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Condo ownership could harbor unexpected pitfalls
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Gated communities in Costa Rica are double-edged swords.  They usually give residents more security but take away individual rights at the same time.  Ley 7933, Ley Reguladora de la Propiedad en Condominio, or the law to regulate condominium property is to blame.

The problem: The voting rights of condominium associations. Article 27 of the law dictates 100 percent membership approval to change any article of incorporation or bylaw. This fact clearly violates the democratic principle that establishes the interest of the majority outweighs the minority. Years back, the Sala IV, Costa Rica’s constitutional court, upheld this inequity in the law stating it was proportional and reasonable.

The owners in condominiums make up the homeowners association. Elected officials from within the group lead it. This group can tweak little things of common interest to the whole group but cannot change anything of consequence. In some cases, developers hang on to many votes and sway the voting even on the little matters.

Costa Rican law requires three legal books for this association:

1.  actas de asamblea or assembly minutes

2. actas de junta directiva or board of director minutes, and

3. caja or cash for accounting of the organization.

Allan Garro, of Garro Law, says many if not most of the residents buying into a project never read the bylaws of a condominium before purchase. Even fewer of them know about the governing law and how it affects their ownership and individual rights.

People that contact him for advice are surprised when they learn the facts, he added.

When buying into a development, it is important to know the rules because they may include many restrictions on having children, pets, and parties, along with maintenance and upkeep mandates.

When someone does not follow the rules, they can get a written warning letter initially, but can end up evicted.  Yes, even owners get thrown out of their own places.

Developers started to use the condominium law about 15 years ago. They moved away from the traditional structure of using fully titled parcels.

There are good reasons condominiums in gated communities are better for buyers:

1. There is more security.

2. Houses do not need their own gates, window bars, high walls and razor wire.

3. Ground keepers maintain common areas for everyone.

4. Internal regulations control construction, parties, noise, pets and other things.

Developers like them, too, because local municipalities prefer to approve them. These types of projects let municipalities off the hook because homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of internal road, sidewalks, and open space. 

Project designers can target special groups like retirees or high-income buyers for luxury housing to maximize their profits.

Finca or farm is the name given to real property parcels in Costa Rica. Divided property under the condominium law, the mother property becomes the finca matriz or mother farm. The word matriz is a feminine noun in Spanish meaning womb, original, or master. 

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Each individual property inside the mother becomes a finca filial. Filial means the same thing in Spanish as it does in English: of or relating to a son or daughter, or bearing or assuming the relation of a child or offspring to a parent.

When a property goes condo, each finca filial gets registered at the Registro Nacional separately with a unique number.  In other words, people get a real piece of property with real property ownership rights.  However, they are limited by the bylaws.

Now here is where it gets tricky or interesting, depending on one's point of view. Beach property inside the maritime zone in Costa Rica cannot be owned.

However, developers are building condos on the land called concession land.  The holder of a legal concession over the maritime zone can build a project and go condo under the condominium law.

It is a relatively safe investment if the project has all the correct permits from the local municipality, the tourism ministry, the national housing institute, and the health ministry.

Even though the land is leased or in-concession, owners of each condo share in the licensing agreement obtained by the developer with the Costa Rican government as a sub-leasee.

However, this is a complex issue.  All concessions are required to be held 50 percent by Costa Ricans, and the rule of thumb is 51 percent.   This means majority ownership, or controlling interest must be held by one or more Costa Rican citizens.  Having this ownership or control in the hands of one person or a small group could be dangerous to the whole because it could contribute to a takeover or unwanted sellout.  Something like what happens on Wall Street everyday.

What happens when a project just does not qualify for condo?  Well, some developers are still physically dividing properties into lots and selling a 99-year rental contract over the space.  On this area one can build.  Or the same developer will offer to build to suit. This scheme does not exist here legally, but real estate people are busy selling property based on it every day.

More importantly, local law and jurisprudence holds any contract over 10 years as abusive. In this kind of scenario, one never holds title to anything, just a trumped-up rental contract.

Another flaky deal is where one just gets stock or shares representing a piece of a property, again, no legal ownership of legal property.

Buyers need to be careful when buying a condominium.  They need to know the structure used which created the project. They need to read the rules and regulations and understand their real rights and how they might be limited.

Homework is the key when considering a gated community.  Those that do not do some studying are usually sorry later.

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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Tragedy for some marks holiday start

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anyone leaving town for the western beaches last weekend faced bumper-to-bumper traffic into the last hours of the evening.

Traffic was snarled from Parque La Sabana to well past the exit to Grecia on the Interamericana Norte. There were some accidents but the damage was minimal considering the speed of the traffic.

But there were serious crashes elsewhere beginning late Thursday.

