Properties in Costa Rica Blog

Monthly Archives: February 2019

Territorio de Zaguates – A Stray Dog Sanctuary (Donations needed)

Territorio de Zaguates – A Stray Dog Sanctuary (Donations needed)

February 28, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Territorio de Zaguates is a private farm located between Santa Barbara de Heredia and Carrizal de Alajuela is the house of more than 1,300 stray dogs. The nonprofit organization was founded by Lya Battle and Alvaro Saumet, who has dedicated most of their lives to animals and their well being.

Territorio de Zaguates is a sanctuary with singular characteristics that make dogs feel free and loved, able to run and explore the hectares of the farm and share with each other. The origin of these dogs is varied: from dogs that have been found in the streets, some come from other refugees that had to close, abandoned, people that couldn’t take care of them, others rescued from the mistreatment… but in Territorio de Zaguates they are able to live in better conditions waiting for a family to adopt them. As soon as a new dog comes in, they treat them with love, bathe them, deworm, and even baptize them with a name. Each dog brought to Territorio becomes part of their beloved pack. Maintaining and founding this project is not so easy. They have to pay $5 per dog to a veterinarian to keep them healthy by deworming and sterilization or any other care they need. Sometimes dogs come to the sanctuary really harmed or beaten, so there is some extra work with some of them. Another important aspect which takes time and money to the project is shelter, they need to have free space but also somewhere to take cover when it gets cold and rainy. The shelter has an estimated cost of another $11 per dog.

One of the most important aspects of this project is definitely food which costs at least $25 per dog since they need to keep them strong and healthy. Adding all these needs up we can see that the maintenance for one dog is about $36.

What do they need the most? FOOD and DONATIONS

Territorio spends 18 to 20 bags of food weighing 30kg each. Food is indispensable for them and the only way to survive.

There will be soon volunteer options for people that would like to help in the shelter. The work will be up to your preferences, if you would like to play and share with dongs there will be tons of jobs for you! Cutting nails, bathing dogs, brushing them, playing, walking… If you prefer to visit the shelter, but would like another job without involving dogs there’s a lot of cleaning, painting, organizing and more.

If you are looking to donate something besides money, it would be best to call them and ask what are their needs, but food will always be the right choice. Donations are accepted at any time. Their web page is very complete and explanatory of their work and organization. You can donate the amount of money you want through their page, but you can also go to the shelter and help them with donations.

The idea of visiting Territorio is not only to understand the number of stray dogs that exist but to see and imagine the journey that each of them has gone through. Spending time with Dogs can contribute to the improvement of your quality of life, mood, physical fitness, social interactions, are some of the benefits.

Dogs will not only keep you company but are truly man’s best friend as well. This interesting quote will keep you thinking for a while: “Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail – Kinky Friedman” #AdoptDontShop.

Costa Rica Decarbonization Goal Plan set for 2050

Costa Rica Decarbonization Goal Plan set for 2050

February 26, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

This Monday, February 25th, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado presented the new economic green plan in the Art Museum to more than 300 spectators. The presentation was led by Christiana Figueres, Costa Rican diplomat named Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010 until 2016.

The national plan of decarbonization is a proposal to become a green economy by the sustainable use of natural resources. The plan seeks to implement changes in public and private means of transport, forms of energy, construction, industry and waste management. President Alvarado states that it’s our responsibility to start working on the planet, the damage is evident and we have had extreme climate changes and natural disasters that need our attention.

Some key factors of the renovation will be to make public transportation more efficient, motivating people to leave their own vehicles and thus generate fewer emissions. Also, the government proposes to install charging centers countrywide to promote the use of electric cars instead of regular gasoline or diesel. When talking about electricity, the objective is to consolidate a national electrical system capable of supplying and managing renewable energy for the country. Construction will also be a means to take into consideration aiming for less high standard but more efficiency with fewer emissions. The protection and maintenance of forests with natural solutions will be part of reform for biodiversity. Also, waste management will be a big part of the plan since they look for better practises applying the Rs of reducing, reusing, recycling and disposing of waste correctly.

