Apple iPhone Approved for Costa Rica

By Adam Williams
Tico Times Staff |

With the opening of the cellular telephone market to private participation approaching, the Superintendency of Telecommunications (SUTEL) has approved five new cellular phone models to provide service in the Costa Rican network. The five phones approved are the Apple iPhone, the Sony Ericsson U5a and X10 models, the Motorola A853 and the China Bird HK Ltda. B mobile model PL 72. Currently, only phones authorized by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) can be used to provide cell service.

In addition to the telephones, SUTEL also approved three new Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, a datacard and a credit card verification device that can also be used as to provide an internet connection. Each of the approved items will carry the logo of SUTEL certifying that they can be used in the country.

Apple iPhone 4 will work in Costa RicaThe cellular telephone market was opened to competition when the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA) passed into effect on Jan. 1, 2009. Prior to the opening of the market, ICE had been the only provider of cellular phone coverage in Costa Rica. New competitors are expected to enter the cell market by the beginning of 2011. According to SUTEL, the process of opening the market has been delayed on several occasions due to difficulties in freeing up frequencies shared by telecommunication, phone and internet operators.
With 3G towers located in San Buenaventura the ability to use the new Apple iPhone 4 is only months away within The Village of San Buenas.

Costa Rica’s Second Language Initiative

By Sophia Klempner
Tico Times Staff |

The Multilingualism Promotion Program aims to teach English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Mandarin Chinese to people throughout Costa Rica, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

The program, announced Thursday, aims to promote language learning as a tool to stimulate the country’s social and economic progress, as well as to improve the climate for business, investments and tourism, the ministry said.

The program will offer diverse language instruction options such as courses and conversation groups in community centers, as well as using foreign volunteers who wish to learn Spanish in exchange for teaching their language. In addition, some 200 Peace Corps volunteers will be teaching English throughout the country over the next four years.

The effort was launched jointly by Foreign Minister René Castro, Decentralization and Local Development Minister Juan Marín, Marta Blanco, director of the Costa Rica Multilingual Foundation, Shirley Calvo, director of Dinadeco (the National Community Development Office), Olman Segura, president of the National Training Institute (INA), and President Laura Chinchilla.

Segura said the program partners will immediately begin a process of “identifying the demand” among those interested in learning another language so that the necessary teacher hirings could be made. The program began by polling 200 businesses. The first language services will be offered in Guanacaste and Limón provinces, Segura said.

Marín and Calvo noted the importance of the program’s availability to young and elderly people, as well as children, in communities and municipalities throughout the country.

Castro lauded the efforts of the state universities, adding that the University of Costa Rica has 200 slots open for foreign language study at a number of levels.

The push for multilingualism, together with promoting an emergent aerospace industry and the biotech and electronics sectors, form a central part of President Chinchilla’s administration.

Blanco said with two years of experience under belt at the Costa Rican Multilingual Foundation, the group aims to see all high school students graduate with a good working knowledge of English within the next 10 years.

Multilingualism Promotion Program partner websites:

Costa Rica Multilingual Foundation:
Foreign Ministry:
President of the Republic:

Pre-Columbian Artifacts Coming Back to Costa Rica

By Chrissie Long
Tico Times Staff |
Spain may be bringing home the World Cup gold trophy this week, but Costa Rica’s bringing home something of its own from Spain.Thanks to an application sent to the court in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2008, the Central American country is recovering a pre-Columbian pot and a stone sculpture that have been held in Madrid’s Museo de América.

The artifacts are part of the “Colección Patterson,” which is composed of 1,500 pieces of pre-Columbian gold, jade and ceramic from a handful of Latin American countries. The items belonged to Costa Rican Leonardo Patterson, who resides in Germany and is accused in Spain of illegally trafficking the artifacts. He is believed to have 498 Costa Rican pre-Columbian artifacts in total.

Foreign Minister René Castro congratulated the actors in the recovery process, saying that “if a people do not care for and respect their history, they are certainly a citizenry without dreams and without future.”

Costa Rica has also submitted requests to repatriate items from Denmark (four pieces), Switzerland (8 pieces) and Italy (18 pieces). In June, Costa Rica achieved repatriation of 24 items, which are being held in the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington, D.C., awaiting transfer to Costa Rica.

The two Patterson pieces are now in the custody of the National Museum.

Nature Air: $5 Transfer Fee in San Jose (SJO) to Pavas

Airport Shuttle Service

To facilitate travel for Nature Air passengers arriving at and departing from the Juan Santamaria International airport (SJO), Nature Air offers an affordable VIP Shuttle Service directly to and from the Nature Air terminal at the Tobias Bolaños International Airport (SYQ).

For just $5 per person, passengers can make the ground connection between the two airports. One of our reps will meet and greet you at the airport and assist you with your luggage. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the friendly air-conditioned ride.

