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(506) 2223-1327                                    Published Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 156                               Email us
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This week's sky show is supposed to be fantastic
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Forget Facebook, and forget YouTube. The best show this week is in the sky.

Even the moon is cooperating. The lunar body is approaching new moon, and it rises around 2 a.m. So there will not be a lot of lunar light in the sky to detract from the flashes of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

The astronomical Web site says that the meteors will be coming from the north northeast anywhere from 5 degrees to 39 degrees above the horizon. The Web site is updated with exact coordinates each day.
The Royal Astronomical Society reports that the maximum number of meteors will be from Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. The meteors, remnants of  Comet Swift-Tuttle, can be seen between July 17 to August 24 each year, but many nights there are just a few meteors an hour, the society notes.

During maximum periods there may be hundreds of meteors an hour, each perhaps the size of a grain of sand, the society said.

The shower gets its name because the meteors seem to come from constellation Perseus.

Amateur astronomers might be tempted to set up elaborate gear to capture striking photos of meteors. But the Royal Society
advises those just interested in a sky show
National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Pierre Martin
This is a fireball from the 2006 Perseid Meteor Shower as seen from Arnprior, Ontario, Canada.

to  "wrap up well and set up a reclining chair to allow you to look up at the sky in comfort." And away from the city lights.
Hot chocolate would seem to be obligatory.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration warns against using binoculars because they limit the amount of sky a viewer can see at one time. The space agency reports that the meteors are moving at about 37 miles (59 kilometers) per second.

Fallas issues warning as he prepares new tax bills
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's finance minister, Helio Fallas, went on television Sunday night to warn that if a decision is not made this year on taxes that a crisis will follow.

The minister has a press conference planned for today in which he is expected to present proposals for a value-added tax and an increase in the income tax rates.

In his television speech, Fallas, who is hardly a persuasive speaker, defended the actions of the government and said that the Luis Guillermo Solís administration had cut spending by 198 trillion colons, some $375 million. That is just 5 percent of what the government had to borrow this year to support the budget. Nearly half the national budget is borrowed money. The cuts represent about 3 percent of the total budget.

Fallas called the runaway public salaries a complex matter that will not show results in the short term. Shocking public salaries and pensions have been headline material in the Spanish-language press and also on television.

He said that the government was involved in dialogues to limit public salaries in various worker agreements.

Fallas called the national economy healthy, and the title of his talk was that the economy would not become ill, presumably with passage of the administration's tax package.

He said that although there has been less growth, the rate for Costa Rica still is above the average for Latin nations.

Inflation is controlled, he said, and exports maintain an acceptable rhythm. He said the government was fighting to reduce unemployment.

With adequate corrective measures, it will be possible that the growth be distributed better to reduce poverty and the lack of employment, he said.
He pointed out that the administration has presented bills to reduce fraud and smuggling but that the legislature had not acted. The anti-fraud bill has been in the legislature for a year, he said.

"We are not crossing our arms," said Fallas. "We are undertaking actions to cut expenses, improve the collection of taxes and to confront problems in the long term."

"With the support of all we will maintain our economy vigorous and healthy," he concluded.

The Costa Rican national budget for 2015 is $7.7 trillion colons or about $14.5 billion.

Lawmakers last year declined to approve additional budget cuts. The government itself estimated that without more taxes the national deficit would reach more than 6 percent of gross national product by 2016.

What the government has been proposing is a value-added tax of 15 percent to replace the current 13 percent sales tax. The government sees the advantage to be that because taxes are collected at every stage of the distribution process merchants at every step are more likely to report taxes collected because they receive a deduction from their own tax liability.

Theoretically, the end user pays the same amount of tax under both systems.

The government also is preparing to increase the tax rates for income. The lowest rate for a corporation is 30 percent now.

Despite the claim by Fallas that the economy is in good shape, a number of business leaders have been cutting back in anticipation of a tax proposal.

On the political front, some lawmakers have hinted that any tax proposal from the Solís administration is dead on arrival.

A.M. Costa Rica recently addressed the country's financial dilemma HERE.

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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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Our experience in primary eye care, now makes yourexperience unmatched.
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 Phone Number: (506) 2772-0349

Hearing Services

Clínica Dinamarca Hearing Center
Audiometry – Impedance
Hearing aids
Batteries & accessories
Electronic laboratory
Earplugs: Loud noise & swimming
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Free hearing tests for Senior Citizens on Wednesdays
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California Licensed
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Insurance professionals

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U.S. Income Tax Services
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Real Estate Closing Services
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CR Cell phone number: +506-8383-0083

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Ministry shows need for comparing prices

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Día de la Madre shoppers will find differences of up to 71 percent on identical items, according to a survey by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio.

