Monday, August 25, 2008

Longevity in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has one the longest life expectancy of the Western Hemisphere and in Costa Rica the Nicoya Peninsula has the longest life expectancy. Why is this, could it be:

  • The pace of life
  • Dietary factors
  • The climate which NASA describes as the best on the planet
  • Low stress

Whatever the reasons the facts speak for themselves. Forbes Magazine published a recent article with some suggestions which you can see here.

If you would like to invest in Costa Rica and try out some longevity yourself have a look at our website

Have a look at Di Pacifico Dos, located on the gulf of Nicoya, then relax knowing that your investment is creating wealth naturally.

Debt for Nature swap

The Nature Conservancy borkered the largest ever debt for for Nature swap under the Tropical Foresty Conservation act in October soo7.

Under the terms of the deal, the USA has forgiven $26 million of Foregin Debt owed by Costa Rica, in turn Costa Rica will spend the equivalent amount preserving some of Costa Rica's must pristine tropical rainforest.

To read more about this Debt for Nature swap brokered by the Nature Conservancy click here.

If I invest in Di Pacifoc Dos, what are my exit strategies

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is "What are my exit strategies from and investment in Di Pacifico Dos?".

The great news is that you have a number of clearly defined exit strategies.

Harvest the trees and sell the land
For the majority of our investors they plan to wait untill the trees are mature enough to harvest and once harvested they plan to sell the land. We are available to sell the land should the clients wish but of course the clients can also sell the land through a local estate agent. The land is registered in the clients own name or in the clients own company (an SA) which comes with many tax advantages. Once a purchaser has been located and a price agreed the transfer of land by notary should take about 6-8 weeks.

Harvest the trees and replant

A number of our investors plan to replant trees on their land after harvest. Whilst they can certainly replant teak again, Melina is another option. The advantage of Melina is that it is considerably quicker growing than teak. Although the price is lower the plant to harvest cycle is 10 years. With teak the plant to harvest cycle is 20 years.

Harvest the trees and build a holiday villa for personal use
Approximately 5-10% of our investors plan to build a holiday villa on their land. Given that Costa Rica has the "best climate on the planet" according to NASA, what a great place to have your holiday villa.

Where is the major market for my land if I harvest the trees and plan to sell the land?
Costa Rica has become an extremely attractive holiday destination for Amercians and Canadians. It is just a few hours flight, stable and safe with a fantastic climate and magnificent beaches. No wonder so many American Celebrities have already invested there - Oprah Winfrey, David Hasselhof, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson to name just a few. The 5th Annual Readers Choice Awards of Travel Weekly named Costa Rica the best destination in Central and South America. Right now land in Costa Rica is cheap and foregin land ownership is allowed and land title is clear. But the land won't be cheap for long! If you would like to invest in Costa Rica for just €6.45 per square metre and have the added advntage of teak growing on your land why not have a look at our website, this is our 10th development in Costa Rica and we like to refer to it as the jewel in the crown because it has it all:

  • Great location
  • Up and coming tourist area
  • Pre cadastral prices
  • Cadastral registration expected to be complete in 6-8 months
  • 12-14 year old teak trees growing on your land

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How are teak logs measured?

If you look at the various websites providing pricing information on teak logs you will discover various references to prices per cubic meter and prices per hoppus ton.

The hoppus ton is the older British system of measurement whilst the cubic meter is the newer metric system.

You can see a full explanation of the hoppus ton measurement system here and the conversion rate is as follows:

1 Hoppus Ton = 1.2727 CBT (Cubic Ton) = 1.802 Cu-Meter (CBM)

Some other common abreviations you may come across are:

FOB - Free On Board. A shipping term which indicates that the supplier pays the shipping costs (and usually also the insurance costs) from the point of harvesting to a specified destination normally the port from which the logs are shipped, at which point the buyer takes responsibility.

CIF - Term of sale signifying that the price invoiced or quoted by a seller includes insurance and all other charges up to the named port of destination.

CIP - Carriage and insurance paid to (CIP) terms include insurance and all charges up to a named place in the country of destination (usually the buyer's warehouse).

There is no current internationally accepted teak grading system with different teak log grading systems operating in different jurisdictions. Teak 21 was set up to advise on and try to put in a place a globally acceptable teak log grading system.

So armed with that information why not check out global teak prices and if you are wondering why teak prices have been increasing the answer is twofold:

1. Reduced supply, currently less than 5% of the world's teak comes from plantation sources with the balance cominng from Natural Jungle. Of course world opinion has rightly moved against the logging of our natural rain forests leading to reduced supply

2. Increased demand: demand for teak worldwide is increasing driven largely by huge demand from India and China.

In any market where supply reduces and demand increases this results in increased prices.

