Properties in Costa Rica Blog

Thanksgiving lovers in Costa Rica

Thanksgiving lovers in Costa Rica

November 23, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

No matter where Americans are, thanksgiving is a holiday that travels with them in the heart, and it must be celebrated. This is the occasion to express gratitude for all favors received day after day, and when in a foreign land the happiness of being alive and fortunate enough to find ourselves enjoying the pleasures of nature, family and new friends found.

Costa Rica is a country that understands the culture of American people and its people loves to help expats to celebrate such a beautiful tradition with enthusiasm and love. The number of expats living in Costa Rica increases every year and finding a group of friends with whom to celebrate this traditional holiday according to your life style is not hard at all. The expats community in Costa Rica is diverse and there are different clubs and organizations eager to accept new members or to receive visitors. The Birding Club, Hiking and Camping Club, Backgammon Club, are just a few examples of a well-organized society that enables people to form lasting relationships.

Many retirees live in Costa Rica and this holiday is an occasion for their families living in the United States to visit them. It is such a pleasure to see the excitement, hugs and smiles at Juan Santa Maria Airport when grandparents welcome their kids and grandkids to a country that offers fantastic options to enjoy a short vacation in paradise. Imagine the joy of having a family reunion at a table set with all the traditional food, like turkey, sweet potato, pumpkin pie and all American staples available fresh at any of the many grocery stores of Costa Rica. If you decide to cook at home you will always find a place to buy your goodies and top quality food, no matter if you are near the beach or San Juan City.

Should you prefer eating out for Thanksgiving, there are highly regarded restaurants in the Central Valley and beach towns that will accommodate your party according to your needs. A traditional Thanksgiving meal in a nice restaurant costs about $ 30 per person. Remember to make reservations in advance and get ready to create a memorable evening not only because the food is good but because you might find yourself surrounded by other American celebrating the event, which would make you feel at home. If you are staying at a hotel talk to the Events Manager to prepare a nice get together reunion for your group.

Once in Costa Rica visit the most beautiful places on earth such as clear water beaches, imposing mountains and volcanos, natural parks and refuges, fascinating rain forest and many other attractions that are yours to discover.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Costa Rica will be an experience that will make you smile in the future, every time you feel the sun in your skin, the smell of sea breeze or the taste of an exotic fruit you will remember the happiness of a beautiful day in an amazing country.

Best Beaches in Central Pacific

Best Beaches in Central Pacific

November 20, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is famous for its beautiful, white sand beaches and world-class surfing. In fact, the first wave of foreign travellers came to Costa Rica mainly for its near perfect weather and fantastic surf.

Here’s a description of the some of the best beaches in the Central Pacific area:


The closest beach to San Jose and one of the best surf destinations in the country. Surfers, sun worshipers and eco-adventurists alike flock to Jaco each year for its breathtaking beaches, happening town and proximity to the airport all make it an ideal spot to land for foreign visitors.


A popular youth hangout. It’s the capital and largest city in the Province of Puntarenas off Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. A popular stopover point for tourists traveling to Monteverde, this area includes the beautiful Golfo Islands and comprises 1517 square miles.


Just off the beaten track and possessing the all the wondrous natural beauty Costa Rica is known for, it’s the perfect escape from your usual tourist destination. A laid back atmosphere creates the ideal locale to take in your surroundings. A great place for horseback riding, fishing, swimming, sunbathing, or just watching a magnificent sunset. This quaint coastal getaway is located just off a dirt road, and the town is surrounded by two smaller villages. Nearby is also the National Wildlife Refuge of Hacienda Buru and Uvita.

Playa Hermosa

Just three miles south of Jaco, one of the best surf destinations in the country. This popular beach town and beachfront resort is a laid back epicenter of ongoing beach development with large hotels at the northern end and more relaxed at the southern end. The town has an abundance of restaurants, shopping, bars and outdoor activities. The area is also known for its incredible marine fauna, snorkeling, sport fishing, and scuba diving. There also a number of national parks such as Palo Verde National Park and Santa Rosa National Park nearby.