The ministry's Dirección de Apoyo al Consumidor reported on another one of its holiday price surveys Friday.

The identical item in question was a Proctor Silex coffee maker in which prices at two stores varied some 7,573 colons. Vast differences also were found in what the surveyors called similar items.

Prices at 24 retail outlets were checked between July 19 and 31. They were in Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago and San José. Prices were checked on electrical appliances and white goods, typical mother's day presents. The survey also reported average prices for many items.

The surveyors also studied advertising in the printed press and at points of sale. They checked 192 establishments to find that 156 or some 81 percent were following the laws that require truthfulness and clarity of information.

Warning and orders for corrections were handed out when violations were found.

The full survey is on the ministry Web site.

Short course announced in climate change

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Universidad para la Paz is offering a diploma in energy and climate change with most of the classes being held in Sabana Norte.

The course begins Tuesday and runs until Oct. 28. Some sessions are Saturday at the university campus in Ciudad Colón.

The university said that the course is designed to focus on Costa Rica and its relation with other countries. Costa Rican officials have proposed to make the country carbon neutral by 2021. That pledge is based on the belief that carbon dioxide is creating global warming.

The earth's temperature has risen 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) since 1880, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The course will consider the use of hydrocarbons for transportation and also proposals for new models of industrial development. The fee ranges from $500 for a student to $1,000 for a member of the public, said the university Web site.

Sportscaster Frank Gifford dead at 84

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American pro football Hall of Famer and longtime broadcaster Frank Gifford has died at the age of 84.

In a statement Sunday, his family said Gifford died of natural causes earlier in the day at his home near New York City.

Born in 1930 in the western U.S. state of California, Gifford attained stardom in collegiate football at the University of Southern California before entering the National Football League in 1952 as the 11th overall pick of the New York Giants.

He played his entire 12-year career with the Giants, and was the league's Most Valuable Player in 1956 as the Giants won the league championship.  Known for his athleticism and versatility, Gifford starred as a running back and receiver, but also excelled on the team's defensive squad and special teams.

After retirement, Gifford became a sportscaster and worked as play-by-play announcer and later as commentator on ABC's "Monday Night Football" from 1971 to 1997.  He also appeared in about a dozen Hollywood films, most notably the World War II naval drama, "Up Periscope."

His wife, the former Kathie Lee Epstein, currently hosts one hour of the daily NBC news program "Today."

Evicted squatters plan to negotiate Tuesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Evicted squatters who want the government to give them land and jobs have agreed to meet Tuesday to continue negotiations.

The former resident of  Finca Chánguena were evicted by Fuerza Pública officers following a court order a week ago. They have continued to block one or both lanes of a bridge on the Interamericana Sur over the Río Térreba.

The evictees include the aged and children. Some of the individuals have lived on the disputed property for up to 14 years after the company with rights to the land fired workers during a strike.

The rector of the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Alberto Salom, is mediating the negotiations between the evictees and the central government.

Already the government has agreed to give each family about $100 and to cover their housing for three months.

The location is in Palmar Sur in the canton of Osa on the southern Pacific coast. This is one of the poorer areas of the country where much of the income is generated by agricultural projects.

Some of those involved did not live on the land but had taken control of some land to farm.

Miss Costa Rica will not be Miss Universe

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 23-year-old woman from Guápiles is the new Miss Costa Rica.

She has a long history of participation and winning various beauty titles.

She will be unable to participate in the Miss Universe pageant because organizers of the contest here have decided not to participate because Donald Trump made uncomplimentary statements about Mexicans. Trump runs the company that produces the pageant.

The Miss Costa Rica pageant is a production of  Televisora de Costa Rica, which has held the franchise for 40 years. The television company also said it would not air the Miss Universe pageant here because of Trump's comments, which the company said were against brother Mexicans and all Latin Americans.

Trump called illegal Mexican immigrants to the United States rapists and murderers after Francisco Sanchez, 45, a man with an extensive criminal history who had been deported five times to México killed a woman named  Kate Steinle in San Francisco. The murder appears to be random.

The television company said it would review its decision if Trump apologizes or retracts his statement or leaves the Miss Universe pageant. None of that is likely to happen while Trump seeks the Republican presidential nomination.

