Microbrew Beer Lake Arenal

Enjoy Microbrew Beer in Costa Rica

When you are traveling thru Costa Rica looking for your dream property, be sure and stop in at Hotel Volcano Brewery on lake Arenal just outside of Tilaran in Guanacaste. You will find not only fresh made microbrew beer but also excellent organic food served in their restaurant. As a beer lover, I know that when I visit the brewery on lake arenal, that I rent a room because the beer is so good that by the time i have finished drinking my fill I am ready for sleep. Thank fully many comfortable beds are just a few feet from the bar.

Microbrew Beer on Lake Arenal

Microbrew Beer on Lake Arenal

Next to the hotel you will find several lots available to build your dream home. A number of green homes have been constructed by JP who will be happy to share his vision for sustainable green home construction.

Hotel Volcano Brewery also offers windsurfing and kiteboarding from their lakeside launch area. Plan on visiting the lake arenal area today to enjoy the finest microbrew beers in Costa Rica!

Cost of Electricity in Costa Rica

Compare Electricity in Costa Rica with USA

I was talking with my father the other day and we were comparing the current costs of living in the USA and Costa Rica when the cost of electricity in Costa Rica was questioned. Some items we discovered were cheaper in the USA and some where less expensive in Costa Rica and in the end where to live based on cost is a hard decision and depends greatly on life style choices. Of course one would be foolish to base a lifestyle choice merely on cost, as there are social and comfort considerations as well.

Great Brew Pubs in Costa Rica

For example, if you really love quality beer, you’ll want to live near a brew pub. In the Pacific Northwest there are hundreds of quality brew pubs, but in Costa Rica I know of only two, Volcano Brewery on Lake Arenal and another one up in the mountains of Cartago. Both of these small breweries create excellent quality beer but you can not buy it just anywhere, you must be close to the source, while in the USA you can buy great beer in all supermarkets everywhere.

The Cost of Electricity in Costa Rica is High

One choice we all make is to have electricity in our homes. Costa Rica has one of the highest electrical costs in the world. I pay twice as much for electricity as my dad pays for the same amount. Why this should be is completely unknown to me as labor costs and infrastructure maintenance must be less in Costa Rica. Perhaps greed or taxes has something to do with the high cost of electricity in Costa Rica.

Well actually anything of quality that will last costs a lot more in Costa Rica then the USA. The vendors always try to tell us that they make only a small profit, that the price differential is due to high taxes but this is usually a lie. (more…)

Nicaragua vs Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica or Nicaragua Real Estate: which is the best deal today?

I love Nicaragua. Its a lot like I remember Costa Rica when i first arrived here in 1989, when it was a laid back gentle country with shitty roads, cheap food and beer, plenty of gorgeous women, cheap real estate, and friendly people. Nicaragua has excellent long haul highway roads, about 2 meters wider then the highways in costa rica which means you won’t hit that guy on the bicycle! The people are friendly and attractive but real estate is not so cheap anymore. In fact due to a bunch of greedy land developers who bought super cheap and then inflated their projects to outrageous levels, its hard to find any good land from a local Nicaraguan at a fair price – they are all waiting on stupid gringos to show up and over pay for their property.

Nicaragua Real Estate

Many people dream of owning beach front property some where in the world with warm gentle oceans, tall cool palm trees, and brown skin maidens bringing trays of treats. And you might find this in Nicaragua real estate. The oceans around the south western part of Nicaragua are world famous for great surf so the gentle seas are hard to find although they do exist as I have been on a number of calm sandy stretches just around the corner from monster waves.

A surfer in Nicaragua

A surfer in Nicaragua real estate.

Thanks to Nicaragua 365 for their photo above.

There are a number of property developments in Nicaragua offering beach front ownership opportunities. I have not yet visited any of these, but have seen their web sites and read marketing materials. A number of these are at the end of long dirty dusty roads and have no real town structure near by. You are on your own. Others are close in and seem to have a lot to offer but again I am amazed at the high asking prices of these properties in Nicaragua.

