Friday, August 19, 2011

Living Abroad in Costa Rica

Living in Costa Rica, either temporarily or permanently, is an appealing concept to many Americans. That isn’t to say there aren’t any obstacles. If you are considering living outside of your current borders, or if you have already made the leap, we have collected some of the best advice the internet has to offer.

On Culture Shock

With all of the legal, financial, and citizenship questions, many people forget that Costa Rica is a Latin country, with a language and culture that may be a bit of a change from what we are used to in the states. World-hopper Charlotte McPherson explains why you can’t let those potential barriers hold you back.

The world we live in and human beings are incredibly complex. One thing I have learned in my years living abroad is that if we do not take time to understand another culture, we will form erroneous assumptions and beliefs about the culture and people. Sadly, when this happens damage is done.

Spend some time in Costa Rica with an open mind. The locals are relaxed, happy, and welcoming. The language is easy, and you probably already know more Spanish than you realize. As some may point out, you can usually just respond “Pura Vida” to anything if you are confused!

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On Cost of Living

One of the primary reasons to consider Costa Rica as a home is the low cost of living.

You can definitely live in Costa Rica for a lot less than what you’d be spending in the U.S. or Canada, but it takes some conscious effort. What helps is that most people who move down want to pare down, to let go of all they’ve accumulated over the years. They want to own less, work and spend less, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. With this approach, it’s not hard to live economically.

Despite rumors to the contrary, it is a bit unrealistic to plan on living like a king on dollars a day. Retirement in Costa Rica, much like in the US, requires a good amount of savings. However, with a little bit of thought and planning, it is possible for a couple to live luxuriously for$2000 a month.

In our next blog, we’ll look at some of the more technical aspects of living abroad in Costa Rica.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Paddle Boarding in Costa Rica

This weekend, we went paddle boarding off the coast. All members of the Club at Coco Bay have access to this activity, which means that residents of Coco Bay Estates, Vista Ocotal, La Montana, and vacationers staying at Villa Santaluz can all enjoy this beautiful experience.


You can experience the natural splendor of Costa Rica's coastlines without the distracting noise of boat motors.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why Costa Rica?

On 450 acres of lush, forested mountainside looking out on the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica’’s spectacular Guanacaste Province, Jim and Gina Correll and their partners Julian and Karen Rembert are developing La Montana and Vista Ocotal . These resort-lifestyle communities with their unique combination of Costa Rica vacation living and vibrant North American spirit are attracting American, Canadian and European buyers looking for smart investment alternatives outside the U.S. in this popular, beautiful and friendly country.
CRDG Development, the team’s 7-year old company, has already completed their first phase of the project, Coco Bay Estates, which consists of 100 home sites, 32 luxury condominiums and a tennis and aquatic center.  Owners enjoy their Hacienda -style digs with Pacific views and jungle panoramas. To date, CRDG has sold more than 90 percent of the condominium homes and villa sites integral to the architect-designed master plan that guides the elegant coastal Spanish Colonial style of Coco Bay Estates and are now focusing on phase 2 of their development which is La Montana and Vista Ocotal.

La Montana sits near the center of the Guanacaste coast within a region frequently referred to as Costa Rica’s gold coast. Along this forty mile stretch of impressive Pacific coastline is where luxury brand hotels like the Four Seasons, Rosewood, Hilton and other boutique European and North American hoteliers are taking an increasing presence. The region is likely one of the hottest and fastest growing investment and resort destinations in Central America and touts world-class eco-tourism, fishing, diving and boating, and a variety of Costa Rica adventure activities like zip lining, white water rafting and volcano tours.

Over 90,000 visitors from the U.S., Canada and Europe fly in to nearby Daniel Oduber Airport ( each month, escalating both the economy and growth of the Gold Coast region. Daily, direct international connections make this once hard to reach area a 2 to 5-hour flight from airports in California, Florida, Texas and New York. Direct flights make it an uncomplicated trip for telecommuting professionals, visitors and the increasing number of individuals and families with second homes in the area.

