San Jose East

Just east of central San José are the suburbs of San Pedro and Curridabat. These are also middle class Tico areas, which have been on expatriates’ radars for some time now. San Pedro is where the Universidad de Costa Rica (Costa Rica University, UCR) is located and the surrounding commercial areas cater very much to that clientele. There are lots of little bars and cheaper restaurants, including vegetarian, and many places stay open later than on the other side of town.

These suburbs have a surprisingly wide variety of large shopping malls, supermarkets and other stores. There are three major shopping malls, including Terramall in Tres Ríos (a few kilometers east of Curridabat); Multiplaza del Este in Curridabat/Zapote; and Mall San Pedro in San Pedro. There are also plenty of appliance stores, interior design stores and cinemas on that side of town. 

While some gated communities and condominiums are being built in those areas, most of them are going up on the extreme eastern edge of Curridabat – entering into Tres Ríos – where inexpensive land is still available. Most of San Pedro and Curridabat is made up of medium, large, or very large single family homes, as well as a few gated communities and maybe one or two high rises. In a few places, lots are available, but expensive. 

The main four-lane road that passes through San Pedro and Curridabat toward Cartago is certainly nothing to write home about, with its aging strip malls, plentiful fast food eateries, and terrible traffic. The charm of these areas, however, is found off the main drag. The neighborhoods that branch off the main drag feature big houses, some good views, quiet streets, and even a few parks.

If you do decide to live on this side of town, you’ll have a more Tico experience than in Escazú. Not many foreigners live on this side of town, and the ones who do tend to blend in to the local scene – speak Spanish, eat at Tico places, live in a stand-alone house – rather than cluster and create their own communities.  

Property and houses in San Pedro and Curridabat are generally cheaper than in Escazú, but that has been changing. Quite a few expensive restaurants have been popping up, though there is certainly a wider range of good, cheaper restaurants to choose from. In terms of shopping, the area leaves little to be desired, though it’s more spaced out than what you find in Escazú.

Properties in Central Valley

Daniel prop

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