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Tag: Costa Rica

Casa Lapas New Costa Rica Rancho

New Costa Rica Rancho

The owners of Casa Lapas, our Chairman Duane Halverson and his wife, Mary, recently improved their home – they added a beautiful Costa Rica Rancho behind the home.

Casa Lapas was the first home constructed in Las Villas de San Buenas and the Halverson’s have been continuously adding features and landscaping to improve not only the look, but also the functionality of the home for their use, their friends’ use and clients. The most recent change was punching a hole in the wall of the garage and building a rancho behind the house.

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This home is located in the Estates area of the development. If you would like to own a lot near this home, please take a look at the Estate Lots masterplan.

If you are interested in renting Casa Lapas and its amazing new Costa Rica Rancho, please visit the availability calendar or Contact Us for more information.

 

Costa Rica Retreat Center Plans

costa rica retreat center plans
The survey for Costa Rica Retreat Center plans (subject to change)

We have always planned on offering more than just an affordable Costa Rica real estate option and with that in mind we are in the early stages of our Costa Rica Retreat Center Plans. We have designated the area we will use, pulling several lots out of inventory, surveyed the area, GPS marked all protected and old-world trees and will start work on the actual plans and models soon.

The actual retreat center will be located just outside the boundary of Las Villas de San Buenas residential development, but part of the original mother farm that was purchased over a decade ago. We have many ideas for the space, including, but not limited to:

  • Yoga
  • Executive training
  • Costa Rica Real Estate training and tours
  • Costa Rica photo retreats
  • We will rent the space, and adjacent cabins, out to those wishing to host their own retreat

The planned location of this Costa Rica retreat center is perfectly located adjacent to a quebrada (stream/creek) that flows throughout the year – even during the dry season. Due to the tree canopy, it is rarely too sunny or hot (it can get a bit humid – you are in a tropical rain forest after all!) and given the proximity to the creek, simply take a refreshing dip to cool off.

Another advantage of the planned location is that it is only a five minute walk to the amazing waterfalls located nearby.

Whether those who use the retreat center are there for business or pleasure, waking up to the sounds of howler monkeys, toucans, scarlet macaws and even owls, will be an experience of a lifetime.

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Given we are early in the planning session, we cannot guarantee details, but this is the current Costa Rica Retreat Center Plans are. We will be working with Osa Property Management on the facilities management. Stay tuned!

 

Located in beautiful Osa region of Costa Rica

Osa = most beautiful region of Costa Rica!

Las Villas de San Buenas is located in one of the most beautiful locations on Earth – Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula . Osa Costa Rica is considered to be one of the most biologically intense place in the world. Along with the largest mangrove forest in the world, miles of beaches and countless species of flowers, wildlife and birds, Osa Costa Rica is truly paradise. Click image to learn more about the immediate area and location.

mountains osa costa rica

 

We are located just 1 mile (2 km) from the Costanera Highway in the small, peaceful town of San Buenaventura. For more information about our location visit this page. 

Meet Our Customers

We our proud that we have had customers visit our properties from throughout the world. 

Due to COVID19 and the current travel restrictions that are in place, here’s a short video to watch and to remember Costa Rica by (and to start planning for your first/next trip).

Scarlet Macaw (Lapa) Photographed from Casa Lapas

There’s a reason we call Casa Lapas, ‘Casa Lapas’. A lapa is the Costa Rican name for the scarlet macaw. We hear and see them almost daily. Below is a photograph of one in an almond tree near Casa Lapa.

The photograph below was taken by Nick Halverson in May 2015 from the backyard of Casa Lapa using a Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-140 mm lens. It is of a scarlet macaw (or a lapa as they are known in Costa Rica).

There were four lapas eating the ripening almonds from the almond tree in the early morning. If you look closely at the photo you can see that this one has the almond between its beak. We planted those trees approximately three years ago and we now regularly have lapas flying in and eating.