According to Correll, people come to Costa Rica and fall in love with the area and the people. “Once they are here, the opportunity is easy to understand,” says Correll. ““They invest in vacation property or a second home; then they start spending more personal time here. They begin to realize they can work from here, bring their skills here and become part of the growth that is happening. Soon they start spending a majority of their time in Costa Rica and then look to moving here full time. They love it and so do we,”” he concludes. Correll estimates that more than thirty percent of Coco Bay Estates buyers are planning to live there part of the year; others will take up the Costa Rica lifestyle full time like the Correll and Rembert families do now.

Correll and his wife Gina searched seriously for real estate opportunities along the coast of Mexico and the Baja before heading to Costa Rica’’s Pacific Coast for a short vacation where the couple met real estate professional Julian Rembert and his wife Karen a tennis pro. The Remberts had also been scouting real estate sweet spots on the other side of the country, looking along the Atlantic Coast down to the Caribbean. The two couples quickly recognized they shared a common vision and the business skill set to make it happen. As they explored the region, their instincts and some hard-core research told them they had found what they had been looking for on Costa Rica’’s northwestern shore. They loved the area’s tropical beauty, its exhilarating eco-lifestyle, people, expanse of beaches and friendly Pura Vida spirit.

And, they agreed that the region had inevitable potential to become a destination and value proposition on par with opportunities in Hawaii, the Caribbean and Mexico years earlier.

The Corrells and Remberts are making that process easy for La Montana & Vista Ocotal buyers. CRDG offers a full-blown menu of professionals and services for buyers that can help them design, build, furnish and maintain their homes. “Our team consists of the people who developed the Four Seasons, the top service providers in Latin America, definitely in Costa Rica——it’s a great Costa Rican team, not a foreign team. They know how to work here, they have the contacts and the track record, they’ve already done it.”

CRDG offers a vacation rental program for owners who want their Costa Rica home to perform like an investment and make money when they aren’t living in it. “We wanted to build a resort community that would allow our investors to live here year round and totally enjoy the day to day lifestyle. At the same time, if an owner plans only to vacation here and wants to rent his property out for the rest of the year, we wanted to make that easy for them, too. Our goal was to create a community and the amenity set that would inspire anyone who visits this area to want to stay at Coco Bay Estates because of all that it offers,” says Rembert.

“There aren’t too many places in the world where you can go to the beach, go to the rainforest, go surfing, visit a volcano, go ATVing, hiking or play in waterfalls all in the same day and then go home to a community that is comfortable, safe and in what we call affordable luxury,” adds Rembert, “We love it, our families love it, our friends love it——and we’re pretty sure lots of other folks are going to love it as well.”

Leif and Shestin's Costa Rica Fantasy Wedding

Recently, Leif Czplewski and Shestin Larson chose Villa Santaluz and the Beach Club at Coco Bay as the sites for their incredible destination wedding. The couple was so impressed with the experience, they sent us an album of breathtaking photos, and a heart-warming testimonial. You can check out the best of both on our Villa Santaluz and Club at Coco Bay blogs!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Live the Pure Life

Just what is it that makes Costa Rica the perfect place to live? There is little doubt that the country features a flawless natural beauty. It is also among the most peaceful and laid-back areas of Central America, but is that really all there is to it?

The New Economics Foundation is a group formed to change the way people think about economics, stressing the importance of the human experience. Part of their research includes determining the environmental impact, life expectancy, and happiness of the world’s population. In 2009, this survey concluded that Costa Rica had taken the top spot, and is the happiest country in the world. By comparison, the same survey ranked Australia at 74th, and the United States 114th out of 143 countries.

The New Economics Foundation's measurements found Costa Ricans have a life expectancy of 78.5 years, and 85 percent of the country's residents say they are happy and satisfied with their lives.
Those figures, taken along with the fact that Costa Rica has a small "ecological footprint," combined to push the small nation to the top of the list.

Everyone that visits Costa Rica has a story, and through this blog, we will proudly share them with you. We have been sharing the joys of Costa Rica with travelers and new residents alike since 2005, when we opened our first set of properties, Coco Bay Estates. As their stories grew and spread, we opened Vista Ocotal and La Montana, and now more people can come and experience the beauty, the happiness, and the purity of living in Costa Rica. Will yours be the next story we tell?