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(506) 2223-1327                           San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 33                            Email us
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Economic predictions appear to be way out of sync
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There are mixed signals from the economy. On the one hand, the confidence of  a panel of business leaders has dropped 8 percent.

On the other, a job fair over the weekend hopes to fill 2,000 places for bilingual employees. And an established car rental business reported Monday that it is adding the Enterprise-Rent-a-Car franchise in addition to the two it already holds.

The business panel is a continuing feature of the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado. The panel consists of 462 businesses.  The outlook reported Monday was not rosy:

• Seven out of 10 firms said they would not make new hires for the year.

• Some 14 percent say they plan layoffs.

• Some 38 percent said they think the economic climate is worse than a year ago.

• The confidence index fell from 6.5 to 5.9 on a 10-point scale. The index measures expectations for the second three months of the year.

• Some 41 percent predict that the economic growth for the year will be from 0 to 2 percent and lower than the 3.5 percent predicted by the Banco Central.

• Some 58 percent see inflation being from 3 to 4 percent and the cost of living to increase by 8 percent by the end of the year.

The Unión Costarricense de Cámaras already has expressed its concern with the closing of some businesses in Costa Rica and statistics that show 228,000 persons unemployed in the country. The chamber has called for a declaration of a national emergency.

The job fair that starts Friday in the Antigua Aduana is sponsored by the Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo, known as CINDE. This is the 11th such annual event. The organization is asking Job seekers to register at its Web site in advance of the three-day event. At
least 46 firms are expected to attend.
A.M. Costa Rica montage

At the same time firms like Amazon are advertising on billboards in English for employees.

The minister of Trabajo, Víctor Morales Mora, said last week that the employment situation the country was due to some 60 percent of the job seekers having failed to complete a secondary education.

Clearly anyone who is fluent in English, Portuguese or some other languages will be able to find a job at the fair.

Other observers have blamed the disproportionately excessive salaries of the government for hoarding skilled workers.

It was Grupo ANC that said it was adding the Enterprise name to its existing brands, Alamo and National. The firm also will offer the rental car services in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The firm that has a 45-year presence in the country must be aware that the rental car market led to the closing of several firms in the last few years.

In fact, the situation in the car rental market reflects the larger economy. Tourists have become more frugal. The rental car industry in particular has been the target of claims by customers that they were cheated. There are Web site postings by persons who did not receive the return of deposits or the rental clerk found previously unnoticed damage to the vehicle upon return.

Many firms rely on the free advertising they get from various travel guides, but posts are disproportionately by the discontented.

Many of these firms and others in the tourism business do not have a consistent and aggressive marketing program.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 33

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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.

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
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E-mail :

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Insurance for: Vehicles, fire, medical expenses, workplace hazards,  machinery, properties and natural disasters. Visit and we handle all the  paperwork for your insurance.
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e-mail :
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Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2001
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Legal services

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Lic Matta

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Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

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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Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
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Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services
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U. S. A. phone numbers:  (213) 283-5168 
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Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
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pricing in many years! CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker & INT’L NAR certified Realtor Jeff Fisher invites you to see why the time is NOW to buy at prices way below original costs.
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       *$280,000 Hermosa PALMS Beachfront Community w/Ocean Views !
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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
JACO Office: IL Galeone Center by BAC, #14, Costa Rica

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
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In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó
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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $39,000 USD , and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion, be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear-titled lots.
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Scouting will celebrate 100 years here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Movimiento Guías y Scouts de Costa Rica celebrates 100 years Sunday in five locations around the country.

President Luis Guilermo Solís is scheduled to attend a ceremony at 9 a.m. in Parque la Sabana. There also will be local ceremonies at San Ramón, Limón, Pérez Zeledón and Liberia.

In San Ramón local fire fighters will help older scouts rappel from the tower of the local Catholic church.

Starting from Parque Vargas in Limón the scouts will parade through the streets.

There also will be a rally and a run through the streets of Liberia.

At Parque la Sabana the various age groups of scouts and guides are expected to show their various skills.

Father of parks being remembered

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats and others in the environmental movement are remembering Álvaro Ugalde Víquez, 69, who died Sunday. He is considered the father of the Costa Rican parks system.

He had a special relationship with expats because he spoke English, which he learned doing manual labor in Georgia before entering his master's program at the University of Michigan. He did his undergraduate training in biology at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

He was director of the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa and the Parque Nacional Volcán Poás before becoming director of the park system where he served for 17 years.

