Costa Rica Residency

Costa Rica Residency

Many people who wish to move to Central America choose Costa Rica as  their new home. Costa Rica has a warm climate, full of beautiful scenery and attractive beaches. There are many benefits to obtaining a Costa Rica residency. The southern Pacific coast is a popular location for many expats. Many choose to make their new homes in Playa Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio.9.3

Costa Rica offers five different residency types, making it easier to enjoy the benefits of being a resident in this wonderful country.

Investor

To be an investor, you can either purchase a property, or a business, as long as it’s worth more than $200,000 US. In order to continue your residency, you must visit Costa Rica at least once every year.

For those investors who have a spouse or children under 18 years of age, they will automatically qualify for residency status as well.

There are many benefits to investor status as you can also get income from your business or from renting a property out to others.

Pension

To qualify for pensionado status, you’ll need to provide proof that you haveat least $1000 worth of income per month from a permanent pension source, or from a retirement fund. You must also visit Costa Rica at least once a year.

If you have a spouse or children under 18, they will also gain residency. You may not work as an employee for any business in Costa Rica.

You may also own a company and receive dividends from the business.

Independent

To qualify under the independent residency, you must provide proof that you have an income of $2500 per month, for at least two years. This must be confirmed by a banking institution. You may also deposit $60,000 into one of the pre-approved Costa Rican banks. This amount covers a spouse and children under 18 as well.

Under this plan, you must also visit Costa Rica once per year, and not work as an employee, but you can still own a company and income from that source.

Representative

To qualify under the representative program you must be the director of a business that meets certain criteria. This company must employ a specific number of Costa Ricans as per the labor law. Financial statements must also be provided from a qualified professional accountant.

Under this plan, you must also visit Costa Rica once per year, and it includes a spouse and dependants under age 18. You are not only allowed to own the company, but to receive an income too.

Permanent

You may obtain permanent residency if you marry a Costa Rican citizen, or have a child with a Costa Rican, or just have a child that is born in Costa Rica even if neither parent is Costa Rican.

You may also apply for permanent residency if you have had another status for at least three years.

Under this plan you must also promise to visit Costa Rica at least once per year, and will be able to claim your spouse and children under 18. You may also work, own a company, and receive income from that company.

Capital Gains Tax Costa Rica

 

                                                                   Capital Gains Tax Costa Rica

Many people buy vacation property in countries around the world, but are in for a rude awakening when having to pay capital gains taxes. Costa Rica works a bit differently than in other countries. For example, in the USA, you must pay capital gains tax if your real estate investments appreciate in value. These profits must be taxed as they appreciate or when you sell the property. These taxes are one of the downsides to purchasing property for investment.

In Costa Rica, most banking account investments and real estate investments are not subject to a capital gains tax, even when interest is earned, or a property increases in value. This opens up many financial opportunities to the foreign investor wishing to make a move to this country.

These rules are applicable to individuals. Where capital gains taxes may be required is for certain types of business investments. Businesses normally pay taxes. In order for taxes to be exempt, the business must be participating in a business activity that is separate, or different from their regular business operations. If your business is solely real estate investments, then those profits are taxable.

For an individual buying property, it’s considered a personal capital gains environment. It’s considered that this individual has no intention of making a profit, as there is no business registered. Thus, the individual is exempt from capital gains taxes.

These tax rules make Costa Rica an attractive place for foreign investors to move to. In fact, there is plenty of foreign investment in the country.

If you’re planning on moving to Costa Rica and planning on buying a property or two for investment, there won’t be any capital gains taxes. But once you start building up your portfolio, you may need to consult an expert on whether your new investments will be subject to capital gains tax or not. Your real estate broker will be able to advise you as to whether your new property purchases will be considered as part of a business or not.

Your real estate agent can review purchase documents for your potential investments, to ensure that your new property is not taxable.

Many people also consider moving their investments to a new Costa Rican bank account, in order to take advantage of the country’s tax saving benefits.

Another great aspect to living in Costa Rica is that property taxes are also low, they are only 0.25% of the property value. This makes purchasing property in Costa Rica doubly beneficial to individuals and families looking for a home away from home. Playa Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio are popular residential locations for foreigners along the southern Pacific coast.