How will they do this? The goal is set for 2050, 31 years from now. It is intended to work with 8 strategies to achieve this inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, including inclusion and respect for human rights, as well as Green Tax Reform and fair labor strategies. Modernizing corporations like Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery (RECOPE), the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) and Public Transportation Council (CTP) between others will have a major impact in the economy and the planet. The decarbonization process will be strengthened through educational initiatives with the goal of changing habits and culture, as well as inculcating a new lifestyle. All these efforts will also bring the attraction of investments and thus more opportunities.

As for now, this initiative counts with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (BID), Al Gore, former vice president of the United States and Michelle Bachelet former president of Chile. Costa Rica is known to be a country that carries 4% of the world’s biodiversity, this is for the sustained conservation practises through the years. We seek for a better country, we are aiming for a better world and to set an example and hope that more countries follow the same path.

Costa Rica Retreats

Costa Rica Retreats

February 23, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

A yoga retreat is a gift for yourself, to enjoy your free time and leave all the burden and duties behind for a while. A “me time” to relax, nourish and empower your body, soul, and mind. When you visit a retreat you will be surrounded by people who are there for the same reasons looking wellness and to blend with others. Practicing yoga nourishes your soul, it helps with discipline, movement, breathing, stress and more. These kind of Retreats in Costa Rica are for organized for everyone, from expert yogis to beginners, but it will certainly be a life changer experience.

Let’s explore some of the retreats scattered around our country:

Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat – Santa Teresa – Nicoya Peninsula

Located in one of the most hippieS and peaceful towns in the Central Pacific well known for yoga retreats you will find these well-known villas. Pranamar hosts some of the most famous retreats with international and national yogis. Here you can have an all-inclusive yoga vacation ready to fit your needs. You can also experience daily classes and workshops. Yoga at the beach is one of the best things for your body since you are getting even positive effects from sunshine, the sea air, and outdoor exercise. Sand is very comfortable to try new challenging poses and you can cool off in the translucent ocean!

El Sabanero Eco Lodge – Avellanas – Guanacaste

This wellness resort is located minutes away from the most beautiful beaches in the region: Tamarindo, Langosta and Playa Grande. They focus on healthy practices, empowering the mind, body, and soul but also strengthening balance. Their goal is to teach skills for a better lifestyle to their community. They have daily yoga lessons offered in a wooden chalet overlooking Cañafitsula valley were the sunsets are amazing.

The Retreat – San Jose – Central Valley

This retreat is defined by luxury, wellness, and gastronomy. You will be able to explore different programs that will lead you to a conscious practice. Yoga is part of most of the programs them since it helps with movement, mental stability, mindfulness, wellness, and recovery. Located in Atenas, you will have an almost pleasant climate to enjoy all the workshops offered in The Retreat. With the package “Reset and Rejuvenate” you will experience restorative yoga classes in the morning and afternoon.

Danyasa Yoga Studio – Dominical – Central Pacific

Located in Dominical, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Central Pacific, Danyasa offers a yoga studio open to the public with yoga and movement classes. The studio is made out of bamboo and surrounded by the beautiful lush nature of the area. Classes are for all levels, from experts to beginners or for those exploring a new discipline. They look to fulfill the soul and connect to the inner rhythm by connecting with nature. Here, you will find different events like aerial yoga classes, surf and yoga, dance therapy and more.

Envision Festival – Dancing, Beach, Music, Yoga and more!

Envision Festival – Dancing, Beach, Music, Yoga and more!

February 21, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Each year Uvita hosts one of the most acclaimed festivals in Central America: Envision.

A 5-day festival held at the beach that will change your life! International music, yoga, surf, workshops, and much more activities to discover. Each day you will have around 80 options of different things to do in one same place! A festival for all types of cultures known to wake up the human potential while learning from others in a sustainable community.

