Properties in Costa Rica Blog


CULTURE DAY IN COSTA RICA

CULTURE DAY IN COSTA RICA

October 9, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Every year on October 12th, Costa Rica celebrates Dia de las Culturas, also known as Columbus Day in the United States of America. In Spanish speaking countries and communities, it is often known as Dia de la Raza, the Day of Race. This national holiday marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s first journey and the discovery of the Americas.

Since 1994, Costa Rica has changed the name of the official holiday from Dia de la Raza to Dia de las Culturas (Day of Culture). This change recognizes the mix of cultures that has contributed to the development and culture of Costa Rica. A diverse fusion of European, American, African and Asian influences shape Costa Rican, and Latin American, culture. Therefore, Dia de las Culturas is now a celebration of the heritage, colonization, and cultural diversity that is found throughout Costa Rica.

This celebration in Costa Rica is a lively event. The province of Limon celebrates this day in the week prior to the 12th with a colorful carnival full of dancing and cultural demonstrations. Throughout Costa Rica, you may see dancing and singing, but for the full Dia de la Culturas experience, Limon is the place to be. A good time is pretty much guaranteed, and it’s all in the name of history and the merging of cultures. Expect to see people lining the streets to watch and cheer on the “beauty queens,” marching bands and brightly colored costumes, along with very colorfully dressed and extremely coordinated dance troupes.

If traveling in Costa Rica during this time, tourists and locals go out into the streets and are greeted by a colorful mix of streamers, dancers, and celebration. It is important to note that Dia de la Culturas is a national holiday. Government offices, the post office, and public schools will be closed.




Volcanoes; one of Costa Rica’s main touristic attractions

Volcanoes; one of Costa Rica’s main touristic attractions

October 1, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for having many different attractions, but its greatest unknown appeal maybe its variation of Volcanoes. Costa Rica sits on the lower half of Central America, in between Nicaragua and Panama. Central American land is fairly new compared to the landmasses to the north and south. Millions of years ago, a multitude of eruptions formed Costa Rica which lies in the ring of fire. There are over 200 identified volcanic formations in Costa Rica, with less than half currently showing volcanic activity. The Volcanoes here have played an important role here in the disenrollment of the country’s landscape. Due to the many eruptions of the past 1000 years; Costa Rica is rich in minerals and has fertile land which led to dense forestation. Diverse ecosystems and a large number of numerous amount of animal species is also a result of the volcanic process. Costa Rica currently has 5 active volcanoes and 1 inactive volcano that attracts visitors from all over the world: Poas, Irazu, Turrialba, Rincon de La Vieja, Tenorio, and Arenal.

Poas Volcano National Park is the most accessible Volcano, located in the Central Highlands of Costa Rica. It peaks at 8,885 ft (2,708m),  it is one of Costa Rica’s largest and most popular Volcanoes. Only 1 1/2 hour from San Jose, it is a quick trip with incredible vegetation along the way. You are also able to identify both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans when summiting. The last eruption was in 2017, but you have to go back to 1910 to find its last major eruption.

Irazu Volcano is the tallest in the nation, reaching 11,260 ft upwards of 3,400 m., located in Cartago. Here the main attraction is the Diego de la Haya crater, which features an amazing 300-meter green lake. There is also a park (Prussia) with walking trails among beautiful forests.

Turrialba is also located in Cartago and is currently the most active volcano in Costa Rica. It is known for its constant release of white smoke and ash. It is also known for its high density of natural beauty filled with impressive wildlife. The summit peaks at 10,919 ft (3,328m).

The Rincon de La Vieja is located in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. This Volcano has 9 craters that form part of the Rincon de La Vieja National Park. Of the 9 craters in this national park, Santa Maria crater is the highest, peaking at 6,385 ft (1916 m). The most activity lies in the Mountains of Guanacaste, where the Von Seebach crater is currently the most active of the 9 craters. Hiking up this steep summit is not easy, but definitely worth it.

Tenorio Volcano is also located in the Guanacaste region and is part of the Miravalles Protected Zone. The max peak reaches 6,286 ft (1,916 m), which smoothly transitions from dense forest to a cinder cone. Surroundings of this Volcano are made up of a blend of forest, hot springs, and geysers.

