We have really enjoyed our time in Costa Rica. It’s equally beautiful, relaxing and weird, and we’ve had some amazing times exploring waterfalls, rivers, volcanoes, jungles, and beaches. However, one of the best lessons to learn when you move somewhere is when to leave, which is why we’ve decided to move from Costa Rica to Hawaii.


Why We are Leaving Costa Rica

The main reason why we are leaving is we cannot make a living here. As I’ve mentioned before, Costa Rica is not the place to move if you want to make or save money. Finding a job in Costa Rica, at least one that you are legally allowed to have, is a challenge, not to mention whether or not you’re needed very often or how much you’ll be making in that job. For 7 weeks of teaching at the elementary school once a week, I made $260. That’s about $37/day, and that’s pretty standard for work around here. Full time teachers make around $700-$800/month at the local elementary school. And while rent is cheap and we don’t have many bills, it’s not busy enough in most areas of this country, in my opinion, to make money on a consistent basis, especially if your job is dependent on tourists. For us, it’s simply too expensive to stay here any longer without some form of steady income.

Also, after visiting Maui, we realized that there are way more opportunities for us there. Since it’s a huge tourist destination all year long, businesses are always looking for employees. Whether it’s guiding scuba diving tours, doing marketing work for resorts and restaurants, taking sunset vacation photos, bartending, teaching dance classes, etc., we know that our skills are needed and we will be compensated for them. Plus it’s legal for us to work, so that’s a huge plus. It’s definitely more expensive than Costa Rica, but even Costa Rica is expensive when you aren’t making any money.

We will miss the funny quirks of life here, like police officers riding multiple people per scooter, people towing horses behind trucks, small children calling each other “punta” at every opportunity, and mannequins with nipples. They don’t usually have nipples, right? I don’t think I’m making that up.

It’s bittersweet to leave, but we knew we wouldn’t be here forever. Take a look at our little town of Coco!

why we are leaving

Estuary in Coco

living in costa rica as an american

Bar La Vida Loca, owned by a fellow Austinite!

american expats in costa rica

It didn’t fall in the woods, but I didn’t hear it, either.

tips for moving to costa rica

Local Boat

living in costa rica as an american

Street to Coco Beach

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Nice View

costa rica travel blogs

Coco Beach at Low Tide

living in costa rica as an expat

Abandoned Boat

playas del coco costa rica

Souvenir Shop in Town

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Little “Downtown” Coco

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Sketchy Bridge to Bar La Vida Loca

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Dessert Truck!

We will always have a soft spot in our hearts for Coco, and Costa Rica in general, and will miss the easy-going, no rush, no stress way of life here. Pura Vida indeed. Till next time, CR.