Properties in Costa Rica Blog


Celebrating Costa Rica Independence Day

Celebrating Costa Rica Independence Day

September 12, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica celebrates its 198th year of existence and independence on September 15th. Costa Rica shares this anniversary with Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. On Sept 15, 197 years ago, the Central American Congress signed the “Act of Independence” in Guatemala deliberating these nations from Spanish rule. It actually took about a month after the act, for the news to reach Costa Rica. There was luckily no fight for independence since Spain was morally and physically depleted due to other wars. Actually; Spain had felt like all the Central American land had become a burden to keep and maintain, so it was a relief for the Spanish Empire to withdraw their rule over these lands.

Costa Rica became completely independent from the Central American Republic in 1838. Like many other nations, Costa Rica has a unique way of celebrating this special day. First off, government institutions and businesses are closed, and people often take advantage of the day off. There is an annual Torch Relay that spans about 5 days that starts in Guatemala and ends in Cartago, which is Costa Rica’s colonial capital. Kids often participate in the “lantern parade” the night before; by lighting torches made out of paper, and decorating them in unique ways. Also, parades with folkloric dances and traditional costumes are done by school children; who prepare for this months in advance. Traditional Costa Rican food like; tamales, empanadas, Casados (rice and beans, meat, salad), fried plantains, and fried yuca are served by vendors at these events.

Costa Rica for nearly 200 years has been creating a culture that uniquely defines them. Today, Costa Ricans use September 15, as a way to remind and share the traditions that have made this country such a special and beautiful place.




Golfing in Costa Rica

Golfing in Costa Rica

September 2, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Picture yourself watching a stunning sunset in the evening and catching the sounds of birds and the Pacific Ocean; well, strangely enough, this could be a reality in one of the many golf courses around Costa Rica. Whether it is in your condominium or a luxurious beach resort, golf courses around Costa Rica offer magnificent views of the trademark nature in Costa Rica.

The most renowned Golf Courses is nested in the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica: Guanacaste is Home of the three most famous Golf courses, Hacienda Pinilla, Four Seasons and Reserva Conchal Golf. All them famous for its scenery. They are a must-play when in Costa Rica.

In the wonderful Hacienda Pinilla resort. Ancient and imposing trees such as the “Guanacaste” (national trees), “Matapalo”, and “Pochote” surround the course and make it comfortable for species like birds, monkeys, iguanas, deer, and many other animals that can be seen from time to time. Spread over 4,500 acres, this rolling landscape was used previously for a cattle ranch for more than 40 years, giving the property a rustic but well cared for aesthetic. Containing about three miles of pristine beaches, this property also offers the greatest views of the ocean to see while you enjoy your golfing.

The Four Season Golf Course is a world-class court with incredible and majestic views of the pacific and the Bahia Culebra. International rated as among the 100 best golf courses in the world.

The visitors will enjoy Crystalline waters,  plants, birds, monkeys, and animal species.

The Westin Golf Resort Course in Conchal is surrounded by lush vegetation and blue waters as well. Robert Trent Jones Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 71-course with one of the most beautiful landscapes in Costa Rica being a  Family and all-inclusive resort allows family gatherings and several activities for kids too.

In the Central Valley of Costa Rica, you can also feel free to visit the Valle del Sol residential for some golfing. The Valle del Sol Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 72 championship course that has the best views of the Central Valley mountain landscape. The atmosphere over here is more tranquil and chill as opposed to the constant sun in Guanacaste. Designed to take advantage of all of its surroundings, the course has little streams in every hole and also an excellent cart path where you can also indulge in the numerous trees that refresh the air.

It is important to note that the larger resort courses located in the Guanacaste section of Costa Rica are best geared for experienced golfers, while the other courses centered in the capital are better suited for novice golfers. More broadly, over the past years, the sport of golf has had a greater presence here in Costa Rica seen as it has hosted several international events such as the PGA Latin American Tour, currently working on hosting the Latin American Amateur Championship (LAAC) in 2022. Next time you plan to visit Costa Rica, remember, feel free to visit and play in one of the many fabulous courses around the country and have fun while enjoying the picturesque nature of the location.




The picturesque corner of Alajuela, San Ramón

The picturesque corner of Alajuela, San Ramón

August 31, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Known as the “city of Poets”, San Ramón is an incredible but small city located in the province of Alajuela. The biggest impression from this little town is the extensive amount of emerald green mountains and trees that flood the place and give it the most amazing natural atmosphere. Just an hour and a half away from the Arenal Volcano and hot springs and less than an hour away from the capitol San José and Pacific Ocean beaches, San Ramón is a very peaceful provincial city that has been growing and that welcomes foreign travelers all year round.

