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Cocal for Jan. 20
(506) 2223-1327                        Published Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 17                                Email us
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;ale Arenal

fire trucks
Cuerpo de Bomberos  photo
Firefighters displayed 43 new trucks Sunday on Avenida Segunda for a ceremony of delivery. Some 30 communities will benefit from the $6.6 million investment. What are called rapid attack vehicles will go to Alajuela, Atenas, Buenos Aire, Cartago, Ciudad Quesada, El Roble, Filadelfia, Guápiles, Heredia, Liberia, Nandayure, Paquera, Parrita,
Pérez Zeledón, Puriscal, San Ramón, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Siquirres, Turrialba, Upala and San José. Forest fighting vehicles will go to Palmar Norte, Pital, Tilarán and Upala. Tankers will go to Alajuela, Cañas, Ciudad Neily, Ciudad Quesada, El Roble, Tibás, Liberia, Limón, Pavas and Siquirres, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica.

Restaurant operators are sailing on troubled waters
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Times are hard for Costa Rican restaurants. Even owners admit the field is saturated with new restaurants opening frequently.

One estimate is that in the Escazú area alone there are 1,600 eating places, ranging from five-star, elegant locations to humble sodas. An Internet search for Escazú restaurants produces 108 results, but some are marked closed.

Each week there are announcements that restaurants or chains of restaurants are closing. The latest are the Wendy franchise and the seven Bagleman's outlets. Each closing represents a different story, but many agree that the weight of social security charges, aguinaldos and other mandatory payments are a burden.

Some restaurant workers note that much higher fines for drunk driving have reduced the lucrative sale of alcohol. Expats are among those very aware of the higher penalties, and some police have been known to stake out expat eating and drinking locations to extort money from under-the-weather drivers.

A walking tour of restaurant locations by reporters one Friday evening showed that some had little or no business. Even in upscale Avenida Escazú an equally upscale restaurant had three single male diners eating at separate tables. That is not enough to make the rent, which may range for some firms up to $12,000 a month.

A walking tour of Plaza Itskatzú showed only a few restaurants with a reasonable amounts of diners. Some restaurants had no customers during the peak dining hours. Several restaurants had closed, but one location announced the opening soon of a restaurant with Middle Eastern cuisine.

Editors are quick to suggest that restaurants are in trouble because they fail to advertise. That certainly is the case with Bagleman's, which hardly ever advertised in English-language print or online outlets since it began in 2000.

This is a good argument because frequent advertising does bring in the customers and can highlight daily specials or holiday offerings. McDonald's is a good example.

Still, there are restaurants that market in other ways. A few downtown rely on agreements with tourist agencies that bring

A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Dinner is part of the courting process.

in busloads of diners several times a week. Other restaurants have prominent locations and good reviews in travel guides.

Still others are famous for providing a unique dining experience.

And yet others bring in the customers with lots of food and lower prices. One of these outlets is the well-known La Casona de Laly in Escazú Centro. The place in an ancient private home has uneven floors and tables that are hardly elegant. But the place was full Friday night with a procession of expats and Ticos. Four people could eat well for a 23,000-colons (about $44) bill that included a couple of beers.

Restaurants just got hit with the tax agency's ruling that credit card processors must remit to the government 2 percent of every credit card transaction. The bite was lessened when the government realized the surcharge would include taking a piece of sales taxes. So the percentage became 1.78 percent.

Restaurant operators still are not happy because the law requires them to add 10 percent to a bill for a mandatory tip. This money goes to the employees and not the management, but the tax agency, the Dirección General de Tributación, still wants a percentage if the bill is paid with a credit or debit card. Presumably the surcharge will be credited against future income tax payments, if any.

That amount may seem trivial to most, but in the case of a big wedding party or other large gathering, perhaps with music and plenty of alcohol, the mandatory tip is large and the amount remitted to the government includes a percentage until the government realizes it has made a mistake.

