Properties in Costa Rica Blog

Rainy Season is Approaching Costa Rica

Rainy Season is Approaching Costa Rica

Rainy season is approaching Costa Rica, which signals time to slowdown and take a break from sun filled days. Towns slows down from the seasonal tourist swell. It’s actually a great time of year to be in Costa Rica. Marking a time when you can really rest. With the afternoon showers, the green becomes even greener during the rainy season, and the weather a little cooler.

Costa Rica’s seasons are divided between the wet and dry seasons. May through November mark rainy season, and the time to kick back. January, December and November are the coolest months. A tropical country because of its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real winter, and the sun shines here throughout the year. The rainy season is a welcomed break for most people from the sun struck days.

Traveling during the rainy season also means lower prices and deeper discounts because it is less popular. People who own vacation rentals usually choose this time of year to take a break from renting their home to take advantage of the property for their own personal use. Prices can be 10% to 40% lower during the rainy season. While this time of year sees more frequent storms, for the most part, rainy season means an afternoon shower. Against the backdrop of the magical forests and mountains, it is a lovely time of year. There are still visitors but the population does not swell the way it does in December and January and then again during the spring break in March.

Expect the mornings and early afternoons to be sunny with rain hitting near the late afternoon and early evening sometimes continuing overnight. The rain brings a welcomed transitioned from the near perfect weather this country offers. There is no real summer in Costa Rica. March through May actually mark the hottest months. About 100 inches of rain fall each year with some mountainous areas getting as much as 25 feet of rainfall. It’s wet here. It’s also when the sea turtles come in to nest in large numbers, which is perhaps one of the most magical experiences you can have.

For the most part it rains at the same time everyday, making planning outdoor activities easy. Many take advantage of being outdoor in the morning and early afternoon and then returning indoors during the late afternoon. For many the lack of crowds makes this the best time to visit and take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities. Rivers run higher, the rainforest becomes a little more mystical, and the dry-forests of Guanacaste turn green and lush.

Diversity of Flora and Fauna in Costa Rica

Diversity of Flora and Fauna in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known as one of the most biologically intense places in the world. Costa Rica means “rich coast” in Spanish, and the incredible flora and fauna support this name. Rich in natural resources, its innate beauty is impossible to deny. Home to 5% of the word’s biodiversity with over 1000 plants, Costa Rica is truly rich in life. Micro-ecosystems are throughout the country. In 1992, Costa Rica was made the headquarters of the world “Earth Council.”

A wild array of exotic, tropical flora and fauna supports the wildlife. 25% of the country is protected including 26 forests, 20 national parks, 9 forest reserves, 8 wildlife refuges, 7 wildlife sanctuaries and 1 national archaeological monument. Costa Rica has over 1,200 species of orchids and a range of wildly diverse habitats. 9,000 species of flowering plants and about 800 species of ferns grow in the region. The country has 12 different ecosystems including: tropical wetlands, primary dry forests and tidal mangrove swamps, which support a range of species, flora and fauna.

There is an abundance of rainforests throughout the country. Trees can grow up to 100 feet tall, absorbing up to 90% of the forest’s photosynthesis, while underneath through the wonders of nature, thousands of species of smaller trees sprout up. The dry forests do not contain as many plants. Here the exotic trees are short and robust. The mangrove swamps hold a variety of flora growing in the border between the land and the ocean and produce algae. These forests are essential for the preservation of species that only flourish in these unique conditions.

Costa Rica’s abundant fauna makes this one of the richest territories on the planet. 200 species of mammals, 850 species of birds, 220 species of reptiles, 200 species of amphibians and over 300,000 species of insects live in this country. Its geographic location between North and South American continents, and climate with a wide variety of habitats makes it home to so much biodiversity. Rich in bees, ants, moths, butterflies, lantern flies, and much more, Costa Rica has 1,251 species of butterflies and at least 8,000 species of moths. It is also home to the magnificent, endangered turtles: Giant leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles also nest here.

