Tag Archives: Travel

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san buenas paved road

San Buenas Road Paving

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San Buenas Road Paving

On the morning of Saturday, December 15, 2018, I awoke to the distant sound of heavy machinery operating somewhere in the San Buenas area of Osa, Puntarenas, Costa Rica ("san buena, costa rica" in Google Maps). This isn't completely unusual right now given that the November storms caused quite a bit of damage in the area, and developments and homeowners have been slowly repairing their property now that the heavy rains are all but gone. However, around 11 am I headed towards the San Buenas Pulparia (convenience store) to pick up some more coffee and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the sound of the heavy machinery was from the Osa Municipality who had begun improving Main Street.  Given all the rumors that I've heard throughout the years, the San Buenas Road Paving project is something that I thought would never be done - at least not this "soon"

San Buenas Road Paving is going to be a wonderful enhancement for everyone living in the San Buenas region. Check out the video for more information.

I spoke with a couple of administrators from the Osa Municipality on Monday, 17 December, to ask them about the timeline of the San Buenas Road Paving.  According to these administrators, the current plan is for the municipality to begin paving the road in February 2018 (exact date unknown, although we will keep everyone updated once the project starts) and they will pave one kilometer of the road. One kilometer in San Buenas will mean that the road is paved to the public elementary school and the local Catholic Church.

I asked them about the possibility of having Las Villas de San Buenas work with the local community to pave even more of the road, and to share the costs, and they suggested I work with the newly formed community road board. I had already spoken with the President of that board the day before, so I will continue to see what can be done to pave even more.

Regardless of the outcome of the additional meters of pavement, it will be wonderful to have SOME pavement in San Buenas.

san buenas road paving dec 2018

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dominical paved road

Dominical Paved Road

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Dominical Paved Road

There have been fewer rumored infrastructure projects discussed in the Bahia Ballena/Osa region than whether or not there will be a Dominical paved road or if it will stay as gravel. As one can see, the rumors are finally becoming a reality. As of December 2018 there will be a Dominical Paved Road running from the Costanera Highway (Highway 34) down 50 meters into Dominical (past Delicias), turning left (south) at the first intersection, at the only stop sign in town, and then going all the way through Dominical until the ICE tower.

Additionally, the Dominical Paved Road will head north from the stop sign for several hundred meters also.

Dominical Paved Road Spanish

Below is Abigail Vargas explaining the Dominical paved road in Spanish.

Throughout Dominical (both north and south of the stop sign), large, new drainage systems have been built or are in the final stages of completion. All told, this is a very large infrastructural project that is being completed by the Osa Municipality to improve the customer experience of visiting Dominical.

The Dominical Paved Road is not without its opponents, however. There is a group of long-term resident ex-pats who prefer to keep the ruggedness of Dominical and consider the dusty, bumpy, road as Dominical's "charm". I used to work for a company based in Dominical's main street and I can attest that breathing in the dust all day, fighting for precious parking spots on the narrow and undefined road and watching vehicles and buses come dangerously close to hitting pedestrians, will not be missed by many.

As many people know, Dominical is home to some of the world's best surfing, has a great funky and energetic vibe and is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. Due to these amazing benefits, making the road safer for travelers, visitors and the people who work in Dominical, the Dominical paved road will be greatly appreciated.


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perez zeledon international airport interview Hanz Nick

Perez Zeledon International Airport

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On December 18, 2018, Nick Halverson, owner of Osa Property Management, sat down with Perez Zeledon's City Council President Hanz Cruz, to discuss the potential Perez Zeledon International Airport. This has been something Perez Zeledon has been working hard on for over four years, and the preliminary work is coming to completion.

The embedded video of the conversation is approximately twelve minutes long and includes other planned projects that will enhance living in the Osa region, especially Playa Hermosa, Uvita, Ojochal, San Buenas and Chontales. Perez Zeledon's City Council is also planning on working with the Osa Municipality in a joint project to pave the road connecting Uvita and San Isidro. This would cut down the travel time traveling between those two towns by over 50%. Along with the construction of the planned Perez Zeledon International Airport, the entire Osa and San Isidro region will grow.