This service can be arranged and paid for in advance when booking your Nature Air flight by filling out the form below or directly at either airport with the Shuttle Coordinator, located at the orange Taxis Unidos stand in Juan Santamaria Airport or with the Concierge desk at any of Nature Air’s airports.

The shuttle departs three times per day from each location to accommodate most connections. For passengers arriving at Juan Santamaria, we recommend that you select an Airport Shuttle departure no sooner than one hour after your scheduled arrival.   Please allow for no less than one hour before your Nature Air flight is scheduled to depart when taking the Airport Shuttle from Juan Santamaria. Passengers looking to connect from Tobias Bolaños to Juan Santamaria should book the Shuttle 30 minutes or more after their arrival to Tobias Bolaños and three hours prior to your departure from Juan Santamaria for your international flight.

If your flight times do not correspond with the Shuttle schedule, or you prefer to arrange private transportation between airports, you may book this directly by contacting our reservations office:

The Tobias Bolaños International airport is located just 5 minutes from downtown San Jose, and approximately 20 minutes from the Juan Santamaria airport.

Nature Air chose Tobias Bolaños as its main hub to best accommodate the airline’s average 74 daily departures and arrivals to and from San Jose. As the main air service provider at Tobias Bolaños, Nature Air also avoids the frequent delays you typically find at the Juan Santamaria Airport. Our passengers do not have to deal with long security lines and traffic at other airports, and our facilities include a restaurant and other services for the comfort of our passengers. Additionally, our convenient proximity to downtown San Jose allows us to better serve local clients.

The Olympics of Surf Coming to Costa Rica

By: Costa Rica Pages (Original here)

The Billabong ISA World Surfing Games 2009 will be hosted in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica this August 1-8, 2009. The event, which will bring together the best surfers in the world in an Olympic-style competition, is set to be the biggest surfing championship ever held in Central America. The honor of hosting the 8th ever World Surfing Games is expected to solidify Costa Rica’s reputation as one of the world’s best up and coming surf destinations.

Last year’s competition, which took place in Costa de Caparica, Portugal, saw a turn out of more than 200 competitors from 28 countries. The Costa Rican team shined with their highest ranking ever, coming in 5th place at the event. The number of surfers and skill level is expected to increase for this year’s competition, which was scheduled to correspond with Hermosa’s peak surf season with waves ranging from four to eight feet with perfect barrels. The team to beat is four-time ISA Surfing Games champion, Australia, who racked up Gold medals in the last three consecutive events. [Read more…]

Head to the clouds: Costa Rican cloud forest alive with birds, butterflies and orchids

MONTEVERDE REGION, Costa Rica — The Monteverde Cloud Forest is a treasure trove of botanical wonders. It’s also a major pain to get there.

Five miles of new paving on the Monteverde Road was just finished in December, adding to the seven miles already paved.

But the last 13-mile stretch is still an infamous 1 1/2- to 2-hour trip along a potholed, take-your-life-in-your-hands uphill road better suited for donkeys. Crawling along at barely 5 mph, vehicles weave up the mountainside, stones flying from the tires over the no-rail precipice. [Read more…]

Welcome to Las Villas De San Buenas: Affordable Costa Rica Real Estate

Las Villas de San Buenas is the perfect affordable Costa Rica real estate development in Osa (south pacific region located between Ojochal and Palmar Norte) for those looking to experience the best of what Costa Rica has to offer. We fell we have one of the safest retirement-communities-costa-rica offers in the southern zone.

Las Villas San Buenas Logo

150 acre Costa Rica development

To download a PDF full of information click here.

It’s location in the Osa peninsula region (South Pacific) of Costa Rica puts residence of the community in the heart of Costa Rica’s incredible wildlife. When you live in Las Villas de San Buenas you get the perfect combination of beautiful, natural wildlife, incredible sunsets and every day amenities. There has been no better time than now to buy!

Affordable Costa Rica Real Estate

Las Villas de San Buenas offers an affordable solution to retiring abroad, owning a second home in paradise or as an investment. With lots starting as low as $19,900 this Costa Rica Real Estate development is a must see.

The master plan includes numerous parks, green areas and a hiking trail into the jungle that is located on the property. There are a variety of lot types including ocean views, riverfront and mountain views and a variety of lot sizes.

Be sure to visit our Facebook page:

Our owners have two options that no other single development can offer:

1) Ownership in the Ballena Beach Club. More information on the Ballena Beach Club . The Ballena Beach Club is located approximately 15 minutes from Las Villas de San Buenas and offers owners private showers, secure storage of valuables, swimming pools and a full restaurant and bar, for your day at the beach.

2) Golf course memberships at San Buenas Golf Resort which is located right next door to Las Villas de San Buenas

Las Villas de San Buenas, Costa Rica

Mountain views from lot 9 in Las Villas de San Buenas

Las Villas de San Buenas

Come visit and stay or rent our house