Properties in Costa Rica Blog


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!




The best of both worlds in Atenas

The best of both worlds in Atenas

July 13, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Just 40 minutes away from the capital of Costa Rica, the evergreen rolling hills of Atenas is a sight you can’t pass by. As you arrive at this traditional Cost Rican rural town, you will be able to perceive its authenticity and sense its amazing climate. As a matter of fact, Atenas is reported to have one of the best climates in the world, where you are able to enjoy temperatures reaching up to 80 ° and descending to about 60 ° in its lowest state. Due to this near-perfect climate, nature around here thrives and is the reason why the exotic flora and fauna of Atenas is so diverse and all-encompassing.

Atenas Central Park is perhaps the most popular attraction in this place, located in the heart of the town and filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment everywhere. In the shade of the tall trees, you will be in full comfort indulging on the bustling town activity there is as well as the eccentric species of birds that roam the place. Also, don’t forget to visit the souvenir shops and pick up some gifts for your loved ones that can’t be found in the normal consumer malls.

If for some reason you wish to escape the ordinary and go visit the species of the land, Zoo Ave is perfect for you. Whether you have kids, or you simply want to appreciate wildlife, Zoo Ave offers an up-and-close experience with some of the most exotic animals,  the difference lies in the way that they treat, rescue, and rehabilitate animals instead of using them for profit. Think about it, when will you have the chance to see more than 130 species of animals in a secure and non-profitable organization, this might be your chance.

All of these benefits and attractions have thus turned Atenas into a great location to invest, where nature and culture fuse to make the perfect environment for calm and “Pura Vida” living.  Day-by-day, Atenas is attracting new investments thanks to the new coastal highway that places Atenas just 25 minutes from the beach and 30 minutes away from more developed areas such as Santa Ana and Escazú. With its Spanish colonial feeling, in Atenas, you will have the opportunity to live a life filled with serenity but also with the availability of facilities such as international bilingual schools, ATMs, hardware stores, hospitals and clinics, supermarkets, among many others. A prime choice for Expats from all over the world, don’t look past this peaceful slow-paced town.




No traffic, no hotels, no luxury, just nature.

No traffic, no hotels, no luxury, just nature.

July 11, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Imagine a place where nature is so pristine more than 300 species of recorded animals are roaming around. Established in 1989, Pacuare Reserve constitutes in a 2000-acre tropical forest reserve in Matina, Limón that is essential in the conservation of wildlife in Costa Rica, especially for the endangered leatherback sea turtle as it uses its 6km of its coastline for nesting. From March to July, don’ t miss out on the opportunity to join the reserve’s turtle census and witness from up close the remarkable nesting process. Another great sight would be happening from June-September, where you can behold yet another natural spectacle when thousands of baby leatherback turtles hatch and return to the ocean. Apart from these magnificent sea mammals, Pacuare Reserve also is the home to many other species who enjoy the tropical forest section. With its rich canals, some of the reserve’s inhabitants are monkeys, more than200 species of birds, and rare species such as jaguars and ocelots.

Being one of the most precipitated areas in Costa Rica, this wonderful territory is also composed by the Pacuare river, that serpents its way down the hill and is perfect for rafting or canopy in the dry periods (October, March, and April). If you wish to camp beside the river and immerse yourselves fully within nature, it is possible but only with an official permit from the organization.

Before being a reserve, the territory was overwhelmed by deforestation and the development of farms, this was until John Denham and his wife Hilda created in 1989 the beneficial organization that is taking care of the zone now. The nonprofit organization that stewards the region are called Ecology Project International, with all of its profits from its visitors going straight back to the reserve. If you wish to help or just get involved in the protection of this wonderland, the options vary from either financially supporting or simply volunteering and ultimately making a small step in the conservation of the site and education of future generations. Do not hesitate to come to visit this natural haven where you will be one on one with raw nature.