Upon arrival, you will be able to see the abounding culture that exists in this town, mostly embodied in its people’s slow-paced life focused on forging strong community bonds. Normal to the life of the Ramonenses is thus the Farmers market, where many people join together and sell fresh fruit, vegetables, and even cattle.  As well, the fact that many of the country’s greatest literary and political figures were born here also gives it an important role in the enrichment of Costa Rica as a whole, hence San Ramon’s label, “city of poets”. Take for example famous poets Felix Angel Salas Cabezas and Lisimaco Chavarria Palma or ex-presidents Jose Figueres Ferrer and Rodrigo Carazo.

In the heart of San Ramón, you will find an incredible catholic church, and just north to it you can discover a museum where you can learn about the town’s rich history and important figures who have built it.  One of the most captivating characteristics of this “tico” town would have to be its climate. With no need for air conditioning or fireplaces, the weather in this town stays between 70°F to  75 °F all year long, making it perfect for coffee to be cultivated by the many farmers who live in the area. Apart from coffee, the city is also famous for its three cigar factories; in fact, if you wish to take a break from your agricultural adventures you can pay a visit to one of these factories to see how the people of San Ramón make their living.

More broadly, if you’re looking to settle down in a traditional and environmental city filled with authentic people and also want to get to know what it feels like to live the “tico” lifestyle, San Ramón most definitely checks all of your boxes.

The Real Estate in this area is moving fast for its good prices and accessible location to many amenities. San Ramon provides the best of what Costa Rica has to offer a good pace of life, combine with incredible nature, landscape, scenery and a Pura Vida Lifestyle you will enjoy!




Costa Rica Wildlife

Costa Rica Wildlife

August 19, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the “go-to” place if you’re looking to get closer to nature. More than half of the country is a rain forest, which offers a great deal of biodiversity. Costa Rica, as a country, has only 0.3% of the earth’s landmass, but 4% of of the world’s species.

Being geographically gifted allows Costa Rica’s ecosystems to thrive, allowing for heavy concentrations of species in tiny areas. From reptiles and amphibians to large fish and mammals that spread all through Costa Rica’s bodies of waters and terrains.

To highlight some of my personal experiences I will try to fill you guys in on my animal encounters in this beautiful country. One of the first and more interesting encounters for me was with the American Crocodile. As you head west from the capital of San Jose, you are likely to cross over the Crocodile Bridge. Here you can see a concentration of about a dozen or more crocodiles at a time, which are drawn to the bridge by locals and visitors who often feed these creatures. Obviously, as a New Yorker who has maybe seen one or two caged crocodiles in his life, seeing these many wild crocodiles was extremely exciting. For me maybe the most amazing encounter was with Sea Turtles that seasonally arrive at Costa Rica’s Caribbean side to lay their eggs. In El Tortuguero, hence the name, you have a chance to experience the arrival of Giant Green Sea Turtles. During the American autumn months, large concentrations of these reptiles often arrive at Tortuguero National Park’s beach. You can see them slowly crawl across the sand, find a spot to dig a hole, and lay eggs. This process is so important to the cycle of life for this species, so being a witness to this was incredibly unique. As you near any major body of water in Costa Rica during your trip it is more than possible that you will be able to see monkeys hopping from tree to tree. Whether it is a white face monkey or a howler monkey, you are likely to be in awe of these relatively tiny, furry creatures. They are constantly on the move day by day and are often first heard before seen. Seeing these animals interact with each other was incredibly satisfying as it is something so different than the wildlife in the U.S. Also, all across Costa Rica there are different types of frogs and lizards that visitors frequently see. Some of these amphibians are really colorful but extremely dangerous due to their venomous traits. The frogs you may see in the rainforest can be as small as your thumbnail but can carry a large dose of possibly fatal venom for a person of any size. As you now may know Costa Rica has so many different types of habitats with so many different animals, as well as incredible creatures to interact and discover. I would always recommend for you to experience these possible encounters with a knowledgable guide that will make your Costa Rican Wildlife experience an extremely unique one as well as a safe one!

Mijael T.



Costa Rica a Privilege Country

Costa Rica a Privilege Country

August 12, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

I’m a 30-year-old New Yorker who was had the privilege to have traveled to many destinations all over North and South América. From Canada to Mexico, and all over Latin America. Each place has its special unique vibe and culture. But, I have to say my favorite ( by a long shot) is Costa Rica. I have been going to Costa Rica since I was 7 years old and went as recently as 2018. I think I’ve had about 15 trips there all together and it never gets old, just better. Now, of course, there are several amazing qualities to Costa Rica as a whole. Here I will focus on one of their very best; their beaches. Costa Rica is geographically gifted, as it stands in between both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This allows their coasts to posses variously different attributes that attract all types of visitors. Now it would be hard to describe every single beach and why I think you should go, but I will highlight several of my favorites and why. If your looking for a quick getaway to you can go to Jaco beach which is the nearest beach from the capital San Jose.

