Rapid Growth in Costa Rica’s South Pacific Coast, Through the Eyes of a Vacation Rental Owner
Even though the real estate market has slowed greatly in most areas of Costa Rica in the last several years, the Dominical and South Coast areas seem to be immune, with previous lot buyers now building their dream home.
“When we first started building our luxury homes in Dominical in 2003, there were only 4 listings for the Dominical area on the entire VRBO website. Now, there are more than 90! That is certainly amazing growth for this once difficult-to-reach area,” related Glen Love, owner of Paradise Costa Rica vacation rentals. “Even before the improved Costaneras coastal highway from Manuel Antonio to Dominical was built, that didn’t seem to deter people’s interest in this pristine, remote area, including ours. It used to take almost two hours to drive the pot hole-filled dirt road with rickety, one lane decrepit wooden bridges – a real daring experience! Even so, the area grew rapidly.”
Known for its mountainous tropical rainforests cascading into the sea, similar to the terrain of the Big Sur Coastline in California, the South Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica has always attracted the more adventurous nature lovers and ecological travelers. There were few comforts or amenities of any kind just ten years ago, but that didn’t deter many, like Glen and Youval, from becoming intoxicated with the stunning ocean view lots for sale. Consequently, they decided to purchase raw land during their first visit to Costa Rica, an uncharacteristically impulsive move.
But, then, they did something different than most – they actually followed through on their dreams and built not just one spacious home, but two! “Well, we started out with the idea of having a small ‘casita’ to stay in until we would build our ‘dream vacation home’ further away on another lot. But when we started to draw the designs, we began adding extra bedrooms and bathrooms for our two kids, an additional den and bar area, expanded kitchen area, living room, and balcony… and the casita become a 3000+ square foot villa!”
“Then, we figured that we would like to invite relatives or friends to come visit, and that they should have a place to stay in that was just as nice! So we ended up building a second, three bedroom and three bath home on the property, close to the ‘main’ house, but also very private. Of course, each villa had to have its own lap size swimming pool! All of this was quite an expansion from our original plans.”
“Since your villas are vacation rentals when you’re not here, what are some of the main comments of your guests?” I asked. “Are they as excited about what initially impressed you?” Glen laughed and said, “Yes, they love the monkeys, toucans and other wildlife, the views, the many activities in the Dominical area and the privacy. They remark about the unique, lush tropical landscaping that Youval designed, and the personal service provided by our on-site property manager / concierge – something that few rentals offer. They also comment about how we maintain the villas in top condition, something that is difficult in a tropical rain forest, especially being close to the ocean.”
Glen described other changes that have happened in Costa Rica’s south-central pacific coast over the past few years. “When we purchased our lot in 2002, there was no electricity or telephone service. Now, not only do we have electricity and a ‘land’ phone line, there is cell phone service, and last year, we were able to install high speed internet. The south coast has really come into the modern age.”
Years ago, Dominical was a sleepy little fishing and surfing village, known only by a few adventurous travelers and surfers. But now that there is easy access to the area, a variety of restaurants, shops, and other activities have moved in, so tourism has increased significantly, and home building continues at a steady pace, unlike most other beach areas.
Vacation rentals in the Caribbean: Dominican Republic Villas for RentExplore posts in the same categories: Business, Ecotourism, Real Estate, Travel, Vacation Rentals