Properties in Costa Rica Blog

2017 Expected to be Better for Costa Rica

2017 Expected to be Better for Costa Rica

January 20, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

As the rest of the world slows down, the Costa Rica economy is expected to boom this year with several positive developments that will contribute to strong GDP growth. A building boom, strong economy, and Costa Rica’s green economy continues to attract interest from foreign investors and retirees. All signs point to 2017 being a better year for Costa Rica that 2016.

Costa Rica Central Banks expect construction to grow 4.2% through 2017. There are 67 commercial, industrial and residential real estate projects scheduled to start-up in the beginning of the year throughout Costa Rica. There are 14 commercial real estate projects, 10 industrial projects under construction with 10 more scheduled to begin 2017, and 33 residential real estate projects scheduled for this year. Also under construction is the soon to be the tallest building in Costa Rica, which is being built in downtown San Jose.

Costa Rica ended 2016 with the lowest poverty rate in seven years. 10,000 households rose above the poverty rate and poverty rate was reduced by 1.6% in 2016. Stronger employment prospects as well as economic growth, are slowly driving more prosperity to the people in the form of increases in wages and work opportunities. Tourism, agriculture and electronic exports are the main drivers of the economy.

Costa Rica is also a global leader for its environmental policies and accomplishments, which have helped the country build its Green Trademark. Costa Rica’s position as a carbon neutral leader in sustainability contributes to the stable economic development, avoidance of the economic bubbles troubling much of the western hemisphere. It’s become a very attractive place to live. Costa Rica continues to be the most popular country for expats in Central America.The strong influx of immigrants especially those with entrepreneurial inclinations contribute to the country’s growing prosperity and economic development. Costa Rica is an example of how prosperity and sustainability can work together to create a stable country that creates a high standard of living for its people.

Overall, we expect 2017 to be a good year for the economy. Over the past 25 years, Costa Rica has experienced steady economic growth and a global leader in social policy and sustainability.The GDP is expected to hit 3.6% in 2017. It looks like it is going to be a good year for Costa Rica.

Full Moon nights at Cabo Velas, Guanacaste!

Full Moon nights at Cabo Velas, Guanacaste!

January 18, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

January just had the first full moon of the year, the “Wolf Moon” as Native North Americans named it. They gave names to each of the full moons to keep track of the passing year. This name was given because one could listen to the herds of wolves howling at the outskirts of Indian villages during the cold and snowy winters. Many cultures still celebrate special holidays according to the lunar calendar. For Latin-American Natives the moon represents a protecting goddess of women.

The Full moon in general represents the harvest of intentions that you planted during the new moon. In other worlds a culmination of energy, completion, liberation and detaching from the old, to be ready and start a whole new cycle. For centuries, cultures all around the world have come up with great stories and practice ceremonies on full moon nights.

It has been said that the full moon increases psychic and emotional sensitivity in us, developing into unexpected effects on our behavior. Indeed, emergency rooms during these nights get quite busy, sometimes even rising their demand on staff to attend all the cases. In Cabo Velas during the Full Moon the pollution increase with spiritually minded people.

On January 12th, a Full Moon Ceremony took place in Potrero Village, a mix of Kundaliny Yoga, breath work and chanting power mantras was performed with the intention of cleansing the energy of each one participating in the event. From the moment, stepping outside one could sense the Nayuribe orchid’s scent in the air. This is a famous flower that grows in the area and you can appreciate its particular scent. It smells most on full moon nights, which makes the experience even more mystical. This scent is so subtle and wild that Native North Pacific Costa Ricans, the Chorotegas named one of their goddess after it.

When laying down on the grass the energy of the Earth could be felt emanating from the ground into one’s body, intertwining with the energy of the full moon, cleansing and energizing soul and body. It is true that the full moon can make you feel overwhelmed having to deal with the intense energies that come up. Never the less being so close to the vast expanses of the ocean and grounding energy of the surroundings would lead you to an effortless appreciation of the gifts that the full moon gives.

Cabo Velas area is not only a perfect holiday spot, with bright sunny days, beautiful beaches, and all kinds of activities to experience; but also a great place for relaxation and finding that special place that will expand your mind and connect you with nature. Every month the full moon will gather all kinds of people from different corners of the local community and the world, who are attracted by these interesting spiritual ceremonies. I personally encourage everyone around this area to make themselves feel home and integrate in these delightful gatherings.

Leatherback Sea Turtles

Leatherback Sea Turtles

January 10, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

In Guanacaste we say goodbye and greet the year welcoming one of the most amazing giants that inhabits in the Pacific Ocean!

