Properties in Costa Rica Blog


Bitcoin and how it could affect the Real Estate market in Costa Rica?

Bitcoin and how it could affect the Real Estate market in Costa Rica?

January 5, 2018

Properties in Costa Rica

What is valuable?:

A bar of gold?

A sunset on a tropical beach?

A swim in a nice sunny day?

Your children learning about sloths in the middle of the rainforest?

Bitcoins?

This last concept has acquired high relevance in the last few months as well as price in the market. Every single day the media is giving more and more attention and as more and more people used them as currency to exchange goods and services.

For many, bitcoin still is a difficult thing to understand used only by people that know very well computers. But the fact is that this cryptocurrency has five features that money has: durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability. The difference relies more on the fact that has no physical attributes such as metals or is backed by a government or a bank. The value comes from mathematics as there’s a limited number of them and there’s work involved in the creation of this set of data. The open accounting system and anonymity add a lot of appeal to this new way of the economic realm ( bitcoin project, 2018).

The impact on the real estate market is difficult to predict but the exchange of bitcoins for a property is part of the reality. Any seller with the proper tools and knowledge will accept bitcoins. The bitcoin value agreed between parts is a moving number that tends to grow every day according to most experts. In Costa Rica, this tendency is replicated as this kind of money has a growing number of users. But, according to a short survey that we did, most sellers still prefer hard currencies.

The risk that the value of bitcoin drops suddenly is a source of debate. Lessons from history warn about a similar behavior among people that gave too much importance to tulip bulbs or internet domains…

So, it is worthed to reconsider if it’s more important to accumulate a number of bitcoins, dollars, euros or to enjoy real experiences and enjoyment in your own land…




Eating healthy

Eating healthy

December 22, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s local cuisine has many interesting and authentic flavors to offer and also a broad selection of very fine restaurants that can meet the highest standards.

The warm climate itself helps the growing of fruits and veggies, making the freshness of the produce tempting for anyone. Organic restaurants, coffee places, and farmer markets exist in every town. Not only you could buy from these places, but you can order them online, through many apps and portals.

Many nostalgic expats with excellent cooking skills have opened a business in this welcoming country. As ambassadors of their culture and knowing that there’s always a demand for new tastes, only in Escazu you can find Indian, Peruvian, Lebanese, Spanish, French, Italian, oriental and many more culinary ventures. This variety can be found in most touristic towns and the Central Valley. Familiar fast food chains are found everywhere as well.

The quality and freshness of the produce you can buy locally are tempting and will definitely impact the int the way you eat.

If your aim is to enjoy the Costa Rican local food and its benefits for your health and your pocket, you need to love rice and beans. They are served three times a day with some variations. For breakfast, the “Gallo Pinto” along with some eggs, sour cream, tortillas or bread and fried plantains is the way to have this meal. At lunch ” El Casado” – a marriage between rice and beans- served with a piece of meat, pork or chicken, salad, and picadillo (a vegetable stew) is the way to fuel you for the rest of the day. For supper, usually, you can have the same menu as lunch with fewer side dishes.

One of the best things about this tropical nation is that fresh fruits and vegetables are available all year long at very good prices. This condition benefits the local food scene providing a huge array of fruits, usually used to prepare the most delicious drinks. Don’t hesitate to ask for -natural- when you stop at the Sodas (Small restaurants) when you have lunch. The other wonderful beverage that anyone should have is a cup of coffee. Some areas of Costa Rica claim to grow and harvest the best in the world. There´s only one way to know…

As most of the countries, each region has its own specialty. If you visit the Pacific coast, seafood has an important part of the diet. The – ceviche – or raw fish cooked in lemon juice will provide a refreshing snack while visiting the Pacific beaches. If you’re on the Caribbean side, then all dishes have a Jamaican accent that becomes a real treat. When visiting the mountains, a bowl of Olla de Carne – a beef stew with big chunks of different vegetables- will comfort you in this cool places.

The best thing about eating in Costa Rica is that no matter where you are, you´ll find good deals to keep you going on your adventure.




