Thursday, April 30, 2009

Puntarenas

Puntarenas, which means "Sandy Point" in Spanish, is the capital and largest city in the province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica with a population of aproximately 100,000 in the city and and close towns.

Finca Di Pacifico Dos is located 15 minutes by car from the outskirts of Puntarenas or 25 minutes from Puntarenas port.The port, Caldera, is one of the main ports in the country and it is also a stopover for huge cruisliners which dock at the port weekly.
Ferries travel regularly from Puntarenas to the Nicoya Peninsula across the Gulf of Nicoya, a very pleasant 90 minute journey. Shifting sandbanks in the Gulf of Nicoya mean that navigation out of Puntarenas port is a job for expert Captains only wwith the route out changing daily.
First known as Villa Bruselas in colonial times, Puntarenas was discovered by Hernan Ponce De Leon in 1519. Despite the use of the Gulf of Nicoya as an entryway to Costa Rica's inland territory, the port of Puntarenas was not developed until 1840 when coffee production in the highlands reached exportable volumes.
In 1845 the Congress of the Republic declared Puntarenas a duty free port port (with the exception of Cognac and hard liquor).
With the railroad connection to the Central Valley, the Pacific port's activities continued to be a major part of the region's economy throughout the 20th century. The railroad is no longer in use but can be seen running through the centre of Puntarenas.
However, due to the aging and deterioration of the port facilities and the need to accommodate the much larger vessels of modern shipping fleets, a new port was constructed in the 1980s to the south of Puntarenas. The site chosen was Caldera, where ships had anchored during colonial times.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

East Coast FM Interview

Click on the link below to hear a Radio interview by Declan Meehan, East Coast FM, on the Morning Show, with our director James Cahill.

In it James talks about Costa Rica, its environment, economy and the progress it has been making as the principal emerging economy in Central America.





video

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What sets Costa Rica Apart?

Costa Rica has created a unique and holistic approach to its economic development and the environment, based around a system which pays for use of the environment.
More than 5% of the world’s biodiversity (an incredible one in twenty of every living thing on the planet) lives in Costa Rica and Costa Rica first recognized the value of this natural asset in the 1990’s when it set about forming a plan to protect it.

In most countries the environment ministry is effectively the “poor relation” – sidelined and hidden away. But Costa Rica did what no country had done before - it integrated the environment ministry with the ministry of energy, creating a department which looks after the environment, mining, energy and water.

As a result the ministry took a long term view on the country’s energy strategy. The result was that Costa Rica chose to invest in renewable energy sources. These were not the cheapest option at that time; however the ministry determined that over a longer term 25-50 years they would provide the best value. As a direct result more than 95% of Costa Rica’s energy now comes from renewable sources – hydroelectric, wind and geo-thermal.

Further recognising the true value of its environment Costa Rica was one of the first countries worldwide to impose a tax on fossil fuels. First introduced in 1997, the revenue generated by this 3.5% tax funds the National Forest Fund to pay indigenous communities for protection of the surrounding forests. As a direct result of this fund, deforestation in Costa Rica has been reversed with the land area under forest now more than double that of twenty years ago.

So what sets Costa Rica Apart? – it truly recognizes the value of its environment!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Artefacts from Ancient Costa Rica

People lived in Costa Rica right back to pre-historic times, long before we have historical records.


Some of these prehistoric cultures that occupied Costa Rica, dug very deep graves which have preserved many prehistoric artefacts and it is these artefacts that give us some insight into these ancient tribes.


Click on the video link below to learn a little more about the pre-historic people of Costa Rica and to see some of the incredible surviving artefacts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Amazing What You Can Find In the Rain Forest In Costa Rica

It's amazing what you find in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Costa Rica is home to over 5% of the world's biodoversity (that's an amazing 1 in 5 of every living thing on the face of the planet).

But there's more and if you look you may even find an airplane converted into a hotel suite!

The Costa Verde Resort is situated on the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park near Quepos and it features an incredible suite - a Boeing 727 airplane.

In it's previous existence it ferried passengers for South African and Avianca airlines and it now serves as a two bedroomed suite with incredible views of the rainforest, beach and ocean


The plane was transported piece by piece from San Jose airport to its current site and it has been converted into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite with kitchenette, flat-screen tvs, a dining room, and a terrace with an ocean view.


The furnishings are hand carved beautiful teak.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More on the Blue Zones

We have previously mentioned the Blue Zones - areas in the world where people live longer than everywhere else but they do so with Energy and Vitality.

In the Western Hemisphere people live longest in Costa Rica. Within Costa Rica, the Nicoya Peninsula is one of the 4 Blue Zones in the entire world.

After spending a considerable time in Costa Rica, Dan Buettner and the Blue Zones team summarize the Nicoyan lessons for living longer into this short video. www.bluezones.com



Live La Pura Vida and Live Longer

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why is timber a great investment?

Timber is extensively promoted as an economic crises "friendly" investment.

But why, who wants to buy timber right now - sales from furniture shops have fallen, construction has fallen and neither of these are likely to rise any time soon.

But of course investing in timber is not about the price of timber today.

Forestry analyst George Nichols, in a recent study has shown that the price of timber itself only accounts for a third of the return an investor makes on it.

The most important aspect of timber investing is the growth of the trees themselves.

Nichols points out that steady long-term biological growth accounts for 61% of the returns an investor makes on timber. Meanwhile, the quality of the land a forest covers accounts for just 6% of the return – it only really matters to the extent that it allows the trees to thrive (unless that land is development land as in our unique investment opportunity Finca Di Pacifico Dos)

In other words, if the forestry investors are not satisfied with the prevailing timber prices at the time of the proposed harvest, they can of course choose to allow their timber to continue to grow. And the longer they grow, the more valuable they become.

