Costa Rica has historically been a niche destination for the UK. According to the UN, there are just over 500 Brits living permanently in Costa Rica in 2015. However, that is rapidly changing buoyed by several factors; a great year-round tropical climate, friendly people, English language becoming more widespread, unbelievable flora, fauna and wildlife along with an improving infrastructure including good healthcare. If you’re ready for la pura vida, “the pure life,” then this might be the place for you.
This emerging choice of Costa Rica as a preferred destination for holiday homes and retirement is reflected in two recent surveys.
The Happy Planet Index for 2016 scores Costa Rica as the happiest place to live in the world. The Happy Planet Index measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all. It tells us how nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives and Costa Rica came top by some way – well ahead of the UK in 34th place.
With its slower pace of living, a warm welcoming climate, healthy fresh foods and reputation as one of the greenest, cleanest and most peaceful countries in the world, it’s no wonder Costa Ricans are considered the happiest people on the planet.
The second survey is the International Living’s 2016 Retirement Index. This Index determines which countries are the best retirement havens based on a combination of quality of life, value for money and cost of living, infrastructure, healthcare, ability to integrate, affordable housing, benefits and climate among other factors. Did we mention the coffee? Here Costa Rica ranked an impressive 4th globally as a retirement haven.
Also reflective of the rising popularity of Costa Rica, BA has in 2016 launched a direct flight service to San Jose from London Gatwick. The flight time is approximately 11 hours.
Costa Rica is widely acknowledged as the most biodiverse country on the planet. This is largely thanks to the protected national parks which cover over one quarter of the country protecting a multitude of ecosystems and supporting a wide array of wild life. Although Costa Rica covers just 0.03% of the planet , it hosts 5% of the world’s biodiversity. There is an amazing 52 species of hummingbirds as well as a host of monkeys, scarlet macaws, sloths, frogs, turtles, butterflies and birds. The list is endless.
The natural bounty extends to the sea with protected marine parks and coral reefs on the Caribbean coast whilst the Pacific offers sanctuary for whales from both the Arctic and Antarctic to breed and raise their young. The vegetation and wild life vary between the Atlantic and Pacific and drier north and lush vegetation of the south. At higher elevations there is unspoilt forest as well as many coffee plantations. Other common crops include bananas and pineapples.
In terms of the preferred areas of Costa Rica, San Jose is where Brits mostly reside due to employment potential. However, the top destinations for those seeking holiday homes and retirement destinations are the multitude of villages that are nestled into the country’s superb natural wonders of the rain forest, coast or even volcanoes.
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