The eighth edition of ExpoCasa, the Costa Rican national housing exposition, kicks off Wednesday afternoon at the Centro de Eventos Pedregal in San Antonio de Belén, in Heredia, northwest of San José. The expo, which runs through Sunday evening, will feature over 250 stands with information on renting or buying a home or property, financing a home, and real estates agencies, as well as items for home construction and décor.
Fifty of the stands will be dedicated to housing and property offerings in different regions of the country, including the Central Valley, mountain areas and beaches. Jason Alvarado, the spokesperson for the expo, said the sales prices of the homes offered range from $49,000 to $560,000 and that 12 national banks will be on hand to provide interested home owners and buyers with financing options.
“The reason ExpoCasa has always been so helpful for visitors is that it allows them to take care of many of the steps involved in buying a house or property all at the same place,” Alvarado said. “It makes the entire process of home ownership much easier.”
As many as 14,000 people are expected to visit ExpoCasa during the five-day event.
ExpoCasa Schedule Wednesday – 1 to 10 p.m.; Inauguration at 5 p.m.
Thursday – 1 to 10 p.m.
Friday – 1 to 10 p.m.
Saturday – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Entry fee: Wednesday through Friday: Free
Saturday and Sunday: ₡ 1,000; free for senior citizens and children under the age of 12.
Even as the Chinese are putting the finishing touches on world class soccer stadium in San José’s La Sabana metropolitan park – a gift to the Central American country – Costa Rica is seeking more investment by the Chinese in infrastructure and in clean energy.
On Sunday, during a visit by China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Costa Rica made a pitch to its Asian ally to invest in a $221 million highway that would connect the country’s northern plains with the Caribbean port of Limón, among other infrastructure projects.
The plea comes at a time when Costa Rica’s highways are crumbling under heavy rains and the weight of years of postponed improvements. Just three days before Jiechi arrived, part of the country’s main highway north, which connects the country with the rest of Central America, was closed when part of a bridge over the Rio Seco collapsed (see story, below).
But Costa Rica’s foreign minister, René Castro, said the relationship should be a two-way street.
“They also have some ideas for advancement relating to biotechnology, cultural exchanges and sciences that are being developed,” he said, adding that he is looking for “a mature, win-win relationship” between China and Costa Rica in years to come.
Following a working session at the Foreign Ministry’s headquarters at the Casa Amarilla, in downtown San José, the two diplomats signed a cooperation agreement, which is expected to bring $6.2 billion in infrastructure improvements to Costa Rica.
Jiechi spent time with President Laura Chinchilla, Vice Presidents Alfio Piva and Luis Liberman, as well as the heads of the Security Ministry, the Foreign Trade Ministry and the Transportation Ministry.
Formal relations between Costa Rica and China began in 2007 during the Oscar Arias administration. In addition to the soccer stadium, China is also investing in the state-owned refinery in Moín and has purchased $300 million in bonds, among other projects.
Costa Rica’s summer break vacation period saw many travelers heading toward the Central Pacific coast or to Monteverde, while fewer vacationers made the trip to Guanacaste, a traditional vacation hotspot for Ticos.
A survey conducted by the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) tracked the level of occupancy of hotels in nine different areas of Costa Rica during the last month.
The area with the greatest percentage of occupancy overall was the Central Pacific (65.4 percent), followed closely by Monteverde (64.6 percent) and the Southern Pacific (63.7 percent).
CANATUR said overall occupancy was a middling 56.1 percent.
Guanacaste, specifically its southern part (36.4 percent), saw the least growth. According to CANATUR, South Pacific hoteliers believed that opening the road to Caldera and the Costanera Sur highway from Quepos, attracted travelers to the area.
“We are very pleased because the occupation in the first half of July exceeded our expectations,” said Ulises Ramirez, manager of the Cristal Ballena Hotel in the Southern Pacific region. “Employers believe that hotels in this area benefited the opening of (the new roads), as this saved time for tourists travelling to the region.”
The northern parts of the country took in the most foreign tourists, with 76.9 percent of the total. The highest percentage of domestic tourists (45 percent) visited the Southern Pacific region.
Hotels in other regions attributed growth to mid-year promotions that pitched deals as last-minute options.
“The mid-year holiday season is important for the sector. However, this year was atypical because the promotions that the hotels offered served as last resorts in many cases. Poor weather also scared off tourists to the area,” said Luis Villegas, of the Hotel Montaña de Fuego, located in La Fortuna de San Carlos.
Average Occupancy by region during mid-year vacations:
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rica’s Tourism Board – has an optimistic outlook for this year, expecting to reach two million visitors for 2010. The optimism is based on the 3.96% increase in tourism the first half of this year as compared to the same period in 2009.
