Expats who move to Costa Rica (in search of beaches) seem to fall into 2 groups, those who go west to the Pacific and those who go east to the Caribbean then south to the beaches (more go west than east). Since I live in California I liken it to the 2 camps in California - those who Love LA (south) and those who Love San Francisco (north). Both are a part of California, but the 2 cities are completely different. Almost polar opposites.
And so it is in Costa Rica.
I've lived in Southern California and it's a very nice place, so don't get me wrong. Very trendy chic and Hollywood. Lots of beautiful houses and even more beautiful people (thanks to an abundance of cosmetics and doctors). But I'll take the Bay Area any day. When I first moved to the Bay Area back in the 70's this place was really something special. A melting pot. Lots of diversity of skin color and sexual orientation, radical thinkers and intellectuals. Not so much anymore as it is fast becoming a place where only the elite will be able to afford to live. I see the changes everyday as I ride into the city to work and watch the cityscape change with the emergence of a multitude of high rise condos with prices starting at over $1million.
Living in San Francisco means being torn apart. It means having people you love get evicted. Seeing cultural institutions replaced by trendy cocktail bars. Moving to this city for a job in technology and getting vilified for being the reason for higher rents, even though you can barely afford your own. Reading the news and getting sick to your stomach because the elderly and the mentally disabled and the working class and the creative class keep getting “displaced,” which is a euphemism for “thrown out of their homes in the name of greed.” It means reading the news and being enraged that a 98-year-old lady is getting evicted. It means reading the news and worrying about when you’re going to get evicted yourself. source The Bold ItalicSo, sadly, I will make my exit soon.
As I mentioned before, Puerto Viejo isn't the place to go for lots of fancy posh beachfront hotels and there are no golf courses or fast food restaurants (think LA). There are several fancy hotels in the area but no hotel chains.
If you build in Puerto Viejo, you cannot build within 200 meters of the beach (Maritime Zone Law 1977) so you do it where there's room and you do it below the treeline, so when you're on the beach all you see are trees, sea, sky and sand.
Puerto Viejo is the real deal! Reminds me a little of San Francisco in days gone by.
But, if you decide to move there it will help if you "like yourself" because it's a place where you will come face to face "with yourself". It's a great place to live a life completely different from the one you left back home. Back to a simpler time.
About the video
It's about 15 minutes long and includes live video and photos of the town. I was fascinated with the beautifully painted buildings and took this opportunity to showcase them.
(Note - if you don't like color - you probably won't like this video and you most likely won't like Puerto Viejo! Just sayin!)
Sit back and enjoy- Puerto Viejo through my eyes