The number one threat to species is endangered habitat followed by hunting and trapping. With an estimated 500,000 creatures throughout the country, Jaguars, Tapirs and the Squirrel Monkey are among the endangered species. The country is critical to preserving and protecting the world’s biodiversity. There rich number of wildlife preserves set aside across the country to protect endangered species throughout the country play a critical role in protecting biodiversity for the entire planet.

Peaceful Costa Rica Eco-Retreat and Income Generating Property

Peaceful Costa Rica Eco-Retreat and Income Generating Property

February 28, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

Connect with nature and the magic of life at this peaceful retreat property. With two solar powered eco cabañas fully equipped with modern amenities, situated on top of a hill and surrounded by the ocean, mountains, valleys and a lake, this secluded retreat is the ideal refuge.

Hike along the trails of this 7-acre property, meditate or sit on the deck and enjoy the wonderful view of the countryside. Searching for a place to disconnect and get away from it all, a base for in-country exploring, a weekend getaway, a peaceful location for your studies, this property is only a three to four hour flight from most US hubs, and just a short hour and a half drive from San Jose.

The main house (75 m2 or 800 sq. ft.) has two bedrooms, one bathroom, an integrated living, dining and kitchen area that opens up onto a deck with a panoramic view. Equipped with a wood burning fireplace makes it perfect for cool nights and gast is used for both hot water and the stove. Fresh water is supplied by a nearby mountain spring. The property includes a detached garage (26 m2 or 280 sq. ft.). The second cabin (60 m2 or 650 sq. ft.) has one bedroom, one bathroom, and a small kitchen next to a small integrated living and dining area.

This one-of-a-kind retreat can also be a great vacation rental offering guests easy access to the many natural wonders of Costa Rica to explore the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna here. Bird watching, white-water river rafting; mountain bike and road cycling, horseback riding and volcano hiking are some of the activities guests can easily enjoy here. Turrialba is well-known for river rafting in the Reventazon, Pacuare and Pejiballe rivers, as well as many other eco-adventure activities.

Additional income could be generated by developing partnerships with local tourism organizations and offering guests horseback riding, bicycle tours, volcano trekking, tree-top canopy tours, snake farm, orchid nursery, sugarcane and coffee factories.

This special place offers the ideal refuge for the expat looking for a long term escape or an investment property with a lot of appeal.

Dominical Is Ready for Envision Festival 2016

Dominical Is Ready for Envision Festival 2016

February 10, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

February 25th through February 29th, the Envision Festival will take place in Uvita just a few miles from Dominical. This large annual festival celebrates music, sustainability, holistic health and art. It’s a low-key, truly family friendly, non-commercialized event similar to the annual, infamous Burning Man festival in the in the US. It includes talented musicians, artists, yogis, natural healers, and legendary spiritual teachers.

This fantastic music festival is also an environmentally conscious event in every aspect. The founders created the event with the intent to make it sustainable. From composting toilets, using banana leaves instead of disposable plates to biodegradable shower products to stages built using sustainable materials, it’s a truly green event.

The festival holds workshops on environmental education and permaculture. The 2016 musical lineup includes several artists such as Shpongle, Beats Antique Live, M.A.N.D.Y, Elephant Revival, Akae Beka, Random RAB, and many more musicians, live artists and workshop leaders such a David Wolfe (He is also one of the world’s leading authorities on nutrition and a super food), 7 Songs, Kaypacha, Steven Brooks, Gabriel Meyer, Ali Shanti, among others.

This family-friendly event features an interactive zone where kids 12 and under can play and learn with others. Attendees describe it as a “microcosm of performance art and spiritual enlightenment.” It’s equal parts eco-conscious gathering and music festival, and well worth the trip to Costa Rica just for the event.

Costa Rica Ranks in Top 20 For Outsourcing

Costa Rica Ranks in Top 20 For Outsourcing

January 29, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica ranks in the top 20 for countries to outsource work, according to a recent report from A.T. Kearney in Chicago. Costa Rica came in at number 19 gaining 5 spots since last year. The report analyzes 55 countries for outsourcing based on: financial attractiveness, people skills, availability, and business environment. The study examines outsourcing practices, and how different countries rank as targets. Given the rapid technological advancement taking place the outsourcing models and type of work that needs to be outsourced is rapidly changing.