Costa Rica lapa san buenas
Lapa (scarlet macaw) enjoying an almond behind Casa Lapas, Las Villas de San Buenas. (c) Nick Halverson

 

 

Shipping a Vehicle to Costa Rica

Shipping a Vehicle to Costa Rica

Submitted by Jason Mueller, who has lived in Costa Rica for three years and specializes in facilitating the process of shipping vehicles to Costa Rica.

If you have dreamed of living in a beautiful villa in paradise island, then Costa Rica is the place for you. Costa Rica has some of the world’s best surfing waves ,the most beautiful shoreline and a wide array of things to do in-and-around the coast. 

Why Make the Move to Costa Rica?

A popular location for tourists as well as expats looking to find a new tropical home is the town of San Buenaventura, also known as San Buenas, located in the Southern Pacific area (Osa) of Costa Rica. This town is about a mile offshore, but those who like keeping their toes in the hot sand will have easy access to reach the beach in no time at all. You’ll find great views of the mountains and oceans (there are real estate options for both) and plenty of things to do while in town.

Mountain views in villas san buenas
Amazing mountain views from Casa Lapas in Las Villas San Buenas.

For the golf lovers, the San Buenas Golf Resort opens their greens to those that want to have a great round of golf, followed by a cold drink. Golf in Costa Rica is a great way to soak up the sun and spend a day relaxing with friends. 

If you want to take in a bit of nature throughout Costa Rica, the parks and recreational trails offer a glimpse into the fascinating wild life in the area that includes monkeys, birds and many other wildlife species and best of all, the comfortable, warm temperatures welcome everyone to come enjoy everything that Costa Rica life offers.

The beach seems to be what many people come to Costa Rica for. The coast has much to offer, especially for those who like to surf, swim, kayak or otherwise spend time lounging in the sand and enjoying the ocean. Costa Rica is well-known around the world as the best place in the Pacific for surfing, and even if you have never surfed in your life, you can still enjoy watching others as they whip around on the waves. Better yet, in Costa Rica you will be able to find a great surf instructor and find out what it feels like to ride the waves on your own. Enjoy Playa Ventanas, Playa Pinuela or Playa Dominical, where the best surfing can be found.

If you’re planning on making a permanent move to Costa Rica, you’ll find many lavish villas, condos and even small houses where you can spend years to come living in paradise. Whether you want to rent or even buy a home to live in or find a plot of land and have a home built, you will find many options to choose from.

Is Moving to Costa Rica Hard?

Moving to Costa Rica does not have to be difficult, but you may find that gaining permanent residency can take quite a bit of time. If you are a retiree or a person who has a steady income stream monthly, and can prove you have steady income, you may be eligible to get a pension visa, also called a Pensionado Residency. Many people in the country on a tourist visa leave every 90 days and return the same day to be able to stay another 90 days.

Many rental homes are furnished, so before you start packing your home in the U.S. to have everything shipped, you may want to determine where you will live and see what you will need. Many household items may cost more in Costa Rica than what you would pay in the U.S., so take the necessary time to see what you may need to spend to purchase new items as opposed to what you will spend shipping things over. Customs taxes on household goods can range between 10% and 13% of the value of the property. To ship household goods, you need to hire a reputable international moving company.

Shipping a Vehicle to Costa Rica

Shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica can be affordable with rates that generally run between $1000 USD and $3000 USD. You will need some important paperwork including your passport and a

Shipping vehicle costa rica gravel road
Many roads in Costa Rica are gravel, therefore, four-wheel traction vehicles (4×4) is recommended

driver’s license as well as the vehicle registration and title. You will also need to provide customs with the bill of lading and an emissions test certificate. Taxes on vehicle imports can be high and typically range from around 52% up to nearly 80%. The newer the car, the lower the tax requirement for import. A reliable international auto shipping company like A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. will be able to assist with moving your vehicle to Costa Rica. Visit this page for more information on the shipping process as well as how much it will cost.