Restaurant officials have been seeking some form of exemption since October, one said.

In the meantime, good business practices would mean ratcheting up slightly the amount charged to the customer to compensate for the governmental bite.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 17

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
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Legal – Financial Adviser

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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services
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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
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In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó
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trbel show stand
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo                
     Costa Rica was one of 500 exhibited from 150 countries that
     participated in the New York Times Travel Show, which ended
     Sunday. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo erected this
     display at the three-day show.

Ambassador loses position over posting

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An ambassador-designate has been fired because she posted unflattering comments on a Facebook page about the procuradora general de la República.

The woman, Patricia Gómez Pereira, had been named ambassador to Bolivia but had not yet presented her credentials to that government.

The procuradora, Ana Lorena Brenes. is involved in a dispute with President Luis Guillermo Solís and his ministers. Ms. Brenes says that she was offered an ambassadorship herself if she quit her job before the term expires in a year.

The dispute and conflicting allegations have been the topic of a legislative hearing, but lawmakers adjourned a special session Friday without making a decision.

Ms. Gómez was called before foreign ministry officials but did not present a reasonable explanation for her Internet posting, said a release from the ministry.

The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores  y Culto said that diplomats must act responsibly at all times and with good judgment.

Young teen held as armed robber

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 13 year old in Guácimo has been detained as the robber who held up at least two pedestrians in that area.

The armed robberies happened in December and again in January, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Investigators said that the youngster rode as the second person on a motorcycle and got off the vehicle to threaten robbery victims with a firearm.

Miss Colombia is Miss Universe

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega, is the new Miss Universe, after winning the crown at a glitzy pageant Sunday night outside of Miami.

The 22-year-old Vega beat out runner-up Nia Sanchez of the United States and third place Diana Harkusha from Ukraine.

A total of 88 contestants took part in the contest, which is open to women between 18 and 27 years old who have not been married or had a child.

Miss Vega, who studies business administration at a Bogota university, is the first contestant from Colombia to win since 1958.

Warning extended for Pacific coast

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Emergency officials have extended the warning for choppy seas on the Pacific coast to Thursday. The agency said that high winds will continue until at least that day.

The original warning came Thursday from the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología at the Universidad de Costa Rica. The highest seas were expected to be today about 5 p.m. in the Puntarenas area.

There also are warnings for the Gulf of Nicoya where similar winds and waves caused the sinking of a large tourist catamaran with the loss of three lives and with 106 persons dumped in the water earlier this month.

The emergency commission predicted winds of up to 25 knots.

Winds have been strong throughout the country over the weekend. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that there were gusts up to 75 kph in the mountains around the Central Valley and in the north Pacific Sunday. That's about 47 mph.

The weather institute also predicted a continuation of chilly temperatures at night.

Motorcycle driver dies in cow mishap

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hitting a cow or a horse with an automobile creates a major accident. When the vehicle is a motorcycle, the result is a fatality.

That is what happened over the weekend when a motorcycle operated by an 18 year old with the last name of Sánchez collided with a cow on the highway near Filadelfia. He died and a passenger suffered serious injuries.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 17
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Technical staffers from the 33 countries began meeting Saturday to outline the areas of agreement on various international topics. This photo was Sunday in Belén.

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo
Staffers begin to outline areas of agreement for Latin summit
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican officials are making major efforts to host the summit of the Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños.

The meeting of 33 countries already has begun with sessions by technicians from the participating countries.

The national emergency commission has declared an alert for  the Belén area where the major sessions are to be held.

The gathering is described as a dialogue among governments.

The technical staff has been divided to consider 22 topics where positions on topics are being prepared for the heads of state who meet Wednesday and Thursday.

The bulk of the topics do not appear to be those that the visiting heads of state can do much about. They have been listed as disarmament, governing of the Internet, development after the year 2015, climate change, finances, conventional arms, smaller states and development, the fight against terrorism and the strengthening of the Interamerican system of human rights.

