Costa Rica Lifestyle

La chilera and the hot sauce in Costa Rica

La chilera and the hot sauce in Costa RicaThe Costa Rican cuisine offers quite a variety of vegetables that you can purchase at any farmers market or grocery store as you all know. What many do not know is that those vegetables are also used in one of the most important ingredients of that Costa Rican cuisine: la chilera. The chilera is an important ingredient in the typical food that you will find in the local restaurants and what local families eat in their daily diet.

Some call it a hot sauce in Costa Rica but it really is not. El chilera is really nothing more than spicy pickled vegetables.

The easiest way to get your chilera is to go shopping; you will find a tremendous variety of chileras in the grocery store. Certain towns in Costa Rica, like Zarcero, are pretty famous for their chileras. You can also shop at any farmers market for the necessary ingredients and make your own chilera and enjoy typical food of Costa Rica whenever you can.

What makes Escazu so Unique in Costa Rica?

What makes Escazu unique?You know what makes Escazu unique? Living in Escazu is different than it is elsewhere in Costa Rica, anywhere really.

Don’t try driving around in Escazu during Christmas time just for the fun of it; you’re going to go crazy. I know all the shortcuts, but they’re all gone, shortcuts don’t exist anymore. Traffic is hell, don’t try to go to Multiplaza Escazu to do your Christmas shopping, unless it’s October.

So why the HECK do I live in Escazu?

I’m sorry, but the best answer I can come up with is that Escazu can give you that awesome lifestyle. Living in Escazu is worth writing about is location, location, location and the lifestyle Escazu has to offer. I'm saying I'm sorry because many expats that move to Costa Rica don't know what Escazu has to offer, hence this blog. I know Costa Rica from border to border and there is no city in Costa Rica that has so much to offer as Escazu has.

Have a good look at the first photo in this blog and some others throughout this article, I took all those photos right here in Escazu. That’s what is so great about living in Escazu, you can have the best of both worlds here and if offers that great lifestyle that you thought you left behind when you left your hometown. That is the main reason I have owned Escazu real estate myself for years. Check out the photo below, I just took that from my office. That is the view I enjoy every day from my desk (when I’m not looking at my computer screen) and I live in the middle of those traffic jams on Christmas day.

The number 1 requirement to move to Costa Rica is tolerance


The number 1 request to move to Costa Rica is tolerance No matter where you live in the world, to be able to live in peace and harmony with your neighbors you need tolerance and it is no different when you move to Costa Rica. Haven’t we all met those immigrants in our hometown who try hard to adjust, learn about our culture, our language and immerge fully in society? Latin and Anglo countries are the most tolerant, says a survey by two Swedish economists.

People in the survey were most likely to embrace a racially diverse neighbor in the United Kingdom and its Anglo former colonies (the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and in Latin America.

I think tolerance should be a two way street.  How about you?

If you plan is to move to Costa Rica or you have already done so, the number 1 request to make it function is to be tolerant. You need to keep an open mind end realize that YOU will be a guest to the country until you become a citizen.

Property for sale around the Cariari Golf and Country Club offer an exciting lifestyle


Property for sale around the Cariari Golf and Country ClubThe Cariari Golf and Country Club is Costa Rica’s premier and in the most beautifully designed master planned community in the Central Valley that features the perfect location right between the cities of San José, Heredia and Alajuela.  Ciudad Cariari, a lifestyle community, or commonly called just Cariari, is a wonderful and exciting environment to live close to your work and features convenient and direct access to everything offered in the area by highway 1, also called the Pan American Highway.

Located in the friendly and welcoming town of Belen, residents of Cariari enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle that includes golf, tennis and swimming, at only 1 hour from the warm beaches of the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Our Cariari real estate agent, Shell Johanson, lives in Cariari himself and is member of this well-known country club, an easy way to be introduced to other members of the club.

The Cariari Golf and Country Club organizes the DHL Golf Tournament in March and the Summa Golf Tournament in April every year, as well as the couples’ tournament and the Copa Presidente in December. During the whole year there are several Golf Clinics for juniors, seniors, small children, women’s as well as the Mother’s Day Tournament

Tennis outfits in Grecia perfect for active retirement in Costa Rica


Tennis outfits in Grecia perfect for active retirement in Costa RicaWhen showing property with clients a while ago, I saw a couple of tennis rackets and a basket full of tennis balls in the garage of the Grecia home for sale. We were way up in the mountains of Grecia and it didn’t need much imagination to figure out that the property didn’t have its own tennis court unless the owner liked to hit tennis balls into the valley for the fun of it.

