fbpx

Author Archives: Nick Halverson

  • 0
president carlos quesada

Meeting President of Costa Rica

Tags : 

Meeting the President of Costa Rica

On August 23, 2019, Abigail Vargas and I attended the re-opening celebration of the Palmar Sur regional airport. As many of our readers know, we have been providing almost monthly updates on our YouTube channel on the remodel. We knew the President of Costa Rica was going to be there. President Carlos Alvarado Quesada is the 48th President of Costa Rica and has committed to improving infrastructure for Costa Rica tourism.

We were thrilled when the airport was finally finished in mid-August 2019. In fact, two of our clients were some of the first people to use the new terminal building.

panoramic palmar sur airport
Panoramic palmar sur airport with Presidential plane in foreground

Photos from the Palmar Sur Opening. We have high-resolution, non-watermarked, photos available for media outlets that would like to use them.

We arrived approximately 45 minutes before the 'official' start time of the ribbon cutting ceremony. We parked across the street under a mango tree and walked into the airport. There were a handful of tourists waiting for their plane to arrive but we could see more people in the waiting area, located on the west side of the terminal. Arriving there the was approximately 50 people there. A handful were talking with the President, including Osa Mayor Alberto Cole.

Personally, I love politics so this was a great 'work' trip that gave me personal satisfaction as well.

Mayor Cole knows me and has been to my house several times since I also own a real estate development in San Buenaventura. However, I didn't want to interrupt anyone so I walked up to within a meter of them, and simply took some photos and listened to what they were discussing. It was fascinating to me that it was possible to simply walk up to a President of a country without any security clearance or having to walk through any metal detectors.

Mayor Cole and President Quesada each said a few words and then the throng of people moved outside. Abigail recognized several people from the community and we both saw Dagmar from Ballena Tales there.

Presidential Airplane

One of the reasons I love Costa Rica is the safety. For clear evidence of this, take a look at the airplane the President travels on during his domestic travels. For those aviation enthusiasts, I believe it is an Harbin Y-12 (hat tip to Josh Berman for the ID).

Not only is it a "simple" airplane, but also, look how close we were allowed to get to it. Although I've never met a sitting USA President, but I can assure you that non-security personal would not be allowed to walk up to the airplane.  I was able to walk completely around the airplane and even under a wing. Had this been Air Force 1, I probably would have been arrested (at best) or shot (worse case scenario) for simply walking up to the Presidential airplane.

Ribbon-cutting Ceremony

After approximately thirty minutes inside the airport terminal, it was time to go outside for the ceremonial ribbon cutting. A mixture of politicians, engineers and civic leaders all grabbed a piece of a long ribbon and then the President counted down and cut the ribbon. The airport was now officially open! The video below shows the cutting of the ribbon.

Osa's Increasing Importance to Tourism

Costa Rica's Tourism Board (ICT) has invested millions of dollars in the Osa Peninsula over the past two years. They have driven the airport upgrades in Golfito, Drake Bay, San Isidro del General (not in Osa but nearby) and now Palmar Sur. For the Costa Rica President to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and spend a couple of hours in the area, show how important tourism is to the Costa Rica economy. It would have been very easy to send a senior government official or an ICT official, however the President wanted to show his support. This is a great sign for anyone with a home or a business in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula region.

Fun Day!

It was a fun day to meet the sitting President of Costa Rica and to experience the event of opening the airport. I have attended several other ribbon cutting events during my time, but it was only the second time the President was there. The first time was when I attended a ribbon cutting event attended by Oscar Arias that opened up a new water system.

Let us know if you, or anyone you know, is interested in visiting the Bahia Ballena region (Uvita, Ojochal, San Buenas, Chontales), please contact us in the form below. We can line everything up for them.

Pura vida!

Nick Halverson

nick halverson


  • 0
san buenas asfalt road

San Buenas Asphalt

Tags : 

San Buenas Asphalt Project

For several years there have been rumors of the paving of the principal road in San Buenaventura. We are happy to report that the San Buenas Asphalt Project is underway! In fact, we produced a short two-minute video in 2018 when most people in the area believed the work would be starting.

We reviewed publicly available planning committee budgets and notes throughout 2019 and saw the funds had been earmarked for the project. However, Costa Rica has spent a tremendous amount of money recently rebuilding bridges and improving other large infrastructure projects in the area, and we weren't sure if the San Buenas Asphalt project was going to be done in 2019 or not.

Why now?