Playa Herradura

Small beach located on the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Formerly a sleepy village, it’s now home to the prestigious Marriott Los Suenos hotel with a popular marina and golf course. This beach town is also an excellent spot for sport fishing. Its close proximity to San Jose makes it easily accessible to an airport and major urban amenities too. The tranquil waters define this town as one of the best spots for swimming and for nature enthusiasts, also nearby is Carara National Park for eco-adventures.

Playa Esterillos Defined by no crowds, chocolate covered beaches and great surf, it’s the place to escape for the cool kids. Here waves consistently break head high; it’s one of the cleanest and most consistent breaks for surfers. At low tide the size of the beach increases dramatically exposing the a vast dark sand loved by beachcombers. Surrounded by lush hills and dense forests makes the area a little refuge adored by many.

Great Investment Opportunity! Magical Bed and Breakfast in One of Costa Rica’s Most Desirable Areas

Great Investment Opportunity! Magical Bed and Breakfast in One of Costa Rica’s Most Desirable Areas

November 13, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

Here’s the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurial spirits looking for a lifestyle change, as well as a good return on investment. This beautiful six bedroom bed and breakfast is a great investment for someone looking to purchase not only a commercial property but also an established business. The property is being sold completely furnished and equipped with all the existing assets. From Day-1 you can start making money. The property also includes an adjacent prime lot that could be developed into an owner’s house, rental apartments, hotel, or organic farm.

The main property is situated on a large lot of 320 m2 (3,500 sq. ft), and the adjacent lot is more than double the size: 758 m2 (8,000+ sq. ft.) and includes citrus fruit trees, coffee plants and a panoramic view. There property has a BBQ “rancho” where guests can relax on a hammock while taking in the mesmerizing landscape and sounds of nature. The possibilities are endless for future development on this unique parcel of land.

Located in sunny Santa Ana and nestled in a magical location next to the grand canyon of the Virilla River, this property is in the path of growth. It’s only 20-minutes to the airport, and 10-15 minutes to Multiplaza Mall and CIMA hospital, restaurants, shops and clubs. New commercial, medical and residential developments are being built in the area making it a one of the most sought after areas in Costa Rica.

The main house encompasses a one bedroom suite, colorful chef’s kitchen with an adjacent dining room and a reception desk area on the first floor. There is also an expansive pool and terrace with additional tables and a welcoming sitting area to enjoy the views and near-perfect year round weather.

The second floor has a generous sized room with a high double vaulted wood ceiling that provides guests with the perfect space for reading, relaxing, watching a movie or sitting out on the balcony to take in the breeze and scenery.

Two more bedroom suites are available on this level, including a Master bedroom suite with a large walk-in-closet and a Master bath with double vanity and a dual shower head.

On the third floor, there is a another bedroom suite, which is a large room with two beds, loveseat sofa and a modern stone slate bathroom with a double vanity.

The pool is the perfect spot to relax on Santa Ana’s infamous warm sunny days. Enjoy sunbathing on the open patio terrace that overlooks the amazing greenery and vistas of the river canyon where you can spot toucans, parrots and birds of all kinds!

It’s a really magical location and unique property making it the perfect getaway for travelers, as well as a special opportunity for the lucky new owner.

Cost of Living in Costa Rica

Cost of Living in Costa Rica

November 12, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

A common question people ask when considering relocating to Costa Rica: How much will it cost to live in the country comfortably? The short answer: It varies but most likely a lot less than where you currently reside.

Depending on your expectations for quality of life, as well as whether you are single, couple, or married with children are all factors that will have a big impact on this answer. It is estimated that the average single person in Costa Rica needs between $1200 and $1500 a month to live comfortably, but for some expats this number can easily increase to $5000 or more. It really depends on your expectations for comfort. For the average North American couple, it is estimated to be $1500 to $2500 and more for those with children and need to pay for private school and/or childcare.

According to the consumer price index, Costa Rica’s cost of living is 57.43. Renting a one bedroom apartment in the city center will cost $445.53 per month, and a three bedroom about $839.81 per month. Average utilities for an 915 square foot apartment run about $71.55. High speed internet runs around $51.33. If you are looking to purchase a home the average price per square foot in the city center is $130.39, and outside the city center it is $120.57. Most home buyers purchase in all-cash or negotiate private financing through the seller. If you are looking to get a bank approved mortgage in Costa Rica, interest rates are high running about 12.39%.

