Lying on Costa Rica’s north-west Pacific coast, Guanacaste province is a popular second home for US buyers thanks to its direct air links to major US cities and prime beachfront property.
After a volatile year, the dollar has been gaining ground against the Costa Rican colón, providing more favourable conditions for international buyers.
Lower living costs mean more bang for the buck: consumer prices in provincial capital Liberia, which lies more than 200km north-west of the country’s capital San José, are 35 per cent lower than in Los Angeles, according to expat comparison site Numbeo.
The Costa Rican government’s National Decarbonization Plan includes the ambitious goal of achieving zero net emissions by 2050. The plan involves promoting electric vehicles and offsetting emissions through forest maintenance.
The Guanacaste Conservation Area, which covers nearly 150,000 hectares in Guanacaste and the neighbouring Alajuela province, was designated a World Heritage Site in 1999 by Unesco for its diverse ecosystems.
Access from the US
Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport near Liberia links the province to many US cities, with direct flights to Miami (three hours), Atlanta (four hours) and Los Angeles (six hours). The Pan-American highway also goes through Guanacaste.
These connections — and the consistent warm, dry weather from December to April — are part of the province’s appeal to US residents: earlier this year, Americans accounted for nine out of 10 buyers at one local estate agent.
Guanacaste caters for buyers seeking high-end second homes. Peninsula Papagayo, a 1,400-acre private peninsula, offers private residences as well as estate properties managed by a Four Seasons resort.
Other popular coastal expat communities include Las Catalinas and the Tamarindo Heights gated community in Tamarindo, which have benefited from recent infrastructure upgrades. Nosara, with its popular Guiones beach, lies further south.
According to Fabricio Riggioni, a local estate agent, homes in the province are currently 60-70 per cent of their pre-crisis peak values, but prices are rising. He adds that prime beach-front properties in Guanacaste are up to 25 per cent cheaper than similar properties in the Caribbean.
The province is bordered by beaches to the west and the Cordillera de Guanacaste volcanic mountain range to the east. This mix promotes a wealth of outdoor activities, from surfing, scuba diving and paddle-boarding to hiking, horse riding and canyoning.
Golf is another popular pastime. The Hacienda Pinilla Golf Club conserves water on the course and minimises use of pesticides to preserve the habitat for wildlife.
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