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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Monday, March 2, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 42                            Email us
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Cloud accounting a boon for expats and snowbirds
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Times are changing. Cloud accounting is here and here to stay. It is scalable, cost-effective and easy to use. This is great news for expats, tourists and locals alike.

Cloud accounting means freedom, freedom to roam the world while monitoring one’s financial matters and business endeavors. It is nothing more than using software and services in the cloud via the Internet.
Software as a Service, commonly referred to as SaaS, can be the key in keeping up with Costa Rica’s fast changing tax regulations.

It's especially useful for those expats trying to managing a Costa Rican business from some other part of the world.

Many expats renting their second homes short-term here are not collecting and remitting sales taxes as required by law.  Ticos working in San José with vacation homes in other parts of the country are culprits too. Others do not pay income taxes if they make a profit in a business venture. 

Some are willing tax evaders. Others just find keeping up too difficult because they find accounting tedious.

The good old days when the tax department was lackadaisical are over. Those evading taxes need to wake up. Some apartment and villa owners are reporting that homeowners associations are turning in tax dodgers on short-term rentals. Other are prohibiting the activity if owners cannot confirm tax compliance.

Getting up-to-date does not need to be difficult or time consuming.  It also has other benefits. Renting property legally can exempt owners from taxes under Law 8683. Most people refer to this assessment as the luxury tax.

The answer to simplified accounting is in a single-ledger system. This means having one set of books in the cloud accessible by all the users connected to the system.

The accounting to run a business, track investments, and prepare tax returns is all in the ledger.

Xero, Kashoo, Wave Accounting, Zoho Books, Freshbooks and FreeAgent all offer single-ledger options. QuickBooks’ new international offering, QuickBooks Online Global, is giving the contenders a run for their money. It is designed for small businesses aspiring to save time and mental energy by simplifying small business accounting. It allows full capabilities to up to five users and limited functionalities for an unlimited number of others.

How does cloud accounting work?

It is simple. Just like all accounting, it is based on a chart of accounts, customers, suppliers, employees and transactions. The latter transactions, are made up of  invoices, payments, bills, expenses and other types of activity and documents to produce reports like a balance sheet and profit and loss statement among others. 

What makes it better is that these transactions can be input into the cloud accounting system by using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Receipts can be photographed or scanned and then attached to the transactions.

A.M. Costa Rica graphic

Originals, in most cases can be trashed. Yes, thrown away.

The tax department’s resolution number DGT-02-09 of 2009 and clarification AIA-I-013-2010 states in summary that as long as documents are kept in good conservation with adequate backup procedures they do not need to be physical. They can be stored digitally. 

Keeping one’s own backup system is very expensive. However, nowadays, there are a multitude of cloud backup options. The key players in this area are Amazon, Google, Dropbox, and Box. There are many others. New companies are emerging all the time to fill in the gaps where the leaders are weak. This is especially true in the area backup services.

Google is one of the pioneers of these new services and one of the least expensive. Microsoft has only recently in the last few years decided it should get on the bandwagon with its OneDrive and Office 365 offerings. 

Several owners of luxury villas in Playas del Coco have converted their entire rental operation to digital. All accounting is done in the cloud. All paper is scanned and attached to transactions. The partners in the villas live in different parts of the world. They all have access to the system and keep tabs on it daily.

SaaS is not just for small business. A foreign cattle rancher with a big operation in Costa Rica moved his entire accounting into the cloud using a different twist. He uses QuickBooks Enterprise, a desktop based system, and hosted it with Elucentra Cloud Services.

His employees use smartphones to send accounting documents to an independent accounting office run by certified public accountant Kevin Chavarria located in San José. He is a pioneer in QuickBooks hosted desktop.

All this may sound a bit techie for some, but really it is not. It is all pretty simple stuff, and it is getting easier to use by the day. 

In almost all areas of business, it is now possible to get rid of paper entirely. Digital documents are simpler, easier to store and send, more searchable and more versatile than paper. It has taken almost a decade but online accounting solutions are closer to rivaling more complicated desktop systems. 

Expats should dump the paper, move into the cloud, and manage business from anywhere as they join the freedom revolution.

Garland M. Baker, a certified international property specialist, is a 45-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica. His firm’s team provides multidisciplinary professional services to the country’s international community.  Reach him at  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at, a free reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2015. Use without permission prohibited.

