Power outage notification

September 24, 2010

If you like to be notified by email when the electricity will be cut off, send an email to: gcoronado@coopeguanacaste.com and ask: “Me gustaria de estar notificado por correo electronico si hay corte de la luz en la zona de Tamarindo”.
They say they inform monthly. Pura Vida
Lets hope we never get an email.

Si usted desea ser notificado por correo electrónico cuando se corte la luz, envíe un correo electrónico a: gcoronado@coopeguanacaste.com y hace la solicitud por la zona de Tamarindo.
Dicen que informará mensualmente. Pura Vida
Esperamos que nunca llegaria un correo.

Tamarindo or…?

September 15, 2010

Tamarindo was compared recently to another beach town within an online travel – forum.  There are several interesting comments about Tamarindo like this:

“Definitely Tamarindo !! Been to both and just returned from almost a month long stay in Tamarindo..Great little town where you can rest/relax if you want to or go out and enjoy the beach/restaurants/shops too. I was NEVER bored and loved the town. I rented a condo which was right in the middle of everything. Never a long walk anywhere. I enjoyed the Happy Hours and the late night activities(Sharky’s/Pacifico)..Sat on the beach a lot of the days and just relaxed.”

or this:

“Personally I love Tamarindo. There is a different feel completely to it than Xxxxx, It’s got the surfer feel, the amazing restaurants and boutiques for shopping feel to it, budget to luxury lodging options. Plus, the beach town itself is more fun!
When people say over development, they mean for Costa Rica standards. It is nothing at all compared to the US overdevelopment and in my opinion, I really like to have everything accessible to me and still have the place preserved in it’s natural beauty.”
Also, Tamarindo is close to Playa Grande and many sweet beach towns.”

or this:

“If you are choosing between Tamarindo and Xxxxx, it’s an easy choice for me. I would definitely recommend Tamarindo.
Tamarindo can be a bit busy, but it is still a very laid back surf town with an international feel. It has great restaurants and boutique lodging choices, as well as a nice beach. My favorite beach is Playa Langosta, next door to Tamarindo. It is quiet and very scenic. The sunsets are amazing!”

or this:

“My husband and I were in both Tamarindo and Xxxxx this summer and we would return to Tamarindo in a heartbeat. Great people, good food, easy to get around, beautiful nature and fun nightlife kept us happily occupied in Tamarindo for about 6 weeks. Basically the difference we observed is Tamarindo to us seemed a more adult/couples orientated place while Xxxxx seemed to have a lot more family vacationers with younger children. Xxxxx had less to offer for dining and nightlife and felt more isolated from the rest of the country. Tamarindo works as a pretty good base to explore out of.”

The online travel forum we have taken these comments from was Tripadvisor.  We have taken out the name of the other beach town,  see: Xxxxx, in order to not to leave the impression that we want to harm this place.

by: insidecostarica.com

A new website by the government of Costa Rica aims to become a step-by-step guide of procedures for investment in Costa Rica.

The website, www.costarica.e-regulations.org, although only in Spanish at the moment, provides the detailed procedures from the standpoint of the user.

The website allows Costa Rica to join a group of several other countries that have decided to show complete transparency in their administrative purposes.

In the Americas, the countries include Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Colombia.

Costarica.e-regulations.org forms part of the United Nations http://www.e-regulations.org global transparency network.

The e-regulations system is implemented by UNCTAD to help developing countries and countries in transition work towards business facilitation through transparency, simplification and automation of rules and procedures relating to enterprise creation and operation. This system can contribute to greater transparency and efficiency in the public service, improved governance and cost reductions.

According to the UN webstie, objective of the system is four-fold:

* Provide full transparency on rules and procedures by offering online detailed, practical and up-to-date descriptions of the steps they have to go through, seen from the user’s viewpoint;

* Help governments to simplify procedures by allowing easy identification of unnecessary steps;

* Promote good governance by increasing the awareness of administrative rules and procedures, hence establishing the conditions for a balanced dialogue between the users of the public service and the civil servants;

* Set a basis for regional/international harmonization of rules by facilitating the exchange of good practices among countries.

