The Main Differences Between Living in Costa Rica and the U.S.


by Beth

For those of you I haven’t bragged to yet, I live with my boyfriend, cat, and dog in Costa Rica. Yes, it’s everything you’d imagine it to be! We recently moved to a beautiful space near the Arenal Volcano, with a view of the largest man made lake, Lake Arenal. I could write for days about how wonderful Costa Rica is, so I’ll start off with the basics, and some differences between Costa Rica and the U.S.

Costa Rica is so incredibly different that the United States in many ways. For one, it only has two seasons, the dry, high, tourist season, which runs from November to May, and the wet, low season, which runs from June to October. This means of course, no snow! But that being said, there is plenty of variation between the seasons to keep things interesting, although spending Christmas in 90 degree weather will be quite a change! We moved to Costa Rica at the end of April, after a very, very harsh winter in Cleveland, so being here during the rainy season has been such a great change. We’re excited to see what the dry season brings!

With no official winters, this means that there’s exotic fruit available all year round, and there’s always something tasty in season! We head to the fería (farmer’s market) and buy pineapple, papaya, mangoes, oranges, star fruit, watermelon, cantaloupe, and the like and enjoy fruit as our snacks. It’s great! We also get raw chocolates, raw goats milk, and can buy handmade jewelry, as well.

The culture here is very hard working, but laid back at the same time. All people let the elderly and seniors get on the bus first, eat first, drink first, etc. People are all generally nice to one another, and will do what they can to help you.

And lastly, Spanish is the main language, and if you don’t know any, you can seem to get by on hand signals and pointing! We know a couple who literally know zero Spanish, and they’ve lived here for three years. How crazy! I on the other hand, prefer to know enough Spanish to get around, which makes things much, much easier.

Of course the United States is beautiful in so many ways, but Costa Rica brings a tropical beauty that is incomparable. It is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, aside from the Amazon rainforest, and brings with it an amazing array of plants and animals, some of which can be deadly!

All in all Costa Rica is an amazing place. I can’t wait to write more about what it offers and how we live a simple, green life here. If you have questions or would like me to cover a certain topic, let me know in the comments section above!

, , , , , , , , ,


  1. Costa Rica! Part II: The Culture - Sweet Greens - October 9, 2014

    […] time, I explained some great attributes that brought me to Costa Rica. I’d like to expand on that beauty and explain a bit about the cultural aspects of Costa Rica […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.