He also is remembered as a defender of the Osa peninsula and the Parque Nacional Corcovado there.

Time magazine named him a Latin American environmental leader in 2000. He belonged to a number of international organizations and was a consultant for the United Nations.

Fuel price computation change proposed

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's price regulating agency plans to revise the way fuel prices are computed. The new proposal will be presented to the public March 10.

The Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo is the state-owned fuel monopoly, and it has been criticized for the excessive costs of its operation. The firm has not actually refined fuel for years and simply imports the product and distributes it.

The Autoridad Reguladora  de Servicios Públicos computes the price of fuel each month based on international prices and the dollar exchange rate. Fuel prices have not fallen as abruptly as the international price.

Symphony orchestra to play in Sarchí

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional plays Wednesday  at 7 p.m. in the Estadio Municipal Eliécer Pérez Conejo in Sarchí.

The invited director for the free performace is Iván del Prado, who has led the Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba, the Orquesta del Gran Teatro de La Habana and the Orquesta de Baja California.

Tenor Joaquín Yglesias and soprano Keren Rodríguez will perform.

Traffic police on the prowl at schools

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Traffic police had 98 inspectors on duty when public schools opened, and they issued tickets for illegally carrying students.

Anyone who carries students for hire has to be registered with the Consejo de Transporte Publico. Police issued 143 tickets for illegal transport, they reported.

They also pulled the plates on some 167 automobiles for various violations.

Good screen name means more dates

By the British Medical Journal news staff

Choosing a screen name with a letter starting in the top half of the alphabet is as important as an attractive photo and a fluent headline in the online dating game, reveals an analysis of the best ways of finding love in the digital world, and published online in the journal Evidence Based Medicine.

The researchers wanted to find out what approaches would maximize the chances of converting online contact between men and women into that all-important first face-to-face meeting, using published research on the art of attraction and persuasion.

They therefore carried out an extensive search of relevant studies in the fields of psychology and sociology, as well as computer, behavioral, and neurocognitive sciences.

Out of almost 4000 studies, 86 met their inclusion criteria. The study findings were pooled and synthesized to come up with a list of dos and don'ts for online dating, from creating a profile to making an approach.

They found that the screen name chosen for an online profile is important. The lovelorn should avoid names with negative associations, such as Little or Bug, and aim for something more playful, such as Fun2bwith as this type of name is universally attractive.

And would-be daters should take gender into consideration: men are more drawn to names that indicate physical attractiveness, such as Blondie or Cutie while women go for names that signal intelligence, such as Cultured.

But it may be even more important to start a screen name with a letter in the top half of the alphabet, say the researchers. That's because several measures of success, such as educational attainment and income are linked to names higher up the alphabet, added to which search engines sort names alphabetically.

But choose carefully, say the researchers, who recommend looking at the profiles of other people you find attractive and using a similar screen name to theirs.

It goes without saying that an attractive photo is essential. But be sure to include one that features a genuine smile that crinkles up the eyes, and possibly a tilt of the head. And women seeking men should wear red as this is likely to boost the level of interest, the evidence shows.

And don't stop at selfies. Group photos showing other people having a good time in your company, preferably with you right in the middle of the action and touching someone else --but only on the upper arm -- will help to convey, respectively, your friendliness, importance, and status, said the study.

Incidentally, women find a man more attractive when they see other women smiling at him, say the researchers.

When it comes to the headline message, don't use complex language in the belief that it will make you look more intelligent. It won't. People are naturally drawn to words that are easy to remember and pronounce, and ease of information processing increases likability, the analysis shows.

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes R­o Colorado S.A 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 33
Real Estate
About us
Casa Presidencial decides to enter the online news business
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

These days almost anyone with a computer can set up an online news Web site.

And that includes President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The new site at Gobierno.CR is supposed to make information accessible for the population and enhance freedom of expression, said Casa Presidencial. It should not be confused with the real official newspaper, the La Gaceta.

Boris Ramírez, director of communication for the president, said that the news would be updated every 15 days.

Not coincidentally, the first edition contains a photo of Solís looking very presidential.

Former president Laura Chinchilla also had her own news Web site, but most of the media were not highly critical and just did not pay attention.

Public officials usually set up their own news system when they feel they are being given a bad deal by the established press.