Making friends in Costa Rica

Making friends in Costa Rica

December 18, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Several surveys confirm it, Costa Rica is a wonderful place to have a thriving social life. The happy planet index tops this country as number one; the life expectancy, well being, ecological footprint, and equality among its inhabitants grant the tiny tropical nation this honor.

Another approach, “the ease of settling in” index, suggests the same results: Costa Rica is a great place to improve your social network. On one of the considered subcategories, ” finding friends” the place ranks in the highest places. Also the “Feeling welcome” score tops in this study.

So, the question is, how to harness the bounties of the “Pura Vida” friendliness?. For most people the answer is rather instinctive and obvious, yet, the opinion and help of others might appeal to many. According to the experience of many expats, there are some formulas that are almost perfect, most of the cases.

Local groups: Become a member of the birdwatchers club, go to church, visit any country club, join a philanthropist venture; any cause or hobby that you’re identified with, has a reply in most of the country’s towns. It`s a matter of time to find them and start sharing with the members.

Learn Spanish: Besides the pragmatical reasons that you have to do this, also becomes the key to enjoy the most authentic experiences that Costa Rica can offer. Imagine all the jokes and puns you can catch in any casual talk with some effort in a very rewarding goal such as learning a new language.

Be a good neighbor: Open yourself to your fellow citizens, knock the doors and introduce yourself. Most Costa Ricans, especially in the countryside love to share their produce and gardening tricks with their neighbors. You never know what wonderful people you can have living close to you.

Learn to enjoy soccer: Definitely the most popular in the country can open doors to something more of a group. The belonging sense to a particular team can turn you in in this kind of brotherhood, only found among the true fans of any team. If this doesn’t appeal to you, the practice of the discipline itself will call the attention of many around you.

Social networks: This global trend is very strong in Costa Rica too. Don’t hesitate to become facebook friends with people that become familiar with you, or start chatting on any other platform. Chances are that you find interesting people in this virtual world.

The fact is that Costa Rica is a wonderful place not only to find your dreamed piece of heaven but also find great people to share this joy.




The Costa Rica Christmas

The Costa Rica Christmas

December 9, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

The birth of Jesus Christ, a worldwide celebration where Costa Rica is no exception. The traditions and feelings during this time of the year are in some dimensions, universal. Yet, this country has some interesting accents that can be very special to experience these days to come.

But before going into exploring the particular traditions of the Tico culture during Christmas, there are two important events that happen this same month that add cheerfulness to the environment felt all around. The first one is that during the first two weeks of this month, aguinaldos – an extra wage one month worth – is paid to all workers giving all economic activities a nice bump along with the season’s sales. The other wonder is, that after a tough rainy season, the dry season – or summer – as locals call it, finally settles. Blue skies, crisp afternoons and spectacular sunsets pamper the damp souls of the people.

The Costa Rica Christmas is celebrated with the local version of tamales. It´s a cornmeal paste stuffed with chicken or pork meat, vegetables, rice and sometimes raisins, all wrapped in banana leaves. Then, they are steamed for hours, usually in a huge pot over a bone fire. The making of this specialty involves a long assembly line where the family members are included, all under the rule of the matriarch. Recipes and variations are as many as the houses where they are made and it’s common to get into arguments with other families claiming that their tamales are better.

Since is mainly a Catholic country, the weight of all religious ceremonies is important. The posadas (a Spanish version of the Christmas carols) are represented with customs of Saint Joseph and Saint Mary looking for a place to give birth to baby Jesus. The night of the 24th the rooster mass is celebrated, where they commemorate the precise time when Jesus was born at midnight, so, after this, gifts are exchanged and dinner is served. The nativity scene also has a more important place in many houses compared to the Christmas tree.

The 25th of December becomes a day to share with the family and enjoy the smile of the children and their new toys.

The rest of the week has a very important place in San José especially, with holidays festivals and activities very typical to Costa Rica. The “Tope” is a horse parade where all riders like to show off their horses and their skills.

December is really a nice time to visit Costa Rica, don’t hesitate to get this cultural experience and get to know the best places of this tropical paradise at its peak.




