Puntarenas is the largest province in Costa Rica located in the western part of the country, covering most of Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean coast which includes plenty of white sand beaches.

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The province covers an area of 11,266 km², and has a population of about 350,000. It is subdivided into 11 cantons. For administrative purposes, the island Isla del Coco, 500 km offshore in the Pacific Ocean, is considered a part of this province.

The capital of the province is Puntarenas city located 75 miles (120 km) west of San Jose. Puntarenas means “Sandy Point” and it is a long narrow strip of land that is an extension of the Nicoya Peninsula, sticking out into the Gulf of Nicoya and it’s only about 200 feet wide at its narrowest point. There are only about 10,000 people living in the city of Puntarenas at present.

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Puntarenas was known as the “Pearl of the Pacific” and used to be the playground of the Costa Rican rich and famous but since the fishing industry has been decimated, Puntarenas has suffered some serious economic hardships over the years and this ‘pearl’ has lost it’s sheen.

This is bad news for some and.., could be terrific news for you.

It’s bad because the Puntarenas area really has been economically depressed but it’s terrific because that means you don’t have to pay a zillion dollars per square foot for Puntarenas real estate. Prices here are dramatically lower than any of the “hot” places.

People living in Puntarenas appreciate that it is a real city, it’s not a new beach town where the infrastructure can hardly keep pace with development. There are hotels, many restaurants, a hospital and a private health clinic. There is cable internet and no shortage of telephone lines.

There is a lovely old church and dozens of pleasant restaurants with reasonably good food. During the week the area can be incredibly quiet but at the weekends tend to be far more lively.

Along the ocean side is the famous “Paseo de los Turistas“, a street lined with new contemporary sculptures and many soda stands, cafes and small hotels.

And for those of you who like it hot, living in Puntarenas a few feet from the beach can get quite toasty, the average temperature is about 82 degrees. You can see the Puntarenas weather forecast from the BBC here.

I believe that there is tremendous potential for patient, long-term investors interested in living in Puntarenas or simply investing in Puntarenas real estate. But please understand, this is NOT an upscale area at the moment and it will take some time before things start to warm up.

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The main attraction is the physical area itself, the beautiful Pacific coast with it’s white sand beaches and the islands located in the Nicoya Peninsula which are within a 30-45 minute boat ride from this spot

In discussing how to reactivate tourism in the Puntarenas area and specifically mentioning the island around the Nicoya peninsula and the cruise ships that come into Puntarenas, the newly elected President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias stated that it was his goal to “triple tourism by 2010.”

Invest in Puntarenas Real Estate? When??

It does depend on your risk tolerance and the overall timing for your retirement or investment plan but the earlier you get in, the more risk there is and, the more potential there is…

To watch this Puntarenas video, please click on the small black triangular Play button.

But here’s why I think investing in Puntarenas has more potential today than it has in the last 25 years

  1. For a time, I was consulting with a major developer who has significant experience and a proven track record of delivering a quality real estate product in Costa Rica as well as in Venezuela. They have already bought the land and they are about to start construction of a beautiful Puntarenas Luxury Condo and Marina Resort on the grounds of the famous old Colonial Hotel.
  2. The people behind this group have significant experience in building waterfront properties in Venezuela complete with their own marinas and, to keep your boat in this marina in Puntarenas will cost you about 40% less than the marina at Los Sueños where condo prices will also be about 100% more.
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  4. This new Puntarenas Luxury Condo and Marina Resort will be the first serious real estate project in this area for a long time and this will open people’s eyes. Other major developers and smaller investors like you and I are going to be looking more closely at what’s going on in Puntarenas.
  5. One of their major investors, the developer, their architect, the engineer and I met a few weeks ago, we took a little cruise on their boat to chat and I can tell you that they wouldn’t even be here without the new ‘plan regulador‘ which was only recently implemented in Puntarenas. This new plan gives developers the rules of the game and a level of comfort that they have not had before. This is a green light for them.

Who Is Most Suited To Living in Puntarenas?

  1. For yachtsmen, fishermen, sun and beach lovers, this is the perfect location however, unless you are going to buy one of the luxury apartments in the Puntarenas Luxury Condo and Marina Resort, there are very, very few homes available that would be to the liking of most North Americans.
  2. Renovation: If you are a handy type of person who doesn’t mind doing some renovating of a typical – and very modest – Tico home then there are some remarkably good deals to be had living in Puntarenas and local labor would be very cheap.
  3. Build Your Own Home: Even with the most recent minimum salary increases, the foreman in charge of building your new home would be paid 6,132.45 colones per day, that’s US$11.95 per day. Basic laborers would cost less and there are plenty of people looking for work in Puntarenas.

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If you have a serious interest in buying real estate in the Puntarenas area, please contact us using the simple form below:

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