Solís, instead, has been having a year-long
honeymoon with the major news outlets.
Solís and flags
Casa Presidencial photo
This photo decorates the first issue of the Solís newspaper.

Ramírez, in a news release, promises news, interviews and other news-like presentations. The first edition includes such stop-the-press flashes such as "Government Reaffirms Its Promise for Integrated Development in Limón." And Solís staring at the flags of the provinces.

The editor was identified as Mario Bermúdez.

An adjacent landowner has allowed workers to dig into the embankment alongside the ruptured highway to create temporary lanes.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo

Restoring Interamericana Sur may take three weeks more
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Highway officials are promising that a bypass at a slide on the  Interamericana Sur will be finished in three weeks.

The location is at La Cangreja at 35 kilometers north of the border with Panamá. This is a key highway that carries a lot of freight and agricultural products. A detour had been in use since half the highway dropped down a cliff Jan. 30. However, the detour has been out of service since Friday because of the poor condition of the road and rain.

The Consejo de Vialidad received permission from an adjacent landowner to dig into the embankment alongside the ruptured highway to create the temporary lanes.

Meanwhile, engineers are trying to figure out how to make a permanent fix.

Traffic officials are suggesting a wide detour, perhaps through the Constanera Sur and Buenos Aries de Puntarenas. And national officials and those from the Municipalidad de El Guarco are trying to improve the detour so it can be used again. This is a route that goes through La Estrella.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 33
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Law officers warn of an email virus that can hold a computer hostage
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators say that scamsters from afar can use a computer virus to hold hostage important data on a user's computer.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said it already has received two complaints. The agency said there could be other victims.

The virus arrives as an attachment as a zip, rar or cab file. The email message accompanying it contains some form of inducement. If the computer user opens the attachment, the virus installs itself on the victim's hard drive and is said to encrypt all the important documents it finds there, such as data bases.

When the computer user seeks to access the important data, the virus says that a ransom payment first must be made to some foreign location via bitcoin or similar to obtain a key to circumvent the virus. Otherwise the data will be destroyed.

The amount is at least $350.

screen shot
Screen shot of ransom note. Click HERE for larger image.

The notice gives the user a chance to see what data has been encrypted.

Judicial investigators suggest the obvious: That users should decline to open any suspicious attachments.

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
and time-tested tips
700 carefully researched pages  

Written by Christopher Howard,
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with 35 years experience helping people.
Click HERE!

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
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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 908
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,850. See more photos HERE!
Grecia  909
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,500 . See more photos HERE!
Grecia 907
Beautiful house for rent, near to Puente Piedra street . Very secure. Price $1,000 . More photos HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Coco condo
Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail:

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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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 33
Real Estate
About us


Winter keeps chilly grip
on much of United States

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Freezing cold temperatures hit large parts of the U.S. Monday as northeastern New England region began digging out of its fourth winter storm in a month, while the mid-Atlantic region and parts of the south were hit with their own blast of snow and ice.

Snow swirled sideways in Kentucky and the state capital of Frankfort came to a frozen halt Monday. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear urged people to stay home if possible. The state was expecting anywhere from 15 to 38 centimeters of snow by late Monday.

Freezing rain was forecast for northern Mississippi and snow and sleet is possible in north Georgia.

The nation's capital, Washington, is preparing for up to 30 centimeters of snow, in Boston more than 2.4 meters of snow have fallen this year and another 20 centimeters is expected by Thursday.

Along with the snow, the eastern United States is experiencing record breaking cold for mid-February. The coldest spots Monday were Watertown, New York, where the thermometer hit -36.6 Celsius, and Mount Washington, New Hampshire, with a reading of -37 Celsius.

"It’s getting a little tiring. I love Maine, I love the winter," said a resident of the northeastern state. "But this winter makes you question it."

The Washington area has dealt with tree-toppling winds and temperatures as low as minus-15 degrees over the last two days. With the ground frozen solid and temperatures expected to hover at or below freezing for the rest of the week, any snow that falls will be slow to melt.

People here can expect little sympathy from fellow Americans in northern states such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where some motorists have given up trying to dig out their cars and resorted to more basic forms of transportation – including their feet and their sleds.

As one bundled-up man said, "All you can do is grin and bear it."

