Matt and Jenn – I am within my first couple of months of researching a potential move to CR. Am reading all books and websites I can find and yours is the best BY FAR! So thank you for putting this wealth of info out there for all of us!
I’ve booked my first trip to the Nosara area in June, as (so far) it’s the area I think I’m most interested in exploring. Am just curious any other suggestions you have for an exploratory trip to best get a feel for “living” vs “vacationing” in an area. Are there any ex-pat groups (or even individuals you know) in the area that I could hook up with? And is it realistic that I can get a good enough idea using rental bikes or tuk-tuks vs having to rent a car? (Bit nervous about driving my first time in the country…)
Will be booking a second trip for later in the year (October works best, though it’s sounding like that may be a wet trip) to another area for further exploration – perhaps Arenal/La Fortuna? Or further up the Pacific Coast, if I decide after my first trip that beach living is a must.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions, and again – love your writing and resources provided on this site!
Probably the biggest thing you can do to get a feel for living there is to rent a room or a house and not go the traditional hotel route. It makes a big difference when you have to go to the grocery store and cook food at home. Also, those types of places give you a glimpse into the quirks you might deal with in an apartment/rental here in Costa Rica. Nosara has a very active expat community and you could try to join one or two of their local Facebook groups to get in on the conversation. I think one is called Nosara Classifieds but I know there are others. Once you are in town, start talking to people about life there and you will find they are more than willing to share the good and bad. You don’t necessarily need a car to get the feel for town but it would be nice to explore. It’s also really common to rent ATV’s to get around. If you do that, you could look up our friends at Boca Nosara Tours 🙂 Good luck with your trip(s)!