The Cruz Roja said Sunday afternoon that 10 persons had died in violent deaths over the weekend and that 14 were hospitalized.

The rescue agency counted five deaths in traffic accidents and 10 persons hospitalized as a result of such crashes.

The Cruz Roja said that a man died when a vehicle rolled over in La Cruz, Guanacaste, Sunday morning. In Bagaces at 7:55 a.m. a crash left one person with multiple injuries, the agency said.

In Limón about 9:30 a.m. Sunday an individual was hit by a vehicle, the Cruz Roja reported.

Friday two men died in a head-on collision on the Circunvalacion between Paso Anchoo and San Sebastián. The 5 a.m. crash took place when a driver appeared to lose control and his vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane and struck a bus, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The Judicial Investigating Organization also reported Friday that a man had been struck and killed by a vehicle in Orotina Thursday evening.

A crash Friday night in Belén de Carrillo cost the life of a 52-year-old driver. Three persons in the other vehicle were injured, and one died later at the Hospital de Liberia, said judicial investigators.

About 2:30 a.m. Saturday a driver on the Caldera highway in San Rafael de Escazú misjudged the location of a stationary flatbed tow truck, and the passenger side of the vehicle collided with the rear of the truck. A 21-year-old passenger died.

Also Saturday morning about 4 a.m. a motorcycle collided with the rear of a small van on Avenida 5 in downtown San José.  The 28-year-old driver died and a passenger was hospitalized.

The Cruz Roja also reported one water death. That was at Caldera when two men were caught by a wave. One was rescued.

Messenger gunned down in Zapote

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A messenger for the Spoon restaurant chain died Sunday afternoon when he was attacked by two robbers.

The judicial police identified the victim by the last name of  Codinez, He was 45 and lived in Hatillo 2, agents said.

The shooting took place in Zapote across the street from the Registro Nacional at the entrance to PriceSmart, observers said.

The messenger was carrying money from the restaurants for deposit. He was on a motorcycle, and was ambushed by two men also on a motorcycle.

The messenger struggled with the robbers and fought to keep the briefcase containing the money. They shot him for that reason, investigators said.

three pigs
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo             
  Frontier police found these three pigs stuffed into a car truck when
  they stopped a vehicle at the Southern border. The car, containing
  five persons, was being chased by police in both Costa Rica and
  Panamá. Officials said the pigs were stolen from a local school.

Theater floor plans are on display

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Most Costa Ricans and residents who attend concerts at the Teatro Nacional are aware vaguely that they are sitting on a floor that moves.

Under the seats of the theater are mechanisms that can level the floor. This usually takes place for state dinners when the government hosts many guests.

Now those interested can see the original plans for the floor. The Ministerio de Hacienda is putting the plans on display through April 15 in the lobby of the ministry building that is across Avenida Secunda from the theater. The plans are 117 years old.

Some license plates still prohibited.

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even though this week is Semana Santa, the traffic police are enforcing the downtown license plate restrictions today, Tuesday and Wednesday.

So drivers of vehicles with license plates ending in 1 or 2 today may be ticketed if they venture into the area between La Uruca and the Circunvalación at San Pedro.

Some motorists have complained this is overkill because downtown traffic is expected to be minimal today. But the traffic police note that government workers are supposed to be on the job through Wednesday.

Semana Santa information

Banco Nacional gives Semana Santa hours

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Banco Nacional said that it would close Holy Thursday, April 2, and reopen Monday, April 6. The reason is the Semana Santa holidays.

In addition, the bank said that it would not provide evening services on Wednesday, April 1. The bank will close at 3:45 p.m. that day.

There may be some variations at individual bank offices outside the metro area. For example, the office at the Depósito Libre de Golfito will be open Saturday, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5.

The closing in the evening of April 2 might be a hardship to workers who are paid by check. But the automatic tellers will be in service all days.

The Municipalidad de Palmares said that it would enforce the dry law next Thursday and Friday, April 2 and April 3.

The  Municipalidad de Montes de Oca will be open Monday, March 30, and Tuesday, March 31. Then the municipal offices close until April 6.

The canton also will enforce the Easter dry law April 2 and April 3, Holy Thursday and Friday.
The Municipalidad de Nicoya will not enforce the dry law.

A.M. Costa Rica will not be published Friday, April 3.

The  Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social will only offer hospital and emergency services April 2 and 3. Employees in many areas that re not directlyinvolved with the public will be closed all of Semna Santa, but financial and adminstraive officers will be open Monday, March 30, through Wednesday, April 1.

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church lists services

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Good Shepherd Episcopal (Anglican) Church has announced Holy Week services. All services are bilingual, an announcement said.

The special services begin Palm Sunday, March 29, at 9 a.m.

The Holy Wednesday services April 1 also is at 9 a.m. The service Holy Thursday, April 2, is at 6 p.m.