Safe crackers fled without loot

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers on patrol broke up a safe cracking at the Pali supermarket in Barranca, Puntarenas, Saturday.

That was at 3 a.m., and it appears that the crooks fled. However, until mid-afternoon law officers thought the crooks still were in the building. Not until 3:30 p.m. did they enter to find no one there. They also found a damaged safe. The crooks did not manage to open it.

The Judicial Investigating Organization credited the safe job to a gang that has been committing similar crimes in the area.

Parliamentary elections in Haiti called valid

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Haiti held long-awaited parliamentary elections Sunday, taking a step toward political stability in a country still working to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake.

The voting was marred by clashes at some polling places, including in the capital, Port-au-Prince.  At other sites, voters had to wait for hours after the polls were due to open, and in some cases were given extra time.

Pierre-Louis Opont, director-general of the Provisional Electoral Council, told a news conference late Sunday that the problems were limited to a small number of polling places.

"Today, I can say that the violence only pertained to four percent of the voting centers," he said.  "Given in total there are 54,508 polling stations, there is only four percent affected.  That we can say tonight."

The head of an observer delegation from the Organization of American States, Enrique Castillo, said overall the vote was valid.

"These problems that appear are not so generalized or so big as to be able to question the whole process," he said.  "The whole process stands, and that's the first conclusion, and we also acknowledge that the council made efforts to resolve the situations that appeared in the day."

More than 1,800 candidates are running from 130 different parties.  Election results are not expected for several days.  Voter turnout was reported to be low.

Haiti has not had a parliament since it was dissolved in January.  The previous terms of lawmakers expired before the country could organize the new vote.

Another round of voting is scheduled for October when Haiti will also hold an election to pick a successor to President Michel Martelly.

Martelly has been ruling Haiti by decree in the absence of a parliament, drawing criticism and protests from opponents who said they lost faith in the central government.  He took office in 2011 and twice during his tenure parliamentary elections were due to take place but did not.  He is not eligible to run for another term in October.

Ferguson police wound man in exchange

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police in the U.S. city of Ferguson, Missouri, said a man was in critical condition after being shot by police in an exchange of gunfire on the sidelines of what had been a day of peaceful marches to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar said plainclothes detectives had been monitoring a man they feared was armed, and that he was then involved in exchange of 40 or 50 shots between two groups of people before shooting the officers' vehicle multiple times.  The four detectives all returned fire and the unidentified man, believed to be about 20 years old, went down, the chief said.

Belmar told a news conference that the outbreak of violence was an impediment to positive change, stressing that the shooting did not involve those demonstrating on the anniversary of 18-year-old Michael Brown's killing.

"They were criminals, they weren't protesters," Belmar said.  "Protesters are people that are out there that are talking about a way to effect change, whatever that may be.  That's not what's happening here."

He said police first increased their presence in that area after reports of looting, and that some people threw bottles that shattered near officers.  He also reported one officer was injured by a flying brick Sunday night in Ferguson.

After the shootings, police ordered people still gathered in the area to leave and used smoke grenades to disperse the crowd.  Several of those in the crowd criticized the police on Twitter, saying the smoke was fired after people were already complying.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 156
Real Estate
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Cuerpo de Bomberos photo
Bomberos strut their abdominal muscles to introduce 2016 calendar
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica's firemen presented their new and more daring 2016 calendar in Heredia Sunday.

The 14 featured firemen were bare-chested as they appear in the calendar, much to the delight of female spectators. Each fireman paraded, and some performed body motions Chippendale style.

Firemen is the correct term this year because female fire fighters were not included in the revue. The 2015 calendar included one woman firefighter, but those in thar calendar
wore white t-shirts.
This year six packs were the norm for the 14 selected by a committee of the Cuerpo de Bomberos. Many are volunteers and not paid firemen, and beer bellies were not permitted.

The calendar is a project to raise money for the Hospital Nacional de Niños burn unit.  They are 5,000 colons each. They are available at retail outlets. Fire departments seem to have the corner on revealing calendars.

Many departments all over the world produce calendars, and there even are movies that include fire fighter calendars as part of the story line.

President suffers two reverses at the hands of the constitutional court
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís suffered a double defeat Friday when the Poder Judicial announced two rulings by the constitutional court.

The magistrates rejected the president's efforts to reverse a veto involving a comprehensive labor law and also a law that would have permitted vendors to remain at the west side of Plaza de la Democracia, a public street.