In 2016, India, China and Malaysia were the top three offshoring destinations. The countries with the most adaptable education systems will be able to maintain their place among the top because they can easily manage to re-train their workforce to meet the changing demands of outsourced work over time. Right now the most opportunities for outsourcing are in back office operations and IT.

Over the next few years as automation and robotics come into place, work that requires repetition of the same tasks will be done by machines eliminating the need for humans to do the work. Because we can now work remotely from anywhere in the world, it is assumed that new work opportunities will emerge for outsourcing. In order for countries to remain competitive they must adapt policies that allow them to shift as needed in order to keep their citizens employed by emerging offshore opportunities.

At the moment, Costa Rica is doing a good job of building relationships with global corporations and creating jobs for people through offshoring. The country’s strong infrastructure and policies make it an easy country to do business with and in. In addition, the education system is firmly in rooted. Overall, the country is in a position to make the needed shifts to stay current. In the past few years, Costa Rica has also attracted tech companies to its shores and has a small budding start up community. With the right programs in place, Costa Rica may be able to make the needed shifts to stay ahead of the robotics revolution and continue to attract economic opportunities to its shores.

Toucan 3D Prosthetic Miracle

Toucan 3D Prosthetic Miracle

January 20, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

The ZooAve animal rescue center in Costa Rica made medical history when they successfully implanted a Toucan with a 3D printed prosthetic saving the animal’s life. After a horrific assault on the bird a year ago that left it without most of its upper beak, it was taken to the ZooAve animal rescue center. The center raised the money for the prosthetic device based on this latest 3D printing technology to create a new beak, and ultimately save the bird’s life.

The injury did not occur in the wild but through the senseless violence of a few teenage boys. People around the world were were horrified by the malevolent attack of the defenseless creature. The injury left the bird unable to eat or stay balanced. Toucans rely on their beak to eat, mate and defend themselves in the wild. Without it, they cannot survive. Replacing the beak was a life or death matter that gained the attention and support of people around the world. The money to replace the beak was raised through a crowdfunding campaign that closed with $10,500. The attack was considered so heinous that it resulted in the creation of a Costa Rica animal cruelty bill that is now pending being passed into law.

Prosthetics are one of the medical wonders available through 3D printing that promises to usher in a new age for animals and people that suffer a loss of a limb or body part. Toucans have a beak that is lightweight and made of keratin. The designers were faced with a real challenge to design a beak that would look and feel like a comparable light weight material for the bird. It also had to be designed so it could be adjusted to match the bird’s growth over time. They also could not use chemical compounds that could possibly harm the bird either.

In the end, four Costa Rican 3D printing companies, Elementos 3D, Ewa!corps, Publicidad Web and Grupo Summerus, stepped forward to work with ZooAve in creating the beak and successfully transplanting the prosthetic onto the bird. 3D printing is able to create precise lifelike prosthetics at a quality unmatched in the past. 3D prosthetics have been used for dogs and cats up till now. The use of one on a wild animal is a big breakthrough, especially successfully replacing a beak. It’s a big medical breakthrough for veterinarians and wildlife specialists that resulted from a horrible tragedy.

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Living in Sámara… True Pura Vida Style

Living in Sámara… True Pura Vida Style

January 16, 2016

Properties in Costa Rica

Tuning with the waves

Costa Rica is divided in 7 provinces; in which Guanacaste is the province number 5. Sámara belongs to the city of Nicoya, located in Guanacaste province with a distance of 146,644 miles (236 km) from San José.

Sámara is ruled by the main activity in the area, Surf is the reason why many tourists visit this lovely town and wake up early just to catch the best wave of the day.

Sámara from all Costa Rican towns is very eccentric, small and diverse. Unique in its own kind, merges Pura Vida lifestyle in many European and American visitors or residents… This is why, once you meet this beautiful place you can never go back again.

Access is very easy and they are several ways to get here:

If you are coming from San Jose you just need to follow the Route 1 and get to Nicoya city, onces there it is just a 45 minute drive to Samara. In total the trip from San Jose to Samara could take around 4 hours driving.

