Costa Rica is a tropical Central American gem with year-round sunshine and a Caribbean and Pacific coast.
So it’s no wonder it’s a prime pick for UK residents looking to swap warm beer and soggy sandwiches for poolside guaro cocktails and gallo pinto.
But there might be some home comforts you’ll end up missing — here are three essential items you shouldn’t leave Blighty without.
- Morris dancing gear
If you love to dance, the Merengue, Salsa and Cumbia are very popular in Costa Rica and you’ll have lots of fun learning even if they’re not familiar to you at first.
But there’s no reason you should feel shy about teaching new friends and neighbours your favourite Morris dancing routine — they’ll enjoy trying to grasp your culture.
However, stock up on clog irons and bell pads from The Morris Shop before you leave — authentic Morris gear is tricky to source in this part of the world.
And if you want to rope a few locals into regular meetings, be sure to carry surplus supplies so that they can enjoy the experience without having to improvise with random household items like toilet-roll tubes and musical cat collars.
Reasonable property prices and few restrictions on foreign ownership mean that the Central Valley is home to many elegant and lively expat communities — so there’s every chance you’ll find friends from the UK as well as the local area.
And one of the best ways to impress new friends is bringing round a bottle of brown sauce.
You can order HP sauce online from BritSuperstore but take a few bottles with you to tide you over while awaiting delivery.
In the right company, whipping out a bottle of this classic condiment can make you a bit of a hero and the old-school aesthetic qualities of glass bottles are particularly prized.
It’s possible to purchase passable floor mats in Costa Rica — but they might not meet your expectations and sweeping beach sand from your carpet or vinyl flooring becomes a ceaseless chore.
So buy personalised mats from The Mat Factory to be sure that they’re tough enough for the job and customise them with a cheeky message that will cheer up any guests as they arrive at your threshold.
Durable door mats are a wise investment for any expat — pop a few in your hold luggage each time you return home and you’ll never be stuck.
And place them inside and outside front and back doors for complete coverage — that way guests arriving from all directions will be aware of the wiping requirements and a two-stage cleaning regime captures dirt more effectively.
There’s no point emigrating if you can’t do without most home comforts and you’ll learn to love their equivalents — but these three essential items will remind you of home whenever you need a little pick-me-up.
What imported home comforts do you have in Costa Rica? Share your tips in the comments section.