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The Real Costa Rica Tour

June 10th, 2016

Because of the many complex and serious issues in the world and especially in the United States, more and more people are considering the idea of living in another country and  are considering Costa Rica.

The social, economic and political changes beginning around 2008 and continuing in 2016 are affecting the people of many countries not the least  from the United States. I moved to Costa Rica about 16 years ago but I read, speak with and trade emails with so many folks.  I hear this:

Between the economy and dwindling savings and retirement accounts, many folks are being forced to re-evaluate their retirement plans.

Layoffs are still common, and for those over age 50, a layoff can be a disaster.  There have been a number of terrorist attacks on US soil over the past few years (exclusing 9/11 of course), though for some reason, they are sometimes not called terrorist attacks.

The national debt for the USA is now an enormous 19 TRILLION dollars. This has grown from about 10.5 trillion since 2008 and is expected to exceed 2o trillion dollars by the end of 2016. If you wish to monitor this in real time, Click Here.  Scary!

Therefore, when I hear this time and again from clients and via email,  “We cannot afford to retire in the USA, neither of us really want to (or perhaps can not) continue working past age 65”.

I believe it!  Further, their future fixed incomes will be diminished by inflation.

I believe these are valid concerns.  The cost alone of managing the huge national debt will most certainly result in a higher inflation rate which will affect everyone but probably most those on fixed incomes.  Read that as older persons and those on social security or disability.

For a long time, people have asked me if I would be available to spend a day or two exclusively with them and give them their own custom Costa Rica teaching tour. I began doing this on a very limited basis about 8 years ago, but now the inquiries have begun to arrive almost daily, and it is clear that people want to get the REAL story on Costa Rica. Moving here can be expensive not only in terms of money but also “emotional capital” and time spent. Failure makes a bad situation even worse.

Other tours (currently there are maybe 2 or 3) seem to concentrate directly or indirectly on real estate sales or project development even though they claim to be “Retirement Tours” or  “Relocation Tours”. This is often just not the case. Nearly all show and/or sell property or are connected directly with those who do by providing introductions during their tours to developers or realtors .

Is that bad?  Certainly not.  However, while those types of real estate tours certainly have a their place, more and more people realize that buying property before they know Costa Rica and whether they want or will even like the country is very premature. The time to consider real estate is AFTER you have lived here and know with 100% certainty that Costa Rica is  for you.

More importantly…  a person  selling real estate (or any product for that matter) or potentially receiving a commission for facilitating a future real estate sale, is almost certainly not going to say anything negative that will make you not want to live here. Politician call this “spinning”…  However, it is exactly those negatives you MUST know if you are to understand life and living here. For an international move, you just have to have the correct information, good and not so good. It will increase vastly your chances of making a successful transition.

Currently,  about 55 – 60% of those moving here leave Costa Rica in the first year so buying property in Costa Rica before you are sure that you want to live here is just a really bad idea.

Are my tours negative about living in Costa Rica? Not at all! I love living here…  the larger and far more important question is, “Will you?”.

I spend our time together teaching you what your daily life will be like… good and bad. Why? It is my opinion that one of the big reasons people do not adjust to Costa Rica is that they have no idea what is coming. Some surprises are nice. Others less so. I deal in facts, and I never try to sell Costa Rica.

I do not book your hotel rooms during your tour for a commission. I won’t even tell you my dentist’s name until after you live here.

I sell no real estate and will not show you homes. I make no introductions to realtors or to developers.

I do discuss and sometimes visit a few areas that meet your financial requirements and I comment on security, population mix, infrastructure, proximity to health care,  etc. and I teach you what to look for in good neighborhoods. Meanwhile, you are learning about the REAL Costa Rica every minute we are together.

If you like the tone and content of The Real Costa Rica web site and BLOG, and you want to make intelligent decisions on this life changing move, then you may find spending personal time with me to be beneficial.

However, if all you want is to pay to see some homes or spend 2-3 days hearing how perfect is Costa Rica, then you probably will not much enjoy my tour. My tour is like my web site. I tell you exactly what you need to know, not just what you want to hear.

Things to consider:

  • I own three successful companies here in Costa Rica. These tours are not a business for me. I do them because I truly want people who are considering a move to Costa Rica to maximize their chances for success. An international move is a daunting, expensive and time consuming endeavor, and you need to know what is coming your way before you begin the process.
  • You tour with me personally. There is no group. You get 100% of my time during the tour whether for one or two days. This is better, I have been told, as many folks do not care to share their personal lives or needs with 8-12 strangers. Often they want to discuss things of a somewhat private nature.
  • We cover the realities of living here… everything from the banking system, health care (public and private), crime and personal security, where to live, shopping, technology (Internet, etc), residency options… and even to hiring a maid! In other words, the works.

Below are two videos filmed by one of my tour customers, Andy Brown and his wife Fran. Their story is sadly becoming more an more common.

In this first video, Fran and Andy discuss why the have to consider a move to Costa Rica.

In this second video, Andy discusses their what they decided were their priorities and discusses the time they spent with me.


If so, please contact me regarding tours only at ticograndetours@gmail.com  If interested, contact me at that email address.  I seldom check the comments so email is more efficient.