The organization is the creation of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and Cuban leader Raúl Castor. The organization seeks to counter the influence of the U.S.-backed Organization of American States in the hemisphere.

Consequently, the sessions are expected to emit declarations that are counter to U.S. interests.

There also is an expectation that some initiatives backed by China will find consensus here. One of these might be on governing the Internet. China wants the United Nations to take on the job. The United States wants some control to remain with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Some free speech advocates think that China wants to reduce criticism for its internal censorship of the Internet, mainly over human rights violations. Many Muslim states want regulations that would prohibit criticism of religion.

Costa Rica is holding the gathering because it is the acting president of the organization for a term ending with the end of the summit. Ecuador will take on the role for the next year.

Some of the island country members have a major concern in sea-level rise. Others, like founder Venezuela, are broke and face unrest at home.

Presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Michelle Bachelet of Chile has confirmed that they will attend, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto. They are expected to arrive Tuesday.

Enrique Peña Nieto of México and Horacio Cartes Jara of Paraguay already said they would not attend.

Investigators seek evidence on allegation of newborn theft at hospital
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Dismissing the allegations as the product of an hysterical new mother would be easy. But if she is correct, the crime has frightening ramifications.

The woman, identified by the last names of  Ureña López, gave birth last week by caesarian section. She was expecting twins, but when there was just one infant, she wants to know the location of the other.

The surgery took place at Hospital San Juan de Dios.
Physicians denied that there was another baby. But the 
woman and her companion had seen a series of ultrasound graphics that showed the woman was having twins, they said.

Judicial investigators are taking the case seriously after a formal complaint was registered. Agents are taking the names and interviewing all who were present at the procedure. The woman's file has been taken by investigators.

A judge and a prosecutor are involved, too, said the Poder Judicial.

Hospital officials insist that security is tight and no baby napping could take place.

72 of nation's private schools reported deeply in debt to Caja
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials say that 72 of the nation's 397 registered private educational institutions are behind on the mandatory payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. That amount is 682.8 million colons or about $1.3 million.

The Caja has begun 34 processes to close institutions and 69

judicial actions to collect money. Just 10 educational centers
owe 322.5 million colons, about $608,500, said the Caja. That is 74.4 percent of all the money that is owed, it added.

The Caja said it also was starting 21 criminal cases against educational centers. That happens when Caja subscribers fail to remit the money that has been deducted from employee paychecks.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 17
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Scientists correlate sea temperatures with sun bathing green turtles
By the Duke University news service

Green sea turtles may stop basking on beaches around the world within a century due to rising sea temperatures, a new study suggests.

Basking on sun-warmed beaches helps the threatened turtles regulate their body temperatures and may aid their immune systems and digestion.

By analyzing six years of turtle surveys and 24 years of satellite data, researchers from Duke University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have found the turtles bask more often each year when sea surface temperatures drop.

If global warming trends continue, this behavior may cease globally by 2102, the study projects. In Hawaii, where the study was primarily focused, green turtles might stop basking much earlier, by 2039.

The scientists published their peer-reviewed findings last week in the journal Biology Letters. 

“By comparing turtle basking counts with sea surface temperatures, we found that green turtles tend not to bask when local winter sea surface temperatures stay above 23 degrees Celsius,” said lead researcher Kyle Van Houtan, adjunct associate professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. 

To conduct the study, Van Houtan and his colleagues used six years of turtle count data collected daily by the Hawaiian nonprofit Mālama na Honu on Laniakea Beach in Oahu. The counts showed regular, seasonal fluctuations in the number of turtles basking on the beach. These fluctuations correlated with sea temperatures at Laniakea, indicating that sea turtles bask more when waters are cooler.

The scientists then compared these fluctuations in temperature and basking to growth marks in the humerus bone of several green turtles. They found that the growth lines occurred at the same time of year when turtles bask more, between February and April.