Real Estate on Slow Upswing

September 12, 2010

by: ticotimes.com

The consensus among realtors in Costa Rica is that the national real estate market is beginning to show signs of improvement.

Small, encouraging, but don’t-pop-the-corks-yet signs of improvement.

The property market is by no means back to where it was in the boom years of 2006 or 2007, but after demand plummeted during last year’s recession, the nation’s realtors report that buyers are beginning to express interest, or at least to seriously browse, again.

“It’s no secret that 2009 was completely horrible for just about everyone, both buyers and sellers,” said Charles Wanger of Bienes Raíces Talamanca – Caribbean Real Estate, in the Puerto Viejo area. “In 2010, my website has had huge percentage increase in online activity. People are starting to ask again, people are starting to fly down again and realistic buyers are starting to look around again.”

He continued, “In 2009, I had about 35 showings. This year I’ve had over 100 showings. I don’t know if that means the economy is coming back, but I do think people are starting to gain a better understanding of where they are financially.”

Wanger’s outlook on the market is shared by most local realtors interviewed by The Tico Times this week. Interest in Costa Rican homes, condominiums and property is slowly picking up. Potential buyers are sniffing around, agents’ phones are ringing, e-mails with questions about properties regularly arrive, and sales, for the first time in about 20 months, again seem possible.

“We are starting to see more interest now without a doubt,” said real estate broker Les Nunez of First Realty in Playa Hermosa, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. “Numbers aren’t up yet, but it seems that serious buyers are again out there.”

Improvement Across the Board

This guarded optimism was echoed in a report released last week by the Costa Rican branch of the international commercial real estate firm NAI.

The firm, which monitors monthly activity in residential, commercial, construction and investment markets, found that the Costa Rican real estate market is “recuperating well” after stumbling through late 2008-2009. The report found that markets for housing, offices, retail space and land have all shown signs of improvement through the first half of 2010.

“The Costa Rican market has suffered the last two years, including an almost complete paralysis of big projects outside of the Central Valley, in the area of Guanacaste and other coastal areas,” Carlos Robles, business director of NAI Costa Rica, told The Tico Times. “At the end of last year and the beginning of this year we started to see a slow recovery that is projected to continue in the remaining months of this year. The majority of markets are starting to look more and more positive.”

The NAI report indicated that recovery in the industrial market is playing a vital role in real estate prospects. The study showed a more than 95 percent occupancy rate in warehouses and free-trade zones, that national office space is about 90 percent occupied and demand for retail property is up, as evidenced by the 60,000 square meter expansion of the Multiplaza Escazú shopping mall, the leasing of 6,000 square meters of office space at Avenida Escazú, both west of San José and the construction of the “Momentum” shopping complex on the east side of the capital.

Credit: Foreigners Need Not Apply

Robles points to another facet of the recovery: this time around, local buyers and developers have better access to financing.

Real estate has picked up in large part because national banks have reopened credit lines that were closed in 2009, he said. By unlocking credit, new developments were able to acquire necessary financing and stalled developments were completed.   This also has put money in the hands of Costa Rican buyers.

But this has provided little assistance to foreign buyers. Along the coastal region in Guanacaste, the Central Pacific and the southern Caribbean, most potential buyers hail from the North America.

“Foreign buyers are not getting any sort of financing,” said David Karr, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Jacó. “We’ve always been a cash market with foreign buyers. More than ever right now, we have a market for cash-only buyers. That is another reason the market has been so difficult. A few years ago, people were using equity lines of credit and U.S. buyers had access to bigger amounts of financing. That doesn’t exist today.”

Big Bangs and Bottom Feeders

As financing in the U.S. dried up in the recession, the number of interested buyers in coastal areas in Costa Rica diminished. Squeezed by lessened demand, sellers are forced to decide if they will drop prices to entice purchases or hold firm until the market rebounds. This game of tug-of-war is prevalent in areas popular with foreigners.