Both measures were vetoed by then-president Laura Chinchilla. The labor law would have encouraged strikes by public and private workers.

When he issued a decree reversing Ms. Chinchilla's veto of a bill letting vendors remain on the public street, he made a point of visiting the Mercado de Artesanía to receive thanks from the merchants there. The Municipalidad de San José had filed an appeal to the Sala IV over the presidential decree because the municipality wants the street back.

Magistrates voted 5 to 2 that the lifting of the veto on the
 street, Calle 13, exceeded a time period authorized by legislative rules.

Magistrates decided, 6 to 1, that lifting the labor veto took place within the time period, but they also decided 4 to 3 that the presidential action was unconstitutional.

There was considerable judicial disagreement if the Costa Rican Constitution affords the president the power to lift the veto approved by a predecessor.

Some thought it did not, but others saw the power was implied by thedocument.

Casa Presidencial said that the executive branch would continue working with lawmakers to improve the condition of workers. And, it said, it would work with the Municipalidad de San José  to safeguard the commercial activities of the vendors.

The municipality had set up a building two blocks away that is being used as an artists market, but merchants on Calle 13 have said they think the location is too far from the normal flow of tourists.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 156
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Colorado river gets a slug of contaminated water from mine lagoon
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Wastewater from an abandoned gold mine continues to drain into a Colorado river, causing it to turn to a mustard-yellow hue.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the wastewater contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, copper, lead and zinc is leaking into the river at a rate of more than 2,000 liters per minute.

EPA workers were conducting a cleanup of Colorado's Gold King Mine when they accidentally breached a debris dam Wednesday, causing nearly 4 million liters of wastewater to spill.

The spill from the mine flowed from the Animas River, which leads to the San Juan River in New Mexico and Utah, later joining the Colorado River near Lake Powell, located in southern Utah and northern Arizona.

Near the mine, the EPA said the water registered at a pH level of 3.74, similar to the acidity of tomato juice, but further downstream pH levels measured at 4.8, which is closer to the acidity of black coffee.

gold mine runoff
Voice of America photo
Mustard-colored wastewater laced with heavy metals colors the Las Animas River in La Plata County, Colorado.

The EPA said it has built two retention ponds to begin trapping and screening out the yellow contaminants. The amount of time needed for cleanup efforts is unknown.

Local officials in affected areas have shut down the river's access to water treatment plants. While the EPA has warned people to stay out of the river and to keep domestic animals from drinking it. This is not the first time that mine lagoons accidentally drained into the river.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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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.


Osas montage
Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
Each of the five individual Villas  boasts its own unique charm with pleasant, moderately priced accommodations and all gives you the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle from your own private balcony which has views of the river bed and the ocean. If you’re up for an adventure  we can help you arrange it and choose from the many tour options available in our region. Ojochal has some of the most secluded and pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica, as well as some outstanding surfing opportunities. Enjoy our local attractions such as white water rafting, whale and dolphins tour, Corcovado national park tours, Osa canopy tour, San Buenas golf course, horseback ride to the beach and waterfalls,
Osa field institute and much more.
Contact us Now for reservations at: or  Or phone 506-2786-5170
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Mar de
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

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   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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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.

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)

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

Real estate for rent 
Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

Rental montage
 Unfurnished apartment with modern kitchen right on the beach
in Playa Junquillal. $500 month + electric. see to view a video or call 5004-3473. HERE's the YouTube video.

Playa del Coco
Hear the waves and walk to the beach
Villa with separate studio apartment in north Playas del Coco. Two bedrooms and two baths in the villa. Fully furnished.  Laundry facilities. Yard fenced in. Pets Ok. Large covered terrace with views. A/C, satellite TV. Surrounded by gardens, palms and other tropical trees frequented by monkeys. Rent villa for $1,300/month or both for $1,500. Contact owner Linda: 2670-0779 or 8347-4705.

2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amón. Cable, Internet, 
apartment view
water  included.  Shared laundry.  Convenient to Parque Morazán, hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, National Registry.  $600 per month plus electric.  $300 security.  No lease. For photos and more information contact: 

montage of thre homes
Beautiful Cottages for rent
Cottages located in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens. 45 minutes from San José. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed.
    - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony, 1 ranch. $900 monthly
          + utilities.
    - 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. $450 monthly + utilities.
    - 1 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom, 1 balcony. $500 monthly
         + utilities.
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801

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.
apartment view
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. 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:   Call us: 506-2221-7161. 

