I'm planning to retire to Costa Rica. Which beach coast is better?
Which coast is better really depends on your personal lifestyle and choice of climates. The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is the most developed and where you are more likely to find the amenities you may be used to back home. The Pacific Coast is divided into the Northern Pacific, the Central Pacific, Southern Pacific and the area surrounding the Nicoya Peninsula. All four areas are quite different from each other.
The Atlantic (Caribbean Cost) is a closer drive from San Jose then some of the popular northern beaches of Guancaste on the Pacific Coast but in general the area is a bit rougher.
The most popular beach towns on the Caribbean Coast start in Cahuita to Puerto Viejo and winding its way down to the spectacular Gandoca-Manzanillo Park Reserve. There is more rain and humidity on the Atlantic Coast then you will find in the Northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
The only way to determine which coast is better is to travel to each of them and decide for yourself what feels right for you. Also you should spend some time living in the beach town you intend to purchase or retire in so that you can get a full understanding of the beach lifestyle.
As some might know I have not been in Costa Rica very long. I think when considering moving here you have to look at all areas and then decide what you really want and what is right for you. Good luck!!1
Consider the transport links too. Pacific coast has better access to the airports IMHO.