If you would like to see how you can invest in a booming property market with the security of teak on your land, have a look at our website

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

News from Costa Rica

Where can I find out news about Costa Rica? There are a number of news sites and news sources about Costa Rica where you can keep up with relevant events and local news about Costa Rica:

Tico Times

A.M. Costa Rica is a good news consolidator for all sorts of news about Costa Rica from around the world gives a listing of all newspaers in Costa Rica here again consolidates lots of news about Costa Rica here

If you would like to see how an investment in the Costa Rica, "the hottest real estate market on the face of the planet" (CNBC) can earn you great returns and be secured by teak growing on your land have a look at our website http://www.costaricainvest.ieor sned us an email and ask us about Di Pacifico Dos

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Costa Rica to be carbon neutral by 2021

There has been lots of coverage about Costa Rica's ambitious plan to become carbon neutral by 2012. Using a combination of budgeting, laws and incentives which will promote biofuels, clean energy and hybrid vehicles Costa Rica aims as a country to be carbon neutral by 2021.

You can see articles by
  • The world watch institute, vision for a sustainable world here
  • Reuters here and more coverage here
  • National geographic here
  • National Public Radio here

Some interesting facts about Costa Rica:

  • 51% of Costa Rica's surface area is now reforested
  • over 30% is designated national park and protected reserve
  • 78% of its energy is produced by hydroelectric power
  • a further 18% of its energy requirements comes from wind or geothermal power

If you would like to see how an investment in Costa Rica can not only supoport this one of the world's great environmentally pioneering nations but also can earn you a 30% pa return on your investment have a look at our website or sned us an e mail. An investment in Di Pacifico Dos will give you exposure to the "hottest real estate market on the face of the planet" and an investment secured by teak trees growing on your land.

Related articles: Costa Rica Bids To Go Carbon Neutral

Friday, August 15, 2008

The BBC news site has a very good country profile on Costa Rica. It gives a very good summary of Costa Rica and some amazing facts. Did you know that:

  • Costa Rica enjoys the highest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere!
  • There are over 1,000 species of orchid in Costa Rica!
  • Costa Rica is oftern referred to as the "Switzerland of Central America"
  • The current prime minister, Oscar Arias, was awarded the nobel peace prize!

To read more about Costa Rica on the BBC News site, just click here.

If you would like to see how and ethically responsible, environmentally friendly investment can achieve yields of over 30% pa (CAR) have a look at our website

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who looks after my teak investment?

We have appointed Mantemimiento Forestales SA as our teak maintenance company of choice for maintaining your teak trees in Di Pacifico Dos. They charge €0.042 (€42 per 1,000sqm) per annum maintenance fee. You are of course free to appoint another maintenance company if you wish but all of our investors are required under contract to maintain their teak trees correctly.

Managed by Humberto Camerano, who has over 20 years experience managing teak plantations, Mantemimiento Forestales SA will ensure your teak trees are maintained properly throughout the remaining years of their growth cycle.

Humberto showing some clients Di Pacifico Dos

Without correct maintenance your teak trees will not give you the best return on your investment.

Maintenance includes removing the lower branches, clearing weeds and uneccessary growth between the trees, monitoring for disease and of course thinning the trees.

Di Pacifico Dos was originally planted with 1,100 teak trees per ha but over a 20 year growth cycle up to 60% of the originally planted trees are felled leaving approximately 400 trees per ha.

This ensures that the best of your teak trees has the abiulity to grow and produce a maximum return on your investment.

If you would like to see more about how an investment in Di Pacifico Dos can give you a Return on your investment of over 30% per annum, why not have a look at our website or e mail us or give us a call on +353 1 272 4184

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Costa Rica bids to go carbon neutral
By Claire Marshall BBC News, Costa Rica

In February 2008 , Norway, New Zealand, Iceland and Costa Rica made a commitment to go carbon neutral.

The tiny Central American country is the only developing country to have made the tough pledge to turn its economy green.

It has also set itself the hardest target with the government saying it will go carbon neutral by 2021.

"If any country can do it, it's Costa Rica," said Sergio Musmanni, who is helping to lead the government's new national climate change strategy. "We have been at the forefront of the climate change issue for years. A large percentage of our electricity... already comes from renewable energy sources. And we are in the tropics. We don't have problems heating up our homes and buildings during the winter."

Some sectors are getting behind the idea.

At a plantation on the country's Caribbean coast, bunches of bananas, Costa Rica's biggest export, are encased in plastic while growing to protect them from insects and disease.

Rudy Amador, from the Dole food company, looks up at the pale blue cocoons being cut down with machetes. "The first thing is measuring what the emissions actually are. Then we're looking at ways that we can do our agricultural practices better to reduce the emissions. In addition to production, we are also involved in transportation, so we are also looking at ways of being more fuel efficient," he said.

