Steady sale rates of luxury homes throughout Costa Rica are indicating that foreign and local buyers are seeking a secure investment and discreet lifestyle in our age of globalization and population boom. Foreign property buyers want to know that their investment is secure and that it can be used in the interim between retirement for their enjoyment or steady income, and Costa Rica is answering ‘yes.’
Adventure in Costa Rica is endless, with deep bush nature trails, white-water rafting, kayaking, zip lines, hand gliding, parasailing, deep sea fishing, and mountain climbing. These reasons and many more are why Costa Rica is growing every year as a popular destination for vacationers from around the world.
For years, Costa Rica has been the leading tourism destination in Central America and continues to grow exponentially each year. Consumer confidence is strengthening in recent years, as indicated by the increase in tourist dollars spent on the local, ecologically-driven economy. Tourism booms mean that investment properties are more likely to rent out in the higher demand and investors can feel safe in the knowledge that the trends are tracking upwards steadily.
Costa Rica has been alluring adventure seekers and eco-travelers since the 1980s when the constitutional government began enacting legal measures to protect the wildlife and the water in this small but impactful nation. Visitors to the growing South Pacific region of Costa Ballena come to appreciate the natural wonders of untouched wilderness, opting to avoid the heavy footprint of larger populations in the more commercial North Pacific. Despite the smaller number of visitors, this region of the country has some of the strongest communities for both expats and locals, making life in the South both friendly and functional.
Forbes’ Travel Guide has recently recognized Costa Rica’s luxury hotels and resorts in its publications and the evolution of Costa Rica as a top destination for luxury travel is only just beginning. Costa Rica tops many destination lists, like the InterNations Happiness Index, as the most spectacular for one reason or another. As a result, the steady income generated from tourism and the increasing number of expats has contributed to the expansion and sophistication of the real estate sector throughout the country.
There are three international airports, allowing visitors easy access and expats to remain well-connected to home. A well-maintained highway connects the Pacific coast with the Central Valley and Costa Ballena is a beautiful 3-hour scenic drive from the capital. The Costa Rican government has pledged to keep these services in good condition for the benefit of tourism and commerce.
Costa Rica is a politically and economically stable nation. There are no anti-government rallies, political uprisings or riots and successive governments are democratically elected and supported by the majority of the popular vote. One of the oldest democracies in the Americas, this is a nation proud of its tradition of negotiation rather than confrontation, as well as social development and tolerance over military spending and hostility. It is a nation with one of the highest literacy and life expectancy rates, and a people whose happiness is embodied in the national epithet ‘pura vida.’
Tourism is king
The impressive scenic beauty and welcoming spirit are not lost on the more than 2.5 million tourists who visit annually, nor the nearly 9% of its population that are expats. Due to the country’s small size, the diverse array of natural wonders are within easy access offering visitors the opportunity to see 12 different life zones, 20 national parks (which cover nearly 25% of the country), nearly 5% of the world’s biodiversity, two long coasts on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea and the birthplace of ecotourism. This is a land that is often called the model for conservation in balance with community development and economic growth.
For all of these reasons, Costa Rica’s main source of income is tourism, from which it receives almost $2 billion U.S. dollars per year, with 80% of visitors arriving to partake in ecotourism-related activities. Since 1999, tourism has earned more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports combined.
If you are not yet convinced of what many insiders have known for years, Costa Rica’s green initiatives and welcoming nature are on the rise in the world’s periphery. If you are looking for a vacation home for you to personally enjoy or to rent out, Costa Rica is the generative environment that will keep giving for years to come.
By Alex Swift