There are many investment opportunities in Playa Dominical and Costa Rica that are attractive to the foreign investor who wants a secondary way of making some extra cash, or who wishes to have a vacation home. Before embarking on real estate investment activities, consult with your real estate broker to ensure that properties are free of capital gains taxes.

3.28 ACRES - Amazing Ocean View Property Walking Distance To The Beach!!!

Buying a Car in Costa Rica

Buying a Car in Costa Rica

Foreigners who’ve settled in Costa Rica quickly realize that they can’t bring their cars in from other countries, as they’re subject to extremely high import taxes. The next best option is to purchase a car. For a Costa Rican, buying a car is no big deal. The slow process is a way of life, but then, everything runs much more slowly in Costa Rica. For the westerner who expects instant gratification with everything, buying a car in Costa Rica can be a long slow process.

Since cars in Costa Rica will generally cost you more money new or used, you’re going to need to spend time shopping around. Many people in Costa Rica purchase cars through private sales, rather than relying on used car lots. But how to get around town to look at all your potential new car purchases?

You have the option of renting a car, so you can drive around checking out potential purchases, or getting one of your local friends to drive you around.

There are several websites that have new and used cars on them. One of the best is www.crautos.com. There is also www.ecuentra24.com and www.craigslist.com.

You may find that your Costa Rican friends are the ones who will make purchasing a car much easier for you. They can provide valuable advice on which car dealers to trust, who to avoid, and a reliable mechanic who can provide an inspection of your potential new car purchase.

Many people in Costa Rica own an SUV 4×4 vehicle, as some of the roads aren’t paved, and may be rough to drive on. If you’re purchasing a vehicle, you should consider buying this type of car, so you can truly get around to see all the fabulous sights of the country.

It’s recommended that you narrow down your selection between three different vehicles. Have each one inspected by your trusty mechanic. Your mechanic will provide advice on whether the vehicle will be a good purchase, and since you’ll likely be purchasing a used car due to the expensive costs of cars in Costa Rica, you’ll want to know how much any potential repairs will cost as well.

Once you’ve made your choice you need to visit an abogado, or lawyer. Sometimes it can be difficult to find one who can speak good English, so ask around. A friend may be able to not only provide a recommendation, but set up a meeting for you.

The lawyer will search a government database for information on the car, and whether there are any liens on it. You’ll be required to pay Marchamo, an annual road tax where you get a sticker to place on your windshield. Plates always stay with the car, and are never exchanged, even when the car switches hands.

The lawyer will fill out pertinent papers for you, and you’ll sign them. You’ll receive a temporary document until the papers are processed in San Jose. You’ll receive the keys, and will return to pick up the processed papers in two week’s time.

Treat your new car purchase as Tico style and don’t stress out over it. Once you have your new car, you’ll have freedom to travel anywhere.

Homes for Sale in Costa Rica

Homes for Sale in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the nicest countries in Central America that offers plenty of real estate opportunities. The country is really appealing to those that want to invest in real estate property due to the lower costs of living and the nice scenery. There are lots of homes for sale in Costa Rica, and it all depends on your personal choice. You can find all kinds of homes, stunning villas, cottages, bungalows, beach houses and other properties which you can buy at affordable prices.

One great advantage for buying a home in Costa Rica is their good property laws. They are completely the same for both Costa Rican residents and foreigners, so there is no unnecessary bureaucracy. There is no requirement for you to live in Costa Rica in order to own a house. Property tax is also relatively low, and there are many other advantages for you to look at the market and search for homes for sale in Costa Rica.

Here are some of the best reasons to look for homes for sale in Costa Rica:

The country has wonderful landscape. From rain forests to nice sandy beaches, blue

skies and unrealistic nature – Costa Rica has it all. Owning a house in any region of

the country is like having a house in paradise.

 Amazing homes. All kinds of properties can be found in Costa Rica for any pocket.

Homes for sale in Costa Rica are well priced in comparison to other countries in

North or South or Central America and Europe.

 Great climate. Costa Rica is a tropical place and it has a nice, warm climate

throughout the whole year. Even in the rainy seasons the average temperature remains

pleasantly warm. The climate is perfect for those people that want to escape from

harsh winters and chilly autumn seasons.

