Costa Rica organizes its territory by provinces, cantons, and municipalities. Tucan Realty works mainly in two of the seven provinces, Heredia and Alajuela. Here we provide descriptive material on the two provinces and the principal cantons and municipalities therein.
Alajuela, one of the largest provinces in Costa Rica, stretches from the Central Highlands, to the Northern Plains, all way up to Nicaragua. This region is home to a series of spectacular volcanoes that make up the Cordillera Central mountain range including Volcan Arenal, Alajuela's most famous attraction, which is the most active volcano in Costa Rica.
The largest and most important airport in Costa Rica, Juan Santamaría International Airport is located in this province and welcomes over a million guests to Costa Rica each year.
The Alajuela province is made up of forests, volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, cattle ranches, sugar and coffee plantations. A great variety of birds, fruit trees, flowers, mountains, volcanoes, rivers and forests are protected in different National Parks, Wildlife Reserves and Protected Areas.
|Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge||Juan Castro Blanco National Park|
|Arenal National Park||Guanacaste National Park|
|Poás Volcano National Park||Rincón de la Vieja National Park|
Alajuela City, Costa Rica’s second largest city and the capital of the province of Alajuela, sits on a gentle slope at an altitude of 952 m/3,123 ft in the extreme southeast corner of the province offering slightly warmer temperatures than neighboring San Jose. The city is about 11 miles (18km) northwest of San Jose and a short drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport.
Alajuela has all the amenities of nearby San Jose, but enjoys a slower pace. Part of its local charm is the Saturday morning outdoor farmers market, one of the largest in the country.
Alajuela serves as a principal trade center for cattle, sugar and coffee, cocoa, palm oil, macadamia nuts, cotton, vegetables, and cut flowers. Major industries include timber and flour production.
Within Alajuela province Tucan has offices in San Ramon city and San Lorenzo in the northern area of the canton of San Ramon. The city of San Ramon is bustling with quiet surrounding agricultural and mountain areas. There is convenient access on the Inter-American highway midway between San José and the Pacific port of Puntarenas. Notable for its pleasant climate and scenic views, the altitude ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 meters with usual daytime temperatures 20-26 C and nighttime 16 to 20 C year around. Rainy season is May to November. During December through April there is only occasional rain, with mist or drizzle at higher altitudes keeping the area green. Most properties have abundant water for irrigating crops. The local economy is mainly agricultural and commercial with some light industry. Main crops are coffee, ornamental plants, vegetables, and sugar cane. Property values remain substantially below those of the Central Valley, although real estate prices are increasing as new highways from San José and from San Ramon to the Northern Zone are constructed. Some properties have a view of the Pacific Ocean (an hour driving time distant), and almost all have great views of valleys and mountains.
For those wishing a pleasant retirement location in the country there are quite a number of small farms available from $3,000 per acre and a number of river frontage lots. There is a choice of small cattle farms in pasture, coffee farms, sugar cane, or ornamental plant farms. In some cases there are modest homes on the property, in other terrains a home would need to be constructed. It is possible to hire a knowledgeable caretaker to care for existing coffee or other crops. The salary of the caretaker and other farm operating and maintenance expenses would be covered by sales of the crop There are marketing cooperatives in organic coffee, organic vegetables, and ornamentals that anyone can join.
Depending upon property location and topography, some farms would lend themselves to residential development projects. The area will be more and more attractive as a place to live as San Jose spreads westward, city and suburban property values continue to increase, and new roads cut driving time to the area.
San Ramon center offers a nice array of services, restaurants, and shops. The University of Costa Rica has a regional branch and there are private bi-lingual schools and a major hospital. Tico friendliness prevails, no urban blight or serious crime. The new mall on the highway is not large enough to take flavor and commerce away from the central business district and has what malls everywhere offer.
The Tucan office is headed by partner Stephanie Arias. The San Ramon area offers properties of all types, from river front building sites, to inexpensive homes, to nice estates. Stephanie can be reached directly at Stephanie@tucanrealty.com and 506-8335-8575.
The drive north from San Ramon city on the highway to Arenal Volcano is scenic mountains. Along the highway the terrain is mountains in cloud forest at the higher elevations, then descending to lower elevation with more moderate temperatures and less fog or drizzle. The area to the west of the highway is mainly in protected forest extending to the huge Bosque de los Niños protected area of Monteverde. We have helped to put some of this forest into the Environmental Services Protection Program with conservation payments. Bird and animal life abound in the entire area and there are many scenic rivers and waterfalls. Tucan has an office, staffed by Deiber Camacho, 40 minutes north of San Ramon between the villages of San Lorenzo and Bajos Rodriquez. The office is located two kilometers after the San Lorenzo Canopy Tour, next to a restaurant on the left. This area has forested properties, small and medium sized farms, ornamental plant businesses, building sites in nature, and reasonably priced homes. For persons seeking an affordable country home from under $50,000 to $100,000 this is among the best areas in all of Costa Rica to explore.
