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robertwl

Professional couple seeks 6-week spring/2013 Heredia-area/SJ rental

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Hello,

 

My wife and I (she's an early-retired school Principal; I'm a writer/speaker) will be leaving Canada for Heredia/San Jose for six weeks next year (Apr. 1-May 15, 2013 and are hoping to find an apartment, condo or small house/cottage to rent for that period. If readers may know of individuals/organizations who may have such properties available, I'd be grateful to hear from you.

 

We're looking for something ranging from the budget/economy category to mid-range. We're on somewhat of a budget and are hoping to find a safe, clean and quiet spot in a pleasing area or neighborhood.

 

Thanks again for your help on this forum; I do appreciate it.

 

Bob

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Hello Bob,

 

Welcome to the Forums.

 

Your trip is a whole year away. I don't think you will find anything 'budget/economy minded' listed anywhere that far ahead of time. And those places listed online are usually more expensive, looking to take advantage of the gringo pocketbook..

 

My suggestion to you is what is frequently recommended by us here on the Forums to newbies to CR and that is that when you eventually come that you make a reservation at a nice B&B and stay for a week or two and while you look around for something the suits your budget.

 

There are often bulletin boards in grocery stores and pulperias or in little bill-paying offices. Sometimes your host at the B&B will know of something. But often you can just wander around residential parts of town and look for 'Se Alquila' signs on buildings. Ticos don't often advertise in the newspaper because they feel that if they spend money on an ad and their place doesn't get rented before the ad expires, then they've wasted their money. So ticos are more inclined to hang a 'for rent' sign on the front of the house. I have seen 'for rent' signs go up on a house in the morning and be back down with the place rented two or three hours later.

 

Also word of mouth is a good way to find someplace. Ask the waitress in the soda you've been having lunch at. Or at the pharmacy if you stop in for some toiletries, etc. Often someone will know or a neighbor or will have a relative who has a small place to rent, land ong before a 'for rent' sign ever goes up!

 

Aslo, if you are considering retiring in CR and you are a year away from your exploratory visit, then I would really encourage you to begin now learning some spanish. That will help you understand those three-by-fives on the bulletin boards to find a budget priced place. It will also help you give directions to taxi drivers when you go to different neighborhoods to look for things.

 

OK - Those are what I hope you will find are useful suggestions.

 

Good luck with your plans.

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

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and when you ask around, ask if people know of a place that is "not occupied" - if you ask about a place for rent, then you will get a lot of false leads to places that do rent, but are already rented.

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Six weeks is not a long enough period to consider as a long term rental. The typical rental contract in CR is for 3 years. It might be possible to rent for 1 yr or maybe 6 mo but most landlords won't want to bother. That puts you out of the market for these types of rentals so you should probably look for a vacation rental. Vacation rentals are usually furnished down to pots and pans and linens. Just bring your clothes and toothbrush. Heredia is not a vacationer's hot spot so I doubt that you will find many vacation rentals but you never know. You can do an internet search for vacation rentals in CR.

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There's a place in Alajuela (near Heredia) called Villas Colibri that rents small houses by the month. It is an enclosure with a large palapa restaurant and several small houses, furnished with everything. They have wifi, cable TV and phones, all included. Also a swimming pool. The one I was in was 2-bedroom with kitchen. I think I paid $600 a month when I stayed there for one month. You can ask Norman at Jalapeñoa restaurant in Alajuela for more info and direcions. You would need to either have a car or take the bus into town, but the bus runs frequently and the bus stop is right down the street.

 

I just found this link. The photos shown look like the one I stayed in.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g309224-d549909-Reviews-Hotel_Villas_Colibri-Alajuela_Province_of_Alajuela.html

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There is a place in La Garita, about 10 minutes west of Alajuela that rents daily, weekly, and monthly,

 

NORMA'S VILLAS

http://normasvillas.com/

 

which looks clean and well maintained. I know several people who've stayed there and been quite satisfied with it and have said that the owners were personable and helpful.

 

Granted this may be more than you want to pay but if you will be exploring the western portions of the Central Valley, La Garita and Alajuela are perfect places to begin. You can easily do inexpensive day-trips from there to check out the other small towns in the area.

 

Another place which is about 8 minutes from the airport in Alajuela is

 

HOTEL VIDA TROPICAL B&B

http://www.vidatropical.com

 

on a quiet side street very close to downtown Alajuela (Alajuela Centro) most everything you may need or want is within easy walking distance. The manager, Isabel, speaks english and may be able to help you locate a rental such as what you are interested in.

 

Both of these places have been in business more than ten years now. I've stayed frequently at Vida Tropical and highly recommend it. It's not fancy; it's in what used to be a nice middle class tico home. There are only six rooms to let so it is wise to call ahead for reservations as it can fill up quickly at the last minute, even in the rainy season.

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

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Isabel will probably recommend Villas Colibri as I did above, since her in-laws stay there when they are in CR. That is how I found out about it. She may know other places, I'm sure. As for staying for six weeks at Vida Tropical, wouldn't that be pretty expensive for 6 weeks? Paul, have you stayed there for extended periods and do they offer discounts?

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Yes, Shea,

 

I couldn't find a website for Villas Colibrí, only listings on travel websites. Some reviewers liked the place and a few didn't much care for it. If isabel is recommending it it oughtn't be a bad place.

 

i used to stay at VT for two to three months at a time and there is a monthly rate. It is not mentioned on their website; one must ask.

 

And you might even get a slightly better rate for offering to pay cash up front for your stay.

 

And of course during the rainy season some lodgings will offer a better rate to have the extra occupancy. (I was sometimes the only guest at VT during September or October, during those two heaviest months of the rainy season.)

 

And oh, I just remembered that there is a hostel in a tico style house in Alajuela across the street, south, from the Post Office. It's called

 

Hostel 5ta Avenida (Hostel Quinta Avenida)

25 mts oeste de Avenida 5 y Calle 1

tel. 506/2441-1563

hostel5taavenida@yahoo.com

description of hostel: http://www.ixigo.com...ida--453539.ixi

Price $9 single shared bath / there is one room with bath for two that was running around $12 per day last time I called

 

I thought it was a neat little place; seemed fairly tranquil, really close to everything in town.

 

OK - HTH

 

Paul M.

==

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