The Good Friday service April 3 is from noon to 3 p.m., and the Great Vigil of Easter is Saturday, April 4, at 6 p.m. The Easter Sunday service April 5 is at 9 a.m. The church is on Avenida 4 at Calle 5 next to McDonald's.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 30, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 62
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International Baptist Church

A hiker going through the Quebrada González will find improvements such as this small bridge and a well-defined trail.

forest close to home
A.M. Costa Rica/Steven Rogeers

This untouched forest is just a short ride from downtown San José
By Dennis Rogers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Less than an hour from San José one the most accessible spots in the national park system allows a short hike through untouched forest. The Quebrada González station is just off the main Braulio Carrillo highway in the park of the same name.

About 45 minutes from the north side of San José, the park station is on the right about five kilometers past the only large bridge on the highway, over the Río Sucio. The bridge is just below a well-known spot where the river loaded with sediment from the north side of the Volcan Irazú joins a clear river. Both watersheds are almost intact.

On the highway, the continental divide is between the toll booth and the short tunnel. Fog can be a problem here usually later in the day.

At the Quebrada González station a trail goes up the creek away from the highway and the noise of the highway is quickly left behind. The trail is a circle 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) long through pristine forest. The first several hundred meters are relatively flat before the trail starts up onto a ridge. The last part of the loop is steep steps down and affected by traffic noise.

To keep the hike manageable one can turn around at any point. Once on a ridge top where the trucks can be heard again, most of the nicer part of the walk is behind.

The forest here is an exceptionally wet foothill forest where clouds coming across the humid Caribbean lowlands dumps large volumes of rain. It can rain any time of year here, but during the January-March dry season and earlier in the day are better.

This habitat is home to many species of birds with colorful tanagers well-represented. Unfortunately for the casual and serious birdwatcher alike, the fanciest tend to rove through the forest canopy in mixed flocks that don’t pause much for observation. In the area of the trail, there are usually about three of these flocks which might be located on any given visit.

A.M. Costa Rica/Steven Rogeers
The harmless sock-headed snake (Enulius sclateri), a typical inhabitant of the Caribbean jungles, is one of the critters found in the Quebrada González.

The trail is one of the better places in Costa Rica for species characteristic of this narrow band of wet forest, such as lattice-tailed trogon, yellow-eared toucanet, dull-mantled antbird, black-crowned antpitta, black-headed antthrush, sharpbill, pale-vented thrush, and ashy-throated bush-tanager.

More likely to be seen or at least heard close to the trail are orange-billed sparrow, white-breasted wood-wren, white-ruffed manakin, olive and tawny-crested tanagers (together), common bush-tanager, and black-headed nightingale-thrush. Large animals and snakes are rarely seen.

There is another trail across the highway but the habitat there is secondary as it was cattle pasture when the park was founded in the 1980s.

The entrance fee is $12 for international tourists and 1,000 colons for Costa Ricans and residents. The gate technically opens at 8 a.m. The rangers prefer you park up in front of the station itself.

Malicious spammer targets A.M. Costa Rica advertisers with zip file
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Advertisers and others with email addresses in A.M. Costa Rica have been targeted by a spammer who sent out messages Sunday using the newspaper name.

The messages contained a zip file that most certainly holds a malicious program.

The newspaper has been under attack by spammers for the last three weeks. This is the first time that the spammers targeted advertisers. The email addresses appear to come from ads running in the newspaper.

The email originated at this address: The path of the fake message passes through the Google server and may have come from Coudersport, Pennsylvania, via a Times Warner Internet cable. The real origin is hard to pinpoint because the spammers sent the message through various servers, including one in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The message was designed specifically for A.M. Costa Rica advertisers because it contained the newspaper's street address.

The message said:

"Please see attached for an updated version of the Project sales report, which includes a merits & transaction page. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask."

Although A.M. Costa Rica frequently sends out invoices in a .pdf attachment, it never sends zip files, and editors and other employees do not open zip files, regardless of the source.

Technicians at the A.M. Costa Rica server have said that there is no way to prevent such messages because they are sent from a computer outside the newspaper's email system.

The IP address from which the message was sent shows up on some blacklists.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 30, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 62
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ETH Zurich/
Boston was hit by extraordinary cold snaps in the past two winters.
Scientist discount warming link with extreme cold weather in U.S.
By the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
news staff

Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology have shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.

Repeated cold snaps led to temperatures far below freezing across the eastern United States in the past two winters. Parts of the Niagara Falls froze, and ice floes formed on Lake Michigan. Such low temperatures had become rare in recent years. Pictures of icy, snow-covered cities made their way around the world, raising the question of whether climate change could be responsible for these extreme events.

