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Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Rainy Season… Our Favorite Time Of The Year

The Rainy Season… Our Favorite Time Of The Year

March 29, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

“How much does it rain in Costa Rica?”

This is a common question from my property clients, and it’s a good one. Nobody wants to invest in a piece of Costa Rican real estate if it’s going to be cloudy and rainy week after week. So, in this article I will explain the nuances of the rainy season, its regional rainfall differences, and its positive effect on our living experience.

Why The Rain Is Glorious

Most tourist and investors travel to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in the summer (meaning December-April). Whether your motivation is to beat the cold and snow of North America and Europe or it’s simply a convenient time to travel, the Costa Rican summer is b-u-s-y. What you typically experience during those months is sunshine… and lots of it. By March, most areas, even in the southern Pacific zone are dried out. This includes the hillsides and waterways (think- rivers, creeks, waterfalls, etc.). Summer in the tropics is hot, which works out fine if that’s what you are looking for.

I’ve lived in Costa Rica for 10 years now, and without question, the rainy season is my favorite time of the year. This comes as a surprise to many people, and I’ve figured out the reason. The rain in North America and Europe ranges from cold to downright miserable. In the tropics, the rain is much warmer and often refreshing. In fact, the rain serves a variety of purposes that most people do not consider:

  • Temperature— it is hot in the tropics, and the rain decrease temps by at least 10 degrees
  • Dust— as the roads dry out and experience heavy use, the dust increases. The rain helps to keep the dust down and improve overall air-quality. This comes in handy if you’re walking or biking places.
  • Growth— the rainy season is also known as the “Green Season” because the plants and animals love it. For example, the southern Pacific zone bursts into an impressive spectrum of greens and floral colors.
  • People— there are fewer people in the rainy season. This means easier to travel, to find accommodations, and most importantly… to find a quiet spot and r-e-l-a-x.

One misconception relating to the rain is that it “rains all day”. Mornings are characterized by sunshine and blue skies with bright white clouds on the coastal mountains. Around 1-2pm, the rain clouds pass over and it pours. The drops are BIG, and it’s quite the experience. Now, if you wake up to rain, do not worry. The vast majority of time the sun will come out in the afternoon.
There is a break in the June/July timeframe when we experience El Veranillo de San Juan (The Little Summer of San Juan). These sunny breaks vary from a few days to a couple of weeks, and they are very enjoyable… especially when you know there is more rain on the way.

Rain By Region

The annual rainfall on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica varies depending on the region:

  • Guanacaste (Tamarindo, Flamingo)— 40-60”/year, heaviest in Sept./Oct. The rain often doesn’t restart until May, and February-April can be very dry will the hillsides dominated by brown grass.
  • Nicoya (Nosara, Samara)— 60-80”/year and very similar to Guanacaste to the north.
  • Costa Ballena/Osa (Manuel Antonio, Dominical, Uvita)— approx. 120-160”, the majority of it coming in May-November with that sunny break in “little summer”. With twice as much annual rainfall than the regions to the north, the flora and fauna are noticeably thicker and greener.

Abundant rain means full aquifers, springs and waterways. It inspires the jungle and all its trees, plants, and wildlife to grow. It cools down the tropic temperatures. It reduces the dust from the dirt roads, thus improving the air quality. It is beneficial in so many ways.


From a business (tourism, rentals, real estate) point of view, the peak season is in the summer. If you are considering investing in a vacation rental, the summer is the time you will make the majority of your income (higher rates and occupancy). But, the trend we see is more and more people are visiting Costa Rica in the rainy season. This is especially the case for those interested in relocating to Costa Rica. These clients want to see what it’s like in October, a month with heavy rain, ample sunshine, abundant colors, and minimal people. Ask any Tico or expat living in Costa Rica what their favorite time of the year is, and they will invariably say, “The rainy season.”

Pura vida.

Action and Adventure Activities in Guanacaste

Action and Adventure Activities in Guanacaste

March 11, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Guanacaste is located in the North Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This province is famous for its beautiful beaches gorgeous sunsets, and action and adventure activities. Surf, Paddle boarding, zip lining are some of the activities one can enjoy at its best while in Guanacaste.

Surf in Tamarindo has been number one spot for surfers since long time ago. All kind of surfers come from everywhere in the world because it offers a wide variety of surf breaks a river-mouth and reef. Surfers find this beach and waves perfect for learning or improving their skills. Because of the location of Costa Rica, it has warm waters all year round; this makes the experience even better for beginners. Beaches like Tamarindo, Avellanas, Grande, Negra, and Junquillal are perfect for this sport, in the other hand calm waters present in beaches such as Potero, Penca, Prieta, and Danta are perfect for other water sports, like paddle boarding and kayaking. Both sports can be seen as less active than surf but they definitely demand a big amount of effort and condition.

From the sea to the sky, even though lots of activities in Guanacaste involve water sports; Costa Rica in general is a pioneer in zip lining adventures. With more than 100 zip line companies in the country, Guanacaste hosts one of the most exciting ones. You will get to fly high above the canopy and between narrow canyon walls over the White River (Rio Blanco) on various zip lines. In addition, you can cross three hanging bridges and for the adrenaline lovers, two Tarzan swings. Costa Rica is an expert in providing extreme sports experiences with all the security measures need to enjoy safely. Having the opportunity to be where almost only birds and monkeys can reach is incomparable. Zip lining is an experience that everyone should try at least once in his or her life, however most probably is that after trying that freedom and exciting feeling you will want to repeat it repeatedly.

