Imagine Costa Rica twenty one years ago. No roads, no bridges, fantastic, undiscovered beaches, and a dream of a castaway life. Well, my friends, Robin does not have to imagine, rather he simply needs to remember. He can tell you stories of when it took hours to trek from Dominical to Ojochal, where a portion of the “road” was simply going on the beach with your 4×4 vehicle or quad. It used to be an impossibly complicated journey through rivers and thick jungle to get from Ojochal to Dominical. Indeed it has only been a few years that the Costanera Highway was completed and made Costa Ballena more accessible. However, this trek did not matter much to Robin, it was the stable government, the fact that Costa Rica did not have a standing army and that land acquisition was, and still remains, a simple, clear and low cost process that attracted him.
Having travelled most of Costa Rica, he finally headed South and found the piece of land for a retirement home he had envisioned. It was the tremendous dual views of the mountains and the ocean in Costa Ballena that sealed the deal and Robin became a proud land owner in Costa Rica. Now, he enjoys his time in the area walking the rural roads and jungle trails, while birdwatching and scouting for other wildlife. “We’ve been seeing a lot of montezuma oropendolas lately, which is a rare bird for around here”, says Robin. Still in love with his 84 degree ocean view, he says we still have the best natural beaches and now, the best restaurants in all of Costa Rica too!
Their advice, stay in a number of places both in the mountains and close to the beach to know whether or not the long commutes on poor roads is something you can sustain or whether you may want to opt for something a little closer to services. It’s also wise to visit a few times before purchasing and stay for different lengths of time to get a feel for the lifestyle.
A person who avoids the snow, and cold temperatures of the northern winters, by heading south, every year, just like a migrating bird. Also, simply referred to as a ‘bird’, these people are typically retired or enjoy the luxury of having a mobile, or nowadays online, business.
About the Contributing Writers
Robin and his wife Helen, celebrating 20 years together have four kids and are expecting their sixth and seventh grandchild! Now retired, they sail the Great Lakes with their kids and grandkids, mostly Michigan and Huron, during the North American summers and head South before the first frost hits.