Thank you!

15 Responses to “The Real Costa Rica Tour”

  1. miguel on December 2, 2009 12:28 am

    Hola Tim,

    There’s a possibility that we might be interested in that Custom Costa Rica Tour…How much notice do you need to do it? How much does it cost? We’re planning on visiting this Dec if all works out…probably mid to late Dec-09…We’re undecided how long we’ll stay in CR…could be up to 5-6 months. You have my e-mail address should you wish to contact me there instead.


  2. Tim on December 2, 2009 7:56 pm

    I will email you.

  3. David on December 29, 2009 10:32 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I hope your faring well this Holiday season. I am coming to CR btw 1/26/09 & 2/9/10 and would like to see if you can arrange to show me around a bit. I’m planning on the ARCR seminar and then have everything else free.

    I am looking for property that I can use at first for vacationing in the summer and with in 2-3 years relocate permanently. I would like to see some of the Caribbean, Central & Southern Zones, Ah and the Samara area seems to drawing my interest as of late.

    I realize that we can’t do it all and I wondered if I could due a short tour and then maybe spend a a few hours filling me in on the other areas for self exploration and also discussing business opportunities.

    Does that sound like something you would be interested in? If so, do you have a daily rate? I look forward to talking with you.


  4. Tim on January 3, 2010 10:34 am

    Sorry for the late response…

    Best to read this:


    to learn about my tours… Then contact me at that email address if you have an interest.

  5. cindy rhodes on January 13, 2010 4:50 pm

    We are arriving in Costa Rica on Feb. 18th, 2010 and were hoping to set up a tour with you, hoping to learn about the areas around San Jose, not necessarily in San Jose. I was reading about the aparthotels you stayed in and think something like that would work best for our situation. Needing one furnished. And also being close to health care. If you have time then that would be great. We will be in Costa Rica at least until March 16th unless something goes really wrong. The sooner the better.

  6. Tim on January 14, 2010 6:57 am

    I received your email and have responded.

  7. dallas mccarty on February 28, 2010 10:36 pm

    Lots of info here. We are arriving in Costa Rica on may. 31th, 2010 for 30 days and were hoping to set up a tour with you, hoping to learn about the areas. Would like to ear from you soon.
    thanks Dallas

  8. sue harris on March 4, 2010 7:17 pm

    Your website states that a passport be vaild for 6 months after departure date. I’ve been reading other websites and they are stating 30 days. How do i find out for sure which is right? I have booked a trip for costa rica for april 15th. I am from Canada and government website states 30 days.

  9. Sharon Goltry on March 22, 2010 12:44 pm

    My husband and I are very interested in meeting with you when we visit Costa Rica before May this year. My husband is a physician/surgeon with a speciality in Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, & Throat). He is particularly interested in knowing about possible teaching positions at one of Costa Rica’s medical schools or teaching hospitals, or if it would be possible to practice medicine in Costa Rica on a work Visa.

    I have a Master’s degree in Technical Communication and am also interested in teaching if possible.

    Your website is very informative and beautifully organized.
    Please let us know what your fees are for one of your tours.
    Thank you,
    Sharon G.

  10. Jesse & Catherine Brown on March 23, 2010 12:47 pm

    Tim, we have litened to the videos and others, I am age 76 my wife 78, we have been thinking about Costa Rica and possibly spending 6 mos out of the year, renting an apartment convenient to shopping and health care, we have been going to Fla for the winter renting, it has been nice but things as you know are changing in the US, we now have a very progressive Gov., frankly we want to be in a nice place for the winter months, to be able to live the years that we have left around nice people, Costa Rica and living with the Ticos and the expatriats, sounds like a lot of nice people.
    Tim is there acceptable DSL or internet in the homes available?
    Will our healthcare policies be accepted there?
    Or can Health ins be purchased for the period we are there?
    I have macula degeneration in both eyes and have to have a shot for my right eye only every eight weeks, 8, does the ctry have a “Retina Specialist”?
    Other than that we have no problems.

    What is the cost for a one and two day personal tour?

    We live in Rutherford County North Carolina

    Thanks Jesse & Catherine

  11. Tim on March 24, 2010 8:00 am

    I have replied to you via email.

    For tour info, you need to contact me here:

    ticogrande [at] gmail.com

  12. Tim on March 24, 2010 8:06 am

    I have replied to you via email.

  13. Tim on March 24, 2010 8:12 am

    I have replied via email.

  14. John Cole on April 10, 2010 10:23 am

    My wife and I are contemplating coming to CR for a month from the US sometime after the end of May; time frame not critical other than making arrangement to close house here etc. When would you be available to discuss and show us the “real” CR, of course what is the cost for your services, and would you have other recommendations i.e. clean reasonable place to stay for the month or maybe you would recommend moving around, transportation and whatever you else might think of. We are in our mid 60’s and have been retired for a few years. We have both looked extensively at your site and other sites and have a goal of a relaxed lifestyle and reduced retirement cost.


  15. John Cole on April 12, 2010 9:15 am

    Speaking some Spanish is a must, to at least some degree, I am sure. My wife and I wonder how difficult was it to learn and at least feel some what comfortable? Tips or thoughts appreciated.


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