Envision festival is based on 8 pillars: Music, Movement, Art, Health, Community, Permaculture and Spirituality. Nourishing these pillars at the beach and the jungle will fulfill your body and mind.

There are several stages decorated meticulously with colorful sculptures. The festival has an amazing sound system accompanied with holograms and lights that will wake up all of your senses. Physical expression is key in Envision. Yoga classes at dawn or during the sunset, workshops, dancing classes… Explore your body, be free and conscious of movement helps you liberate day a day burdens. Throughout the festival, you will find different kinds of art to express yourself. Big canvases ready for everyone to join and blast their artsy side and share with the community. Freedom to express through art is part of this experience. There are mindful workshops for everyone to be part of, you will be able to explore different mindful practices through food, activity, medicine, and culture. The festival also focuses on the development of different sustainable and self-sufficient agricultural ecosystems. Thinking long term and helping the ecosystem through these practices will also help to fulfill our souls and portray the responsibility we have for helping the planet. Something really nourishing about the festival is that you will have the chance to share with local people and give back to the community.

The vast majority of attendants take their own tent and find a space within the jungle or beach, under the trees to take cover from the sun. You also have the possibility of staying at hotels, hostels, villas, and suites. If you are looking to rent a place you must plan ahead!

Since this is a sustainable festival that incentives good practices, there are some policies to follow, for example, no single-use plastic. Keep this in mind when bringing your eating props like forks, knives or cups. The food sold in the event is completely organic, totally delicious and with tons of options and flavors for everyone. Fresh and local! In town, you will also find grocery stores and organic supermarkets if you need any other supplements.

Since the festival lasts 4 days, we recommend you to come prepared! Bring all your energies and positive attitude, ready to dance and be part of the beautiful community. This year Envision will start on February 28th thru March 3rd. Get your tickets, you will remember this transformation experience for the rest of your life!

What to bring:

  • Sunblock
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Comfortable and fresh clothes
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug repellent
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Medicines
  • Flashlight

Top 5 beach spots in Guanacaste

Top 5 beach spots in Guanacaste

February 19, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

The Northern Pacific coast has a great variety of wonders to discover. It is well known for its strong culture and extense beautiful beaches limiting north with Nicaragua. Guanacaste is one of the most prominent provinces of the country known as the Gold Coast.

Below you will find our must-visit top 5 beach spots in this region:


Playa Avellanas is known as surfing beach town, having some of the most famous breaks along the beach. There are about 5 surf breaks with almost perfect conditions. If you are a starter you will be able to surf here but there is also a spot called Little Hawaii for experienced surfers. Avellanas has clear waters with some rocky areas so when there is low tide small pools are formed in the shore. Beautiful vegetation allows to have plenty of shadow below the trees but you could also rent a beach umbrella and chair to relax. It is well known for a beachfront restaurant with incredible ocean views named after the diva that walks every day through the beach, Lola: a pig. Lola is one of the main attractions in Avellanas, we at Properties In Costa Rica are very fun of her!

Right between Langosta Beach and Avellanas Beach you will find an elegant development of 4500 hectares called Hacienda Pinilla including a J.W. Marriott and a professional golf course for those looking for some activity.


Tamarindo is the most famous beach town in the region combining natural beauty and ample amenities. It has become one of the busiest towns in Guanacaste, rapidly growing and attracting tourists from all over the world. You will find the main strip of Tamarindo full of hotels, backpackers hotels, camping spaces, condos, shops and some of the best restaurants in the area. If you are looking for a luxury vacation there is a beachfront five-star hotel and plenty of luxury villas scattered around town. There is no need to rent a car since everything is walking distance. It is a great place for amateur surfers and for those who would like to try their first surfing class!