Whether you plan to be the perpetual tourist and wander from one area to another renting a vacation home for a while before moving on, or you want to plant your roots by purchasing a lot to build a home or by purchasing a beautiful home, condo or villa, you will quickly find there are many great things about Costa Rica that you will fall in love with quickly. With many options for living, your dreams of moving to Costa Rica can come true and soon you will see just how great life can be when you’re living the Pura Vida lifestyle that you can only find in Costa Rica.  

 

Thoughts on New International Airport in Costa Rica

Written by Nick Halverson / February 2017

My first trip to Costa Rica was in March 2005. During that initial trip, the local real estate agent told me about the “New international airport that will be built soon.” Here we are twelve years later and still not another international airport.

In my agent’s defense, there had been government publicity, an article in The Tico Times, with a map, about the airport and he was simply repeating what he had read. Again, in 2007, then-Costa Rica President Oscar Arias held a public relations event whereby he signed a decree to move forward with an international airport in Osa.

In the past 18 months there has been a lot of talk about a new international airport to be built in Orotina. From contacts I have, as

Orotina airport costa rica
Proposed design for airport in Orotina

recently as six months, after the formal announcement had been made, no wind studies or environmental studies had been conducted. I find it hard to believe that the Orotina airport is as much of a ‘slam-dunk’ as is being reported. The latest news is that we will all know more by the end of 2017.

Is the airport going to be built in Osa? I would guess no.

As much as I would love to have an international airport 30 minutes away from our development (believe me, prices would go up quickly!), based on what happened the past 10 years from Oscar Arias announcing it, to now = very little of anything has happened. Osa currently doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle a project that large. I could argue it is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. The large hotel chains haven’t built here yet because there isn’t a reason to without an international airport. The feasibility studies would show that the region isn’t equipped to handle an international airport since there aren’t any large hotels in the area. It’s a circular argument.

In addition, after the signing of the document by Arias, the people of Costa Rica voted on Costa Rica’s participation in CAFTA

Oscar Arias airport palmar norte
In 2008, then President Oscar Arias, signed documents in Palmar Norte announcing the new airport. It was never built.

(Central America Free Trade Agreement) or TLC as it was known in Costa Rica. The Osa region voted against the measure, and it has been speculated that in retaliation for not supporting him, President Arias pulled the project out of Osa. By contrast, Limon on the Caribbean side, voted “Si” (yes) for the TLC, and soon after the vote, the Limon Port expansion was announced (Limon Moin Container project).

Regardless of the real reason why the airport was never started in Osa is still up for debate today. I have spoken with Osa Mayor several times, and he is continuing to try and push the project forward. However, he understands the difficulty of getting the politicians in San Jose, four hours away, to listen.

Another option that has quickly, and quietly, been worked on is to build a new airport in the San Isidro de el General, Perez Zeledon. Although not technically in Osa, it would be a great advantage for owners in Las Villas de San Buenas. The reason why this would be great for Las Villas de San Buenas is that currently San Isidro is only 75 minutes away. I have it confirmed by several sources, that the Osa municipality and the municipality of San Isidro are in late planning stages for improving and paving the road from the southern area of San Isidro that leads into Uvita. When this road project is completed, the trip to San Isidro will be cut down to approximately 45 minutes.

Aeropuerto PZSan Isidro (Aeropuerto PZ) has numerous advantages over Osa for the airport. Several include:

  • Large population base (~150,000 people) that may use the airport for outbound flights.
  • With the large population base, there are dozens of hotels already available.
  • A very entrepreneurial region of Costa Rica. There are 1,000s of business owners in the region who support commerce and trade.
  • By building the airport in San Isidro, the Osa region would still benefit due to the Pan American Highway that is already in place connected Palmar Norte to San Isidro (by way of Buenos Aires).
  • Plenty of flat land is available.
  • The project is not just an airport. The local government is planning on a multi-faceted development plan, including tax incentives for business to move there and other project tied to the airport.

