Coming Leatherback Nesting Season
June 16, 2011

On the night of June 15 a leatherback turtle came to nest on Playa Grande, Guanacaste. The spawning season for these turtles starts on 1 October, so that the visitor would be four months ahead, as reported by the sea turtle biologist, Maria del Pilar Santidrián, research director of the organization The Leatherback Trust.
It is not the first time the turtle comes to nest in Guanacaste. According Santidrián, this was seen nesting at Playa Grande in March 2005 and February 2008. In the last visits she had put 56 eggs. However, this time was not possible to count them.
The leatherback nesting from October to mid-March, most of them appear during the months of December and January.  However, these off-season records show the importance of conserving coastal marine ecosystems of the National Marine Park Las Baulas all year around.
The leatherback is the largest and fastest in the world. Its carapace grows to about 1.7 meters and reaches a weight of 700 kilos. It is also able to consume as deep as a whale. The largest nesting colony of this species in the eastern Pacific is in the Leatherback National Marine Park in Guanacaste.

By Nancy Marin, Campaign Manager Salvemosbaulas.org

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LLEGA TORTUGA BAULA FUERA DE TEMPORADA DE ANIDACIÓN
16 de junio de 2011

La noche del 15 de junio llegó una tortuga baula a desovar en Playa Grande, Guanacaste. La temporada de desove de estos quelonios empieza el 1º octubre, por lo que esta visitante estaría adelantándose 4 meses, según reportó la bióloga especialista en tortugas marinas, María del Pilar Santidrián, Directora de Investigación de  la organización The Leatherback Trust.
No es la primera vez que esta tortuga viene a desovar a Guanacaste. Según Santidrián, esta fue vista desovando en Playa Grande en marzo de 2005 y en febrero 2008. En las visitas anteriores puso 56 huevos. Sin embargo, en esta ocasión no fue posible contabilizarlos.
La anidación de las baulas va desde octubre hasta mediados de marzo,  ocurriendo el mayor número de observaciones durante los meses de diciembre y enero. Sin embargo, estos registros fuera de temporada demuestran la importancia de conservar los ecosistemas marino costeros del Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas todo el año.
La tortuga baula es la más grande y más rápida del mundo. Su caparazón llega a medir cerca de 1.7 metros y alcanza un peso de 700 kilos. Además es capaz de consumirse tan profundamente como una ballena. La colonia de anidación más grande de esta especie en el pacifico oriental se encuentra en el Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas de Guanacaste.

Nancy Marín , Directora de Campaña, Salvemosbaulas.org

Banks opening to loans?

June 15, 2011

by Mark Venegas

Before the world economic crisis it wasn’t too difficult to obtain a loan from the local banks, either mortgages over your property or to foreigners that needed a loan to purchase a property. Some/most banks here were also appraising properties at higher values than the markets reality, putting many people in difficult situations. Then the crisis came along and banks, very similar to the US banks, basically shut down to the possibility to obtain a loan.
Now that the worst of the crisis seems to be behind us and the recovery, although slow, has begun, the government (Banco Central) is encouraging banks to open up to giving loans to local and foreign investors. While many banks here have announced their “reopening” to loans the reality is that it is still very difficult to be approved for one. If you are planning to jump through the loops and apply for one, be prepared, even though it is not impossible, the process will be extensive and tedious. The prerequisites are very similar to what banks in the US ask for, here are the basics; your ID (Passport), SS#, Income Tax Returns or similar from the past three years, bank statements from at least the last six months and information of any open/active credit that you may have. This is not everything and obviously each case is different and handled individually. If this is your only option to be able to buy your piece of the tropics come prepared with patience and of course the needed documents, it will not happen overnight.
Here is what three of the major local banks offer in interest rates. This is in general and will vary depending on the amount and the time (length) of the loan:
Banco National de C.R.  7.5% –  9%.
Scotiabank  6.75% – 9.5%.
Banco de C.R.  7% – 11%.

by: insidecostarica.com

The data is compiled by reports of the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – immigration service – and analyzed by the ICT, which indicates an increase of 49.000 visitors or a 7.8% increase in the first three months of 2011 over the same period in 2010.

“This has been a great way to kick off the year,” said the ministro de Turismo Allan Flores. “We surpassed the world average, which according to the World Tourism Organization, was five percent in the first few months of 2011.”

The Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, the regional airport located in the province of Guanacaste and within an hour of north Pacific coast beaches, hotels and resorts, registered a record 26.9% increase in visitor arrivals within the first three months of 2011.

Data from the DGME confirms that in January, the Liberia airport had 42 flights a week, six more than in 2010, representing a growth of 14%. February indicated similar results with 53 flights a week, 13 more than the same period last year, meaning an increase of 25%.

The United States remains Costa Rica largest and most important market, representing 54.2% of arrivals by air with more than 252,000 Americans traveling there during the first quarter of the year.

Costa Rica’s proximity to major hubs in the United States and the multitude of flight options makes it easy for travelers to vacation there.

San José is less than three hours away from Miami, a five-hour flight from New York, a four-hour flight from Dallas and a six-hour flight from Los Angeles.