In 2004 my family and I decided to make our first trip to COSTA RICA as a “research” mission to see if COSTA RICA would be a good candidate to purchase a VACATION/RETIREMENT HOME .  I had met Gerardo Gonzalez-Porras back in the Florida,(the other half of PURE LIFE DEVELOPMENT) and being TICO he had told many stories about COSTA RICA, but would never embellish too much, wanting each individual to experience his country in their own way. That is exactly what my family did.  My mother, aunt, uncle, and myself set out on our journey and thus began our love affair with COSTA RICA.  At the end of that first trip we discovered a small town called ATENAS.  I had read many wonderful things in travel books and on the net about ATENAS but once we experienced the area for ourselves, that was it.  We were home!

The following year we returned to ATENAS, COSTA RICA with on thing on our minds, buying a home or land in Costa Rica.  We found a great REALTOR, and began our search.  To be fair, we check out the surrounding areas of LA GARITA, TURRUCARES, GRECIA, and SAN RAMON, all of which were beautiful and had their own charm, but for us ATENAS was still home.  ATENAS had the three key elements of all good REAL ESTATE; LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Our first day out in ATENAS we found our home, end of story.

Over the years there have been may things written about ATENAS.  In the 1990’s National Geographic proclaimed that ATENAS, COSTA RICA has one of the “best climates in the world”, a slogan which everyone has used to promote real estate and tourism in ATENAS.  More recently in 2010, AARP, the largest association of retired people in the United States, and possibly the world, included ATENAS, in it’s top 10 retirement destinations, world wide!  Having all this attention is of no use if you don’t have the goods to back up the claims.  With an estimated 3,000 expats living in the ATENAS area, it is obvious that it deserves it’s acclaim.  In addition Atenas has benefited from Costa Rica’s tourism boom because of the cheaper holidays and many long term and vacation rentals that the town has to offer.

Below I have outlined some of the key points that make Atenas such an attractive retirement and vacation destination and put it on the touristic map of Costa Rica.

1.   LOCATION.

a.   With the new SAN JOSE/CALDERA HIGHWAY, drive time from Atenas to San Jose is only 30 minutes, CIMA HOSPITAL and ESCAZU 20 minutes, the closest Pacific beaches, 45 minutes.

b.  The JUAN SANTAMARIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is a short half hour drive.

c.  Most major tourist attractions like Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, the Central Pacific beaches like Punta Leona, Jaco, and Esterillos, Carara National Park, and Manuel Antonio National Park, are all between 1.5 to 2 hours drive from ATENAS.

d.  World Class golfing and tennis within one hours drive.

2.   CLIMATE.  Atenas’ climate is ideal for most retirees and travelers alike. With average daytime temperatures in the mid 80’s and night time dropping in the low to mid 60’s, living in Atenas is like living in eternal spring!  The determining factor of temperature is elevation in Costa Rica, with Atenas ranging  from 700-1200 meters or 2,300- 3,900 feet above sea level, giving this pueblo a nice range in temperatures.

3.  NECESSITIES:  ATENAS is a small pueblo of about 27,000 inhabitants, but has everything you need at your finger tips.  Living in Costa Rica could not be easier!

a.   Banks- Banco de Costa Rica, Banco Nacional, and Banco Popular

b.  Groceries- CoopeAtenas, Pali, MegaSuper,El Canario, El Marcado Central and a Friday fresh market (Feria).

c.  Hardware/Building Supplies- Vargas, Miranda, and Deposito Los Angeles just to name a few.

d.  Bakeries-Santa Clara, Musmani, and The Buen Chuchara de Tomas.

e.  Electronics and Furniture- Roes, Gollo, Emportadora Monge, and Casa Blanca.

  1. Emergency- The Red Cross and Linea Vital offer 24 hour service.

g.  Churches- Catholic, Christian, Spanish and English.

h.  Restaurants- La Trocha del Boyero, La Trilla, Guanacaste, Don Yayo’s and Kay’s Gringo Postres.

  1. Real Estate Services- Pure Life Development of Atenas
  2. Law Services- Pablo Arias, Natalia Espinoza, and Monica de Ford.

k.  Various clothing and houseware stores.

  1. MultiPlaza Escazu, CIMA Hospital, PriceMart, and AutoMercado are a short 20-25 minute drive via the new San Jose/Caldera Highway.

4.   HOUSING:  Over the past 10-12 years the influx of expats from around the world has created a demand for quality construction, in private residences and developments alike.  Some of the many wonderful options for living and buying real estate in Atenas include:

a.   Vista Atenas- The first “guarded” community in Atenas.

b.  Roca Verde- Just at the edge of downtown, gated with 24 hours security.

c.  Pica Flora-  Bali style gated development, with amazing views.

d.  Lomas del Paraiso-  Small gated community less than 5 minutes to Atenas Centro.

e.  Paraiso Escondido- Gated with guard, located in Barrio Jesus.

  1. Vista del Valle- San Jose Sur de Atenas, amazing views.

g.  La Antigua del Valle- 6 lot eco-development with spanish colonial architecture.

h.  Las Brisas del Valle- 8 lot eco-development with unsurpassed views of the Central Valley.

It is no wonder that Atenas has become a major retirement and vacation destination having an amazing location, great climate-National Geographic’s “the best climate in the world”, the necessities to live a comfortable life, and a wide range of housing options.  This combined with the AMAZING local people, their warmth,hospitality, and their ability to go out of the way to help you, is just icing on the cake. Do not take my word for it, come visit and see for yourself why so many expat and locals alike have found the “pura vida” and now call Atenas, Costa Rica home.

