Friday, November 04, 2011
If there’s a better lake buy in Central America than Arenal, I haven’t seen it.
For example: Volcano and lake view lots, with prices starting at $19,000 …or two and a half acres with fruit trees, your own private lake, a main house and a lake cottage, for $159,000…
Arenal has beauty, activity, value, community, safety and accessibility. It’s a perfect second home destination.
Every scouting trip inArenal should begin with a boat trip. That’s how I got started when I visited early this year. It’s the best way to get your bearings. The best way to understand the slopes, the views and the topography. And, you’ll have a fun day out. Here are the notes I scribbled as I relaxed in the boat over a cold drink whilstgazing atthe towering volcano...
The sun is bright and high in the sky but on the water the temperature is a fresh and comfortable 72 degrees. Here, in this sheltered part of the lake there is a gentle breeze. Directly in front of us the towering Volcano Arenal is an awesome and jaw dropping sight. Looking toward the horizon the dark blue of the lake meets the rich pastoral green of hills and fields interspersed with forest. Looking up…and up… the volcano’s cone rises and towers against a backdrop of bright blue sky.
To my right, wind mills whirl and whiz on the hills. To the west is the windy side of the lake. This is the spot for wind surfing and sailing. We are the only boat on the lake. We are the only activity on the lake. And, it’s stunning. Yet, it’s only been discovered (and kept secret) by a small group of expats and second-home owners.
Towering…the sharply pointed cone of the volcano reaches 5,300 feet. Hot springs bubble, sizzle and steam from deep within the earth’s crust. Boutique resorts offer a comfortable, restful and natural environment to bathe in and soak up these hot nutrient-rich springs—a perfect way to unwind at the end of a long day hiking or boating.
Arenal is stunning, unique, special and conveniently hidden in the hills between Costa Rica’s two major international airports in San Jose and Liberia.
From San Jose, the three-hour drive to Lake Arenal takes you on a modern four-lane highway through the valleys and suburbs that extend out from the capital.
I can’t put this place neatly in a box. It’s different…
Sometimes it reminds me of the Swiss Alps or sunny days in Ireland. It reminds North Americans of Lake Tahoe, without the crowds.
If you are expecting Switzerland or Lake Tahoe prices, think again.
For example a new two-bedroom two bath home with a great lake view and fully furnished, ready to move into. Price: $125,000 (and that’s open to offers).
But the values aren’t only to be found in re-sale properties. There are great projects with great values, too.
Right on the shores of Lake Arenal and minutes from the town center you’ll find Turtle Cove Lake & Yacht Club. There are 42 homes sites (starting from $57,000) and charming lake villas starting at $195,000. Stunning views stretch across the lake.This is a high-end gated community, with a marina and boat storage facilities. Developer finance is available.
Adjacent to Turtle Cove is The Preserve. I don’t often see a $19,000 lot in a gated community with lake and jungle views. But I did in the Preserve.
From your base here you are a couple of hours drive from the beaches of Northern Costa Rica. It’s very easy and convenient to get an ocean fix, and then retreat to a greener, lusher, cooler Arenal.
This is a great place for a second or retirement home. And it's a fun place to visit.
My go-to contact on the ground is Terry Moran. He has been in real estate in the tropics for decades. He spent the last decade on the shores of Lake Arenal. He can organize a custom real estate tour for you of Arenal, introduce you to the friendly expat community here and give you a taster of relaxed lakeside living. You can contact Terry here.
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