Properties in Costa Rica Blog

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Costa Rica: A Favorite Getaway for Celebrities

Costa Rica: A Favorite Getaway for Celebrities

January 29, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Recently the Kardashian clan has descended on Costa Rica for a vacation and much needed relaxation. Kendall, Kylie, Khloe, Kourtney, Kim, kris and her boyfriend, Corey Gamble as well as the grandchildren, and Scott Disick have all arrived in Costa Rica this week for a winter getaway. It’s not the clan’s first visit here either. When this reality star family wants to escape the limelight, Guanacaste is a popular destination.

With a vibrant culture that supports creativity and the arts, perfect weather and commitment to sustainability, it’s no wonder Costa Rica attracts artists, celebrities, athletes and other creative types to its beaches and lush rainforests each year. Whether seeking a yoga retreat to get centered, a world-class surfing adventure, an eco tour complete with zip lining through the cloud forests, paddling through the mangroves, getting in some golf, or just laying low at the Four Seasons, each year the famous and not so famous flock here. Winter marks the high season. Packages, tours and travel agents are busy putting together itineraries for those seeking a specialized getaway in the sun.

Beyonce is among the notable celebrities who vacations along the white sandy beaches. Miley Cyrus booked a tour here while Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spent Christmas here with their children in Costa Rica. Tours are popular because celebrities can take in the country and enjoy and an adventure that is well-planned. People like convenience and stars like their vacations to be personalized to their needs and tastes. Costa Rica offers a wide variety of high-end tours as well as top-notch accommodations and resorts. The country also offers a selection of boutique off the beaten path type places that are high-end and don’t skimp on pampering as well as customized tours.

Actors, singers, and pro-athletes search the coasts for vacation homes. Tom Brady, Harrison Ford, Chuck Norris, Britney Spears, Andre Agassi and Mel Gibson all own homes here. Celebrities snap up condos and beachfront homes. Anything in the province of Guanacaste is especially hot. Celebrities and the not so famous enjoy Costa Rica because it is a low key getaway. People can wander and relax freely without being overwhelmed by the public and paparazzi. Costa Rica’s attitude is very much one of “live and let live” and that allows the famous some space. The natural wonders and atmosphere provide the perfect private escape. Costa Rica offers a place for these high profile people to reset and recharge in privacy.

Corcovado Foundation

Corcovado Foundation

January 27, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

The natural beauty of this Cloud Forest watershed property and this Wildlife Refuge development parcel, coupled with the business philosophy of the owner and also the appreciation I have for this beautiful country, have inspired a deeper passion within me. This passion is to work with properties aimed at conservation of the environment and along with that, the people who take an active role in its protection. In a world where the earth is valued more for what we can take out of it by force, as opposed to what it naturally provides us when respected, conservation of nature is a vital to our future. One of the many reasons I personally relocated to Costa Rica was so I could not only have more time with my future children, but also raise them to value, cherish and protect our natural world. Costa Rica is home to one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, Corcovado National park, so it seemed fitting that the wonderful work of The Corcovado Foundation would be the ideal subject for my first blog on conservation.

Corcovado National Park (Parque Nacional Corcovado) was established in 1975, and National Geographic has called it “the most biologically diverse place on earth”. The Corcovado Foundation was formed in 1996 and is ultimately collaboration between local land owners and conversationalists to protect over 1000 Hectares boarding Corcovado. Over the years their team has established ranger stations and patrols to prevent logging and hunting. An intensive volunteer turtle preservation program was put in place in 2006 to protect endangered sea turtles and their nests, resulting in an impressive protection of over 90% of the nests in Drake Bay and Rio Oro. In Drake Bay over 450 sea turtles were tagged and over 77,000 babies were released into their natural ocean habitat. I was able to have a conversation with Alejandra Monge, the Executive Director for The Foundation, about her team’s efforts, and what inspired her to become part of such an important movement.

Alejandra was inspired by her father to be conscientious of nature and protection of the country in which they live; one of the inspirational acts was when her father ” 30 years ago started the first recycling program in the Cerveceria in Costa Rica”. Later in tourism school, her teachers were “biologists and geologists” who showed her the close bond between tourism and conservation. In 2001, she began her love affair with the Osa Peninsula and started working for The Foundation. 15 years later she works as the Executive Director, and while she now spends most of her time doing administration, she told me it is “the passion within our team which inspires me so much”. It is true; the dedication of the team at The Foundation is the definition of inspirational.

Take for example the work of Alvaro Amo and Helena Pita, who head the environmental education team, which provides leadership programs, tutoring and after school programs to 20 schools in the South Pacific. Through their efforts they reach 600 children and teens, not only educating these younger generations about protection of nature, but empowering older teens to lead the example in this movement and aid them in discovering ways to be actively involved. Their goal is to work with the ministry of education (MEP) in Costa Rica to educate teachers to integrate environmental protection into their philosophy and curriculum.

So to my surprise, The Corcovado Foundation doesn’t only protect flora and fauna. “In the 11 communities in which we work, local people often resort to illegal logging, poaching and hunting in order to feed their families. Many have very limited access to education and suffer social problems such as teenage pregnancy, addiction and abuse. By involving local people in our conservation projects and training them to develop their own ideas and businesses, we can improve the lives of rural Costa Rican people, while protecting the spectacular ecosystems that surround us.”

The Foundation is sponsored by businesses throughout Costa Rica, including hotels, tour companies, marketing groups, car rental companies, etc, who participate in their membership program. Through the program the Foundation provides educational programs to staff, action planning for the business and a variety of information on sustainable practices. This is provided in order to motivate all within a company to not only support their cause, but truly set an example though environmentally conscious business practices.

Near the end of the passionate discussion Alejandra and I had, which radiated positivity behind every bit of information she gave me, she informed me that the Foundation is in threat of closing down by the end of February due to lack of funding. My heart sank with this news. The heavy rains of the 2016 season affected their hostel business in Drake Bay which supports the foundation and volunteers, they were unsuccessful in grant applications and their fundraising was insufficient.

After I hung up with Alejandra, it was clearly evident to me that the small team (made up of 13 conservationists, plus volunteers from all over the world) who are behind The Corcovado Foundation are extraordinary people, selflessly working to protect not only one of the most precious biological locations in the world, but taking it beyond that to reach the hearts and minds of youth in an effort to better their lives. As a reader I am sure you would agree we need more people like this in the world.

What started for me as a simple blog article about The Foundation and statistics on conservation, has evolved into a call for support of this great cause and the diligent work of this group of people in this remote corner of Costa Rica.

Ways you can support The Corcovado Foundation:

– Donating online at their website,

– Booking your vacation with Marvin and Natalia at Drake Bay Backpackers.

– Popping in to their office in Agujitas and buying a t-shirt, recycled artwork, or tour from Charlotte.

– Volunteering with the sea turtle or environmental education programs.

– Registering your business as a Corcovado Foundation Make a Difference member.

Whatever effort you can make will support the rescue of baby turtles, the future of disadvantaged youth and the protection of a piece of the delicate planet on which we live, can you think of a better combination of causes? I certainly can’t.

By Z. Wright Part of the Properties in Costa Rica Team

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.

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