Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: Private English Speaking School-$350/month

Roads are a big topic of conversation among us expats. It’s funny living in a place where  friends inform one another when a highway is closed due to mudslides. Needless to say, these roads are not only rough on your travel plans but on your car as well.

If you live on one of these car-busting/mudslinging routes, you may anticipate a prolonged period of silence at the other end of the line when you invite someone for dinner.

“Mary is having a party and she says her road is passable. What do you think?” you ask a friend in a hushed tone that would suggest a conversation involving embezzlement.

“What do I think? I think you’ll bust a tire rod if you decide to go,” she answers. The challenging road that makes your neighborhood very private is the same road that will make your house as popular as chicken chow mein at a pizzeria. I know this because I live on one of these roads.

It’s the reason I always recommend people rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle when visiting Costa Rica. And not one of those sidekicks, which my husband ungraciously calls a “sidekick in the ass” every time you go over a bump. I’m talking about something really industrious. Something that will surely cost over a hundred dollars a day to rent; however, if you can afford it many incredible opportunities open up.

It’s no mystery that some of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica are down the worst roads. For example, we were taking a few days to tour the Pacific coast and stopped at a realtor’s office to find an affordable place to stay. He recommended a few, and in passing, mentioned a beautiful house on a treacherous hill that rents for $4000 a week. Not to be scared off by the price, we traveled up this road and talked with the owner. She was leaving for the states at the end of the week, hadn’t rented out the house. She said we could rent it for three days at $100 a night…this would cover the cost of her airfare.

If I didn’t have my husband with me, I doubt I would have approached the woman and asked to stay in her million dollar home on the cheap. Also, if I didn’t have our SUV I would never have been in the position to ask her in the first place. We often find some of the most unimaginable opportunities at the end of a lousy road. Occasionally it’s a waterfall while other times it’s a hummingbird garden in someone’s front yard.  This time it was a gorgeous house with a pool overlooking the Pacific.

Having a 4 wheel drive makes the path less taken possible. I would suggest you consider one whether moving here or just enjoying a weeks’ vacation. Perhaps it will tempt you to explore a little more and find that surfer’s paradise or mountain vista. It could even be a deserted beach or that 5 star restaurant all the tourists are talking about.

You’ll never have a better time while enjoying a crummy road. That’s a guarantee.