Further out west, You can go to head to Playa Grande in Guanacaste to catch a seasonal wave which will surely be one of the most intense rides of your life. Or, you can head to the Atlantic side and visit  Tortuguero and be amazed by the wildlife. I remember the first time I went to  Tortuguero, I was able to see crocodiles in the river tours, as well as see big sea turtles head to shore and lay dozens of eggs. Guanacaste are I referred to earlier has to be my favorite and likely the most popular destination in Costa Rica. Guanacaste is west of the capital and its beaches are part of the Pacific Ocean. Guanacaste is great for people looking for an adventure, or those looking to get away with their families.  Playas Del Coco will surely amaze any visitor as it’s filled with many beautiful attractions like the dark sand beach in the Gulf of Papagayo.

Tamarindo is filled with many great luxury hotels for those looking for all-inclusive fun. Last year I for the first time went to Santa Teresa which was a different experience altogether. Most of the vacationers will take a ferry to this area. Here, there are many different types of local foreigners who live a “hippy-ish” lifestyle for those looking for a less luxury experience and more nature-filled vacation. Of course, across all these places you will find incredibly attractive restaurants and bars for those looking for nighttime fun. hoping this encourages you to visit Costa Rica very soon!

Mijael T.




A Legal Guide for Buying property in Costa Rica

A Legal Guide for Buying property in Costa Rica

July 30, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a gold mine for real estate and vacation.  Be it near one of its marvelous beaches or the evergreen rolling mountains, the land of the “Pura Vida” offers great options when it comes to vacation or retirement homes, over the past few years, it has welcomed thousands of expats from all over the world.

Being a foreign-friendly country, Costa Rica’s constitution grants foreigners the same rights as Costa Rican citizens, meaning that expats are equally allowed to own land directly. In fact, if you are investing over $200,000 in real estate over here, you can even be granted a resident investor visa.

Costa Rica takes very good care of its famous biodiversity and natural resources, which extends to property ownership. For example, land within the maritime zone, as well as rivers, lagoons, mangroves, wetlands are usually considered as public domain. As a result, ownership of such land is either restricted or not possible.

Property ownership here in Costa Rica can be either direct or indirect. For a property to be purchased indirectly, shares and ownership interest of corporations who own real estate must all be bought. Direct transfers, on the other hand, must happen in the form of a Public Deed, perform by a Notary Public. The document is thus signed and authorized by both parties, and an official deed certificate is presented to the National Registry. Once this deed is fully registered, the title of the real estate property is conveyed. Regarding fees, keep in mind that Notary Public fees, registry stamps, transfer (around 3.25%) and capital gains taxes (around 2.25% to 15%) must be included within the transfer costs. The purchase or sale costs are usually paid equally between the buyer and the seller, as both are equally and legally bound to make those payments.

Before buying a property in Costa Rica, don’t forget to do in-depth due diligence, as well as looking into any cadastral and registry alerts to avoid fraud. Another important recommendation is to visit the property and on-site confirm the boundaries with the recorded survey and title in the National Registry.

Lastly, our legal system has important stipulations that could affect property ownership. An important distinction is that Costa Rica has a civil law system, which means that written law will prevail over past court rulings (precedents). Within the written law, zoning and construction regulations are held to a broad regulatory framework, in which Municipal Regulatory Plans (Planes Reguladores) is the first point of reference. Moreover, and as previously stated, Costa Rica has multiple environmental regulations that must be taken into account, as these may affect or limit construction activities and their regulations.

Credits to  Mariela Sanabria B. (COLBS Legal Studio)

sjm@colbs.legal




Guanacaste’s annexation

Guanacaste’s annexation

July 24, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Back in the early 1800s, what is now the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica (now referred to as the gold coast for its beautiful beaches) formed part of the Nicaraguan territory. For starters, for all of you wondering what is the meaning of the word anexión or annexation in English, in Costa Rica, this verb is a synonym for the traditional celebrations of Guanacaste’s union with Costa Rica on July 25th.