The federal government and local government have made a continued effort to improve education in Costa Rica. Not just improvement in the classrooms, but access to the classrooms. Over the past couple of years the elementary school in San Buenaventura received overnight lighting, fencing around the whole property and a new set of bathrooms. Once the schools had been improved, providing better access to schools via roads became a priority. In San Buenaventura the asphalt goes from the Costanera Highway to the edge of the property line of the school.

One reason for going past the school entrance and all the way to the edge of the property line is for health reasons. Gravel roads kick up a lot of dust and asthma is a common problem for children in Costa Rica. By putting asphalt on the roads immediately outside the school the amount of dust will be greatly decreased.

Benefit to Homeowners in the Area

We manage, and offer, quite a few homes in the San Buenaventura-Tres Rios area that will greatly benefit from the San Buenas Asphalt Project. Click on the photo of the property below to learn more about each vacation rental property option that directly benefits from the new road surface.

Villas San Buenas and San Buenas Golf/Osa Golf Course are two developments in San Buenaventura that will benefit greatly from this work. The road will be paved to within 300 meters of the boundary to Villas San Buenas and within 100 meters to the entrance of Osa Golf Course.

Casa Lapas
Osa Golf Condo
Casa Cusinga
Vista al Cielo 1
Vista al Cielo 2
Villa Cascadas
Casa Trogon
Casa Tinamou
Casa Kingfisher

Below are photos from September 2, 2019.

mayor alcalde cole osa
Osa, Costa Rica, Alcalde (Mayor) Alberto Cole and the road building team

Back in December 2018 we made a video when it first appeared that the road project would be started. It turned out this was just a regularly scheduled maintenance project. However, at that time, other locals and business owners had heard the San Buenas Asphalt project was moving forward.

Improved Infrastructure

The San Buenas asphalt project is another visible and wonderful improvement in the infrastructure in the Tres Rios-San Buenas area. Over the past two years Ojochal and Coronado have been paved. It only made sense for San Buenaventura to be next.

Everyone in the area is thrilled with the new road. The one important thing to keep in mind, however, is that there are still plenty of children in the area to not speed when driving on the new road.

Stay safe! Pura vida!

Nick Halverson

September 3, 2019


  • 0
palmar sur airport open

Palmar Sur Airport Open

Tags : 

Palmar Sur Airport Open

After almost a year of being closed for a major remodel, the Palmar Sur Airport Open. Check out the video below for a 'walk-through' of the new terminal building. There was a ribbon-cutting event that the Costa Rica President attended (and cut the official ribbon) to celebrate the new airport.

Improvements

I really like all the changes that they made to improve the Palmar Sur airport. Below are just some of the changes - the ones we know about:

  • Completely enclosed structure. The previous airport terminal was open-faced and when it rained it was near impossible to stay dry. Flying in an airplane with wet clothes is never fun. The huge and numerous windows still allow passengers to enjoy the natural scenery and can watch planes landing and departing.
  • Runway changes. The runway length was increased. The width was increased. The new runway is illuminated 24-hours a day with LED lights. This is one of the few regional airports with landing lights. This is a great safety feature given all of the rain and fog that is common during the rainy season.
  • Emergency service capabilities. The increased runway length, width and lighting, was installed for safety reasons. The airport can now be used 24 hours/day in emergency situations. There is the regional hospital 15 minutes away and now patients can be Medivac'd anytime day or night. Also, in the event of a small-to-medium-sized airplane emergency, Palmar Sur is now large enough to handle them. There are new fire hydrants and a huge submerged water tank that can be used in the event of a fire.
  • Distinct departure and arrival areas.

Location

The airport is located between Palmar Norte and Sierpe in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula. Turn right, towards Sierpe, after crossing the Palmar Norte-Rio Terraba bridge as you head south on Route 2.  Turn right approximately 400 meters down the road, as the main road curves left. The airport is on the left-hand side.

Palmar Sur Airport Open Event

There was an inauguration event on August 23, 2019, to celebrate the opening of the terminal. This marked the "official" opening of the new airport facility.

 

Remodeled Palmar Sur airport is now open!

Inside of Remodeled Palmar Sur Airport Open

 

We recommend all of our clients who are visiting Uvita, Ojochal, San Buenas or Chontales, to fly from San Jose to Palmar Sur. It is an easy 35 minutes flight and a wonderful way to see the amazing topography of Costa Rica.

Contact us if you'd like more information about the Palmar Sur airport, property management needs in the area or renting a vacation home to use during your time in Costa Rica.


