Real estate in Costa Rica is an interesting pursuit to navigate for foreigners. Most people searching for Costa Rica real estate have toured the country, but even still, they’ve likely only seen a small part. So when it comes to actually searching for a good region to invest in and possibly move to, things get a little more complicated. Not only are you looking at different coasts, proximity to cities and amenities, elevation, and local environment, but even within different regions, you can have a totally different quality of experience in your everyday life depending on which neighborhood, exactly, you move to.
This week, we are going to explain a bit more about Ojochal, which is one of the towns that our real estate office represents. About 400 households from all over the world are currently living in Ojochal, enjoying a variety of lifestyles in this diverse community, and we want to share with potential buyers some of what they can expect to find in properties in this region.
A Little Intro To Ojochal
Ojochal is the main southern-most town in the South Pacific region called Costa Ballena, which also includes Dominical, Uvita, and many sub-communities. It is about 1 hour south of Quepos and 3.5 hours drive from the capital, San Jose.
Ojochal is one of the oldest villages in this region, settled by Costa Ricans from around the 1950s. Expats began arriving here around the 1980s and hotels and businesses slowly started to sprout, creating a welcoming atmosphere for tourists to visit and also buy property.
Situated in the river valleys and foothills of the Talamancas, Ojochal is right by the beautiful wild beaches that this region of Costa Rica is best known for. However, despite the incredible natural attractions and wilderness activities prevalent in this region, this is not your traditional tourism area and the primary focus is less on corporate expansion and more driven by lovers of nature and peaceful tranquility. Read on to learn more about what the different parts of Ojochal have on offer for those seeking a better quality of life.
The Entrance of Ojochal
There are three entrances to get into Ojochal: Cinco Ventanas to the north, Perezoso Road to the south, and the main entrance in between that leads through the most established parts of town. The area of Ojochal that is closest to the highway was one of the first regions settled by foreigners in the Costa Ballena. One of the first developers of this region built Hotel Tortuga at the southern entrance to Playa Tortuga and this is where the majority of people would stay when visiting the region in the 80s and 90s.
Today, roads like Calle Soluna and Calle Estrella are home to some of the oldest expat developments, with big, colonial-style homes, hotels, and bed and breakfasts built on large, ocean-view properties. This is where people come to seek convenience, ease of access, and proximity to the beach.
You won’t find the best ocean views in this area, despite being so close to the beach, and you will get a fair bit of highway noise. But people love this area if they like walking to stores, restaurants, and beaches, and many people who live in this area have done so for many years.
Further down the main road from the entrance of Ojochal (Avenida Principal), you will drive through the flat river valley of Ojochal where the majority of the town’s population lives. Along this road are most of the businesses and services in Ojochal, including the Jucaloa supermarket, restaurants, a deli, beauty salon, pharmacy, library, and more. As you travel through town, you gradually ascend in elevation as the road basically follows the two main rivers. Around the center of town, there are many new and old developments that take advantage of the great, easy-to-access locations and the close proximity to stores, services, and schools.
A number of roads branch off from Avenida Principal and Calle del Bosque where smaller-style houses are built on small lots. One of the oldest developments in Ojochal is on Calle del Casique, where you have elaborate colonial-style homes on large properties with amazing ocean and mountain views. These properties rarely go for sale and the people who live there have done so for a long time and love it.
Papagayo and Perezoso Roads
Two of the first roads that you will encounter in Ojochal that branch into the mountains that make this coast famous are Perezoso and Papagayo roads. Perezoso road is sometimes referred to as the Beverly Hills of Ojochal because of the hillside estates that face the amazing ocean views, as well as the high-end hotels and restaurants that are tucked away in the jungle. There are many million-dollar homes in this area, some of which are older, colonial style, and many new modern ones, as well.
Papagayo road also has some ocean view estates but the main views from this section captures the incredible mountain range that extends across the back of Ojochal. On both Papagayo and Perezoso, you will find some bigger acreages and farms that were sold many years ago and are only just recently being subdivided and sold as smaller parcels to new buyers today. But lucky buyers can still find some huge properties with amazing privacy and views in this area.
Phase 9 and 11
Two of the newest developments in Ojochal are on the Southernmost side of the village. Phase 9 and 11 are away from most of the traffic of the village, with big, wide roads that lead to large properties. Phase 9 is mostly developed, with lots of homes on large, ocean-view properties. Phase 11 is only just in the beginning stages of construction on lots that were mostly sold a couple of years ago as people slowly start to make their dream homes on these acre-plus properties.
Phase 4 and 5
The two oldest phases in the mountains behind Ojochal property are phases 4 and 5, which are home to some of the largest lots in Ojochal. There are still a number of undeveloped lots that were purchased more than two decades ago but many properties have high-end, albeit older homes with incredible mature landscaping, which is one of the biggest differentiators of these phases. Homebuyers in phases 4 and 5 today tend to upgrade the homes to create a more contemporary aesthetic, but buyers love how tranquil and private these phases are thanks to the mature landscaping and some of the best views of the ocean, mountains, and village.
Phase 6, 7 and 10
The two gated communities in Ojochal are that of phase 6/7 and phase 10. Both are up in the mountains behind Ojochal and both have ocean and/or mountain view lots. These developments are populated with small lots with very little focus on privacy, cultivating more of a community neighborhood vibe. They have a strong HOA presence, with a lot of the weekly maintenance and services looked after by community input. These are the places to choose for buyers who are willing to sacrifice a bit of privacy for ease of living and an emphasis on safety.
Phase 8 and Cinco Ventanas
An almost different town but still connected to Ojochal is the area of Phase 8 and Cinco Ventanas road. The latter goes from the gas station and commercial plaza at the highway all the way to some of the highest elevation points in Ojochal. The properties along Cinco Ventanas are mainly private, jungle acreages with river access. And at the top, Phase 8 has some of the best ocean view properties in the area, pointed at the Ballena Coast and Whale’s Tail formation.
Ojochal has a variety of lifestyles to offer in different settings: gated communities, private estates, and robust neighborhoods. Here, you will find incredible ocean views, breathtaking green mountains, and peaceful rivers. Enjoy delicious restaurants and other amenities close to home, both inexpensive and upscale, and delight in a welcoming mixed population of expats from all over the world and Ticos. Ojochal has something for everyone!