It has been argued that the amplified warming of the Arctic relative to lower latitudes in recent decades has weakened the polar jet stream, a strong wind current several kilometers high in the atmosphere driven by temperature differences between the warm tropics and cold polar regions. One hypothesis is that a weaker jet stream may become more wavy, leading to greater fluctuations in temperature in mid-latitudes. Through a wavier jet stream, it has been suggested, amplified Arctic warming may have contributed to the cold snaps that hit the eastern United States.

Scientists at ETH Zurich and at the California Institute of Technology, led by Tapio Schneider, professor of climate dynamics in Zurich, have come to a different conclusion. They used climate simulations and theoretical arguments to show that in most places, the range of temperature fluctuations will decrease as the climate warms. So not only will cold snaps become rarer simply because the climate is warming. Additionally, their frequency will be reduced because fluctuations about the warming mean temperature also becomes smaller, the scientists wrote in the latest issue of the Journal of Climate.

The study’s point of departure was that higher latitudes are

indeed warming faster than lower ones, which means that the temperature difference between the equator and the poles is decreasing. Imagine for a moment that this temperature difference no longer exists. This would mean that air masses would have the same temperature, regardless of whether they flow from the south or north. In theory there would no longer be any temperature variability. Such an extreme scenario will not occur, but it illustrates the scientists’ theoretical approach.

Using a highly simplified model, they examined various climate scenarios to verify their theory. It showed that the temperature variability in mid-latitudes indeed decreases as the temperature difference between the poles and the equator diminishes. Climate model simulations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed similar results: as the climate warms, temperature differences in mid-latitudes decrease, and so does temperature variability, especially in winter.

Temperature extremes will therefore become rarer as this variability is reduced. But this does not mean there will be no temperature extremes in the future. “Despite lower temperature variance, there will be more extreme warm periods in the future because the Earth is warming,” says Schneider. The researchers limited their work to temperature trends. Other extreme events, such as storms with heavy rain or snowfall, can still become more common as the climate warms, as other studies have shown.

And the jet stream? Schneider shrugs off the idea: “The waviness of the jet stream that makes our day-to-day weather does not change much.” Changes in the north-south difference in temperatures play a greater role in modifying temperature variability.

Schneider wants to explore the implications these results have in further studies. In particular, he wants to pursue the question of whether heat waves in Europe may become more common because the frequency of blocking highs may increase. And he wants to find why these high pressure systems become stationary and how they change with the climate.

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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.

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)

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.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

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
Offer of the month !!  Great opportunity to get this beautiful house. 3 hectares land (equal to 30.000 meters), 750 square meters construction, modern security technology, three floors, internal street, elevator. $ 1.1 million  Click 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)
Jaco condo
Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

Palmares graphic

Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page:

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:

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.

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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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 30, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 62
Real Estate
About us


More beheadings reported
in Islamic State territory

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Islamic State terrorist group released a new video Sunday showing its fighters cutting off the heads of eight men described as Shi'ite Muslims.

The eight men were said to be beheaded in the central Syrian province of Hama. Blindfolded and with their hands tied behind their backs, the men are seen being led forward in a field by what appear to be teenage boys.  They were then handed over to a group of fighters.  A boy wearing a black uniform is seen handing out knives to the fighters before the hostages are killed.

The video was posted on social media.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in the United Kingdom said the video appeared authentic.

An Islamic State fighter speaks in the video, calling the hostages impure infidels and saying the military campaign against the Islamic State will make the group stronger.

The Islamic State terror group has beheaded scores of captives since taking large parts of Iraq and Syria last year. Earlier this month, a video was released showing the beheading of three Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters.

Republican primary seen
as a gigantic free-for-all

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas kicked off in recent days what is likely to be the longest, most expensive and perhaps most contentious Republican Party presidential battle in history.

Cruz has been lagging in the national polls and hoped that his early announcement would give him some momentum as conservative activists around the country begin to focus on the fight for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016.

Cruz hopes to build on his support among Tea Party supporters and expand his appeal to evangelical Christian voters, hence his decision to announce on the campus of the nation’s largest Christian college, Liberty University in Virginia.

“What I am so encouraged by is the enthusiasm that we are seeing, particularly in the early primary states, in Iowa, in New Hampshire and in South Carolina,” Cruz told ABC News. “People are hungry for someone who will stand up and fight alongside them.”

Whether Cruz’s early announcement will boost him from his low position in the polls remains to be seen.

The 2016 field promises to be among the most crowded in recent history. But one thing is certain: Cruz is not easily deterred from his ambitions. Cruz was born in Canada but since his mother was an American citizen he is eligible to run for president.

In a recent profile in The Washington Post, Cruz told friends that he began looking at his own presidential eligibility when he was a child.