Food prices are comparable to North America. Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant will run about $34.49, a domestic beer runs about $2.00, an imported one $3.00. Coffee lovers your cappuccinos at a local cafe will cost about $2.38, a real bargain compared to North America’s Starbucks, and better coffee. A monthly public transportation pass is $56.28, and if you are considering owning a car, fuel prices are high. Gas runs about $4.75 per gallon. Car ownership can quickly add up and many people prefer public transportation and bikes and use private cars sparingly. Many people live in pedestrian friendly towns and the lifestyle does not require heavy car use.

Healthcare costs are about a third less of what most US citizens pay, and Costa Rica is known for its high quality of care. In fact, it is so good, health tourism is a major industry. Foreigners coming to Costa Rica just for high quality, affordable medical care. There is also relatively inexpensive private insurance available. A doctor’s visit will never cost more than $60, and a visit to a specialist will run $80 to $100. A routine test such as an Utlrasound is $75, and surgeries are considerably less than they are in the US. In short, Costa Ricans are not faced with mounting medical debt like most US citizens. Everyone is guaranteed insurance.

For tuition, there is a wide range of prices with pre-school costing as little as $100 or slightly less a month to $400 a month. Private school tuition can cost anywhere from $1200 a year to close to $10,000, but many schools offer quality education for considerably less, and the amount is still significantly less than North American parents have become accustomed to paying each year. The cost to hire a nanny will run between $2 to $10 per hour depending upon where you are and what type of help you seek. Still childcare is significantly less for most families here than it is in their native countries relieving them of the pressure of a major expense they confront at home.

Halloween In Costa Rica

Halloween In Costa Rica

October 27, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

Halloween is a major North American holiday and with Costa Rica’s growing number of US and Canadian born residents, the holiday has taken on a larger role throughout the country. In expat communities, traditional parties and trick or treaters can be found on the 31st of October. However, it coincides with Costa Rica’s traditional Masquerade Day. Both customs are tied to the Catholic holiday All Saints Day. Halloween is actually known as All Saints Eve. With both holidays involving colorful festive costumes and celebrations, the 31st through the 2nd of November in Costa Rica tends to be a lively time filled with celebration and paying homage to the departed.

Parades celebrating Masquerade Day are held throughout the country. Costa Ricans make large paper mache masks of mythical figures, famous people, and imaginary creatures that they wear similar to North Americans costumes. Groups of musicians referred to as Cimarronas, a term for self-taught musicians, play music as groups gather throughout town. People parade down the street celebrating, and local artists draw upon the tradition. For three days, Costa Ricans celebrate with festivities but the masks and parade really stands out as the main part of this long time tradition.

After the festive holiday on the eve before All Saints Day, November 1st through the 2nd, people throughout Costa Rica celebrate this Catholic holiday by decorating loved one’s graves with palms and flowers. Over the last 15 years, there’s been a big resurgence in the masquerade tradition. In part, due to the large number of North Americans celebrating holiday has fuelled a rediscovery of the country’s own different yet similar tradition. It’s another example of how Costa Rica is becoming a melting pelt of cultures from the around the world blending traditions and sharing histories. Happy Halloween and Masquerade Day!

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Eight Tips for Relocating to Costa Rica

Eight Tips for Relocating to Costa Rica

October 16, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

If you are thinking about becoming a resident in Costa Rica here are the answers to the top eight questions foreigners ask when considering moving to this little bit of paradise long or short term.

Opening a Bank Account

Opening a bank account for Costa Rica residents is fairly easy. Citibank and Scotiabank both have branches here as do other international banks. There is also the local state sponsored bank. Banks work in both Colones, the local currency, as well as dollars. Some banks also offer Euros. While there is more paperwork involved in opening an account it is still fairly straight forward for foreign residents. The benefits of a state-owned bank include guaranteed deposits and an extensive network of branches and ATMs. You will need to present your DIMEX card, the identity card provided to all foreigners living in Costa Rica, make a minimum deposit, provide proof of residence through a utility bill, and proof of income. U.S. citizens will also need to complete several tax forms and documentation to inform the IRS you are opening an offshore bank account.

Importing Cars or Pets

Bringing a car into Costa Rica can be done for $1000 or less. Pets require a letter not more than two weeks old from date of entry into the country verifying that the pet is in good health and does not have any diseases and it up to date on required vaccines.