As many people know, there have been rumors for years about an international airport in the southern zone of Costa Rica, however, that plan is "dead". It is no longer being pursued for a variety of reasons. Read my blog post from a couple of years ago about why I believe the southern zone airport is a 'no-go' and why the Perez Zeledon International Airport is currently the best possible option for the region.

Hanz Cruz also has heard unconfirmed rumors that the Orotina airport project is currently stalled or stopped all together. However, those are just rumors. If you know anything more about the Orotina airport project, please comment below or privately submit what you have heard. We appreciate keeping everyone up-to-date with accurate information.

As with any major infrastructure change there will be those in favor of it and those against it. However, for the thousands of business owners, local Costa Rican's and ex-pats, who spend hours traveling to and from the area, a new Perez Zeledon International airport will be a wonderful resource.


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southern zone international airport

Costa Rica Southern Zone International Airport Opinion

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First published February 2017 & Used with permission

My first trip to Costa Rica was in March 2005. During that initial trip, the local real estate agent told me about the “New international airport that will be built soon.” Here we are twelve years later and still not another international airport.

In my agent’s defense, there had been government publicity, an article in The Tico Times, with a map, about the airport and he was simply repeating what he had read. Again, in 2007, then-Costa Rica President Oscar Arias held a public relations event whereby he signed a decree to move forward with an international airport in Osa.

southern zone international airport arias
President Oscar Arias initiating the feasibilty studies for airport (Palmar Norte, 2008)

In the past 18 months there has been a lot of talk about a new international airport to be built in Orotina. From contacts I have, as recently as six months, after the formal announcement had been made, no wind studies or environmental studies had been conducted. I find it hard to believe that the Orotina airport is as much of a ‘slam-dunk’ as is being reported. The latest news is that we will all know more by the end of 2017. Below is an artist rendering of the Orotina airport.

orotina-international airport-design

Will the Southern Zone International Airport Be Built in Osa

Is the airport going to be built in Osa? I would guess no.

As much as I would love to have an international airport 30 minutes away from our development (believe me, prices would go up quickly!), based on what happened the past 10 years from Oscar Arias announcing it, until now = very little of anything has happened. Osa currently doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle a project that large. I could argue it is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. The large hotel chains haven’t built here yet because there isn’t a reason to without an international airport. The feasibility studies would show that the region isn’t equipped to handle an international airport since there aren’t any large hotels in the area. It’s a circular argument.

In addition, after the signing of the document [airport decree] by Arias, the people of Costa Rica voted on Costa Rica’s participation in CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement) or TLC as it was known in Costa Rica. The Osa region voted against the measure, and it has been speculated that in retaliation for not supporting him, President Arias pulled the project out of Osa. By contrast, Limon on the Caribbean side, voted “Si” (yes) for the TLC, and soon after the vote, the Limon Port expansion was announced (Limon Moin Container project).

Regardless of the real reason why the airport was never started in Osa is still up for debate today. I have spoken with Osa Mayor several times, and he is continuing to try and push the project forward. However, he understands the difficulty of getting the politicians in San Jose, four hours away, to listen.(Central America Free Trade Agreement) or TLC as it was known in Costa Rica. The Osa region voted against the measure, and it has been speculated that in retaliation for not supporting him, President Arias pulled the project out of Osa. By contrast, Limon on the Caribbean side, voted “Si” (yes) for the TLC, and soon after the vote, the Limon Port expansion was announced (Limon Moin Container project).

Perez Zeledon International Airport

Another option that has quickly, and quietly, been worked on is to build a new airport in the San Isidro de el General, Perez Zeledon. Although not technically in Osa, it would be a great advantage for owners in Las Villas de San Buenas. The reason why this would be great for Las Villas de San Buenas is that currently San Isidro is only 75 minutes away. I have it confirmed by several sources, that the Osa municipality and the municipality of San Isidro are in late planning stages for improving and paving the road from the southern area of San Isidro that leads into Uvita. When this road project is completed, the trip to San Isidro will be cut down to approximately 45 minutes.

southern zone international airport

San Isidro (Aeropuerto PZ) has numerous advantages over Osa for the airport. Several include:

  • Large population base (~150,000 people) that may use the airport for outbound flights.
  • With the large population base, there are dozens of hotels already available.
  • A very entrepreneurial region of Costa Rica. There are 1,000s of business owners in the region who support commerce and trade.
  • By building the airport in San Isidro, the Osa region would still benefit due to the Pan American Highway that is already in place connected Palmar Norte to San Isidro (by way of Buenos Aires).
  • Plenty of flat land is available.
  • The project is not just an airport. The local government is planning on a multi-faceted development plan, including tax incentives for business to move there and other project tied to the airport.