  1. If you landed in Liberia it is way easier and closer. From Liberia you need to start driving south towards Santa Cruz which is the first town you’ll find, from other keep driving south to Nicoya and you will be here pretty quickly. The time is about 1.5 hours.
  2. You could also Access through airplane that lands either in Punta Islita or Nosara, they are both 30 minutes away from Samara.
  3. If you are not driving, an other way to get here is by shuttle, there are several shuttle services from San Jose, Liberia, Arenal or any other touristic áreas. Transportation will not be an issue!

Incredible sunsets, Samara Beach.

Life Style

The sunrises between 5:15 am and 5:30 am, perfect to ride some waves, walk on the beach or just enjoy the natural surroundings, and afterwards enjoy yourself with some fresh fruit smoothie. With no plan whatsoever. Sámara is the perfect place to relax and disconnect from your regular hectic life and dedícate yourself to just discover amazing wildlife and admire the most stunning sunrises and sunsets.

There are many outdoor activities to during the day and most of them involve being close to the beach/ocean or always in touch with the nature, such as:

  • Surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayak (River and Sea)
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Yoga
  • SUP (Stand Up Paddle)
  • Slackline
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Traditional Cuisine Lessons
  • Dolphin Tours
  • Baby turtle Tours

Sámara Gastronomical Taste

If you’re looking for a nice place to try great local fresh food and at good prices we can recommend you the following places:

  • Soda La Perla
  • Soda Colocho
  • Miss Sheriff
  • El Ancla
  • Casa Esmeralda

If you’re more like an organic and vegetarian taste, Sámara Organics is the perfect spot, they offer: smoothies, cookies, coffee and delicious ice cream from Pura Paleta.

For those who want to experience different food options not only typical and are interested in dinner or lunch the following restaurants offer a great selection in meats:

  • El Colibrí
  • El Lagarto

And for those who just can’t get enough of Italian food the best options in Sámara are:

  • El Gusto Beach
  • Mama Gui
  • Uh La la
  • Locanda

In regards Mexican food Coco’s Place presents a very nice concept mixing Mexican food and art into its restaurant.

But if your options are a bit more getting to know a bar o just eat appetizers of Sandwiches these are the options for you:

  • La Vela Latina
  • Bar Arriba

Sámara Nightlife

For those who love just hanging out blend in and get to know people just prepare yourself for a long night since dancing starts at 12am! But there’s also relax and nice bars to visit before the main dish.

And when the night is heating up these are the best options for you:

  • Tabanuco (Reggae Nights)
  • Vela Latina (Salsa Nights)

If you decide to visit Samara keep in be prepared to enjoy real natural vibes!

Camaronal, Puente

Hollywood Celebrities Favor Costa Rica

Hollywood Celebrities Favor Costa Rica

In recent years, Costa Rica has developed into a popular destination among celebrities. This tropical paradise equipped with modern infrastructure is the perfect place to unwind and to escape the 24/7 go of paparazzi, glitz and drama of a life lived out on the public stage. While Costa Rica has its share of roaming paparazzi, it is nowhere near the extreme levels found in New York, Los Angeles or London. Costa Rica provides a much-needed refuge to relax for the famous where they can enjoy private, personal time. It’s an escape from what can be a very stressful life. Celebrities known to frequent this happy little country include long time expat Mel Gibson, Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gisele, Matt Damon, and many more.

Costa Rica offers five star resorts such as the Four Seasons where stars can enjoy the country’s natural beauty while staying in luxury accommodations. Across the country, there are many fine resorts to choose from ranging from lovely, luxury eco-resorts, as well as concierge service magical villas for those seeking more privacy. The most popular area for celebrities is along the Pacific Coast. Five star resorts in the province of Guanacaste include: Punta Islita Hotel, Gaia Hotel and Reserve, El Mangroove, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, Reserva Conchal, The Westin Resort and Spa Playa Conchal.