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS.

Furnished apartment for rent  Available Now!
Impeccable newly remodeled villa in Villas de Cariari for rent day, week or month. Rates from US$85 per day. Utilities, washer and dryer, car parking,  24 hour security, Wi-Fi, close to airport and shopping. Long=term and corporate renters are accepted.
Contact: Chris English/Spanish U.S. phone: 1-804-699-8073
Costa Rica phone : (506) 6145-7003 Email:

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 foot 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.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

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.

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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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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 156
Real Estate
About us

living the dream

Coldwell Banker

Post reporter's last hearing
is today in Iranian court

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Washington Post correspondent held in Iran for more than a year will have a final hearing in his case today, the newspaper's executive editor said, potentially bringing a close to a process that has drawn condemnation from press freedom groups and U.S. officials.

Martin Baron said in a statement Saturday that the lawyer for Jason Rezaian, the Post's correspondent in Tehran since 2012, was told that the closed-door session in Iran's revolutionary court would be the last before a verdict.

Rezaian was arrested in July 2014 along with his journalist wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and held for months without formal charges.  He was later charged with espionage and working with hostile governments.

Baron called the trial a sham and said the charges could not be more baseless and absurd.

"Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this travesty of a case," he said.  "It has imprisoned an innocent journalist for more than a year and subjected him to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse."

Baron urged the court to acquit and release Rezaian, saying Iran had a chance to bring the case to a humane resolution.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at a press briefing Thursday that the United States continues to call for the release of Rezaian and all other detained Americans in Iran.

Secretary of State John Kerry has said Rezaian poses no threat to Iran and that the U.S. is disappointed in the case.

When asked last month whether Rezaian's release might be part of the international nuclear agreement with Iran, Kerry said, "We are working very hard on him."

Two other Americans, Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati, have been held in Iran for several years.

In addition to The Washington Post and U.S. officials, the calls for Rezaian's release have come from press freedom groups and individuals across the world.  Nearly 500,000 people have signed an online petition urging Rezaian's unconditional release.

The board of the Committee to Protect Journalists sent a letter to the head of the Iranian judiciary on July 20 calling for an immediate end to the case with Rezaian going home.

"Never before has an international journalist been held for so long in the Islamic Republic of Iran," the letter said.  "Our colleague has been denied any real opportunity to defend himself against the charges."

French tourists gave son, 9,
their water to keep him living

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A French couple who set out with their 9-year-old son on a hike in the scenic desert in the western U.S. state of New Mexico likely lost their lives in an effort to keep their child alive.

David, 42, and Ornella Steiner, 51, both of Bourgogne, France, gave the boy, Enzo, two sips of water for each one they took before their supply ran dry and they succumbed to the scorching heat in the White Sands National Monument, Otero County Sheriff Benny House said. Enzo survived.

"That may be why he fared so well, is he was a lot smaller and probably had twice as much water,'' House said, referring to the child.

Two empty half-liter bottles of water were found with the bodies. The U.S. park service recommends 3.8 liters of water for each hiker.

Enzo’s grandmother, who flew out to America after learning of the tragedy, was scheduled to bring him back to France this weekend.

Park rangers discovered the three French nationals while patrolling an area about 1.5 miles from the Alkali Flat trail head on a day when the temperature had climbed past 38 degrees C.

House said the boy told authorities that his mother had headed back toward their car after becoming ill. He carried on with his father.  But the father became disoriented and "the heat was affecting his judgment," House said.

Park rangers found the mother's body on a routine patrol of the area.

It was only when they checked her camera and saw that she had been with two other people, Hunter said, that a search began for the boy and his father.  Enzo was found alongside his deceased father and rushed to a hospital, where he was treated for heat exposure.

Authorities believe the couple died of heat-related causes but are waiting for the results of an autopsy to confirm the official cause of death.

Rescuers said it appeared that the parents, who had not signed the park’s entry register, had left for their hike shortly after midday when temperatures can reach 40 degrees C.

Alkali Flat Trail takes visitors through scenic white sand dunes that have engulfed the desert in the national monument to the edge of the Alkali Flat, a lake bed that dried up thousands of years ago, after the last ice age. There is no shade among the dunes and sparse short shrubs are the only vegetation.

Park authorities recommend that summer visitors hike during the coolest part of the day, which is early morning or early evening.