The turtles’ growth lines are similar to tree rings in that they indicate periods of stress for the organism, said Van Houtan. In trees, growth rings can indicate winter, dry seasons, or
basking sea tgurtle
Duke University photo
Basking sea turtle

periods of drought. In green turtles, the lines seem to reflect periods when seas are colder and body temperatures are consequently lower, prompting the turtles to haul out on beaches to warm in the sun.

More research is needed to fully understand the importance of basking and the effect climate change will have on basking behaviors of green turtle populations around the world, said Van Houtan.

Not all green turtles bask on land, he noted. Though the turtles are found in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world, beach basking has only been observed in Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands and Australia. Sea surface temperatures at these sites have been observed to be warming at three times the global average rate.

It is not yet clear whether populations that currently bask on land during cooler months will adapt to warming sea temperatures and begin to bask exclusively in the water, as do some other populations around the world.

“When looking at climate change, which is this vast geopolitical issue, you have to drill down to specific climate variables impacting specific aspects of an organism’s life,” said Van Houtan. “The next step for us is to look at how turtles are storing climate data in their bodies -- in their tissues, shells, and bones, and how we can tease that out.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!

1,000s have benefited from 17 editions
with its insider information
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700 carefully researched pages  

Written by Christopher Howard,
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with 35 years experience helping people.
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La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
Every Saturday - Vendor Fair!

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Two houses for rent inside Sarchí working coffee farm. We will be renting out only one of them, so choose which suits you best.

Casita - Roomy, fully furnished 1 bedroom/1 bath/ 1 guest room, office or storage room. Hi-speed     WiFi, private phone line, hot water, balcony with lovely view across the Central Valley. Includes
linens, dishes, etc and washing machine. Rent is $500 per month plus utilities for 6 months or longer, $625 all inclusive for less than 6 months. Sorry, no pets.

Main house - Spacious 2 bedrooms/1 bath/ and an office w/Wifi. Fully furnished 
(except for TV), Sky satellite, private phone line, washer and dryer, alarm system.  There are lovely verandas with views of Poás and Central Valley, raised beds for gardening and lots of fruit trees. A well-behaved pet MAY be negotiable. Rent is $750 plus utilities for long term tenant.

Our farm is in a small, quiet and very safe neighborhood in Sarchí Sur and is gated and guarded 24/7 and we live on-site. It's totally private and quiet, but less than a 5-minute drive to Sarchí central and 15 minutes to Grecia.  There are great places to walk as well. More info and photos at

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 17
Real Estate
About us


U.S. Northeast bracing
for a major snow storm

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for many of the large metropolitan areas of the country’s Northeast, with heavy snow and high winds expected to impact the region today and Tuesday.

More than 60 centimeters of snow could fall in cities and towns from New York to Boston and into eastern Canada.

The storm system driving out of the nation's midsection also is expected to bring snow as far south as Washington, D.C. But the nation's capital largely will likely be spared the white out conditions that are forecast for points farther north.

Travel in the Northeast by car, train and air is expected to be severely disrupted as the storm makes its way up the Eastern Seaboard. Strong winds blowing off the Atlantic Ocean also may cause coastal flooding.

The expected snowfall follows a pre-blizzard mini-storm that dumped several centimeters of snow on some of the same areas that are expected to be affected in the next days.

Officials expect widespread power outages to result from the new storm, which will affect the lives of tens of millions of people.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference Sunday that this "could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city and we need to plan accordingly." He urged New Yorkers to stay off the roads and to "prepare for something worse than we have seen before."

Venezuelans take to streets
seeking end to food shortage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of Venezuelan opposition supporters protesting inflation and sharp shortages of food and goods took to the streets in the capital, Caracas, Saturday to demand an end to the presidency of Nicolas Maduro.