Here’s a video that shows the concepts for the Perez Zeledon international airport:

Regardless of which location is chosen, it will be a benefit to us here in the Osa region. I can’t guarantee when or where exactly, although I would estimate that the timelines are at least five years away. The one thing I can guarantee, is depending on where the location is chosen, land prices will go up quickly or VERY quickly.

UPDATE December 2018

My thoughts have not changed regarding the feasibility of a southern zone international airport - I don't believe it will be built in Osa...I don't believe it will be built in the province of Puntarenas. At this point, based on conversations I've had with administrators and politicians, the best bet is still Perez Zeledon.

San Jose's Juan Santamaria International airport continues to expand - as of last week they have signage for 20 gates, although only 15 are open and operating. One can see the work that is being done right now to expand it to 20. The new domestic airport terminal has been completed next door to Juan Santamaria, solidifying at least some flights will continue to be flown out of the current airport location.

What are your thoughts on the southern zone international airport? What have you heard? At this point everything is just rumors. Send me your thoughts below or directly to me at nick@osapropertymanagement.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Pura vida!

Nick


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Palmar Sur Airport Remodel 2

Palmar Sur Airport Update Dec 2018

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Palmar Sur Airport Update

December 5, 2018

Recently we made several visits over the course of a week to Palmar Sur in order to provide a Palmar Sur airport update. The remodeling project began in August 2018 and involves many wonderful upgrades and updates from the previous airport terminal. The goal for the construction crew, based on several interviews with the Project Manager of the project, is to have the construction phase of the airport completed by December 30, 2018. Watch the video below or watch it on YouTube here.

We are doubtful that all of the work will be done by the end of the calendar year 2018. As of December 1, 2018, the following work still needs to be completed - and this is only a list of what we know about and can make assumptions about:

  • Half the runway and the area near the terminal needs to be paved with more asphalt.
  • Roof needs to be put on (we were told this won't take very long given the design and materials being used for the roof)
  • Internal walls are still being built
  • Skim-coating of 90% of the walls
  • Installation of CAT5 lines, telephony hardware, electrical lines and plug-ins
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Finishing work - which would take at least a week on this type of building
  • Installation of the custom made benches we were told about (with power plug-ins)
  • Perimeter fence needs to be moved to the property boundary
  • Clean-up work
  • Federal inspections by engineers and outside project evaluators

With everything that needs to be completed before opening, along with the Christmas/Holiday season just a couple of weeks away, we don't expect it to be ready anytime before February 1, 2019...at best.

In the short-run, this is definitely an inconvenience, and it is a bit frustrating that they didn't start the construction in May 2018, instead of August. Had they started the work in May, that would have left sufficient time to complete the remodel in time for the high season which is now starting (December 2018).

In the long-run, this is a wonderful upgrade and we will all soon forget the temporary inconvenience this closure has caused. Let us know your thoughts about the Palmar Sur Airport Update.

Also, if you are planning a trip to the Osa/Southern Pacific region of Costa Rica in 2019, or later, be sure to submit a form below to let us know and to let us help you with your trip planning. Additionally, if you are a home or lot owner in the region, contact us for a no-obligation bid on our property management services.


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costa rica domestic terminal

New Costa Rica Domestic Airport Terminal

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Costa Rica's Domestic Airport terminal received a substantial upgrade in mid-2018. The new modern design is sleek, airy, and bright with improved traveler amenities, including mobile charging stations and a well-provisioned convenience store.

The open, streamlined layout of the new Costa Rica domestic airport terminal is visible before you pass through the doors, and a gorgeous, contemporary bronze sculpture accents the glass-paned entrance.

costa rica domestic terminal san jose

Once inside, the crisp, minimalist styling is soothing on the traveler's nerves. Everything is well-marked, and signs are bright with large print, making information easy to read and locations easy to find. Airport staff, as always, are cheerful, friendly, and committed to customer service. Domestic flights are available through Sansa Airlines, with service to 14 destinations across Costa Rica, and Carmonair Charters, with service to nearly 40 stops nationwide.