Arenal Volcano is inarguably one of Costa Rica’s most popular Volcanoes. In 2010 Arenal went into a resting phase and declared inactive. In the past 50 years or so, Arenal had been one of Costa Rica’s most active Volcanoes. Today, Arenal still is one of the most visited volcanoes. It is located in the Alajuela province about 90 km northwest of San Jose, and it peaks at 5,358 ft (1,633 m).




Champions of the Earth award

Champions of the Earth award

September 25, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has always had a culture that not only respected nature, but that felt it a requirement to always protect it. In September 2019 Costa Rica was recognized by the United Nations and given the highest possible environmental honor; Champions of the Earth award.

The Central American country received this accolade due to its strong commitment to combating climate change and preserving nature. Costa Rica has come up with a devoted plan to decarbonize its economy by the year 2050 (in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals). As a nation that always felt responsible and within their actions to conserve the environment, Costa Rica has recently instilled strong governmental policies to continue its mission to protect our planet. Being able to implement these type of principles within their political and economic beliefs; has shown the world that it is achievable to have this type of sustainability.

Costa Rica and the UN hope to influence other nations to imply similar approaches in regards to protecting our environment. As most of the world seems to be heading in the wrong direction, continuing to uncontrollably release deadly emissions that rapidly cause devastating climate changes; Costa Rica is putting great efforts to make sure the effects of climate change are slowed down.

Although this is a great step that few have taken, and maybe many will take; what many of us don’t know is the greatest single cause of climate change and the greatest individual threat we have to our planet is: ANIMAL AGRICULTURE. Yes, this may be a huge surprise to all of us. The animal agriculture industry accounts for more greenhouse gases than the exhaust of cars, trucks, trains, boats combined; the whole transportation sector. When it comes to resource consumption and depletion; 55% of our water use is consumed by raising livestock for consumption. The meat industry alone wastes nearly 2,500 gallons of water to produce just 1lb of beef! Yes, these facts are staggering, but what can we do as a society and inhabitants of this conflicted world…? It is simple, the answer is to reduce meat consumption. Veganism has so many positive, impactful results in countless ways; first and foremost to save and protect animals from abuse. Another is the influence it has on improving your overall health. Why not choose to act with kindness compassion and love.

Mijael T.




Soccer the most popular sport in Costa Rica

Soccer the most popular sport in Costa Rica

September 20, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Soccer in Costa Rica has been a tremendous influence on the lifestyle and the culture this country is associated with. Costa Rica has been playing this amazing game since the late 1800s. With help from British folks, Costa Rica regulated their “futbol” culture and even established their first official National Team. Soon Costa Rica became practicing different types of organized sports that included baseball, basketball, horseback riding, and a few more.

Like many other countries around the world, Costa Rica started to build a unique love and embracement for the game. By the early 1900s, Costa Rica as a nation began supporting, preserving, and encouraging the sport. Later, in the beginning, stages of the 20th century; after several unsuccessful tries to form a national federation, Costa Rica became part of the National Soccer League. This later helped formed the soccer league that Costa Rica has today. It also, as stated before helped build the country’s culture.

Costa Rica has participated in many world cups. In 1990, they reached the second round after a stunning victory over Scotland. Costa Rica finally reached its peak In 2014, the “Ticos” went as far as the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Here the country was riding a magical carpet, the whole world was stunned. Costa Rica had reached the FINAL 8 of a tournament, that players work their entire lives to reach. Costa Rica eventually lost in a penalty kick shootout versus The Netherlands. Even so, this World Cup proved Costa Rica could compete with the big soccer nations. It even leads to the signing of Keylor Navas (Costa Rica goalkeeper), by Real Madrid.

Costa Rica continues to improve its soccer brand, through their youth system, and of course their culture. Costa Rica’s confidence and strength as a nation are demonstrated by their national soccer team. Costa Rica hopes to continue this pattern for years and decades to come to hopefully one day, shock the world again.




Celebrating Costa Rica Independence Day

Celebrating Costa Rica Independence Day

September 12, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica celebrates its 198th year of existence and independence on September 15th. Costa Rica shares this anniversary with Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. On Sept 15, 197 years ago, the Central American Congress signed the “Act of Independence” in Guatemala deliberating these nations from Spanish rule. It actually took about a month after the act, for the news to reach Costa Rica. There was luckily no fight for independence since Spain was morally and physically depleted due to other wars. Actually; Spain had felt like all the Central American land had become a burden to keep and maintain, so it was a relief for the Spanish Empire to withdraw their rule over these lands.

