You might not know it, but some pretty well-known and famous people buy million-dollar homes down here, in Costa Rica.
Although “Costa Rica” sounds a bit like “Puerto Rico” (only a bit actually) and you can meet a lot of Americans here, it is not part of the United States.
Famous people who like to fly under the radar find here some nice places to stay for an extended weekend or to avoid the winter of the north altogether, as “winter birds” usually do.
Not many locals are familiar with the world of the famous from the States, but, boy, are they familiar with telenovela stars from Mexico. That’s bad news for public figures from Mexico, but good news for the ones from the US.
Some weeks ago, I heard from one of my partners that a well-known musician from the North could walk on a smaller beach in the South Pacific without even getting noticed by the people hanging out there.
That’s what I mean by “flying under the radar”.
In terms of hotspots for million-dollar homes in Costa Rica, I can mention five that are popular and where a good high-end supply of homes can be found.
Let’s get started.
The Papagayo Area is located in the province of Guanacaste. Compared to the other luxury hotspots at beaches, the Papagayo area has a drier and less humid climate.
You have average maximum temperatures of 91 F° throughout the whole year and can get to the closest international airport in Liberia in about 35 minutes.
You can get to the next local and smaller airport of Tamarindo within 1 hour 20 minutes.
There are a total of 3 Golf Courses close by.
The closest one is the Papagayo Golf and Country Club, and you can get to the furthest one within 46 minutes.
If you want to explore a bit more, you can reach 2 other Golf Courses in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. These are the Reserva Conchal and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course III.
There is not that much surfing to do in and around Papagayo.
The closest surf beach is in Playa Grande and Tamarindo and that’s about 1 hour 20 minutes away.
There are moderate shopping and restaurant options.
You can find about 38 Seafood Restaurants, 36 Costa Rican Restaurants, 23 South American ones, 19 Bars, 15 Italian and 7 Mediterranean restaurants in this area.
You can also find some souvenir stores, clothing stores, and a few supermarkets close by.
For better shopping options you might have to drive to the Playas del Coco area or Liberia.
Escazu/ Santa Ana Area
Compared to the other luxury hotspots at the beaches, the Escazu/ Santa Ana area has much more infrastructure, shopping, and restaurant options and has an early summer to late spring climate.
You have average maximum temperatures of 78 F° throughout the whole year.
If you are a bit familiar with the geography of the area, you might have already guessed that there are no beaches close-by.
You can get to the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela in about 23 minutes and the local and smaller international airport Tobias Bolanos in Pavas within 16 minutes.
There are a total of 4 Golf Courses close by.
If you want to explore a bit more, you can reach a fourth Golf Club, the Eagle Eye Golf Club in Cartago in 40 minutes.
Please be aware that the driving times I give you here are for when avoiding the high peak hours otherwise you might have to add another 50%-60% of extra time.
As you might have imagined, there are no surfing options in and around Escazu and Santa Ana, since the area is located in the Central Valley.
In contrast to all other luxury real estate hotspots, this area has the best infrastructure and the largest selection of restaurant, shopping, and nightlife options.
For example, you can find in this area alone 105 supermarkets, 25 smaller and larger Shopping Malls, 45 Gyms, 59 Clothing Stores, 21 Pet Shops, 7 Bike Shops, 13 Furniture Stores, and 16 Liquor Stores.
By the way, you find also find in this area the best health infrastructure in Costa Rica.
The Jaco area has a nice combination of dry and humid climate and has average maximum temperatures of 92 F° throughout the whole year.
It has almost the same average maximum temperatures as the Papagayo area, but more humidity.
You can get to the closest international airport, Juan Santamaria in Alajuela, in about 1h and 17 minutes, to the local airport in Quepos in an hour and to the smaller international airport Tobias Bolanos in Pavas within 1 hour 36 minutes.
There is one Golf Course close by, called La Iguana Golf Course and can be reached within 15 minutes from Jaco.
In comparison to other luxury real estate hotspots, you have more surfing options in and around Jaco.
One surf spot is located directly at the Jaco Beach and the second one is on the neighboring beach, Playa Hermosa. Both are only in a few driving minutes away.
Jaco has moderate shopping and restaurant options.
You can find about 35 Seafood Restaurants, 14 Coffee Shops, 26 Italian Restaurants, 6 Sushi Restaurants, a total of 9 surf shops, 3 Wine, and Liquor Stores, an open-air shopping center, and 17 supermarkets.
For a larger variety of shopping options, you might have to drive to the Escazu and Santa Area, which is about 1.5 hours away.
Manuel Antonio is well-known for its popular tourist attraction, the Manuel Antonio National Park.
With regards to the climate, it has a humidity that is similar to the Jaco area but lower average maximum temperatures of 82° F throughout the year.
The closest airport, the local airport in Quepos, is 14 minutes away.
You can get to the local airport in Palmar Sur in 1.5 hours and you will need to drive 2.5 hours to the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela.
The closest Golf Course is the one close to Jaco, the La Iguana Golf Course, which you can reach within 1.5 hours.
The closest surf beach is the one in Manuel Antonio, but it is not a very challenging one.
If you want a bit more of a challenge, you would need to drive 1h and 15 minutes to Jaco or 48 minutes to Dominical.
There are moderate shopping and restaurant options and you can find about 37 Seafood Restaurants, 19 Latin American Restaurants, 16 Italian, 6 Spanish, and 4 Caribbean restaurants in this area.
The shopping options are not that great, but you still find some souvenirs, dive, surf, woodwork, and cigar stores and about 5 supermarkets.
For a larger variety of shopping options, you might have to drive to the Jaco area.
Dominical/ Uvita Area
Compared to the other luxury hotspots at beaches, this area has slightly more surf beaches.
It also has no vertical building projects, a greater variety of different beaches and generally a greener vegetation.
One well known and popular tourist destination of this area is the Marino Ballena Nationalpark, with its famous whale’s tale.
The average maximum temperatures are 90 F° throughout the whole year.
Due to its topography, the area has higher privacy options for luxury real estate locations.
You can reach the closest local airport in Quepos in 26 minutes, the local airport of Palmar Sur in 49 minutes and the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela in 2h 43 minutes.
Golf shouldn’t be a priority in this area, since you have to drive 1.5 hours to the next Golf course in Jaco, the La Iguana Golf Course.
The closest surf beaches are in Dominical and Playa Uvita and you can find a third one in and around Manuel Antonio.
In comparison to the other luxury real estate hotspots, this area has the fewest restaurant and shopping options.
You can find about 18 Costa Rican, 12 Central American, 9 Seafood, 9 Americans, 7 South American, and 4 Italian Restaurants close by.
There is a total of five supermarkets. Apart from those, you can find about 3 furniture stores, drug shops, and building material stores close by.
For better shopping options you might need to drive to Jaco.
There you have it – the ultimate 5 hotspots in Costa Rica for million-dollar homes.
Please take into consideration that all the above-mentioned areas provide banks, ATMs, and local medical practices, and the best health infrastructure you can find in the San José area.
So, which hotspot would be the right one for you entirely depends on your individual preferences.
To help you a bit with the decision process, you can spend a few minutes taking this short quiz and find your ideal hotspot for your next million-dollar home in Costa Rica.
Check out these luxury homes in Costa Rica with top views!
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