Karin Risi has been living her dream in Costa Rica since 2019. It takes her about an hour to get to the beach from her house in the hills of the Nicoya peninsula.
Corine Turrini FluryEditor living
When she was 16, Karin Risi (28) discovered her love for travel during a language stay in Australia. “So it happened that I also traveled to Costa Rica in 2019 and fell in love with this country,” she says Blick. Risi raves about the lush and diverse nature with wild hills, steppe-like pastures, rain and dry forests. From the waterfalls and countless palm and sandy beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific Seas in the small Central American country of Costa Rica.
Make plans for emigration
Risi completed a Spanish course in Costa Rica and then traveled the country with her then boyfriend. She met a Swiss woman who emigrated here. “I couldn’t get it out of my head,” says the qualified caregiver, who completed her training in a day care center before working in a day care center in Ethiopia and later traveling to Asia.
Emigration was not an option for her boyfriend, especially since he had just founded his own company. For Risi, however, the plan became more and more concrete. Especially when a fellow rider from Switzerland told her that she was going to move to Costa Rica with her family.
Shortly thereafter, Risi and her boyfriend decided to go their separate ways. Risi, who has also completed training as a riding therapist, and her colleague made plans to emigrate for herself and her horses. “It wasn’t that easy,” she explains. In Germany, the two women then found a company that took care of the transport and permits for the horses.
Search for land on site
For Risi’s parents, their daughter’s emigration plan came as no surprise. «They knew how much I like to travel and were happy for me. Although my mother didn’t expect me to implement my plan so quickly,” she says. At the beginning of September, Risi left for Costa Rica with her colleague and has been living on the Pacific side in the province of Guanacaste ever since.
For the first time she lived with her colleague’s family with her horse, which only arrived almost two months later due to the mandatory quarantine. “I wanted to look around first and then decide where to settle down,” says Risi. She found what she was looking for in the immediate vicinity with a four-hectare property with its own spring and waterfall, a few fruit trees and a view of the sea “Ideal for me and my horse! I was enthusiastic from the start,” enthuses Risi.
The Swiss woman bought the hilly property in the mountains of the Nicoya Peninsula for 70,000 US dollars. Here she planned her little dream house and a horse stable. Until her own property is ready to move into, she is renting in the village of Altos del Socorro, about 30 minutes away.
The start of construction of Risi’s mini-house was at the end of February 2022. The same contractor who was already working for the Swiss family friends was responsible for the construction. Karin Risi, who everyone calls Carina in her new home, met him a few weeks after her arrival. Shortly thereafter, there were sparks between the two, reveals the Swiss. Like the nature and animal loving Karin Risi, he is also a horse lover. In addition to her own horse Lionel, his horse Lola has found a place in the Swiss woman’s new stables, and Risi takes care of them every day.
While the horses have already moved in, Karin Risi’s planned move into her new house in December has been delayed again. “The biggest challenge was the weather. The property was previously a cow pasture. There was no road and in the rainy season it wasn’t even possible to drive up the excavator and work,” says Risi. She hopes to finally be able to move into her own house at the end of January. “Everything goes a little slower here and nothing can really be planned. If it rains in the morning, you don’t work, even if the sun shines again in the afternoon,” Risi explains with a laugh.
Open mini house with garden for personal use
Her two-storey gallery house is completely open except for the bathroom. Large windows provide light and a fantastic view. “It’s the smallest house that is possible in this type of construction here, but that’s enough for me alone,” says the Swiss. The mini house will cost you around CHF 50,000.
In addition to oranges, bananas and avocados, coffee and cocoa trees also grow on the fertile land. The farmer’s daughter plans to create a vegetable garden for her own use. “I already have some experience from our farm in Switzerland, but the climatic conditions here are different and I have to try out what’s possible first.”
She drives about twice a week to go shopping via the rather adventurous roads to the village of Hojancha. It takes about an hour to get to Samara Beach. The Swiss woman likes to spend time here when she is not riding the horses or working.
Work and free time in the new home
The Swiss woman earns her living with online coaching and advice. Among other things, for those interested who, like Risi, want to fulfill their dream of living in Costa Rica. The Swiss now knows the country and its people well and knows what to look out for when buying land and real estate and in which areas affordable land can still be found.
Karin Risi’s parents from Switzerland are currently visiting for a few weeks. The daughter is accordingly happy and above all takes the time to show her parents her new home. The young woman does not think of returning to Switzerland. She says light-heartedly: “In Costa Rica I am now living my dream and I am incredibly grateful for that. Who knows what the future will bring.”