Playa Grande

Playa Grande, which means “big beach” in English, is famous for the most consistent surf break in the region. Despite being 100 meters away from Tamarindo, it is a much more calmed beach with fewer crowds. Eco-tourism and surfers are the targets of this area since the beach is part of Las Baulas National Park, one of the most prominent site for turtle nesting. The goal is to protect these turtles and keep them coming to lay their eggs. Nesting can be watched but not alone, always with a guide that will make sure that the conditions are fine for turtles to nest while people watch. There is a big estuary in Playa Grande which has labyrinths of mangroves that can be explored in a kayak or stand up paddleboard and you’ll be able to find tons of animals, sometimes even crocodiles!


Playa Conchal is one of the most acclaimed beaches in the Pacific region, located in Northern Guanacaste and 30 minutes away from famous Tamarindo. The name of “Conchal” means shell because of the unique texture of the sand, made from thousands of millions of little-crushed pieces of shells. This golden paradise offers crystal clear water that maintains an excellent temperature all year round. Right at the corner of the beach, you will find rocks which create pools for snorkeling. Rent a kayak and explore the small islands around, or if you like adrenaline rent a jet-ski for more speed. If you would like to enjoy a luxurious vacation you will find Reserva Conchal, a beachfront resort community with outstanding private amenities for owners and renters. There is also an all-inclusive West In Hotel and a brand new W Hotel.

Las Catalinas – Playa Danta & Dantita

Playa Danta and Dantita are two hidden white sand beaches full of vegetation and marine life. Located on a bay with calmed waters it has perfect conditions for snorkeling. Scuba diving in this area is a great attraction, you can book a tour to Punta Cacique and explore the oceans beauties finding animals like octopuses, white tip sharks, starfishes, manta rays and plenty more. There is a beachfront restaurant to enjoy a quick lunch or a romantic dinner by the sea. At Las Catalinas you will find a tour office right beside the beachfront restaurant which includes equipment for kayaking, snorkeling, beach games and more. The famous mountain bike trails and hiking trails here are something you must not miss!

Luxury living in Guanacaste

Luxury living in Guanacaste

February 16, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Located in Guanacaste you will find Hacienda Pinilla, a Premium complex with 4500 acres of land, private beach access, and a unique lifestyle. A privileged location only one hour and ten minutes away from Liberia’s International Airport and very close to the famous beach town of Tamarindo.

Located inside this exclusive compound you will be bathed with luxury and entertainment. Be ready to enjoy amenities such as an 18 hole oceanfront golf course, surfing sites (more than 8 breaks), tennis courts, hiking trails, horse stables, a beach club with tiki bar, gymnasium and wellness center, soccer field, plenty of restaurants, a luxury hotel such as the J.W Marriot, and much more.

The town of Pinilla and Avellanas is known as surfing beach town with incredible sunsets all year long. In the area, you will find several popular extense white sand beaches. The water temperature here is unparalleled to other beaches. It also has villas, hotels, and hostels within small groceries stores and local taverns that surround the iconic soccer court in the middle of the town. Avellanas beach is known for surfing sports and an iconic beachfront restaurant called Lola’s. It is perfect for a lunch break, offering vegan and vegetarian options as well as pizza, sandwiches and typical food. The place is named after a big pig that takes a walk through the beach during sunset, sometimes you can watch Lola refreshing in the ocean.

This area is one of the most desired locations in Costa Rica. The compound consists of separated single homes and different condominiums within kilometers of forest that lead to more than five different beaches if you are looking to rent or to buy you will find villas with high-end finishings and top furniture in each of the selected properties. Most of the architecture is Spanish Colonial, including some new contemporary and modern homes. The benefit of being part of the exclusive Hacienda is to be able to explore, be active, surf, visit the beautiful beaches and trails, and relax in the beach club.

You will find supermarkets and restaurants inside the compound. There are beachfront properties, ocean view properties, golf view properties, properties right next to the beach club and much more! You will certainly be able to enjoy all the modern and exclusive amenities that this private community has to offer.

