You’re probably reading this and saying to yourself, this can’t be true. How can you live somewhere exotic like Costa Rica and pay just a couple thousand dollars a year for housing? Well folks, it is true. And we didn’t do workaway or volunteering. We just lived our normal lives but in other people’s houses. The concept is called housesitting. If you’re trying to figure out how to move abroad without going broke, or simply want free housing when you travel, keep reading because housesitting might be just what you’re looking for.
Over the past thirteen months, we’ve lived in eight towns across Costa Rica. From the Pacific to the Caribbean, we dragged our eight suitcases through booming resort towns, quaint mountain villages, and everything in between. Before we started our travels, we knew about Costa Rica’s regional differences in climate and landscape, but were really surprised at some of the other differences we encountered.
Below we share our impressions of where we’ve lived, both the good and the bad. This is our take based on our own personal experiences. If you’re considering a move, this information might help narrow your search, but keep in mind that everyone’s needs and experiences will be different and a place that wasn’t for us, might be just right for you.
As we cover more of Costa Rica, our travel planning has become much more spur of the moment. This was especially true for our most recent road trip. The weekend was quickly approaching so we got out a map, pointed to a town we had never been to, and started packing. Before we knew it, we were on our way to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in Costa Rica’s northern lowlands. This area of the country is not a popular tourist destination yet, but boasts an amazing amount of biodiversity and should be on every nature lover’s list.
If you’re visiting Poas volcano or the northern lowlands around Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, be sure to take a day trip to the stunning Catarata del Toro. We happened upon this little known waterfall on a recent road trip and were so pleased we did. It’s the largest waterfall we’ve seen in Costa Rica, with a 90 meter (300 foot) drop, and definitely one of the most interesting as it flows into an extinct volcanic crater. Below is everything you need to know to plan your visit.
Anyone who has driven around Lake Arenal on their way from La Fortuna to Monteverde knows about all of the crazy signs. Every couple of miles, there’s a random, handmade sign for some restaurant haphazardly nailed to a tree or fence post. One place, which shall remain nameless, has at least 50 signs of all different shapes and sizes in a rainbow of colors. They’ve taken a South-of-the-Border approach with claims to have the “best guacamole in the world,” “most beers consumed on Lake Arenal,” and last but not least, “#1 fish tacos on the planet.” Not sure about the best fish tacos on the planet, but there are some tasty eats to be discovered on the lake. Here are six great places to eat around Lake Arenal.
We took over 5,000 photos during our first year in Costa Rica and used them to create this video. We journeyed across the country, living in eight towns and visiting so many amazing beaches, waterfalls, and parks. Check it out for a glimpse of pura vida through our eyes.
Hola! We're Matt & Jenn, a couple from Boston who quit our jobs to pursue a dream of living in Costa Rica. It all started about 10 years ago. We came to Costa Rica expecting an ordinary vacation in paradise. What we got was a new perspective on life. After many more visits, we published a book and started this website to share our knowledge.
Parks & Reserves
Moving to CR
Living in CR
One Month Update
Insights from First 6 Mos.
Buying a Car in CR
Cost of Owning a Car
Making a Dry Box
Movies to Learn Spanish
Christmas in Costa Rica
A Costa Rican Wedding