Wildlife in Costa Rica

Wildlife in Costa Rica

December 6, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known to be the home of 5% of all living beings in the world. For a tiny country that covers only 51000 square kilometers (a similar area to West Virginia) entitles the country as megadiverse. Not only its position in the tropics, two coasts in different oceans and a challenging geography, allows this condition. Also, the conservation efforts along Costa Rica’s history have yielded the chance to the people to have contact with wildlife every day almost everywhere!.

A special bounty for the bird enthusiasts is found in any fruiting tree. 900 species from the resplendent quetzal, to colorful macaws or the traveling warblers that fly away from the winter; like many tourists that come and enjoy the sunshine can also hear their songs in this tropical latitudes, instead of the white, quiet and cold landscapes near their homes. For those looking for a unique sight, the country is a sanctuary to many endemic species. The volcanoes that crown the north part of the central valley are great places to look for them.

Some of the rainforest emblems, frogs, and crocs, are common on your way to the central Pacific beaches. A popular stop, the Tarcoles river bridge, allow you to see dozens of fierce crocodiles sunbathing. The nearby Carara National Park is home to the popular blue jeans frog, a visit to this place on your way to Jacó is worthed. The red eye tree frog, almost a national symbol, might be harder to find, but after a rain shower in the afternoon or at night, they can be spotted near any creek in the southern Pacific.

The beaches in Guanacaste are great to start a fishing adventure but also a few of them have a special visit during the new moon nights: olive ridley and green turtles come to lay their eggs to the beaches near Sámara. But Playa Grande, next to Tamarindo is visited by the leatherback turtle, a huge and endangered reptile that finds the last refuge in this beach.

Mammals are sometimes difficult to see, but several places have night tours where you can spot kinkajous, ringtail cats or raccoons trying to find a late night meal. Nevertheless, there are parks, such as Manuel Antonio where is always easy to enjoy the company of the squirrel monkeys and even a deer that feels very comfortable with people. Peccaries, large cats, tapirs and other forest dwellers are more difficult to see. A trip to the Turrialba mountains with a local guide could be the way to get this kind of adventure.

If your thing is to relax and contemplate your tropical garden being visited by butterflies and hummingbirds, don’t hesitate to explore all corners in Costa Rica. The perfect place for you might be waiting for the next turn.




Escazu

Escazu

December 3, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

According to most of the scholars in Costa Rica, the name of Escazu comes from the indigenous word Itzcatzu. The closest translation is “a place to rest”. It’s easy to imagine that in pre-Columbian times, the beauty of the area was so intense that it was considered a reward to rest here. Good news is that much of it is still found in all of the roads climbing the surrounding mountains. The most unique houses and properties are found here. From any angle, you can enjoy amazing views towards the Central Valley and the Volcanic Mountain Range with its emerald green hills. A treat for your eyesight.

Another important part of the charm is that the town is known as the city of the witches!. Two versions of the origin of this name are told among the locals.

The first one states that Jewish women that lived many years ago used to wear veils and lit candles on Shabbat. The locals interpreted this as witchcraft and the name – Ciudad de Las Brujas- stayed until this days.

The other version is more intriguing and claims that a famous witch -Zarate- used to live in the white boulder near the church.Minor witches, such as “La Tulevieja” and the “Maria La Negra” lived there too and tormented the people with their magic in the old times…Some claim that they still around so they wear their shirts upside down to keep them away. Most of the people cherish this stories and feel pride and identity about them, therefore, it’s common to spot stickers and signs with this paraphernalia in the streets of this town.

Nowadays this county of San Jose has not only wonderful places to visit, a rich history, colonial houses and special places to spend good quality time but also a thriving economic activity that allows to please the most demanding and fanciful tastes or the very particular service that you need. Restaurants for the most sophisticated customers, jewelry with the most special pieces, hotels for the rich and famous are next to the most skilfull doctors or dentists or the most professional firms needed for your business. Also avant-garde developments in the country with concepts that mix commercial, leisure, and residential needs are being built here. Anyone looking for investment opportunities would know how to take advantage of this trends.

Definitely, Escazu has a lot to offer for all kinds traveler, business person or for those who want to find a place to rest.