Here’s a video that shows the concepts:


Regardless of which location is chosen, it will be a benefit to us here in the Osa region. I can’t guarantee when or where exactly, although I would estimate that the timelines are at least five years away. The one thing I can guarantee, is depending on where the location is chosen, land prices will go up quickly or VERY quickly.

 

Costa Rica is Happiest Place on the Planet

Costa Rica has once again been ranked as the happiest place on the planet by the Happy Planet Index. Here’s their scoring of happy people costa ricaCosta Rica.

This is the third time that Costa Rica has been ranked at the top spot. They also were ranked as the Happiest Place on the Planet in 2009 and 2012. According to the Index:

People living in Costa Rica have higher wellbeing than the residents of many rich nations, including the USA and the UK, and live longer than people in the USA. And all of this is achieved with a per capita Ecological Footprint that’s just one third of the size of the USA’s.

Costa Rica is also a world leader when it comes to environmental protection. The Costa Rican government uses taxes collected on the sale of fossil fuels to pay for the protection of forests.

In 2015, the country was able to produce 99% of its electricityfrom renewable sources, and the government continues to invest in renewable energy generation in an effort to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021.

Come on down and see for yourself what makes Costa Rica such a wonderful place to live. Pura vida!

What is the Costa Rica Government Like?

Message from Nick Halverson

One of the first questions that is asked by prospective customers of ours is about the Costa Rican government. Typically one of the following is asked:

  • What type of government does Costa Rica have? Is Costa Rica a democracy? What is the Costa Rica government like?
  • Is the government stable?

The following information should give anyone who is interested in owning or investing in Costa Rica the peace of mind that it is a great place to own real estate, to visit or to retire in.

What type of government does Costa Rica have? Is it stable?  

costa rica flag
Costa Rica flag.

Costa Rica is a democracy. Their current form of government is based off the 1949 Costa Rica Constitution that was written in response to World War II and a small Civil War where 2,000 people died (or about the same number of shooting victims every year in Chicago, IL, USA). The Constitution of 1949 abolishes the military, provides public education, public healthcare and provides all the same rights to foreigners as citizens – including the ability to own fully titled property (unlike Mexico)!

In fact, because Costa Rica does not have a military (or air force), the government is free to spend more money on education. Costa Rican’s are some of the best educated people in the world with literacy rates over 95% and an increasing rate of bilingual (English and Spanish) citizens. I have noticed a big difference in the number of people who speak English over the past decade.

The people elect the President through a popular vote. This makes sense given the geographic size of Costa Rica (size of West Virginia) and its population ~ 5 million.

A piece of history: when the United States Constitution was signed in 1787, the population in the USA was around 4 million people.

Costa Rica is home to one of the longest lasting democracies in the world.  Costa Rica’s independence began in 1848 when Dr. Castro Madriz signed documents separating Costa Rica from the Central American Federation, and formed the Republic of Costa Rica.

The people of Costa Rica are proud of their democracy and their political party system is very fluid. Unlike the United States

Nick Halverson Rosibel Ramos Madrigal Hanz Cruz
Hanz Cruz, Diputada Rosibel Ramos Madrigal and Nick Halverson, inside Dpta Madrigal’s office at the Costa Rican Congress

where there is only two political parties that influence policy, in Costa Rica there are over a dozen. In fact, for the the 2018 federal elections, there are 16 political parties!!! This means that when the people of Costa Rica are frustrated with the policies being made, they don’t simply sit around and complain, they actively form new parties and then actively campaign for support.

Costa Rica has a unicameral Congress. This simply means they have one group of people in their Congress. By way of comparison, the United States of America has a bicameral Congress (two chambers in the legislative branch: Senate and the House of Representatives). Costa Rica’s Congress has 57 members (called ‘diputados’) and they are the highest ranking members of the legislative branch. I have visited the Congress several times and enjoy seeing democracy in action.