 Costa Rica has rich biodiversity. It is a home to some of the rarest plant and animal

species in the world, which makes it a very exciting and exotic place to own a home.

Due to the rich biodiversity, Costa Rica attracts lots of people from all over the world,

so buying a home in Costa Rica is a great investment choice.

 Another reason to buy a home in Costa Rica is the higher standard of living. Due to

the increased number of rich people that search for homes for sale in Costa Rica, the

standard of living constantly improves which makes the country really attractive for

homeowners.

 Costa Rica is also very stable nation, free of political turbulences and unrest. There is

no active army, as it is safe country without problems and tensions with other

countries. That makes them perfect place for investing money into properties.

 Last, but not least – Costa Ricans are welcoming and friendly people. They take pride

in the natural beauties of their country and are used to international people. Those

people that buy homes in Costa Rica and invest into the country are highly regarded

and respected. You will definitely feel at home if you buy a home in Costa Rica.

 

Costa Rica: Visit for the Experience, Stay for the Lifestyle

 

Costa Rica is a small country of 4.5 million people, located on the narrow neck of Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama. To the left is the Pacific Ocean, and to the right the Caribbean Sea. It has the distinction of being a world-class tourist destination, with its lush vegetation, warm weather and world-class health care. There’s a saying that if you visit, you’ll end up making Costa Rica your home.

After many travellers see what the southern Pacific coast has to offer, they return to buy real estate. Costa Rica has some extensive environmental policies to protect the natural habit of plant and animal species. It’s the only country in the world to meet all five criteria for environmental sustainability. Recreational hunting has also been banned, to protect the wildlife.

Costa Rica is a country that used to be mainly dependent on its agriculture, but that’s now shifted to finance, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. It has some of the best health care in the world, with a large percentage of its tourist base coming here for special medical treatments either not available in the Western world, or requiring a long waiting list. Hospital and clinics focus on medical tests, treatments, and surgery for the tourist, as well as mental health wellness spas.

Costa Rica has an interesting history. Prior to the 16th century, it was populated by indigenous people. After that time, the Spanish settled in. It declared its own sovereignty in 1847. It abolished its army in 1948, joining the list of nations without one.

Costa Rica is a great place to educate children. It’s one of the top countries in the world with an extremely high literacy rate. There are other interesting facts about Costa Rica lifestyle. The temperature remains steady throughout the year. 18 degrees Celsius/80 degrees Fahrenheit is the average temperature for most of the year.

The most common language spoken is Spanish. The capital is San Jose, and the currency is the Costa Rican Colon. Bananas is one of the country’s major exports.

There are few countries around the world that have lovely weather, yet are stable politically, and Costa Rica is proud to be one of those countries. The foreign traveler can safely travel around the region, without fear of combatting armies.
The people are genuinely warm and proud of their Latin heritage. The people of Costa Rica enjoy peaceful
democratic elections since 1948. They nickname themselves “Ticos”. People are gentle, and often don’t like to raise their voices. The word “no” is not commonly used, which can be frustrating for a visitor, until they get into the swing of things.

Some of the best places to live on the southern Pacific coast include the towns of Playa Dominical, Uvita, and Manuel Antonio. If you enjoy the Costa Rica lifestyle, you may be interested in searching for a luxury vacation rental or permanent homes in this lovely country.

 

 

How to Buy Costa Rica Real Estate

How to Buy Costa Rica Real Estate

Buying property in Costa Rica is a simple process for foreigners and residents alike. Whether you are interested in Costa Rica condos for sale, houses for sale in Costa Rica, or property in Costa Rica, the process to find and purchase real estate in Costa Rica is the same.

The first step to buying Costa Rica Real Estate is to determine your budget and the type of real estate you would like to purchase. Are you interested in a condo or a house? Or would you prefer to buy land and build your own home? Each has distinct advantages, depending on your situation. 11111For example, if you build your own home, you can design exactly what you want; however, it can be difficult to manage a construction project from abroad. If you purchase a home, it may offer more privacy than a condo, but a condo is often easier to maintain than a home. Your future plans for the property will also be important in deciding what kind of Costa Rica real estate interests you. Are you relocating full time? If so, you might need a good school or hospital nearby. If you are purchasing a property as a vacation rental, proximity to the beach might be more important. The agents at Dominical Real Estate can help you determine what type of property would be best for your budget, needs and future plans.