The latest protest, billed "The March of Empty Pots and Pans," was called to highlight shortages of goods and commodities ranging from milk, sugar and meat to toilet paper and corn meal.  Witnesses reported scuffles between police and marchers, but there were no reports of significant violence.

Ex-opposition lawmaker María Corina Machado, who was jailed last year after rioting left more than 40 people dead, called on socialist President Maduro to step down, so her country can unite in a national reconstruction process.

Maduro, who assumed the presidency in 2013 as the successor to the late Hugo Chávez, is facing a dismal 22 percent approval rating.

Venezuela's state-controlled economy was already in crisis before the recent collapse of global oil prices. The sharp oil revenue downturn has further devastated the country, which relies on oil exports for more than 90 percent of its foreign currency.

The Maduro government and its supporters blame political opponents for damaging the country's economy.

Honduran president lauds
reduction in murder rate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández says the deployment of special military police has cut the country's murder rate, one of the world's highest.

In a speech marking his first year in office Sunday, Hernández said the murder rate last year fell 23 percent, from 86 to 66 per 100,000 people.

He said the government is having success in battling international drug gangs and organized crime that have infested the country.

President Hernández thanked police and security officials for what he calls their courage and sacrifice, and said all Hondurans appreciate their efforts.

Honduras is one of the world's most impoverished countries. Its large cities, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, are at the mercy of street gangs and Mexican drug cartels.

Colorado woman sentenced
for her assistance to terrorists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department says a woman accused of conspiring to provide material support to al Qaida and the Islamic State has been sentenced to four years in prison.

The woman, Shannon Conley, 19, of Colorado was charged last April. The Justice Department said Ms. Conley and a co-conspirator worked with other individuals to aid the designated foreign terrorist organizations.

The department said Ms. Conley met her co-conspirator on the Internet, and he told her he was an active Islamic State member. It said the two became engaged, and Ms. Conley made plans to travel to Syria.

The department said Ms. Conley joined the U.S. Army Explorers to be trained in U.S. military tactics and in firearms as part of the conspiracy. She also obtained first aid/nursing certification.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents met with Ms. Conley several times to try to dissuade her from traveling overseas to support a foreign terrorist organization and engage in jihad, the Justice Department said. Agents arrested her when she tried to board a flight from Denver International Airport to Turkey.

A later search of her home reportedly produced DVDs, books and articles about al Qaida and other terror groups and jihad. 

U.S. Attorney John Walsh said Ms. Conley was lucky that she was arrested before leaving the United States. "Had she succeeded in her plan to get to Syria, she would likely have been brutalized, killed or sent back to the United States to commit other crimes," he said.

"This sentencing highlights the rapidly changing, shrinking nature of the world and the implications for law enforcement and public safety," said Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. He added that terrorist groups now have the ability to recruit U.S. residents to commit violence or provide other support on their behalf.

World Health's director
admits response was slow

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization has admitted it was too slow in tackling the ebola crisis in West Africa, leading to the epidemic spiraling out of control.

Health experts from around the world are debating measures to reform the agency’s response to global public health emergencies in a special one-day session on ebola.

World Health continues to be criticized for slow response and ignoring warnings from organizations such as Doctors Without Borders about the magnitude of the ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Margaret Chan, World Health director general,  admitted to delegates attending the special ebola session her agency did not respond as vigorously as it should have.

“The world, including WHO, was too slow to see what was unfolding before us. Ebola is a tragedy that has taught the world, including WHO, many lessons also about how to prevent similar events in the future. ... Never again should the world be caught by surprise, unprepared,” Dr. Chan said.

World Health said ebola has claimed more than 8,600 lives and infected more than 21,700 people, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

This deadly virus circulated for three months before it was diagnosed in late March 2014 in Guinea. By then, West Africa was being ravaged by the worst, most complex ebola outbreak in history.

Sierra Leone nurse Rebecca Johnson, an ebola survivor, understands the horrors inflicted by the disease. She said early treatment saved her life, and after three weeks she was given a certificate noting she was ebola-free.

