough.  I got up to take care of internet business, banking and so on. Had problems with bank security due to logging in from another location and…

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Costa Rica: Land of Toucans

January 19, 2016

In Search of Toucans At Our Costa Rica Home We are very fortunate to live where toucans live. We hear them constantly but seeing them here is a little more rare. Getting a good long look at them is even harder. So our little game is when we hear one nearby we go look for…

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Day 19: Rural Living In Costa Rica

December 29, 2015

WHAT THE HECK CHEWED UP MY SHIRT IN THE NIGHT? We got up early and got ready to go take care of today’s business. Every day requires us to take care of house-building-related business: choosing materials, picking up materials, “supervising” the work, etc… Grabbed a cup of coffee only because we knew they were going…

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My First And Last Border Run To Nicaragua

January 30, 2016

First of all the idea of having to leave the country I am in the legal process of being a resident of, to get a stamp, to be able to continue driving legally, is unacceptably stupid. I’m all for being tolerant of Costa Rican laws and customs. And I do try to adjust. But STUPID…

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How To Lose Weight By Moving To Costa Rica

February 21, 2016

This post is about how to lose weight by moving to Costa Rica. I’m not kidding. If you have had trouble getting those extra inches off of your waist line and you have an interest in moving to Costa Rica, this might just give you the incentive to go ahead and “go for it” and…

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Owning A Home In Costa Rica

February 5, 2016

A common question is “Can I as an American (or Canadian or other foreigner) own property in Costa Rica?” The answer is yes. No ifs ands or buts, just “yes”. To read more about this I suggest this page: How To Buy Property In Costa Rica Basically all you have to do is buy the…

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Toucans and Monkeys in Costa Rica

February 7, 2016

One of the reasons I was attracted to living in Costa Rica is the nature. It’s everywhere! Get just a mile or two outside of any town and you begin to see forests: rain forests, cloud forests, jungle… All kinds of wild life: hummingbirds, iguanas, toucans, monkeys, ducks, wild turkeys, etc. Here where we live…

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Reasons People Leave Costa Rica To Live Back Home

February 27, 2016

What are the reasons people leave Costa Rica to move back home? Why do – some – people have a dream of living in Costa Rica and then when their dream becomes a reality, they end up moving back to the USA or Canada or Europe or wherever they came from? There have been no…

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I Gotta Leave Costa Rica for 5 Minutes – WHY?!

January 23, 2016

We’re applying for legal residency in Costa Rica and as a result we DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE COSTA RICA every 90 days as some say… However, there’s a crazy catch to this:If you want to DRIVE in Costa Rica after 90 days here, even though you are legally applying for residency, you DO have…

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Toucans Near San Ramon, Costa Rica!

March 2, 2016

Toucans Near San Ramon Costa Rica are a common site – at least where we live. When I say common, I mean we might see one every couple of days or so, and hear them every day. Today I woke up to the sound of a nearby toucan so went outside to see if I…

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Bring It With You or Buy It Here in Costa Rica?

January 17, 2016

Things To Bring To Costa Rica When You Move Here I had read forums for years off and on but never found a good thread about what you should bring with you and particularly not one that is currently updated to today’s economy in Costa Rica. So here is a list of things we didn’t…

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  1. Denis Pantle on July 23, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    So what happened? Why are you selling your house after less than just 1 year?

    • miguelbgood on August 13, 2016 at 1:58 am

      Built the house on spec. Want to build on another lot after this house is sold. Great house, we’re very happy with it! But it has always been our intention to sell it and build on another lot.

  2. Daveed on August 22, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Good info about building your first house in C.R! Takes some of the guesswork out of it.

    • miguelbgood on September 2, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks for the complement. Glad I could help! Any more questions feel free to ask them using the Contact Us link at the top of the site in the Menu section!

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