Banking scandal brings call
for more oversight and action

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The latest black eye to the global banking industry, the British-based HSBC Holdings PLC secret account scandal, has heightened demands by activists and lawmakers in a number of nations for better transparency and accountability.

And fingers are being pointed at some nations for not taking action sooner.

Former HSBC Swiss private banking employee Herve Falciani handed the data about tens of thousands of that bank’s private accounts over to French authorities in 2008.

That information eventually became the core of the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ HSBC report, released in early February, showing 106,000 hidden accounts at the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC.

Falciani is slamming the British government for not responding strongly enough to the account revelations, which were provided to London via France in 2010. He says he contacted British authorities in 2008 with the data, but got no response.

The whistleblower is quoted by London’s Guardian as saying, "By that time, I had already declared and explained the problems that were happening."

Falciani added it would have been very easy for the British to obtain that information.

The HSBC account information has impacted not only wealthy investors, but political figures as well.

The only Arab journalist in the consortium, Hisham Allam, said that sons and close aides of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were among those exposed by the leak. And officials in other governments have also been implicated.

The use of secret accounts and shell corporations to hide cash and its account holders is hardly confined to HSBC. Another banking giant caught engaging in this was Switzerland’s UBS. And there have been others.

U.S. tax attorney Lawrence Brown says U.S. officials have started probes.

"The U.S. started criminally investigating Swiss banks in 2009, resulting in record fines and dozens of criminal indictments," Brown said.

"In 2009, UBS paid $780 million to the IRS and turned over information about their American clients. HSBC paid a then-record $1.92 billion fine for money laundering, among other violations," he said. "That record was broken in 2014, when Credit Suisse paid more than $2.6 billion after pleading guilty to conspiring with wealthy Americans to evade taxes.”

In 2013, Brown said, "More than 100 Swiss banks signed settlement agreements with the Department of Justice, requiring them to pay huge fines and provide information to U.S. authorities."

A year later, the U.S. Foreign Account Taxpayer Compliance Act came into force, requiring banks everywhere to inform U.S. authorities about accounts held by Americans.

While the United States and other nations have in recent years beefed up enforcement of the global banking system, and Switzerland has instituted some reforms, the executive director of good governance and accountability group Transparency International’s London office says that even stronger enforcement and louder public clamor for reform is sorely needed.

"Perhaps the most shocking thing about the latest bout of banking scandals – HSBC, UBS – is how little shock there has been," Transparency’s Robert Barrington said. "Outrage, certainly, but little shock. It is almost as though we expect large banks to be behaving badly.

"It is HSBC and UBS today, and yesterday, it was someone else, and tomorrow, it will be someone else again," Barrington said. "There will be an investigation, a large fine, a provision made in the accounts, and the bank will move on. Yet, we are all left with a bitter taste, a sense that they got away with it, and that justice has not been done."

Joshua Simmons, policy counsel for the better-governance and accountability group Global Financial Integrity, said that concerns over jihadist financing are forcing nations to take a stronger oversight stance on the banking industry.

"There’s really nothing unusual about what has come out in those cases. This sort of behavior was rampant pretty much throughout the 20th century," Simmons said. "It has only been in the past few years, since the start of the war on terror – and especially after tax revenue decreased dramatically as a result of the financial crisis – that countries have really begun to crack down.”

Markus Meizner, a senior analyst with the London-based advocacy group Tax Justice, said that it's time to make bank account and corporate owners’ identification more transparent.

“We need to establish firmly in international and national law that "ownerless
accounts have to be closed or exposed and that legitimate owners for bank accounts can only be only warm-blooded human beings,” he says.

Meizner, who says such rules are in place in a number of countries, said that the United States, where 2,900 of the HSBC leaked private account holders reside, remains weak regarding transparency.

"If a similar leak of a large U.S. bank were to happen tomorrow, the revealed data may not even include the identities of the real account owners, as was the case, at least, in the HSBC data," Meizner said.

He said that despite Washington’s new efforts, the U.S. is "where the transparency of company ownership is among the worst in the world," adding that the U.S. has "so consistently failed to police its own house."

Transparency International’s Barrington said the global banking sector has more work to do.

"Let’s hear our banking leaders make unambiguous confessions of collective failure, and commitments to collective change," he said. "Punish the guilty. A few individuals have been fined, faced jail, had licenses removed. But nothing commensurate to the size of the problem -- an even bigger problem if you buy the systemic corruption argument.

