United Airlines adds Seasonal Flights to Costa Rica

United Airlines Adds Two Nonstop Flights to Costa Rica

Source: The Tico Times

The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) in July reported that U.S. carrier United Airlines will open two seasonal flights between Denver and Costa Rica from December to April.

One of the flights will arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside San José, and the other will fly to the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste.

United Airlines Costa Rica

The new seasonal trips from Denver will operate Fridays and Saturdays from December 18 and April 30. (Courtesy of United Airlines)

The route between Denver International Airport and San José will operate once a week from Dec. 18 to April 30, 2016. The flight will depart from Denver at 10:59 p.m. on Fridays and will arrive at Juan Santamaría on Saturdays at 5:24 a.m. From San José, the flight will depart Saturdays at 7:19 a.m. and will arrive in Denver at noon.

The route to Daniel Oduber also will operate on Saturdays from Dec. 19 to April 30.

Flights will leave from Denver at 9:55 a.m. and arrive in Liberia at 4:15 p.m. Departures from Liberia will be at 12:30 p.m. and will arrive in Denver at 5:05 p.m., the ICT reported.

Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura said the news from United is important for the country: “These new flights will boost the tourism sector throughout the country, but they also will expand opportunities for Costa Ricans to fly to this major U.S. destination.”

The U.S. is Costa Rica’s main source of travelers. In 2014, the country registered a total of 936,929 arrivals from that country, a 7.6 percent increase from 2013.

 

Southwest Airlines nonstop flights to Costa Rica increasing

Original source: The Tico Times

Southwest Airlines could start offering service to San José, Costa Rica, from Houston, Texas, as early as October 2015, according to a statement from the company on Thursday. San José is among six destinations for which the airline is seeking permission to serve in Latin America, along with four locations in Mexico and Belize.

southwest airlines planeThe Dallas-based airline filed applications with the U.S. Department of Transportation to offer daily, nonstop service from its new $156 million international concourse at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston to Cancun, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and San José del Cabo/Los Cabos, as well as Belize and Costa Rica. The “Love” Airline already plans to offer service between Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Juan Santamaría International Airport starting in March 2015.

“Service to Mexico will be the cornerstone of our international operation at Hobby and the four cities we are announcing today provide exciting travel and business options for consumers. Adding Belize to the Southwest network and growing our Costa Rica service continues our expansion to international destinations where our people and consumer-friendly policies can deliver as no other airline can,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President and CEO.

The airline already offers flights to Aruba out of Houston and additional service elsewhere to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

Southwest Airlines starts daily service to Costa Rica in March

Original source: The Tico Times

Southwest Airlines Costa Rica

Southwest Airlines and the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) confirmed that the discount carrier will start daily service to Juan Santamaría International Airport outside San José from Baltimore, effective March 7, according to officials at a press conference Wednesday morning. southwest airlines logo

Southwest Executive Vice President Robert Jordan said that customers can expect fares as low as $130 one way from Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and that the company’s discount reputation would hold true abroad with fares on average 30 to 40 percent lower than their competitors.

Baltimore daily service will be on Boeing 737-700 jets with a capacity of 143 passengers, according to a statement from ICT. Jordan said that customers could connect to 60 destinations on 200 daily flights out of BWI.

President Luis Guillermo Solís, center, meets with Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President Robert Jordan, left, and Tourism Minister Wilhem von Breymann on Wednesday to discuss new flights to Costa Rica. (Courtesy of Costa Rican Tourism Institute)

The discount carrier also plans to start offering direct service from Houston Hobby Airport sometime in October.

“We have millions of current customers in the United States, and we can see where they want to travel, and we can see – based on their requests – that Costa Rica was at the top of their list,” said Andrew Waterson, Southwest vice president of network planning and performance.

“Our international expansion in the first phase is geared toward tourist destinations, and San José represents a different kind of tourist destination – not just a beach, but also business and visiting relatives travel. So, Costa Rica looked like the best fit for our market,” Waterson added.

Tourism Minister Wilhem von Breymann said that the new routes would help bolster Costa Rica’s relationship with the United States, the largest single source of visitors to Costa Rica. According to the ICT, 90 percent of U.S. tourists arrive in Costa Rica by air and spend an average of more than $2,200 per person, per visit.

Tourism industry representatives have been increasingly concerned about the rising costs for travelers in Costa Rica, but Waterson said the country continues to provide greater value than many other destinations.

