This blog is meant as an extension of my book, Living Abroad in Costa Rica and the related web site.

At present I am not available for private tours or individual help with trip planning (but thanks for asking!). If you’d like a tool for trip planning and on-the-road information, try my iPhone and iPad app: Costa Rica Trip Ideas.

I lived in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2000-2002, researching my book; I’ve been back twice a year since then, often for months at a stretch, so that I might keep my book and web site up to date. I recently returned from a road trip in Costa Rica, my 9th such trip. I also explored Nicaragua and Panama–you know a place better if you also know its neighbors.

Please be patient if I don’t immediately approve your comment or answer your question. Travel and travel writing are expensive hobbies that I fund by having day jobs.

For more on moving abroad in general, see my other site, Miss Move Abroad. If you live abroad and would like to contribute to that site, please email me from the ‘about’ section of that site.

Photo of a frog clinging to a bathroom mirror on the Osa Peninsula by David W. Smith.


  • By Cameron West, April 30, 2011 @ 7:17 am


    My wife and I are about to move to Costa Rica where we plan to spend half the year – the other half on the Central Coast of California. I read your excellent book. I, too, am an author, and wanted to let you know that I think you’re a wonderful writer. Well done.

    Cam West

  • By Erin Van Rheenen, April 30, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    thanks, Cam. I really appreciate your comments. Was thinking the other day how a writer’s best (and toughest) audience is other writers, since they know what it takes to get something down on paper.

    Good luck with your move,

  • By Nikki Vincent, August 19, 2011 @ 4:46 am

    Hi Erin!

    I have fallen in love with Costa Rica!

    I would really love to live in there for about a month and stay in a treehouse.
    I’ve had a look around, but the only options seem to be via very expensive holiday companies.

    Do you know how I can book seperate flights and rent a treehouse for a month for a more reasonable cost?

    Thank you.


  • By Erin Van Rheenen, August 19, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    Hi Nikki,
    Tree houses are pretty tempting, I agree. I’m not sure which one you mean when you say you want to live in there but to start you could look into
    –Finca Bella Vista (http://www.fincabellavista.net/)
    –Michael Cranford’s place on the Osa Peninsula (http://www.treehouseincostarica.com/treehouse-in-costa-rica/home-tree-house-rental.php) and
    –Travis Garnier’s new treehouse community on the Nicoya Peninsula (http://www.costaricatreehouse.net/).
    Email them about what you’re looking for and maybe you’ll make a match.

    As for booking separate flights, a quick look at kayak.com shows me many flights from London (you’re in the UK, right?) to Costa Rica. Some of the United flights, which route through US, are just over $1000 for a round trip. Not bad!

    Good luck with your treehouse dreams….and let me know how it turns out!


  • By Brian Word, November 5, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Is there any fear among “Americans” legally living in Costa Rica, that if the United States collapsed into martial law or some other form of new government, that those legal Americans living in Costa Rica could be sent back to the United States?

  • By Erin Van Rheenen, November 5, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    I haven’t heard that particular fear expressed. Expats are more worried that starting in 2013, the IRS will obligate Costa Rican banks to report on accounts held locally by U.S. citizens. The new reporting requirements are part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), aimed at U.S. citizens who keep their money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.
    Read more:

  • By Vanda Claudino Sales, February 20, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Hello, congratulations on your blog and work! I am a Brazilian professor, and I am writing a book about world heritage sites, following UNESCO’s list. The book will be published in Englihs by Springer, in The Netherlands. I am coming to ask you if there would be any possibility of having two high-resolution photos of landscape of Guanacaste Conservation Area to illustrate my book. All credits would be given. I thank you for the kindness of an answer! Regards, Vanda Claudino

  • By Erin Van Rheenen, February 20, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    Hello Vanda,
    Thanks for the comment and congratulations on your book! I don’t have any hi-resolution shots of the Guanacaste Conservation Area; you should try them directly: http://www.acguanacaste.ac.cr/

    or contact a publisher who produces high-quality Costa Rica field guides and nature books:

    buena suerte!

  • By Bill Beard, April 28, 2013 @ 3:38 am

    Great article in TT about my old friend Michael Kaye. Here is an old article written by my wife Nadine you may find interesting. It’s old so I can’t edit it to take out all the ? marks that are there instead of ‘ s. Thanks for the article.

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  1. Review of The Best Women's Travel Writing 2011 | Tales Told From The Road — June 24, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

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