Thanks to the owners of that property, I can give you the good news about another great amenity in Grecia: tennis courts. I always thought that the Costa Rica Tennis Club in Sabana, San Jose was the only club with decent tennis courts in the Central Valley, not counting the various country clubs like the Cariari Country Club, the Costa Rica Country Club and the Los Reyes Country Club, which are all membership clubs.

I wasn’t aware that there are quite a few expats who retired in Grecia because they play tennis, the reason for this small blog about it. For those who are looking for an active retirement, living in Grecia can be a great option. If you plan to move to Costa Rica and tennis is your sport, Grecia might possibly be a good choice.

Meet your Marijuana friendly Real Estate Broker in Costa Rica

I saw this article about Denver residential real estate agent Bob Costello who launched a Marijuana-friendly advertising campaign in January this year when the state of Colorado legalized Marijuana for recreational use by adults 21 and over. Great idea!

I have never smoked pot in my life myself because I come from a family of fervent cigarette smokers and when my school friends back in Holland would get stoned on pot, I would have a cigarette and a beer. I never felt the need to getting stoned on anything.

Anybody reading this blog might think that all GoDutch Realty agents agree with what I will say in the following sentences. Well, I don’t know. This blog is called Ivo’s blog because this is my way of seeing things, my opinion. If you’re not interested in Marijuana and don’t agree with my opinion and can’t live with it, we have lots of great Costa Rica property for sale on our website that you can look at instead of reading this blog.

If you're looking to buy pot when visiting Costa Rica don't call or email me. Ask a taxi driver to connect you with a drug dealer.

Culture bumps are normal when moving to any foreign country

by Ivo Henfling

Culture bumps are normal when moving to any foreign country Recently, we have been publishing blogs by expats TicoNuevo and FloridaTico that our readers seem to like. Why do readers like them? Because they tell you the truth! Because they don’t only tell you about all the great things that Costa Rica offers but also about all these culture bumps they hit on the way!

Many readers of our blogs might think these culture bumps only exist for those who move to Costa Rica. Well, surprise surprise, they’re not.  There is a website that is called exactly that, Culture Bumps, and it is a space where expats tell their stories. It’s fun to read.

I love particularly how they describe on their page what a culture bump is: A culture bump is a situation in intercultural communication that one or more people have experienced as confusing, strange, irritating, embarrassing, or amusing. Sound familiar?

Due diligence before you purchase property in Costa Rica

by Ivo Henfling

Due diligence before you purchase property in Costa RicaIt’s funny how some people see something totally different than others, while looking at the same thing.

The perception of each person can be so different for many reasons, especially when looking at property in Costa Rica, an environment that is totally different than the one you are accustomed to.

I never forget, when I was little, my mom and dad bought an expensive antique oak dining table and they were incredibly proud of having bought the table and it was a showpiece indeed.

One day, we had a visitor who was in his twenties, a university student, and his first reaction was “how can you spend that kind of money on a dining table while in so many parts of the world people are starving to death.

I found Yoga in Costa Rica at 51 years old

by Corinne Aulakh

Yoga in Costa Rica when at 51 years oldI am a fan of Ivo’s blog and especially enjoyed the recent submission, Suggestions on what to do with your free time in Costa Rica by guest blogger, TicoNuevo.  Humbly, I would like to add to his many valuable recommendations and suggest using this extra free time to find, develop, and enhance a healthy lifestyle.  

I came to Costa Rica as a pensionado with 3 young children to raise 22 years ago.   I did not speak a word of Spanish.  I actually did do pretty much all the actions suggested in TicoNuevo’s blog.  I joined a Spanish-speaking group to learn the language, I volunteered my time with PANI, I volunteered in the school my children attended, and I joined a couple of women’s groups that met weekly. 

My arrival as a new Costa Rica expat

by guest blogger TicoNuevo

Arriving in Costa RicaNow that we are here living in Costa Rica, I’m throwing my chronological approach out the window and we’ll cover topics that may have value for you, plus interesting subjects and observations that perhaps will put a smile on your face or may help you better understand about living in Costa Rica.  

However, I am going to reverse course for just a second and mention something that may grab your immediate attention after you land. (If this gets back to Costa Rican customs, I may ruin it for everyone that follows.) 

Plan to accept the offer you will receive from, at least, one of the Costa Rican “Skycaps” hanging around the airport baggage carousel. Engage them in friendly conversation. Be congenial. They will grab all of your bags as you identify them, throw them on their cart and escort you through customs to outside the terminal entrance.