The Cruz announcement signals the beginning of an intense period of activity as other candidates prepare to jump into the race while others still pondering a run for the White House assess levels of support and their ability to raise funds.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is at or near the top of most polls among the Republican contenders. But Bush told voters in Georgia he’s aware he will have to overcome the doubts of conservative activists.

“I’m the most conservative governor in Florida’s history," he said. "I cut taxes every year.”

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell worked on the 2008 McCain-Palin campaign. He picked Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as the top Republican contenders so far who will appeal to Republican primary voters.

“They are looking for three things," he said. "They want someone who can win the White House in 2016. They want a strong leader and they want someone who is going to do what they say they are going to do and not just sell campaign rhetoric to win the nomination.”

Bush is a favorite of the party’s establishment wing while Cruz wants to become the champion of Tea Party activists and social conservatives.

O’Connell said the various Republican contenders will be looking to appeal to various groups with the Republican Party who play key roles in the nominating process.

“It is a very complicated mosaic," he said. "We have four main types of voters. There are the moderate or establishment voters, which are about 40 to 45 percent of the party. We have what are known as grass roots conservatives or the media likes to call them Tea Party. They are about 20 to 25 percent of the party.

"We have social conservatives, which are about 18 to 20 percent of the party," O'Connell said. "They are strongly against abortion and they are strongly against gay marriage. And then we have this libertarian strain, which is about 10 to 15 percent of the party and they just don’t like the government whatsoever.”

A long campaign will test the ability of contenders to raise money, analysts say.

“There are more than 20 potential contenders, which makes it potentially the largest field in either party in modern times,” said University of Virginia political expert Larry Sabato. “Now the truth is there isn’t going to be enough money to support most of these candidates, and so some of them just want to get on the debate stage to make their points or sell their books.”

The 2016 Republican race could be the most exciting in decades according to Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz.

“Normally what you find in a Republican race and sometimes in a Democratic race is, if not an heir apparent, a pretty clear frontrunner," he said. "We don’t have that in the Republican race so it is going to be a more interesting one than we have sometimes seen.”

Republicans seem excited by their choices so far but already some conservative activists are talking about banding together with the aim of denying Bush the nomination because they see him as unacceptably moderate.

As for the eventual winner, political strategist O’Connell said it will be a test of who can put together the strongest coalition of the various conservative groups that make up the Republican Party.

“You have certain blocs of support depending on the candidate," he said. "The question is, can you broaden your appeal to all major swaths of the Republican Party and that is really going to be the key if you want to make this a two candidate race or actually win the nomination.”

Voice of America photo 
The lever system is demonstrated in this photo

Levers on wheelchair design
gives mechanical advantage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For many disabled people, the only way to move around is by using a wheelchair. Those who cannot afford powered wheelchairs propel themselves with their arms, which often leads to fatigue, pain, and even permanent damage to arms and shoulders.

In 2007, a group of mechanical engineering students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology decided that the wheelchair needed a new design.

Amos Winter, now an MIT professor, came up with an innovative idea for a wheelchair propelled by levers. The group formed a company called Global Research and Innovation Technology and started manufacturing what they call the Leveraged Freedom Chair.

The firm’s chief technology officer, Mario Bollini, said that "instead of grabbing on the wheels, like you would with the regular wheelchair, you grab these levers that you can push with either hand — kind of like a bench press. And it uses a bicycle drivetrain, very similar to what you have on your bike, to transfer power from these levers to the wheels.”

Other wheelchairs are also based on push-lever technology, but Bollini said his firm's design is unique in at least two important areas.

“Our core technology is this lever-drive train that you’re able to make entirely out of bike parts," he said. "And so that lets us have a really low-cost design, especially compared to the other competitors in the U.S., for about half the price of the next closest chair on the market, with, I think, better performance in our drive train. In addition to that, we’re the only drive train that lets you change the mechanical advantage by where you grab the lever.”

Bollini said the leveraged wheelchairs are especially useful for moving over the rugged surfaces often encountered in developing countries.

“We’ve had chairs in India for multiple years that are still performing great, and chairs in sub-Saharan Africa that are also doing very well out in the field," he said. "And most importantly, we have designed the chair so that every part is easily found on the local markets.”

If a wheel or a chain breaks, it can be replaced with a regular bike wheel and regular bike chain.

The production started in 2011, and Bollini said that last year, the firm shipped almost 1,200 Leveraged Freedom Chairs to 17 countries. They are mostly sold to aid agencies and non-government organizations, which distribute them free of charge.

The company plans to design an equally affordable folding model.

Paper says jet crash co-pilot
may have had eye problems

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Germanwings co-pilot, accused of intentionally crashing his plane into the Alps, may have had vision problems in addition to being treated by psychologists, a German newspaper reported Sunday.

Bild am Sonntag reports investigators found evidence 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz feared losing his eyesight due to a detached retina.

