Furniture Shopping Options near Playa del Coco

You have just purchased your dream condo with a gorgeous view of Playa del Coco or a beautiful beach home just a few steps from Playa Hermosa. Now you focus your attention on giving the interior your own flare.

Maybe you feel attached to your furniture in the US or Canada. If so, you can ship your possessions to Costa Rica as I explained in a previous blog. But why not try out something new? The styles and options are endless! Modern, coastal, tropical, traditional, or zen, it’s all here! Once you decide, it is time to go on a shopping spree/treasure hunt for furniture! You have several options for where to buy furniture that are all within an hour of Playas del Coco. Also you have the option to shop online which will further expand your horizons.

tropical themed bedroom furniture in Costa Rica
We will start with the options closest to Playas del Coco and then explore a bit farther afield.

Monge & Gollo are two stores located right in the town of Playa del Coco! They do not have an extensive collection of furniture but you can definitely find a few couch, bed, or table options if you need something quick or in a pinch.

Furniture Outlet (next to the Do It Center near the Liberia airport) is a large warehouse stocked full of furniture for all the rooms in your home. They offer a variety of styles and prices. The Outlet gets 5 out of 5 on their Facebook reviews.

Bali Outdoor Living (in the Solarium near the Liberia airport) carries a full line of outdoor furniture, spas, grills, and accessories. They sell individual pieces or sets made of natural materials, synthetic rattan, metal, or plastic with quick-dry cushions.

tropical style living and dining furniture in Costa Rica
La Artistica (in the Solarium near the Liberia airport) is a Costa Rican furniture company with 80 years of experience. They have a store in Liberia offering a wide variety of living, dining, and bedroom furniture with a European flare. They also happen to be affiliated with Ashley furniture, keep reading it is listed below.

PriceSmart (across from the Liberia Airport) is similar to a Costco or Sam’s Club. It carries quality furniture at decent prices; however, the inventory changes often and it is usually not extensive. But it is worth taking a glance down the furniture aisle if you are shopping there anyway. You might be surprised at what is in stock!

Pequeño Mundo (in Liberia) is similar to PriceSmart in that it is not exclusively a furniture store. Mixed in amongst its extensive and varied inventory are budget-priced pieces of furniture. Most items are made of some combination of glass, metal, or laminated MDF. You can’t beat Pequeño Mundo for handy storage options, bar stools, decorative items, and housewares.

Casa Nova Interiors (in Huacas) is on the road to Flamingo Beach. The Central American company says they take the “overwhelming” out of furniture shopping and interior design. According to their website, the manufacturers they represent are “trendsetters who break the mold with new technology and design innovation.”

Seaside Home Interiors (in Tamarindo) offers name-brand or custom-made furniture, window treatments, and decorating accessories. Their website says, “Our local knowledge of the unique nuances of furnishing and decorating in tropical conditions will ensure you make all the right decisions.”

living room furniture in Costa Rica
Casa y Mas (near Villareal) is a 5,000-square-meter household furniture store. The owner is originally from France and has more than 50 years in the furniture business—from design to manufacturing to sales. A European style is predominant in the wide selection of living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture. There are also a few pieces by Costa Rican woodworkers on display.

Jungle Luxe (in Tamarindo) has curated furniture, décor, bedding, and lighting from around the world. Their products definitely have a colorful, tropical, Asian vibe.

Crate & Barrel is in San Jose but you can make your selection online or in-store and have it delivered to your doorstep. Crate & Barrel is known for its timeless and contemporary furniture and decor which gives your home a natural, comfortable feel. They also offer dinnerware, textiles, artwork, lighting, and decorative items that complement organic modern design.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore is also located in San Jose with an extensive online catalog from which you can make your selection, place your order, and they will ship the order to your home. Besides indoor and outdoor furniture, they have a full line of lighting, rugs, and mattresses.

If you have in mind decorating your home with furniture made from exotic hardwoods, keep your eye out for local craftsmen that have their pieces displayed outside. Stop in and look around! The craftsmanship is usually top notch, and the wood is the jungle’s masterpiece.

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Can a US citizen own property in Costa Rica?