Costa Rica became completely independent from the Central American Republic in 1838. Like many other nations, Costa Rica has a unique way of celebrating this special day. First off, government institutions and businesses are closed, and people often take advantage of the day off. There is an annual Torch Relay that spans about 5 days that starts in Guatemala and ends in Cartago, which is Costa Rica’s colonial capital. Kids often participate in the “lantern parade” the night before; by lighting torches made out of paper, and decorating them in unique ways. Also, parades with folkloric dances and traditional costumes are done by school children; who prepare for this months in advance. Traditional Costa Rican food like; tamales, empanadas, Casados (rice and beans, meat, salad), fried plantains, and fried yuca are served by vendors at these events.

Costa Rica for nearly 200 years has been creating a culture that uniquely defines them. Today, Costa Ricans use September 15, as a way to remind and share the traditions that have made this country such a special and beautiful place.




Golfing in Costa Rica

Golfing in Costa Rica

September 2, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Picture yourself watching a stunning sunset in the evening and catching the sounds of birds and the Pacific Ocean; well, strangely enough, this could be a reality in one of the many golf courses around Costa Rica. Whether it is in your condominium or a luxurious beach resort, golf courses around Costa Rica offer magnificent views of the trademark nature in Costa Rica.

The most renowned Golf Courses is nested in the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica: Guanacaste is Home of the three most famous Golf courses, Hacienda Pinilla, Four Seasons and Reserva Conchal Golf. All them famous for its scenery. They are a must-play when in Costa Rica.

In the wonderful Hacienda Pinilla resort. Ancient and imposing trees such as the “Guanacaste” (national trees), “Matapalo”, and “Pochote” surround the course and make it comfortable for species like birds, monkeys, iguanas, deer, and many other animals that can be seen from time to time. Spread over 4,500 acres, this rolling landscape was used previously for a cattle ranch for more than 40 years, giving the property a rustic but well cared for aesthetic. Containing about three miles of pristine beaches, this property also offers the greatest views of the ocean to see while you enjoy your golfing.

The Four Season Golf Course is a world-class court with incredible and majestic views of the pacific and the Bahia Culebra. International rated as among the 100 best golf courses in the world.

The visitors will enjoy Crystalline waters,  plants, birds, monkeys, and animal species.

The Westin Golf Resort Course in Conchal is surrounded by lush vegetation and blue waters as well. Robert Trent Jones Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 71-course with one of the most beautiful landscapes in Costa Rica being a  Family and all-inclusive resort allows family gatherings and several activities for kids too.

In the Central Valley of Costa Rica, you can also feel free to visit the Valle del Sol residential for some golfing. The Valle del Sol Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 72 championship course that has the best views of the Central Valley mountain landscape. The atmosphere over here is more tranquil and chill as opposed to the constant sun in Guanacaste. Designed to take advantage of all of its surroundings, the course has little streams in every hole and also an excellent cart path where you can also indulge in the numerous trees that refresh the air.

It is important to note that the larger resort courses located in the Guanacaste section of Costa Rica are best geared for experienced golfers, while the other courses centered in the capital are better suited for novice golfers. More broadly, over the past years, the sport of golf has had a greater presence here in Costa Rica seen as it has hosted several international events such as the PGA Latin American Tour, currently working on hosting the Latin American Amateur Championship (LAAC) in 2022. Next time you plan to visit Costa Rica, remember, feel free to visit and play in one of the many fabulous courses around the country and have fun while enjoying the picturesque nature of the location.




The picturesque corner of Alajuela, San Ramón

The picturesque corner of Alajuela, San Ramón

August 31, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Known as the “city of Poets”, San Ramón is an incredible but small city located in the province of Alajuela. The biggest impression from this little town is the extensive amount of emerald green mountains and trees that flood the place and give it the most amazing natural atmosphere. Just an hour and a half away from the Arenal Volcano and hot springs and less than an hour away from the capitol San José and Pacific Ocean beaches, San Ramón is a very peaceful provincial city that has been growing and that welcomes foreign travelers all year round.