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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.


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State secret excuse suffers setback

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A lawmaker says that he will present a bill that will define the county's state secrets.

The announcement comes from Rolando González Ulloa of the Partido Liberación Nacional. The impetus is the repeated use by the Luis Guillermo Solís administration of the term to hide information.

The administration suffered a setback Friday when the Poder Judicial announced that the Sala IV constitutional court once again told Cristina Ramírez,  to give a reporter the statistic on the number of inmates in the nation's prisons. She had claimed the information was a state secret.

The Sala IV already had ordered her to give the information to a La Nación reporter, but her Ministerio de Justicia y Paz that runs the prisons appealed for clarification.

The court said it did not see how providing this information would damage the state security.

Casa Presidencial used the same excuse last week for failing to provide a reporter the list of visitors at the executive offices. Such information usually is public.

González Ulloa said he would like to know who was visiting, too.  Casa Presidencial said that the list might contain the names of confidential informants who visited the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad del Estado that has offices in the same building in Zapote.

Lawmakers said then that the excuse was not plausible.

Robbers victimize priests, food workers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Robbers invaded a Roman Catholic rectory Friday night and others knocked over a fast food restaurant early Saturday, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The rectory was in El Coyol de Alajuela. Two priests, 34 and 50 were there when two masked men forced their way in. They tied up the priests, threatened them and tried to learn the location of a safe.  There was no safe, judicial police said.

The crooks did take a computer, a cell phone and the wallets of the priests, investigators said.

The restaurant was in a commercial center in  San Antonio de Coronado. Three employees opening the restaurant abut 7 a.m. Saturday were confronted by gunmen.

There was a safe in the store, and the manager was obligated to open it by the gunmen. The crooks got away with nearly 2 million colons, about $3,700.

Officers injured breaking up blockade

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Residents of  Pitahaya de Puntarenas, upset over the condition of a local road, blocked the Interamericana Norte from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

When police tried to break up the blockade, they were met with a shower of rocks and others objects.  Three police officers sustained injuries, said the Fuerza Pública. Two residents were detained, officers said.

One officers who was hit square in the mouth required treatment at a hospital, officers said.

New driving manual goes on sale

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats unlucky enough to have to take the written test for vehicle licensing have a new manual.

The ninth edition of the driving text goes on sale today at book stores authorized the Universidad Estatal a Distancia. The book has grown from  117 to 221 pages. The cost is 5,000 colons, a bit less than $10.

Expats who do not have a valid license from one of the countries that have an agreement with Costa Rica have to take a lecture course, pass a written exam and a road test.

March 13 will be the last test that contains material from the eighth edition, said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

The libraries that are carrying the book are less-well known firms associated with the university. Eventually sales will be more widespread.

Our readers' opinions
He is convinced humans are the cause

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

You ask, in your editorial, why Costa Rica should attempt to become carbon neutral, while we live amidst volcanos venting all manner of gases into our atmosphere.

There is nothing we can do about volcanos yet, but that does not give the government, or any of us, an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for factors we can influence.​

In response to Mr. Bill Pitts and Mr. Albert Lusk, there may be some in the consensus - and it is indeed a consensus - who hate fossil fuel energy, some "anti-capitalists" (whatever that means), and a few ambitious and unprincipled scientists trying to get ahead (or sponsorship), but not many.

I am a capitalist, love fossil fuel energy and have no wish to be published in any scientific journal! And I am firmly convinced that man's activities are harming our environment and compromising our future enjoyment of reasonably clean air and water.

However I do believe that all this argument is a waste of time, especially in the hyper-polarized environment gripping North America. But I must commend you, sir, for your common sense exhortation to simply get on with cleaning the planet up.
Mark Rhys
Santa Barbara, Heredia

No one wants to make a sacrifice

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It seems to me that the Wednesday editorial by Jay Brodell is based on cherry picking the information we (the general population) are receiving from the science community. We easily accept 99.9 percent of the science including hard to understand issues like quantum mechanics because we know that the science is behind a lot of goodies we like to have around (plus the atomic bombs). It is harder to accept something that requires some sacrifices and a lifestyle change, but we all have to do it otherwise our descendants will think of us as monsters.
Victor Nicolescu
Ramsey, New Jersey

Dress on the Internet causes a sensation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new dress by British retailer Roman Originals attracted the world's attention when an international survey showed that people looking at it on the Internet could not agree on what color it is.