Lake Mead
Lake Mead National Recreation Area Public Affairs photo  
 The foundation of the St. Thomas Schoolhouse,
 which once looked like the black and white photo,
 sat underwater for many years after Lake Mead

Ghost town now high and dry
as Lake Mead level declines

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Drought conditions in the Western part of the United States have allowed an old Nevada town once submerged deep beneath Lake Mead to emerge from its watery grave.

Founded in 1865, St. Thomas was initially settled by Mormons drawn by Muddy Creek, a tributary that flows into the Colorado River, located 22 miles away. When the Mormons left in 1871, outlaws, including horse thieves and cattle rustlers, moved in. The town was eventually settled by people attracted by the region’s prime farming land. St. Thomas became a key stopping point between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Los Angeles, California.

However, the pioneer town’s fate was sealed in the early 1900s, when the federal government decided to build a dam to harness the power of the Colorado River, thus allowing for westward expansion and large-scale irrigation.

Lake Mead, the reservoir created by the Hoover Dam, became a popular public attraction. Visitors were drawn by the sight of a shimmering body of water set against the harsh backdrop of the arid, unforgiving desert.

But underneath this man-made wonder lay the doomed town of St. Thomas, which had been submerged when the Colorado River began to fill the surrounding canyons and valleys. At its peak, the town’s population reached about 500, and there was a school, church, post office, grocery stores, and an ice cream parlor.

In 1928, President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the building of what would become the Hoover Dam. St. Thomas residents were ordered to relocate, and the U.S. government reimbursed them for their property. Residents abandoned the town as Lake Mead began to fill in 1935; the last resident to leave St. Thomas rowed away from his house in June of 1938.

When it is at capacity, Lake Mead is the largest man-made reservoir in the United States. At the lake’s highest point, St. Thomas was 60 feet below the water’s surface. But then came the fluctuation in water levels. Over the decades, drought conditions have given visitors repeated glimpses of the once-thriving wild west town, and, since 2002, St. Thomas has remained exposed.

Today, the steps of the local schoolhouse and the wall of the St. Thomas ice cream parlor are visible.

“It’s kind of ironic that this town was initially settled because of water…water was the source that started this town and then it was water that defeated the town when the lake filled up,” said Christie Vanover, public affairs officer for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. “And now it’s water that’s helped us to rediscover the town because of the drought and the lack of water.”

Visitors are free to wander around the area but are prohibited from touching or moving any objects long-ago residents left behind; those pieces are considered protected cultural artifacts.

“There are still artifacts on the ground in addition to the foundations,” said Ms. Vanover. “There’s also wheels, engines or other car parts that are still present from people who just abandoned their cars when they left the town.”

Federal officials expect St. Thomas to remain exposed for at least the next two years. However, Lake Mead, which gets its water supply from snow melt-off in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, could eventually refill, sending St. Thomas back to its underwater tomb.

“Which would be tragic for the town but would be very fortunate for our communities because we all definitely need more water in Lake Mead,” Ms. Vanover said.

Until then, from time to time, former residents and family members continue to hold reunions at St. Thomas, the last one being in 2012.

While they remember old times, the rest of the people who come to St. Thomas enjoy a unique and possibly somewhat fleeting chance to revisit history.

Bernie Sanders draws crowds
during western campaign

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

While U.S. political watchers have been pre-occupied in recent days with billionaire Republican Party candidate for president Donald Trump, on the other side of the country, Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders has drawn his largest crowd yet. His message, while not aimed at Trump personally, is decidedly anti-billionaire.

Sanders is the rumpled independent senator from Vermont who has so far emerged as the leading opponent of former secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the quest for the Democratic nomination. Without her financial resources, he has been on a tour of the northwestern U.S. to drum up support.

Saturday night in Seattle, he attracted some 12,000 supporters to a University of Washington sports arena, while 3,000 more gathered outside to hear Sanders’ populist platform: increased minimum wage, universal health care, mandated family leave.

“Seattle, 15,000 of you came out tonight and stood up to say loudly and clearly, ‘This country belongs to all of us, not just the billionaire class.’” Sander wrote Sunday on his Facebook page.

Later on Sunday, Sanders responded to Trump’s assertion at Thursday’s Republican debate that he couldn’t be bought by campaign donors because he has enough money to finance his own campaign.

“I am trying another way,” Sanders said on CBS’ Face the Nation,  “We have gotten well over 300,000 people who've made individual contributions. You know what the average contribution is? Thirty-one bucks. We're running a people-oriented campaign.”