I have met two President’s of Costa Rica and the experiences were exactly what you might think they would be if you’ve spent any time in Costa Rica. Very relaxed, informal and pleasant. President Arias was at an inauguration ceremony where the government was opening a new water system for a community. I was invited by our Project Manager, Hanz Cruz, to the event who was there on official business as Vice-Mayor of the region. After the formalities, Hanz invited me to meet President Arias. I was nervous since I had never met a President of a country before, and I had seen plenty of videos of what it’s like simply shaking hands with the President of the United States in a public setting with all of the security in black suites keeping everyone away. In Costa Rica, it was just the opposite. President Arias was standing still, shaking

Nick Halverson Oscar Arias
Nick Halverson and President Oscar Arias when Arias was President.

hands and talking with constituents. There was one person next to him with a coiled wire leading to his ear (like you see in the movies) providing protection, but this one man couldn’t stop the hundreds of people that were there if something went wrong. Hanz moved me next to the President and introduced me in Spanish. They spoke for about 30 seconds and then President Arias turned to me and in perfect English asked, “What do you think of Costa Rica? Would you like a photo?”

We spoke for about 30 seconds, had a photo taken with him, and he moved on. I was amazed how accessible, easy going and friendly he and his team were. His English was perfect – he had taught at Oxford University after all.

The second experience I had was with a former President who I met at a restaurant during a private party. He didn’t have any security with him and if you didn’t know who he was, you would have thought he was just another patron. I love politics, so I took the opportunity to get a photo with him too!

Hanz Cruz Luis Guillermo Solis
Hanz Cruz (left), Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis and Perez Zeledon Mayor Jefry Montoya meet to discuss growth plans for the region (2017)

Our Project Manager Hanz Cruz is currently (2017) the President of San Isidro del General, Perez Zeledon, San Jose, Costa Rica, ‘Consejo’ (City Council). In this capacity he routinely has meetings with high-ranking officials, and recently had a meeting with the current President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis. During the meeting they discussed numerous topics, including tourism in the area.

Costa Rica is a wonderful place to live, with an extremely strong democracy, making a perfect place to own real estate.

See What Our Guests Are Saying!

Casa Tinamou

Mariana Madriz
3star rating
January 8, 2018
Nos gusta la ubicación de la casa, también que es amplia y cómoda, es un lugar tranquilo. Sin embargo, nos parece que la casa se encontraba sucia, electrodomésticos sucios, baños, el aire acondicionado en los cuartos hace un ruido muy fuerte, es u...

Un lugar espectacular

Veronica
5star rating
January 27, 2021
“Un lugar espectacular, propiedad muy privada y una piscina deliciosa, hay campo con bastante espacio, incluso pudimos hacer frescos naturales con los frutos de los árboles que hay en la propiedad, hay minisuper cerca, parrilla, y todo lo que se n...

Maravilloso lugar!

Jennifer C
5star rating
June 24, 2021
Maravilloso lugar todo excelente!

Un lugar bello y tranquilo, cerca de playas tan hermosas,

Yornelly
5star rating
June 8, 2021
Muy bello lugar y en general muy buenas instalaciones. los jardines bellos. La vista hacia las montañas hermosa. La piscina grande y linda. Un lugar bello y tranquilo, cerca de playas tan hermosas, como Playa Garza que se llega en bote y el Parqu...

Beautiful Home and Location

Hunter Henderson
5star rating
June 10, 2018
We had a wonderful time in Costa Rica at Casa Trogon! The house was quaint and homey, in a great location, and had all the amenities that we had hoped. The pool was also a great addition and perfect for those hot Costa Rican days. Nick and Abi...

Atmosphere, views and experiences were amazing!

Jill R
5star rating
July 11, 2019
Osa Property Management was super helpful in narrowing down our interests to fit our time frame. They had great ideas and organized super cool excursions for us. They really cared about what would be a good fit for our group. The atmosphere, views...

