The Valle De El General is Poised for Launch, Grand Opportunities Abound

Investors be AWARE!! Now that the Costa Ballena area has already rocketed off into the stratosphere of land and housing prices over the last three years, putting most of the available properties way out of
reach to all but the wealthiest investors, many are looking to nearby areas to maximize the potential
returns of their real estate investments in the near-term future. The skyrocketing property values on the
coast has resulted in a flattening of the resale ROI curve for investors in the zone. The direct consequence of these factors has set up the inland areas of the coastal mountain ranges to be ideally positioned to take over the mantle as the ‘#1 ground floor investment opportunity’, the area boasting the greatest potential for both the near-term and long-term future. In addition, this higher-elevation inland zone, a short drive from the seaside attractions of the Whale Coast, is ideal for singles, couples and families hailing from northern latitudes, those seeking affordable property in cooler climes high above the hot sands without giving up easy access to the wonderful tropical coast lifestyle and activities. As we mentioned in our blog last year announcing the opening of our office for this region – the first among other Real Estate offices to do so – It is worth noting that our bilingual Real Estate agents in our office have been active in the area for quite some time now and are very knowledgeable in regard to great deals and opportunities available in the area! This agriculturally rich, fertile region that the locals simply call ‘Pérez´ has been one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in all of Central America for more than 15 years. This trend even appears to be accelerating, particularly in the coastal mountain areas to both the east and west of San Isidro, and all the way down to La Amistad National Park southeast of the El General Valley past Buenos Aires.

The burgeoning city of San Isidro De El General, where we at C21 Ballena Properties set up our highly successful satellite office, is the capital of this modern mini-metropolis. Many people are unaware that,
unlike the coastal region mentioned above, the area — and its ‘capitol city’ of San Isidro — is located in
the same exact province as the Capitol of Costa Rica, the Province of San José! It is a major governmental, commercial, and social hub for the region, and the people are exceptionally friendly, with most establishments having at least one employee speaking good to excellent English (including in the government offices). The city has stores for just about everything, including many international chains that you’ll probably recognize and in case you can’t find what you’re seeking locally, the store managers usually have good contacts in San José, and can often get it to you here quickly with very little effort or
cost. As one of the fastest growing cities in Central America – if not the fastest – San Isidro and its suburbs are a great option for retirees or families raising kids alike. There are all the amenities a retiree would want, plus private bi-lingual high schools for families. Living in this area has many health benefits,
such as the huge farmer’s market with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses brought from local
area farmers and vendors that are open every Thursday and Friday in central San Isidro. Many expats
come here often from the coastal towns to shop, especially for electronics, car parts, building materials,
healthy fruits and vegetables at the best local prices, organic herbs and spices, and other hard-to-find
supplies. There are restaurants and night spots for everyone’s taste and style too, and all of the outlying suburbs have their own vibrant fun spots as well. Many foreign ex-pats are well-established in this area,
and have set up a number of social groups, foundations, local cultural events and gatherings, and even
classes and courses in things like yoga, organic farming, Spanish, Latin dance, etc. The many social and
political advantages of owning property in this area cannot be overstated. And on top of that, there is
really no ‘sacrificing’ the beach life at all (just the lowland heat and humidity, and who needs that 24/7?)
because the sun splashed sandy shores of the Pacific Coast are less than an hour’s drive away from
downtown San Isidro. You can literally go for a cool morning hike high in the soaring mountains, lunch at
the hot springs in the pleasantly temperate climate that needs no fans to keep you cool, and then easily
make it down to Dominical for a late afternoon surf session, followed by a romantic sunset dinner
overlooking the waves! Not a bad lifestyle at all, eh?

Despite all these powerful and dynamic cultural aspects, the primary attraction of this rapidly
developing region is not necessarily its connection to the country’s halls of power and influence, nor the
plethora of shopping centers (including a big mall with a modern multi-screen Movie Theater where 3D
films are featured), nor the ease with which those seeking social interaction can find enjoyable places
and activities. Surrounded by bucolic farmland, white water rivers, coffee plantations, and stunningly
beautiful natural environments, and sitting at the feet of the extinct volcano of Mt. Chirripó — the very
highest peak in all of Central America — this verdant ecological wonderland attracts tens of thousands of eco-tourists annually from all over the world. Chirripó National Park is a magnet to hiking enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, and many Europeans consider it a major ‘bucket list’ item to climb to the top of the Highest Mountain Peak in Central America, enjoying the rare view of two oceans from the summit as the sun rises over the Caribbean Sea. There is even an annual Race To The Peak, and many international runners and walkers come here to compete. The town located at the base of the National Park, San Gerardo de Rivas, sits at 1400m (4,600 ft.) among stands of a variety of high mountain tree species, including stands of pine, cypress, and eucalyptus, looking more like a village in the lower Alps
than a small town in Costa Rica. San Gerardo boasts scores of small family-owned eco-lodges, some of
which sit on the banks of lively mountain rivers full of massive volcanic boulders and succulent wild trout (served by many local restaurants). There is even a hot springs here that is open to the public, with local
cuisine served in their family owned diner. Whether or not one wishes to take on the challenge of
climbing Mt. Chirripó, this area is an ideal spot to get away from the lowland heat and go hiking, trout
fishing, bird watching, bathing in the local cascades and waterfalls, or socializing in the local hot springs.

There are many other wonderful attractions in the Pérez Zeledón area, honestly too numerous to list.
There is a confluence of fertile agricultural lands, cool (and even cold) high mountain micro-climates and ambience, dynamic city life, wide-spectrum commercial activity (including a rapidly expanding tourism industry), and tranquil country living. What’s not to like? For those of us who have already recognized and invested in – the grand potential and inevitable growth of this yet-undiscovered region, we feel for us and all incoming ground-floor investors that, like the title of an old song some of us remember rockin’ out to in the 1980’s, ‘The future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades!’