Tag Archives: Travel

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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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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.

San Jose Domestic Airport

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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san isidro perez zeledon airport

Daily Flights from San Jose to San Isidro del General Perez Zeledon

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When looking to visit the Osa region of Costa Rica, a visitor or traveler must balance how long it will take to get to the area versus how much time they have in the country. We encourage our visitors to fly from San Jose's Juan Santamaria airport (SJO) to one of the local airports in the Osa region. There are not a lot of options to choose from when flying from San Jose to San Isidro del General, in fact, there is only one. Additionally, there are several locations to choose from including:

  • Quepos
  • San Isidro del General/Perez Zeledon
  • Palmar Sur
  • Golfito
  • Puerto Jimenez

Sansa Airlines is the only local airline that offers daily flights into San Isidro del General. Below is Sansa's schedule:

sansa flights san jose to san isidro del general

San Isidro is a great location to start your trip in Costa Rica. It's large population, variety of stores (even a movie theater) and its proximity to other cities, make it a great place to get your trip ready.

San Isidro is within 30 minutes of:

Please contact us here at Osa Property Management if you would like assistance putting together your Costa Rica travel itinerary or your flight from San Jose to San Isidro del General.

san isidro perez zeledon airport


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costa rica photo retreat 2018

2018 Photography Retreat to Launch in Costa Rica

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We here at Osa Property Management are excited to welcome PHOTOGRAPHER’s from the United States, Canada and from around the world to a Costa Rica Photography Retreat. With the huge success of our recent retreat for writers, we have launched a new program for professional photographers and videographers.

WHAT: Costa Rica Photography Retreat
WHEN: July 15-21, 2018
WHERELas Villas de San Buenas – Costa Rica
WHO: Professional and Aspiring Photographers and Videoographers and Hobbyists
HOW: To reserve and book your retreat call 612-242-6468

NOTE: Villa choices are limited, so book early to lock in your choice.

If you have been to Costa Rica, then you know that this place is a photographers dream. If you have not been to Costa Rica, then this retreat experience is your epic opportunity to create lasting memories for years to photography retreatcome. If you are a photographer that enjoys taking photos of wildlife and nature you will not be disappointed on this Costa Rica Photo Retreat. Whales, dolphins and surfers are common on the ocean beaches. In the jungles we will see multiple species of monkeys, insects birds and other animals.

Our featured local guest PHOTOGRAPHER will be David Roy Fulton. David has been a professional photographer for over 40 years. He has published his works in Alaska Day by Day, Frommers, and other national and international Publications. David has photographed with Nikon, Cannon and Sony, so regardless of the make/model of your DSLR camera, you will learn how to operate your camera better than ever.

We will be discussing marketing techniques, business elements of a photography business, social media as well as defining your specific niche and dominating your marketplace…and of course taking some amazing photos!!

For more information about the upcoming retreat go to CostaRicaPhotoRetreat.com or questions can be directed to myself, by calling +1.612-242-6468.

See ya there!

BRAD “MagicBrad” GUDIM

 


Experience in the Area

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