Trees do not know about banking crises, and global economic conditions, they just continue to grow on regardless.

Timber also has a great long-term track record between 1910 and 2000, timber prices rose at an annual rate of 3.3% above the rate of inflation. So if you’re prepared to wait, timber will be a very rewarding investment.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that world consumption of wood products will rise by 60% over the next 25 years. China alone has increased its appetite for wood 16-fold in the last 12 years.

China’s building boom may be tapering off for now. But building homes, and panelling public offices for an urban population that is forecast to swell from 530 million to 875 million by 2030, will still put pressure on the world’s supply of timber. China’s growth has already contributed to deforestation that has seen one tenth of global forests disappear in the last 25 years.

Burning wood for biofuel will also tax timber resources. Burning wood pellets or chips has proved a useful source of renewable energy, creating little in the way of polluting waste.

So the outlook for timber as an asset class is excellent.

The outlook for teak within that timber asset class is even better. Currently less than 5% of the world's teak production comes from plantation sources. The balance comes from natural jungle sources. World opinion has moved against the logging of our natural jungle reserves creating a shortage of teak.

Combining an existing teak investment with development land in a fantastic location in Costa Rica may just be "the perfect" investment and Finca Di Pacifico Dos, our premier project offers the best of both investments - development land and teak.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Costa Rica Ranks 7th Most Politically Stable Country Out of 165 Worldwide!

The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited is a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide.

It provides country profiles, monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports and industry reports and it also specializes in tailored research for companies that require analysis for particular markets or business sectors.

Some of its well known reports include the 'liveability' of the world's major cities and the quality-of-life index.

In a March 2009 special report titled "Manning the Barricades", The Economist issued a detailed forecast outlining the current world economic crisis and its possible effects on political stability.

Within the report individual countries where ranked for vulnerability of political instability.

According to the report Costa Rica is rated one of the world's most stable countries. Out of 165 countries included in the listing only 6 countries ranked higher.

In the Americas (North America, Central America, The Caribbean and South America); only Costa Rica and Canada made the top 20 - the U.S.A. ranked 55 overall.

Costa Rica is still a developing nation but with more teachers than policemen, ranked 5th in the world in terms of environmental performance, plans to be carbon neutral as a nation by 2021, no army, and a stable democracy it represents an incredible investment opportunity.

Costa Rica also boasts a stable national banking system that didn't get involved in the high-risk lending practices experienced in other countries.

Of course the Costa Rican economy has not been unaffected by global economic conditions but Costa Rica's stability continues to attract foreign investment, and has kept domestic and foreign driven construction projects online even as funding sources have become more conservative.

Click here to download and read the full report

Friday, April 3, 2009

NEWS FLASH

NEWS FLASH

FURTHER PRICE INCREASE

Because of the huge demand for Finca Di Pacifico Dos, the prices of similar land in our area, and the progress towards land registration, the price of Seaview and Riverview lots has been increased with immediate effect to €12.60 per square metre, today the 3rd of April 2009.

Those investors who invested early in Finca Di Pacifico Dos have now seen the value of their investment rise by 142% over the past 18 months.

But there are still opportunities to invest and in consultation with the surveyors, planning authorities and project managers a number of the larger plots have now been subdivided into smaller plots.

Please contact your sales advisor for up to date availability lists and pricing.

Alternately you can speak live with our sales advisors by clicking here

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Los Delfines Golf and Country Club Scarlet Macaw Breeding Program

Los Delfines Golf and Country Club has an ambitions target in 1996 - to develop a successful breeding program for the endangered scarlet macaw, and repopulate the Nicoya Peninsula with these beautiful colourful birds.


The Scarlet Macaw is extremely endangered worldwide and although once abundant in Costa Rica these beautiful birds were almost extinct due to habitate destruction and hunting. So scarce had they become that they could only be seen in the wild in a few scattered areas in Costa Rica.


The Scarlet Macaw, lives up to 80 years, can start reproducing at age 7, and are only found on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. It is rarely seen on the Caribean Side, where the Great Green Macaw is resident.


Macaws are the largest parrots in the Americas, and the Scarlet Macaw is distinct both in color and shape. This bird cannot be confused with any other in Costa Rica: its tail feathers are long and pointed, and its wings short for its large body. It has a large powerful bill for cracking tough seed coats and nuts. Bright red feathers cover the back, head, and lower tail feathers; bold blue spreads across the wings and lower back, with large strips of bold yellow above them. The conspicuous facial skin is pinkish white, and the bill ivory and black.

Their loud, resonant, boisterous calls can often be heard as they fly, but they are usually quiet while feeding. Pairs, trios, or small family groups are often seen, but these may sometimes merge into flocks of 25 or even 50 individuals at large roosts in tall trees or mangroves.

In 1900, these parrots could still be seen in forests throughout Costa Rica; by 1950, however, due to habitat destruction, they were absent from the Caribbean slope except in the Northwest.

But Los Delfines is doing its part to boost their numbers and repopulate the Nicoya Peninsula and in 1996, they set about rescuing some captive Scarlet Macaws, nursing them back to health, breeding them and releasing their progeny back into the wild.

In 2006, 10 years after the program started the first part of this dream came through with the release of the first 34 captive bred scarlet macaws back into the wild.

On the 21st of March, a second release of 30 of these beautiful birds took place.