It was a beautiful day for a surf competition at the Camaronal Challenge to kick off 2016! The waves were firing, the sand was burning hot but we stayed cool under the CRsurf tents, and the surfers were on their A-games. We witnessed great surfing from the men, women, and groms. We're excited for what the rest of the season holds and for Costa Rican surfing, in general!
We are proud of our CRsurftrip team members for their successful day at the tourny, which included the following honors:
1st place juniors: Sean Foerster
1st place longboard: Adolfo Gomez (Samurio)
2nd place longboard: Alex Gomez (Choco)
3rd place longboard: Bryan Sandoval (Coco)
We also saw some nice surfing out of Jeison and great work by Andrey who pushed through multiple rounds with solid waves and maneuvers!
And now, for what you've all been waiting for: surf photography.
The U.S. New & World Report has come out and yet again, Costa Rica comes in high on the rankings: this time, for being the top retirement destination for comfort. While we definitely agree with a lot of points that they base their decisions on including friendliness, favorable climate, favorable tax environment (close to 0% in many cases), respect for property rights and a well-developed public health system, we have to mention one of their guidelines that may be misleading: "affordable." This is not to say that Costa Rica is completely impossible, as obviously people do it every day, but it is very important to note that those being studied are people "who define themselves as members of the upper class." This is key.
Costa Rica is an incredible place to live, work, visit, (and yes!), to retire to, but we find that visitors (and retirees!) often exclaim surprise at the prices of goods and services, among other things. Many people believe that Costa Rica is, in fact, a cheap country to visit and to live, but compare prices between Costa Rica and its northern neighbor, Nicaragua, to see just how different Latin American countries can be, even when they share a border. A study that came out in the past year showed that prices in Costa Rica are approximately 75% of the prices in the U.S., a far cry from the idealized view of a cheap vacation that people often arrive with! While a more recent numbeo study finds prices to be 22-52% lower in Costa Rica than in the U.S., we respectfully disagree with their findings. These numbers may have been taken in the capital or near one of the major ports where items are imported, but for most of the country, prices are much higher than in those places because of the costs related to transporting those goods, to the coast, for example and are probably inflated further by the nation's dependence on tourism.
It is worth noting, however, that healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and other locally grown or produced items DO have lower prices because, well, they're local! They don't have many transportation fees and they miss out on the sky-high import fees that make a box of Frosted Flakes cost somewhere between $7 and $10 or a bottle of sunscreeen cost $15. The medical care is also of high caliber and those lucky enough to become residents have access to the universal healthcare offered within the borders of the rich coast. Visitors also find private medical attention at a considerably lower cost than in their mother countries and often travel all the way to Costa Rica for dental work or surgeries that are far too costly back home.
In Costa Rica, you can live happily. You can be surrounded by friendly people every day who will wave to you and ask how you're doing and genuinely mean it. You'll find yourself always just a short distance to either the mountains or the ocean, so you can have the best of both worlds. You can surround yourself with nature and breathe in fresh air and drink fresh water and feel alive! Costa Rica IS number 1 to retire to. Just remember: if you're looking for an affordable place to live out the rest of your life like kings and queens, I hope you, too, consider yourself part of the "upper class" and/or that someone taught you about saving early on!
Think you have what it takes to retire in Costa Rica but want to give it a test drive? Create your dream vacation with us to find out what it's all about. Get the local perspective, and THEN you can tell us your own reasons why it's number one!
We are very happy to officially announce the members of our CRsurfteam! We are very proud of their surfing accomplishments thus far and look forward to their continued success as members of the team!
Costa Rica Surf Talk Blog
Information, articles, and fun facts about Costa Rican surf, waves, swells, competitions, athletes, events, and more!