By Dennis Easters

Owner Pure Life Development, Atenas, Costa Rica

http://www.purelifedevelopment.comIn 2004 my family and I decided to make our first trip to COSTA RICA as a “research” mission to see if COSTA RICA would be a good candidate to purchase a VACATION/RETIREMENT HOME .  I had met Gerardo Gonzalez-Porras back in the Florida,(the other half of PURE LIFE DEVELOPMENT) and being TICO he had told many stories about COSTA RICA, but would never embellish too much, wanting each individual to experience his country in their own way. That is exactly what my family did.  My mother, aunt, uncle, and myself set out on our journey and thus began our love affair with COSTA RICA.  At the end of that first trip we discovered a small town called ATENAS.  I had read many wonderful things in travel books and on the net about ATENAS but once we experienced the area for ourselves, that was it.  We were home!

The following year we returned to ATENAS, COSTA RICA with on thing on our minds, buying a home or land in Costa Rica.  We found a great REALTOR, and began our search.  To be fair, we check out the surrounding areas of LA GARITA, TURRUCARES, GRECIA, and SAN RAMON, all of which were beautiful and had their own charm, but for us ATENAS was still home.  ATENAS had the three key elements of all good REAL ESTATE; LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Our first day out in ATENAS we found our home, end of story.

Over the years there have been may things written about ATENAS.  In the 1990’s National Geographic proclaimed that ATENAS, COSTA RICA has one of the “best climates in the world”, a slogan which everyone has used to promote real estate and tourism in ATENAS.  More recently in 2010, AARP, the largest association of retired people in the United States, and possibly the world, included ATENAS, in it’s top 10 retirement destinations, world wide!  Having all this attention is of no use if you don’t have the goods to back up the claims.  With an estimated 3,000 expats living in the ATENAS area, it is obvious that it deserves it’s acclaim.  In addition Atenas has benefited from Costa Rica’s tourism boom because of the many long term and vacation rentals that the town has to offer.

Below I have outlined some of the key points that make Atenas such an attractive retirement and vacation destination and put it on the touristic map of Costa Rica.

1.   LOCATION.

a.   With the new SAN JOSE/CALDERA HIGHWAY, drive time from Atenas to San Jose is only 30 minutes, CIMA HOSPITAL and ESCAZU 20 minutes, the closest Pacific beaches, 45 minutes.

b.  The JUAN SANTAMARIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is a short half hour drive.

c.  Most major tourist attractions like Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, the Central Pacific beaches like Punta Leona, Jaco, and Esterillos, Carara National Park, and Manuel Antonio National Park, are all between 1.5 to 2 hours drive from ATENAS.

d.  World Class golfing and tennis within one hours drive.

2.   CLIMATE.  Atenas’ climate is ideal for most retirees and travelers alike. With average daytime temperatures in the mid 80’s and night time dropping in the low to mid 60’s, living in Atenas is like living in eternal spring!  The determining factor of temperature is elevation in Costa Rica, with Atenas ranging  from 700-1200 meters or 2,300- 3,900 feet above sea level, giving this pueblo a nice range in temperatures.

3.  NECESSITIES:  ATENAS is a small pueblo of about 27,000 inhabitants, but has everything you need at your finger tips.  Living in Costa Rica could not be easier!

a.   Banks- Banco de Costa Rica, Banco Nacional, and Banco Popular

b.  Groceries- CoopeAtenas, Pali, MegaSuper,El Canario, El Marcado Central and a Friday fresh market (Feria).

c.  Hardware/Building Supplies- Vargas, Miranda, and Deposito Los Angeles just to name a few.

d.  Bakeries-Santa Clara, Musmani, and The Buen Chuchara de Tomas.

e.  Electronics and Furniture- Roes, Gollo, Emportadora Monge, and Casa Blanca.

  1. Emergency- The Red Cross and Linea Vital offer 24 hour service.

g.  Churches- Catholic, Christian, Spanish and English.

h.  Restaurants- La Trocha del Boyero, La Trilla, Guanacaste, Don Yayo’s and Kay’s Gringo Postres.

  1. Real Estate Services- Pure Life Development of Atenas
  2. Law Services- Pablo Arias, Natalia Espinoza, and Monica de Ford.

k.  Various clothing and houseware stores.

  1. MultiPlaza Escazu, CIMA Hospital, PriceMart, and AutoMercado are a short 20-25 minute drive via the new San Jose/Caldera Highway.

4.   HOUSING:  Over the past 10-12 years the influx of expats from around the world has created a demand for quality construction, in private residences and developments alike.  Some of the many wonderful options for living and buying real estate in Atenas include:

a.   Vista Atenas- The first “guarded” community in Atenas.

b.  Roca Verde- Just at the edge of downtown, gated with 24 hours security.

c.  Pica Flora-  Bali style gated development, with amazing views.

d.  Lomas del Paraiso-  Small gated community less than 5 minutes to Atenas Centro.

e.  Paraiso Escondido- Gated with guard, located in Barrio Jesus.

  1. Vista del Valle- San Jose Sur de Atenas, amazing views.

g.  La Antigua del Valle- 6 lot eco-development with spanish colonial architecture.

h.  Las Brisas del Valle- 8 lot eco-development with unsurpassed views of the Central Valley.

It is no wonder that Atenas has become a major retirement and vacation destination having an amazing location, great climate-National Geographic’s “the best climate in the world”, the necessities to live a comfortable life, and a wide range of housing options.  This combined with the AMAZING local people, their warmth,hospitality, and their ability to go out of the way to help you, is just icing on the cake. Do not take my word for it, come visit and see for yourself why so many expat and locals alike have found the “pura vida” and now call Atenas, Costa Rica home.

By Dennis Easters

Owner Pure Life Development, Atenas, Costa Rica

http://www.purelifedevelopment.com