Most of us spent a large portion of 2020 shopping online and traveling vicariously around the world. We would check out real estate sites and dream of living somewhere else—anywhere besides the place we were quarantining.

Before the pandemic, we dreamt of the possibility of staying home for a few days to relax and stop running the rat race. Then when we found ourselves trapped at home, we desperately wanted out. You were not alone in these feelings. Millions of people searched “living in Costa Rica” and hundreds—if not thousands—are now in the process of buying property in paradise.

Ocean view property near Playa Hermosa Costa Rica
Which raises the question, is it really possible for a foreigner to own property in Costa Rica? The simple answer to that question is yes. A foreigner that has not established residency has the same right to own property here as Costa Rican citizens. Ownership rights are guaranteed by law and apply whether the property is in the name of an individual or a corporation. Even if you are living in Costa Rica on a tourist visa (and leaving the country every 3 months) you can own property.

Consult an Expert – Due Diligence is Key

Although a real estate broker or realtor is not required to purchase property, it is always a good idea to have an expert guide you through the process. Especially when you have little or no experience purchasing property outside your native country. That is especially true when you are not familiar with the process and terminology involved in transacting business in a foreign land.

A title or deed is called an escritura. The first thing you are going to want to find out about a property is if the title is properly registered and free of liens. This is extremely important because it is common in Costa Rica for properties to have been in a family for years. Often these properties were never properly registered or have had the taxes paid. To do a title search, you (or your lawyer) will take a copy of the survey plan to the Public Registry of Properties in the city of Liberia. They will check their records and provide you with current information about the desired property.

Beautiful condo with a pool in Costa Rica
The process of transferring the title must be prepared by and executed before an attorney or notary. In North America, a notary only authenticates signatures, but in Costa Rica the role is much more expansive. To be a notary in Costa Rica you first must be an attorney, then go to school for 2 more years and pass more exams to become a “Notario” or notary.

How much can you expect to pay in closing costs? The custom in Costa Rica is for the buyer to pay the costs; however, this can be altered by agreement. The closing costs will be about 4-5 percent of the purchase price. The seller typically pays the realtor’s commission.

One Type of Property Foreigners Cannot Own

There is only one type of property that a person who has not been a legal resident of Costa Rica for 5 years cannot buy outright, and that is beachfront property. The first 200 meters inland from the high tide mark is called the Maritime Zone and can only be leased by a concession from the local municipality. This land is not titled. Concessions can be granted for 5 to 20 years, the latter being the more common.

Ocean view condo complex near Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste
The lease could be purchased through a legal shell corporation in which a Costa Rican citizen is the majority shareholder. Keep in mind the first 50 meters from the high tide mark is considered a public space and cannot be built on. There are strict requirements for building on the remaining 150 meters, so you will want to do all sorts of due diligence BEFORE deciding to purchase the concession.

There are so many beautiful properties in the Playa del Coco area just waiting for you to customize and call home. What a relief it is to know that you can own it without being a resident…although once you live here you will never want to leave!

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Costa Rican Zaguates

You are probably wondering what is a Zaguate?! A Zaguate is the Costa Rican way of referring to a stray, mix breed, or street dog. Basically, it is the national breed of Costa Rica.

Zaguates can be large or small, wire-hair or short-hair, young or old, black, white or anything in between. There is no combination of traits, colors, and looks that a zaguate has not achieved. Who wouldn’t want a wire-hair labrador dachshund terrier or a golden mini husky poodle? Many expats or tourists who visit will unexpectedly fall in love with a Costa Rican zaguate. These pups often end up wandering into your life when you least expect it.

one of my Zaguates in the front yard
Costa Rica unfortunately has a large stray dog population, especially in the more rural areas. Thankfully, many people have taken it upon themselves to help these charming zaguates. One of the largest shelters in Costa Rica is called Territorio de Zaguates or “The Land of Strays”. This shelter is home to over 1,300 dogs! Territorio de Zaguates strives to teach the citizens of Costa Rica the importance of castration and proper pet care. Another well known rescue organization in Costa Rica is Charlie’s Angels. Charlie’s Angels works on a much smaller scale, usually only taking in 15-20 dogs at a time. Both of these organizations often take in very neglected and abused animals. They work extremely hard to make sure every dog has its needs met and is restored back to good health. The best moment is always when they find the perfect home for each of their wonderfully unique pups.

