Why We Moved to Escazú
This seems to be the question I am asked most often, so I thought I would take a few minutes and explain how we decided on Escazú.
First, let's do a quick rewind, some of you are new to our journey and many of you who have followed us since the beginning have probably forgotten when we made our due diligence trip to Costa Rica in March 2015. (BTW I encourage anyone thinking of relocating to make a due diligence trip)
The Gang of 5 (The Aspiring Expats 2015)
One of the first stops we made to research what city we wanted to live in was Escazú. We rented a villa for 5 people at Casa Cristal Boutique Hotel. We spent 3 days there. We toured the city, visted some of the residential neighborhoods (by car and on foot), sampled the restaurants and the shopping. We were pretty impressed with what we saw.
To my disappointment, we had to nix the location as the cost of living there turned out to be higher than we wanted to spend at the time.
Our view from Casa Cristal
From Escazu we traveled over to the Pacific and toured the National Park in Manuel Antonio. We wanted to check out the beaches, but mostly we were interested in the animals. We had no plans to relocate to the Pacific side.
Next stop, the Caribbean Coast where we spent 5 days in Puerto Viejo. Puerto Viejo was our absolute most favorite place hands down!! Had it not been for the climate (very hot temps, and high humidity), access to medical, internet and the infra structure, I am sure we would have chosen it as our new "home".
Our last stop was La Terraza Guest House B&B in Grecia. We stayed for 4 days and we fell in love with the beauty and the awesome views in this quiet, tiny little agricultural town of 15,000. It ticked off most of the boxes. It had a sufficient number of expats, the rents were reasonable and it seemed like a good place to start our journey. Since most people move several times before they find the perfect spot, we figured we would stay for a little while and move on to another house or another location, but we ended up staying for FOUR years!! As a newly retired person I was sorely in need of some quiet, rest and relaxation!! As time moved on, a big drawback for us, became the inability to get around, with no car -- which caused mounting taxi fees in combination with my increasing desire for more things to do (entertainment, shopping, dining, music etc)
Great little city. Nothing bad to say, but, it was just time to move on.
I totally believe in the statement above!
You have to do what makes you happy. We are all responsible for our own happiness!
Each area of Costa Rica is different, some are more rural and/or isolated than others and some are a bit more modern. Escazú is the most cosmopolitan. Many people who come to Costa Rica are seeking a more simple life and are happy to be surrounded by rolling hills, nature and/or beaches. These are all good options (and for a time they were fine for me as well).
(anyone who knows me. knows)
"I" am a City Girl!
In some ways I think Escazú has been tagged unfairly - I have heard way too often, phrases like, "Escazú is just like living in the states" or "If you are going to live in Escazú you might as well go back to the states"
To that I say, hardly and why should I?
In Escazú you will certainly have access to more of the creature comforts we are familiar with (I am happy to again have hot water at the bathroom basin and the kitchen sink - it's been a long time. We'll also be able to walk to grocery shopping and other services), but it's still Costa Rica and CR life is a far cry from life in the states even with the added perks. However, I admit, life can be a little easier and for that, I am thankful!
Escazú, officially San Miguel de Escazú, is the capital city of the canton of Escazú in the province of San José, Costa Rica. Population 56,509 (2011 census). The climate is mostly tropical. Altitude 3,937 Ft on the northeast slopes of the Cerros de Escazú, 5 miles west of the national capital city of San José. Escazú was the second canton in the province of San José and was established Dec 7, 1848.
The name "Escazú" derives from the indigenous word "Izt-kat-zu", which means "resting stone". Story has it that Indians traveling from Aserri (south of San Jose) to Pacaca (near Ciudad Colon), used to stop and rest at this location, which was about halfway between the two villages
The area is one of the most affluent locations in Costa Rica with many upper-mid to high income families, and known in the Costa Rican collective consciousness as home to the country's economic elite.
Escazú has a diverse population and is home to many expats. Several embassies have their residences located here, including the residence of the US Ambassador, Dutch, British, German, Canadian, and South Korean Ambassadors along with foreigners from North America, South America and Europe.
Escazú has 3 districts
San Miguel District (Also known as simply the Escazú District or Escazú Centro), is the first of the three that make up the canton. It lies in the center of this municipality. This was the original town of Escazú and is laid out around the old colonial-era town square. Around the square is a magnificent high-rising church with a red roof, which dominates the town’s center
In the newer, more trendy, upscale San Rafael District you will find nice houses, condos and many high end restaurants, boutiques, cafés, bars, lounges and many of Costa Rica's most exclusive hotels. Rents here can be on the high side. San Rafael's posh Avenida Escazú, is home to the IMAX theatre. Escazú offers many of the amenities of a larger US city but with a more laid back Pura Vida vibe! Don’t be fooled by the international restaurants and upscale accommodations; you are still in Costa Rica!!
San Antonio District is north of town at one of the highest elevations in the city. It has a traditional church with a square and football field in the center surrounded by the majority of its local shops and businsses. It is the smallest and quietest neighborhood of the three.
Hope this gives you a little glimpse of Escazú. Please continue to follow us as we begin our new adventures in Escazú and travel the roads of Costa Rica!