Grateful for the Pura Vida Lifestyle

Grateful for the Pura Vida Lifestyle

November 21, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Traditions and holidays such as Thanksgiving day are worthed to celebrate anywhere in the world, and Costa Rica is no exception. Warm waters and sand between your toes, spectacular views of the rainforest or a volvcano and the comfort and excitement of a new life as a retired person really boost anyone’s gratitude.

Black Friday and Halloween have found some attention but from all imported celebrations, Thanksgiving really has an echo among those who care for values, culture, and history. The first two dates are more a commercial opportunity for many in this country but this one really gives space for the true spirit that comes with the end on November.

Some space to remember and honor the legacy of the indigenous people is very welcomed, after all, their generosity was the beginning of this celebration.

Although is not celebrated by the majority of the population, some have decided to do so as an excuse to get close to family. Others, have ties with people that give an important meaning to the date but especially, an important number of expats, maybe nostalgic, have the spirit that will become the most important ingredient they need to have a proper celebration with a few tropical adaptations.

Some restaurants around the country, especially in the central valley and the touristic spots, will offer all the right plates to feel like in the United States. Indulge yourself with all the holiday specialties but please consider to reserve before you get out of your house with an appetite for a turkey breast, or you might end having tamales.

Supermarket chains will offer the right goods to prepare all the traditional recipes, but many opt to give space to local ingredients like ayote – a super-sized squash -, the Costa Rican purple yams and a well-fed chicken instead of a turkey. The point is to get together with friends and family and be grateful for all good things in life, even if cranberry sauce is missing.

The best part about these days in Costa Rica is that the weather is getting to be heavenly pleasant, the perfect time to explore around and make a solid move to settle in this small but generous country. Don’t hesitate to ask for the right help finding that special place that you’ve been searching for.




Six top beach destinations in Costa Rica

Six top beach destinations in Costa Rica

November 8, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

With almost 1500 kilometers of coast in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, getting to know every single beach in Costa Rica, can be a real challenge. But to make a stand about the six top beach destinations in the country, can be a real source of debate. Too much beauty, tropical exuberance, warm waters and perfect sunsets are found in almost all of them, but special details allow us to propose the six top beach destinations according to Properties in Costa Rica:

  1. Tamarindo.
  2. The perfect place for those looking for great waves that offer superb surfing. Nestled in a setting that offers all kind of indulgences, not only for those looking for fun in a cosmopolitan atmosphere but also the opportunity to enjoy some of the special Costa Rica wildlife.

  3. Conchal
  4. The calcified remains of marine sea creatures accumulate in this place creating the most spectacular sand that you can find in the costa ricans coasts. Located in a place that requires some effort to reach, this fact also can be interpreted as guarantee of privacy in one of the most paradisiac beaches in the country.

  5. Santa Teresa
  6. Another great place for surfers but also yielding the most spectacular sunsets in any beach of Costa Rica at any time of the year. A special vibe unique to this place is felt as soon you enter the southern part of the Nicoya peninsula, the best way to describe it is something that you have to live it by yourself.

  7. Manuel Antonio
  8. The world known national park located here has not only a great variety of wildlife, but also a group of the most charming beaches that you can visit in Costa Rica. Enjoy one of the national emblems while you enjoy the company of the endangered and cute squirrel monkeys that live in this protected area.

  9. Uvita (Whales tail)
  10. The most intriguing formation that you’ll find in any costa rican beach is here: a reef connected by a sandbar to the main land resembling a whales tale. Incredible enough, humpback whales come to the surrounding waters to give birth to their offspring, giving the perfect name to this place. The picture is completed with the view of impressive mountains going up to the clouds where dreams of the perfect property come true.

  11. Manzanillo
  12. The image of a white sand beach with a coral reef in front full of colorful fish becomes true in this part of Costa Rica. The jamaican culture and the lush rainforest will convince anyone that this place belongs to one of the top six beaches in Costa Rica.




Biking trails in Costa Rica

Biking trails in Costa Rica

October 29, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

The sunshine, warm temperatures, wildlife, ocean views and the laid-back atmosphere are part of a perfect setting for an adventure on two wheels.

