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Costa Rica high on Environmental Performance Index

Playa Hermosa Guanacaste Costa Rica in the dry seasonCosta Rica ranked 3rd out of 163 countries on the 2010 Environmental Performance Index, up from 5th in 2008. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with many different environments, but is keeping its environmental quality up while the country continues to develop. Even now 80% of their electric energy is from renewable sources, hydro and geothermal, and wind farms planned for Guanacaste will raise that.  Costa Rica’s plan is to be totally carbon neutral by 2021. One of their plans is to require all construction and renovations to be “green building” certified. Only Switzerland and Iceland ranked higher on the index. Globe-net described Costa Rica as “the green jewel”.  And it’s only a 2.5 hour flight from Florida!

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Playa Hermosa Guanacaste Costa Rica

Hillside home in Playa Hermosa Guanacaste Costa Rica

Hillside Home in Playa Hermosa Guanacaste Costa Rica

Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste Costa Rica is one of my favorite places in Costa Rica – and according to a recent article on Playa Hermosa in the New York Times, I’m not alone.  If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to live, this probably isn’t the place,  as Playa Hermosa is one of the most expensive places in Costa Rica.  (That being said, you can still get a nice condo there for $200,000 – an easy walk to the beach, but no view) The Four Seasons chose this area for their Costa Rica resort and opened on the Peninsula Papagayo in 2004.  This is a good time to buy your vacation or retirement home there and our colleagues can help you find the right property at a good price.  In contrast to the article, I haven’t found traffic congestion on the area roads (except for downtown Coco), nor have I had a failure of the water supply. I like the feeling of this sleepy beach town of Playa Hermosa (translated as beautiful beach) – especially knowing that the bustle of Playas del Coco is just a 10 minute drive and the international airport is just a 20 minute drive.

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Playa Hermosa Costa Rica is a great place to wake up

Our colleague Mike relaxing on Playa Hermosa Costa Rica

Our colleague Mike relaxing on Playa Hermosa Costa Rica

After reading the article about Playa Hermosa being named one of the top 10 second home markets, I contacted my colleague in Playa Hermosa to ask him about the comment that Hermosa had sporadic electric and water service. We haven’t experienced either on our trips to Hermosa, so I wanted to ask a local. Here’s what he said:

“Hermosa is only about 300 acres and when it is completely built out someday, you are dealing with less than 750 homes TOTAL and there are only two small streets to the beach with NO real town to speak of. It is a TRUE breakfast community which makes for the perfect second home investment. It is close to the action (Playas del Coco 10 minutes) close to the airport (Liberia International Airport 20 minutes) yet you feel like you are miles from everywhere. That is what people want in a second home – NOT Cancun.

Water and electricity, as you know, are in the process of being upgraded as these developments continue to move forward. Remember, this is Central America. So if you wake up and there is no water, jump in the pool, put on a baseball cap, and go to one of those romantic open air restaurants and have yourself a nice breakfast on the beach in paradise!

But 10 years from now, anything you bought today will easily be worth 2 or 3 times what you paid, and quite possibly a lot more!

I remember living in St Thomas back when the power went out every day – life just went around it. And one day this week a client who lives in a nearby luxury condo here in St Petersburg, Parkshore Plaza, came over to our office because the building had no power.”

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Stylish home in Costa Rica

Contemporary Costa Rica home offers water near and far

Contemporary Costa Rica home in Guanacaste

Typical characteristics we saw in Costa Rica homes were beautiful natural woods, vanishing edge pools, and magnificent views. This contemporary home takes your breath away when you first enter – you’re captivated by the view.

This home is designed for entertaining and enjoying. Balconies on both levels, and a 2 story great room. Each bedroom is en suite and private.

Monte Paraiso is a master planned gated community with a 24 hour guard – 5 minutes from Playa Hermosa, a Blue Flag awarded beach, on a hillside overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo.

15 minutes to lively Playas del Coco with its modern supermarket, restaurants and shops and less than 30 minutes to Liberia International Airport.

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Playa Hermosa – Guanacaste

Costa Rica view in Playa Hermosa Guanacaste

Of the varied areas in Guanacaste region, on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, my favorite was the Playa Hermosa area, from  Playa Ocotal to Playa Panama and Papagayo. This is a typical view from the hills.

Kevin Brass of the International Herald Tribune posted his analysis and market report of the area today.

Kevin was fortunate, as I was, to have Mike Simons as a guide.  Before I met Mike in Playa Hermosa, he sent me enough reading material to keep me occupied for weeks. If you contact him directly, please tell him that Sharon Simms sent you!

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