Determining the “best” places to live in Costa Rica is subjective and can depend on individual preferences, lifestyle, and priorities. However, there are several cities and regions in Costa Rica that are popular among residents and expatriates for their quality of life, natural beauty, and amenities. Here’s a list of some well-regarded places to live in Costa Rica and the order doesn’t necessarily imply a specific ranking:

1. San José: The capital city offers cultural attractions, services, and job opportunities.

2. Escazú: A suburb of San José known for its upscale neighborhoods and amenities.

3. Santa Ana: Another suburb of San José, popular for its expatriate community and modern infrastructure.

4. Heredia: A city with a pleasant climate and proximity to the capital.

5. Alajuela: Known for Juan Santamaría International Airport and a more relaxed pace of life.

6. Tamarindo: A beach town on the Pacific coast, popular for its surf and vibrant expat community.

7. Dominical: A relaxed coastal town known for its beaches and surfing.

8. Arenal: Located near the Arenal Volcano, offering stunning natural scenery.

9. Grecia: A town with a pleasant climate and a friendly community.

10. Monteverde: Known for its cloud forests and eco-tourism.

11. Quepos: Close to Manuel Antonio National Park, popular for wildlife and beaches.

12. Puerto Viejo: Located on the Caribbean coast, known for its laid-back atmosphere.

13. Liberia: A city in the Guanacaste region, often used as a gateway to the beaches.

14. Uvita: Known for its beautiful beaches and proximity to Marino Ballena National Park.

15. Jaco: A beach town with a lively atmosphere, popular for surfing and nightlife.

16. Atenas: Known for having one of the best climates in the world.

17. La Fortuna: Near Arenal Volcano, offering adventure and hot springs.

18. Ojochal: A coastal village known for its culinary scene.

19. Samara: A beach town known for its relaxed vibe.

20. San Ramón: A town in the Central Valley with a pleasant climate.

21. Nosara: Known for its yoga and wellness communities.

22. Santa Teresa: A beach town popular among surfers.

23. Playa Hermosa: A quieter beach destination near Jaco.

24. Zarcero: Known for its topiary gardens and cool climate.

25. San Isidro de El General: A city in the Southern Zone with a diverse expat community.

26. Cartago: A historical city with colonial architecture.

27. Mal País: A coastal town known for its natural beauty.

28. Pérez Zeledón: A region with a mix of rural and urban areas.

29. Turrialba: Known for its agricultural activities and the Turrialba Volcano.

30. Sarchí: Famous for its traditional crafts, especially oxcarts.

Downtown San Jose

Nogui’s Restaurant in Tamarindo








Tamarindo Beach

La Fortuna









Cartago Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles








These places offer a variety of lifestyles, climates, and amenities, so the best choice depends on individual preferences and priorities. Additionally, the popularity of certain areas can change over time. It’s recommended to visit and explore different regions to find the one that suits your needs and preferences the most.