Dear Matt and Jen,
My husband and I are strongly considering abandoning the rat race and moving to a more peaceful, healthy life-style in Costa Rica. We have visited many times and we are tired of the politics and the environmental destruction in the US. We are wildlife lovers. We so enjoy watching the birds and listening to the Howler monkeys. At the same time, we do not want to be recluses or far from civilization.W e are looking for a town where we (and our 14 year old daughter) can make friends with other expats and like-minded individuals who respect the environment and the laid back lifestyle of Costa Rica. We really liked Guionnes, although it was expensive. But we are turned off by how rapidly it is developing.. We don’t want to move to Costa Rica to escape out of control development only to listen to the sounds of bulldozers and chainsaws at our new home. We are looking closely at the Uvita area – What do you think with regards to wanting to be close to nature and wildllife, yet not isolated, yet not in an area that is not on track to be developed/exploited before our eyes? Do you have any recommendations, advice, etc?
That’s a tough question as every area has something different for everyone. Since we live near Uvita, we can tell you that it is also developing fairly quickly, but I’m not sure you’d be constantly hearing chainsaws and bulldozers. Most of the people buying property are looking for the jungle and wildlife so the developers are aware of that. Plus, even quick development here seems to take a while. In our opinion, the area is far from having lost its charm and wild feel. One thing that could be a major factor is your daughter. We have talked to many people who have moved to Costa Rica with older children and some have struggled with the transition. You’ll want to make sure there are enough expat kids her age (and activities that interest her) so that she can relate to others and have friends. We recently talked to someone who was moving back to the States because the little boy was miserable. He was involved in all kinds of sports and clubs before moving here and then there was really only soccer available when they came down. We aren’t that familiar with how many expat kids that age are in the Uvita area but it might only be a handful. Our advice is to thoroughly check out your options and do some deep digging into the schools before making a the big move anywhere specific. Also be flexible in case you need to move to another town to make everyone in the family happy. Uvita/Dominical is great and we love this area but it can feel really far from things at times. Hope this helps, and if you do move down, you love it as much as we do.