“There are many countries, many islands that have a great beach, but you can’t leave the hotel. Costa Rica offers a diversity of visiting nice beaches and hotels, but also of seeing more of the country in a safe manner, and that’s priceless,” Waterson said.

President Luis Guillermo Solís said Southwest’s announcement and his intention of opening a direct flight to Costa Rica from China were part of a larger policy to make Costa Rica more connected to the wider world. The president added that the announcement was once again proof that Costa Rica is an attractive, reliable market for companies to invest.

Southwest already offers international service to Aruba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Service to Belize City is expected later in 2015.

Fans of the carrier’s distinctive cattle-call boarding policy can look forward to seeing the same queues here in Costa Rica, Waterson said.

“We can’t wait to show you that Southwest hospitality,” Jordan said.

Nick Halverson Costa Rica Video Series p1

Nick Halverson Costa Rica Video Series

Part I in a new video series

Nick Halverson, the CEO of Las Villas de San Buenas, was recently interviewed by Brad Gudim where they briefly discussed Costa Rica real estate. This is the first of the Nick Halverson Costa Rica Video Series. He will be recording more videos each month and will share great information about owning and investing in Costa Rica real estate. This short video (about 10 minutes) provides some background information about Nick Halverson and why he has chosen to develop land in Costa Rica. (LinkedIn profile).

Nick has over nine years of buying, selling and developing land in Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific zone and will be putting on Costa Rica real estate seminars in 2015. If you are interested in joining us for our first seminar in Costa Rica in 2015, or simply want information about visiting Costa Rica, please contact us today.

Stay tuned for the next in the Nick Halverson Costa Rica video series.

Recent Foreign Investment in Costa Rica

Foreign Investment in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has long been a common location for large multi-national corporations to find highly-educated, reliable employees. Recently, Cargill and IBM each opened up new facilities in the San Jose metro area increasing the foreign investment in Costa Rica in 2014.

Cargill to open Business Services Center in Costa Rica

Cargill, based in Minnesota, USA, is opening business services center that will provide technical support to the
Cargill foreign investment in costa ricagroup’s 50 companies in the Americas in areas such as finance, information technologies, human resources, transportation and logistics. Costa Rica was chosen by Cargill over other
locations in Argentina, Columbia, Panama and Mexico.

Cargill will hire staff with expertise in accounting, business administration, information technology and finance. Potential employees must be fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Cargill also spoke with representatives from other Fortune 500 companies that have operations in the co
untry, such as WalMart, Procter & Gamble and Citibank.

“Cargill conducted research and chose Costa Rica because it is the most effective and engaging location for us,” Cargill Central America President Bruce Burdett told El Financiero in an interview. “The final decision was based on the country’s political and economic situation, and the availability of a highly trained workforce with good levels of foreign languages.”

Cargill in 2011 acquired Costa Rica’s popular meat and poultry producer Pipasa Corporation and also represents animal food brands including Purina, Ascan, Mimados and Don Gato. This continued foreign investment in Costa Rica will increase their presence here in the country. 

Founded in 1865, Cargill has 143,000 employees in 67 countries. It is a producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. 

Sources: http://www.ticotimes.net/2014/05/06/cargill-chooses-costa-rica-for-new-services-center

IBM Opens IT Security Operations Center in Costa Rica

IBM Logo Costa Rica

IBM celebrated its 10 year anniversary in Costa Rica with the opening of its latest Security Operations Center (SOC). Through an initial investment that includes infrastructure and education, the center will allow IBM to address the growing security needs of its clients in the region.

“We would like to thank IBM for its confidence to reinvest in an operation that will create more quality jobs for its citizens,” said Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis. “The announcement of a new IBM Security Operations Center reinforces the international image that Costa Rica is a strategic target for high-tech investments and is evidence of the commitment made since the first day of this government to dedicate ourselves to proactively executing a directive in favor of new, quality jobs—the main objective of our visit to the United States.  This is a tribute to the quality of human talent in the region.”

With this new center, the first in Costa Rica, IBM adds to the existing services offered in the country including cloud , business analytics , project management, human resources, financial services and more. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the security center of operations team will monitor the latest security events experienced by IBM clients, assess their potential impact on the business and ensure that IBM clients’ infrastructure is configured to handle the latest threats. As a result of this analysis, IBM will help to protect people, data, applications, transactions and the infrastructure for all businesses in the region.
“Companies like IBM clearly demonstrate the evolution that the services industry is undergoing in Costa Rica as companies here move forward to manage more complex and sophisticated processes,” said the Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora. “This progress is made possible by the talent and skills of our country’s workforce. We are succeeding in creating new world linkages and providing more value that will help us bring more Costa Rican companies into the dynamics of world trade.”

