The popular ex-pat town of Grecia - Just one of the great areas Coldwell Banker Pura Via Paradise serves!
Once voted the cleanest town in Latin America, Grecia is a jewel of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Costa Rica's largest cities, Grecia is a quiet hamlet. The center of town, both literally and figuratively, is the beautiful Catholic Church Inglesia de la Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes. The main church is not your typical brick or stone, but it is actually constructed of sheets of metal, imported from Belgium in the 1890s. Painted a dark red with brilliant white trim, the church is quite striking. The gothic style interior is also worth stopping in to see. Its architectural features include stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and gingerbread trim. Even if you are not Catholic, it is a lovely historic building to tour and enjoy a little reflection time.
Adjacent to the church is a large central park where residents and visitors talk, relax, gaze at the many exotic birds that fly by, or just people watch. In the center of the park is a band shell that hosts frequent performances. Everything from the town's youth orchestra to rock bands have performed here. There is also a kids' playscape and a small pavilion for events, plus an iconic "Grecia" sign for your social media photo requirements.
Grecia is a farming town, mostly coffee and sugarcane, but also some produce and citrus. The people are friendly and welcoming and love to celebrate during holidays.
The downtown is bustling with activity as the residents shop, do business, and drive through town on their way to another city. Most inhabitants, expats and ticos, live outside of town.
There are multiple communities a short distance drive from the town center that provide easy access to the conveniences of town, but without the traffic. There are also five inclining mountain ridges that are about 10 miles out of town. These ridges provide the coolest temperatures and best views. Most residents don't live downtown. While there are communities downtown, most expats chose to live on one of the five roads that follow the ridges up the slope of Poas Volcano. These ridges are at a much higher elevation. Each ridge radiates from Grecia like fingers from an outstretched hand. Because the ridge roads are often many miles long, there are typically multiple communities with a church, soccer field and convenience stores on each ridge.
Grecia is the perfect place to retire. The town is a medium sized farming town of about 16,000 residents. The elevation for Grecia and its environs range from 3,000 to 5,000 feet, providing ideal temperatures year round and stunning vistas from most places in town.
In addition to the weather, Grecia is large enough to have nearly all the conveniences you might need. There are plenty of options for shopping in town. Multiple grocery stores provide everyday staples, and there are clothing stores, hardware stores, and even a mall.
For healthcare there are multiple pharmacies, each with a nurse on staff. The town has many general practitioners to choose from, as well as some specialists. There are at least three dentists and a couple of optometrists too. Many of the doctors are U.S. trained and speak English. Grecia also has its own hospital and Caja office.
Another great thing about retiring to Grecia is the town's proximity to other conveniences. The international airport in Alajuela, along with other excellent shopping options is only forty minutes away, and the capital city of San Jose which provides cultural activities as well as excellent restaurants, is only an hour away.
Grecia provides a great lifestyle for those exiting the rat race of the U.S. and looking for a slower pace of life.
Grecia's perfect temperature encourages outdoor pursuits like walking or hiking, bird watching and photography.
The expat community in Grecia is large and active. There are many clubs and activities that allow for socializing and there are also many volunteer opportunities for those that wish to give back to the community.
The town has multiple restaurants, some even feature live music provided by local expat bands.
And then there is the feria, or farmers market, one of the best in the Central Valley. Grecia's feria is the perfect place to meet up with friends and find a great deal on produce.
Since Grecia is a farming town and consumable goods are priced for residents, not tourists, prices for daily living are some of the lowest in the country. Produce is much cheaper than in the U.S. and meats are about the same. Each weekend farmers set up their stalls at the feria and shoppers can get great deals.
Grecia has a mall with retail stores and a movie theater showing new releases. The mall also has a North American style food court with McDonalds, KFC and Taco Bell.
For a sit down meal you can hardly beat the prices at a soda, a small family owned restaurant. The price for a casado, a typical Costa Rican meal of meat, rice and beans along with a beer will cost about $8.00. A meal for two with a glass of wine can run $40.00 or more. Household help is affordable in Grecia as well.
Grecia is also firmly entrenched as Costa Rica's used car capital, boasting 63 car dealerships. Although it is not considered a tourist hotspot, it is not difficult to discover plenty to do and to see in the area.
There are many interesting and fun places to visit nearby. Some of the most popular are Sarchi, where you will find the Guinness Book of World Records largest oxcart in the world, as well as fine wood furniture made by hand by talented artisans.
Close by is also Los Chorros Waterfalls. The name comes from many jets of water that come from the hillside, but the main attraction is the two magnificent falls called Catarata Zamora and Catarata Prendas. There is an area for picnics if you want to make a day trip. Be sure to wear water shoes.
Many expats call Grecia their home
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