Other than the activities mentioned before one can go horseback riding, waterfall rappelling, river tubing, hiking or mountain biking in the jungle and much more. No matter your taste for adventure sports, if its water, sky or ground activities; you will definitely have most of the best possibilities down here in Guanacaste.

Costa Rica Celebrates International Women’s Day

Costa Rica Celebrates International Women’s Day

March 8, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica joins the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. Young, old, brown, white, and yellow women come together from all points of the globe to celebrate the achievements, struggles, work and lives of women. Women gather to form a chorus of voices expressing solidarity in achieving gender equity. The day honors the achievements and contributions of women to the world economy, culture, and society. It celebrates the many achievements of women. International Women’s Day is one of the few truly global holidays. The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1910 in Copenhagen. In 1975, the United National recognized the day, and by 2001 the day was in full force as a global holiday.

The day is a remembrance of the push to keep moving forward to improve the quality of life for women and honor life. It’s a day when women celebrate all things female. From weavers to mothers to CEOs, women take pride in their work. The work women do both inside and outside the home. As mothers, grandmothers, daughters, students, workers and leaders, women form the binding force holding communities together. Whatever role whether in the paid or unpaid labor force, women’s work is vital to our social well-being. Across cultures, religions and nation states, women celebrate the unique gender experiences they share as well as the struggles they endure.

Costa Rica ranks as one of the leading Latin American countries for female entrepreneurs. The country has made great strides towards gender equity in recent years. Currently, women attain 63% of university degrees. Far more women are college graduates than men. Yet, women encounter a much higher unemployment rate than men. On average, they also earn 28% less than men. Equal pay for equal work is a struggle woman share throughout the world. According to the World Bank, women in Costa Rica reinvest 90% of their income back into their city, community, education and health. A rate far higher rate than men. Costa Rica is a leading Latin American country in gender equity.

In Costa Rica and throughout the world, women march today to raise awareness around the challenges women face. From exploitation to trafficking to education to equal pay, women gather together as a force in the streets forming a powerful chorus that echoes around the earth. This day honors their beauty and power from the very young to the very old. Today is about thanking your mother, daughter, wife and grandmother for their many contributions and gifts. International Women’s Day reminds us that all women are unique, valuable and visible.

A Recent Howler Rescue Shows Just How Vital Wildlife Refuges are to Costa Rica

A Recent Howler Rescue Shows Just How Vital Wildlife Refuges are to Costa Rica

March 1, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Wildlife Refuges play a critical role in rescuing and nursing back to health injured animals throughout Costa Rica. Recently, two-week old Howler monkey, Ashley’s Mom was electrocuted from an uninsulated electrical transformer in Nosara, Costa Rica. On her mother’s back, the pair climbed the vibrant trees. The family crossed over onto some electrical wires where the mother touched an uninsulated electrical transformer. A shock rose up the Mother’s back. She stumbled.

Rescue workers from Refuge for Wildlife responded quickly. A team helped get the baby and mother safely down from the tree, but it was too late. The shock was too much for the mother. She died a few moments later with her baby resting in her arms. Ashley desperately tried to wake her mother up. Crying and clinging to her mother, she kept nudging her mother.

The rescue workers compassionately removed Ashley from her mother. The team gave her a teddy bear and hot water bottle to soothe and comfort her. For days, the baby monkey cried. Finally, she began to recover from the trauma. She started to bond with several other orphaned howler monkeys on the refuge. Several days later through an outpouring of donations, the transformer was insulated.

Stories such as Ashley’s are not unusual. The main cause of death for Howler monkeys is uninsulated electrical transformers. It kills hundreds of Howlers each year. It is a big problem throughout Costa Rica. Wildlife preservationist work to raise public awareness on the issue and get the transformers covered.

Wildlife refuges nurse injured animals back to health caring for them until they are able to take care of themselves. Once healed, they get released back into the wild. If for any reason, they are not expected to be able to care for themselves then they take them under their wing. Some animals becoming life long residents at the wildlife preserves. The aim is to release the animal back into the wild. Sometimes, it’s just not possible. Rather than abandon maimed creatures, they are given a way to thrive in captivity. The refuges become a protective circle. With great care, they intervene to help the weak, injured and infirmed animals.

Many of the country’s refuges survive solely through the tireless efforts of volunteers and donations. Some are open to the public and function as an important educational resource. Others focus mainly on research. They study factors impacting wildlife, tag animals and track their progress for research. They collect vital data about wildlife and their habitats. These organizations provide a critical service. Throughout the country, people are dedicated to protecting biological diversity. Costa Rica is known for its plentiful monkey population.

These refuges are an integral part of the culture. The tragic death of Ashley’s mom rippled through the Nosara community. The local response revealed just how dedicated people are to protecting wildlife. Costa Ricans are active problem solvers who band together to get things done. This recent tragedy reveals the big heart of the country and their dedication to wildlife protection.

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