After you’ve determined what you’re looking for, it’s time to start looking around and seeing what’s out there. On Dominical Real Estate’s website, properties are divided into homes, lots, condos, and farms. You can also browse by price, location, number of bedrooms, acreage, or a combination of all of these factors. By all means search the website on your own, but don’t hesitate to contact Dominical Real Estate for suggestions. Our agents are familiar with all of our properties and can suggest excellent options that you might otherwise overlook.

Once you’ve done some online research, it’s time to start planning a visit to Costa Rica! But before we get to the fun, it’s important to be prepared for your trip. If you want to have the option to begin the purchase process during your visit, you will need to arrive with the appropriate paperwork to open an escrow account. In Costa Rica, all the purchase money for real estate goes through an escrow agent. The escrow agent collects funds from the buyer and distributes them to the seller and other interested parties at the time of sale. To open an escrow account, you will need documents such as proof of your identity and proof of legitimacy of the funds used to buy property. Previous years’ tax returns often satisfy the proof of funds requirement, but each case is different! The agents at Dominical Real Estate can put you in touch with a reliable escrow agent who will help you determine what you need to open an escrow account in Costa Rica. Be sure to complete this step before you arrive in paradise!

Now that you have the paperwork ready, the fun begins: visiting Costa Rica and looking at properties. We recommend leaving yourself at least several days during your vacation to visit properties with a Dominical Real Estate agent. It’s best to leave yourself extra time for looking at real estate in Costa Rica in case you want to revisit a particular property at a different timebof day, or in case you realize that you’re a lot more interested in the houses you’re bypassing than the lots you’re visiting and need to change course. If all goes well and you end up with extra free time, you won’t have any problem filling it with surf lessons, waterfall excursions, or zipline tours!

If you find real estate in Costa Rica that you would like to purchase, you will need to make a written Offer to Purchase with the help of your Dominical Real Estate agent. This document will establish the purchase price and any special conditions upon which the offer is contingent. For example, you may offer a certain price for a property contingent upon the property receiving abuilding permit before the sale. After the initial offer, there is usually some negotiation between buyer and seller until an agreement is reached. Your Dominical Real Estate agent will take the lead in these negotiations to ensure that you get the best value. Our agents are excellent atnegotiating an agreement to please all parties.

Once the Offer to Purchase is signed, it is time to meet with a Costa Rican lawyer to draft a Sale and Purchase Agreement. This is a detailed contract that sets out all of the terms of the transaction. It will also determine the length and scope of the due diligence period, which is very important. The due diligence period is the time given to the lawyers to research and resolve any issues relating to the property. For example, if the purchase was contingent on receipt of a building permit, the due diligence period would give the lawyers time to apply for and receive the permit before the transaction is completed. A good lawyer will be able to identify all of the potential issues that should be addressed during due diligence; be sure to let your lawyer know your future plans for the property and any questions or concerns you have. The due diligence period is typically 30 days but can be as short or as long as necessary depending on the circumstances. During this time, you and your lawyer may want to discuss the possibility of creating a Costa Rican corporation, with you as the shareholder, to hold title to the property.

Once the Sales and Purchase Agreement is signed, the final step is the closing. You will need to transfer the necessary funds into your escrow account before closing day. You don’t need to attend the closing; the funds can be transferred by wire and your lawyer can represent you at the closing if you are unable to attend. Once the signing of documents and the transfer of funds is complete, you will be the proud owner of your dream, real estate in Costa Rica!

As you can see, buying property in Costa Rica is a simple process. It can be quite exciting, in fact, to learn more about Costa Rica and envision yourself in paradise. So whether you are looking for a condo, a home, a lot, or a farm, contact the agents at Dominical Real Estate today,and take the first step towards owning Costa Rica real estate and making your dream a reality!

logo sales

Costa Rica Real Estate for Sale

 

Screen shot 2015-04-03 at 8.27.33 PMCosta Rica Real Estate for Sale

Costa Rica can be considered as an area that is equipped with a very diverse real estate market. The real estate market that prevails in this area has the potential to cater to the needs of everyone. From bare lots and farms to fully furnished condos and homes, you can find beautiful properties in Costa Rica at a great price. Costa Rica also offers excellent opportunities for the people who are planning to invest in development projects.

