Costa Rica is a haven for retirees, investors, and expats. However, Costa Rica is also a big country with an incredibly diverse landscape. The capital city of San Jose may be the most popular destination for first-time visitors, but those who are thinking of moving to Costa Rica and prefer a more relaxed lifestyle usually have their heart set on the coast and its beautiful beaches. It can be the Pacific Coast or the Atlantic Coast because Costa Rica has it all!
If you’re looking for an exotic place to live with plenty of sun, sandy beaches, turquoise blue, and thermal rivers, including a range of volcanoes, look no further than Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Situated on the country’s northwest coast, Guanacaste Province is home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful coastal towns, beaches, blue waters, luxury resorts, world-class restaurants, and bustling nightlife. Add in the best weather in Costa Rica’s dry climate and temperatures that rarely drop below or go above 27 degrees Celsius, and it’s not surprising that it is one of the most sought-after places to live.
Where is Guanacaste?
Guanacaste is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia, and Puntarenas to the east. The province has a population of 477,000, and its capital is Liberia. Home to over 400 miles of coastline and framed by mighty active volcanoes, Guanacaste Province is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful regions in Latin America.
Guanacaste is divided into six districts: Cañas, Carrillo, Liberia, Nicoya, Santa Cruz, and Tilarán, and has an economy based mainly on tourism, cattle farming, and agriculture. This is where you’ll find Costa Rica’s largest international airport, the Daniel Oduber International Airport, which provides easy access to other parts of the world, including many US cities, such as Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
Home to the Santa Rosa National Park and Guanacaste Conservation Area (GCA), the region promotes green policies and protects the region’s tropical dry forest and cloud forest. The parks and Guanacaste region are home to various animal species, including Baird’s tapirs, white-lipped peccaries, spider monkeys, white-faced monkeys, the ever-present Howler monkey, three-toed sloths, deer, pumas, ocelots, jaguars, and anteaters to name a few, many of which waiting to be spotted during endless hiking trips.
With the country’s least amount of rainfall, the typical the dry-season runs from November through April. The lack of any major rivers draining into the Guanacaste region means the coastal water tends to stay clear blue year-round.
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Cost of living in Guanacaste
Let’s forget for a moment about the endless ribbons of soft sand, incredible views, and hypnotic waters of the Pacific. How much will it cost you to live in Guanacaste? The cost of living in Guanacaste is relatively low when compared to other parts of Costa Rica. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Guanacaste is 49% lower than that in San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica.
However, the cost of living in Guanacaste varies depending on your district. Carrillo, for example, is the most expensive district in Guanacaste, while Nicoya is the cheapest. The average monthly expenditure for a single person is around $600, and for a family of four, it is approximately $1,500. This covers the costs of food, housing, transportation, utilities, and entertainment.
Rent prices vary from $400 for a one-bedroom apartment to $2,000 or more for a luxury villa with breathtaking views. If you’re addicted to air conditioning, the power bill will reflect that. However, the moderate climate of Guanacaste allows “al fresco” living, as covered outside terraces are where to spend your time year-round.
Regarding groceries, it all depends on your lifestyle and preferences. However, the average monthly grocery bill for a family of four in Guanacaste is $250, while the average monthly utility bill is $100. Groceries are typically 10-15% cheaper than in San Jose, and although transportation costs can add up, there are plenty of options for getting around without a car.
Depending on your personal tastes and acquired knowledge of where and how to shop for items produced locally, from North America or Europe, you can find whatever you like. Be prepared to pay more of a premium for luxury import items. However, you will quickly learn to find similar products to those you are accustomed to at a much lower cost. Fresh seafood caught daily, abundant vegetables, fruits, and organic meat products are all available for the healthiest cuisine imaginable.
Real estate market in Guanacaste
The real estate market in Guanacaste is booming. More and more people are looking to buy property in this beautiful region of Costa Rica so their life can become an endless relaxing vacation with panoramic views. After all, this is where you’ll find the famous Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Playa Grande, Coco, Peninsula Papagayo, Las Catalinas, Costa Elena, Nosara, Samara, and a wide variety of other idyllic beaches.
What’s not to love about a tropical paradise? Living so close to the beach can only mean one thing: endless ocean views right from your window! Take, for example, the Marina Flamingo Village that adorns the splendid Flamingo Beach. It is a beautiful community comprised of condominiums and townhomes, with amazing beach views and access to the calm waters of the Pacific.
Whether you’re looking for your retirement paradise or your next real estate investment, Costa Rica Christie’s has the right property for you. Plenty of real estate opportunities await in the popular beach town of Tamarindo too. The top address to live in Tamarindo is the gated community of Senderos. Costa Rica Christie’s covers all beach areas in Costa Rica, as well as the central valley, San Jose city center, and exotic mountain areas with homes, ranches, retreats, riverfront/waterfall properties, and hotels.
The good news is that the cost of real estate in Guanacaste is relatively low compared to the cost of real estate in other provinces in Costa Rica and especially in the markets in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii. Costa Rica provides value at a fraction of the competing markets. The increased velocity of investors is a testament to that fact being discovered. The market continues to heat up, so it’s a great time to act quickly to buy property in Costa Rica.
The real estate scene is diverse and attractive, including beachfront, mountain, and golf course properties. Tamarindo, Flamingo, Coco, and Nosara are the most popular areas where foreigners and investors buy property. The median home price in Guanacaste is about $200,000, but the final price depends on your expectations and preferences. Larger luxury properties with an ocean view and swimming pool are closer to the $800,000 and up range. If we were to talk about average prices, a three-bedroom house in Guanacaste would cost you around $200,000, while a four-bedroom house can take you to $300,000.
Of course, the best way to find property in Costa Rica is to visit the place and work with a real estate agent. This is also the easiest way, as real estate agents have the knowledge to help you find your home in Guanacaste fast and oversee the purchase process to ensure all taxes are covered, and everything goes according to plan. Costa Rica Christie’s represents investments from the 10’s of thousands to the ultra-luxury.
Lifestyle in Guanacaste
Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is a beautiful place to live. The weather is perfect year-round, the people are friendly and welcoming, and plenty of activities keep you busy. It’s sunny and warm year-round, even during the rainy season, so you can enjoy the outdoors all year long!
Since Guanacaste is situated along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, you have a huge variety of beaches and a splendor of tropical forests. This is where swimming, sunbathing, surfing, fishing, horseback riding, paddle boarding, and hiking are just a stone’s throw away from where you live, as are several national parks and reserves. You’ll find something to do every day of the year and for everyone in your family.
In addition to its natural beauty, Guanacaste is also home to several small towns and villages with a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can enjoy traditional Costa Rican cuisine, visit local museums and art galleries, or participate in one of the many festivals and celebrations that occur throughout the year.
Guanacaste captures Costa Rica’s Pura Vida essence and shares it with every single person who decides to leave behind all things familiar and explore a new land under a new sun. This is region is for beach lovers, surfers, hikers, mountain bikers, and explorers, the land where everyone takes it slow and stops and smells the exotic flowers.