“However, many people do treat me as if I have ebola. I was stigmatized and still stigmatized by people in my community. I sometimes seek out quiet places and cry," Ms. Johnson said.

"My final message for people out there is this, 'Even though there is no certain cure for ebola, early treatment is your best chance at survival,' " she said.

David Nabarro, U.N. special envoy on ebola, said the U.N. system must be prepared to respond quickly and basic public health techniques must be adopted.

“My experience to date tells me that for responses to have the greatest chance of success, they must be strategic, strong and speedy. They must be based on pre-arranged roles and responsibilities and they must use already established systems," Nabarro said.

"It is really difficult to establish new ways of working from scratch in the middle of an emergency and we found that to our cost, I think, in this latest outbreak,” he said.

Nabarro said local communities must be at the center of response to a health emergency, national authorities in charge of this response and coordination is vital to international efforts to get on top of a pandemic.

World Health said the ebola outbreak highlights the need to rebuild and strengthen national and international emergency preparedness and response.

Leftist, anti-austerity party
leads the voting in Greece

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Greece's anti-austerity Syriza party and its leader, Alexis Tsipras, appear headed to a decisive national election victory, in a vote lodged against repeated European demands for fiscal restraint in Athens.

Early vote counting Sunday night showed Syriza with about 35 percent of the vote, outdistancing the 29 percent recorded by the conservative New Democracy party led by incumbent Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Official projections say the final margin could be wider.

If the result is confirmed by the final count, the 40-year-old Tsipras could become Greece's youngest premier in 150 years.

It also is likely to lead to a confrontation with the country's international lenders over their continuing call for Greek austerity in exchange for release of more bailout money to help the debt-ridden nation.

But it was unclear whether Syriza would win a decisive enough vote to control a minimum 151 of parliament's 300 seats to be able to govern on its own, or whether it will be faced with forming a coalition government.

Tsipras has vowed to renegotiate the country's bailout loans, which totaled nearly $300 billion when the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund approved them in recent years. Tsipras also pledged to reverse many of the austerity demands of the lenders, including pension and wage cutbacks.

The creditors have insisted that Greece live up to the austerity pledges it made in winning approval for the bailouts.

After voting in Athens, Tsipras said the future of Greece does not lie with more austerity demands from its lenders.

"The message is that our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity, it is the future of democracy, solidarity and cooperation," said Tsipras.

Aside from renegotiating the bailouts, Tsipras said he wants creditors to write off some of the country’s heavy debt. Samaras warned that Greece could be forced out of the 19-nation euro currency bloc if Syriza assumes control of the Greek government. 

Syriza attracted many voters infuriated by the deterioration in their standard of living and ever-increasing tax bills.

The prospect of a Syriza-led government has made international creditors nervous and has affected financial markets.

The International Monetary Fund says it will not release another $8 billion in bailout money for Athens until a new government is in place.

Jailed outspoken blogger
gets more time in Russia

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Rights groups and free-press monitors in Russia and around the world are calling for the release of an investigative journalist and blogger in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

The blogger, Sergei Reznik, was found guilty Thursday of insulting a public official and making false statements and was sentenced to three years in prison in addition to an 18-month prison term he is already serving. The court also banned Reznik from practicing journalism for two years after his eventual release.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a statement that “Punishing and sending journalists to prison for doing their job is unacceptable. Instead of ensuring protection and independence of members of the media, the authorities are effectively limiting the space for public debate and the citizens’ right to freedom of information.”

Reporters Without Borders condemned Reznik’s sentencing and called for a fair appeal hearing in another jurisdiction. It said this outspoken journalist has been subjected to judicial persecution, with the apparent aim of silencing him.

The Committee to Protect Journalists also condemned the conviction and sentence and called on authorities to overturn the verdict. "We call on authorities," the committee said, "to overturn this bizarre conviction on appeal and stop persecuting Reznik for his critical writing."

