Reviews of Living Abroad in Costa Rica
The 'Go-To' Guide
A very fine book. Jam-packed with up-to-date information an expat
simply must know, it is also very useful for the seasoned traveler
looking to deepen their experience, and will provide reassuring
confidence for the first time visitor. This effort is no mere compilation
of sources, it does not read as though written by committee, no
click and paste here. Clearly a labor of love, written with a focussed
vision, its literary merits add to the book's charm. A rare combination
of info, first-hand experience and intelligence. The 'go-to' guide.
--K. Payton (Central Coast, California)
A fun-to-read travel guide
This is a brilliantly written travel guide that is genuinely fun
to read. You won't find the tedious lists of restaurants, hotels,
and attractions that are typical of other books. Rather, this book
gives the unvarnished truth about the important issues for people
wanting to stay for the long haul: how to get health care, where
you might find work, how to fit in with Costa Rican culture, how
to find a home off the beaten path, where to take Spanish classes.
Erin has a great style and an acute sense of humor. If you're interested
in an extended stay in Costa Rica, or even if you're just planning
a vacation and you want to get to know the country like a local,
this book is a must-read.
-- Zach A. Thomas (San Marcos, Texas)
This book is such a precious find for anybody considering a prolonged
stay in Costa Rica. This is the third book about Costa Rica that
I purchased, but the first one that held my interest for more than
a few pages. I found myself using a highlighter and bookmarking
page after page of useful tips, information, and advice!
--Judith Fernandez (Cranston, RI)
Not trying to sell you
I bought this book based on the [Amazon] reviews, and I am not disappointed.
I sat down with a highlighter in hand, and within a few days had
gotten through the entire book. It covers many topics and is well
laid out and easy to read.
Some of the other books I've purchased are merely the author trying
to SELL you their services, their tours, their other books etc...but
this one was simply presenting information.
I've recently passed it onto someone else looking at the 'big move'
and his first comment back to me was "now I see why you've
gotten so fired up about Costa Rica after reading this book
Thinking of making the move
Though we are still thinking about whether to make the move, the
book was very insightful and practical in helping make the decision.
The author paints a beautiful picture of the country and also talks
about some of the unknowns that we were wondering about to include
medical facilities, transportation, cultural aspects, and budgets.
Very informative and interesting
Very much what I was looking for! a great book to start out your
adventures, ahead of time. Answers questions, and brings to mind
many more! Thank you.
--Cowleyjags (Austin, Texas USA)
Great Introduction to Living in Costa Rica!
As the author of a travel guidebook to Costa Rica (Explore Costa
Rica, Fifth Edition), I know many of the people Erin interviewed
for her book. Erin has no real estate sales to push and does not
lead retirement tours, so she can tell it like it is. And she does.
Erin has obviously done her homework, and it shows! This is required
background reading for anyone contemplating moving to Costa Rica.
(And it is useful for short-term visitors as well).
--Harry S. Pariser (San Francisco, CA)
"Living Abroad in Costa Rica" is packed full of useful
information. Also, there are real life examples of people who made
the move down there. This book is a must have.
--Darris C. Sweet (Las Vegas, NV USA)
Easy to read and very entertaining
If you are thinking of moving or retiring to Costa Rica, this book
is a great place to start whether you have been to Costa Rica before,
or know nothing at all.
The best thing that I liked about the book besides the great information
is that it does what a book is supposed to do... Take you away from
whatever is going on in the world while you are reading it and transport
you somewhere else, in this case Costa Rica.
I have shared this book with a number of friends, and they all say
the same thing, the book is an easy read, informative, entertaining.
I have studied a great deal about Costa Rica, and this book highlights
all the important information that I have found in numerous other
disparate sources. In short, a great one stop shop for useful information
on living in Costa Rica. I have examined numerous travel books on
Costa Rica, but this one ranks the highest of what I have found
--V. Bishop (Austin, TX)
Very informative, very well written
Having read most every book available about living in Costa Rica,
I find that this book is the most accurate, informative and useful
of any that I have read. The author discusses mail service, schools,
health care alternatives and other things that no other book mentions.