Finally, after Christmas and New Year’s celebrations ended and officially summer started in Guanacaste we find ourselves in the best season for sighting leatherback turtles in the area. For thousands of years between November and February Leatherback Sea Turtles that hatched in Costa Rica’s Northern coast have returned to lay their eggs.

Leatherbacks are deserving of their name thanks to their unique shell formed by a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin, that is strengthened with tiny bone plates that makes it look “leathery.” These turtles are the world’s largest sea turtles, in average, getting to six feet long and up to 1,500 pounds on weight. They have a unique blood system. This enables their body temperature to stay several degrees above the water temperature and allows them to tolerate very cold water. They are known to be active in water below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them the only reptile known to remain active at such a low temperature.

These travelers are one of the most migratory of all marine turtle species, making both trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific crossings. About 50% of the females of leatherback turtles of the Eastern Pacific, spawn in the National Marine Park Las Baulas (Leather Back), just 20km from Tamarindo.

The creation of this park allows the protection of these turtles that come to nest in the main beaches of the park: Ventanas, Langosta and Playa Grande. An estimated 800 leatherback turtles nest in National Marine Park Las Baulas every year, but worldwide their population is dwindling. The most important nesting beaches in the Pacific are located in Costa Rica, Mexico and Indonesia. Lots of tourists visit the area during these season to witness this spectacular scene, however after 6 pm they are only allowed to enter the beach with a guide and the total number of visitors is restricted to 30 persons per turtle in order to be environmentally responsible protecting the turtles and do not interfere with their nesting.

The highest chances of seeing this amazing animals at National Marine Park Las Baulas are from December to January. This first 2 weeks of the year are the last best chances of experiencing this first class environmental phenomenon. Several witnesses have declared sea turtle nesting in Costa Rica as the most incredible experience of their life, described as emotional, moving and even transcendental. Therefore, if you are resident in the area, here just for holiday or visiting some real estate opportunities, give yourself some nature time and explore Guanacaste area. Apart from turtle watching, visitors can also surf, swim and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Playa Grande, Playa Tamarindo, Playa Avellanas, Playa Langosta. Enjoy snorkeling around Playa Conchal, Paddle boarding at Playa Danta, or just enjoy the summer sunsets from incredible views around Flamingo Area.

January and February is the Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica

January and February is the Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica

January 7, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

The dry season is known as high season in Costa Rica and as the buzz of the Christmas holidays and New Year’s eve winds down, the second week in January starts the best time of year to visit Costa Rica. The overcrowding has died down as the snowbirds traveling on winter holiday return home and peak prices drop making it an ideal time to visit the country. The weather is perfect with highs around 86-94 degrees Fahrenheit and lows in the 70s. In the Northwest the “Papagayo” winds from the cooler air moving down from North America displace the moist, warm, tropical air creating an ideal climate. When rain does strike, it is brief late afternoon shower and for the most part, the weather is ideal.

The Central Valley and Pacific beaches are booming this time of year and it’s also the peak time for tours and outdoor activities. There are festivals, vibrant fiestas, bullfights, dancing and live music at different events all over the country. Wildlife is abundant and active making it one of the best time of year for an ecotourism adventure. From wildlife spotting to whale watching to hiking to kayaking through the mangrove forests, it really is an ideal time of year for the outdoor enthusiast to travel. You can also catch the turtles making their way to shore to lay their eggs.

If the beaches are not for you, you can venture to Costa Rica’s breathtaking rainforests and hike the volcanoes. Arenal is a popular spot to visit for volcanoes, explore caves, horseback ride through the lush terrain, and soak in geothermal hot springs. Take a canopy tour through the wondrous cloud forests or go white water rafting or explore one of the many wildlife preserves. Eco-adventures are a plenty for the nature enthusiasts.

For surfers, up and down Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts are some of the best breaks in the world. Both beginners and pros can catch waves here. There are also many resorts offering yoga and mindfulness retreats for those seeking a wellness vacation. Visitors looking for a cosmopolitan beach vacation can travel to popular Tamarindo or one of the nearby surrounding communities where there is a Four Seasons and world-class golf nearby. Boaters can also find paradise here traveling up and down the coast.

January through February are seven of the best weeks to travel to Costa Rica. It’s a peak time but still not overrun with tourists. It’s Costa Rica’s summer. The weather is perfect with plenty of opportunities to relax and have fun. The weather during this peak tourist season makes it ideal for exploring rainforests and relaxing on beaches too. There is also a good selection of rental properties available during this time of year. If you are considering buying a property, it’s the perfect time to explore the country to find the perfect match.