  • 0
osa golf driving range

Osa Golf Course is New Name

Tags : 

Osa Golf is the New Name of San Buenas Golf Course

Osa Golf Course is the new name of what used to be known as San Buenas Golf Course in the San Buenas Golf Resort. The reason for the name change is that the golf course is under new management. The real estate development itself is still owned and operated primarily by Robert Frazier and the development is keeping its name of San Buenas Golf Resort (I think).

We are still managing a condominium that is available for vacation rental at the development however. Neither Osa Property Management nor the owners of the condo, have received all the details yet.

New Management Team at Osa Golf

As I understand it today, the new management team consists of three investors. They are an investor who also owns a condominium unit at the resort, an outside investor and the current Osa Golf Course Superintendent. The three of them all have a vested financial interested in the success of the golf course.

My Thoughts on the 'Old Course'

San Buenas Golf Resort is a beautifully designed course with plenty of challenging holes to play. In fact, I've 'donated' (translated = lost) several dozen golf balls while playing the course throughout the years.

I've known a variety of people involved with the golf course throughout the years. I believe that they are great builders and operators. Where their skill set was lacking, in my opinion, was in the marketing and the promotion of the course. Up to a couple of years ago, the course was always in pristine condition. It was beautiful to play and to enjoy, but few people seemed to know more than the general idea of where it was actually located. I also felt the pricing was prohibitive and out of line for a nine-hole course. Keep in mind, this is not a Par-3 course of nine holes, it  is a world-class designed course.  However, I believe to attract customers and new players in the area, pricing should always be evaluated and adjusted as needed. I felt the last couple of years it really seemed to lose its energy. Collectively, all of these issues meant that there was never too many players on the course. That's great if you like to golf, but it is an unsustainable business model.

There are several reasons for this but suffice to say that the current management team was simply tired and run down in my opinion.

osa golf green
Osa Golf Course is the new name of San Buenas Golf Resort.

My Expectations on the 'New Course'

I am very excited and optimistic about the new operational and ownership structure of the golf course. We are still learning more about some of the proposed ideas and improvements, but there is a rekindled passion being put forth. As many of you already know, I own 150 acres immediately adjacent to San Buenas Golf Resort (Villas San Buenas). It has always been my hope that the course would increase marketing and promote the region a bit more. That would be a true 'win-win' for everyone in the community. The successes of Osa Golf Course and of Villas San Buenas, with its 100+ lots, can benefit each other.

One advantage of the new management is that they are focused exclusively on the golf course and the customer experience. They will not have the responsibility or the distractions associated with the development of the real estate. As a developer of 150 acres, I can tell you there are many things that can distract you. The people involved at Osa Golf live full-time in, or near, Osa Golf Course. This proximity allows them to work, to see and to experience the course daily.  They have a truly financial and time interest in the success of the golf course. That investment increases the likelihood of success. I look forward to hopefully working with them to see if there's anything us neighbors can do to help each other.

I wish the new management team of Osa Golf Course wonderful success!!

Sincerely,

Nick Halverson

August 15, 2019

nick halverson osa property management


  • 0
ojochal luxury home

Ojochal Luxury Home

Tags : 

Ojochal Luxury Home: Casa Aventura

Osa Property Management is proud to announce the newest Costa Rica vacation home rental option: Casa Aventura. This is an amazing Ojochal luxury home with:

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 6 beds
  • Comfortably sleeps 12 adults
  • Private swimming pool
  • Private Jacuzzi
  • Modern, high-quality, kitchen
  • Open floor plan for easy flow
  • Huge outdoor covered patio area with pool and ocean views
  • Gated entrance
  • Hi-speed internet
  • Cable TV
  • One floor living so all guests are on the same level
  • Close to the best restaurants in the area (less than 5 minutes from Exotica, Citrus, Mama e Papa)
  • Five minutes from Playa Tortuga and Reserva Playa Tortuga (turtle sanctuary)

The staff of Osa Property Management is still taking inventory of everything in the home and we hope to have the home available and ready beginning September 1st. We allowed a group of friends to spend a weekend in the home for some immediate feedback, ideas and input - the feedback has been WOW! Amazing! We're coming back!

Currently the home is unavailable to rent as we work with the new owners on repairs, re-painting, buying some new furniture and replacing some artwork. However, please contact us immediately if you would like to reserve this home for your vacation or party.

