Southern Costa Rica is a nature lover and adventurer paradise, which, until recently, was difficult to access. With a new highway completed, and plans for an international airport, the improved accessability presents good opportunities for real estate investment. See the following article from International Living for more on this.
You can now leave San Jose at 9 a.m. and by noon, be at a French restaurant on Costa Rica’s southern coast, ordering delicious deep-fried brie in Blackberry sauce for lunch. Just six months ago, it would have taken all day to make the journey, and you’d barely have made it in time for dinner.
But today it’s a different story.
Seven months ago, the Costanera (coastal) Highway officially opened…more than 30 years after the project was first proposed. Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is now accessible. Drive time from San Jose on a comfortable highway is down to three hours from a bone-crunching eight—maybe even 10.
You can still profit by putting yourself ahead of the path of progress. Real estate prices stayed low because this area was difficult to get to….in fact prices here can be as little as a sixth of what you would pay up north.
And Costa Rica’s Southern Zone has stunning scenery, with two-thirds of the land protected as a nature-lovers’ and adventurers’ paradise. There are charming towns that are surprisingly sophisticated. Sipping an espresso or biting into a crunchy baguette, you realize that the culinary influences are European.
The new road is built but government plans also call for an international airport here. Even now, after the new road has opened, you can still buy a quarter-acre lot in a gold-standard project in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone for $40,000. This is changing…and fast.
The place is starting to buzz with real estate activity. Everything points to this area exploding.
Remember what happened to real estate values in northern Costa Rica? It was tricky to get to. Liberia airport only had the occasional international flight. Drive-wise, it took around five hours to reach from San Jose on a rough, potholed road. Only diehard surfers and backpackers braved the journey. Mainstream tourists stayed away.
Then the road was resurfaced. And in 2002, regular direct flights started from Liberia airport to the U.S. In 2003, Liberia airport saw 50,000 passenger arrivals. By 2008, passenger arrivals in Liberia had soared to 500,000. Resort and residential developers raised the bar, snapping up the best beach and ocean-view land. In the three years after regular direct flights started, the price of prime beachfront land quadrupled.
I expect we’ll see a similar trend in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone. The thing is, Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is nicer and will stay that way. Environmental protections mean development will be limited and controlled. Nature will take priority here.
Folks (including IL colleagues) who have made return visits since the road has been completed have been pleasantly surprised by the new comfort and accessibility. That’s the way it works with infrastructure improvements. It only becomes real when you enjoy the smooth ride of a new highway or enjoy the convenience of a new airport.
Now the changes are real, the next 12 months will mean big things for Costa Rica’s Southern Zone.
This article has been republished from International Living.