Welcome in the New Year at the Tamarindo Beach Ocaso Festival

Welcome in the New Year at the Tamarindo Beach Ocaso Festival

January 4, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

This week kicks off the Tamarindo Beach Ocaso Festival in Costa Rica to welcome in the new year with lots of dancing, music, and fine food. Admissions are free and space is limited so festival organizers suggest people sign up ahead of time to guarantee admissions. The festival starts January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 8th traveling to several locations in the Tamarindo area. It promises to be a fun bash and chance to celebrate with old friends while meeting a few new ones too.

Starting at 4 pm on Thursday at the Langosta Beach Club, festival goers can dance taking in the sweeping ocean views and enjoying good food from Sunset till the early morning hours. This club is a popular meeting place for Tamarindo’s international community and one of the hottest places to meet to party in town. On Friday, January 6th, the festival moves to Tamarindo Vista Villas Hotel. At this laid-back, boutique hotel overlooking Tamarindo Bay, starting at noon partygoers can dance poolside. On January 7th, the festival venue will take place at the natural wonder La Senda. Travel to this labyrinth to dance and get lost in the magic of the maze. Finally, the festival wraps up its last day on January 8th back at the Langosta Beach Club for a big finale dance party.

Tamarindo has grown into a cultural epicenter in recent years and the hub of cosmopolitan Costa Rica. It welcomes visitors from all over the world each year. January marks the peak season as visitors flock here to escape colder climate for some fun in the sun. Welcome in the New Year dancing poolside or oceanside. Take a break and come out to get down to great music, enjoy fantastic food and have a blast into the late night hours. It’s a four-day not to be missed celebration to welcome in 2018. It’s a brand new year fresh with possibilities and goals to achieve.

Musicians include Edu Imberon, Dance Spirit Live, Andreas Henneberg, Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, DJ Tennis, Doc Martín, Anthony Attalla, Aquarius Heaven, Pillow Talk, Pattern Drama, KMLN Mobius Strum, Brett Ballou, Alex Orias, De Sostoa, Fredo, Faceblind, Javee, Eleazar Delve, Hassan Marofi, David Charpentier, and Andes and Carlos Montenegro.

New Year’s In Costa Rica

New Year’s In Costa Rica

December 30, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

New Year’s in Costa Rica is time of letting go of the old and welcoming in the new. While North Americans take to the streets, clubs and parties, Costa Ricans tend to stay close to home spending the evening with friends and family. Intimate gatherings create a space to reflect on the past year’s event and upcoming year. The weeks from Christmas to the New Year are filled with lots of celebrations and festivals.

Leading up to New Year’s is the Fiestas de Zapote, which marks the end of the holiday season and the beginning of the New Year. From Christmas day to the first Sunday of the New Year in the Zapote Farmer’s Market food stands, portable bars, rides and games for children, musical performances and bullfights take place.

Here are a few of Costa Rica’s New Year eve traditions:

  • Cleaning the house from top to bottom symbolizes sweeping away of past evils and bad luck and welcoming in good luck and optimism in the New Year
  • Throwing a pan of water over the shoulder to leave behind all the negative memories of the past year
  • Walking through town carrying luggage to set the intention to travel a lot in the upcoming year
  • Eating 12 grapes for 12 wishes for the New Year
  • Throwing coins in your home to welcome in prosperity
  • Washing the front entrance right after midnight

Traditionally, Costa Ricans gather together around 8pm, enjoy a festive pork dinner and celebrate until 1am or 2am in the morning. The traditional song Año Vejo is sung to welcome in the New Year. For Costa Ricans, i’s an evening filled with many symbolic traditions that have passed down over multiple generations.

For the most part, New Year’s eve is quiet. Towns such as Tamarindo as well as San Jose are more lively. The fireworks display in Tamarindo along the beach is especially spectacular and attracts a large crowd each year. In recent years, towns with large expat populations tend to have more parties, clubs and public events catering to the North American culture. In these towns, restaurants offer special menus, bars fill to capacity and bands play in town centers.

Across the country, New Yea’s signals a rebirth and fresh start. I’s a time to reboot, recharge, and refocus energies for the upcoming year. I’s a time to set goals and release past regrets and troubles. People come together to make their New Year’s resolutions and support each other in those intentions. From Christmas through January is one of the country’s most active times. I’s the peak season in Costa Rica filled with festivities and celebrations, and one of the best times of year to visit. Fin de Año!