If we trace back to the Independence of Central America in 1821, it is important to note that just after independence from the Spanish colonials, Nicaragua quickly started imposing itself over the Nicoyans, even though these identified with the Costa Rican community.  In those days, Nicaragua was in the middle of civil war and had many internal problems within their government, and it was this the drop that spilled the glass for the Nicoyans. Later in 1824 the Partido de Nicoya finally was able to unite with Costa Rica through the act of incorporation and by presidential discrete in 1825, was added to the territory of Costa Rica.

The use of ‘annexation’ is believed to be a misconception, in fact, it is critiqued by many famous academic and experts in folklore for they argue that this idea is imprecise and it suggests a circumstance that is contrary to what actually occurred with the Partido de Nicoya and its voluntary integration to Costa Rica.

Starting from the notion that the verb “to annex” had a connotation that referred to conquering territory and demanding its submission through violence, it is clear as water that it was not the case for the Nicoyans in 1824. Either way, the question is why do people refer to it as the annexation of Guanacaste? and, how did this connotation change over the years?

Expert in folklore and philosophy Marco Tulio Gardela agrees with the fact that the word is misused and stated in his program “Vivamos la Guanacastequidad” (let’s live Guanacasteness) that “The Partido de Nicoya freely agreed to join Costa Rica. It could be an addition, incorporation, or union. I think they chose the wrong word,” said Gardela.

To understand why the word annexation has been used, it is essential to draw a timeline and look at different events that have impacted the world. In 1824, the year when the Nicoyans united with Costa Rica, the Act of Incorporation of the Partido de Nicoya to Costa Rica the word annexation was not used to describe the event. It is believed that the word started making an appearance in 1848 when Costa Rican diplomats Felipe Molina and Lorenzo Montúfar used the term “annexation”, an anglicism derived from the word annexation. The historical use of the term tracks back three years prior, in 1845, when the United States annexed Texas, possibly influencing the adoption of the new term in Costa Rica.

Until this day, the word has maintained and according to the Royal Spanish Academy, the definition for “anexionar” now refers “to join or incorporate something, especially a country or a part of its territory, with another”, meaning that ultimately, it is up to whether you want to refer to it as an annexation or simply as the union between Guanacaste and Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica and especially in Guanacaste this day is celebrate with Parades, Tico style bullfights, Marimba (Traditional instrument), Dances, Music, Typical foods.

All the Government offices are closed and most of the commercial centers. For Costa Rican, this is an important Holiday and the spirit celebrations are big… Guanacaste is a beautiful area and has developed nicely these past years famous for its surfing, resorts, natural beauty, amazing beaches, nightlife, restaurant, endless options for recreation that most travelers are looking for.

Make Guanacaste one of your Top destinations and you would not be disappointed!.




Yoga retreat in Costa Rica

Yoga retreat in Costa Rica

July 23, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Pura Vida runs through the blood of every “Tico” in Costa Rica, and yoga may be the best way to be able to connect with this lifestyle that makes them one of the happiest people in the world. The spirit of Costa Rica’s cultural appeal is forever marked in the way that peace and happiness combine in life. Yoga, for instance, is one of the best ways to find this, seen as Costa Rica’s good vibes and natural identity makes it perfect for individuals to relax and fully purify their bodies.

Sacred Paths Yoga, for example, offers a 200hr hour program in the country, a unique opportunity to enjoy the spiritual practice with close proximity to the ocean and nature all around. The fusion between the infinite sound and flow of the waves and the yoga enhances the experience and thus smoothens the road to find your oneness and peace. The organization is located in Mal País and offers a scheduled plan that will allow you to explore ancient yogic wisdom as well as the art of surfing, another spiritual exercise molded by the movement of the ocean. In between each activity and the yogic purification, fresh fruit and vegetables available will further provide the cleansing that you need.

With 5% of the world’s biodiversity and just 0.03% of the world’s landmass, the diverse wildlife you’ll encounter goes hand-in-hand with the Pura Vida mantra that permeates this magical place. Be it spider monkeys, ocelots, sloths, frogs, birds or even jaguars, in Costa Rica, there is a never-ending list of amazing animals that can be appreciated in their most natural state.

If you pass through Playa Hermosa beach in Santa Teresa, another fabulous yoga haven can be found in the Balinese-inspired Pranamar Ocean Villas. With various yoga retreats around the year and daily yoga classes for their guests and locals, their open-air shala is the perfect environment to practice yoga while seeing the endless Pacific Ocean in the distance. After each practice, don’t forget the organic and locally sourced meals of the compound’s restaurant.

Year by year, the interest in yoga is growing and the number of people wanting to come to Costa Rica and enjoy both the practice and the country’s wonders is huge. Next time you visit, feel free to try out this amazing mental and body exercise while exploring the thousands of surprises this nation has to offer.




