free webpage hit counter
Ship to
                Costa Rica
A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language
news source Monday through Friday
Hotel and Casino
Perrien Group
(506) 2223-1327                        Published Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in Vol. 12, No. 230                          Email us
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart

                Rica real estate

Shaky valuation method to cost expats more on taxes
By Jay Brodell
editor of  A.M. Costa Rica staff

The unusual way that Costa Ricans appraise property is coming to haunt expats who own dwellings here.

At a time when some properties are selling at give-away prices, the finance ministry has set new assessment values based on the rising price of construction materials.

That means a higher value that might put more homes into the luxury category where the owners have to pay an extra annual tax and opens the way for municipalities to adopt these values for local taxes.

The Dirección General de Tributación, the tax agency of the Ministerio de Hacienda, released the new value without any fanfare. The decree ended up in an obscure part of the La Gaceta official newspaper Thursday.

The edict continues the government's reliance on the appraisal system called replacement cost new less depreciation. This is in wide use in Costa Rica even though many appraisal texts call this unreliable except in special cases.

In this system the appraiser measures the area of a structure and tries to determine based on current prices how much the cost would be to replicate it. Once the estimated cost new is determined, the appraiser applies a deduction for actual depreciation, that is the wear and tear, and the statutory depreciation, that is the amount the government will allow.

This system of appraisal appeals to the Costa Rican sense of order and allows them to ignore what may be the actual market value of a property.

The true value of a property is what someone will pay to buy it, and the more reliable market data approach compares a property to recent sales of similar structures that actually have taken place.

Under the government system, a 400-square-meter concrete home in a San José slum would have the same value as one sitting on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a community like Dominical or Tamarindo. The government tries to compensate for this by issuing estimated values for square meters of land in different parts of the country, but the adjustment seldom is sufficient to offset the replacement cost approach.

The Tributación edict also includes hotels, whose struggling owners will have to pay the same luxury tax as homeowners. But hotels are a business, and appraisers generally try to evaluate an ongoing commercial enterprise by its income and profit. The income approach to value would clearly report that the McDonald's fast food operation on the downtown pedestrian mall is worth much more than the value of its bricks and mortar. And that approach also would say that a southern Costa Rica hotel that is standing empty and unused is worth far less than the cost of constructing it.

The decree appears to increase the square-meter value of dwellings as much as 40 percent. That
Do-it-yourself guide
to figuring tax base

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Want to do your own appraisal?

The depiction of the method in the Tributación manual of assessment looks more complex than it really is.


This is the way to determine depreciation. D is depreciation and it is determined by adding x, the actual age, over estimated useful life (n) to the square of the actual age and the square of the estimated useful life. Tributación lists the useful life ranging from 40 years for a concrete prefabricated structure to 100 years for adobe.

Then the whole thing is divided by 2.

According to this formula a 24-year-old adobe structure would have 15 percent depreciation due to age. Windsor Castle would have no value under this formula.


Finding the actual value (VA) is even more interesting. The depreciation found previously is multiplied by the replacement cost new (Vn)  and then everything is multiplied by a fudge factor E, the estimated condition of the property.

means some homeowners whose properties were not subject to the luxury tax in the past are now.

Most expats will need help with the tax assessment. The declaration of value, which the homeowner must make, is good for three years. Since the tax is three-years-old, those who have been paying the tax based on 2009 figures must report a new value based on the new data issued by Tributación.

The declaration can be submitted via the tax agency's electronic system. Or it can be handed in on Form  D-179. In any case, the math to determine the value of a dwelling or a hotel or a condo is challenging.

The good news for some homeowners this year is that the threshold for paying the so-called luxury tax has increased from 100 million to 111 million colons or about $224,470. In part this is due to the increased value of the colon against the U.S. dollar. That includes the estimated value of the lot. Condo owners also have to include their proportional share of the common areas.

Editor Brodell has conducted a number of property appraisals in his long career. He has been admitted as an expert witness on the value of newspaper properties in a U.S. state court.