'Incredible growth'

One of the keys to all attempts to go carbon neutral is to find ways to off-set emissions. The Costa Rican government is attempting to do this through reforestation. The government planted what it says is a world record five million trees last year, and is aiming for a new record of seven million this year. The theory is that if enough trees are planted, they will absorb enough carbon dioxide to cancel out the country's emissions of greenhouse gases.

Many of the seedlings come from the Earth University, 80km (50 miles) east of the capital, San Jose. The private, not-for-profit institution is in more than 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of breathtakingly rich and fertile land.

Professor Ricardo Russo is in charge of the reforestation programme. He gestures over a wide area of cleared land, where vivid green four-month old saplings are thrusting in to the sky.
"You can see the growth here in the tropics. It's incredible. In four months, they can grow 50 to 60cm."

Professor Russo believes that planting trees is a good way to stop the planet heating up. "The tree starts absorbing carbon dioxide from when it's a seedling. Especially during the first 10 to 15 years, it's a very efficient way of absorbing carbon from the atmosphere".

Transport challenge

Costa Rica already has some progressive environmental policies. More than 30% of the country has been given over to national parks, and the country pioneered the concept of eco-tourism in the region.

However, some voice doubts over the tough time limit that the country has set itself.

"We need to be an example to the rest of the world", Alex Khajavi, Nature Air airline

"Costa Rica has been the only country in Central America ahead of everyone else, in terms of protecting the environment," said Jose Vasquez, from the World Wildlife Fund.

"I believe this is the first step to mitigate even more the impact they have on climate change. The only thing I see is a little bit problematic is by 2021. It's a huge target."

There is one overwhelming issue that needs to be addressed, particularly for a developing country. "The real challenge for Costa Rica is transportation. Most of our emissions come from this sector. We really have to start making changes in how Costa Ricans are moving, but as the economy grows, if more people want to have their own cars, we have to take that in to account," said Mr Musmanni.

There is one example from private industry. Four years ago, Nature Air began moves to become a carbon neutral airline.

Sitting back in one of the company's Twin Otter planes, chief executive Alex Khajavi looks down fondly at the Pacific coastline, the emerald hills folding down to long white strips of beach. "We are in the right position in this country to be the crucible for the changes that the rest of the world is looking for. We cannot let it fail. We need to get everyone on our side to make this small experiment in something very radical but very necessary, to work," he said.
"We need to be an example to the rest of the world".

The Costa Rican government has given itself just 13 years to turn its economy green and become that example.

See the original story here on BBC NEWS:

Published 2008/08/11 11:01:13 GMT© BBC MMVIII

Information and Location of ‘Di Pacifico Dos’

Originally a cattle farm, this finca was planted with teak trees 12 - 14 years ago. The finca is 400 ha with 2/3 of the plots already sold. There were originally 1100 trees per hectare (10000 sqm), however during the trees’ growth cycle, the thinning process may cut up to 66% of the trees, to enable the stronger trees to have more space. The stronger the heartwood the more valuable the teak, so it’s more cost efficient to remove some of the smaller trees to give more potential to the stronger ones, leaving appx 400 trees per ha after thinning.

Further information:

  • Located just off the Pan-American Highway, the main highway from Alaska to South America

  • 94km from Liberia International airport to the North

  • 110km from the capital and international airport of San Jose to the South

  • 8km from the village of Chomes with it’s local shops, cafes, and natural beach

  • 30km from Playa Dona Ana, a tourist beach with facilities, cafes, restaurants, a swimming pool and the lovely new Hilton Doubletree resort hotel located there

  • 40km from Puntarenas, a dutyfree port attracting tourists to its waterfront seafood restaurants and bars, as well as being the starting point for many excusion tours and ferries including excursions to the world famous Tortuga island, 10 mins from Puntarenas. This is one of the main ports of call for major cruise liners and a new marina is planned for the city.

  • 80km from Jaco Beach, the 1st Central American Blue Flag beach and booming town of Jaco, with it’s new marina and 2000 beachfront condos – the developers of which have actually created the new Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce. There’s a new freeway currently under construction connecting San Jose to Jaco to cut drive times in half to the capital, and a new $3 million promenade planned along the beach.

Land price growth in the Vicinity

Puntarenas province North of Puntarenas experienced 31% growth in land prices in 2007.

If you would like to see more about how you can benenfit from a land investment in the hottest real estate market on the face of the planet (CNBC) and benefit from the added security of teak growing on your land, why not have a look on our website or send us an e mail or give us a call on + 353 1 272 4184

Why invest in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is the oldest democracy in Central and South America with the Pacific Ocean to the West and Caribbean to the East.

Costa Rica shares Central America with Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize

It was the first country in the world to constitutionally abolish it’s army and is an American protectorate.

