I used to get aggravated sometimes in the old country at the noise.
We lived on the flight path for the small airport with no commercial airline service. On the weekends it could get very busy with small private prop planes and corporate jets flying in and out. There were enough corporate jets coming and going at an altitude of a hundred feet on approach that it could be really irritating. Of course, a lot of my aggravation came from the CEO’s that worked in the town, but lived in posh Chicago suburbs and commuted courtesy of the shareholders.
And the hobby pilots would practice touch-and-go landings and approaches. Those little prop planes can be really noisy when flying low and slow.
When we bought the house, we didn’t really give much thought to the weekend noise. We knew we were a few miles from the interstate with its traffic noise, and sometimes a car or motorcycle would roar down the street. But generally the area was populated by other geezers who led a quiet life.
When we were looking for a place to live in Costa Rica, we knew that this is a very noisy culture. They love their loud motorcycles, loud music, loud car alarms, loud dogs and loud talking (aka yelling.)
Apparently this is a surprise to some people. On a Facebook group, a guy asked…
if I had to sum up this area, it would be… “car alarms, barking dogs and loud ‘music’ briefly interrupted by very short periods of silence.” For those that have figured out how to avoid the noise, how do you do it?
The answers ranged from sleeping with an iPad with headphones on, to ceiling fan white noise, white noise machines, even earplugs!
Others are trying to accept the noise level as just a concession to all the other pluses Atenas offers:
After living in CR 16 years( 12 in Atenas) I need to say: Costa Rican´s love noises, you just need to take that or leave….I personally somehow learn to take it and tolerate all , but never will like that!
One soul is peddling the idea that the noise is a positive:
They were people I knew; kids laughing, husbands coming home from work, women chatting for a moment as their friend walks by, the guy who whistles as he walks down the street every evening at 9pm, coffee trucks full of fresh beans, horses trotting by, dogs barking because their owner was coming home, trucks honking to say “hi” to their friend, etc etc etc. Sound lets you know you are still alive. They were the sounds of the reasons I moved here….the people, the culture, families, and freedom.
Others are just tolerant of the noise that surrounds them.
This is where the strategy of “rent, rent, rent…” before you buy in Costa Rica fails. Renters usually want convenience and that means closeness to the community center – often within walking distance. These are the same attributes a Tico would be looking for in housing. That means living in a medium to high density area.
The only solution to find peace and quiet means moving to the country where roads are poor, and bus service is poor or lacking, and other services (cable tv and dsl internet) may not even exist.
So if you’re gonna live here, or visit for a long period of time, you need to ask yourself how you will handle the noise. We’re fortunate (for now) that most of our noise comes from the cows bellowing from the field across the road.
Listen to Ella Mae Morse with Freddie Slack and his Orchestra in her first major hit “Cow Cow Boogie”.