Cristal zul
Find more about Weather in San Jose, CS
Today's colon
exchange rate
to our  daily digest

Search  our site
Real estate ads
Classified  ads
Tourism and services
Display ad info
Classified ad info
Contact us
Airline flight info

                Rey Bartenders


Residency in Costa Rica
Real estate for sale

Karen Real Estate
Eco Realtors


rss feed graphic
Twitter link
Facebook graphic
Have you seen our crossword puzzle?

Harris house

Monte Carlo

                        of residents

Hospital Metropolitano

Organo Gold

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details

A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 230
Real Estate
About us


Sportsmen's Lodge Thanksgiving

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

Real estate agents and services

Grecia logo
Grecia Real Estate
Here in Costa Rica, Central America , the most beautiful houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate and safe communities.
Great deals for you!
Visit our Web site:
Contact Christian Arce in English:
Cell phone (506) 8538-6186
Contact Luis G. Jiménez in Spanish:
Cell phone (506) 8707-4016
Send us your request to our email:

CR Beach

CR Beach Investment Real Estate
reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
Our agents have been here a minimum of 10 years:
 Colin Miller, Frances,  Junior and Owner-Broker Jeff Fisher enjoy helping clients like you find their dream properties.
Let CR Beach show you why we know this is the best area for you to  invest-retire-enjoy!

  Fire sale!Deal of the Week:  Was $249,000 NOW: $215,000 Playa Hermosa Beachfront Bungalows
Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 
Office: 2643-4334, 2643-3672
Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Jacó, Costa Rica

Latitude Nine
Latitude 9
Real Estate, Development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116

Expat assistance

12 Years successful experience, helping foreigners with just about everything: find housing, businesses, home & emergency care, PROBLEM SOLVING AND MORE. American with Costa Rican residency.

Call or E-mail today and start getting the help you need! Robert 8315-7000.

Legal services

RE&B Attorneys S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
Tels: 2201-8012/2637-7640
USA phone number: (305) 748-4340
REB Abogadso
Our law firm offers services
in many areas such as:
Immigration Law✔
Real Estate Investment✔
Corporate Law✔   
Intellectual Property✔
Litigation✔    Franchise Law✔
Hotel/Resort Development✔
Customs and International 
Our offices are located in Costa Rica:
San José, Plaza Roble.
Playa Herradura, CC. Ocean Plaza.

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
 Phone: (506) 8841-0007

Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
consultoria logo
• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.

Translations and legal services

We will translate your documents from English into Spanish or Spanish to English
Rosa Monge
Rosa Monge Alvarez
Legal problems?
Tired of getting the
Tired of excuses?
Tired of being kept in the
Afraid of signing documents in Spanish?

 Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Interpreter in court,  Simultaneous Translator
 Cell 8919-4545


U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2231-3300

U.S. Income Tax
David G. Housman Attorney & C.P.A
in Costa Rica 32 years.
Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad, including all new passport and other
I.R.S.  filling requirements foreign income tax exclusion (to $95,100 per year) for all back years. Taxpayers filling past-due tax returns before I.R.S. notice do not face criminal sanctions
• Associate of James Brohl
Phone: (506) 2239-2005 Fax 2239-2437

E mail:

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

                                              Sam's hat
• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
95,100 in 2012}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting
• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620


                                              Vargas logo
Dental implants in Costa Rica
Call us: Within C.R.  2225-1189
From USA    1-866-7060-248
Please visit:

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:
Alert issued on vehicle scam
using online classified ads

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Prosecutors said Friday that at least 50 people have been victimized in the past few weeks by the same online scam.

The scam purports to sell a used car online for a cheap price. It asks for people to make cash payments in advance.

Officials recommended that persons buying cars online be extra cautious and that they not make cash payments in advance to cover the shipping cost, according to a press release from the Ministerio Público.

Investigators would not specify the Web sites where the scammers posted.