Terra Tica, the shop located beside the gate seating area, offers a wide variety of refreshments, including fresh bakery items, cold drinks, and high-energy snacks. You'll also find an assortment of locally crafted goods and vacation souvenirs.

The gates are well-lit and airy, with accessible seating and charging stations throughout ensuring your mobile device and/or laptop are fully charged prior to boarding. The tarmac is visible through floor-to-ceiling windows which span the length of the building providing natural lighting and great views while waiting to board your flight.

San Jose Domestic Airport

As with the previous Costa Rica domestic airport terminal, travelers walk out to their plane. There are now many safety improvements including well marked walking paths, high-visibility vests worn by employees to guide travelers to the correct plane and easier access, including ramps.

For those returning to San Jose at the end of their trip, enhanced accessibility and clearly-marked points of entrance alleviate passengers' doubts about where they need to go when they deplane.

A roundabout in front of the terminal provides easy access to taxis and shuttles, and San Jose's Juan Santamaria's main terminal is but a short walking distance. Baggage handlers greet travelers at the entrance, and a central information desk is located across from the ticketing counters for travel or locale-related questions.

Updates are being made to regional terminals and airstrips as well, including San Isidro and Palmar Sur. For the most updated information on travel within Costa Rica, please contact us by phone or email, and be sure to check us out on YouTube.

Pura Vida!


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palmar sur airport remodel photo

Palmar Sur Airport Remodel Update October 2018

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Palmar Sur Airport Remodel Update

We recently visited the Palmar Sur Airport Remodel project currently taking place at this popular airport for travelers vising the Osa Peninsula and nearby towns of Sierpe, Chontales, San Buenas, Ojochal, Uvita and Dominical. The following video provides an update and some great information about the Palmar Sur Airport remodel.

Click on the photo below to watch or view it on our YouTube Channel.

As mentioned in the video, everyone here at Osa Property Management is hoping that the airport is completed with the remodel by the end of calendar year 2018.

We are recommending to our scheduled guests to have a back-up plan in place if their plans include arriving into San Jose's Juan Santamaria's airport first, and planning on flying down to Palmar Sur. We can help with securing a car rental in San Jose, or hiring a private shuttle for you and your travel companions.

Once the Palmar Sur Airport Remodel is completed, this regional airport will be one of the nicest in the country. Palmar Sur serves travelers from Sierpe, Rio Claro, Chontales, San Buenas, Ojochal, Uvita and Dominical.


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palmar sur airport update

Palmar Sur Airport Update

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Palmar Sur Airport Update

In August 28, 2018, we visited Palmar Sur regional airport to get an update on the construction project there. The following is our Palmar Sur Airport Update.

In early August 2018, we had a client who had a scheduled flight from San Jose to Palmar Sur, via Sansa airlines. They were planning on a weeklong vacation at Casa Lapas. Approximately 24 hours prior to the clients' departure, they were notified that the Palmar Sur airport was close and no other information was available. After scrambling to get the clients rescheduled to Perez Zeledon's regional airport, we decided to investigate what was going on.

Below are a couple of videos that provide how the Palmar Sur Airport Update will improve traveling to the southern pacific zone of Costa Rica in the not-to-distant future.

Here is a list of the changes taking place at Palmar Sur airport. All of these changes are scheduled to be completed in four months - with a goal of being completed by January 2019.

  • Existing terminal is going to be increased in size from 750 square feet to over 5,000 square feet. It is still unclear whether or not the existing terminal structure will be kept or if it will be torn down.
  • Rental car kiosks and other kiosks will be built
  • The width of the runway is being widened

One of the goals of the increased width of the runway is to allow more models of aircrafts to be able to make emergency landings if necessary. Palmar Sur is relatively safe compared to other airports in the area due to the flat topography and ease of landing for planes coming in from the west/Pacific Ocean side.

palmar sur airport update sansa plane

Sansa airplane at Palmar Sur airport (when the airport was operating). The Palmar Sur airport is scheduled to reopen in early 2019.


