Expat In Paradise

10 Popular Places To Live As An Expat

Costa Rica offers a diverse range of regions that cater to the preferences and needs of American expats. The choice of the best places to live ultimately depends on individual preferences, such as climate, lifestyle, access to amenities, and proximity to nature. Here are ten popular places for Americans to live in Costa Rica:


Located just outside the capital city of San José, Escazú is a popular expat hub due to its proximity to amenities, international schools, and healthcare facilities. This upscale neighborhood offers a mix of modern conveniences and beautiful mountain views.

Santa Ana:

Another attractive option near San José, Santa Ana is known for its tranquil atmosphere and excellent infrastructure. The town boasts a strong expat community and various housing options, from gated communities to condominiums.


Situated on the Pacific coast, Tamarindo is a beach town known for its surfing, vibrant nightlife, and recreational activities. Expats seeking a beach lifestyle and a lively atmosphere often choose Tamarindo.


The Arenal region, home to the majestic Arenal Volcano, offers stunning landscapes, hot springs, and outdoor adventures. This area appeals to nature enthusiasts looking for a more laid-back and peaceful setting.


Grecia is a charming town located in the Central Valley, known for its pleasant climate, friendly locals, and excellent healthcare facilities. It’s an ideal choice for those seeking a more traditional Costa Rican lifestyle.

Manuel Antonio:

Famous for its national park and beautiful beaches, Manuel Antonio is a popular tourist destination with a considerable expat presence. The area offers a mix of nature and amenities, making it an attractive option for retirees and families.


For expats who desire a lively beach town with plenty of entertainment options and a vibrant social scene, Jacó fits the bill. It is easily accessible from San José and is known for its surfing opportunities.


A quieter alternative to Jacó, Dominical appeals to expats seeking a more bohemian and nature-oriented lifestyle. The area is known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and a strong focus on environmental conservation.

Playa del Coco:

Playa del Coco is a popular destination for American expats seeking a beach lifestyle and a lively coastal town. Located in the province of Guanacaste on the northern Pacific coast, Playa del Coco offers a vibrant social scene, a variety of restaurants, shops, and recreational activities. The area’s beautiful beaches and easy access to water sports, such as scuba diving and snorkeling, make it a favored choice for those who love the ocean and outdoor adventures.


Located on the Southern Pacific coast, Ojochal is a charming village that appeals to expats seeking a tranquil and off-the-beaten-path experience. The area is known for its culinary scene and stunning coastal views.


Before making a decision, it’s advisable to visit the areas you are considering, explore the local communities, and speak with other expats living there. Additionally, seeking guidance from local real estate agents and legal experts can be beneficial in understanding the specific details and requirements of living in each area.