Prosecutors said Friday searches of Lubitz's home uncovered documents that suggested "an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment." Police also found evidence that he was treated for a psychological illness.

The newspaper also reported that Lubitz's girlfriend, whom he lived with, was pregnant.

French officials said the plane's flight recorders indicate that Lubitz locked the pilot out of the cockpit before the jet crashed on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board.

Bild said the captain, who likely had left the controls to use the restroom, screamed "For God's sake, open the door," while pounding on the cockpit door in an attempt to gain reentry.

Prosecutors said the voice recorder indicates Lubitz, alone with the controls, manually sent the Airbus A-320 jetliner into a final descent at 700 kilometers an hour.

Flight 9525 was bound from Barcelona, Spain, to the German city of Dusseldorf, with 144 passengers and six crew when it crashed about 100 kilometers north of the French Riviera city of Nice. People from at least 18 countries were aboard the flight, with 72 Germans and at least 35 Spaniards among the casualties.

Forensic teams say they have so far isolated 78 DNA strands from remains found at the mountain crash site.

Also Sunday, the pastor of the Lutheran church in Lubitz's hometown of Montabaur, said Sunday that the community stands by him and his family, despite the fact that prosecutors blame the co-pilot for causing the plane crash that killed 150 people in southern France.

The town of Montabaur has been rattled by the revelation that Lubitz, who first learned to fly at a nearby glider club, may have intentionally caused Tuesday's crash of Germanwings Flight 9525.

"For us, it makes it particularly difficult that the only victim from Montabaur is suspected to have caused this tragedy, this crash, although this has not been finally confirmed, but a lot is indicating that, and we have to face this," pastor Michael Dietrich said.

He spoke after holding a church service Sunday to commemorate the crash victims and support their families.

"The co-pilot, the family belong to our community, and we stand by this, and we embrace them and will not hide this, and want to support the family in particular," Dietrich said. He added that there is no direct contact with the family at the moment, but that he believes they are receiving good assistance.

French prosecutors haven't questioned the family yet "out of decency and respect for their pain," Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said.

Elsewhere Sunday, the family of Jun Ichi Sato, a Japanese man who died in the crash, visited a memorial site in the French Alps.

The father, stepfather and wife of Japanese national Sato spent about an hour at the site, where they laid flowers and burned incense.

In Rome, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the plane crash, citing in particular the 16 German students returning from an exchange trip to Spain.  He offered the prayer after Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the start of Holy Week.

Philippines pushes tourism
with new casino projects

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos. 

When international visitors touch down in the Philippine capital, they do not have very far to go to reach the casinos. 

Entertainment City is located adjacent to the international airport. Two of its four planned casinos are now open for business. That includes the new resort, the City of Dreams.

When it opened in February, gaming officials said this hotel and casino complex will help turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub.   

Manila-based travel writer Carlo Velasco says his city still has a ways to go before that can happen. But he says more casinos can be good for the local economy.

“We do have a need to create or diversify our tourism in Manila.  As you can see Manila as a tourism destination is limited in terms of appeal to the international market,” says Velasco.

And in order to make Manila’s gaming industry a success, Velasco says foreign gamblers are essential.

“The casinos in the Philippines need to appeal to the high rollers and most of them come from the international market, mainly China,” says Velasco.

Chinese travelers were the fourth largest nationality that visited the Philippines in 2014. Some observers say this is a market that the country cannot miss out on. 

Edieser De la Santa lectures at the University of the Philippines Asian Institute of Tourism.

“Chinese tourists travel in droves, they spend a lot of money, and it’s forecast by the World Tourism Organization to be the number one tourism market in the world,” says De la Santa.

But since Beijing issued a travel warning for the Philippines late last year, the number of Chinese tourists here has been on the decline. 

De la Santa says the move was most likely in retaliation for territorial disputes with Manila in the South China Sea.  

But the City of Dreams casino does not seem worried about the decline in Chinese tour groups.  Representatives say they are focused on the domestic market and attracting other Asian gamblers.

Duke and Michigan State
make cut for Final Four

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Duke and Michigan State University men's basketball teams scored victories Sunday to join No. 1 Kentucky and Wisconsin in the Final Four of the NCAA Division One championship tournament.

The Duke Blue Devils of North Carolina pulled ahead late in defeating Gonzaga of Washington State, 66-52, in a game played in Houston, Texas. Earlier Sunday in Syracuse, New York, Michigan State upset Louisville in overtime, 76-70.

Saturday, Kentucky edged Notre Dame of Indiana, 68-66, and Wisconsin beat Arizona, 85-78.

In the widely followed, single elimination national tournament, this year's Final Four will be played in Indianapolis. In the semifinals this coming Saturday, Kentucky will play Wisconsin, and Duke will face Michigan State.