Even though the building costs are relatively equal throughout the entire country, the value of land has a significant variation based on its location. The northwest region of Costa Rica is known as the Gold Coast of the country. If you purchase a home in this area, you will get the opportunity to experience a stunning view of the ocean.costa rica real estate However, the prices are extremely high and you will need to spend about half a million dollars to purchase a 5000 square meter lot. You will be able to purchase a lot for a much cheaper price in the Southern Pacific coastal areas including Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal and Hatillo to name a few. On the Southern Pacific coast you will get views that are just as spectacular plus you will get large green mountains with plenty of wildlife and empty beaches to explore!

Costa Rica is a hotspot for tourist and it has created a tremendous impact on the real estate industry of this area. You can find an excellent variety of available properties that range from residential homes, commercial lands to fully furnished luxury estates that come along with excellent views of the ocean. Costa Rica has got everything for the real estate seekers including vacation rentals, exquisite condos, mountain properties and farmscosta rica beachfront real estate.

Plenty of reasons are available out there for the people to purchase a home and settle down in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is known as one of the best destinations outside of the United States for retirement. The excellent warm weather that can be found throughout the year has played a major role behind the above mentioned fact. The environment that can be found in Costa Rica is serene and it is ideal for raising families. People who live in Costa Rica are quite friendly and they have a positive attitude towards the lifestyle. Foreigners who live in Costa Rica have the same rights as locals.

People who live in Costa Rica will be able to experience excellent health care services at a very low cost. Moreover, it is quite easy to qualify as a retiree in this area. In other words, the Pensionado Program will only ask you to provide $1,000 per couple per month from the pension, disability or social security.

The cost of living in Costa Rica is low when compared to other parts of the world. When it is paired with the excellent health care services and beautiful surroundings, Costa Rica will become one of the best destinations outside of the United States for the people to settle down. You can easily look for real estate for sale in Costa Rica through our website and choose the ideal destination to settle down.costa rica yoga retreat for sale

Festivals in Costa Rica

There are many fun festivals in Costa Rica. If you are interested in music, surfing, craft beer, yoga, art, or all of the above, there is a festival for you the southern Pacific zone! Festivals area draw for locals and tourists alike, and they provide a great place to connect with others with similar interests. The festivals in the area make this a wonderful place to live or own real estate.

One of the biggest and most exciting festivals in Costa Rica is the Envision Festival. This 4-day celebration of art, music and yoga is truly special and unique. Visitors from all over the world come to the Envision Festival to attend workshops of all kinds, view and create amazing pieces of art, and dance the night away. Held on an old pasture just south of Uvita, the Envision Festival grounds have direct access to beautiful Playa Hermosa. Watch the sunset, learn to surf, go skinny dipping at sunrise - this beach is incredible!

Although it is hard to top the natural wonders available at the Envision Festival grounds, the incredible art pieces give Mother Nature a run for her money. Visit the art gallery, watch a live painting exhibition, or enjoy one of the many art installations dispersed throughout the grounds. Even the stages are incredible pieces of art - for example, last year musicians and dancers performed from within a driftwood jaguar’s mouth. Other art pieces are more hidden, but worth seeking out. A personal favorite from previous years was the human-scale spider web, constructed with stretchy rope in the trees. Climb the bamboo bridges and leap into the spider web, if you dare!

Many come to the Envision Festival primarily for the music. There are three stages offering awide variety of music from mid-day until sunrise. Live bands and DJs from all over the world perform at the Envision Festival, and the festival attendees love to dance! Stay for Random Rab’s sunrise set, if you can endure all night. Envision is held every year at the end of February or beginning of March. Visit www.envisionfestival.com for more information.