Inside Ojochal Luxury Home

The open floorplan allows for easy passage from one part of the home to another part of the home. There is an easy and open flow from the kitchen area to the outdoor area (including a huge covered outdoor living area) since all rooms are on the same level.

Swimming Pool Area Ojochal Luxury Home

These large and private swimming pool and Jacuzzi provide a great place to relax - day or night during your time in Ojochal.

Photos of Bedrooms

There are a total of five bedrooms in Casa Aventura.

  1. Master Suite: King-size bed, walk-in shower, dual sinks, huge walk-in closet.
  2. Suite #2:  King-size bed, private walk-in shower, private balcony.
  3. Bedroom #3 is a huge bedroom with two queen-size beds, ocean- and pool-view.
  4. Bedroom #4 has a queen size futon is located in the office and comfortably sleeps two adults.
  5. Bedroom #5 is the third suite is located in a separate building, providing absolute privacy. This secondary building is only ten feet from the main house, but this building has its own private bathroom, shower and queen size bed.

Each of the three suites at Casa Aventura have their own privacy. In the main home, the two suites are on the "suite side" of the home. The doors for each suite are over fifteen feet away from each other in the hallway. Each of the main house suites has its own unique feature with the Master Suite having a double walk-in shower (stay tuned for photos) and Suite #2 has  a Private balcony.

We are still preparing this house for rent and will have more photos and videos coming soon. Be sure to Contact Us if you'd like to be kept updated on this. Also be sure to follow our social media channels (look for logos on top of page).

Reserve this Ojochal Luxury Home today!

Click here for availability and pricing.

Additional Links

Learn more about Ojochal 

Other Ojochal Vacation Rentals

 

 


  • 0
citrus restaurant ojochal dining room

Citrus Restaurant Ojochal

Tags : 

Citrus Restaurant Ojochal

Citrus Restaurant Ojochal is, arguably, the best fine-dining restaurant in the entire Costa Ballena region. Every year it seems there is a new fine-dining restaurant that opens in the area, offering new and exciting options. In fact, I would suggest, that there isn't a bad fine-dining restaurant in the region. However, even in an increasingly crowded marketplace, Citrus continues to stand above the others.

The reason can best be described in one word: DETAILS

One reason why I prefer Citrus Restaurant Ojochal is that it has been open for nearly as long as I have been visiting and living in Costa Rica - which dates back to 2005. Back in 2005 the only real fine-dining option in Ojochal was Exotica (another amazing restaurant in Ojochal, and some would argue, an even better option than Citrus - we will discuss Exotica in a future post). Marcella Marciano opened Citrus a couple of years later. The exact location has moved between two locations, but the current location is brand new.

Menu & Food

Let start off by saying, "I am NOT a foodie or a food snob." However, I LOVE the food at Citrus Restaurant Ojochal. The menu is unlike any other restaurant in the area, and does not have a clear definition. On the company's Facebook page, they state "Gourmet Mediterranean inspired menu". The Every time I go, I make myself try something new.

There is a lunch menu and a dinner menu (starts at 5 pm). The lunch menu has fewer options and is more affordably priced. The dinner menu is robust with many options to choose from. They also have options for vegans, vegetarians and almost any other dietary custom.

Service at Citrus Restaurant Ojochal

The service at Citrus is always fast, friendly and knowledgeable. They are experienced in providing great service at fine-dining restaurants. Most of them grew up in the area, and if you have a question about either the menu item or the area, they will probably know the answer. After just a couple of visits staff members will remember you and say, "Hi" (even if you are not seated in their area).

My experience is that they all speak Spanish (obviously) and English. I believe several of them may speak French also. This would make sense as the owner is a French-Canadian, and Ojochal is a large French-speaking population from the Quebec area of Canada.

I appreciate that the staff has a low turnover rate, which means that the staff is extremely knowledgeable about the food, drinks and the menu changes. It also shows that there is job satisfaction.

The Chef's focus on both taste and presentation. Annually, Marcella takes several trips to locations in the world to learn new techniques and to get inspiration for new dishes for Citrus.

Desserts, Coffee

Citrus offers a full variety of coffee, lattes, espressos and cappuccinos. During the day, the price for a specialty coffee is less than you will find at a Starbucks in the world. When one considers the ambiance, service and quality, it is the perfect place for a business meeting or to plan the next days' excursions.

The dessert options are a mix of decadent chocolate, fruit and a number of other deliciously 'sinful' options.

