Costa Rica Blog
No matter where you look right now in Costa Rica it seems that there's work being done on the highways. Long noted for having some of the worst roads in the Americas, Costa Rica has been working very hard to change its reputation for having bad roads. On my recent trip hosting discovery tours in early December I had some time on my hands and did some highway touring and here's my report. Background information: MOPT is the name of the agency responsible for the roads in Costa Rica and there is both a website and phone number you can call to check on daily road closures, delays, etc.
If you happen to be in Costa Rica at the right time of year, a fun thing to do is going to the many rodeos, horse demonstrations or “bull fights”. Horses are almost a national symbol in Costa Rica and always a cause for a celebration. Rodeos are staged throughout the country and many small towns have their own rodeo or bull ring. There are also some portable ones and even a circuit of professional riders that tour around and appear at shows.
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A Woman President- Today marks a historical moment. Laura Chinchilla was elected president last night by carrying nearly 50% of the vote. Costa Rica has the highest concentration of women in office on the planet, currently at about 40%. The government is suggesting that the number should be 50/50 and are working to do so. Costa Rica also has term limits of 4 years for a President. They can run again but must sit out at least a four year term before being eligible to run again. This was Oscar Arias's second term in office.
People ask all the time about Panama as the new Costa Rica. Both are popular expat locations and both have pros and cons. Panama is cheaper from a tax perspective since under the pensionado program there, property taxes are waived for at least 10 years but keep in mind that many who move there do not do so under the pensionado program, therefore they still pay property taxes. Candidly property taxes are low in both countries, so low that to base a consideration on where to live on that aspect makes no sense. Choose the place you like the best based on quality of life, health care, ease and cost of accessibility, activities available, infrastructure, friendliness, etc. Cost of living is candidly about the same in either country. Living in Panama City is similar to living in San Jose, lots of expats, more crime, like city living anywhere.