Villa Quetzal

Villa Quetzal

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Costa Rica is one of the ' Safest Countries’ in 'Latin America.'

No wonder many people choose to relocate here!

Have you ever visited a country for the first time and fallen in-love with it?  You know, like love at the first sight!
Well, I have to tell you that it was exactly what happened to us.

Almost eight years ago, we decided to visit Costa Rica.  At that point, we had several friends who had visited the country; one of them used to fly a couple of times a year in his experimental aircraft; other friends stopped in Costa Rica during their cruising adventure; they loved it, and others, simply came on a vacation which they truly enjoyed, thinking that it was a beautiful tropical paradise.  Some people even call it The Switzerland of the Americas.

Since we love adventure and had heard so many good things about Costa Rica, it seemed like the perfect place to visit and explore the possibility to establish a new address.   

At first, we fell in-love with the beaches of the central pacific, and is where we established a new address in Manuel Antonio only seven months after we visited the country for the first time. 
Time went by and we explored the beaches of the southern zone, now called Costa Ballena.  The beaches are unspoiled, full of wildlife.  Everything was new, exotic, and exciting.
          Just imagine a place so verdant you will need to make up new words to describe all the different shades of green…  A place with so many unusual kinds of butterflies, an incredible variety of orchids, and more birds that you have ever seen together in a lifetime living in a big city.  Imagine a land were staying well is a matter of living simply in healthy surroundings as opposed to having regular visits to the doctor, or having your medication right on time.

          Besides the economic factors, and the longing for a better quality of life, there are some mysterious reasons why people come to Costa Rica. 

Every time I hear friends talking about how they made the decision of relocating; I feel transported to a parallel world, where the logic has been replaced with a deep sense of self-nurturing. 

It is common to hear phrases like:
·         ‘While walking on the beach my inner voice told me that I needed to move here to heal myself and those around me.’
·         ‘I had been visiting every year for several years, finally I decided to move permanently’
·         ‘I followed my heart/gut/dreams’
·         ‘The God/Spirit/Macaws, told me to come’ 
Even though, all sorts of people end up in Costa Rica, there is a distinct group that feels they have come to this country answering a higher call.  Some are here to save the world, others just to save themselves from a lifetime of ‘all work and no play.’  A reason I find very valid.  I am talking about average, logical, restless and driven people who have chosen to pay attention to the signals we all get, but often ignore, the message to slow down, open up, live life, enjoy being without the need of doing.

Many of us have come to the country hoping to live in harmony with nature and to learn from the slower, less driven culture; of course, these efforts are met with varying degree of success by different individuals.

The bottom line is if a voice is telling you to come to Costa Rica, you might want to listen, as crazy as it may sound; it could be the sanest choice you could ever make.
Costa Ballena specifically has a beauty that not only lies in a gorgeous landscape, but in its people, both, Ticos and residents from other countries. 

The landscape is spectacular; ocean or mountain views are almost like a postcard picture, always bright, colorful, and vibrant.

It is quite common to see a group of people stopping in the middle of an aisle in the market, or at the side of the road to greet each other, exchanging hugs and kisses. 

Not all this exchange of affection may be politically correct for some people, or in some places, but in Costa Rica, it is a way of life, a life that makes us feel like we are part of the whole.  A happy ‘melting pot’

Many people coming to Costa Rica, including ‘Baby Boomers,’ have chosen this country not because it is dirt cheap, but because on top of being somewhat cheaper than their own countries; it is a safe and stable place where they can live in a supportive community, having excellent and inexpensive health care and even be able to afford household ‘help.’

Costa Rica has gotten the attention of the word’s stage in the last few years.
1. Could it be because the temperatures fluctuate around 80 degrees F all year-round?
2. Maybe it is because the affordable health care system is rated in the top 20 nations of the world.
3. Perhaps being out of the hurricane zone is quite appealing.
4. Or, is it because the taxes; which are in place even for foreign residents, are much lower than in other countries?

Whatever the reason, Costa Rica, besides being a well-known tourist destination, is also one of the most desirable retirement havens, with the highest standards of living in Latin America.
According to the recent Global Peace Index (GPI), Costa Rica has remained one of the safest and most peaceful countries in Latin America.

The GPI evaluates multiple factors at the time of determining the ranking. 
They look into aspects such as:
n  Violent demonstrations
n  Access to weapons
n  Homicides and terrorist acts

They also take into consideration:
n  Functionality of the government
n  Civil liberties
n  Literacy rates
n  Gender Equality  
According to Steve Killelea of the Institute for Economics and Peace, “what comes across dramatically in this year’s results and the six-year trend, is a shift in global priorities.  Nations have become externally more peaceful as they tend to compete making use of economic means, rather than military ones.
One of the reasons why Costa Rica continues to grow as one of the world’s top destinations is because it is one of the few places where travelers feel safe exploring, almost any part of the country.

In this country, the wealth is not evenly distributed; however, the gaps are much smaller than they tend to be in other countries.  People live simpler; without great material excess, and education, health, and welfare are available and affordable. 

Costa Rica does not have a standing army maybe that is why it has not had the conflicts the neighboring countries have had.

Drugs are not a big factor either, since Costa Rica is not a convenient pipeline to North America from Central America drug distribution.  Crime is much lower than in many other countries.

The truth is if you are a conscious traveler, you will be able to apply the common sense rules, whether you are in Costa Rica or in your own country, for example:
n  Be aware of your surroundings.
n  If you drive around the country, always keep a can of fix-a-flat in the car, so, if you have a flat tire, you can take care of it right away until you can get it fixed permanently.
n  If possible, get a cell phone when you are traveling.
n  If you can, avoid traveling at night.
n  Listen to your inner knowingness and your gut feeling.
n  Be kind to the locals, they respond to it with kindness.
n  Do not flash large wads of money.
n  Keep your valuable jewelry in the safe; there is no need to advertise.
n  Do not walk alone in secluded areas at night.
n  Do not get into unnecessary arguments or fights.
Costa Rica, and in particular, Costa Ballena, is a safe and wonderful place to visit and or live in.  We love the tropical and wild surroundings, the pristine beaches, the majestic views, and of course, the local and foreign people.
Besides, this gorgeous part of Costa Rica has been considered as one of the best the travel destinations for 2013.

By Heidi Mitchell

Appeared as "13 for 2013" in T+L Magazine
A pristine bay in Costa Rica has been a secret favorite of backpackers and migrating whales.  But it couldn’t stay under that shroud of cloud forest forever.  The opening of an eco-resort makes Bahia Ballena more inviting and accessible, and 2013 the right moment to visit. 

The world is still vast, and even as you check iconic places off your bucket list, there’s a craving to set sail for the new, the next, the undiscovered.  To determine which destinations like Bahia Ballena are coming up on the radar, T+L asked safari experts and art dealers, cutting-edge chefs and even branding agencies where they’re seeing a new neighborhood emerge or wineries getting more acclaim.  Read more…

We have found in Costa Ballena, our home. 

We want to invite you to visit us using the memorable phrase  








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