Paradise Found, Lost, Whatever
The visitors who pass through the office of Hot Tropics Real Estate inevitably marvel at the good nature, the kindness, the smiling decency of the Costa Ricans; the long-term residents, weary expatriates that they are, all too often see what they consider to be only plastic, pretend smiles.
They perceive a country of people doing things badly. The old-timer grumps at Costa Rica, the newly arrived grins openly at it. The new visitor sees the campesino as a rustic savant, beautiful and wise in the ways of living on the planet; the old-timer sees him slashing and burning so that he can plant his stupid beans and corn.
Certainly, no country village, no city, no place is utopian to those who were born there and who live there and who feel trapped by their place of birth, their hometown, and who passionately want to see America. The newly arrived visitor here in Costa Rica is usually more tolerant, more forgiving, ever more interested in the culture and the traditions of the new place than are the local people. As is the newly converted non-smoker or religious convert a greater zealot than those who were born into a religion or those who had never smoked, so too is the traveler to Costa Rica more keen on maintaining and protecting the primal nature of the place, than are the natives. The visitor wants to live here, build a home here, and have a life in the pristine tropics. The newly arrived, as soon as he or she has a place of his own in Costa Rica, decries the proliferation of condos and new hotels rising up along the beaches. The Ticos, for the most part, welcome all of this and enjoy the “modernizing” of their country. Most of them, anyway. Foreigners in Costa Rica struggle to preserve the rainforests, and the remaining lovely adobe homes, while Ticos flock to every new building those houses a McDonalds, Burger King or Kentucky Fried Chicken as though they were hallowed, sanctified places.
We had been talking about just this, sitting in the office, grumbling, irritating one another, when Warren looked up from the floor that he had been staring at. He appeared exhausted by our complaining, our lamenting, and could only sit there, shaking his head to himself. Then, after what seemed like minutes of silence, he spoke, quietly. "You know, when I first came to Costa Rica I felt that I had arrived in Paradise. Maybe everyone feels that way when they first come here. The air is warm, the people all smile and wave and call me "Macho," the early evening light is tropical and sensuous, and the small houses in the hills around here suggested to me benevolent and tranquil lives. And, though I have never been there, I'm sure that Hawaii was once like that - a simple, luxuriant tropical Eden, with all of the promise of Paradise. And look what has happened there. Its a sad tale of what men will always do with paradise sitting right there; right there in their view, and what they will do with all of that promise of a virgin land. Hawaii is such a place of dreams gone sour, of a place owned by corporations and international cartels, of mass marketing of tourism. God, I hope it doesn't happen here. " Everyone sitting there felt empathetic, and experienced Warren’s sense of a Paradise that will someday be lost. The skies over the Central Valley exploded at that moment in a great theatrical, electrical rage, lighting up this dreamlike place. And we could do little more than nod and sigh and look at our hands.
At that precise moment, at that exact second, as though choreographed, Regina came skipping into the office of Hot Tropics looking sunburnt and euphoric and burbling about the "simple beauty" of a beach town from which she had just returned, and where she was convinced that she had to buy a piece of land. She was talking about Jaco beach, and the way in which she felt alive, renewed and revitalized after a trip there. Jaco? Did I hear her correctly? Dirty, yucky Jaco? I thought, maybe I don’t get it, maybe I am losing it. And then I remembered. I remembered what it was like when I first came to Costa Rica; those first experiences of this country; those first precious days here. Regina’s good cheer, her vibrant, smiling, brilliant, glowing positive attitude, so full of light, affected all of us. We looked at each other and felt shame at our negativity, our complaining, and shook our heads, then grinned at her outrageously wonderful, radiant nature.
“Hey,” I said. “She’s right, ya know… Let’s get out of the office. It wouldn’t hurt at all to have some tuna sushi and a beer!!” And suddenly, just like that, the room seemed brighter. In fact, it was, and is brighter.