Some say it's blue and black. Others go with white and gold. Still others offer slight variations on those pairings.

So what are the true colors? Images uploaded on various social media Web
the dress
Voice of Aemrica photo
The Dress
sites caused a worldwide debate Friday, with many celebrities voicing support for one camp or another.

The photo also got some people worrying about whether they needed to see an eye doctor, especially after the British retailer gave a definite answer.

"I would like to definitely resolve this big enigma by clarifying that the color is royal blue and black," Michele Bastock, the design director at Roman Originals, told The Associated Press:

"It is not white and gold at
all. But we are happy to put into production the white and gold if the demand comes along."

Optometry experts say the photo is a perfect example of how people's brains perceive color and process contrast in dramatically different ways.

"The visual system is very complex between males and females, or just between individuals," Ramin Rabbani, a California ophthalmologist, told ABC. "So context has to do with, lighting has to do with how we see things, and ultimately our brain is what interprets."

Managers at Roman Originals said they had no idea that the dress, shot in a particular light, might be perceived in different color schemes — not until Friday, anyway, when they were flooded by phone calls and emails. The retailer said there were a million hits on its sales site in the first 18 hours following the photo's distribution.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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U.S. Tax new ad
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 42
Real Estate
About us
Private power generating being sabotaged, solar representative says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A decision on solar power by the nation's regulatory agency has a local firm suggesting that government interests are sabotaging the idea.

The regulator is the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos. According to Paul Furlong of CRSolar, the agency has approved an unfair tariff that only will benefit large commercial companies.

His firm sells and installs solar panels.

The tariffs involve homeowners and businesses that put solar panels on the roof to generate electricity themselves.  The plan has been that the power utility would compensate those who invest in solar panels for any excess that is put into the national grid.

Furlong said that regulations approved Thursday actually charge those with solar panels for the electricity they produce. The Autoridad Reguladora issued a press release Friday that is at best ambiguous on this point.

The board of directors established unanimously the mechanism to calculate the tariffs for generation with alternative sources, including solar, wind, bio systems and similar, said the release

Furlong said the tariffs are what the persons generating the alternative energy have to pay, not what the power utility has to pay them.

The regulatory agency did not release the text of the decision, but the document soon will be published in the La Gaceta official newspaper.

There also are a series of hearings scheduled around the country at 5 p.m. today on the topic, said Furlong.

The regulating agency wants to charge solar producers by the kilowatt, said Furlong, adding: "This means they’ll charge you for your savings on electric consumption, about 25 percent of what you’d have paid if you just bought it straight from the power company!  Such a deal!"

Furlong said that he believes the tariff will be 27 colons for every kilowatt used, no matter if solar panels produce it or if it comes from a power company like the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

"In other words, they’re charging us for the loss of income they have because we decided to produce our own electricity using solar panels" he said.  

He said this approach will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

A rider tries to stay on a bull despite every effort by the animal to dislodge him in this undated photo used for illustration.

The sport is very dangerous, and sometimes bulls attack riders once they fall off. In this case, the rider is not even wearing a helmet, which is required by some arenas.

bull riding
Partido Liberación Nacional photo

Lawmakers seek to designate Guanacaste traditions as national heritage
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers from two political parties are sponsoring a bill that would enshrine as national heritage certain traditions from Guanacaste.

The proposal addresses bull riding, called montadera de toros al estilo rústico Guanacasteco, and carreras de cintas. The carrera is an ancient competition on horseback that has been imported from Spain. Riders try to snatch dangling material as they ride by a full gallop.

The proposal also seeks to designate the 100-year-old Plaza
Los Mangos de Santa Cruz as an historic site.
Also on the list are the topes de toros or bull parades into the arena.

Sponsoring the bills are Johnny Leiva of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana and Marta Arauz Mora and Juan Marín Quirós, both of the Partido Liberación Nacional.

The bill is No. 19.487.

Bull riding and the carrera de cintas may have originated in Guanacaste, but the sports are all over the country now.

No fiesta would be complete without bull riding and that unique Costa Rican bull baiting.

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, Monday, March 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 42
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Road is open

Highway officials report that the temporary route on the Interamericana Sur is now open after having been closed for a month due to a massive slide. This is the location at La Cangreja at kilometer 33 of the important highway.

