Costa Rica has a lot to share and you, a lot to discover from this small country. Its history contains many important facts, lots of which are not so well known. This is the case of how mules, oxcarts, and trains, through time helped to create an important route for the future development and growth of the country, all happening here in Atenas, Costa Rica.
Let´s go back in time to give you a little stroke of what was the situation in Costa Rica in colonial times.
It was the year 1640 and the only way to get around the countries in Central America, was through a well known road, if you can call it a road, named “Camino Real” the Royal Road. These paths and trails left San José and continued its way down to a narrow bridge that crossed the Rio Grande River in Atenas, making all the way to Guatemala. During the XIX century, the coffee export expansion started to increase and became Costa Rica´s most important export product, which led coffee growers to put a lot more interest in the building of a new road uniting the Central Valley with the port of Puntarenas, where coffee was sent to Europe through the Cabo de Hornos in South America. The road was then built in 1843, replacing mules for oxcarts and oxen giving it the commonly name of “Camino de Carretas” (Oxcart Road).
This road became very important for Atenas since it was the reason for its development and growth as many “sesteos” or boarding houses sprang up along the way to accommodate the boyeros (ox cart drivers) as well as stables where the oxen and horses could rest. Nights filled with music from guitars, accordions, and the typical marimbas surrounded the environment either serenading lovers or setting up the stage for an unforgettable “bailongo” (tradicional dancing party) , while the smell of fresh poured coffee and other typical foods such as tamales and tortillas captivated the oxcart drivers or “boyeros”, who sometimes traveled along with their families, to spend the night in town.
Why is now such a good time to buy real estate in Costa Rica?
One of the hottest real estate markets in the Americas in the early 2000s, Costa Rica is bouncing back stronger than ever after the slump in real estate values throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to real estate experts.
“Costa Rica definitely has bounced back, especially in the Central Valley and the popular beach areas on the Pacific. Prices are on the rise again,” commented Dennis Easters, co-owner of Pure Life Development of Atenas real estate.
As the real estate market fires up again in Costa Rica, Easters said that sellers are more motivated and deals can be found.
“In general the opportunities you are going to find now in Costa Rica are listings that are still on the market. Maybe they were priced too high to start. Sellers are more motivated now and you can get good deals,” noted Easters, who belongs to the Costa Rica Global Association of Realtors, the Costa Rica Chamber of Realtors, and the U.S. NationalAssociation of Realtors.
Investing in real estate in Atenas, Costa Rica has jumped in popularity in the past three years. “Atenas continues to be really popular for its location and climate, and land prices in Atenas generally keep increasing every year,” Easters remarked. “In real estate, the three most important things are the cliché: location, location, location!”
Vacation rentals are often the most economic travel option for families and groups of friends, giving more space and amenities at a lower price than a hotel room. Living like the locals helps to give that authentic travel experience; and even if you can’t afford to buy that multi-million dollar home, you might be able to afford it for a week.
“For the past five years or so, our family has only stayed in vacation rentals because this mode of lodging best fits our lifestyle,” commented Florida native Dennis Easters, a world traveler living in Atenas, Costa Rica. “I like to wake up early, have a cup of coffee, check e-mails and go for a walk, all before everyone else rolls out of bed. In a traditional hotel, this is a challenge without waking everyone up. Another advantage is that with a home or apartment, you have enough room to spread out and have a break from one another after a long day of sightseeing.”
There are many things to do in Atenas, Costa Rica. Enjoying a round of nine or 18 holes of golf is one of them.
Whether you are planning to live in Atenas, Costa Rica, are just visiting Atenas in one of the many vacation homes, or have already moved to Costa Rica, you can find five excellent golfing opportunities within an hour’s drive of Atenas.
The Central Valley Golf Association (CVGA) has more than 150 members, and is open to all residents and visitors. They hold regular tournaments and a big Year-End Texas Scramble and Fiestain December. Many top players from Costa Rica, and outside the country, come to this event.
Costa Rica Realtors Chamber
Tours in Costa Rica
Pure Life Development of Atenas is a full service tour company. We feature full vacation packages and day trips for the family. Our tour director Nelson Conejo is very experienced and provides a personal service and attention to detail second to none in Costa Rica. Please write Nelson or give him a call to arrange your next Costa Rican vacation at (506)2446-0447 or
Retirement Living in Atenas
Interview with Pure Life Development co-founder and certified realtor Dennis Easters, about Costa Rica ranked by AARP as "one of the best places to retire abroad".