Dreaming of moving to a tropical country with year-round beautiful weather, a slower pace of life, traditional values, untouched nature and a healthy lifestyle ?
No secret that Costa Rica has been on top of the list for decades. Costa Rica is an amazing country with hundreds of kilometers of coastline on both Pacific and Caribbean side. Ocean and beach are wonderful, of course, but with hot climate day and night, year round, it might not be for everybody. Unless you wish spending majority of time in closed, air-conditioned rooms, there is a far better alternative represented by a “higher ground” location. In that case, your choice number one should be charming area of Lake Arenal !
Lake Arenal is one of the best retirement locations in all of Costa Rica thanks to the nearly perfect semi-tropical weather which is warm but never gets too hot, quality of air, abundance of fresh, mostly organic produce and friendly people. The beautiful weather is because the Lake Arenal itself is located at 600 meters ( 2,000 ft ) above the sea level, plus is surrounded by mountains reaching up to 2,000 meters ( 6,500 ft ), attracting clouds, bringing plenty of rain to keep the pastures and forest green year-round. Another factor for pleasant climate is steady, cooling trade winds coming from Atlantic.
Since Lake Arenal is 35 kilometers (22 miles) long and populated more or less practically all around, it is a huge area which is far from being crowded. Near each end of the lake are larger towns of La Fortuna and Tilaran, both having population of around 10,000 residents, around the lake are only small towns or villages such as picturesque Nuevo Arenal, whose population does not exceed 3,000 people. Life and living thus takes place practically in nature and is very outdoor oriented, surrounded by lush greenery.
There is a very active community around the lake. People are often meeting for various celebrations, parties, or just card games. Doing trips to national parks together, helping abandoned or injured animals, taking part in various seminars or educational events…
Lake Arenal is popular retirement hot spot, however there are many younger expat families as well. They are often home schooling their children and having some business in the area as there are many opportunities.
Another plus is the many different attractions around the lake, or just not far from it. There is a superb hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, same as water activities such kayaking, wind or kite surfing, sailing and boating, jet skiing, paddle boarding, fishing. Thank to abundance of wildlife area is perfect for bird watching, jungle, rainforest or volcano exploring, same as attractions like hanging bridges, sky tram, hot springs. There also are organic farms and agricultural centers, health and wellness centers, eco education, micro brewery and fine dining restaurants… and if you get tired of it all, beautiful Pacific beaches are just two-hour drive away. Simply put, there is never a dull moment around the Lake Arenal !