Foreign residents can get healthcare either through the government run universal healthcare system or through the private system. Either way costs are significantly lower than in the U.S. by a ⅓ to ⅕ what you’d pay for in the U.S. depending on the treatment.

Purchasing Property

Foreigners can easily purchase property in Costa Rica, and the friendly laws toward foreign buyers makes it one of the main attractive features for many residents. When purchasing a property in Costa Rica, you will benefit from working with a realtor who is familiar with the area and nuances as well as an attorney to assist you with the contracts and legal paperwork. Look for referrals.

Income Taxes

U.S. citizens must continue to pay income taxes. The US taxes on worldwide income, and Costa Rica will tax you on the income you make in the country. Depending on your situation you may have to pay taxes to both Costa Rica and the US. Seek out the counsel of any experienced tax accountant.


Dollars are widely used in Costa Rica and you can also easily exchange dollars for the local currency, Colones. In short, you can use either currency here fairly easily.

Cell Phone

You can get a prepaid phone and card or swap out your sim card with one from a local service provider. It’s a fairly straight-forward process. Most people prefer to switch sim cards especially iPhone users.

Network with Expats

A benefit for North Americans traveling here for extended periods of time or moving here permanently is there is already a well established expat community here. It’s a valuable resource for exchanging information as well as getting support and forming friendships. Overall when it comes to moving to a foreign country, for North Americans, it’s fairly easy to assimilate and settle in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a warm, hospitable country with a laid back vibe and government policies are foreigner friendly for those choosing to relocate to this happy country. Follow the recommended tips when moving to Costa Rica, and your transition will be fairly smooth.


Dolphin and Whale Season in Costa Rica

Dolphin and Whale Season in Costa Rica

October 14, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

Dolphins and whales migrate heavily through Costa Rica’s southern pacific from July to October. It is the best time of year for whale watching and spotting these magnificent creatures as they make the epic journey across the ocean waters. All along the coasts of the pacific waters there are many special spots for whale watching. The Dominical is one of the favorite spots for whale watching as is deep in the Osa Peninsula around the Golfo Dulce. The magnificent Humpback Whales are easy to spot along the waters and known for their enchanting sounds and songs.

Costa Rica is known to have the most biologically diverse marine wildlife in the world, and the Osa Peninsula has been named the most biologically intense place on the planet. The humpback whales have one of the most incredible migration patterns of any creature on the planet. They travel across the northern and southern hemispheres. Travelling from the Antarctic to Costa Rica, a journey of 5000 miles twice a year, makes them the furthest migrating species in the world.

A large part of the Gulfo Dulce is where whales come to give birth, rest and nurse their young for a week before continuing on with their migration through the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean. The Humpback Whales are among the many endangered species on the planet. Recently that population has grown to approximately 65,000 to 75,000. While still endangered the population is starting to recover. They are also the largest living mammal on the planet. The area is also known for being a significant migration spot for the Bottlenose Dolphins, Spotted Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins and occasionally False Killer Whales.

The whales choose Costa Rica as their ideal location because the shallow warm currents that lie above low oxygen and cold currents making the warm water swell up to create the ideal ecosystem for this creature with an abundance of food sources. There are currently strong efforts underway to make the Golfo Dulce a marine protected area to safeguard this breeding ground. It’s critical to the survival of these species facing huge threats to their populations as a result of environmental degradation of the world’s oceans and climate change. If you get a chance to watch these whales in their habitat, it is an incredible opportunity and a awe-inspiring magical experience.

The Meeting of Cultures

The Meeting of Cultures

Central America is a vibrant place known for its colorful diverse collision of world cultures that creates a rich melding of traditions and histories unlike anywhere else in the world. Here indigenous cultures combined with European and most recently North American has created a world unique to any other part of the world. Known for its strong latin influence, it is a hybrid of ancient cultures dating back centuries. Today it marks the emergence of a new culture after centuries of conflict and migration, a new cultural identity is beginning to take shape in these parts and the values it supports are attracting peoples from all over the world.