The International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists and the Russian Union of Journalists have strongly denounced Reznik's conviction and sentence and also called for his immediate release.

Reznik was due to have been released in May. He has been in prison since November 2013.

The Russian journalists' group said Reznik's fate is clearly a new form of pressure on independent journalists, and warned this could result in journalists censoring themselves.

The union says censorship in the mainstream Russian press has already forced many journalists to limit publication of their investigations to blogs alone.

Bulk of Latin immigrants
reported living in U.S.

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

About 28.5 million Latin American and Caribbean people live outside the countries where they were born, 70 percent of them in the United States, according to a study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The document Trends and Patterns in Latin American and Caribbean Migration in 2010 and Challenges for a Regional Agenda concludes that emigration to destinations outside the region declined between 2000 and 2010 while intraregional migration flows have grown.

The 28.5 million Latin American and Caribbean emigrants represent 4 percent of the region’s total population, exceeding the 26 million emigrants registered in censuses from the year 2000. With regard to their native countries, 11.8 million come from Mexico (40  percent of the total), with Colombia lagging far behind with 2 million emigrants and El Salvador with 1.3 million.

In terms of destination countries, the United States ranks first as home to 20.8 million Latin American and Caribbean emigrants (70  percent of the total), which includes nearly all of the 12 million Mexicans who live outside their country. Spain is the second most-common destination with 2.4 million people (8 percent of the total).

Meanwhile, the immigrant population living in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated at 7.6 million people, which is the equivalent of just 1.1 percent of the region’s total. Of those, a majority were born in other countries of the region.

The study emphasizes that migratory flows within the region rose at an annual rate of nearly 3.5 percent between 2000 and 2010, marking an acceleration from the previous 20 years when they grew at a pace of roughly 1 percent. Argentina, Venezuela, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic concentrated the greatest number of these people.

The number of immigrants who were born outside the region fell between 2000 and 2010 in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay, which indicates that in those cases the arrival of immigrants did not compensate for the mortality rate or that group’s re-emigration. In contrast, in other countries the presence of this group of immigrants increased, such as in the Dominican Republic (11.3 percent), Bolivia (7.4 percent), Mexico (7.1 percent) and Panama (6.2 percent).

The document indicates that immigration from overseas, especially on the part of Spaniards, would have intensified during recent years due to the global economic crisis, but it was still a far cry from the high rate of Latin American and Caribbean emigration to Europe.

With regard to returning migrants, the document cites 2010 census figures from six countries with available data. The greatest flows were seen in Mexico (860,000 people, a number that could possibly include forced repatriations), while only about 100,000 people returned to their places of origin in the other nations being studied.

This report analyzes a sample of 10 countries in the region whose 2010 census data was available by early 2014. In some cases, these statistics are complemented by others from the United Nations Population Division and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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2446-0543           8898-9398                8314-8090

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498,000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135,000. Click
Grecia 898
Beautiful house in Grecia downtown. Full security cameras. Land 250 m2.  Price $400,000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

Photo one
photo two
Tambor three for jan. 15
Total area of the property is 23 hectares at $425,000. There's an option to buy 2 sub lots, the first one is land with no construction of 890 sqm at $19,900. The second, 1,700 sqm including a small house, for the price of $65,000
Located 300 meters from the south Jacó . First house is 110 sqm with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom,  private pool, A/C, kitchen and separate laundry. Second is a 120m, two-story house with 2 bedrooms, There's a small lot has its own entrance and is perfect for building  $280,000.
This 115 sqm condo is located four blocks from the heart of Santa Ana. It is a corner unit with a view of the green area from your living room. Two bedrooms, a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Kitchen is clean and modern. Home is in good condition, and ready to move into. $132.000.
Contact Jo-Anne  Cell phone number: 506 8310-2915
or through email:

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

La Fortuna Distress Sale
Divorce forced wife to return to the U.S. with bills to pay. Just wants to get out from under. Modern 2-bedroom home on over 1100m2 intended for apartments or condos. Easy walk to center of town, great volcano view. $140,000 with 50 percent financing arranged. On vacation rental program now producing nice income, but Costa Rica no longer in her future. For details contact

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
 PRICE REDUCED FROM $235,000 to $195,000
This is not an ordinary condo. Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $195,000.