Spending Christmas in Costa Rica!

Spending Christmas in Costa Rica!

December 19, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica as almost anywhere in the region, Christmas still represents a huge Catholic festivity, but without missing fiestas, parades, rodeos, street parties, bull runs, choral and dance festivals, and of course abundant presence of fireworks; specially if you are in the country side or the coast. In December a lot of Costa Ricans are on vacation or just living on holidays mood. You definitely experience an even bigger feeling of happiness and Pura Vida vibes in the air during this month.

You’ll find quite a lot of foreigners choose to spend their holidays in here. Looking for warmer climates, while winter season is over back home. Even though in Costa Rica’s North Pacific Coast weather is great all year long, starting in December the weather gets especially nice, the dry season starts, magazine sunsets appear, and cool breezy evenings delight anyone after a sunny day.

We can agree “there is no place like home for the holidays”, with all our friends, family and traditions, but for those that have been some time living here or just come regularly for the season, they discover a great way of experiencing special dates like Christmas.

For some it will be enjoying the different traditions of Costa Rican Christmas. From trying out special meals of the season to getting involved in all the decorations and preparations for Christmas Eve. Depending on the region people like to decorate their houses with red or beautiful tropical flowers. El Pasito or Portal, a model of the nativity scene, is the center of every Costa Rican traditional house in December. On Christmas Eve, everyone puts on their best clothes, most religious people go to Midnight mass, and friends and family get together celebrate and enjoy dinner, followed by gift exchange. Christmas Eve meals vary from house to house and in recent years it has been changing looking more like a Thanks Given one with big turkeys and salads on the tables than a traditional Costa Rican Christmas meal. However, the traditional Cena de Navidad includes chicken, pork or veggie tamales wrapped in plantain leaves, dried fruits and nuts Christmas cake and lots of egg nog and rum punch!

For others it might be spent celebrating with friends and family in a hotel, restaurant or a home but enjoying international traditions, and meals. In Guanacaste hotels, restaurants and every customer service oriented business is running for this important date. Depend on your style and preferences you can choose from a variety of options.

No matter how you decide to spend your Christmas, in Costa Rica is always great to explore different cultures and witness how things are done in other places different than the traditional way at home. Enjoying at the same time awesome weather, exuberant fine sand beaches, and great people!

Two Types of Investment-Rental Properties in Costa Rica

Two Types of Investment-Rental Properties in Costa Rica

December 9, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

If you are like many of our clients, you are looking for a property that can be a second home in the tropics and provide rental-income generation. This property can range from a luxury house on sizeable acreage to a condo unit in a prime location.

There are many factors to consider when looking at profitable rental properties—

  • Location. The closer to the ocean, the better. The easier the access, the better.
  • Ocean View. The bigger the ocean view, the better. If you can see the sunset into the ocean, even better.
  • Swimming Pool. Even though the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean are warm, guests want a pool for their children. As for the size… the bigger, the better.
  • Proximity To The Beach. People on vacation love to walk to the beach, but you definitely want to read up on Maritime Property, which is leasehold, before committing to anything.
  • Security. There’s nothing worse for rental reviews than an incident of theft. If your rental house is not in a gated community, a private gate and/or a caretaker can limit bad experiences.

It’s difficult to quantify, but the more boxes you can check, the better. The higher the weekly/nightly rental rates, the higher your occupancy and the better your reviews. All of which lead to bigger net profits.

Open concept, tropical finishes, and a luxurious pool with sunset views to infinity.

Open concept, tropical finishes, and a luxurious pool with sunset views to infinity.


Let’s start with the “Buying a House” strategy. If you are an investor looking to relocate to Costa Rica, you will need to find a property that either has a guest house/casita to rent or room to build one. These property owners can either rent to a tenant long term or to people on vacation typically on a weekly basis. The short term (e.g., weekly) rental strategy is more lucrative than finding a long term rental, but it’s also more work and your rental will suffer a bit more wear and tear.

Owners will quickly discover there are two roles that need to be filled—the property manager and the rental manager. Often, they are one in the same. The property manager deals with daily life on-site. They coordinate with the cleaning crew, the gardener, the pool service, the maintenance man, and everything else house related and local. The rental manager deals with the online listing across various vacation rental websites, the inquires (the most important component), booking reservations, receiving monies, and luxury services like a personal chef and a masseuse. They also arrange shuttle services and book excursions and tours (and subsequently receive referrals from tour operators). In the vacation rental game, extra income is always welcomed!