The economy has been growing at 7% pa, with major inward investment via big multinationals such as Hewlett Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Abbott Laboratories, Merck Sharpe and Dome

The population is 4 million, of which 96% are literate – one of the highest literacy rates in the world, with more teachers than police

5% of the worlds biodiversity can be found in Costa Rica (i.e. 1 in 20 of all living organisms), and NASA described it as having the best climate in the world – with average temperatures of 25-30 degrees

The country is ranked 5th – 2008 Environmental Performance Index with over 25% of Costa Rica declared a protected nature reserve

There is a $1.9 billion pa tourism industry, with many American celebrities choosing Costa Rica for their pad – such as Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lisa Marie Presley.

Land prices in Costa Rica have shot up in recent years driven by
  • massive demand from mainly American holiday makers looking for their little piece of paradise, in this beautiful stable country
  • foregin inward investment from multinational companies

In the best areas land has doubled year on year over the past 5 years. Of course this land price has started from very low price levels, but these increases will not be sustained forever, so invest now and benefit from the land price increases while you can!!

Read a BBC News profile of Costa Rica here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More pictures in and around the Gulf of Nicoya

Below are some further pictures from our recent visit to Costa Rica

Planning to build on your land - why not put in a teak bar!

Departing Puntarenas on a trip to the Nicoya Peninsula

Departing Puntarenas

Crossing the gulf of Nicoya

Lovely views on the gulf of Nicoya

Arriving at the ferryport on the Nicoya Peninsula

Views from Di Pacifico Uno on the Nicoya Peninisula

If you would like to see how an investment in Costa Rica can give you projected returns of 30% CAR with the security of teak on your land and development land in the "hottest real estate marekt on the face of the planet" (CNBC Europe) why not have a look at our website or send us an e mail, or give us a call on +353 1 272 4184 and speak with our advisors

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pictures of Di Pacifico Dos

Below are some recent pictures of Di Pacifico Dos.

Di Pacifico Dos is right on the Pan American highway (that's it passing the gate)

Some of the farm buildings on Di Pacifico Dos

View towards the sea from Di Pacifico Dos.

A lorry load of recently logged teak thinnings awaits departure to the port from Di Pacifico Dos

One of the grass plots in Di Pacifico Dos (available for immediate development)

Some of the Di Pacifico Dos planation workers

Some of the recently logged thinnings await collection

Examinining a "Pochote" tree on Di Pacifico Dos ( not a good tree to bump into!)

Close up of a Pochote tree

The entrance to Di Pacifico Dos

View towards the sea from Di Pacifico Dos

Friday, August 1, 2008

Teak Growth rates

I came across this letter, albeit written in 1996, by Dr. Raymond Keogh, from the International Teak Unit of An Coillte, which is the Irish National Forestry Organisation.


by Dr. Raymond Keogh

Dear Colleagues;

I feel that the debate on growth rates of teak has gone on to long; growth rates for this species are well known and it is time to make this abundantly clear!

The question of growth rates in teak plantations has become a contentious issue in recent times. It is of crucial importance to teak growers and investors because timber production forecasts and financial returns depend on accurate predictions. Fortunately, we know more about teak growth rates n plantations than any other tropical hardwood. Growth and yield studies began in earnest last century and continue today. Growth is normally expressed interns of cubic metres per hectare per year and highest growth rates are normally expressed in terms of maximum mean annual increments (note: maximum current annual increments, which are higher than mean annual increments are not normally used in timber forecasting as they would produce erroneous predictions over the life of the crop).

A very tolerable rule-of-thumb can be applied across the tropics regarding highest growth rates in teak plantations. This rule-of-thumb does not change for wide definitions of stem volumes. GROWTH RATES WHICH EXCEED AN AVERAGE OF TWENTY CUBIC METRES PER HECTARE PER YEAR IN TWENTY YEARS ARE UNLIKELY TO BE ENCOUNTERED. In other words, only in exceptional circumstances will the total production of stem woody material exceed four hundred cubic metres in twenty years.

Growers and investors must base their predictions on avarages and not exceptional growth rates. Most practicing foresters in the tropics would be content to encounter an average annual growth rate of ten to fifteen cubic metres per hectare per year over twenty years on all their plantation site. Through good site selection and the planting of genetically improved seed, growers can boost avarages and avoid poor producing sites.

Genetic improvement may boost growth but is an expensive long-term activity. Growth may also be boosted in some cases by fertilizer application, but the identification of the necessary chemicals and their optimum rates of application are not fully understood. At the present state of development in teak, it would be unwise to expect that average growth rates can be boosted to reach or surpass the maximum rule-of-thumb growth rate for teak throughout the tropics. Even if it were possible to do so, it would be wise to have a clear understanding of the effects of this increase on wood quality.

Raymond M. Keogh
Teak 2000
1 May 1996.

Have a look on our website and see how you can benefit from the returns on teak and the profit potential of development land in Costa Rica.