Costa Rica to Cali, Colombia

Manuel Antonio / Quepos

Thursday, November 30: After Navide spent some time in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area, they thought we should see it, too, so we spent a day there…and agreed it is ‘on the list’ of potential places to resettle. So far, we have Puerto Viejo and Manuel Antonio on that list.

As you can see, the beach was just as nice when we were there with Navide. The towns of Quepos and Manuel Antonio are built into the hills and have an ocean breeze that keeps things a bit cooler. It’s a great beach to learn surfing because it has waves that are big enough, but not too big. Navide are well on their way to becoming pros….

The area gets lots of tourists, so there are countless hotels and a great array of restaurants. We had Indian food at an Indian restaurant staffed by actual people from India, and Davide pronounced it the best Indian food he’d had in Costa Rica. This area has a lot more shops and restaurants than Puerto Viejo, though it is harder to get around because the roads are too narrow for walking or biking safely.

We will come back and spend more time here, for sure! Here’s A admiring the sunset – they’re quite amazing on the beaches.

Friday, December 1: After our day at the beach, it was time. to return to Platanillo, pack, and drive to San Jose. We’re not sure if Sanji was helping or just making sure nobody left without him!

Gordanza spent the night in San Jose and flew to Cali the next day – no direct flights, unfortunately. The places we like so far are not that easy to get to. San Jose is Costa Rica’s only real city, and Navide are spending a few days there to check it out. Gordanza ate at a great Peruvian restaurant and could hear the crew setting up for a Roger Waters concert the following night – Another Brick in the Wall seemed to be the song chosen for setup.


Cali, Colombia is a large, bustling city in roughly the middle of Colombia. It is off the usual tourist route and is not as pretty as some other Colombian cities, but it has some great features. If you like salsa dancing or nightlife in general, Cali has plenty of that. Lots of restaurants and other things to do. The city is totally car-based and as a result there is way too much traffic. It takes forever to get anywhere and you’ll be breathing the exhaust of many two-stroke motorcycles and diesel trucks.

Why are we. not considering Cali? It is close to some family members, after all: Adriana’s mother and sister and their family, and other relatives live in the vicinity. It’s because the goal is not just inexpensive living. We want to create a retreat, too. For example, here is a perfectly nice condo for sale in a very nice part of Cali, with views, for ~$143,000 USD.

For those who haven’t seen a non-Haas avocado, here is a type that is common in Colombia and tastes just as good – but is much larger.

We’re staying in Elvia’s apartment, which has nice views and is cooler because higher. Cali’s temperatures are quite pleasant in the morning, evening, and night, but it gets up to ~32C each afternoon, sometimes hotter. It’s not as humid as the places we’ve been in Costa Rica, which helps.

Adriana is working all week here. Navide arrive on Friday, then on Wednesday, December 13 we head to Manizales for a few days to check that city out. Until the next post, here is A on the beach at Manuel Antonio.

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  1. Kathryn
    December 5, 2023

    Thanks for taking us along with you all, Brian!
    Looks wonderful – I’m as green as E’s plantas!

  2. Janey
    January 25, 2024

    More …. 😎

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