Workers finally got asphalt down on a new lane that had been dug into the mountain alongside the road.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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
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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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beach view
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
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English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
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English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
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Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
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Grecia 908
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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)

House near Pops
House for rent by Pops in Sabana
Conveniently located on the main road in Sabana 250 meters west from Pops Sabana. Alarm installed and fenced. Outside parking for 7 cars and 2 additional. Two story house, each 200m2, total of 400 m2. All services. Indoor garage for 4 cars. Large areas and patio. Roofed terraces. Rent $2,800. Contact: Gerardo Ortuño, 8820-0640 or 2253-3613. Email:

Paseo Colon tower
Torres Paseo Colon
Common areas of entertainment and internal parking. Office on the 5th floor reception, storage and monthly maintenance included, 2 parking spaces per office. Area 60 m2 per office (I have 2 offices)
Security building with reception 1st floor. Rent $900 without remodeling Contact: Gerardo Ortuño at 8820-0640 or 2253-3613 Email:

Honeymoon cottage overlooking river.
Near mountain town of San Isidro del General, elegantly furnished, orthopaedic bed, big kitchen, nice deck, WIFI, cable TV. Rare birds
Honeymoon cottage
in abundance. 10 minutes to town. 40 minutes to beach. Perfect  weather.  $45 per day.  Discount to 40 percent for month.  To see more please click HERE!  and enter #969365.   For more information, contact James. Email:

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.

Real Estate
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Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 42
Real Estate
About us


Netanyahu speech seen
straining White House ties

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An increasingly-strained relationship between the Obama administration and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu will be on display this week as the prime minister visits Washington to address a joint meeting of Congress.

Netanyahu will decry a potential accord on Iran’s nuclear program in a speech organized by House Speaker John Boehner without White House consultation, sparking controversy in Washington and Jerusalem.

Netanyahu insists he respects President Barack Obama, but adds:

“It is my obligation to see to the security of Israel," he said. "Therefore, we strongly oppose the agreement being formulated with Iran and the major powers, which would endanger our very existence.”

Vice President Joe Biden and several Democratic lawmakers will not attend Netanyahu’s address Tuesday, and the prime minister’s itinerary does not include a visit to the White House.  Even so, Secretary of State John Kerry is downplaying any lasting damage to U.S.-Israeli relations.

“The prime minister is welcome in the United States at any time.  We have an unparalleled, close security relationship with Israel,” said Kerry.

But whatever case the prime minister makes, it will not shake the Obama administration’s belief that negotiations with Iran are worth pursuing.

"We have slowed, even set back, Iran’s nuclear program," he said. "And we are going to continue now to the next step to see - I cannot promise you we can - but we are going to test whether or not diplomacy can prevent this weapon from being created, so you do not have to turn to additional measures, including the possibility of a military confrontation.”

Speaker Boehner’s invitation to a foreign leader without consulting the White House is an unusual, and some would say inflammatory, move.  Boehner has been unapologetic.

“I wanted the prime minister to come here," said Boehner. "There is a serious threat facing the world, and radical Islamic terrorists are not going to go away.  These are important messages that the Congress needs to hear and the American people need to hear.”

“I believe that America is a country that is for freedom of speech, so I think the prime minister has a right to say what he wants to say like everybody else has a right to say what they want to say,” said Anthony Simon who lives in Jerusalem.

Another Jerusalem resident, Mati Simantov, said he thought it was not good for Israel's relations with the United States.

"We have to be in a good position with the United States.  They are friends, probably our only friends in the world, so we have to be very gentle with them," he said.

The perception of a U.S.-Israeli rift has not gone unnoticed in Iran, where Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Netanyahu of scare-mongering and standing in the way of peace.  

Three British teens seen
on video en route to Syria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Three teenage British girls suspected of traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State terrorist group have appeared on surveillance video in Turkey.

Turkish media reports said the images show the teens boarding a bus in Istanbul. It is the first reported sighting of the girls since they left London almost two weeks ago.

Authorities have said they have no reason to believe the girls are still in Turkey, and believe they have crossed into neighboring Syria, parts of which have been taken over by the Islamist terror group.

The three east London classmates, Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, boarded a Turkish Airlines plane from London's Gatwick Airport to Istanbul Feb. 17.

The two-minute video purportedly shows the three girls walking in and out of three separate bus operator offices over a period of 17 hours on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 at the terminal in Istanbul's Esenler district.