I have talked to many expats who have purchased Nicaragua real estate and property and they have a variety of tales from being very happy to hoping to sell and move on with their lives. Some of the developments had improper paperwork and after purchase customers discovered that they did not own the property and were forced off by the courts. In other cases petty thievery and unpleasant mischief caused much heartache to home owners.

Of the most import is the fact that you will probably not be able to make any money working in Nicaragua unless you are a scammer. As a foreigner you are not legally allowed to work in Nicaragua anyway. If you want to run a hotel or restaurant you better hope the economy turns around soon and maybe you might get by, barely. If you are an internet worker, you should do fine as your customers and money are outside of the country. If you want to be a real estate sales person well good luck to you, it seems a great many gringos in the popular towns of San Juan del Sur and Granada are real estate agents and happy to show you overpriced properties for sale in Nicaragua.

I believe if you stay away from popular beach towns and major tourist cities like Granada, and you work with a Nicaraguan real estate agent, you may be able to find a good deal on a house or farm in NIcaragua. Just beware of the traps and pitfalls. Do your homework. Make sure the property has titles from all political parties and time frames.

Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica

Real estate in Costa Rica is making a come back now because the prices have fallen and many expats are frustrated with their home country politicos and wish to escape to the tropics to live out a tranquil and peaceful existence avoiding the police state and high taxes of the modern western worlds. One can safely purchase and maintain ownership control of property in Costa rica provided the land or home is lived in or watched year round, as their still is a problem with squatters. Infrastructure is quite improved with quality phone and internet services and many shopping centers where just about anything the expat needs or wants can be acquired locally.

If you are interested in buying real estate I suggest you take a close look at both Costa Rica and real estate in Nicaragua.

Costa Rica or Panama

Many baby boomers researching central american countries as a possible retirement destination look closely at Panama and Costa Rica. Both countries have large north american expat communities so there is plenty of information available to the newcomer to help determine the best country to move to.

Costa Rica

In the 1990s everyone was moving to Costa Rica because land and houses were cheap, taxes were low, and security and safety was acceptable. So many land developers, new high priced hotels and other tourist businesses opened up and everyone needed to make a buck so prices started climbing. Soon Costa Rica was the most expensive travel destination in all of latin america. Then in 2008 the world financial crisis brought reality here and real estate prices fell to what is now an acceptable level. Food and other necessities are still quite expensive in Costa Rica, but these costs are increasing daily in Panama as well.

Costa Rica offers mature internet infrastructure, competitive telephone systems, extensive roads and almost anything you can ever want to buy is available in Costa Rica. For duty free shopping the Golfito area allows you to save money on big ticket items but you can only spend so much money every six months there.

The tourism industry in Costa Rica is mature and provides hotels and destinations to suit any and all life styles and budgets.


In order to compete with Costa Rica, Panama provided expats registering as residents a large package or incentives including discounted import duties on important items like household goods and vehicles, as well as shopping discount cards accepted all over the country. And many expats moved from over priced Costa Rica to Panama in the 2100’s. But now many of these incentives are gone and prices have risen making Panama not such an easy decision. Also reports of increased criminal activities in the popular expat spots has put more retirees off.

 Choose Costa Rica

Now that daily costs are competitive, comparing quality of life issues, there is no question that Costa Rica is a superior choice over Panama.

MLS Contributes to Mortgage Crisis

An excellent article by Michael Simmons of Tres Amigos Re/Max in Costa Rica claims that the MLS system used in the united states is one of the causes of the economic depression the world economy is experiencing. And he has a valid point. Because historical pricing information is stored in the MLS System, home buyers can see the lowest price a property sold for, thus driving down the price of real estate where many homes have been foreclosed and resold for cheap by the banks.

In the article Mr Simmons tells why the real estate market in Costa Rica is still strong and stable with his two main points: most transactions are full cash payments and there is no MLS in Costa Rica. To read the full article go to:

Why Costa Rica Real Estate will outperform US Real Estate.

Well it seems they do not want inbound links to that article or their web master is not well organized because I have received a broken link and have had to disable that off site link. Perhaps if you really want to read more on this story on costa rica and MLS you should google what keywords you think will find it and read it! otherwise its no big deal, all these ideas that writers have and are used to fill cyber space with wet dreams are so much hot air anyway.