By Isabelle Jones
My family and I relocated to Atenas in 2003 and have enjoyed the benefits of living in Atenas tremendously. We moved from Colorado, USA, not yet ready to retire and have been very happy since. Many of our clients, when searching for the right place to live, ask me “why Atenas and not anywhere else?” My answer is that we fell in love with Atenas, that’s why. Let me tell you a bit about it, so you understand why.
Atenas is not a city but it is still a small Costa Rican town that hundreds of ex-pats from the U.S., Canada and Europe have chosen to call “home”. Climate, natural beauty and location are just a few of those reasons. Daily, you see both Costa Ricans and foreigners walking, jogging and biking throughout Atenas.
Everyone waves and smiles at each other making this a truly wonderful place to relocate to. There is the weekly Farmer’s Market where you can find almost everything – organic coffee, fresh baked breads, pies, countless varieties of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, flowers all surrounding the park.
Atenas is well known for having “the best weather in the world”, though some ask where that came from. NASA seems to have once said this but the fact is that we have year round temperatures between 75º and 90ºF with nice and dry winds that keep us cool. Most homes in Atenas have only ceiling fans and I know only a handful of people who have A/C in their bedroom or office and never use it. Atenas also is one of those special locations in Costa Rica that has very little rainfall, so we’re high and dry most of the time. When it rains, the temperature doesn’t change. Everybody loves the weather in Atenas.
Atenas is known for its rural appeal and friendly small town atmosphere. Yet, if you’re interested there is plenty to do such as a bridge club, book club, women’s clubs, bible study, yoga classes, zumba classes, Spanish classes and so much more. There are also abundant volunteer opportunities with the local orphanage or teaching English to the locals. You can stay as active and involved as your heart desires. Since I live in Atenas, I have not been bored for one day.
The new highway has made Escazu, Santa Ana and San Jose just a 30 minute drive away, where there are the shopping malls, theatres, restaurants, nightclubs, golf courses, museums if you’re looking for more excitement, nightlife and culture. In the other direction, the beautiful Central Pacific Beaches such as Hermosa Beach, Herradura Beach, Punta Leona (with Playa Blanca and Playa Manta) and Jaco Beach are within an hour drive if you want to take off for a day at the beach or for a weekend.
Real estate in Atenas offers great value if you plan to buy a home in Costa Rica. Opposed to other cities and towns like Escazu and Santa Ana, most homes that are built in Atenas are one story ranch homes, many with incredible views.
If you are looking to move to or retire in Costa Rica, you should definitely have a good look at Atenas as your new home.