5 reasons why Costa Rica is attractive to expat families

5 reasons why Costa Rica is attractive to expat families

February 15, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Uprooting the family and moving to a new country can be an arduous task if you don’t put some serious planning in first. There’s the kids’ schooling to think about, the cost of living, possible language barriers and whether or not you’ll settle into the new culture.

Making sure you’ve considered each of these points before packing your bags can help you decide whether you’ve made the right choice. So, to help any prospective expats make up their minds, this article looks at Costa Rican lifestyle and education to healthcare and more – all with the help of a seasoned expat who is very familiar with life in Costa Rica.

  1. Laidback lifestyle
  2. While doing your research, it would be near impossible not to come across the phrase ‘Pura Vida’. Like a national motto, it appears everywhere, from bars and restaurants to much of the country’s street art. Roughly translated, the phrase means ‘pure’ or ‘simple life’, and it’s an intrinsic part of Costa Rican culture.

    Put simply, Pura Vida is a way of life that involves recognising the good, being thankful for what you have, and not dwelling on the negatives. And it’s this attitude that so many people fall in love with when visiting the country.

    James Kaiser, an expat who lived in Costa Rica for five years and still visits regularly, had this to say: “Many people cite the cost of living as a reason to move to Costa Rica, but ultimately it all comes down to culture. The beauty of living in Costa Rica is not real estate or food that cost half as much as in the U.S. It’s experiencing a new culture.”

  3. Natural beauty
  4. If you feel like you’ve spent too long in the grey sterility of city life and want to get back to basics and reconnect with nature, there’s nowhere quite like Costa Rica to get back in touch with la madre Tierra.

    Boasting some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, as well as 6% of the planet’s biodiversity, Costa Rica is a rich landscape of nature reserves, beaches and tropical ecosystems for you to explore. In fact, in 2015, the Corcovado National Park was named the world’s best national park.

  5. High-quality healthcare
  6. Since the abolition of Costa Rica’s army in 1949, the country has invested substantial sums in education, healthcare and pensions, spending more of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on education and health in 2012 than the UK.

    This has significantly improved the lives of Costa Ricans and is why the country now enjoys the highest life expectancy in the whole of South America. These contributions to national infrastructure have also led to a boom in one of the country’s growing industries: medical tourism.

    More than 40,000 Americans a year travel to Costa Rica to take advantage of its low-cost, high-quality private healthcare, and this new industry raises millions in tax revenue for the country’s public healthcare system, which is now ranked number one in Latin America.

    Permanent residency entitles expats to full access of these services and means relocating to Costa Rica shouldn’t pose a problem for retirees or those with pre-existing conditions. However, if you’re planning on taking advantage of the country’s many world-class dentists, optometrists or cosmetic surgeons, you may need a suitable health insurance policy to cover the costs.

  7. Plentiful education options
  8. It’s always important to consider schooling when moving with your children to a new country, and you should always be able to justify the disruption to their education.

    Moving to Costa Rica can afford your children plenty of opportunities and is often easier when they’re younger, because it gives them more time to acclimatise to their new surroundings and learn the lingo. Expatriating before your children are in high school also means they have longer to explore the untamed wilderness of Costa Rica and get used to the way of life.

    The public schooling system in Costa Rica is free and ranked twentieth in the world according to the latest Global Competitiveness Report, so you needn’t worry about spending money on a private education. Nonetheless, many expat families do enrol their children in private schools as they offer smaller class sizes, put a greater emphasis on using English and are a great way to meet other families who’ve emigrated from abroad.

  9. Deliciously affordable cuisine
  10. One of the biggest expenditures for a family is the weekly shop, so before moving to a new country, most families want to know how much of their budget will be eaten up by a trip to the supermarket.

    For US and European expats this can be a tricky one, because if you don’t want to give up your home comforts, like chocolate or branded products, you’re going to have to pay a large premium for buying the same things in Costa Rica. Instead, the best thing to do is either look for Costa Rican substitutes or abandon imported goods altogether and embrace the local cuisine.