“I had some people come in a few weeks ago and ask to see the $1 million homes,” Nunez said. “After they saw them, they offered $500,000 to buy. That’s what we in the real estate business call ‘bottom feeding.’ Bottom feeders are people who know the market is down and can still go out there and pay cash. They are looking to strike at the right time and get a lot of bang for their buck.”

With buyers looking to score a deal, most sellers have lowered asking prices to meet demand. Many realtors mentioned that selling prices are down considerably, though there continues to be resistance by some still looking for 2006 prices in a 2010 market.

“Prices went nuts a few years ago,” Nunez said. “We had rising demand in real estate for a four-year run until 2008. Then the market started sliding. People are still hoping to get those same values. It’s not happening. If the U.S. sneezes, we catch a cold here.”

Tamarindo Mangrove

September 11, 2010

The mangrove swamp is a wetland – submerged only at high tide – and its placement between the shore and the coral reef in tropical areas makes it a crucial part of the ecology of the coral reef itself – hence its placement in this section otherwise dealing with oceanic habitats.
There are 3 common types of mangroves in Tamarindo’s estuary: the Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), the Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and the White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa).
Each of them has its own unique way of dealing with high salt concentrations.

Closest to the water – in fact in the water at high tide – are the red mangroves.
The roots of the red mangrove are distinctive, with long arching aerial prop roots that help anchor the plant in the sediment. The roots of the red mangrove are able to obtain water from the ocean by pumping magnesium ions into the root. The high concentration of magnesium in the root creates a high osmotic potential, and this in turn attracts water in from the surrounding seawater.

Next inland, usually above the high tides, are the black mangroves. These trees deal with salt by excreting it onto the leaves; also, like the red mangroves, the roots of the black mangrove are metabolically very active. Unlike the red mangrove which actively excludes ocean salts from entering at the root, the black mangrove allows the salt to enter but excretes it on the surface of the roots and the leaves. You can often find salt crystals on the leaves of the black mangrove.

Furthest inland are the white mangroves. Neither aerial prop roots or pneumatophores are usually visible (but either may be present if conditions warrant; the pneumatophores take the form of peg roots). Like the black mangrove, the white mangrove excretes salts on the leaf surface.

The scientific names for the mangroves differ greatly (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa) because the word “mangrove” indicates an ecological rather than a taxonomical grouping.
However, when we speak of mangroves we are speaking of tropical, salt-tolerant trees that grow along the shore. Hence, the 3 species of mangrove mentioned all hail from different genera and are not closely related to each other.

El Presidente Ejecutivo de Acueductos y Alcantarillados Oscar Nuñez se comprometió a dar a conocer un  listado de los lugares en donde hay disponibilidad de agua e infraestructura para nuevos desarrollos constructivos.

En una reunión sostenida entre el Presidente de la Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción (CCC), Ricardo Castro, el Presidente del Comité de Vivienda y Desarrollo Inmobiliario de la CCC, Guillermo Carazo, el Presidente del Comité de Infraestructura y Obras Mayores, Álvaro Chavarría junto con personal administrativo y el Presidente Ejecutivo de AyA, Oscar Núñez, se discutió la problemática de la disponibilidad de agua e infraestructura pluvial para nuevos desarrollos. Como resultado, el AyA se comprometió a elaborar y facilitar a la CCC un listado de los lugares donde es posible construir en este momento.

Durante la reunión se discutieron planes y propuestas para resolver el problema ocasionado por la falta de infraestructura. El AyA compartió su plan de inversión para los próximos años y dejó ver la limitante que tiene por carecer de recursos suficientes. Además se establecieron relaciones para buscar una solución en el tema tramitológico, de aprobación de planos y plantas de tratamiento.

Los representantes de la CCC reiteraron su anuencia y disponibilidad para cooperar y apoyar las gestiones que se realicen.

de Camera Costaricense de Construccion,   http://www.construccion.co.cr
Date: September 1, 2010