Why We Chose To Live and Work in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for a Month
Mike and I decided to bring our entire family to Costa Rica not just to travel and vacation, but to experience life & work here. Even though we are American, Mike and I can run our businesses from anywhere, so we figured why not go somewhere we love?!
We felt one month was long enough to settle in and have it feel like we “live” here but not so long that we’d get homesick. We chose Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, a small beach town with a 3ish mile long road lined with shops, restaurants, surf stores and hotels. The road is shared by people on foot, bike, ATV, motorbike, car and truck alike. There are not many attractions here besides the beach, surfing, and doing yoga. We do not have a car, so our day to day live exists within a small area that we can access via the bikes our AirBnB provided or by foot.
Is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica Kid Friendly?
I would say that Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is fairly kid friendly, but there are some things that make it a little more difficult. For one, the aforementioned only road in town does not have sidewalks. Banana Beach is the most kid friendly restaurant in town – it’s on the beach and has a playground! When we went to Banana Beach, we talked down the beach instead of the road, which we considered safer.
If you traveled to Santa Teresa for a shorter trip, I’d recommend getting an ATV that your family can ride on (there’s no where to park so I don’t think I’d recommend a car) if you truly wanted to explore. We do plan to rent a car one weekend and explore other areas of the Nicoya peninsula, but we don’t feel we need a car to live day to day life here.
The second reason Santa Teresa isn’t as kid friendly is that the waves are big. This isn’t a big deal for our kids because they have no desire to play in the waves. They like to wade in and hold our hands and squeal and laugh and then play with sand toys. But for slightly older kids, the waves are pretty big and there can be a strong current. However, there are some incredible tide pools that are exposed during low tide, which was really great for kids to explore!
We invited my cousin Jaclyn to come with us to help watch the kids so we can have some time to work and time away from the kids to explore and be together. Otherwise, honestly this trip would be a lot more exhausting! I love my kids, but 3 year old twins and a 5 year old are a lot to keep up with! Having a part time caregiver and a third set of hands has been HUGE for our enjoyment level while here with 3 kids! Jaclyn is a lifesaver and we are so thankful she wanted to come along!!
CoWorking Lifestyle in Santa Teresa
We work 4 mornings a week and play 3 days a week. Many digital nomads are exploring south and central america and co-working spaces with high speed internet have popped up everywhere. The only option in Santa Teresa is Selina Cowork, which has 2 locations in town (the Selina Santa Teresa North location is closer to our house but the work space is very small so we commute on our bikes to the south location). We purchased a 1 month pass for the co-working space at Selina Cowork Santa Teresa for $150 each. You can work here for $4/hour or they have weekly and daily rates.
Here’s how a typical week day living and working in Santa Teresa goes for a family of 5:
5-5:30: Wake up, drink coffee, Mike leaves to surf. Sunrise is 4:45, so usually the kids wake up around now too.
5:30-6: Feed the kids snacks and then sit outside by the pool and do my morning routine while drinking my preworkout drink
6-8 AM: Do home workout or go for a run with my cousin, then once Mike is back from surfing, we eat breakfast and get ready
8 AM: 1.5 mile bike commute to our co-working space – Selina Santa Teresa South
8-12:30: Work on my coaching business . I absolutely love what I do & genuinely enjoy spending time virtually with my teammates. Working while here doesn’t feel like a burden and I actually look forward to it!
12:30 – 2: Ride our bikes to lunch (so far we’ve tried a new place every day!) and stop at the grocery store on the way home. We have to grocery shop every single day because we have to carry the groceries. I need to look into grocery delivery but have not done it yet!
2-3: A little downtime while the girls finish their nap
3-5: Family play time – pool or beach. We swim every single day at the pool at our AirBnb.
5-6:30: Make & eat dinner (or go out) and family time. Mike and I do a date night one a week while Jaclyn watches the kids and sometimes Jaclyn and I will go do a yoga class or get dinner.
6:30-7:30 Wind down, put kids to bed around 7:30.
8:00 Everyone in bed, reading, lights out by 9 usually
Traveling With Our Family Is Our Lifestyle
I absolutely love our life here and the routine we’ve built. And on weekends, we get to explore too! Last weekend we rented a car and drove to Montezuma and did a slippery, rocky hike to the Montezuma waterfall with the kids! It was an incredible experience for the girls. (Note: I heard the top waterfall is better for young children but w ended up at the lower one. We still made it even with two 3 year olds and a 5 year old – Crazy Carlos, the local unofficial guide, helped us and we probably wouldn’t have done it with out him! He’s actually VERY nice. Bring cash to give him a nice tip).
I love exploring new places and being out of my comfort zone. I love my work as a coach and the flexibility it provides our lifestyle. We both are making more income than we made in our corporate jobs, and we’re working half days from Costa Rica – it’s something I wouldn’t have believed was possible even just a few years ago! Our hard work and sacrifice has paid off to create the life we are obsessed with, which makes it even more special. 💕
Don’t give up on those dreams in your heart – even if they’re not the “norm” or what’s expected of you. It’s worth it!
Want To Be a Virtual Fitness Coach Coach and Work From Anywhere?
I host monthly coach mentorships for women who are passionate about health and fitness (bonus if you love to run, but not required) and want to work on THEIR terms. I’m always looking for determined, ambitious and hard working women who want to grow a business. You will be able to use the proven systems and tools I already have in place & I will help mentor and coach you to achieve your goals. To get more info and apply: https://fitnessfatale.com/becoming-a-coach/