Prosecutors from the Fiscalía de Fraudes said that the scam starts on a classified advertisement Web site, where scammers post a picture of a car, a price lower than the market value, a fake foreign phone number and an email. These are probably Web sites where the ads are free and posted automatically so that the scammer has no contact with a real person.

Since the phone number does not work, victims have contacted the scammer through email.

The report explained that the supposed owner of the car took an international road trip but cannot register the car in the country where he or she has arrived. The lower price is supposed to compensate for shipping costs and taxes.

In order to cover those shipping costs the crook asks for an advance payment and names a fake shipping company that the crook says he or she will contact, prosecutors said. The scammer then has the victim transfer the money abroad through Western Union or MoneyGram.

Officials said that the scammer also asks the victim to scan the money transfer receipt and send it by email to the scammer to make collecting the money easier.

Prosecutors gave three recommendations to persons that shop for cars online. They said that shoppers should be cautious in general of cheap deals that seem too good to be true, get advice from experts that have experience in the car market and not pay cash in advance.

Firm wins excellence award
for second year in a row

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A local manufacturer received high honors from the Cámara de Industrias de Costa Rica at an annual business awards ceremony Thursday.

The company, Productos de Espuma S.A., or just Prodex, won the highest award for general excellence for the second year in a row, according to a press release from the chamber.

Additionally the chamber of industries gave Prodex awards for being the top business in leadership and strategic planning, customer focus and market innovation as well as technology.

The annual award is actually part of an evaluation process called Programa a la Excelencia that businesses enlist the chamber to perform. The evaluations show participating businesses how they can improve. The chamber gives out awards based on these evaluations and improvements made as a result.

Prodex makes plastic thermal reflectors and polyethylene packing materials. It says that 75 percent of its products are exported.

44 businesses participated this year in the program and the awards process, the fifteenth year of the program.

Immigration police grab
fake identity documents

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The investigation unit of the immigration police is handling a case of fraud which involves persons making false documents in an apartment in San Sebastián, San José.

Two suspects who have the last names Castillo Rojos and Solis Picado were arrested for distributing fake work permits and cédulas, according to a release. 

The cédulas were sold to foreigners for 65,000 colons each and work permits for 45,000 colons each.

According to the immigration agency, investigators were anonymously alerted about the activity, and began looking into the apartment laboratory during the end of September.

Driver's licenses and permits for carrying weapons, were also found in the laboratory.

Unknown is who exactly bought the documents, said an immigration spokesperson.

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary

Costa Rican news summaries are disabled
on archived pages.

Have you seen these stories?
From A.M. Costa Rica

Top story news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

newspaper nameplate
Del Rey accommodations

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 230
Real Estate
About us

People get
bridges, too

People are getting bailey bridges of their own. The minispans bridge spots dangerous for pedestrians in Porvenir and Aguas Zarcas, both in San Carlos. They resemble the big ones that the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad puts up when a road washes out. Bridges cost from 5 to 6.5 million colons ($10,000 to $13,000), including site work.
bridge for people
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo

The Laboratorio said that 2005 was the year with the fewest quakes of 4.5 or more in 39 years. That year saw 59 earthquakes.

Bulk of the recent quakes are not the fault of the tectonic plates
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Central Valley residents felt a sharp shock at 10:40 p.m. Sunday when the seventh significant earthquake of the day made itself known.

This one was estimated to have been a kilometer southeast of  Dulce Nombre de Cartago, and the magnitude was estimated by all three monitoring agencies at 3.8.

Another significant quake Sunday was at 2:23 a.m. about 9 kilometers west of Hacienda Murcielago de la Cruz in northwestern Costa Rica. That was estimated at a 3.6 magnitude. There also was a 3.4-magnitude quake Sunday at 8:16 a.m. a kilometer northeast of Sandalo de Golfito in southern Costa Rica, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica.

The Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica reported a 4.3-magnitude quake Friday about 6 kilometers (less than 4 miles) south southwest of Yolillal de Upala in northern Costa Rica. That was at 10:36 p.m.

The Laboratorio also reported a 3.9-magnitude quake about 6.6 kilometers southeast of Pittier de Coto Brus, also in the southern part of the country at 7:32 a.m. Saturday.

Despite the proliferation of quakes, the Red Sismológica Nacional said that many are the result of local faults and not a result of the Cocos tectonic plate grinding against the lighter Caribbean plate.

The 10:36 p.m. Friday quake was so deep at 177 kilometers, about 110 miles, that it was hardly felt, said the Red Sismológica. By contrast a flurry of three quakes less than four kilometers deep were felt last week in Escazú even though the magnitudes were less.

Before the weekend flurry of quakes, the Laboratorio calculated that there had been 140 quakes of 4.5 or better this
Red Sismológica Nacional graphic
 Of eight earthquakes last week on two (in blue) were caused
 by tectonic plates, said the Red Sismológica.

year in Central America, including three greater than 7.0 magnitude within 72 days. That includes the Sept. 5 quake off the coast of the Nicoya peninsula.

That is unusual because only 1876, 1983 and 1992 were years in which there were two quakes of that magnitude.

The year with the most quakes in Central America was 1992, said the Laboratorio. That was the year of the devastating earthquake in Nicaragua, and there were 235 quakes.

The Laboratorio said that 2005 was the year with the fewest quakes of 4.5 or more in 39 years. That year saw 59 earthquakes, the Laboratorio said.

The region averages 114 quakes of 4.5 or better per year.

Del Rey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 230
Real Estate
About us

                vacation promo

Rejection of magistrate
brings avalanche of backers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The roof seems to have fallen in on lawmakers who voted Thursday to fire a sitting magistrate.

The magistrate, Fernando Cruz Castro, sits on the Sala IV, the constitutional court, and has been a key figure in a number of controversial decisions.

A coalition led by the Partido Liberación Nacional fielded the 38 votes required to reject reappointing Cruz to another eight-year term.

The reasons given were thin, and the left-leaning Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados called them pathetic and said that the decision was an end to judicial independence. Magistrates seldom have been deposed in Costa Rica.

A number of developments may keep Cruz in his job. A march is planned by supporters for Thursday. Three persons already have filed appeals with the same Sala IV. And lawmakers today might be asked to reverse the vote. Several supports have questioned the technicalities relating to the vote with an eye towards finding that the lawmakers made a fatal error under the rules of the Asamblea Legislativa.

Cruz has been described as independent.

Rodrigo Arias, the brother of the former president and a presidential candidate himself, issued a denial Friday that said the negative vote for Cruz was not a maneuver on his part.

No one disputes that the legislature has a legal right to reject a magistrate although some question the philosophy of how that policy was developed.

General Cañas Autopista
to be opened fully today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Highway workers were supposed to open the westbound land of the Autopista General Cañas at 5 a.m. today after a rush job over the weekend of back filling a construction site.

This is where the road washed out and bailey bridges were installed. After a series of events worthy of a television soap opera, workmen were able to put down asphalt over the weekend. The eastbound lanes already had been brought back into service.

By midday Sunday the road was ready except for white lines.

This is where a spillway washed out and created a big hole in the westbound lanes. So officials decided to put both east and westbound lanes on bailey bridges and excavate completely the ground underneath. Workmen installed concrete arches and were about to finishing that part of the job when an 84-ton self-propelled crane tried to cross one of the two bridges on the eastbound lanes. That weight is about twice the maximum for the temporary steel structures.

What followed was a day and a half of trying to get the large vehicle off the span. Then the damaged span was disassembled and fill dirt put in to bring the soil up to highway surface.

Then the procedure was repeated for the westbound lanes.

All the while motorists suffered delays and detours.

Tax inspectors visiting
businesses in northern zone

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tax inspectors are making the rounds in Alajuela, Heredia and San Carlos.