Sources: http://costaricarealestateblogs.blogspot.com/2014/07/ibm-opens-it-security-operations-center.html

Costa Rica Information Update

Costa Rica Information /Newsletter                                June 2014
We’ve been very busy here in the Osa region of Costa Rica the past couple of months. Growth continues to take place in the area from Uvita to Palmar Norte – come visit and find your piece of paradise today! Let us help plan your Costa Rica trip (home rentals, tours, etc). Contact us to assist you.

 
The big news the last week has been Costa Rica’s incredibly successful run in the World Cup. For those that follow futbol (soccer) here’s a nice recap.
 

 

Cano Island
Views of Cano Island, San Buenas Golf Resort and Golfo Dulce.

You will not find a better priced ocean view lot with these amenities:

 
  • Sweeping ocean views 
  • Epic sunsets
  • Views of San Buenas Golf Resort (next door)
  • Private
  • Adjacent to 15 acre jungle preserve and hiking trails. 

More updates coming soon! Pura vida!

Me enjoying the waterfall walking distance from Las Villas de San Buenas

Nick Halverson 

USA/CAN: 612.819.8154 

8718.7900 (Costa Rica)

nick@villassanbuenas.com

Costa Rica photo of the day

Great Mountain View Lot! Easy access!  

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  • Lodging
  • Rental cars
  • Zipline tours
  • Fishing
  • River float rides
  • Hiking

 

 

 

Hospital De Osa Is Only 5 Minutes From Las Villas De San Buenas

The Hospital de Osa is located near the town of Puerto Cortes in Ojo De Agua. It is about 5 to 6 minutes from Las Villas De San Buenas depending on how you drive. The hospital is 80,000 square feet and there is room to grow further. The aerial photo below will give you a good idea of the size of the facility. It’s comforting to know that we have emergency care close by and fortunate it is a new hospital only minutes away. Living in Costa Rica rural areas has its challenges for many developments including proximity to hospitals, doctors, dentists, auto care, etc.. When buying land or a home in Costa Rica it makes sense to be close to infrastructure and in the path of development if you are looking for appreciation from your investment. You can still have the safety and security you desire along with all the abundance of nature.

Costa Rica healthcare Osa hospital

2012 New International Airport in Southern Osa Costa Rica

Costa Rica, Real Estate, News, Travel: 2012 New International Airport in Southern Osa Costa Rica.

2012 New International Airport in Southern Osa Costa Rica

 

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the new international airport in the southern zone of Costa Rica.  This has been going on since I first visited in March 2005 when the broker we used to purchase what is now Osa Mountain Village alluded to a new airport. It is one of the most talked about issues when dealing with prospective real estate clients. As a rule, I don’t bring up the airport unless a client specifically asks about it. I believe that the Osa region is absolutely gorgeous and amazing the way it currently is (beaches, wildlife, ziplines, etc) – any purchasing or not because of an airport doesn’t understand what Osa is about. Having said that, if the new airport is approved, and when the “Golden Shovel” ceremony takes place to break ground, I would guess prices for land will go up at least 20% overnight. This will be a real ‘game-changer’ in terms of development in Osa.

Here’s an update from Costa Rica’s business newspaper, El Financiero, translation by Google. It states that ICAO (Government Aviation Agency) will be accepting bids on a final environmental impact study in April 2012 for the $60 million project. The studies are to be completed by the end of this year. Once that is completed it will be a “Go or no-go” decision. The great news is that all of us will know within nine months what will happen in regards to the airport.

The runway being proposed in Southern
Costa Rica will be able to accommodate
an Airbus 320 with approximately
150 passengers.

The runway will be large enough to land an Airbus A320 which can fly between 1,700-6,500 nautical miles, depending on the model and carry approximately 150 passengers. With that range, most cities from North America (Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles) will be able to fly direct to the new proposed airport. This will be a great benefit for those traveling to Osa. Currently travelers must usually take a day on the front end of a trip and a day on the back end of a trip to ensure they are in San Jose on time (3.5 hour drive from Palmar Sur).

