Atenas Real Estate Blog

Atenas expats went kayaking in the Nicoya Peninsula

by Isabelle Jones

Atenas expats went kayaking in the Nicoya Peninsula​I like to keep my Atenas real estate blog with a variety of articles and this time I want to tell you about this great adventure we had. Howard and I won a 2 night kayak weekend via the Atenas Chili Cook-off raffle last February which benefits the Hogar de Vida, an orphanage in Atenas.  

We, two of our great friends as well as 3 other wonderful folks spent 2 nights camping and kayaking last weekend with Vicky and Vigdis of Bahia Rica Adventures in Paquera on the Nicoya Peninsula. It was pura vida as we say in Costa Rica, or truly the "Pure Life". The beaches we camped on were gorgeous. The kayaking was also amazing as well as the sunrises and sunsets.

Vicky adapts easily to everyone and makes it all work so smoothly. The birds, howlers and scenery were hard to beat. We live in Atenas and have been blessed to be able to visit and experience so much in this beautiful country but this was one of our most fantastic adventure trips ever!  That says a lot about this recent adventure.

Rural developments in Costa Rica should form aqueduct to secure water supply

by Ivo Henfling

Hacienda Atenas takes the first step to create a formal rural acueductCosta Rica is trying to secure the water supply for the next generations, a commendable task and a great initiative. Unfortunately, this has everyone running around trying to find out what is going on and what to do. 

The unofficial association of Hacienda Atenas, a beautiful community in the Atenas hills, organized a meeting for their members, inviting attorneys Henry Viquez and Mr. Manuel Arrieta as head of AyA (Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados or Water Company),  Department of Rural Aqueducts. The Atenas head of the AyA, Mr César Augusto Ortiz was also invited to the meeting, but he didn’t show. I applaud the members present on trying to find a way to formalize an asada on such short notice, necessary to protect their water supply. 

In the past, we have published a blog about the need for a water certification to receive building permits from the engineering department in the municipality and guest blogger Pablo R. wrote about the Costa Rica water saga that explain the problem. 

An Atenas Expat Visa Run

by guest blogger Tina Rodriguez

An Atenas Expat Visa RunDiego and I have been in Atenas for 10 months and we love it!  Initially things were a bit stressful learning to function in a new culture but for the last 3 months we have been feeling pretty relaxed. We are enjoying everything Atenas has to offer; great bakeries, nice boutiques and frequent town gatherings such as the annual chili cook-off.  

So, just when things seemed to be running smoothly Diego realized his Visa had been expired for 4 days.  To keep his driver’s license current he needed to leave the country.  Since we have been flying back to the US, this is the first time one of has had to drive to another country to update our Visa and it is clear neither of us knows what to do.  His plan is to hop in the car, drive to Nicaragua, stay for three days and drive back.  So at 3:00 in the afternoon off he goes.  My phone is broken so the only way we can communicate is by e-mail or Skype.  As he drives away I am yelling at him to e-mail me the minute he gets to his hotel.  

Yoga in Atenas

by Isabelle Jones 

Leah's magical Yoga Retreat15 friends, a beautiful resort, Lake Arenal and a snake bite…  Yes, you read that right a snake bite!

Leah, has been yoga-certified for over 8 years, has a yoga studio in Atenas and she loves sharing her passion for yoga.  In her classes, everyone is welcomed, nurtured and inspired.  Leah hosts annual retreats and she works hard to provide amazing locales at incredible prices.  They include everything – lodging, transportation, meals and of course most importantly several fabulous yoga sessions. This year’s yoga weekend was August 1st – 3rd at the Mystica Lodge at Lake Arenal

This small, mysterious lodge is surrounded by beautiful fruit trees and exotic flowers which lead you to the organic garden, the natural pool, the tree-house healing space, and the sanctuary by the river. Our theme for the weekend was “Relax and Renew”.  Mystica lets stresses dissolve as you receive a massage, unwind in the hammocks, walk the trails, swim in the pool and wake up to the powerful practice of Yoga. 

Su Espacio - a Community Center in Atenas

by guest blogger Carole Connolly

Su Espacio - the Atenas Activity CenterSu Espacio, which means your space in Spanish, is a non-profit organization founded by Tina Newton, native Oklahoman, moved to Atenas in January of 2000. This adorable bundle of energy saw a need in her newly adopted town and put her extensive knowledge and expertise to work. And yours it is! There is something for everybody.

I clearly remember the first time I stumbled upon Su Espacio in July 2012. I saw a sign in the window advertising Zumba. I popped in to inquire, and there was Tina with an infectious smile, a warm welcome, and an invitation to join the class! She handed me a schedule of activities available at the community center. As I left the place, I felt invigorated as though I had just come from the fountain of youth. Her effervescence inspired me to make good on my promise to take the class.

Atenas has its own Bomberos!

by guest blogger Carole Connolly

Atenas has its own Fire StationEver since the raging fire in Roca Verde last March I had been meaning to bake something for the firefighters that saved our neighborhood. I wanted to thank them with a gesture that came from the heart. What better qualifies than food? Chocolate cake is food, right?

I wasn’t even sure where the fire department was until one day last week when I parked my car on the street around the corner from the San Jose bus stop. As I gathered up the essentials I would need for my day in the city, locked and exited the car, and hoisted my oversized bag onto my shoulder, I looked up and there it was! The Atenas Fire Station with its gleaming red truck parked alongside the curb, as if it were just another vehicle parked on the street. I stopped and fished out my camera not caring at that point if I missed the bus. There’s always another bus, but you don’t always get to be up close and personal with the bomberos (firefighters) or their truck when it’s in a state of rest. I snapped a photo, turned and ran for the bus, and realized I had never fulfilled my promise to myself to bring a little treat to the firehouse.

Why does having AC in Atenas homes not make ANY sense?

by guest blogger Ivo Henfling

Why does having AC in Atenas homes not make ANY sense?You will see very few AC units in Atenas homes, so when you are in the market to look at Atenas homes for sale, you will know what to look for. After the Costa Rica real estate boom, many investors mistakenly stopped building spec homes in Atenas, so the inventory of good homes on the market is small. Atenas homes still sell as well as ever because Atenas is such a prominent retirement location in Costa Rica.

You don’t want to make the mistake of purchasing the wrong Atenas home for sale and having to invest thousands of dollars in air-conditioning units in every room of the home. So what is it you should be looking for before you start living in Atenas?

What is so special about Atenas real estate?

by guest blogger Ivo Henfling

A standard question I get from future retirees and expats is “what is so special about Atenas real estate”? I know Costa Rica very well, because of my job, my background and the time I have lived in Costa Rica: 34 years. I think I can make a quite honest comparison with real estate elsewhere in the Central Valley of Costa Rica.

When I started the American European Real Estate Group in 1996 with two other partners, Kjersten Van Horn and Barry Ashworth, Atenas was no more than a little village on the way from San Jose to Jaco Beach. There was only one traffic light in Atenas and there is now one more, at the top of the exit ramp of highway 27, which shows how small the town still is.

In those days, we were only a few real estate agents in Costa Rica and we would list properties throughout the whole country, as traffic was a lot easier on us. Kjersten was our listing agent in Atenas in those days, an hour plus drive to get there from Escazu, and I remember how she was promoting a new subdivision called Vista Atenas. There were no real estate offices in Atenas and the internet didn’t exist. Promoting Costa Rica real estate was entirely through mouth to mouth and advertising in the Tico Times, the only printed newspaper then.