Kentucky also played Wisconsin in last year's semifinal and was victorious by one point, then lost to Connecticut in the final.

Obama has plan to stem
drug-resistant bacteria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama on Friday announced a new five-year plan to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, saying it is one of the most serious public health issues faced today.

Obama told reporters at the White House, before meeting privately with his advisers on science and technology, that people take antibiotics for granted for a lot of illnesses.

"If we start seeing those medicines diminish in effectiveness, we're going to have problems,'' he said.

Germs can become resistant to antibiotics through repeated exposure, making the bacteria immune to typical medicines.

The president's plan includes working to prevent the spread of resistant bacteria, improving the monitoring and diagnosing of bacteria-resistant strains, and improving research into new drugs.  He offered few details about the new plan.

Obama also said the solution is not just finding new antibiotics. "It’s also making sure that we're using antibiotics properly. ... There are a whole range of reasons why bacteria are becoming more and more resistant to our traditional treatments."

Critics said his plan does not adequately tackle the use of antibiotics in farming.

Russia motorcycle helmet
contains active GPS system

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS.

A Russian startup company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists.

Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition.

Weaving in and out of traffic can test the patience of the best bike riders, especially if they have to stop by the road to look at the map or use a GPS to get directions.

Andrei Artishchev, chief executive of LiveMap, said, "If we talk about security, it would be right to do the helmet so that a man could navigate without stopping by the side of the road and having to type a new address on his mobile phone, but making it by voice, for example, just saying 'Madison Avenue,' and the computer replies, 'The route is set up.' "

Some visor-mounted devices already exist that make navigation easier. But LiveMap is creating a smart helmet with navigation and voice-recognition systems built into the helmet.

The prototype features a translucent color display that’s projected onto the visor in the center of the field of vision and with a voice-controlled interface. The helmet’s display features a light sensor that adjusts image brightness and features tools to track head movements.

Artishchev said he was inspired to create it seven years ago, when he saw a pilot's helmet with built-in navigation. He decided to create a similar helmet but at a lower price.

"An aviation helmet costs between $10,000 to $15,000 because it is not a mass-market product. I want to sell the helmet for $2,000," Artishchev said.

Artishchev consulted several Russian optics specialists before embarking on the project. He used Android and Google glass technologies to make the headgear convenient.

"Maybe for military pilots and their tasks it is enough to have everything shown in green color. But when I just started to work on the project I thought that it would be difficult to explain to a mass consumer who has been using a multicolor mobile phone for years why his helmet costing $2,000 has only green color while his mobile telephone has 16 million colors," he said.

A prototype of a helmet with a built-in navigation system, called Skully, has already been introduced by an American company.

Anatoly Sukhov, editor-in-chief of Moto Magazine Russia, said that helmet is not the same thing as the version LiveMap is creating.  

"There is a difference in their parameters. The American helmet is much heavier. I think its weight is almost 2 kilograms, and the Russian one weighs 1.4 kilograms. So, this is a very big difference. Anything that weighs more than 1.5 kilograms is not a helmet," Sukhov said.

The Russian entrepreneur hopes to launch his smart helmet within the next year or two in English-language markets. It will cost $2,000, but it can be pre-ordered now for $1,500.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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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

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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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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:

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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
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Choice 4.5 hectaares. Waterfront, titled property. Financing available for motel or hotel. Water and power on the property. $35 a  m2. In Tropical Paradise Resort. Buy all or Part at  Puerto Viejo, Limón. Call Andy at

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.

ARenal home
Lake Arenal near San Luis and Tilarán

2 bedrooms & 2.5 baths - $279,000

Lake Arenal home (90 yards from lake) in a private 17-home gated community named Buena Vista 1 with full-time guards and views of Tenorio Volcano, Miravalles Volcano, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and of course, Lake Arenal. This Lake Arenal climate zone provides temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees (23 to 29 C) year round, so there is NO need for heating or air conditioning and the $100's per month for fuel and energy costs !!!!! This is our property and you can see other Lake Arenal Properties at

The price is right!  Asking only $140,000 with terms, but your cash offer will buy it for less in this distress sale.  This clean and modern two-bedroom, one-bath home wastes none of its 102 m2 and the very large 1,129 m2 lot was intended for an apartment project that divorce terminated prematurely.  The emotionally-bruised owner has returned to the U.S., never to return to Costa Rica, has no heart to manage even this very desirable rental property from a distance, just wants out.  Her plan was excellent, but now someone else gets to benefit instead.  Only a three-minute walk to central park in La Fortuna yet quiet and private, the property features a superb volcano view.  Perfect for the future retiree who wants to buy now and have the property carry itself until that time comes while earning perhaps 6%-12% on their investment in the meantime, or for today’s retiree who wants to build the apartments and retire on a very comfortable income.  Not everyone’s cup of tea but money to be made for the right person.  For interior pix email or phone 8377-8402.