Wild & Nature in Costa Rica

Wild & Nature in Costa Rica

July 19, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

From the highest peak to its lowest valley, Costa Rica’s wildlife and nature are present in every corner.   Tree-line tropical beaches, bursting hot active volcanoes, hissing thermal streams and the most amazing species of flora and fauna, you have it all here in Costa Rica. Always fostering the conservation of these natural wonders, Costa Rica is a prime example when it comes to sustainability and a green mindset. Pristine beaches and forests abound in Costa Rica and some of them are even protected by NGO’s and kept away from touristic development.

 

Costa Rica’s nine active volcanoes have made quite the impression on visitors who are able to witness them, seen as it reminds them of the power contained in the earth’s mantle. Take for example the Irazú Volcano and its enormous crater with a boiling sulfurous lake. It’s easy to see why Neil Armstrong has stated that its desolate and imposing landscape looks like the surface of the moon. The biggest and most studied volcano is Arenal, booming and rumbling with incredible consistency and being one of the most fascinating sites to see in the nation. Comparably, the non-volcanic Talamanca Range contains two of the country’s highest peaks: Cerro de la Muerte that reaches over 9,483 feet and International American Highway crossing the 11,453 feet. If you are still looking to climb the highest peak in Costa Rica, pay a visit to Chirripó, topping 12,532 feet and requiring a hefty 9-hour hike and cold-weather camping.

 

Along these upper slopes of Costa Rica and draped in mist and clouds, the forest has sprouted thanks to the mosses, algae, and lichens that get a foothold on the constant wet surfaces. One example of this cloud forest is Montverde, adorned with tall trees and fabulous biodiversity. Some of its inhabitants include the jaguar, ocelot, Baird’s tapir, barrel necked umbrellabird, and the stunning quetzal. Back in 1972, this land was taken by the Tropical Science Center and they made into a secure natural reserve that now has the financial and human resources necessary to protect and expand this precious land, ultimately showing Costa Rica’s commitment to reforestation and sustainability.

 

The lower lands, on the other hand, are where rainforests can be found. Resonating with the sounds of wrens and antbirds, these types of forests harbor the last strongholds of biodiversity of Earth and are thus fundamental for Costa Rica. A trip to forest-like these makes modern stresses and problems fade away in what is the most authentic and unique experience you could find, almost like taking a trip back in time.  Next time you visit Costa Rica, be prepared to be overwhelmed by the countries all-pervasive greenness and don’t worry about missing its wonders, because anywhere you go you’ll find something of its own kind!




Costa Rica: a surfing haven

Costa Rica: a surfing haven

July 16, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Imagine harnessing your adrenaline and gliding through a perfect 6-foot wave in the Pacific Ocean. Stop imagining, feel this for yourself in Costa Rica, the perfect place to learn or enjoy the views of the beaches and connect in the best possible way with the ocean. Far from the crowded beaches, you will find in Hawaii, California, or Sydney, Costa Rica’s white sand shorelines are peaceful and considerably less crowded.  We’ll start you off with some of the most famous beaches to surf here in Costa Rica, they include Jacó, Hermosa Beach, Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, Puerto Viejo, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 

Surf towns are spread out across Costa Rica’s territory, be it in the Pacific or Caribbean coast. The important thing is that each town offers its own wonders and difficulties. If you are a beginner, the best spot to learn and start getting used to the paddling, floating, and diving is Jacó beach in Puntarenas. Just 1 hour away from the capital San José, Jacó is in an ideal location in the center of the Pacific coast to travel and return the same day, with a beginner’s level difficulty and lots of surfing coaches’ options at your disposal. If you travel down south, you can find one of the longest left rides in the world in Pavones beach. The wave is so long it begins at the end of Rio Cairo and lasts up to 1.2 km.

 

The northern section of the Pacific Coast is home to several national and international surfing tournaments each year. Playa Hermosa, or also “Beautiful Beach”, is the more noticeable one with more than 3.5 km of steep beaches. With its obvious head high peaks throughout the seasons, this section of the coastline is consistent all year long. A surfing mecca for all of you thrill seekers and passionate for the sport, the northern Costa Rican beaches is the right place for you.

 

While visiting these splendid and authentic beach towns, not only will you appreciate the direct connection between you and the sea,  you can also enjoy the traditional food and nightlife of each town. If you are empty handed and don’t have the tools to surf, don’t forget that you can find plenty of surf shops in each location, where you will find everything from a brand-new surfboard to a wax board. Feel inclined to respect the ocean and the environment and enjoy the local scene and awe-inspiring sunsets while you indulge in the water. See you out there!



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