"If the banks accept the argument that their industry is systemically corrupt, then they need to act quickly and radically," Barrington says.

"If they don’t accept that their industry is systemically corrupt, perhaps the problem really is bigger than suspected, which means that the solution, when it comes, will need to be more radical, more painful and less inclined to listen to the industry’s own views," he says.

Lance Armstrong ordered
to pay back $10 million

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Disgraced U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong has been ordered to pay $10 million to a sports promotions company in a fraud dispute over cycling bonuses.

Arbitrators at a civil court in Texas ruled Monday that Dallas-based SCA Promotions should get back the bonuses it paid to the 43-year-old Armstrong during the years he was doping.

The company had paid Armstrong bonuses for three of his Tour de France victories. The cyclist was stripped of his record seven championships, his 2000 Olympics bronze medal and given a lifetime cycling ban in 2012 after an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found he used performance-enhancing drugs.

SCA had disputed the bonuses in arbitration courts for years, with Armstrong testifying under oath at a hearing in 2005 that he did not use drugs.  After Armstrong admitted to using banned drugs in 2013, the case was reopened.

The three-member arbitration panel said Monday the case presents "an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy."

Lawyers for Armstrong say they are appealing the ruling.

A lawyer for SCA, Jeffery Tillotson, described at the time of the court hearings in 2013 why his client was pursuing the case.

"My client had a contract with Lance Armstrong whereby we would pay him prize money if he won a series of Tour de France races in 2002, 2003, 2004. He won those races. We paid him the prize money because he was the winner and because he said he was a clean rider,” Tillotson said. “Now that he's admitted he doped and those titles have been stripped from him, my client believes it is entitled to the return of that money.''

He described Armstrong as "an extremely passionate liar.  He was cold and ruthless about it," Tillotson said. "There was no hesitation. He employed almost every trick in the book to embellish and make his lie more believable.''

Terror in Europe likely
to affect action in Congress

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Congress is in recess this coming week, as President Barack Obama prepares to host a summit on confronting violent extremism in American neighborhoods. Attacks in Denmark once again underscore the need for vigilance, and could impact forthcoming congressional deliberations on President Obama’s request for authorization to battle Islamic State militants.

Attacks in Copenhagen targeting a Jewish synagogue and a free-speech event appear eerily reminiscent of last month’s deadly terrorist shootings in France. As violence flares anew in Europe, U.S. officials worry radicalized Muslims who joined Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria could slip back into the United States.

Keeping track of the flow of potential terrorists to and from the Middle East is proving a daunting challenge, according to FBI Assistant Deputy Director Michael Steinbach.

“I don’t know every person there. And I do not know everyone coming back," he said. "So it is not even close to being under control.”

It is in this atmosphere of uncertainty that President Obama asked Congress for formal but limited authorization to battle Islamic State.

“It is not the authorization of another ground war, like Afghanistan or Iraq," said Obama. "At the same time, this resolution strikes the necessary balance by giving us the flexibility we need for unforeseen circumstances. For example, if we had actionable intelligence about a gathering of ISIL leaders, and our partners did not have the capacity to get them, I would be prepared to order Special Forces to take action.”

Congress is united in wanting Islamic State defeated. But many Republicans think President Obama and his successor should have a freer hand in the fight. House Speaker John Boehner:

“There is a war underway, and we are in the midst of it, but the president has tied his own hands and wants to tie his hands even further with the authorization he has sent up here,” said Boehner.

By contrast, the proposed authorization is too open-ended for some Democratic lawmakers, like Rep. Adam Schiff.

“I think it is very important we find a way to get to ‘yes’ on an authorization," said Schiff. "But I also think it is very important we not write another blank check. We did that 14 years ago with the 2001 authorization.”

Lawmakers will use this week to hear from constituents at home on a variety of topics, including the fight against Islamic State. Deliberations on protecting America will begin in earnest next week, when legislators will face a more immediate deadline: funding domestic security operations that expire at the end of the month.

Danish police had info
on dead terror suspect

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Danish media are reporting that the gunman who attacked a free-speech seminar and a synagogue in Copenhagen was a former convict who had recently  been radicalized, perhaps while in prison.

Police have not released the shooter's name but the media have identified him as Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who had been incarcerated for a vicious stabbing of a passenger in a train.