It is also a great place to purchase a vacation home. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff, Charlie Seen, Britney Spears, Steven Tyler and Mel Gibson are among those who have purchased homes in the area. In addition to Hollywood celebrities, famous athletes known to enjoy their time in Costa Rica include: Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Tom Brady. There are several luxury developments being built in the province as well as a nice selection of private homes to choose from. In the last several years, Guanacaste has developed into a paradise by the sea. Celebrities enjoy their vacation without having to be concerned about being mobbed and accosted by people and press. It’s the perfect spot to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Welcome to the new Malibu.

Ringing in the New Year in Costa Rica

Ringing in the New Year in Costa Rica

December 25, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

For vacationers and retirees ringing in the New Year in Costa Rica, it can be time of parties in one of the local beach towns or a quiet time spent in nature or reflecting with family or friends. Many people opt to hold small dinner parties, and seek out this time to do some backpacking in one of Costa Rica’s parks. It’s about taking it down a notch to reflect on the past year, express gratitude and set some goals for the coming year. To connect with nature, there’s are some great mountain tops in the country and places to explore. For many people, New Year’s eve is a time of reflection. The traditional meal for New Year in Costa Rica is a pork leg, and when the clock turns 12, there is the tradition of singing “Año Viejo”. There are also some fun long held traditions that are part of the country’s rich folklore.

Ensure travel in the coming year

There is the old tradition of running around the house or crossing the neighborhood street with a suitcase or a backpack in hand to ensure travel for the coming year.

Clear negative energy in the home

Cleaning and sweeping the entire house the women is believed to clear away past evils.

Remove bad luck

Throw a pan full of water over one’s shoulder is believed to sway all bad luck from the previous year.

Attract your mate

Other New Year’s traditions include wearing red underwear in the hope that the coming year will bring their spouse or true love.

Attract good fortune

Wearing yellow in hopes of getting conferred with good luck in the coming year.

Attract good fortune

Eating 12 grapes at midnight with each one dedicated to one month in the coming year for good luck.

These are fun local traditions that you can weave into celebrating the New Year in Costa Rica. As It’s really about setting an intention to have a positive experience in the coming year that brings you much good fortune and new experiences. When we live our lives from a centered purposeful place, joy and good fortune tends to follow. It’s how many Costa Ricans live their lives daily, and perhaps is part of what attracts so many foreigners to one of the happiest countries in the world. Enjoy ringing in 2016!

Secret to a long life Discovered in Nicoya Peninsula

Secret to a long life Discovered in Nicoya Peninsula

December 11, 2015

Properties in Costa Rica

Secret to a long life may just lie in the Nicoya Peninsula region in Costa Rica. Among Costa Rica’s many treasures and benefits may also be the long searched for secret to living a long, healthy and happy life. The factors that contribute to longevity include: low stress lifestyle, plant based diet, faith of some sort and water high in minerals! A sense of purpose and hard work are also part of the attitudes that lead to a longevity. Nicoyan centenarians tend to live with their families, and children or grandchildren providing much-needed support to families from which they gain a sense of purpose and belonging.

It turns out the Nicoya Peninsula is in the Blue Zone – one of five hot spots around the globe where people live longer lives. The zones include: Loma Linda, California, Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy, and Okinawa, Japan. Defined by its sandy beaches and tropical forest, Nicoya Peninsula is one of the areas in the zone.

Add to this discovery, “Costa Rica spends only about one tenth of what the United States spends on healthcare, yet more than twice as many men there can expect to reach a healthy age 90.” There’s something about being able to slow down and take life in that benefits all humans, and it’s a quality many westerners seem to have lost. Diet also plays an important role. A plant based, fresh food diet is a big factor. Fortunately, Costa Rica is an agricultural country with an abundance of fresh, locally grown organic produce available year round.

Its customs and lifestyles create an environment where people can live healthier, longer lives, and that’s great news. It’s a testament to what many people experience when coming here, and part of the reason the country’s population continues to swell. It’s a lifestyle choice that is good for the heart, mind and body. It’s no wonder, Costa Rica has also been identified as one of the happiest countries in the world, and the Nicoyans may just be the epicenter of a well lived life.

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