The Dirección General de Tributación said that 61 inspectors are visiting businesses to provide information and to check on their legality.

The inspectors will be checking on the facturas or receipts issued by the companies but also their health permits and business licenses, Tributación said.

If any businesses still owe tax money, that fact will be brought to the owner's attention, too, the agency said.

Correos clerks accepting
money for postal boxes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here's one item that has not increased this year: Correos de Costa Rica still is charging 10,000 colons, about $20.60, for a postal box.

The agency said Friday that cashiers are ready to take the money from the 51,348 clients who now have boxes at the various postal offices. The fee is for all of 2013.

If the box holder fails to pay by Jan. 31, the price goes up 50 percent. Customers can lose the box if they do not pay by the end of March.

Correos de Costa Rica also said that 20,000 more boxes are being put into service at the agency's 117 offices. These can be rented for a first-time fee of 20,000 colons, the agency said.

Individuals need a cédula or other valid identification. Corporate clients need to have the personaría juridica of the company and a copy for the initial purchase, the agency said.

Bright lights at night seen
as depression invitation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study suggests that exposure to bright lights in the evening hours may increase the risk of depression and learning difficulties.

According to researchers at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, steady exposure to bright lights at night produced signs of depression and learning disabilities in a group of laboratory mice.

It is well known that day and night rhythms can affect human metabolism, including psychological functions.  Biologist Samer Hattar says this is a condition known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, where some people become depressed during the winter season when days grow shorter in the north.  SAD is often treated successfully by having patients spend time in front of special lamps called light boxes, whose full spectrum bulbs simulate natural daylight.

Hattar’s team also believes depression and learning deficits can set in for so-called "night owls" -- people who stay up very late and -- because they tend to sleep in late -- do not see much morning light.

That is a reaction the researchers saw in their study of mice exposed to a cycle of three-and-a-half hours of light followed by three-and-a-half hours of darkness.  Hattar says the cycle did not deprive the mice of sleep, just altered their wake-sleep cycle.
Your links to a great vacation
or retirement

Periodically we like to feature our tourism and retirement experts on the news pages for the benefit of our overseas readers.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Steve and Debbie Legg
Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. or e-mail us at

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
Customized vacation packages to Costa Rica planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715. You can sit back and relax while we plan your dream Costa Rica Vacation.

Costa Rica Vacations
Customized, all inclusive Costa Rica vacations planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715. Sit back and relax while we plan your trip or dream Costa Rica Honeymoon.

Panama Vacations
Custom, all-inclusive vacations to Panama by 100% locally based experts in Panama.  See "the new Costa Rica" before the secret gets out!  We offer customized trips to the best all inclusive Panama hotels and Panama resorts. Call 1-866-393-4192 if from the U.S. or 00 (507)-264-1279 from Costa Rica.

view from the house
An evening View from George’s Puriscal home
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. 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.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
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.


Costa Rica Fishing Experts
Customized, upscale fishing packages & Costa Rica fishing vacations designed by 100% local experts. Call Toll Free: 1-866-901-0683

Mead Brown
Rent villas, homes, and condos for your Costa Rica vacation.
Daily housekeeping, WiFi and concierge services included.
Visit us at Costa Rica Vacation Rentals.

Christopher Howard’s Costa Rica Starter Kit!
costa Rica Starter Kit

    * The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to Retirement
             and Living  in Costa Rica”
    * The 545-page “Official Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica”
    * Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish”
    * Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos
Purchase through Pay Pal at:

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour.  NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information and a LONGER fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 

Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the BEST and most unique tour in Latin America. This is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the most read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica, and who has personally helped over 10,000
with Max
  people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields.  Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials. See a video about Chris Howard’s Book and Tours Costa Rica HERE! Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

*BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

Howard Spanish cover
ALL you need to handle most daily situations. ALL of the Tico slang you cannot find in a dictionary. Practical pronunciation exercises to help you lose your Gringo accent. Social situations and everything else you need to know in the #1 Best-selling “Christopher Howard’s Official Guide to Costa Rica Spanish.”  Also see our #1 Web site on Google  for FREE Spanish lessons. eBook available through

Squaremouth travel insurance

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-

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo


Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 230
Real Estate
About us


                vacations in Costa Rica

Distinctive Korean dance
seen as big tourism draw

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The South Korean pop song and music video "Gangnam Style" has gone viral worldwide. And now the South Korean tourism industry is hoping to cash in on the song's international success.