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brad gudim smile costa rica

Morning Coffee in Costa Rica Paradise

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While sitting here in my home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I was thinking back to my recent trip and my experience in Costa Rica.

My favorite time of the day, has always been, and especially in Costa Rica, the morning. I enjoy having a cup of coffee and relaxing as I plan my daily activities.  What I really enjoyed about my morning coffee while in Costa Rica, was the ability to open the doors in the Villa and let the breeze flow through, while sitting on the patio near the pool listening to the tropical birds and the jungle animals.

scarelet macaw opm costa rica

Scarlet macaws flying in San Buenas, Costa Rica (c) Nick Halverson

The plethora of colorful birds in Costa Rica was very impressive. In Minnesota we have robins, blackbirds, blue jays, cardinals and sparrows primarily.  Although these birds are beautiful, and mildly colorful, they are not near as colorful and vibrant as the birds of Costa Rica.  The Scarlet macaw or Lapas as it is called in Costa Rica, is amazingly beautiful.

On my recent trip, we did make a few trips to the beaches, however on my next trip I think I will make more trips to the beach.  I have never seen a whale in its natural habitat, so this is on my checklist of things to do. I have also wanted to go deep sea fishing, and this is another item on my bucket list.

I appreciated the fact that the villas are well-equipped with washer and dryer and microwave and for kitchen, however I did not need to take advantage of those amenities. Personally, I enjoy dining out for most of my meals, so that is what I did on this first trip.  Similarly, the swimming pool was available, however I did not take advantage of that either.  The pool is however, a wonderful place to sit and enjoy nature.

Most people go to Northern Costa Rica because it is familiar to them with the capital of San Jose being there. Fewer people come down to visit in the Osa Peninsula area, only because they are not aware of how easy it is to access. There is a small airport at Palmar Sur that is very close by, and also a hospital, small city and only minutes from the beach.

I encourage you to inquire about the multiple properties, amenities, tours and opportunities provided by Osa Property Management.

BRAD MagicBrad GUDIM


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first trip to costa rica

My first trip to Costa Rica (MagicBrad)

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I recently took my very first trip to Costa Rica.

I have been to Brazil,  Paraguay, Jamaica, Hawaii, Thailand, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Bali. But this was my first trip to Costa Rica.

My preconceived image of Costa Rica was very green, lush and a rain forest jungle.  So, this is what I was expecting when we landed in Liberia.  However, if you are familiar with Costa Rica, you know that the northern part around Liberia is more flat and less jungle.  We rented a car at the Liberia airport, and headed our way, south down the coast line.

As we headed further south, the greenery and foliage rapidly, became much more apparent.

My friend Nick, did the driving, so I was able to look out the windows and take in the sights.  By the time we arrived at our destination in San Buenas de Osa, it was dark.  So we went to bed, and got some good rest for the big day tomorrow. I felt like a child at Christmas time waiting for the morning to arrive.

The photo below is Nick while we were having our morning coffee.

I am an early riser, and really enjoy listening to the birds and animals as they are waking in the morning also. The howler monkeys are abundant in Costa Rica.  With Costa Rica being a tropical location, the birds are all very colorful.  The scarlet macaws are a common site. They tend to travel in pairs, because I guess they mate for life.  One of my most memorable sides was when we saw eight scarlet macaws flying through the sky, and they were in four pairs.  The scarlet my car is a very vibrant red, blue, green and yellow.

We also had some chance to see toucans.  That took in is a very intriguing site and they had their beak is about the same size as their body.  When they fly, it seems like they would flip upside down.

One of my favorite nature sightings is the blue Morpho butterfly.  It is a huge butterfly.  The wings are blue on one side, and gray on the other. However I swear that I saw them as blue and orange.  I must have been hypnotized by the beauty of Costa Rica. LOL.

Check out this tree. Even tree bark in Costa Rica is colorful!

We also took some trips to the beaches  and waterfalls.  I understand that Costa Rica is self-sustaining using hydroelectric power.  Getting energy from natural resources intrigues me. I am also intrigued that Costa Rica does not have a military. From what I understand, they use the money for education rather than the military.

I could go on and on about the many sites and activities however I would prefer that you came yourself.

I hope to see you in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida (Pure Live)

BRAD GUDIM aka MagicBrad


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