I wanted to share with everyone what I’ve heard over the years so you can understand my opinion.  Below is a brief, and probably not entire recap, of the rumors and information I’ve heard/gathered through the years:

President Arias signing airport
declaration in 2008 in Palmar Norte

 

  • March 2006: Tico Times article announcing the airport
  • In mid-2008, then-President Oscar Arias announced in a ceremony in Palmar Norte that the airport was moving forward.
  • After the October 2008 TLC/CAFTA vote took place, and it showed that Osa as whole voted against TLC, it is rumored President Arias (who was in favor the measure that passed) withheld his support of the airport and instead shifted his focus to helping those who helped him get TLC passed. Therefore, he worked to help secure the financing and permits for the Limon port expansion.
  • July 2009, Panamanian President Martinelli and Costa Rica President Oscar write a press release stating the airport project is back on. Read here
  • In early 2010, President Arias scrambles to complete major infrastructure projects so he can get credit for them (which was great because projects did indeed get done, including the Costanera Highway paving project. Here’s a video of that soon after it was completed near Dominical)
  • 2010: Peninsula Sur newspaper writes an article about the airport
  • August 2010: New Palmar Sur terminal opens 
  • 2010: Rumors begin spreading that the existing Palmar Sur location will be used and the runway lengthened to accommodate larger planes.
  • In November 2010, Tropical Storm Tomas (see photo) hits Costa Rica causing over $150 million worth of damage in Osa. Funds that were reportedly set aside for infrastructure improvements for the airport are now used to fix the Pan-American and Costanera Highway.

A new airport will obviously bring many changes – some good – some not. The government is keenly aware of the pitfalls of what happened in Guanacaste and, previously, in the Jaco region of development (over development, unenforced laws, etc), and will be working closely to ensure the environment is impacted as minimally as possible.

As with most major infrastructure projects, this project has taken time – more than originally thought – however, I do believe we will see the airport project approved and ground to be broken in the next couple of years. Let’s all see what happens. I’ll keep you updated as I hear anything.

Pura vida!
Nick Halverson
Owner/developer of Las Villas de San Buenas

https://twitter.com/#!/costaricanick

Costa Rica Tourism Up 9 percent in 2010 vs 2009

According to the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT), revenues from tourism accounted for

Costa Rica Tourism is up 9% in 2010

6.8 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 and over 7 percent in 2007 and 2008. In the last three years, earnings from tourism have averaged around $2 billion.

Through September of this year, the ICT reports that an estimated 1.6 million people have visited Costa Rica in 2010, a 9 percent increase over the same period in 2009.

Costa Rica’s Southern International Airport Update

Original: www.amcostarica.com


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

International flights will be coming to the Southern zone. Exact time is unkown.

The project to build an international airport in the southern zone got a boost over the weekend when President Laura Chinchilla declared the concept to be in the public interest.

That technical designation put a high priority on the $35 million project, which will start in 2012 to put in the bare bones of an international airport. Until then there are more studies and surveys.

Significant planning and environmental work already has been done. For example, officials can say with certainty that the land proposed for the airport does not contain any of the famous pre-Columbian stone spheres of other important sites. An archaeological survey already has been completed.

According to plans reviewed Saturday, the airport will have a runway from 2,000 to 2,600 meters, some 6,560 to 8,530 feet. The site already has been selected. It is fincas 9 and 10 in the Valle de Diquis in Sierpe de Osa. Officials also plan on getting two adjacent fincas for eventual expansion.

Finca 9 is the property of the Instituto Nacional de Fomento Cooperativo, a public agency. It contains 233 hectares (about 576 acres). Finca 10 contains 261 hectares (645 acres). This is enough land for the runway, ramps, taxiways, a passenger terminal, parking and space for a fixed base operator to handle private aviation. Also needed will be a fire station, a control tower, navigation and landing systems and space for customs and immigration.

The money for this project will come from the Dirección General de Aviación Civil, the national budget and an allocation the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes received from the International Civil Aviation Organization, officials said.

Ms. Chinchilla said that the airport is important to generate employment and combat poverty. Real estate operators and tourism agencies are solidly in favor of the project.

Ms. Chinchilla made a tour of the southern zone over the weekend and attended a meeting of the Golfito municipal council. There central government officials agreed to help the city with its tourism promotion.

————–

NOTE: When the project is complete, owners in The Village of San Buenas will only be 30 minutes from their home.  Now is a great time to purchase.

This is the first official update regarding the international airport since former President Oscar Arias discussed it in July 2009.