Vacation Rentals Nearby

If you're a foodie, or if  you'd like to spend your time in Ojochal within five minutes of Citrus, please consider one of the following homes:

Casa Aventura

Lluvia de Brasas (coming soon!)

Ojochal Suenos


  • 0
palmar sur airport may 2019

Palmar Sur Airport May 2019

Tags : 

Palmar Sur Airport May 2019 Update

This is the latest update about the Palmar Sur Airport May 2019, recorded recently from the airport. The video below includes photos and videos of the current status of the airport, along with Abigail Vargas holding one of the LED lights that will be installed on the runway.

We are cautiously optimistic that the new deadline will be reached. A lot of work still needs to be completed, but with a large and skilled crew it is feasible. We were told that the following still needs to be completed:

  • Ceiling fan installation: We were told they have been purchased and are in storage.
  • Installation of seats and benches. Again, we were told they have been purchased. Based on earlier conversations, the seats will have USB charging ports.
  • Finishing of details. As one can see in the video, workers are still hand-sanding the downspouts for quality control.
  • Final installation of landing lights. We were told most of those have been installed and are operational but it is not 100% completed yet.
  • It is unclear if the electrical and data system has been completely installed.

Revised Deadline for Completion

We will continue to monitor the progress of the Palmar Sur Airport May and June 2019 updates. As the video stated, the new target deadline for completion is July 1, 2019. We are hopeful that the July 1 deadline will be met. When this happens it will be great news to start having daily flights to and from San Jose again.

If you would like information about vacationing in the Osa region of Costa Rica, please fill out the form below. We typically respond within 24 hours. You may also send us a text or WhatsApp message to +16128198154 or +50671001006. Palmar Sur is a great location for those looking to visit Sierpe, Chontales, San Buenas, Ojochal or Uvita. Palmar Sur is located across the Terraba River from Palmar Norte.

Photos Palmar Sur Airport

Below are some photos from Palmar Sur Airport May 2019.


  • 0
kayaking in tarcoles river

Kayaking in Tarcoles River

Tags : 

Kayaking in Tarcoles River

Costa Rica has many exhilarating adventure options for the adrenaline junkie in your group. However, recently a good friend of ours sent us this video of him taking a group kayaking in Tarcoles River. He shot this video several years ago and wanted others to see it.

The Tarcoles River is an extremely popular destination for tourists to Costa Rica. It is located just north of Jaco, approximately one hour from Juan Santamaria international airport. The reason Tarcoles is popular is because of the crocodiles that live in the Tarcoles River. The video below takes it to an extreme level of crocodile observation.

This is one adventure we do NOT recommend doing - even our friend no longer kayaks in this area of the Tarcoles River. However, we felt it worth sharing so visitors to our website can see how big the crocodiles can get in the Tarcoles River.

If you group doesn't have any small children in it, we do recommend observing the crocodiles from a distance on the Tarcoles River Bridge. Observing from the bridge has its own potential hazards including speeding traffic and narrow sidewalks with no official observation deck. Look at this video for visiting Tarcoles.

Osa Property Management has plenty of other custom tours we can offer guests. Additionally, we can schedule established tours and adventures for you and your group, while visiting Costa Rica. Contact us for our recommended tours - don't worry, kayaking in Tarcoles River is not one of them.


  • 0
san buenas paved road

San Buenas Road Paving

Tags : 

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

  • 0
dominical paved road

Dominical Paved Road

Tags : 

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.


Experience in the Area

Our team has decades of collective experience in protecting and managing real estate assets in the Southern Pacific region of Costa Rica, particularly in Uvita, Ojochal, Tres Rios, San Buenaventura, Palmar Norte.

We focus on:

We ensure our clients, whether renting a home, or buying Costa Rica real estate to develop, have a positive experience.

Instagram Follow Us! (we follow back)

Follow Us on Pinterest

Pinterest Photo
Rio Lindo #bar and #restaurant in #Dominical #CostaRica is a great place to have pizza, play darts, meet new people or have a drink. #restaurantdesign #palm #palmtree #restaurante #travel #explore
00
Pinned onto
Dominical Costa Rica
Pinterest Photo
Roca Verde (green rock) #restaurant and #bar in #dominical is one of the oldest establishments in the area. Located south of Dominical and wedged between the Costanera Highway and essentially a private beach, it is a great place to relax and have a meal or a drink. #restaurantdesign #costarica #puravida #relax #funky #travel
00
Pinned onto
Dominical Costa Rica