Wednesday morning, Day 5: As we headed back to San Jose, we made a stop along the way at the five-star Marriott Los Suenos resort marina and golf course. Our next stop was on the Tarcoles River bridge, where we observed some crocodiles from a great distance away in their natural habitat. We settled down in San Ramon for lunch and visited an affordable housing project.
Thursday and Friday, Days 6 & 7: We spent both days in very informative relocation and retirement seminars. Oh, did I tell you this was not just any ordinary tour of Costa Rica? This was a tour that I decided to go on to do my due diligence because I was ready to escape to Costa Rica for the long term. We had the opportunity to hear some of the country’s foremost authorities in their fields discuss real estate, law, healthcare, medical care, moving, insurance, taxes, and learning the language.
Saturday morning, Day 8: We ate breakfast at the hotel before departing at 7:30 am to tour the city of San Jose. We saw the University of Costa Rica, major malls and shopping complexes, hospitals, Chinatown, and the famous National Theater. We also walked through the Feria (Farmer’s Market) to see all of the different varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown locally. The market stretched for at least 3 or 4 blocks. We also visited the towns of Escazu (known as the Beverly Hills of Costa Rica), Santa Ana, Belen, Ciudad Cariari, and Heredia. In Escazu, we were welcomed into the home of an American, where we learned a lot about the Pura Vida culture. We were also treated to a mini Spanish lesson at the country’s best institute for foreigners. At Pollos del Monte in San Antonio de belen, we enjoyed the best chicken in all of Costa Rica for lunch. It was cooked over coffee branches to give it a unique flavor.
Sunday morning, Day 9: After breakfast at the hotel, we left at 7:30 am for the day that I’d been waiting for since arriving in Costa Rica. I was so excited to visit Atenas and Grecia. Atenas, a mountain town in the Central Valley area, is considered by National Geographic as having the best climate in the world. While in Atenas, we met and visited the home of an expat lady from California. She had a blackberry tree in her yard and asked us to pick all we wanted before the birds could get them. She also had very large mango and banana trees in the backyard. We had the opportunity to visit some very nice custom homes that were on the market for sale. Next, we headed to Grecia, known as the cleanest city in Costa Rica. The surrounding area is spectacular. Our final stop for the day was Alajuela, Costa Rica’s second-largest city, where we had lunch and visited the country’s best gift shop, which features beautifully hand-crafted souvenirs.
Monday morning, Day 10: After spending an awesome 9 days in Costa Rica, it was time to check out and head back to California. I love the country, the people, the food, and the weather. What’s not to love? It’s Pura Vida.