Upon arrival, you will be able to see the abounding culture that exists in this town, mostly embodied in its people’s slow-paced life focused on forging strong community bonds. Normal to the life of the Ramonenses is thus the Farmers market, where many people join together and sell fresh fruit, vegetables, and even cattle.  As well, the fact that many of the country’s greatest literary and political figures were born here also gives it an important role in the enrichment of Costa Rica as a whole, hence San Ramon’s label, “city of poets”. Take for example famous poets Felix Angel Salas Cabezas and Lisimaco Chavarria Palma or ex-presidents Jose Figueres Ferrer and Rodrigo Carazo.

In the heart of San Ramón, you will find an incredible catholic church, and just north to it you can discover a museum where you can learn about the town’s rich history and important figures who have built it.  One of the most captivating characteristics of this “tico” town would have to be its climate. With no need for air conditioning or fireplaces, the weather in this town stays between 70°F to  75 °F all year long, making it perfect for coffee to be cultivated by the many farmers who live in the area. Apart from coffee, the city is also famous for its three cigar factories; in fact, if you wish to take a break from your agricultural adventures you can pay a visit to one of these factories to see how the people of San Ramón make their living.

More broadly, if you’re looking to settle down in a traditional and environmental city filled with authentic people and also want to get to know what it feels like to live the “tico” lifestyle, San Ramón most definitely checks all of your boxes.

The Real Estate in this area is moving fast for its good prices and accessible location to many amenities. San Ramon provides the best of what Costa Rica has to offer a good pace of life, combine with incredible nature, landscape, scenery and a Pura Vida Lifestyle you will enjoy!




Costa Rica Wildlife

Costa Rica Wildlife

August 19, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the “go-to” place if you’re looking to get closer to nature. More than half of the country is a rain forest, which offers a great deal of biodiversity. Costa Rica, as a country, has only 0.3% of the earth’s landmass, but 4% of of the world’s species.

Being geographically gifted allows Costa Rica’s ecosystems to thrive, allowing for heavy concentrations of species in tiny areas. From reptiles and amphibians to large fish and mammals that spread all through Costa Rica’s bodies of waters and terrains.

To highlight some of my personal experiences I will try to fill you guys in on my animal encounters in this beautiful country. One of the first and more interesting encounters for me was with the American Crocodile. As you head west from the capital of San Jose, you are likely to cross over the Crocodile Bridge. Here you can see a concentration of about a dozen or more crocodiles at a time, which are drawn to the bridge by locals and visitors who often feed these creatures. Obviously, as a New Yorker who has maybe seen one or two caged crocodiles in his life, seeing these many wild crocodiles was extremely exciting. For me maybe the most amazing encounter was with Sea Turtles that seasonally arrive at Costa Rica’s Caribbean side to lay their eggs. In El Tortuguero, hence the name, you have a chance to experience the arrival of Giant Green Sea Turtles. During the American autumn months, large concentrations of these reptiles often arrive at Tortuguero National Park’s beach. You can see them slowly crawl across the sand, find a spot to dig a hole, and lay eggs. This process is so important to the cycle of life for this species, so being a witness to this was incredibly unique. As you near any major body of water in Costa Rica during your trip it is more than possible that you will be able to see monkeys hopping from tree to tree. Whether it is a white face monkey or a howler monkey, you are likely to be in awe of these relatively tiny, furry creatures. They are constantly on the move day by day and are often first heard before seen. Seeing these animals interact with each other was incredibly satisfying as it is something so different than the wildlife in the U.S. Also, all across Costa Rica there are different types of frogs and lizards that visitors frequently see. Some of these amphibians are really colorful but extremely dangerous due to their venomous traits. The frogs you may see in the rainforest can be as small as your thumbnail but can carry a large dose of possibly fatal venom for a person of any size. As you now may know Costa Rica has so many different types of habitats with so many different animals, as well as incredible creatures to interact and discover. I would always recommend for you to experience these possible encounters with a knowledgable guide that will make your Costa Rican Wildlife experience an extremely unique one as well as a safe one!

Mijael T.