This is a very useful tool for someone considering moving to Costa
Rica or has already done so and needs a little help.
--A. Passman (Costa Rica)
Van Rheenen provides competent, balanced description.
Most authors have a difficult time summarizing information but this
seems to be the strong suit of Van Rheenen's writing. Instead of
dictating what to do, the author outlines the many possibilities
for living in Costa Rica. The author does a superb job of presenting
the best side of the country she calls home, while carefully documenting
the potential downsides and difficulties of living in Costa Rica.
Best of all, the reader isn't forced to rely on or wonder about
the authors' personal credentials in order to establish the validity
of the information. Profiles of people from all over the world who
have relocated to Costa Rica and made it their home provide the
best, most convincing, real time, real world examples of how re-locating
can be done. The profiles do not showcase either wealthy retirees
with big nest eggs or beach bums who slummed their way to paradise
on a dime. These are people who are actually making a living, making
money and living well--even if not getting rich--in Costa Rica.
Their stories also include the difficulties they have had on their
road to financial stability in a foreign country.
If you're like me, just toying with the idea of living in Costa
Rica but definitely want to travel there, this book still provides
an excellent guide. Over half its pages are filled with general
descriptions of what to see in different areas without getting too
bogged down with too many details.
--Justin M. Teerlinck
Buy this book and you won't lose your Camisa!
Comprehensive and for the most part unbiased. The author seems to
lean toward a "no-frills" type lifestyle, but she makes
no effort to sell you on her preferences. This book is absolutely
packed with great information.
--KC "Cudlow" (Seattle)
I’ve found the book very beneficial of what to expect if one
decides to relocate to Costa Rica. The author seems to have done
her homework in talking to locals as well as expats.
--S. Waskilewicz (Downeast Maine)
And I wasn't even looking to relocate
I wasn't planning on moving out of the country and I've never been
to Costa Rica. But I took a look at a friend's copy of this book,
and found myself thinking, Why the heck not? Costa Rica sounds like
an amazing place, a peaceful paradise where they spend more on health
care than on the military (they don't have a military, so that's
not surprising). Reading this book is like talking with your sharpest,
most adventurous friend, the girl who's gotten dusty going down
every dirt road so that you might be able to travel the (semi)paved
Now that I'm into the idea I've paged through a few other "live
overseas" books, and Van Rheenen's seems to be the real deal.
Substantial, for one thing, with lots of information and (even better)
a genuine point of view. The author pulls no punches talking about
how it is to be a foreign woman alone in a Latin country, and doesn't
sugar-coat the frustrations of finding a job or dealing with government
bureaucracies. My friend had a couple of other Move to Costa Rica
books, but they seemed to be by older guys advising older guys on
how to retire cheaply and hook up with lovely young ladies.
A Superb Travel and Living Guide to Costa Rica
Having traveled to Costa Rica several times over the last 15 years
- for both pleasure and business - the idea of making The Move,
of leaving yourself behind, is a reoccurring thought and increasingly
dear to my heart.
In planning another trip this spring I came across Ms. Van Rheenen's
splendid "Living Abroad in Costa Rica" doing a search
on Amazon. Frankly, I expected one more of those endless travel
book-of-lists, where one looks up a town or region only to find
suspect hotel snap shots and questionable restaurant reviews.
Instead I found a wealth of very detailed information, thorough,
logically laid out and well packaged. Further, the authors personal
commentary is both insightful and often very funny. For example,
her observation that the availability of single cigarettes at street
kiosks allows you to "pretend you're not really a smoker"
or in her discussion of the healthcare system; a fellow who had
opted back into the state system and "was trying to schedule
his operation within the next decade." Unlike most travel books,
"Living Abroad in Costa Rica" is well worth reading cover
-- R. Colman (Texas)
I appreciate this book
Living Abroad in Costa Rica is a generally informative book re:
culture, how to gain residency, lifestyles, weather conditions and
many other bits of necessary information to assist in becoming a
new contributor in the life of Tico culture.
Isaac S. Nyden (Vallejo, Ca.)