My 4 Zaguates taking a nap
The best news is, you can find your very own zaguate locally! Here in Playa del Coco, we have our own organization called Patas y Manos. Patas y Manos is a nonprofit aimed at helping animals and humans within our local community. Many people living in Playa del Coco, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Panama help Patas y Manos foster dogs in need. This organization is always looking for someone to open their hearts to a zaguate of their own. I know I have 4 of them, the best dogs I ever had. Many people I know, one in particular, is my partner and he has 13, yes I said 13!

A group of Costa Rica Zaguates on the beach
Another great way to help a dog in need is to simply chat with your neighbors. Everyone knows someone who knows a zaguate that needs a home. Keep in mind that not every dog wandering on its own is a stray. Many people allow their castrated, adopted zaguates to continue visiting around the neighborhood or taking themselves on walks to the beach. Before adopting a dog right off the street, make sure you post on local social media groups or ask around in the community. If no one claims the pup, you now have a zaguate of your own! The local vet in Playa del Coco, Dr Jessica Jimenez, will give your zaguate an overall health check and help with any medical needs. After that, the only thing left to do is enjoy the company of a one of a kind, new best friend in paradise.

Street Dog (Zaguate) with a funny tooth
For those who cannot adopt, please donate to any of the beautiful organizations mentioned above. They all need your support!

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Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Costa Rica is home to a plethora of incredible national parks. We have a total of 6, just in Guanacaste! Rincón de la Vieja National Park is just a short drive away from Playa Hermosa and Playas del Coco.

Waterfall in Rincon de la Vieja national park

Rincón de la Vieja, which translates to “The Old Women’s Corner/Nook”, protects over 34,000 acres. This national park offers hiking, swimming, horseback riding, camping, picnicking, and endless sightseeing. It is conveniently located only 1 hour from Playas del Coco or just 30 minutes from Liberia. This park is divided into 2 main sectors; Las Pilas & Santa Maria. Due to the size and the position of the park, the two sectors offer dynamically different climates. The west side of the park experiences a dry season during December-April.

While the east side stays perpetually lush on account of the Atlantic trade winds. So lush in fact, that the Santa Maria sector is actually responsible for supplying 40% of the water that is consumed by Liberia. You can discover over 30 rivers and streams throughout the landscape, all brimming with life. With all that water, along with a large range of elevation come many exquisite waterfalls! There are 4 major waterfalls with beautiful refreshing pools to swim in. The bright blue water will take your breath away!

Waterfall and pool in Rincon de la Vieja

Within Rincon de la Vieja you will also come across monkeys, anteaters, sloths, mountain goats, coatis, peccaries, agoutis, snakes, lizards, armadillos and over 300 bird species. Keep in mind to walk quietly and slowly not to miss anything while on the trails and don’t forget your binoculars. For the plant lovers, there are a 1000 species of orchids that can be found all over. The flora and fauna of this area will transfix you.

Rincon de la Vieja national park is named after the largest and most active volcano within the area. This volcano is over 600,000 years old and is often referred to as the Colossus of Guanacaste. For the past few years, the active crater trail has been closed due to constant volcanic activity. Hopefully in the near future, the volcanic activity will subside so this trail can be enjoyed once again! The Rincon de la Vieja volcano also has a dormant sister named Santa Maria. These two volcanos dominate the landscape. They speckle the park with craters, caverns, mud baths, saunas, and hot springs. No matter which of the trails you end up taking, you will not be disappointed.

Colorful bird in Rincón de la Vieja national park

Visiting the Rincon de la Vieja national park is easy! Less than one hour away from Playa Hermosa and Playas del Coco, all on paved roads. The park is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:00am to 3:00pm. It is always closed on Mondays. The price to enter is $17 for adults and $6 for children, unless you are a resident of Costa Rica it is only $4.00. this is one of the many advantages of owning property in Costa Rica and applying for residency. There is a visitor center with park rangers always present and available sanitary services. Make sure to wear good shoes and pack a hearty lunch and plenty to drink so you can spend the entire day taking in the beauty of this ecologically diverse paradise.

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