Finca home
 Little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica.       

16 acres (approximately.)   Price: $599,000USD
We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 k) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos.  We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. For more  information: In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 720-951-7928 or email In Costa Rica call: Ivo Henfling at Godutch Realty: 2289-5125/8834-4515

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.

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.

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:

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!

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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Fantastic location for condo/ hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot. incredible views. Flexible zoning $2.3 M 
Easy to get liquor license.
Low interest financing
Call Bruce at: (506) 8307-0164.

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Panama
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A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
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Dominican Republic

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 30, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 62
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Grass with gumption to fight erosion

The spring equinox: sun about 10 degrees from being directly overhead at noon, and me?  I was doing a chorus of “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” I was out planting vetiver on a slope near the house.  I am well and truly
Victoria torley
cooked in places that were not tan and even the tanned areas are a bit warm.

That’s one of the issues with gardening in the tropics. It is fairly easy to get a nasty sunburn especially, as the song goes, you “go out in the noonday sun.”  The thing is, I knew it was happening. I wanted to cover up, but my beach
umbrellas – handy when gardening – all seemed to be among the missing. So now I am paying the price. 

Sunburn or not, it was a successful day of planting vetiver.  This clumping grass has been around for a long time.  There is a farm in India with a 200+-year-old stand of the grass doing what it does best – preventing erosion.  The Army Corp of Engineers used it in World War II all over the Pacific Theater. 

The grass is popular all over the Pacific but it’s amazing how little known it is to expats like myself.  Well, time to learn because I evidently don’t walk around our property enough. We are up in the hills overlooking Lake Arenal, and the hills are the problem. All that up and down gets exhausting after a while.  The minute I forget to pay attention to the property, something will come up. This time, something came down: A nasty slump in a hillside. 

Cows are part of the problem, all that chomping of grass and clomping of hooves. But rain is certainly an issue any time land slumps.  For a solution, I am reaching for vetiver.  Vetiveria zizanioides to be exact (don’t ask me to pronounce the ziza-part). 

And why?  Because vetiver has really really deep roots. The roots can grow 3 to 4 meters (up to 13 feet) in the first year.  That’s impressive.  As the rains come and soil begins to wash down the hill it hits clumps of the grass and stays put.  This silt, caught by vetiver, can build up at a rate of 10-30 cm (5-15 inches) in one season.  Planted correctly, it actually helps terraces form. 

This is actually a miracle grass in many ways.  Cows eat it, and it comes back.  It’s non-invasive, reduces water runoff, filters the water, is pest and disease resistant, is adaptable to many soils, the list just goes on and on.

So, if you have hilly land and worry about erosion, grab yourself some vetiver.  It truly is a miracle grass.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley                             

Plant of the Day
My vetiver after 24 hours is looking a bit sad in this picture, but I am sure it will recover and thrive.  Vetiver is a sterile grass so you will need to look for plugs at your vivero.  These were less than $1 each.  Thirty-five in the ground, another forty to go.  Oh my aching back.

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

Costa Rican News
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From Page 7

Books launched at literary event in Grecia

Special to A.M. Cost Rica

Penman House Publishing launched books from three expat novelists Saturday. The three are Aaron Aalborg, Michael Crump and K. Francis Ryan.
Some 60 guests including the media, other authors, creative writing experts and book lovers attended the launch in Grecia. Each of the authors gave brief presentations.
All profits from book sales at the event will go to Oxfam and the Fundación Puriscaleña Pro Clìnica de Control del Dolor y Cuidados Paliativos.

Penman House Publishing offers a new concept in that it seeks to creatively interact with readers. Each writer agrees to put draft versions of chapters on and to take comments and suggestions from interested readers and writers.

Aaron Aalborg, is the author of two thrillers "They deserved It" and "Revolution." He is a British resident of Costa Rica but writes for an international audience.

He explained that he challenges readers to think about moral and political issues in new ways. He entices readers to do this with dramatic action and unexpected twists.

Michael Crump, author of "Candyman’s War," "The Oligarch" and his third sequel, "Twelve Days," said that his interests stemmed from his curiosity about the campesino culture in which he lives. His published work is historical fiction set in the Guatemalan Civil War and its aftermath. A new fictional work, "El Peon," is being revised to an unidentified setting in Central America.

 K. Francis Ryan is the Amazon best selling author of "The Echoes Quartet," an adult paranormal mystery series. 

"Echoes Through the Mist" and "Echoes through the Vatican" were available at the book signing. 

All Penman House Publishing’s books are available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

More books are planned for 2015. There is more about the books, projects, Penman House and its authors at

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