The perfect place for families, kids

Melissa M
5star rating
October 31, 2019
We had such a great weekend, is the perfect place for families, kids. The ocean view is incredible we also saw monkeys and several types of birds. The house is beautiful, the pool is the best to hang out and relax. Thank you very much for your ser...

Absolutely loved it!

Adina
5star rating
December 30, 2020
“Nick and Abigail at Osa Property Management were excellent hosts. The team was courteous, professional, very responsive and super nice throughout our stay. The view from this house was spectacular! Absolutely loved it! It’s close to great dining ...

Relaxing

Jessica Rey
4star rating
August 31, 2020
Nice relaxing retreat close to everything

Special getaway in the middle of the rainforest

Amy P
5star rating
September 26, 2022
Beautiful villa with the most breathtaking ocean view and an amazing pool! What a special getaway in the middle of the rainforest too. Ideal location, very close to beaches. Entire house was kept so clean and internet was great.

Breathtaking Views

Roxy R
5star rating
June 15, 2022
Me and my partner stayed here for 2 weeks. We loved it so much, we actually extended our trip by a few days. We are already talking about going back this winter.

Beautiful garden and pool

Judy
5star rating
May 28, 2021
Beautiful garden and pool. Roomy house. Bathroom and bedroom is spacious.

See What Our Guests Are Saying!

We would definitely stay here again!

Charisse
5star rating
July 15, 2021
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...

More spectacular than the photos

Ashley
5star rating
November 20, 2021
You can’t beat this place. It’s somehow more spectacular than the photos. I could sit on the deck by the pool all day long and look at the almost 360 degree view of the ocean and valley.

Next Level Home

Rebecca C
5star rating
May 12, 2021
This contemporary home checks all the boxes needed for a luxurious Costa Rican vacation. Home is so well thought out with views from every single room; even the commode rooms have views! Beds are comfortable. Kitchen is well appointed. Pool and ho...

We absolutely loved staying here!

Tracy P
5star rating
November 4, 2019
It was a beautiful setting, a pristine home, and so unique. It was so close to all of the amenities of Dominical and other points of interest, and was a perfect home away from gone for our family of 5. We can’t wait to come back!!

I will return

Adrian
5star rating
November 4, 2020
“We had a great experience, The host was available for out questions and we had a perfect communication. I will return with the rest of my family. Thanks”

Experience my family will cherish for years

Jim M
5star rating
February 16, 2020
The views, sunsets, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys and kind workers really make this a very very special place. This is an experience that my wife and children will cherish for years to come. Being someone also interested in moving to the area...

Muliti-Generational Family Trip

Barb
5star rating
November 30, 2019
We had a multi-generational family trip planned to Costa Rica and we were concerned about finding the right home for all of us. We enjoyed Casa Tucan. We were very close to Uvita and the tours and the shopping, as well as close to Dominical an...

Sin duda volveríamos a este magnífico lugar.

Joaquin
5star rating
August 24, 2020
Una casa enorme, comodísima, con todo lo necesario para pasarla muy bien. Gran cantidad de utensilios de cocina y vajilla. Las habitaciones muy cómodas, con camas confortables y baños limpios. Las vistas maravillosas, tanto hacia el mar cómo hacía...

Beyond Wildest Expectations

Tim A
5star rating
May 24, 2022
It would be hard to imagine a more outstanding and opulent property than this. Thank you Tucan Tango for a magical stay. Will definitely repeat!

Exactly what we needed

Michael
5star rating
July 10, 2018
We drove up to it and were greeted by the beautiful house, striking views of the mountains, pool...exactly what we needed.

Beautiful Villa with Stunning Views

Arden Guler
5star rating
October 5, 2022
Perla de Ballena is situated in the perfect location. Just a short 5 min drive to all amenities but in a very private anf secure place. Daily visits from Toucans, Macaws, monkeys and more. The house is very comfortable and has everything you need ...

Casa guacamaya

Priscila Prado Brenes
5star rating
July 29, 2020
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



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