Sunday, March 29, 2009

Would you like to help protect Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

If you would like to do something good for nature and the environment and have a great holiday, you can do so by volunteering as a PRETOMA volunteer helping to protect Sea Turtles in San Miguel Costa Rica

Every year from July to December, endangered nesting sea turtles return to the beaches of San Miguel. As a volunteer, you can assist scientists with tagging and measuring turtles, transferring newly laid eggs to a protected hatchery, and the best part: releasing babies into the safety of the sea. Everyone wins here: The yearly influx of PRETOMA volunteers is a welcome boost to the local economy, and community support has made the project a success. You do get time off, too. Surf, swim, read in a hammock, or just revel in the beauty surrounding you.

Pretoma is a non-profit organisation established in 1997 to protect the ocean's resources.

Or you can get involved in an Earthwatch expedition tagging, monitoring and measuring leatherback turtles on the Guanacaste coast.

Alternately, you can contribute to the protection of the Costa Rican sea turtles by purchasing from Save the Turtles , a non-profit organisation that that provides financial assistance to Caribbean coastal communities of Costa Rica that protect sea turtles through methods that are sustainable, environmentally responsible and enhance the lives of people who share the habitat.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Measurement of Land in Costa Rica

Land in Costa Rica is most often sold by the square meter, which is about 10.76 square feet. For larger plots of land, other units of measure become necessary. Rural land is usually referred to in hectáreas (hectares) or manzanas.

  • A hectare measures 10,000 square meters.
  • A manzana measures 7,000 square meters.

Most Costa Ricans are also familiar with acres and approximate it to 4,000 square meters--which is quite close to the more accurate 4,046 square meters.

The original idea behind the the manzana as a unit of measure was that it approximated the area of a city block and the Manzana is 7,000 square metres.

Another interesting approximation that Costa Ricans make is for the gallon, which is often assumed to be four liters. This gallon measurement comes somwehere between the 3.79 liters used in the United States and the 4.54 liters for the imperial gallon.

Thank you to the Costa Rican Spanish blog for the content of this story and if you would like to visit a blog specially for Costa Rican Spanish enthusiasts just click here

Monday, March 23, 2009

Costa Rica Business to benefit from New Tax Law

The Costa Rican tax administration has introduced a new special accelerated depreciation for all new assets increasing the acceleration of the useful life t0 60% from the previous 50%

This measure applies to all new assets purchased from January 2009 to the end of the year.

This move is a part of the Costa Rican Government's plan to promote Commerce, protect the Costa Rican economy from the worst of the global economic downturn and to protect Costa Rican jobs.

This accelerated depreciation should promote investment in Costa Rica as it allows companies a larger deduction when determining how much income tax is due. Additionally, those companies who had considered defering asset purchases because of the current economic climate would benefit financially by proceeding with the purchases in 2009.

Once this resolution is published in “La Gaceta” it will not be necessary for companies to specifically request authorization to use the special accelerated depreciation from the Tax Administration. The only requirement is that the owner prove that the assets were acquired during 2009.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Costa Rica - Taiwan Friendship Bridge

Puente de la Amistad de Costa Rica-Taiwan ( "Costa Rica-Taiwan Friendship Bridge") spans the Tempisque River, in Guanacaste, northern Costa Rica.

At the upper end of the Gulf of Nicoya this bridge was completed in 2003. Prior to this, crossing the Tempisque River required a journey by ferry or long circuitous overland routes to travel from Guanacaste to the Nicoya Peninsula.

The bridge is a hybrid made up of a cable stayed span and a pillar supported bridge.

In total the bridge is 780 meters wide. On the Nicoya Peninsula side of the bridge their is a parking area and high viewing spot from which you can take photos of this spectacular bridge.

The local vendors located in the car park also supply cold drinks and fresh fruit juices.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guanacaste Tree - The National Tree of Costa Rica

The unusual Guanacaste Seed Pod
The Guanacaste Tree is the National Tree of Costa Rica. It is an evergreen (or briefly deciduous tree), known especially for its superlative proportions. Becuase of its immense size and the shade it provides from the sun it is one of the best known trees in Costa Rica.

In Finca Di Pacifico Dos, our teak plantation, with land for future development, 60 ha will remain as natural park or forest reserve. Within these preserved areas are a number of these immense Guanacaste trees, including one giant specimen of over 200 years of age.
The Guanacase tree also has unusually shaped seed pods, resembling mushroom caps filled with seeds which rattle when the seed pods are shaken.

The Guanacaste trees typically flowers from February through to May and the flowers have an intense and beautiful aroma.

Humberto Camareno, the manager of Matenimiento Forestales our recommended foresty maintenance company poses beside our largest Guanacaste tree - over 200 years of age and a magnificent specimen

One of our beautiful 200 year old jungle giants

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Your chance to vote for the seven new wonders of nature

Over 200 spectacular locations worldwide are competing to become one of the new seven wonders of nature.

Founded in 2001, the New7Wonders foundation aims to contribute to the protection of both the world's human built and natural heritage.

More than a billion people are expected to join in internet voting that will now nominate 77 semi finalists for the top natural wonders.

A panel of experts in nature, chaired by Federico Mayor, Former Chief of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, will reduce the list to 21 finalists in July.

The seven winners will then be chosen in another round of public voting lasting until 2011, this time by internet, telephone and text messages.

Cocos Islands National Park, Costa Rica is in the running and is currently ranked number 3 in the "islands" category.

If you would like to vote log on to pick your new 7 wonders of nature.

The winners last year of the 7 new man made wonders were

  • the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  • the Colosseum, Italy
  • the Great Wall of China
  • the Taj Mahal, India
  • Petra, Jordan
  • Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • the Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico.