Most of the country can be explored on a bike, depending on your skills and physical condition, or become a time saver trying to move around the traffic jammed San Jose. Either way, biking has all benefits mentioned before and the preference of many people as part of their life.

The adrenaline rush of the mountain bike trails, the challenge of the road cycling or a relaxing ride in a banana bike along Caribbean beaches is great ways to get some of the best joys of Costa Rica.

With no intention to determine which trail or route is better, these lines are meant to encourage the bike fans, as well as an enthusiast that can keep balance on top of an iron horse to enroll on any of this routes that offer more than exercise and speed but also a real taste of this country:

The coast to coast ride, is famous for being the hardest mountain bike race in the world goes across the country from the Pacific coast, up to the central valley, then going around the Irazu volcano and then finishing in the Caribbean coast in the way the Spanish conquistadores explored the country in the sixteenth century but backwards. A ride for the braves but also an inspiring trail for those who really want to test them self.

For those who like to develop speed on the highways, Costa Rica has many options. One that is recommended on many sites is a road cycling route that goes from La Fortuna to Zarcero. An option that will give you a great challenge since you’ll be climbing 1500 meters above the sea level from the northern plains of San Carlos to a cool green mountain where the end line is located. After a strenuous exercise, a rewarding treat is to stroll around this misty town that boasts one of the most beautiful parks in the country and beyond.

An adventure that is suitable for all the family is to rent bicycles in the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo and drive along the coast to the village of Manzanillo. Fruit vendors on the edge of the road will assist you with the best of the tropics harvest. The Jamaican culture atmosphere, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and an intense nature surrounding is the perfect setting for one of the most memorable and delightful rides that you can have in Costa Rica.

For any advice on this sport drop us a note we will make sure you get good information from one of our avid mountain and road bikers in our office. At Properties in Costa Rica we work not only on getting the right investment but making sure you get the lifestyle you are looking.




Five Top things to do while in Costa Rica

Five Top things to do while in Costa Rica

October 26, 2017

Properties in Costa Rica

Finally, your time in paradise has come. Either for a short vacation or to start a new life in your golden years, there are things to do in this country that really belong to the bucket list. Many lists have been written, most of them aiming to put you on the road or trying to sell you something. This one, in particular, can offer you the core of an experience that can truly show you the best five things to do in this wonderful country.

  1. Visit the central valley coffee plantations and typical towns

    San Jose, Costa Rica’s intense capital is surrounded by cool, green peaks, which is perfect for coffee production and home to pretty, traditional towns. Get to know the beautiful plantations and learn about how coffee is cultivated, processed and roasted; you can even consider buying one as an income producing property.

  2. Enjoy the astounding fruit variety that Costa Rica has.

    Get up early in the morning in San Jose and visit the Mercado Borbon, or the dozens of fruit stalls near the Mercado Central, both of which can be explored on. Or go to the open-air produce and fruit markets held on weekend mornings, in almost every town on the Central Plateau, to see and taste the season’s harvest. Along the highways and main roads will be vendors of all kinds of fruit and fruit drinks.

  3. Contemplate Costa Rica’s biodiversity

    Covering just 0.05% of the planet surface, Costa Rica holds 5% of all living species, for this reason, is called the most biodiverse country in terms of area and living beings. National parks and preserves offer the best views but even in the most common areas, this fact jumps to your eyes.

  4. Explore the beaches of Costa Rica

    Almost 1500 kilometers of coast in this country represents the best reason to feel in a place called Rich Coast…The variety and beauty of the beaches are definitely one of the greatest to do. From the idyllic white sand Caribbean setting of Manzanillo to the surf paradise of Santa Teresa, each place has a unique feature to discover.

  5. Clear your mind with the view from one of the mountain tops
  6. Flatten up Costa Rica and it will be bigger than Russia. The fact is that this country has a very interesting topography allowing to have wonderful views from many different points and even larger variety of landscapes. The city at night, the many crops harvested in this land, an inspiring ocean view or a humbling glimpse of the jungle-covered mountains must be part of your experience in this country.



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