The original people of this part of MesoAmerica where the Mayans and Aztecs, as well as bands of smaller tribes throughout the regions. When the Spanish came to the area in the early 1600s, it marked the beginning of the areas tragic relationship with colonization and the melding of Spanish heritage into the indigenous heritage to transform it into what is now widely referred to as Latin American culture in the modern world. Throughout parts of South America, the early European influence is broader and deeper to include French and German immigrants to these territories. An effect strongly experienced and visible seen in Argentina, which may one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Since the late part of the 20th Century Americans and Canadians have begun to flock to the shores of Central and South America along with increasing numbers of Europeans. It is creating a third major wave of immigration impacting and influencing these countries as the newest arrivals settle in bringing their own traditions and cultures with them. The effect is creating truly global urban centers throughout the major cities of South and Central America. Costa Rica is known for its rich diversity, as well as its troubled history with colonization and struggle for independence. However, this small country appears to be emerging as a positive example of the hybridization of many cultures, traditions and complicated histories. It is story of adaptation and hybridization after many years of struggle.

The Sea Turtles of the Ostional Wildlife Reserve

The Sea Turtles of the Ostional Wildlife Reserve

September 28, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

Ostional Wildlife Reserve is a biological wonder in Costa Rica. Founded in 1984 to protect one of the world’s most significant nesting sites of the Olive Ridley sea turtles. For over 30 years, the reserve has dutifully protected the wondrous creature protecting it from extinction. The turtles travel from all over the world to return to lay their eggs. Weeks before the nesting they congregate in the waters offshore. When the Arribada begins, a few hundred turtles come to the beach followed by a steady stream over the next three to seven days. While the turtles nest at Ostional year round, the peak time is during rainy season.

These arribadas occur during the darkest nights. A few days before the new moon, the majority of the turtles arrive between 8PM and 4AM. The largest arribadas on record occurred when 500,000 females came onshore. The turtles are use to life in the ocean and drag their bodies up onto the shores over the beach to lay between 80 to 100 soft shelled white eggs the size of a ping pong ball. Over the course of about five days, the turtles will leave about 10 million eggs.

The reserve is the only place where harvesting eggs is legal. Costa Rica allows the community to harvest doomed eggs on the first three days of an arribada. In return, villagers clean debris, protect turtles, patrol day and night for poachers. After the laying of the eggs, it takes the baby turtles anywhere from 45 to 54 days to hatch. As soon at the hatchlings have struggled out of the sand, they race back to the ocean struggling to avoid predators such as vultures. It’s a perilous journey. Women and children from the community protect the hatchlings, while they make their way to the sea by keeping away predators and even carrying them across parts of the hot sand.

Once they make it to the ocean they are still not safe from predators. It takes them 10 to 15 years to reach maturity and most turtles won’t make it. The wondrous part is that they never forget the place of their birth and while some will travel as far as the ocean’s of India, those that survive reaching maturity will travel back to the shores of Ostional to complete the cycle of life laying their own legs. It is another example of the wonders of nature.

Costa Rica’s unique natural beauty, comfortable lifestyle and peaceful democracy

Costa Rica’s unique natural beauty, comfortable lifestyle and peaceful democracy

September 15, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

September 15th, Independence Day in Costa Rica, is a day filled with freedom, gratitude and remembrance of a a very important day in Costa Rica’s national history.

The “Independence Torch” now a national symbol in Costa Rica, was carried in 1821 from Guatemala to Costa Rica when the Central American countries gained their independence from Spain. Since then this historical event has been reenacted with a torch being passed through the five countries from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and ending in Costa Rica.

The celebrations in Costa Rica are starting today. Children light home-made lanterns and parade through the streets wearing traditional dress and performing traditional dances. Tomorrow bands from schools performing, street gatherings, parades, and fire works. Every Costa Rican enjoys the festivities as they see patriotic displays on the streets through out the day.

Costa Ricans are very proud people not only because of their freedom but also because they know that on this day their Army are their children dressed up with school uniforms. All students march in front of the government officials and that also includes the President of the Country, showing with joy and humbleness the three main colors of the Costa Rica national flag: Red, White, Blue.

The Motto is “Vivan Siempre el Trabajo y La paz” or “may work and peace live forever” Costa Rica will be always be a place to enjoy and inspired a PURA VIDA LIFESTYLE meaning happiness tranquility and peace.

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