Sanders’ rally followed a gathering earlier Saturday that was interrupted by three activists from Black Lives Matter, a grassroots movement that has sprung up in the wake of widely publicized killings of black people by American police officers.

The trio was determined to call attention to Sunday’s anniversary of the shooting of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Commandeering the microphone, they called for some moments of silence and for the opportunity to address the crowd. Sanders never got the microphone back, and he left without speaking.

“White progressive Seattle and Bernie Sanders cannot call themselves liberals while they participate in the racist system that claims black lives. Bernie Sanders will not continue to call himself a man of the people, while ignoring the plight of black people,” Black Lives Matter Seattle posted on Facebook.

“On criminal justice reform and the need to fight racism, there is no candidate for president who will fight harder than me,” Sanders told his Saturday night rally.

Sanders was headed to another rally Sunday evening, this one at the Moda Center sports arena in Portland, Oregon that seats more than 19,000 people. His campaign was hoping to fill the arena.

Sanders has always been considered a long shot against Mrs. Clinton. A national poll by Monmouth University released Wednesday put Mrs. Clinton up by 36 percentage points.

But Sanders has filled houses recently in several major cities, including Minneapolis, New Orleans and Phoenix.  After Portland, he will be heading to Los Angeles.

“Can we actually prevail over a billionaire or the billionaire class?” he asked on CBS Sunday. “Time will tell. I think we can.”

Trump says he is supporter
of women despite comment

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Embattled 2016 U.S. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said Sunday he would be a strong White House advocate for women, dismissing the contention that he made a crude remark about a female television anchor who asked him a tough question at last week's debate.

"I cherish women," the billionaire real estate mogul said in one of several television interviews. The three-times-married Trump said he had hired thousands of women in his businesses, describing them as amazing executives.

The political neophyte has soared to the top in surveys of Republican voters over a large field of experienced candidates, winning the support of conservatives angered at politics-as-usual in Washington. But he drew new controversy to his candidacy after he castigated Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly for asking him in the debate about the string of disparaging comments he has made about women over the years.

A day after the debate, Trump said, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming coming out of her wherever," a remark widely construed by women and men alike as referring to Kelly's menstrual cycle. Trump said only a deviant would think of the comment as such, saying it referenced blood from her nose.
But the only woman in the Republican contest, Carly Fiorina, a one-time U.S. technology executive, said women were horrified by Trump's remark and several other Republican presidential hopefuls also criticized him.

"I apologize when I'm wrong, but I haven't been wrong," Trump told one interviewer Sunday. "I'm leading by double digits, so maybe I shouldn't change."

Prior to last week's debate, the surveys have showed Trump collecting a fifth or more of the support of Republican voters, doubling the sentiment for his closest challenger, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two U.S. presidents. In all, 17 candidates are vying for the Republican nomination, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the leading Democratic presidential contender.

Trump's support has shown no signs of waning in the face of two other controversial comments he made. He castigated illegal Mexican immigrants to the U.S. as rapists and murderers and questioned whether Sen. John McCain, the Republicans' 2008 presidential candidate, was a hero after spending five years as a North Vietnamese prisoner of war in the 1960s.

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
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Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, 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
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Web Page:

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia one
Big house for sale.
Great opportunity !!!

If you know about house for sale prices,  you will realize that this is a real deal.  Original price of  $400,000 now is $320,000.
Due to its characteristics and location, it can also be used for commercial purposes (boutique hotel, offices, medical center).  Large house, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, one office, just 250 meters from Grecia downtown. High quality construction, built in 2009, high ceilings, balcony with beautiful views over central Grecia valley, elegant luxury furnitures included, network cabling 6 gigabits throughout the house, Giant TV flat projection system of 120 inches in the main room, sound system 7.1 channel. Air conditioning system, security system, and cameras, lighting system in open areas. 4-car parking space plus large garage, Recommended for large families.

Property Location: Central Grecia, Alajuela
Total area construction (two floors):
252 square meters
Total area: 250 square meters
Construction Type: Concrete
See more photos click HERE!

Grecias two
  Send us your request to our email:

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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $889,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

San Rafael
Charming land for sale
Located in  in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens, and a small river.
Bus line service, security, 45 minutes from San José. Land with 3 houses (cottage type). The lot measures around 6.000 M2.
Sale by the owners, Offered at $750,000 USD. 
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801,

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.