You can vote for the seven new wonders of nature until July 7th by registering on the website

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Humming Birds of Costa Rica

HUMMINGBIRDS by Christopher Baker of Eco Interactive

Click here to hear the sound of the Steel Vented Humming Bird

Of all the exotically named bird species in Costa Rica, the hummingbirds beat all contenders. Their names are poetry: the green-crowned brilliant, purple-throated mountaingem, Buffon’s plummeteer, and the bold and strikingly beautiful fiery-throated hummingbird. There are more than 300 species of New World hummingbirds constituting the family Trochilidae (Costa Rica has 51), and all are stunningly pretty. The fiery-throated hummingbird, for example, is a glossy green, shimmering iridescent at close range, with dark blue tail, violet-blue chest, glittering coppery orange throat, and a brilliant blue crown set off by velvety black on the sides and back of the head. Some males take their exotic plumage one step further and are bedecked with long streamer tails and iridescent moustaches, beards, and visors.

These tiny high-speed machines are named because of the hum made by the beat of their wings. At up to 100 beats per second, the hummingbirds’ wings move so rapidly that the naked eye cannot detect them. They are often seen hovering at flowers, from which they extract nectar and often insects with their long, hollow, and extensile tongues forked at the tip. Alone among birds, they can generate power on both the forward and backward wing strokes, a distinction that allows them to even fly backwards!

Click here to here the feeding call of the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Understandably, the energy required to function at such an intense pitch is prodigious. The hummingbird has the highest metabolic rate per unit of body weight in the avian world (its pulse rate can exceed 1,200 beats a minute) and requires proportionately large amounts of food. One biologist discovered that the white-eared hummingbird consumes up to 850% of its own weight in food and water each day. At night, they go into “hibernation,” lowering their body temperatures and metabolism to conserve energy.

Typically loners, hummingbirds bond with the opposite sex only for the few seconds it takes to mate. Many, such as the fiery-throated hummingbird, are fiercely territorial. With luck you might witness a spectacular aerial battle between males defending their territories. In breeding season, the males “possess” territories rich in flowers attractive to females: the latter gains an ample food source in exchange for offering the male sole paternity rights. Nests are often no larger than a thimble, loosely woven with cobwebs and flecks of bark and lined with silky plant down. Inside, the female will lay two eggs no larger than coffee beans.

For more information about travel to Costa Rica, contact Eco Interactive Tours

Thank you to Christopher Baker for his excellent article

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Costa Rica & France get together to fight Climate Change

Brice Lalone has been appointed by the French Government to lead France's policies in the battle against climate change.

Brice and France's Environment, Energy & Telecommunications Minister Roberto Dobles travelled to Costa Rica last week for discussions with the Costa Rican Government on further cooperation in combating climate change.

Costa Rica and France have agreed to work together on international climate change projects.

Additionally they have discussed a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, under which Nations agreed to a series of measures to reduce the world's green house gases, as this treaty expires in 2012.

In addition to meeting with the Government Lalone also met with business like Dole Fresh Fruits and Tabacon, that have acted to lessen their environmental impacts.

Dole has introduced a series of initiatives including training, low energy refrigerated containers, and reduction of fertiser use.

Tabacón, a resort and spa based around hot springs at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, in northwestern Costa Rica, has compiled an inventory of all the greenhouse gasses emitted from its operations, including the transportation of tourists and company trips and the company is now working to reduce its emissions and compensating the rest through reforestation and conservation of existing forests.

Read the full story in by Leland Baxter-Neal in the Tico Times here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Costa Rican Prospects Remain Attractive for Investors

Nuwire Investor (27th of February 2009), the influential investment journal, reports that Costa Rica still remains among the most popular second home destinations for U.S. citizens. The country has successfully branded itself as a premiere eco-tourism destination and the tourism sector is expected to continue growing.

Low cost of living and property taxes still attract retirees who are looking for cheaper options without too many compromises. However, the Central American country has not been immune to the global economic crisis and it is sensitive to the U.S. slowdown. After all, some 60 percent of tourists arriving into the country come from the United States and the U.S. also purchases the majority of Costa Rican exports. This makes the country overly sensitive to U.S. economic winds.

Although the fundamentals of the tourist industry still remain strong, the industry is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, with hotel occupancy falling.

The construction industry has also been affected by the financial crisis but continues to grow, albeit at a much slower rate. In 2007, the industry experienced an incredible 18% growth but that reduced to a still very impressive 5% for 2008.

The U.S.-Central America trade deal, known as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, took effect at the beginning of 2009. As the CAFTA floodgates open, Costa Rican monopolies and dominant companies will face fierce competition from multinational companies entering their markets. The ensuing price wars should benefit consumers.

The country's export industry will reap a bulk of the benefits as opportunities for Costa Rican products expand in the CAFTA region.

But the good news that Nuwire ultimately reports is that "long term prospects for Costa Rica remain attractive. The government is stable and has instituted good health care and educational systems. The country is has a wealth of natural resources, from beautiful beaches to pristine jungles and volcanic mountains, that attract a wide range of travelers. More importantly, it knows how to take care of its environment. Costa Rica was ranked 5th in the world by the Environmental Performance Index developed by Yale University and Columbia University. No doubt tourism and related developments will continue to boom. To avoid being a victim of its own success, Costa Rica will need to perfect the fine art of balancing development against preservation in order to protect its eco-friendly brand."

To read the full story by Yemi Kefli on Nuwire Investor click here

If you have a medium to long term investment view, then an investment in development land with the added benefit of teak growing on it may just be the investment for you. Our premier project Finca Di Pacifico Dos offers a unique opprtunity to invest in Costa Rica.

The teak growing on your land will provide a good return but better than that as the world economy recovers and more baby boomers seek out their little piece of paradise the value of your land will increase rapidly giving you a spectacular return.