In some cases, like this luxury rental estate, the semi-retired owners live on-site and manage everything. For years now, they comfortably lived in one of the spacious studio casitas and aggressively marketed the main house as a luxury vacation rental. Their rental history is strong like their online reviews.


If your busy life only allows for two or three trips down to Costa Rica per year, then investing in a condominium makes a lot of sense. The benefits are many—prime locations, no need for a caretaker or house sitter, and just easier to manage. In addition, low property tax, common area expenses are shared among all of the owners in the development.

You can find nice condominium projects in popular tourist areas all along the Pacific Coast, but this new development on the Costa Ballena is setting a new standard. Our clients are impressed with the luxury finishes, quality amenities and just steps from Playa Ballena, one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica. If you don’t feel comfortable on dirt roads, this project has easy two-wheeled drive access. Guards are present 24/7 at the gate, and this element is a benefit for you and your rental guests. On-site management with a multi-layered rental program. In fact, we recently had clients focused on houses switched to one of these three-bedroom condominiums because of the aforementioned benefits.

Tucked in the Costa Ballena jungle, steps to an idyllic beach, and amenities galore!

Tucked in the Costa Ballena jungle, steps to an idyllic beach, and amenities galore!


Foreigners have the same ownership right for titled land as native Costa Ricans. Property taxes are low, and there is no capital gains tax. If you’re planning on relocating to Costa Rica, buying a house with an extra rental unit is a smart strategy. If you will only be able to enjoy it a couple of times per year, then a condominium may be a better fit as an income-producing investment.

In most coastal areas of Costa Rica, the vacation rental market is strong and getting stronger. The beach areas of Guanacaste (e.g., Tamarindo) have long been tourist destinations, but if you want to invest early in the development cycle … the southern Pacific zone is worth exploring. Especially when you consider there are no large, all-inclusive hotels on the Costa Ballena to compete with your rental.

Costa Rica real estate is heating up and global economic downturn continues to fade in the rear view mirror. Pura vida.

Jaco Surf Modern Paradise!

Jaco Surf Modern Paradise!

December 7, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica biggest Surf Town Jaco Beach is located in Garabito, the youngest county in Costa Rica, it is a black volcanic sand beach.

If you thinking about visiting Jaco let me fill you in with some local knowledge; first of all know your level of surfing!

The beach of Jaco is 4 kilometers long and has three mayor surfing spots:

– South of Jaco is a very well-knowing area for learning how to surf, this part of the beach is where the majority of surf schools go to. This area presents approximately a 19° – 22° angle from the beach to the shore break, providing long easy right and left hand breaks. So if you are in the beginner stage or use a long board or boogie board, I highly recommend this area (this spot extends from Madrigal’s street to Hidalgo’s street). Given that this area of the beach has the easiest waves and safer spot for kids on their first steps as surfers. Prime time to surf 2 hours before high tide.

– Center of Jaco, this area extends from Hidalgo’s street to Bohio’s street. This part of the beach has two river mouths; Corey river and Quebrada Seca river and presents a 22°-30° angle from the beach to the shore break, this combination of steeper beach angle and two river mouths running into the ocean makes it a more challenging wave for intermediate to advanced surfers. It’s common to see some of the professional surfers as well as the Costa Rican champions training on this area of the beach. This is the closest area of all town amenities such restaurants, surf shops, stores, medical services, banks, bars and much more, making it a convenience spot after surf sessions. Prime time to surf 2.5 hours before high tide.

– North of Jaco, this part of the beach runs from the Bohio’s street to Estero’s street this area presents a 30°-40° angle from the beach to the shore break, this area is the most expose part of the beach to the swells directions and also a very steep beach angle produces a faster more aggressive wave. This spot is where the biggest surf competitions were held such; ISA World Championship 2016 / Central America Championship 2016 / National Costa Rica Championship Circuit 2015 & 2016 / ALAS Pro Latin Tour 2014. If you like fishing, on the north corner on this spot there are some schools showing up at the shore during; September, October and November. Prime time to surf 2.5 hours before high tide.

The north area it has been growing faster over the last 2 years with important developments such Croc’s Casino and Resort recently awarded as the finest build construction, you can also find nice accommodations at Bahía Encantada Condominiums, Aqua Residence and Best Western Jaco Beach which is the first beach Hotel in Costa Rica since 1976.

Come and surf with us and don’t forget to say Pura Vida!

Alvaro Solano,
Properties in Costa Rica Team

Surfing 2

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