 

If you love music, especially reggae and jam bands, Jungle Jam is a festival in Costa Rica which is not to be missed. Held annually in March in Jaco, Jungle Jam is primarily a music festival. In past years, this four-day event has featured artists such as Thievery Corporation, Steel Pulse, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and Max Creek. Music begins in the afternoon and late night shows continue until dawn. If you attend Jungle Jam, during the day you can also enjoy all that Jaco has to offer, from luxury condos and hotels, to excellent restaurants, to the lovely beach. For more information on Jungle Jam, visit www.junglejam.com.

In recent years, there has been a explosion of craft breweries in Costa Rica. The Costa Ballena Craft Beer Festival is a festival in Costa Rica that offers a chance to try many local varieties of beer and mead. Each year in January, brewers from all over the country congregate in the Uvita area and offer samples of their concoctions. The Costa Ballena Beer Festival is obviously a fun event people who enjoy drinking craft beer, but even if you don’t drink, it is a great social event that draws crowds from all over. Visit www.ballenabeerfest.com for more information.

If you’re more interested in outdoor activities than beer, music, art, or yoga, then Pilon Paddlepalooza is for you. The Pilon Paddlepalooza is a multi-day competitive festival in Costa Rica consisting of various events, such as a long-distance SUP race, a SUP surf contest, and our personal favorite, the SUP surf slalom. The Paddlepalooza is good clean fun for all ages. If you are an    experienced paddleboarder, go for the gold! If you’ve never set foot on a SUP, that’s okay too. Event organizers Shawn and Nathalie are excellent teachers, and you may win a prize even if you come in dead last. Good sportsmanship goes a long way at the Paddlepalooza! Pilon Paddlepalooza is held annually in August in the town of Pilon, which is near Pavones in the farthest southern reaches of Costa Rica. It is a magical place where you will find pristine deserted beaches, an abundance of scarlet macaws, and perfect waves. Check out www.aguavidasurf.com for more information.

 

As you can see, there are an abundance of festivals in Costa Rica, and there is a festival to suit any taste in the southern Pacific zone. Whether you’re an athlete, an aspiring yogi, an artist, a dancer, a musician, a connoisseur of great beer, or just someone who loves to have a good time, you will find an opportunity to explore your interests in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica. Thinking about purchasing real estate in the Dominical area? Whether you plan to live here full time or buy a vacation property, the variety of festivals in Costa Rica will add value to your investment.

 

Restaurants In Southern Costa Rica

From Manuel Antonio to Ojochal, there are many excellent restaurants in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica.  Whether you are looking for a romantic meal, a family dinner, or a night out with friends, the southern Pacific zone has a restaurant that can meet your needs.  Today, we will focus on restaurants offering dinner; check back later for another blog covering your breakfast and lunch options!

If you’re looking for a fabulous dinner in Dominical, don’t miss Dominical Sushi.  Their sushi rolls and sashimi are excellent and very fresh!  Our favorite roll is the Summer Roll, which combines crispy tempura shrimp with a creamy sauce. Other standouts are the Tico Roll and the Dominical Roll, which incorporate fresh fruit.  The miso soup is also excellent, and somewhat unusual, as it is garnished with chunks of fresh avocado.

 

Patron’s restaurant, Dominical’s newest addition, is also worth trying, especially if you are looking for a more refined experience.  The ambiance is sophisticated, there is an extensive wine list, and they have two excellent microbrews on tap.  Everyone loves the ribs, which are slow cooked and fall off the bone.  Patron’s also offers concerts regularly, with big names such as Gyptian and Debbie Nova. 

Rounding out the dinner offerings in Dominical is Tortilla Flats, a great beach bar and restaurant with a fun vibe.  Early in the day, this restaurant is perfect for a family meal; watch the waves break from your table while the kids play pinball.  Later in the night, Tortilla Flats turns into a beach bar with a fun, relaxed vibe.

Looking south of Dominical, Porque No is one of the best restaurants in area.  Located at the Costa Paraiso hotel, restaurant guests are able to enjoy a beautiful, dramatic view of waves crashing against rocks.  Go for the view, stay for the food - in addition to numerous delicious entrees, Porque No offers coal-oven pizza, excellent salads, and the locally famous Porque No pulled pork sandwich.