The sketchy details about the gunman emerged as tens of thousands of Danes gathered for vigils across the country. In Copenhagen, the prime minister and crown prince joined about 30,000 people honoring the victims in the bitter Monday evening cold outside the Krudttoenden cultural center.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Monday there is no indication that the gunman who carried out deadly attacks was part of a terrorist cell.

The Danish premier said the 22-year-old gunman was born in Denmark, and that police knew him for several criminal acts and gang connections. But she said investigators have not tied the suspect, who was shot dead by police, to an Islamic cell "that took him to where he was now."

Danish intelligence chief Jens Madsen said investigators believe the gunman was inspired by Islamic radicalism, possibly including the terror attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris last month that killed 17 people.

Ms. Thorning-Schmidt called the two shootings a cynical act of terror against Denmark. But she said the attack was "not a conflict between Islam and the West. This is not a conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims."

Rather, she said, "This is a conflict between the core values of our society and violent extremists."

Meanwhile, Danish police say they have arrested two men on suspicion of helping the gunman, by giving him advice and assistance. A Copenhagen judge ordered the suspects held for 10 days while police continue their investigation.

Police killed the gunman early Sunday after he opened fire on officers near a train station.

In the first attack Saturday, a gunman with an automatic weapon killed one person and wounded three police officers at a cafe. Danish media identified the deceased as a 55-year-old film director, Finn Norgaard.

The free-speech event was also attended by Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who is known for provocative drawings, including a 2007 cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that led to threats against the 68-year-old cartoonist. The French ambassador to Denmark, Francois Zimeray, also attended the discussion. Both were unharmed in the shooting.

Hours later, volunteer Dan Uzan was guarding a bat mitzvah ceremony when he was killed in the synagogue shooting, which wounded two police officers.

In light of the violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Jewish people in Europe to immigrate to Israel, as he did following a deadly attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris last month.

But Ms. Thorning-Schmidt and other European leaders sought Monday to reassure Jews that they belong in Europe and are part of the continent's social and religious fabric. 

French officials drew parallels between the acts of violence in Copenhagen and those in Paris.

Threats and attacks against cartoonists whose work has angered some Muslims began with the publication of 12 editorial cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005. The paper said the cartoons, most of which depicted the Prophet Muhammad, were part of an attempt to contribute to the debate about criticism of Islam and self-censorship.

The cartoons eventually led to protests around the world, including violent demonstrations and riots in some Muslim countries.

Two are jailed for aiding
suspect in Danish shooting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police in Denmark have jailed two people suspected of helping an assailant responsible for two shootings in Copenhagen, the motives of which are already being compared to similar Islamist-inspired attacks in France last month.

The shootings have drawn condemnation across Europe as an assault on free speech and democratic values.

Flags flew at half staff in Copenhagen and piles of flowers lay in front of the cultural club and the city's main synagogue where the shootings took place.  These images are strikingly similar to those in Paris last month, after three assailants killed 17 people in back-to-back shootings.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo traveled to Copenhagen to express her solidarity with the city and its people. She and the city's mayor, Frank Jensen, vowed to defend free speech and democracy.

Danish media have identified the suspected gunman in the Copenhagen attacks as 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein. Police shot him dead early Sunday outside an apartment building after he opened fire on them.

Like the Paris shooters, El-Hussein came from a Muslim family, and he had a prison record. Danish security services say he may have been inspired by the Paris attacks. The targets for the Copenhagen attacks were similar to those in Paris, where gunmen attacked a satirical magazine and a kosher supermarket.

The response has also been similar. Danish police have been out in force following the attack. In Paris, more than 10,000 soldiers continue to guard sensitive places.

In a radio interview Monday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the threat is particularly high in Europe and that France will remain on high alert.

The attacks have particularly alarmed the Jewish communities in both countries. The desecration of several hundred Jewish tombs in France's Alsace region on Sunday has added to the concern.

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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

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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.

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Playas del Coco home
Playas del Coco  Unique opportunity, multiple possible uses, project property! i.e. large home, b&b, hostel, rooming house, retreat, or business?

