Diez Casas de Costa Rica: Ten Tico Homes

The houses in Costa Rica have great personality.

Many of them are owner or hire-a-mason/carpenter built. The climate allows for simplicity and economy of construction.

Their appearance, compared to the overregulated, overarchitected, and straitjacketed “homes” of the USA, is refreshing.

Here are ten.


New house. Southern Zone.  The house walls are made with slotted concrete posts into which precast concrete panels are slid. A coat of stucco follows. Then paint. We we trying to get to someone else’s place for supper, but this was a wrong turn. Nobody was home. Except the dog. 


Where it’s warmer, you can be comfortable with minimal structure.


A settled area in the Cerro de la Muerte. It’s foggy and cool a lot, up in these altitudes. It’s high enough, and cool enough, so oaks can grow here. The oaks are the trees you see silhouetted against the ridgeline.


A new house, on the outskirts of San Isidro. River valley. I’m pretty sure the area floods periodically, which would help explain the raised construction. Not to mention the added covered area. You can see by the toys that the kids play down there.


Another higher-altitude house. Nice warm colors. Many houses have covered areas, for everything from cars to gardens to clothes-drying areas, as the rainy season is, well, — wet.


Another higher-altitude house. See the rocks on the roof? It probably gets windy up here. We went by the place the next day, and the grounds had been neatly spruced up. I like the prop for the electricity service line.


Cerro de la Muerte house. Since these houses are up in the mountains, they’re more tightly constructed than those in lower, hotter areas. Notice the glass windows.


Old. Looks like someone’s still there, but maybe not for much longer. On a busy road.


Many Tican houses are so small they would be illegal in the USA.


Bouganvillia edges an entry road.

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