Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our New Apartment in Escazu, Costa Rica

Ahhhhh, home sweet home... or at least our home for now. Jim and I are happy to report that we've found a wonderful apartment here in Costa Rica!

We're living in Escazu, an affluent suburb just west of the capital San Jose. We chose this neighborhood for several reasons, not the least of which is its proximity to Hospital CIMA (where I plan to deliver our son) and my new OB/GYN. It's also a very convenient place to live, as every amenity we could ever need is located within a few miles. We can even walk to several banks, cafes, and grocery stores.

Panoramic view of Escazu
To me, the only real drawback to living in Escazu is that it's Gringo Central. The area is a haven for wealthy American retirees as well as medical tourists. Now, as a gringa, I of course have nothing against my fellow norteamericanos. But the sheer number of expats living here has left an indelible mark on the neighborhood, raising the cost of living and clearly influencing local commerce. What do I mean by that? Well, if you look down the main boulevard, you'll find a McDonald's  KFC, Pizza Hut, Quiznos, TGIFridays, Tony Roma's, and Mrs. Fields. There's also an Office Depot, Starbucks, and Walmart nearby, as well as the Multiplaza shopping mall with Lacoste, Oscar de la Renta, and Calvin Klein. Not exactly an authentic Tico experience.

In the end, we decided that the higher prices were worth the convenience, especially now that I am 8 months pregnant. We also felt very safe and secure in this neighborhood.

So, on to the details on our new apartment! We are living in a furnished 1-bedroom condo in San Rafael de Escazu. It has a covered parking spot and is part of a gated complex with 8 units. We're on the top floor and have a nice view of the neighborhood streets as well as the local mountains in the distance.

Our favorite feature is the patio-turned-living-room, which is a big, bright, open space. The north side of the room is all windows, letting in tons of light and a wonderful afternoon breeze. It's like sitting outside, but with a couch and flat-screen TV!

The kitchen is also great too. It's relatively small, but well-appointed with an American-sized fridge, gas stove, microwave, and drip coffee machine.

We also have a cozy bedroom with a wall of floor-to-ceiling storage space.

The apartment is less than 550 sq ft, but feels very spacious and open thanks to its high ceilings and many windows. It's just big enough for us... and hopefully a baby too!

While we don't have a guest room, we are happy to offer you a spot on the living room couch (which is actually a sofa bed) if you'd like to come visit us here in Costa Rica!