According to date by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (Costa Rica’s immigration service) the number of tourist arrivals from January to June 2010 was 1.124.044. In contrast, during the first half of 2009, 1.025.460 tourist arrivals were recorded.
Given these figures, the executive director of the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles (CCH), Pablo Solano, despite the increase in tourist arrivals, the average occupancy rate reported by his membership has risen slightly over last year, averaging 60%.
Solano addedthat the hotel operators are positive that increase will continue due to the ongoing efforts by the Chinchilla government to attract more visitors to Costa Rica.
Tourist arrivals from the United States is still the most important market for Costa Rica, showing a 10% increase for this year, for a total of 468.172 visitors, 43.218 more than the first six months in 2009.
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:[email protected]
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.
Nos encantó la casa, excelente atención de parte de los administradores y siempre atentos a nuestras consultas, excelente distribución de la casa y su piscina es perfecta para chicos y adultos. Esperamos volver
The villa is great with a stunning view on the ocean. The pool was smaller than expected but still great. The management provides a very helpful website with instructions and recommendations on things to do. I highly recommend this place
Casa cómoda con su piscina, tenía sus toallas para el uso de la piscina. Bien ubicada a los 150 metros de la playa. Lo único, porque uno no está acostumbrado es que no tiene cochera, a los carros no les pasó nada los días que estuvimos en la casa.
We had a great time here! There were six adults and two kids. The family of four stayed on the main floor and the others upstairs. We all had plenty of privacy but also had great communal space. Beautiful pool with a gorgeous view. We took advanta...
Very nice stay with great condo and wonderful access to…
Ryan (review from Airbnb)
January 23, 2023
Very nice stay with great condo and wonderful access to a nearly private beach. Pools were great also and the surrounding jungle was full of wildlife.Response:Thanks Ryan!
It was a pleasure hosting you. We hope to see you again soon.
The house provided everything we needed. The pool with the view was fantastic daily. Kitchen is fully stocked. I would recommend a 4 wheel drive due to it being way up the unpaved hills. Privacy was important to us, and this house fit the bill. We...
We stayed here for Christmas 2021. This is a brand…
David (review from Airbnb)
December 26, 2021
We stayed here for Christmas 2021. This is a brand new custom home, really nicely designed and built, and very comfortable. We liked everything about it. The outdoor dining and relaxing space by the pool is awesome. Every room has ceiling fans and...
We really enjoyed our stay at this property. The setting…
Kriss (review from Airbnb)
March 7, 2023
We really enjoyed our stay at this property. The setting is beautiful, we watched a three toed sloth meander around for a few days and couldn’t keep up with the number of beautiful birds that we saw. The water for showers can be a bit tricky from ...
Excelente lugar para pasar un rato agradable, el anfitrión siempre atento a ayudar con cualquier necesidad que se presente.
Wildlife abundant and the surf was super for our entire week
July 28, 2022
What a terrific value for a beautiful 3 bedroom 2,5 bath with fenced in outdoor pool in backyard along with outdoor shower! Beach just 2 blocks away on dirt road w curious cows on farmland right out from front door. We love to walk and Dominical h...
Beautiful villa with more than enough room for our large family. We could spend all day lounging out back in the infinity pool treated with gorgeous sunsets and views of the Pacific Ocean. Loved the wildlife esp the toucans! Will definitely be back!
The location was top and met our expectations. Very well…
Alexandros (review from Airbnb)
March 30, 2023
The location was top and met our expectations. Very well designed, clean remote and quite. Communication with the hosts was quick and easy. Would definitely consider staying againResponse:Thanks Alexandros!
It was a pleasure to host you.
The property was STUNNING!! Our hosts were amazing to deal…
Adam (review from Airbnb)
March 24, 2023
The property was STUNNING!! Our hosts were amazing to deal with, and Henry was there when we arrived, we had late check in and they were there to welcome us with snacks and smiles! The wildlife was beautiful! I sat by the pool 20 minutes after arr...
This place was beautiful! The view from the balcony was…
Taariq (review from Airbnb)
April 16, 2023
This place was beautiful! The view from the balcony was amazing. The infinity pool was great. The jacuzzi was great. The beds were comfortable. The place just was flat out amazing. The host was great. They are responsive. Check in and check out wa...
Fantastic views! Loved the pool. Definitely need a 4 x…
Dale And Christie (review from Airbnb)
May 31, 2022
Fantastic views! Loved the pool. Definitely need a 4 x 4 car especially if it is raining. Perhaps I should already know this but being from Vegas it is not a problem for me, do not leave any food out ever! Ants will find it even if it is very smal...