Security officials say at least 500 Britons have traveled to Syria to fight with extremists, often via Turkey.

Radical Islamists are prone
to destroy, citing the Quran

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There seems to be no limit to the atrocities committed by radical Islamists in their intent to create a world designed according to their own interpretation of Islam.  As Islamic State militants continue on their destructive path, experts say they are ready to destroy anyone or anything that does not fit into their vision.

Islamic State released a video on Thursday purportedly showing militants destroying ancient artifacts in Iraq's northern city of Mosul. Some works were more than 2,000 years old and their value was incalculable.

One of the men shown in the five-minute video says statues were destroyed because they were, as he said, religious idols of the Assyrians and the Akkadians, the ancient peoples that did not believe in one God. He says the Prophet Muhammad ordered the destruction of all such religious symbols.

Islamic State follows a strict version of Sunni Islam and does not tolerate what it sees as deviation from the Quran. The group has destroyed holy sites of Shiite and Sufi Muslims as well as Christian churches in the parts of Iraq and Syria under their control.

But it is the destruction of human life that concerns the world more than material destruction. The militants have published grisly videos of their terrorist campaign, including beheadings of captives.

David Saperstein, U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom, told Alhurra television they are destroying diverse communities in Iraq and Syria that have traditionally lived side by side in peace and mutual respect.

"They want a monolithic, extremist view of Islam imposed on everyone and are prepared to drive out those or kill those who do not agree with them," said Saperstein.

Muslims who think differently are not spared brutality, and neither are women or children.

"Children of minorities have been captured, in many places, in places where the so-called ISIL has its strengths, have been sold in markets with tags, price tags on them, have been sold as slaves," said Renate Winter of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The United Nations reports that children captured by Islamic State face a brutal fate. 

"We have had reports of children, especially children that are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding. There was a video placed that showed children of very young age, approximately 8 years of age and younger, to be trained already to become child soldiers," said Winter.

Yet, the radical Islamist propaganda seems to appeal to some young Muslims worldwide.  As governments work to prevent people from traveling to Syria to join Islamic State, many are calling for greater efforts to combat radicalization.

Ancient French graves
contained stacks of bodies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 200 ancient skeletons have been discovered under a supermarket in central Paris, French media reported Saturday.

The skeletons are remains of people who were buried centuries ago in communal graves, in what was once a cemetery adjacent to a 12th-century hospital that was destroyed during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century.

The findings in eight communal graves unearthed so far indicate that a large number of people had to be buried at the same time, said anthropologist Isabelle Abadie. 

"The skeletons, the bodies, were deposited in three parallel rows, tight, well-organized," she said. "The graves aren't haphazardly done. Quite the contrary, the burial was clearly organized."

Anthropologists said the orderly burial indicated that the people were victims of an affliction or hunger, not conflict.

"The clues we have on the size of the pit, the number of individuals, all that, it leads us to think that this was due to a crisis," Ms. Abadie said. "It could have been caused by different things like an epidemic, or a famine. It could also be fever. There may be many possible explanations."

The French National Institute of Archeological Research has been overseeing the excavation under the supermarket since January. The institute has begun research to determine what caused the deaths and is planning DNA tests to look for possible genetic links among victims.

"We intervened because we suspected the presence of archaeological remains of a funerary nature, that is to say, a cemetery, which was known about thanks to written documentation and old maps," said Pierre Vallat, regional deputy director of the institute. "We knew there was a medieval and modern cemetery, from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution, late 18th century."

When the old hospital and the cemetery were removed from the location, most of the bodies were transferred to the Paris Catacombs.  But apparently the job was not done properly, Vallat said.

Supermarket employees were stunned to learn that they were working above an ancient cemetery. The supermarket is temporarily closed so archeologists can complete the work on the site.

Bosnians face deportation
for war crimes allegations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. immigration officials are preparing to deport 150 Bosnians for possible involvement in war crimes in the 1990s, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper said officials had identified 300 Bosnians who hid their wartime past when they came to the U.S. The officials said that number could be as high as 600.

The Times said those who faced possible deportation included a soccer coach in Virginia, a metalworker in Ohio and four casino employees in Las Vegas.

It said as many as half of the 300 Bosnians identified so far might have taken part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim males — Europe's worst act of genocide since World War II.