This is a vast area extending from the volcanic mountain range dividing the north from the Central Valley plateau. It is mainly rolling plains. The large canton of San Carlos is the breadbasket of Costa Rica and the principal source of agricultural exports, pineapple is booming, and there are all manner of farms producing tropical fruits, citrus, cattle and dairy, hearts of palm, root crops. The Northern Zone has many rivers that flow north into the San Juan River that divides Costa Rica from Nicaragua. We list numerous large and small farms, volcanic hot springs, homes in the country with lots of nature and water, homes in sub-divisions closer to the major city of Cuidad Quesada, hotels and sites for eco-tourism projects.
Located just a short distance from the Capitol of San Jose, is the lush and gorgeous province of Heredia is considered one of the most beautiful provinces in Costa Rica. Known for its national parks: Braulio Carrillo National Park (Barva Volcano sector) and Barra Colorado National Wildlife Refuge this mountainous region also has dense fertile coffee plantation covered hills, tropical forests, stunning waterfalls and roaring rivers. The Heredia mountain area is seeing brisk growth with many future residents attracted to the climate here which is cooler, the lower real estate prices and some of the most spectacular views of the Central Valley. Some of the well known communities here include San Rafael, San Isidro, Santo Domingo, Barva, San Pablo, San José de la Montaña, Concepción, San Joaquín, Santa Barbara, San Antonio de Belén and Cariari. The geographical variation of the Heredia Province (the smallest of Costa Rica's seven) gives it a wide range of climatic conditions, from warm and humid lowlands, to cool and damp highlands, to the mild but seasonally wet and dry Central Valley. The areas of Santa Barbara, San Joaquín de Flores, Barva and Santo Domingo which are located in the lower parts of the mountains have a much warmer climate than the higher elevation areas like, Tirol, El Castillo, San Jose de la Montaña and San Rafael de Heredia. The Heredia Office of Tucan Realty, headed by Dana and Terry Gribble, have numerous listings in all these Heredia communities. They also extend their activity to the neighboring area of Alajuela city and surrounding communities. Dale Johnson offers farm and development property listings in the northern lowlands of Heredia province, Sarapiqui.
“The City of the Flowers” is located about 10 km north of San José at the foot of Barva Volcano and is a quaint university town that still retains much of its rich colonial heritage with many old Spanish-style adobe buildings. The city’s beautiful Central Park is one of the finest in the country. Heredia is the 3rd largest city in the country and has modern shopping malls, unique restaurants offering international fare, the National University (the second largest university in the country) with a slower more mellow pace than the capital city of San José. The new San Vicente de Paul public hospital will be finished by 2008 and will replace the old Heredia hospital with the same name.
Costa Rica’s top private bi-lingual schools are located in Heredia.
American International School Pre-K – 12
Located in Cariari, Heredia. Classes are taught in English and follows the United States calendar and a United States curriculum.
Telephone +506-2-293-2567 Fax +506-2-293-0964
European School Pre-K – 12
Located in San Pablo de Heredia follows its own calendar from late July to late June. Classes are taught in English only, and if you are not fluent in English you will not be accepted in this school.
International Christian School Pre-K – 12
Located in San Miguel, Santo Domingo de Heredia. Operates on the US calendar year with a US curriculum.
Telephone 506-2-241-1445 Fax 506-2-241-4944
Colegio Bilingue Santa Cecilia - Preschool-grade 11,
Heredia-Across from Hipermas
Tel: 506-2-237-7733 Fax: 506-2-237-4557
Lincoln School Pre-K – 12
Largest private school in Costa Rica, located in Barrio Socorro, San Miguel, Santo Domingo. Classes are taught in English following the United States curriculum and United States calendar.
Tel. (506)2-247-6600 / Fax (506) 2-247-6700
Pan American School Pre-K – 11
Located in San Antonio de Belen, operates on a Costa Rica calendar with a Costa Rica Curriculum. Classes taught in English and Spanish. Classes go to the 11th grade finishing with international Baccalaureate.
Telephone 506-2-298-5700 Fax 506-2-293-7392