Costa Rica’s magnificent Southern Zone

Costa Rica’s magnificent Southern Zone

July 10, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s southern zone is a truly exceptional area that has loads of draws due to its chill climate and many cloud rainforests filled with flora and fauna. Apart from to the endless amounts of rainforest section that is covered by this area, beautiful beaches can be founded in the Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in the form of Dominical, Uvita, and Ojochal. This trio of beaches has become a surfing haven for nationals and expats as well as a place to be able to witness the tropical climate and dramatic landscapes of Costa Rica.

These three locations will allow you to be fully immersed in the natural atmosphere of the beaches and also next to many of its inhabitants such as whales, turtles, howler monkeys, and beautiful species of birds.

The limited beach development that is found in these zones is mainly caused by the large portion of national parks in the area that are protected and restricted by the government. Either way, this conservation of nature makes the beauty of the zone the more exceptional for it is hard to find virgin forests such as these. For this reason, Costa Rica real estate investors and retirees picture this zone as a gold mine, confirmed by a welcoming expat and Tico community and bursting with wildlife. A decade ago, it would take a miracle for someone to take you to Costa Rica’s Southern Zone thanks to impassible roads filled with crater-sized potholes and amounts of dust preventing you to see other cars. Luckily, this all has improved seen as you can either travel down here by plane or also by car but know in a more improved 3-hour drive leap instead of the 8 hours it used to take.

For all of you thrill-seekers, the Southern Zone is also home to the most impressive topography which includes the famous Talamanca Range and the highest peak in Costa Rica, Cerro Chirripó. In addition to the towering mountain ranges and the vast beaches, there are also many waterfalls, hiking trails and an abundance of nature preserves. On top of that, there is a variety of tour operators that include horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba diving, ATV tours, coastal excursions, and many other activities that will most definitely keep you busy in this wonderful part of the country. Furthermore, with the recent introduction of property development, an array of food and drink options have become available, with about 40 restaurants and bars as well as 11 hotels at your disposal. Having said this, it is pretty easy to see why there is a great number of retirees and expats who wish to indulge in the peacefulness of this zone and hopefully buy their dream retirement or vacation home.




Grecia: a hidden gem

Grecia: a hidden gem

July 8, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Within mountains and hills, you’ll find a picturesque farming town in the shape of Grecia. 45 minutes away from the center of San José, Grecia fuses an incredible and relaxing climate with a peaceful and appealing ambiance. One of its key characteristics that differentiate this town from any other in Costa Rica would have to be the abounding culture that is seen through their typical restaurants, museums, waterfalls, and cathedrals.

If you’re looking for 300+ days of sunshine, this is the place for you. Apart from the constant sun that is always shining over these lands, cooling breezes are also steady all year round, constituting in the most ideal and balanced climate to live in. Thanks to Grecia’s mild weather, farmers are hence able to cultivate fresh coffee, sugar cane, and pineapples.

Perhaps its biggest attraction, the lush and untampered beauty of Los Chorros waterfalls is a must-see sight that lies in a regional park southeast of Grecia. With easy access and a beautiful swath of jungle, this adventure is perfect for picnics with a dozen or so tables at your disposal.

Another stand-out characteristic of Grecia is its famous cathedral, Cathedral de la Merced. For all of you first-timers, this piece might look like a red-brick church at first glance but after you see the seams in the Cathedral, you’ll know exactly where you are. Constructed in the 1890s with sheets of metal imported from Belgium, this cathedral is central to the life of the typical Christian “tico”. Similar to many churches, this gothic architectural piece has stained glassed windows; however, it differs in its white wooden interior, vaulted ceilings, curving arches, and recognized gingerbread trim.

The World of Snakes is also one of the biggest draws in Grecia, known for its jaw-dropping collection and variety of more than 50 species. If for some reason snakes scare you to death, the museum also offers a butterfly arena (+50,000) and a regional museum.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a place where weather is extremely pleasant, there is a variety of activities to do and is filled with authentic and friendly natives, don’t look further, Grecia is the place for you.



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