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and


Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 17
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Time to prepare for those downpours

Someone sent me a link to an article:  “6 Steps to Make a Rain Garden”.  Make one?  How do I avoid it?  Wait, do they mean make a rain garden on purpose?  What a concept. 

Okay, I shouldn’t scoff.  Rain gardens control runoff, and they can be
Victoria torley
very pretty if planted correctly.  The problem is we have a lot of runoff, and this would seem to imply that we need a pretty large rain garden, so let’s think this through.

First, you have to keep all the water from running down the hill everywhere. It needs to be controlled, channeled, put in its
place.  Look for spots where you already have some natural channeling and plant things around that area that will soak up the excess – and there will be excess – and those things should have nice deep roots. Never mind that some of them will get into the channel during the rainy season, that just slows the water down which is a good thing.  If you have only one or two short channels, you can line them with rocks.  When that’s done, turn your thoughts to where all that water is going to end up.

If, like me, you have a fairly large property, you will have a number of different natural channels.  See if you can get them to merge downhill in an area where there is a natural depression.  [No natural depression on your property?  Go back inside, get a nice cup of tea, and let your neighbor worry about the runoff.] 

Found the depression?  Excellent.  Clean out the weeds and check the soil.  With luck, you will have dirt and clay.  At this point, I like to make sure the depression is 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) deep and line it with landscaper’s fabric.  Over the fabric, I like gravel and then some nice looking river rocks, but the choice is yours.  (In Georgia, my runoff channel was lined with rock and ended in a koi pond, but that was Georgia, and we didn’t get torrential rains.)  Now you can edge the rain garden with your choice of plants and even grow some right on top of the rocks if you like.  Papyrus is nice for a tall accent, local iris are a good choice and so is cardinal flower.  You might want to shade part of the area with a hibiscus, angel trumpet or red spurge to keep the rocks from heating up when sunny weather arrives.

When all the work is done, sit back and admire it.  Remember, you don’t have much time before the weeding starts……

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Day
The vine of the cushaw squash is as exceptional as the vegetable it produces.  The squash itself is very mild in flavor but the vine is anything but mild in its growth habits.  Here you see it dominating a flower bed – no, I did not plant it there, but there it is.   Notice the roses and heliconia?  You don’t?  Neither do I – the vine has them buried.  I would tear it out, but it’s still producing.  Anybody want a squash??

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From Page 7:

Newest resort is in canton of La Cruz

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's newest tourist resort is Dreams Las Mareas, some 50 miles from Liberia on Playa El Jobo on Salinas Bay in La Cruz.

Casa Presidencial said that the facility in extreme northwestern Costa Rica represented a $125 million investment. There are 12 other Dream locations in México and the Caribbean operating under the name of AMResorts, an Apple Leisure Group subsidiary.

Vice President Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría and other officials marked the opening of the 447- suite hotel last week at an inauguration ceremony. Officials praised the hotel for its 600 jobs in an economically challenged canton.

The hotel has eight restaurants.

“AMResorts is focused on expanding into highly-desirable destinations that offer our guests something distinct, and Costa Rica has been on the top of our list,” said AMResorts President Gonzalo del Peon in a release.

Resort amenities also include a 44,000-square foot pool, the largest in the Guanacaste resort region, a water slide, kids pool and steaming whirlpool. The resort contains a wedding gazebo and numerous reception spaces, said the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based firm.

Expedia, the online booking service offered a daily rate of $565 for a junior suite.