About Costa Rica

Costa Rica a land of contrast and enjoyment

Costa Rica offers an outstanding array of lifestyle opportunities for expats looking for a tropical paradise to call home. From cool highland mountains, warm and exciting central valley city life, low land farms to hot sexy naughty beach life, there is something for everyone in Costa Rica.

Life in the tropics, where days and nights have the same time year round, is where we loose all sense of time. Where one day leads to the next in an endless pattern of mornings, afternoons and nights. Memories blend together such that time overlaps, melts, disappears and new friends become old and all is as if it has always been so.

Costa Rica has many different areas that provide such variety in climate, activities, people, shopping and nightlife, that to read an online guide and then decide where to go would be difficult unless the writer had spent much time in all locals and was not under the pay of some local real estate company, marketing group, or book publisher. I can only tell of those areas that I have lived in, visited, or know of thru hearsay. My tales of costa rica blend together and cannot be distinguished from reality. The only truth will be your presence here, to see for yourself what joy or misery you will find in Costa Rica.

I live outside Tilaran on Lake Arenal in Costa Rica. A stunningly beautiful area with outdoor activities and sleepy night life. I wake before the sun and fall to sleep by 9pm. I do not miss the noise of city life, the wild parties and all night drinking and dancing. I love the tranquility and the easy lifestyle. There is not a single traffic light for 50 miles and only one or two actual stop signs. We drive with courtesy for others and give rides to strangers who live on our mountain roads and are too poor (or too smart) to own their own car.

At times I miss the roar of the violent ocean waves beating upon a white sand beach filled with bikini clad latin beauties and if so I drive the 2 hours to any of a dozen beaches in Guanacaste where I find pleasure in the baking sun and smiling interactions. There are so many awesome beach towns in Costa Rica that to name one or two would be a disservice to any whose names are on my lips but failed to make it to print. This is an area that you must come and explore for yourself as everyone has different tastes and desires.

I know Costa Rica well, having driven about 100,000 miles around this country on a hundred vacation trips over the years. I know what I like and I know what I don’t like and that’s one reason that I find it so pleasant to stay home in the mountains and not leave often. There is little that I lack. That is, i have few unfulfilled desires. When I lived in the USA I was always seeking satisfaction and rarely achieving it. There was an emptiness about life that I could not drink or screw or dance or sleep away. I found pursuit of knowledge, friendships, experiences, and material goods to be my life. But here in Costa Rica I find fulfillment in the beauty of my gardens, of the song of the birds, and the love of my friends.

What can I tell you of Costa Rica that you do not all ready know? There is only one truth and that is yours and to find your truth you must come and find your place in the sun where satisfaction smiles.

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. Continue reading

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.