Redditors, where do you want to live? Redditors who live there, why should they not want to live there?

Just in case anyone is thinking of actually moving to Costa Rica, DO NOT DO IT. I lived there for five years. I speak fluent Spanish, and after Costa Rica I lived in Chile for 3 years and it was awesome, no regrets, loved it. Costa Rica is a WONDERFUL place to visit, no question. Incredible tourist infrastructure, great sights, you can go from rain forest to dry forest to cloud forest to beach to Pacific beach to Caribbean beach over the course of two weeks. If you want, visit it, I highly recommend tourism there. Costa Rica is also a great place for the Costa Ricans: great middle class, public education, small businesses, small farms, great climate, democratic government, independent media, etc.


There is a dark side to Costa Rica that you don't notice until you've been there at least two years and start to really try having an adult life there. I don't mean fucking around as an English teacher or an intern. I mean settling down and having a life: getting married, having a kid, buying property, owning anything larger than a cell phone. Once you start doing these things, you will learn that:

1) Everyone steals from you. Everyone. Everyone. Especially random people on the street, but also your long-term business associates, your trusted lawyer, your good friends, your co-workers. One example out of tons: a friend needed a birth certificate for her son. She told me that her good lawyer friend charged her "only US$100" to get a copy of the birth certificate from the national registry, where I personally got my son's birth certificate for about US$0.25. That kind of shit is possible any time you do any kind of transaction in Costa Rica. People smile at you and say, "Sure! Absolutely! No problem!" then ROB YOU. "Oh wait, that never happened to me!" says the person who spent two weeks in Costa Rica. Yeah, give it two years of dealing w/ auto mechanics, see what happens.

2) They say that Costa Ricans are the kind of people who will always invite you over for dinner, but then never give you the address. This is my experience. To your face, Costa Ricans are extremely friendly and non-confrontational. They WILL NOT tell you want they think about you. They will always agree with you. Then later, you will find out that they stabbed you in the back.

3) Your Costa Rican bride is going to fuck you over. I don't say this out of bitterness (my own loving wife is Venezuelan) but from observing the experience of other male friends who experienced the female manifestation of point #2.

4) San Jose is a dangerous place. OK, it's not as dangerous as Honduras or El Salvador, but it is FUCKING DANGEROUS. I got mugged, I know many other people who have been mugged at gun point there. And the weird thing is that there's really no safe part of San Jose. The nice areas are the most dangerous because that's where the people with money are, so that's where people get robbed.

5) It is SUPER HARD to get any business done in Costa Rica. Paperwork, etc. It SEEMS like it's not going to be hard, because the guy behind the counter smiles and says "Sure! No problem! Come back in 2 weeks!" And you think "Well that was easy!" Then you come back in two weeks and he says "It's almost done! Come back in a week!" Then you come back in a week and the guy has gone on vacation for 2 weeks. Then you come back in 2 weeks and the guy has taken another position and the new guy says "Sure! No problem! Come back in 2 weeks!" And you feel like murdering someone.

6) CAVEAT! Most of my experience was in San Jose. I think Costa Ricans from the countryside are LOVELY people. If you can find a way to live in a rural area, and you're cool w/ rural people, awesome. You might be OK. But most people who want to move to Costa Rica end up in the Central Valley, and within three years, they regret everything. At the very least, live there for two years before you commit to any investments. Costa Rica is the long con. Just ask Intel.

/r/AskReddit Thread