Costa Rica a Privilege Country

Costa Rica a Privilege Country

August 12, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

I’m a 30-year-old New Yorker who was had the privilege to have traveled to many destinations all over North and South América. From Canada to Mexico, and all over Latin America. Each place has its special unique vibe and culture. But, I have to say my favorite ( by a long shot) is Costa Rica. I have been going to Costa Rica since I was 7 years old and went as recently as 2018. I think I’ve had about 15 trips there all together and it never gets old, just better. Now, of course, there are several amazing qualities to Costa Rica as a whole. Here I will focus on one of their very best; their beaches. Costa Rica is geographically gifted, as it stands in between both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This allows their coasts to posses variously different attributes that attract all types of visitors. Now it would be hard to describe every single beach and why I think you should go, but I will highlight several of my favorites and why. If your looking for a quick getaway to you can go to Jaco beach which is the nearest beach from the capital San Jose.

Further out west, You can go to head to Playa Grande in Guanacaste to catch a seasonal wave which will surely be one of the most intense rides of your life. Or, you can head to the Atlantic side and visit  Tortuguero and be amazed by the wildlife. I remember the first time I went to  Tortuguero, I was able to see crocodiles in the river tours, as well as see big sea turtles head to shore and lay dozens of eggs. Guanacaste are I referred to earlier has to be my favorite and likely the most popular destination in Costa Rica. Guanacaste is west of the capital and its beaches are part of the Pacific Ocean. Guanacaste is great for people looking for an adventure, or those looking to get away with their families.  Playas Del Coco will surely amaze any visitor as it’s filled with many beautiful attractions like the dark sand beach in the Gulf of Papagayo.

Tamarindo is filled with many great luxury hotels for those looking for all-inclusive fun. Last year I for the first time went to Santa Teresa which was a different experience altogether. Most of the vacationers will take a ferry to this area. Here, there are many different types of local foreigners who live a “hippy-ish” lifestyle for those looking for a less luxury experience and more nature-filled vacation. Of course, across all these places you will find incredibly attractive restaurants and bars for those looking for nighttime fun. hoping this encourages you to visit Costa Rica very soon!

Mijael T.




A Legal Guide for Buying property in Costa Rica

A Legal Guide for Buying property in Costa Rica

July 30, 2019

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a gold mine for real estate and vacation.  Be it near one of its marvelous beaches or the evergreen rolling mountains, the land of the “Pura Vida” offers great options when it comes to vacation or retirement homes, over the past few years, it has welcomed thousands of expats from all over the world.

Being a foreign-friendly country, Costa Rica’s constitution grants foreigners the same rights as Costa Rican citizens, meaning that expats are equally allowed to own land directly. In fact, if you are investing over $200,000 in real estate over here, you can even be granted a resident investor visa.

Costa Rica takes very good care of its famous biodiversity and natural resources, which extends to property ownership. For example, land within the maritime zone, as well as rivers, lagoons, mangroves, wetlands are usually considered as public domain. As a result, ownership of such land is either restricted or not possible.

Property ownership here in Costa Rica can be either direct or indirect. For a property to be purchased indirectly, shares and ownership interest of corporations who own real estate must all be bought. Direct transfers, on the other hand, must happen in the form of a Public Deed, perform by a Notary Public. The document is thus signed and authorized by both parties, and an official deed certificate is presented to the National Registry. Once this deed is fully registered, the title of the real estate property is conveyed. Regarding fees, keep in mind that Notary Public fees, registry stamps, transfer (around 3.25%) and capital gains taxes (around 2.25% to 15%) must be included within the transfer costs. The purchase or sale costs are usually paid equally between the buyer and the seller, as both are equally and legally bound to make those payments.

Before buying a property in Costa Rica, don’t forget to do in-depth due diligence, as well as looking into any cadastral and registry alerts to avoid fraud. Another important recommendation is to visit the property and on-site confirm the boundaries with the recorded survey and title in the National Registry.

Lastly, our legal system has important stipulations that could affect property ownership. An important distinction is that Costa Rica has a civil law system, which means that written law will prevail over past court rulings (precedents). Within the written law, zoning and construction regulations are held to a broad regulatory framework, in which Municipal Regulatory Plans (Planes Reguladores) is the first point of reference. Moreover, and as previously stated, Costa Rica has multiple environmental regulations that must be taken into account, as these may affect or limit construction activities and their regulations.

Credits to  Mariela Sanabria B. (COLBS Legal Studio)

sjm@colbs.legal



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