Think Luxury, Think Costa Rica

By: Nick Viale

Costa Rica's famed Gold Coast is becoming an international hot spot and with a number of upscale hoteliers moving into the area, it won't be long before this up and coming location is out of sight. There are plans for 3,500 high-end hotel rooms to be added locally, and the Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott and St. Regis are among the many famous names that will join the area's already established Hilton and Four Seasons.

For those of us who have lived in this area for years, the suddenly explosion comes as no surprise. It was only a matter of time before others caught on to the beauty of this part of the world. Originally part of Nicaragua, the Nicoya region voted for annexation and became part of Costa Rican in 1846. Encompassing beaches, volcanoes, rain forests and national parks, Guanacaste province is one of the most stunning areas in the world and deserves its reputation as a tropical paradise. The coastal region offers amazing opportunities for surfing, snorkeling, horseback riding, bird watching and diving, to say nothing of its famous turtle migrations.

With a steady hot season lasting from November to April, this area is ideal for escaping North American and European winters. With almost no rainfall, the coast takes on a golden hue, giving it the nickname "the Gold Coast". With an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit), the green season is still a great time to be in Costa Rica. Mornings are typically sunny, with later afternoon showers restoring the foliage to its finery, bringing out the luscious colors and tropical scents.

Reaching this hot spot has gotten so much easier since the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia opened - most of the beaches are accessible in under an hour. In fact, this may be one of the reasons tourism in Guanacaste province has been taking off so rapidly - this airport saw an almost 400 per cent increase in passenger arrivals in the first half of the decade.

And with the increase in visitors came the increase in luxury developments in the area. Currently, there are many projects being built to US standards, with exquisite details such as exotic woodwork, featuring top-notch amenities and services and a choice of ocean or mountain views. These new beach communities range in size and price, with several exclusive, gated options. This is a great time to invest in a vacation property or, if you're looking for something a little bigger, a hotel/resort, as this area quickly becomes the new Hawaii. Tourism is a priority with the government in Costa Rica, so investors can have confidence that any areas currently lacking in infrastructure will be developed soon enough. The time to get in is now.

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