Coffee farm
Organic coffee farm for sale
34,000 meters square zoned ARC. 130 meters paved road frontage. City water and irrigation runes through property. Year round spring. Bananas and many fruit trees on property. Approx. 1.5K from Sarchí Center, 40K from airport. Plans and permits ready for 2-bedroom house. Proposed subdivision plans are also included. @$15US per meter for total $510,000. Email or

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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $1,250,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $725,000. Click HERE!

San Ramon rollover
Three-bedroom home with view near San Ramón
Beautiful house in magical setting in the hills above San Ramón in Costa Rica can be yours for $179,500! House was built 10 years ago with soaring 16-foot ceilings.  Enclosed area is 1,200 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, large kitchen, and utility room.  It is located at 4,000 feet with typical temperatures ranging between 75 and the low 80s during the day and the low to mid-60s at night.  The house is offered fully furnished, including all appliances (nearly new energy-efficient Samsung refrigerator). The front of the house features a large covered veranda (another 500 square feet), with a barbecue and outdoor patio furniture to seat 8, and hooks for a hammock. There are many tropical plants, flowers, and trees are on the half-acre property.  Set on the far western edge of the Central Valley in a small, pastoral community, it's only 10 minutes to San Ramón and its many small stores, restaurants, museums, a branch campus of the University of Costa Rica, and a weekly farmers' market.
See additional pictures at
Phone: (506) 7009-0364

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

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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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, Aug. 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 156
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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
Those weeds will still be there tomorrow

There is nothing better during the rainy season than a day of perfect sunshine: A few fleecy clouds drifting overhead but not enough to spoil the blue sky. Heavenly. The perfect day to just laze around, maybe soak
Victoria torley
up some rays by the pool or on the beach, moving from sun to dappled shade as need be. Perhaps a cold beer or glass of wine at hand while we read a new novel.

Nah! We are gardeners! We would love to be doing all that, but we remember that the rain has brought us weeds! Even now they are
encroaching on the flower beds and squirming their way into the
vegetable garden, choking out the new lettuce and the tomatoes. No curling up with a book for us, no m'am. We are out there in the heat, sweatband in place, hat secured against the wind and cussing under our breath as we pull the little monsters out of the ground, give them a shake and toss them in the weed bucket. Wow, are we nutty or what?

Fellow gardeners, it's okay to sometimes take a break. Trust me, the weeds will be there tomorrow and not much bigger than they are today (after all, they aren't kudzu). I promise that the jungle will not overtake you if you take a day off. Yes, tomorrow it may rain and the weeds will still be there, but the drizzle will only mean that you need to wear some rain gear while you are weeding. And it will be cooler in the rain.

You can leave the sweatband inside. In fact, who needs rain gear? All you really need is something to keep the rain off your face, and you are good to go.

There are many rainy days when you can see me out there, hat in place, trowel in gloved hand, attacking the weeds, vines, and undergrowth just about everywhere, until my husband, Metric Man, yells from the deck, “It's time to come in. I can't even see you through all this rain.”

Yes, he is right. The drizzle has turned into a deluge, and I really should go in. As usual, I gave a few final snips on vines and tugged out a few more weeds, then trudged up the garden steps, sodden, muddy, and very pleased with myself.

After all, I took yesterday off and lazed in the sun.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley                         

Plant for the Week

This was a tough one to nail down, but gesneriad or “black flamingo plant” seems to be as close as we can come. This is a great little plant, about a foot (30 cm) tall and it does well in rich soil and light shade. Use it as an edging plant, collect the seeds, and replant for a mass of color. Because it produces a mass of seeds, your neighbor may be able to supply you with all you need to start it in your own garden.

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:

Increases in rates proposed for taxi fleets

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The price regulating agency is proposing an increase of 15 colons per kilometer for standard taxis with a 20-colon increase proposed for airport taxis.

The proposals have been put out for public comment for three weeks, said the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos. The agency said that the main consideration in raising prices was the increase in petroleum prices since the first of the year. Both regular and super gasoline have gone up around 25 percent, it said.

The agency also said that taxi drivers have requested yet another study that might lead to another increase.

Taxis now have a rate of 630 colons for the first kilometer and 610 for each kilometer thereafter. The rates would increase 15 colons under the proposal.

Airport taxis charge 925 colons for the first kilometer and 780 colons for each subsequent kilometer. These also would increase 20 colons or about 3.8 U.S. cents