The property consists of 2,200 sf of construction, pool, bodega, garage, 1,126 m2 lot (adjacent 550M2 vacant lot available to purchase), and is only a 3-minute walk to the beach. Google @: 10˚54’23.80”N  85˚70’41.40”W There is a well for irrigation, in ground sprinkler system, 5,000 liter in ground reserve water tank, fruit trees, palm trees, shrubs, and many flowers. The property is walled on 4 sides with 2 entrances. There is hot water throughout the house. The property has municipal water, telephone line, Internet, and cable. The property is in a clean & up to date LLC for easy transfer. The property taxes are less than $600. on a valuation of approximately $196,000.
Price $159999. Less than replacement. Contact for more info & pictures: 6283-1172 CR  or 00507 6620 3201  Panamá.

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for birds and other animals. 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Fortuna view
Sometimes “distress sale” is a come-on.  Sadly, for this bruised North American ex-wife it is not.  She has a very nice modern- construction 2-br home on 1129 m2 intended for up to a couple dozen apartments with superb volcano view, short walk to downtown, all the amenities.  The existing 1st loan can be assumed but the 2nd has to be paid off, as do her other debts here, so that’s the distress part.  The irony is that their business plan was perfect, the place rents extremely well today, but she can’t manage it from a distance and doesn’t plan on returning to Costa Rica.  Asking $140k but her Costa Rica dream property is going to go to the first best offer with enough cash to clear her debts as well as clear her mind.  Her own personal bad experience provides an unusual opportunity at this time.  For interior pix: phone 506-8377-8402 or E-mail

1-acre beautiful beachfront lot
Power and water on the property A very nice tropical setting in Puerto Viejo, Limón. Choice location. 9 beautiful lots for sale. Each lot is $69,000 or offer. Please call Peter: 7122-3754 or e mail:

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:

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.

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:

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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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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, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 33
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
 Chinese official gets boot over bribes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Chinese prosecutors said Tuesday a former top Communist Party official will face a criminal investigation over allegations he accepted bribes.

The development comes a day after the official, Su Rong, was expelled from the party and stripped of all his government positions, becoming the latest high-ranking official to be brought down by President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive.

Su was a former party leader in Jiangxi Province and the vice chairman of the Chinese People's Consultative Congress, the country's top political advisory body.

Monday, the Communist Party's internal graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said it found Su accepted huge bribes in return for granting government positions.

"As a senior CPC official, Su defied the party's political rules, seriously violated organizational discipline and was involved in dealing out official positions, which had a vile impact on ranks of cadres and social ethos," said the statement.

The Supreme People's Protectorate, which on Tuesday announced the criminal investigation, did not mention any specific charges Su may face. But the official Xinhua news agency reported the Protectorate has taken coercive measures against him.

President Xi has been waging a sweeping campaign against endemic corruption, warning that graft threatens the rule of the Communist Party. At least 70 high-ranking officials have been brought down by the campaign.

Tens of thousands of lower-ranking officials have also been disciplined for corruption. The majority of the cases have been handled by the party internally, and are not referred to prosecutors

Marijuana can mimic narcolepsy in teens

By the Nationwide Children’s Hospital news service

A study published by researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found 10 percent of adolescents sent to a sleep center for evaluation of excessive daytime sleepiness with testing results consistent with narcolepsy had urine drug screens positive for marijuana, confounding the results.

“Our findings highlight and support the important step of obtaining a urine drug screen in any patients older than 13 years of age before accepting test findings consistent with narcolepsy, prior to physicians confirming this diagnosis,” said Mark L. Splaingard, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Columbus, Ohio, hospital and senior-author on the study. “Urine drug screening is also important in any population studies looking at the prevalence of narcolepsy in adolescents, especially with the recent trend in marijuana decriminalization and legalization.”

“A key finding of this study is that marijuana use may be associated with excessive daytime sleepiness in some teenagers,” said Splaingard. “A negative urine drug screen finding is an important part of the clinical evaluation before accepting a diagnosis of narcolepsy and starting treatment in a teenager.”

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From Page 7:

 Tax agency to seek names of shareholders

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tax collectors are trying to win the right to know the names of stock holders in private corporations. A proposal to that effect appeared in a recent La Gaceta, and there likely will be some objection.

The reason for collecting the names is so that the tax agency, the Dirección General de Tributación, can collect a tax on the transfer of stock.

Some lawyers have said that this approach needs to be done as a matter of law and not by an executive decree.

The tax agency is famous for issuing decrees that are beyond its authority.

Companies that do business with the government already have to disclose their owners so that no officials benefit from contracts. And expats who own corporations have to provide this information to banks if they have an account.