I know what you’re thinking, “That’s beyond obvious, Mr. Guy In The Zone.” For those who tune into this blog on a regular basis, I agree… BUT, did you know that the search term “Where Is Costa Rica” gets over 13 million global monthly Internet searches? Two things came to mind when I saw this statistic—
- The Pura Vida Buzz, a phenomenon I will expand upon below
- Rising Interest in Vacation and Retirement
The Pura Vida Buzz — The last time I asked the question “Where is Costa Rica?” I was waaaaay back in college. My roommates were surfers, and they mentioned Costa Rica as a possible surf destination. Search engines weren’t as populated with information in the early-90s, but there were a few travel books in the local bookstore. The thing I remember jumping out at me was the color green. Whether it was the frogs, the jungle, or the aerial views… every page seemed to jump off the page with the verde. It took me seven years to actually make it to Costa Rica, and I was happy to find that it was as good as advertised.
For those people still waiting for an answer to the question Where is Costa Rica?, I have attached a map>>>. Costa Rica should not be confused with Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is an island; some refer to as the 51st State in the Union.
Costa Rica is a small country (by U.S. standards) It is bordered by two countries, Panama to the south and Nicaragua to the north. (Interestingly, “where is Nicaragua” garners 1/5th as many monthly, global Internet searches.) Needless to say, Costa Rica is about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, just with much warmer water.
13,600,000 global monthly searches tells me that Costa Rica continues to spark a curious flame in the hearts and minds of people from around the world. “In part, the interest must be driven by the influx of nature shows on television and articles in print. Without question, Costa Rica is at (or near) the top of every eco-tourism list. Top surf destinations around the world…? Costa Rica is on that list. Top Places to Retire…? Costa Rica is on that list. Happiest Planet Index…? Costa Rica tops that list, and there are compelling reasons.
Vacation and Retirement — There are many reasons why Costa Rica is an appealing travel destination—warm weather, intense bio-diversity, adventure activities (think- deep sea fishing, ziplines, rafting, surfing), friendly people, easy to get to, relatively affordable to get to, many luxury options, and so much more. People experience so many “firsts” in Costa Rica, it makes sense why it tops the lists of friends and family.
Clearly, everyone who considered buying land in Costa Rica visited first. That vacation probably got the wheels turning and led to a subsequent trip. If our current real estate listings are any indicator, there are many people who purchased raw land (think- a large lot without a house) before or during the boom. Land options outnumber houses by more than 2:1. That being said, we have seen a major increase in demand for houses and that category on our site is growing faster than any other. (If you don’t see what you want, keep checking as I’m adding new listings every week.)
As I mentioned in my article Why Baby Boomers Are Buying Real Estate In Costa Rica, there are reportedly more than 20,000 retired expats in Costa Rica. I would guess that number is in fact more than double given the fact that most expats, effectively living in Costa Rica, do not have their residency (yet). I expect the number of retire in Costa Rica searches will increase as the number of retiring Baby Boomers increases. The bottom line is the same reasons that make Costa Rica a great place to visit make it a great place to retire.
I recommend our beautiful area of Costa Rica (The Zone) to visitors and relocators without reservation. But, the only way you can make this discovery is if you turn off the iPhone and the television… and come on down.
My first visit to Costa Rica was in 2002. I immediately fell in love with the warmth of the climate and people. After spending two weeks in San Jose, Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side, and Tamarindo in Guanacaste, I knew there was a good chance I would return sooner than later. Sooner came just 6 months later when my uncle mentioned he was flying down to Costa Rica to close on a piece of property in the Southern Pacific Zone. On that trip I found my own piece of paradise above the small town of San Buenaventura, home to the San Buenas Golf Resort. Two years and 8 trips later, I decided to move to Costa Rica full time. Every day I am thankful for that decision.