By Ron Snell–
If you are thinking about living in Costa Rica, you should be aware that in spite of its small size, the country is not all the same. There are distinct regions that appeal to different tastes, but we believe the Costa Ballena area is an unbeatable combination of appealing features.
The first thing you notice is that it is one of the few places where the mountains tiptoe right down to the Pacific Ocean. In some places, the only thing separating the mountain from the beach is the highway! Why is this so special? There are several reasons:
You can get a property that is up at some altitude but still be close to beaches and towns. Altitude makes a huge difference in the tropics, since the temperature falls as you go up. Even at 1000 feet you can easily feel the difference when going up and down. Those who live higher up constantly comment on how hot it is down at sea level.
Since you can get some altitude while still being so close to the ocean, often you can hear the sound of the surf at 1000 feet above sea level and feel like you could fly right down to the waves. Few places offer such beauty so nearby.
The terrain lends itself to nature and privacy. Mountain sides are not the best places for large development projects where the homes are side by side. Instead, you are likely to find a home that is surrounded by nature in all of its plant and animal forms. You will have a community of friends nearby, but you won’t hear them singing in the shower.
We are about three hours from the airport, depending on traffic. It’s a drive made more interesting by a variety of vehicles, sightseers, fruit stands, scenic views and your own whims. It doesn’t feel like three hours. The roads are good and other drivers are unlikely to scare you half to death. Other than the fact that you really don’t want to make the drive at night if you can help it, it’s enjoyable. The airport and several fine hotels are on our side of San Jose, so we don’t even have to negotiate city traffic to get to it.
Our area isn’t primitive, but neither is it overdeveloped. This is not a place where you will see high rise after high rise and crowds at the beaches. You can still go for a morning walk and see no one else on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.We have a variety of restaurants and lodging options, but you won’t feel like you are in a densely packed tourist area.
Within an hour’s drive, there is plenty to do. Almost anyone can find something to interest them, including a full range of ocean sports (fishing, surfing, standup paddling, boogy boarding, SCUBA, snorkeling, catamaran charters, kayaking), a full range of naturalist activities (mangrove tours, Corcovado, Ballena, and Manual Antonio National Parks, bird watching), waterfall rappeling, zip lines, groups to volunteer for, and so much more.
We are within a 45 minute drive to three emergency rooms and several recommended healthcare providers for dentistry, eye exams, checkups, etc.
It doesn’t feel like I’m explaining it all very well. I feel like someone just asked me to explain the Grand Canyon or the Redwoods or some other inexplicable piece of wonder and beauty. For those who have seen it, my explanation is unnecessary. For those who haven’t, my explanation falls short. You’ll just have to give it a look and then you can try to explain it to someone else. Let me know how that goes.