    Most Costa Rican food comprises a mixture of rice and vegetables, and an excellent example of this is the national dish gallo pinto. This is traditionally eaten at breakfast time and consists of rice and black beans.

    Costa Rican food is generally very healthy and with an abundance of inexpensive, locally-sourced fruit and veg, it’s easy to feed a family of four a week’s worth of wholesome meals on a modest budget.

    With plentiful healthy food options, countless national parks and an internationally renowned healthcare and public school system, there’s no reason why Costa Rica shouldn’t make your list of prospective destinations to settle down with your family.

Where to Eat Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Costa Rica

Where to Eat Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Costa Rica

February 2, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Given that many people around the world have been transforming their eating patterns due to health issues, self-consciousness, animal empathy, or good taste, Costa Rica is becoming part of that change too.

Vegan and vegetarian food in Costa Rica is much easier to find than people think. The base food of the country is rice and beans, and since we are talking about a Tropical country you will be able to find plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables almost anywhere. Most restaurants have been adapting to the market’s demand, serving dishes for every type of diet: ketogenic, vegan, vegetarian, celiac…

Below you will find a list of our recommended restaurants which offer vegan and vegetarian options in San Jose:

RAW Co. Juicery & Food (San Jose, Santa Ana)

  • A new and modern space to eat clean, organic, healthy, fresh, and delicious! Their special product is cold press juices with original flavors using 100% natural fruits and vegetables. All the food is homemade, from the garden to your table. Some options of the menu include avocado toasts with tofu, cauliflower rice risotto with mushrooms and other vegetables, veggie sandwiches with gluten-free homemade bread, soups, super-bowls with açaí and fruits, gluten-free pancakes, and more to discover. They even offer a detox menu and meal plans combining vegetable juices and special dishes.

Árbol de Seda (San Jose, Barrio Escalante)

  • This restaurant is located in a beautiful neighborhood full of restaurants, stores, and nightlife. They have a very complete menu, offering all kinds of dishes with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. It is a great alternative if you are looking a place for large groups and with people who do eat meat. Arbol de Seda offers a homemade fresh taste with plates like veggie burgers,, sandwiches, falafel wraps, veggie bowls, soups, gluten free bread, pizzas…

Búlali (San Jose, Escazu)

  • This shop, cafeteria and restaurant is located in a modern commercial center in Escazu. Conformed of beautiful architecture and an outdoor terrace, Bulali offers local, handmade, organic, eco-friendly and grass fed food. 100% national coffee and chocolate are served in your table, fresh fruits on deserts will surprise your palate. They create a “season menu” combining fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and organic ingredients. One of our recommendations is to try the “UNO + UNO” lunch option, where you can combine half sandwich with half portion of salad or soup or you can pick half portion of salad and half soup.

LuvBurger (San Jose, San Pedro)

  • They are known as a plant-based fast casual whole food company. They use 100% fresh organic ingredients with no artificial flavors or colors nor preservatives. LuvBurger’s goal is to make a transition from fast-unhealthy-food to fast-healthy-food. On their menu, you will also find soups, salads, and breakfast options. Try the “COCO BACON” burger, where they use honey smoked coconut strips as bacon!

If you are looking to try typical Costa Rican food, you could include:

  • Gallo Pinto: Rice and beans
  • Patacones: Crunchy plantains topped with guacamole, mashed beans, and pico de Gallo (tomato, onion and red pepper salad). You can ask for these ingredients on the side as well.
  • Casado: It comes with meat, but you can ask for a vegetarian option. It consists of a dish full of rice, beans, salad, plantains, tortilla, Pico de Gallo and sweet plantain.

Eating vegetarian and vegan food in Costa Rica it is always easier Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a top option in this country. The caring and conscious love for animals and nature make Costa Rica an easy country for those who are looking for empathy for each other, for us, and even for other species.

Google+ Facebook Linkedin Youtube Twitter Blog Instagram