Alexis Martinez, 14, is in a tour group that is learning the dance made famous by South Korean musician Psy in his video Gangnam Style. Martinez says even back home in Texas the song is a big hit.

"It was basically my whole school knew about it, it was crazy," said Martinez.  "There was a flash mob in our school that did it, the Gangnam Style."

"Gangnam Style" is one of the most viewed videos ever on the Internet.  It has ranked high on music charts in Asia, Europe and North America. And is what many say is South Korea's most successful cultural export.
For those reasons, some believe "Gangnam Style" can be used to import many foreign visitors and money.

"I think Gangnam Style is bringing up Korea's brand value," said Je Sang-won, who heads the Korea Tourism Organization's Halyu, or Korean Wave, division. "It has attracted more Western fans and made them interested in Korea.  We did a survey in Los Angeles and found 70 percent of respondents said they wanted to visit Korea after they saw the video."

Out of the streets of Gangnam, which is the part of Seoul south of the Han River, businesses are using Psy and his song to help sell products.
And some other merchants say ever since "Gangnam Style" went viral, they have seen an increase in foreign shoppers.  
Kwon Da-na runs a clothing shop in Gangnam's trendy Apgujeong neighborhood.

"Sometimes there are more foreign customers than Korean shoppers coming to my store.  When I turn on the Gangnam Style song and open the door, some people come in off the street.  They smile a lot," she noted.

South Korea expects to see more than 10 million foreign visitors this year.  And according to the Korea Tourism Organization, Korean pop music, known as K-POP, is one of the country's biggest draws. And now thanks to Psy, the KTO plans to use Gangnam Style to attract more foreign tourists.
Tourist Alexis Martinez says the "Gangnam Style" dance is one that anyone can learn.  And cool is what "Gangnam Style" is all about.

New Anglican church leader
faces difficult challenges

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the global Anglican Communion, faces major challenges in uniting the faith’s increasingly divided church. For church members in Africa  where more than half of Anglicans live opinions vary about how Justin Welby will weather the storm.

Welby will take up his new position as the archbishop of Canterbury early next year. It will be a remarkable undertaking for a man who began his career in the oil industry before becoming a parish priest in the Church of England. He has only been a bishop for one year.

South African theologian Barney Pityana said many African Anglicans in his region do not know anything about Welby.

“There is a little bit of apprehension over the appointment of somebody with so little episcopal experience,” said Pityana.

The trouble, he said, is that the Anglican Communion, with its 80 million members, is at a complex and crucial point in its history.

Issues that have dogged the church for the past decade continue to threaten Anglican unity, dividing liberals, many in North America, and conservatives, many based in Africa.

The split between liberal and conservative regions set in after the United States consecrated its first openly gay bishop. Since then, disputes over homosexual priests and same-sex marriages have become a major stumbling block.

Welby has said he agrees with the Church of England bishops’ position in opposition to gay marriage. On the other hand, he supports the ordination of women, another, though lesser, issue of controversy.

The archbishop also comes from the church's evangelical wing, which analysts say should stand him well in Africa. Pityana said that building a bridge between the two sides, however, will not be easy.

"Clearly any archbishop has got to be a master diplomat, has got to be somebody who can really balance out a variety of interests and pushes and pulls in the Anglican community. In this time, I would imagine there is a schism in all but name," said Pityana.
Your place to stay here
As high season approaches, we like to feature our advertisers who offer long- and short-term rentals for expats and tourists.

Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.

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 
tropical homes
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.
Volcano View!
Santo Domingo de Heredia, gated community
Fully furnished, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, cable, internet, hot water tank. 300 meters from Mas x Menos supermarket. 700 meters from farmers' market. Bus stop at gate. $600 all utilities paid. Available Jan. 1.

wide view a San
porch viw
New home in the mountains near San Ramón
3,200-foot elevation. 60 to 80 degrees year around. 2 bedrooms,1 bath. Fantastic 180 degree view of Gulf of Nicoya and Nicoya peninsula.  High-speed internet.  7 miles from San Ramón, 1 &1/2 miles from Interamericana Norte. Must see pics to appreciate.   $750 plus utilities.  Long- or short-term lease. Contact .   See our picture trail here:

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished large 2-bedroom
apartment view
apartment. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Convenient location in downtown, San José. All bills paid except electric. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

Apartments Sudamer
Downtown completely furnished apartments, safe, secure, telephone, cable TV, Wi-Fi Internet Calle 7, Avenida 14. Weekly from $200 Monthly from $550 to $680
Phone: 2221-0247 Cel: 8342-3838 Fax: 2222-2195

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

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

Playa Zancudo is located in the southern Pacific side of CR, out of Golfito and across from Puerto Jiménez.   Beautiful, long, sandy beach with a tranquil community of Ticos and expats. Phone and fast Internet.  Prices vary from length of time, to size of house. A one-month house rental might be $1,400, and reduced to $900 per month for 3 months.  Cabins, which have Internet and bi-weekly maid service are considerably less, and have kitchens and internet and other services. For info:

BBC news feeds may be found on Page 7 HERE!

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Havana
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 230
Real Estate
About us

Costa Rica Reprot promo

Latin America news
Sea still holds many secrets
as cataloging continues

By the Cell Press news service

At least one-third of the species that inhabit the world's oceans may remain completely unknown to science. That's despite the fact that more species have been described in the last decade than in any previous one, according to a report published online in the Cell Press publication Current Biology that details the first comprehensive register of marine species of the world — a massive collaborative undertaking by hundreds of experts around the globe.

The researchers estimate that the ocean may be home to as many as one million species. About 226,000 of those species have so far been described. There are another 65,000 species awaiting description in specimen collections.

"For the first time, we can provide a very detailed overview of species richness, partitioned among all major marine groups. It is the state of the art of what we know — and perhaps do not know — about life in the ocean," said Ward Appeltans of the U.N. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

The findings provide a reference point for conservation efforts and estimates of extinction rates, the researchers say. They expect that the vast majority of unknown species — composed disproportionately of smaller crustaceans, molluscs, worms, and sponges —will be found this century.

Earlier estimates of ocean diversity had relied on expert polls based on extrapolations from past rates of species descriptions and other measures. Those estimates varied widely, suffering because there was no global catalog of marine species.

Appeltans and colleagues including Mark Costello from the University of Auckland have now built such an inventory. The World Register of Marine Species is an open-access, online data base created by 270 experts representing 146 institutions and 32 countries. It is now 95 percent complete and is continually being updated as new species are discovered.

"Building this was not as simple as it should be, because there has not been any formal way to register species," Costello says.

A particular problem is the occurrence of multiple descriptions and names for the same species — so called synonyms, Costello says. For instance, each whale or dolphin has on average 14 different scientific names.

As those synonyms are discovered through careful examination of records and specimens, the researchers expect perhaps 40,000 supposed species to be struck from the list. But such losses will probably be made up as DNA evidence reveals overlooked species.

While fewer species live in the ocean than on land, marine life represents much older evolutionary lineages that are fundamental to our understanding of life on Earth, Appeltans said. And, in some sense, the data base is only the start.

"This data base provides an example of how other biologists could similarly collaborate to collectively produce an inventory of all life on Earth," Appeltans said.

Latin American news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2012 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details