Further south, check out Cuna del Angel.  The elegant restaurant at this hotel has a very extensive menu.  Don’t miss the Truffle Portobello soup - it is out of this world!  And be sure to save room for dessert.  You won’t want to miss the show put on by the waiters when they dim the lights and wheel the flambé cart to your table.  This restaurant also has the unique attribute of being completely gluten-free!  Don’t let that scare you though, you would never know you’re not eating gluten.

Even further south, in Ojochal, Ylang Ylang restaurant is another favorite.  Run by a Dutch husband and wife who both grew up in Indonesia, the flavors at Ylang Ylang are delicious and authentic.  The menu changes nightly, and the owners are happy to recommend a dish to suit your taste.  There is also an extensive wine list.

In Manuel Antonio, options abound for excellent dinners.  One of our favorites is El Lagarto, an unusual kind of barbecue.  At this restaurant, a fireplace full of hot coals is mounted on a wall and attached to two conveyer belts.  Hot coals are shuttled down the conveyer belts to the grill, where chefs cook up fish, meat, vegetables and potatoes with an herb butter good enough to eat alone.  El Lagarto is an experience not to be missed!

La Luna Restaurant at Gaia is also an excellent choice.  Be sure to arrive early enough for happy hour, where you can watch the sunset in a comfortable lounge chair while sipping on delicious cocktails and nibbling on appetizers - all at happy hour prices!  Stay for dinner and enjoy a romantic, fine dining experience.  In addition to the regular menu, La Luna also offers a vegetarian menu.

 

All of these great dining options make the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica an excellent place to live or visit!  Whether you want a special date night with your partner, or you didn’t make it to the farmers’ market, or you just don’t feel like cooking, there’s plenty of options for everyone.  So contact Dominical Real Estate today about finding your dream property.  If you are considering relocating to Costa Rica or investing in a rental property here, restaurants like these will make you and your guests feel at home.

 

 

Whales And Dolphins Festival

September is an excellent time for whale watching in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica.  At this time of year, humpback whales congregate around the Whale’s Tail formation in Marino Ballena National Park, and the town of Uvita hosts its annual Whales and Dolphins Festival (or Festival de Ballenas y Delfines).  The Festival is a great place to find a whale watching tour, learn more about humpback whales in Costa Rica, and meet others interested in marine life.

Whale watching tours are most common by boat, and numerous boat tours are available.  We recommend tours from Costa Rica Dive & Surf at the entrance to Marino Ballena National Park.  They have a comfortable boat and an excellent captain, and are happy to arrange private tours or group tours.  On a recent tour with Costa Rica Dive & Surf, we saw a humpback whale family - father, mother, and calf - and watched them swimming and waving their tails for over an hour!  We also saw dolphins, a turtle, and lots of sea birds, and checked out the caves and swam near Isla Ballena.  Whale watching tours by boat are a great activity for kids of all ages, just remember to brings lots of snacks, water and sunscreen!

 

For experienced paddlers, it’s also possible to go whale watching by SUP or kayak. It’s a bit harder to find whales on a SUP or kayak than it is by boat, because you can’t cover as much ground looking for whales or travel towards the whales as quickly when you see them.  But when you do find whales , the experience is so rewarding!  You feel so much closer to the whales on a SUP or kayak.  Last year we were fortunate to SUP within 20 yards of a mother and her calf!  They stayed partially on the surface, breathing, for several minutes while we watched.  If you go whale watching by SUP or kayak, please be sure to respect the whales: be quiet and don’t get too close.  And don’t forget your waterproof camera! 

Although September is a common time for whale watching, humpback whales are actually present in Costa Rica almost year round.  Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to Costa Rica from August to October; others come from the Arctic from December until April.  So no matter when you are here, you may be able to see whales!  We’ve even heard reports of orca sightings near Caño Island.    

There’s never a shortage of wildlife sightings in the Dominical area, but watching whales swim with their calves is one of the most special sightings of all.  If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing whales, come visit us! Or better yet, consider purchasing a home in the area and you will be able to go whale watching anytime.  Dominical Real Estate can help you find the perfect property to suit your whale watching needs, whether it’s a house close to the beach for those early morning whale watching SUP trips, or an ocean view property where you can watch whales breaching from your front porch!