A war crimes investigator for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Michael McQueen, told the newspaper that "the idea that the people who did all this damage in Bosnia should have a free pass and a new shot at life is just obscene to me."

The United States has reached out to Bosnians around the world to come forward with any information they may have about war crimes suspects.

Kathleen O'Connor, a human rights prosecutor at the U.S. Justice Department, said that Bosnians can be confident that "justice can be served in the United States, despite the fact that many years have gone by and that the conduct occurred overseas, far away."

Obama said Americans
deserve secure retirement

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama says he is committed to middle-class economics and to ensuring that all hardworking Americans get the secure and dignified retirement they deserve.

In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said most financial advisers are good at prioritizing their clients' futures, but there are some who direct their clients toward bad investments in return for backdoor payments and hidden fees.

He said that is why earlier in the week he urged the U.S. Labor Department to update rules and require that retirement advisers put their clients' best interests above their own financial interests.

The president noted that middle-class families cannot afford to lose their hard-earned savings after a lifetime of work.

The Philippines now hosts
largest number of call centers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When Americans call for customer support there is a good chance the agent on the other end of the telephone line is Filipino.

The Philippines has the world’s largest business process outsourcing industry, employing some one-million workers.

One of them is Angeline Rodriguez. The 30-year-old trained nurse says she makes more money working the overnight shift at the C3 call center, where she and 2,300 colleagues handle customer service for several foreign companies, answering up to 200 calls per night.

Ms. Rodriguez's boss, Andy Sarakinis, has worked in the Philippines’ business process outsourcing sector for 16 years. He said due to the country’s strong ties with the United States, workers here communicate with American customers more easily than agents from other countries like India, the world’s former call center leader.

“The ease of doing business here has been absolutely fantastic,” he said. “Being able to hire an individual that can step in day one and have the conversational skills to get on the phone with a U.S. consumer, that can be an airline company, a car rental company, a healthcare provider, telecommunication, financial services, to be able to get on the phone and be able to talk intelligently and resolve customers’ concerns has been great with the Filipino workforce.”

Outsourcing centers are now among the Philippines’ largest sources of revenue, making the country’s economic growth the fastest in Southeast Asia.

But for all of the financial rewards, there are concerns the lack of sleep and odd hours contribute to unhealthy lifestyles.

Researcher Victoria Fritz says overnight call center employees the world-over face these risks.

“I found that . . .  workers who work the night shift develop physical ailments over the years,” she said. “Among the findings is they develop cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and obesity.”

For about $7 a month, employees at the center C3 can sign up for fitness classes at an onsite gym.

But some workers say they are more bothered by the toll the overnight shift has taken on their social lives.

Customer service agent Angeline Rodriguez says after five years of working in the industry, she has gotten used to it.

“Social life, I don’t really have one right now. I’m not really into it, I’d rather work,” she said.

She adds that if she wants to make new friends, or a boyfriend, there are plenty of people on her same shift.

Tabare Vazquez returns
as president in Uruguay

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Uruguay has sworn in Tabare Vazquez as the country's new president, extending the decade-long rule of a leftist coalition.

Vazquez took the oath Sunday during a ceremony at the National Assembly.

In a speech the new president called for dialogue on issues facing the country such as improvements to public education, health and housing.

He also expressed thanks for his election victory. 

"And for the dear men and women of Uruguay, my most profound gratitude, gratitude for the trust in the political project and gratitude from this person.  I will try not to disappoint.''

The 75-year-old oncologist who served as president from 2005 to 2010, takes the reigns from the highly popular Jose Mujica, a former guerilla fighter known for his humble lifestyle.  Both Vazquez and Mujica belong to the leftist Broad Front Coalition which has been in power for a decade.

Under Mujica, Uruguay legalized marijuana and the right to an abortion. Mujica's lifestyle includes living on a modest farm and driving an aging, weathered Volkswagen Beetle.  His three-legged dog is his almost-constant companion. 

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Vazquez Saturday to offer the president-elect congratulations on his upcoming inauguration. 

Biden also expressed his regrets at having to cancel his trip to the inauguration, but he told Vazquez that President Barack Obama was sending Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden and U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Michele Sison to attend the ceremony.

Maduro claims U.S. pilot
was working as a spy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told a rally Saturday that his government had arrested a U.S. pilot for alleged spying.