Escazu and Santa Ana, The West Side
Simply put, the towns and suburban areas of Escazu and Santa Ana, to the west of the capital city of San Jose, are where almost everyone (who wants to have a full-time or part-time place in the Central Valley of Costa Rica), chooses to be.
The reasons are obvious. When I first arrived here 15 years ago, I was drawn to its strangely wonderful mix of pastoral countryside and its extensive First World amenities. And somehow it is still quintessentially Costa Rica. Brightly painted oxcarts pulled by enormous Brahma cattle, bumping along next to Mercedes and Ferraris. Coffee fields and onion farms being worked by farmers in floppy hats, baggy pants, high black boots, and the obligatory machete straped to their waist, alongside the children of the upper classes zipping off to the malls and the country club.
"Upscale" is not the right adjective for these areas, and neither is "rustic".
Yet I don’t know of any other area in the world where you have enormous hillside mansions next to the most humble of dirt-floored rural homes; and everyone appears to get along.
There are small villages, such as San Rafael de Escazu, that are mostly commercial centers; others, such as San Antonio de Escazu, which are agricultural, and some are undergoing explosive demographic changes, such as Guachipelín. There are some neighborhoods where the residents are predominantly foreigners, and some that rarely see foreigners. There are farmers living here who have never been to San Jose, some 6 miles away; and there are people here who have a dozen homes around the world. The hills above Escazu and Santa Ana are extraordinarily verdant and rich, and the views that they command have to be the most beautiful in the world. It is an amazing place.
Everything is here. The best hospital and medical care in Central America, the finest international restaurants, shops, malls, everyone’s lawyers, the embassies, the best private schools, incredible supermarkets... And there are also weekend farmer’s markets that are second to none, village stores (pulperias) that serve as community centers, churches, soccer fields, flower farms…And if that is somehow inadequate, there is a small airport with scheduled daily flights to whisk you away to any of the Pacific coast beaches…just minutes away.
We’ve chosen to show you here two large homes in this area that are extraordinary in many ways. They are very well located, under-priced, exceptionally attractive, and are in a tranquil country environment, yet only a few minutes from all of the “stuff” that these areas have to offer.
Escazu and Santa Ana are difficult to explain to people. You really should see for yourself.
Hot Tropics Real Estate
Toll Free: 1-800 407 3903
Office: (506) 203 7700 or (506) 203 7704
This exceptionally fine estate home is located in what many consider to be the most desirable of locations. In the verdant rolling hills above Santa Ana, west of San Jose, in a secure, gated community. The best weather, the best views imaginable, and with a glorious country setting that is, in fact, only a few minutes from the best shopping, malls, restaurants, and all other amenities that one could possibly wish.
Very few have the privilege of living in this most exclusive of areas. With 3,000 sq. meters of gardens, this elegant three story home is over 7,000 sq. feet, with four lovely bedrooms, 3-and-a-half bathrooms.
Carpeted floors and Hardwood floors
This is the first time in many years that Hot Tropics Real Estate has had a home listed in this community, and this lovely home is a rare find.
It is being offwered for: $795,000
Escazu, Central Valley
This is one of the most extraordinarily beautiful homes in the entire Central Valley. A grand, exclusive residence located on over an acre and a half of delightful tropical gardens, including hundreds of fruit trees and exotic landscaping. The architectural design and the incredible terraces are incorporated into the endless views.
From the imported, carved entrance doorway and soaring ceilings to the intricately designed hanging lamps, every detail is absolutely brilliant. Abundant open social areas, a wood-burning outdoor bread oven, BBQ, wine cellar, an art galleria, exotic hardwood floors, sound-proof windows, air conditioning and dehumidifiers in all the bedrooms, parabolic antenna, builtin sound system, alarm systems, back-up electrical plant… no detail has been slighted in making this home a masterpiece.
Features a home entertainment area, a family room, master bedroom with walk-in closets, an employees’ quarter, two bedrooms along the corridor, each with it’s own tile bathroom.
This stunning residence is being offered for: $1,495,000