Maduro said the American was captured in the state of Tachira along with what he described as "all kinds of documentation." He said the pilot was of Latin origin, but he gave no other details, including whether the man was a commercial, military or private pilot.

The U.S. Embassy had no immediate comment.

Also Saturday, Venezuelan authorities freed four U.S. missionaries who were questioned about alleged spying. They left the country.

Maduro also announced that U.S. tourists would now need visas to travel to Venezuela.

Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, have consistently accused the United States of plotting to topple their socialist governments, but they have never given any evidence.

The president ordered the arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an opposition leader, last month, accusing him of planning a coup with U.S. backing.

The White House called the charges ludicrous and said the president has to stop blaming others for the country's grave situation.

Maduro is facing numerous challenges in Venezuela, including a shrinking economy, an unhappy electorate, and shortages of basic foods and household products.

Solar plan may take off
as early as this Tuesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pilots of the sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 completed two successful test flights Thursday in the United Arab Emirates, in preparation for the first attempt to fly around the world. Officials say the plane performed flawlessly and that, weather permitting, it may start its journey as soon as Tuesday.

A test pilot took Solar Impulse 2 on its first flight, which lasted four hours. Then, project co-founder Andre Borschberg took off and stayed in the air for a full day.

These test flights are crucial because flying a four-engine plane powered only by sunlight, which charges its batteries at a cruising speed between 50 and 100 kilometers an hour, requires a lot of special skills.

Solar Impulse 2 is a single-seater so Borschberg and his co-founder and fellow pilot, Bertrand Piccard, will take turns during 25 flying days stretched over five months.

But both men are determined to show the world that sustainable energy sources are ready for everyday use.

“To fly with a solar airplane you need an airplane which is extremely energy efficient, and we have technologies which you could use in your home, that people could use in ground transportation and that's what we want to show around the world,” said Borschberg.

In order to be efficient, the plane must be light so pilots sacrificed not only cockpit space but pressurization. They had to practice yoga and self-hypnosis to endure long periods with little sleep, such as the five-day non-stop flight over the Pacific.

Piccard, who also was the first to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon, is a clean-energy enthusiast, as well.

“We want to show that clean technologies and renewable energies can achieve the impossible, like flying day and night in an airplane with no fuel, and this is the way to encourage governments and societies and corporations to reduce their energy consumption to be more energy efficient like we are,” said Piccard.

Solar Impulse 2 will be followed by a team of 80 dedicated technicians making sure that it performs without flaws until it returns to Abu Dhabi by early August.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Enphase-Micro-Inverters: Simple, reliable, installation without batteries or complicated central inverters that limit expansion and downgrade your system with one shady panel.
Enphase-Micro-Inverters: so flexible; you can begin saving with a third of a system, then add as you go with your savings!

Think of it this way: cash in a CD paying 7% and get 15% to 25% from the Sun!  What better way to lower your electric bill than with a Quality Solar System from CR Solar?    Ask about our BEST HI END Solar Hot Water Heaters. 
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica

Visit our Web Page:

If you do not find you are looking for in our page, contact us, WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.

English Calls:
Miguel Fiatt Sauma 
or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000

Send us your request to our
Mafri one
Beautiful house in Santa Ana, Valley and mountain view. Price: $1,300,000. Single story, bedrooms. 5 baths. Double-size garage: 360 m2. Lot: 4,487 m2. 
Click HERE!

Mafri two
San Isidro de Heredia. Great lot with 3 houses. $3,200,000 single story. 1,505 m2 Lot: 37,419m2  Click HERE!
Mafri three
Finca Las Trufas, San Ramon-Esparza, Price: $3,900,000 Farm and ranch. Single story 1,500 m2. on 25 hectares Click HERE!


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.

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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)

Barrio Peralta
Barrio Francisco Peralta
Grom Casa Italia, 200m south and 200m east, dead end, last property on the left side. Land size 461.15 m2, construction 340 m2 Part of the existing furniture can be negotiated by separate of the purchase. Contact: Gerardo Ortuño at 8820-0640 or 2253 3613. Email:

Escazu house
Residential area. 5 minutes from center of Escazú
Lot 489 m2 (5,166 sq ft). Building 220 m2 (2,368 sq ft + 50 m2) Living room, kitchen 2 full baths, 3 bedrooms, walk-in closets bedroom for domestic, laundry, hot water tanks, maid’s room, 2-car garage, additional parking space All services. Financing available. Sale $275,000. Rent $1,500 Contact: Gerardo Ortuñ,o 8820-0640 or 2253-3613. Email:

cndo rollover

In Alajuela , Penthouse in best location with views from all rooms. Quiet and private. Cheap to run. Extra large kitchen and balcony. Financing possible. Completely well furnished with $20,000 cost, including custom large kitchen and many cabinets. 10 minutes to Multiplaza, airport and close to highway 27, beach 45 minutes. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms + office. Open plan granite kitchen to living room. Wheelchair accessible, covered parking place by entrance. Large pool, jacuzzi, gym and tennis. Areas for walking and running. The best location in the complex. Close to all and only $127/month maintenance. Price $125,000. Write or call at:  8391-2080, 2220-2243.

Arenal home
LAKE ARENAL - Like new 3-bedroom, 3-bath, furnished, super views of lake, volcano, ranches, forests, mountains, 1 mile from town, gated. $195K. Contact Joe, Phone number 506-2694-4538. Email: Web:

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!


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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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, March 2, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 42
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Faint praise for those leaf-cutter ants

Evidently there are people who read this column (thank you very much)
Victoria torley
because I occasionally get notes and nods from them [notes via email  and nods in person], and everyone pretty much agrees on one thing:  They don’t like leaf cutter ants.

Okay, I agree. I don’t like leaf cutter ants either.  Sadly, though, I have something to say in their defense.  No, really! There are
some good things about these (expletive deleted) pests.

Leaf cutters make huge tunnels for specific purposes, but it is the tunnels themselves that aid the soil, aerating it and allowing heavy soils to drain more easily.  Ant specialists of some species remove debris and dead ants to a trash heap outside the nest where they decompose and enrich the soil. 

Then there is that above-ground nest, built grain by grain by worker ants which laboriously dig the tunnels and spread those grains of dirt around the nest opening.  That dirt may come from 20 feet (6 meters) below the surface and can be rich in just the minerals your garden needs.  Not only that, but it is light fluffy dirt, easy to shovel into a wheelbarrow or cart and haul away.  The ants don’t seem to mind, although I have had a couple that objected to being moved (they showed their objection by biting through my glove).   Don’t try this with fire ant mounds though. They have serious objections to moving and their mounds are too shallow for those extra minerals.

Then there is the science.  First, remember that the ants don’t eat the leaves they cut. They dine on a fungus that grows on the leaves.  As it turns out, these farmer ants have bacteria on their bodies that make antibiotics that keep the fungus gardens healthy.  It’s a strange relationship between ants, bacteria, and fungus, but studying the antibiotics that keep ant gardens healthy might someday help keep people healthy.  Scientists are also studying the breakdown of leaves in ant gardens to see if it will help us develop better biofuels.  All from those pesky ants.

Not convinced?  Neither am I.  Right now, I am looking out the window at an angel trumpet that has been completely stripped of leaves by leaf cutters.   I know it will come back because this has happened before, but it is disheartening.  If scientists are so interested in the ants, maybe they can do gardeners a favor and find a way to get them to eat weeds – just weeds. 

Plant of the Day

Blue daze
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley               

Blue Daze (Evolvulus glomeratus) is a lovely plant of the morning glory family.  Blooms are about 1 to 1.5 cm (about ½ inch) and are produced all year.  The plant shown here is about 12 cm (7 inches) tall and has a spreading habitat but it can reach 27 cm (18 inches).  Native to Brazil, blue daze grows beautifully here and spreads rapidly.  Use in full sun on slight slopes or in hanging baskets.  Propagation is easy from cuttings.  So far, no insect or disease problems; take that leaf cutters!

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit

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From Page 7:

U.S. economic growth reported to be slower

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. economic growth was slower than first thought in the last few months of 2014.

Friday's report from the Commerce Department says the gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter.

That is a bit slower than a previous estimate and half the rate of the third quarter's expansion.

Commerce officials say growth slowed because of less federal government spending and rising imports.

For all of 2014 the new analysis puts growth at 2.4 percent, which is a bit faster than the prior year.

White House economic advisor Jason Furman said the slower growth rate is due to temporary issues, and that the labor market and energy security continue to improve.

Economists from PNC bank say the weaker growth figures are due in part to a strong U.S. dollar and weak overseas demand which hurt U.S. exports.