30 Bananas a Day!

     I'll be relocating to Costa Rica early next year and am looking to buy some land in Costa Rica. My budget is 30,000, and with at least 10 acres, undeveloped. My ideal location is in Southern Costa Rica, springs, fruit trees, rainforest, waterfalls, wildlife.

     I am looking for anyone who knows of anyone with land and wanting to sell or if anyone can

give me any good tips on finding good cheap land.

     I am looking to buy in February-March 2014.

     Best method of contact is by email: Nick@anstoneworks.com

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We (me and my family) have bought a land (2.5ha) recently in nice region close to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. It took us 11 months and we consider ourselves lucky. The problem in CR is that everything is for sale but in reality the true sellers are rare. So most of the fincas we visited were hugely overpriced, it was a big disappointment and waste of our time. Ticos has lived on their land for ages know that they live in paradise so why move? There were also a few crazy gringos who bought the land for millions and Ticos just repeat this stories, multiply the price and will not sell cheaper that the neighbour did. Other thing is that they don't like foreigners who come and build a huge house with a swimming pool. Better strategy is (what we did) to live here (in the region you like) and do whatever your project is - to show people who you are, work with locals and eventually they may revile which land is really for sale and then you may have a chance to buy a cheap finca. The price is of course related to location - closer you are to the cost or touristic location more expensive it is. We were looking in the range of 2 km from the main road close to PV and we never seen prices close to 0.75/m2 (which is your asking price). Obviously if you go feather or if you buy bigger land, it will be cheaper. The problem is that there is a few asphalt road and CR is very mountainous. If you choose to live in isolated area you need to consider 4x4 car (which in CR is expensive in comparison to US, used cars are in very bad condition and future reparation are not worth it). Potential problem with access to the finca during rain season and much less people coming to visit.

Hope this helps.
Good Luck and all the best,

Mangoustine

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. I appreciate your time and knowledge :) I was looking for land In southern CR actually because of low costs in land, better weather, farther away from big cities and hotels, deeper and more in tune with nature. I'm hoping I don't have to wait that long before I can begin building my dream fruit permaculture farm :)

Thanks for your reply :)

Nick

I have a farm in Southern Costa Rica with springs, fruit trees, rainforest, small waterfalls, and wildlife.  There are big waterfalls upstream and downstream that are not on the property but just an hour walk away.  I can probably sell you about 7 acres of it for $30,000.  There is more info about the farm here: salverde.wordpress.com

Scott, that sounds incredible! I am definitely interested! I am planning a 1-2 week vaca to CR early next year to look at fincas and land. Will it be available in Feb-March?

The property in total is between 19-27 acres.  I am currently in the US but there is an international community taking care of about 6 acres at the moment.  There is info about what they are doing here:  http://thealternativenow.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/costa-rica-update... 

You are welcome to go check out the farm, participate in the community, and eat some of the fresh fruits growing there.  I would need to be there to sell the property and I am willing to fly there to do it.

Awesome...place sounds great! I would love to visit for a couple weeks some time early next year, probably around Feb. What are your plans and why aren't you in CR right now!?

I pedaled there and back from Seattle, staying for about three years, but I grew up most my life near Seattle so I really missed all the people I grew up with.  That is the main reason I came back, but now I'm finishing up school here and learning how to sail back down in a boat.  The last thing I did in CR is start up that community there.  I couldn't bear to consider it abandoned.

Scott, sounds like an amazing journey.

I have big plans and am a purest in the purest sense. Organic, vegan, libertarian, peace loving, free spirit. I'm going to create one kick ass permaculture style fruit & veggie farm. But that's only the beginning!

hi, I was looking for land for almost 3 years in nearly all lowland areas. I know dozens of farms. The most in the southern caribbean zone of the country. land prices are there more reasonable. in general the pacific lowland is more expensive. if you want something like a flat farm in the mountains with ocean view and sufficient spring water in the dry season you need a lot of money, close to the beaches as well. If you are fine with a farm, only accessable with a realy good 4x4 car or horse/foot, longer distance to beaches you gonna find something good. you could search for saul rasminsky. it's a real friendy and competent property agent who knows his business. the most farms he is offering are on he central pacific coast. but he knows the southern part, too. your budget is not really low. on the caribbean side you could find something like ocean view, spring water and rolling hills with flat parts for this money. 30.000/10acrs = 7500/1 ha. the ha price in the southern zone for land which is not too steep and not tooo off the grid but nothing special is around 10. to 12.000 a hectare. the beach areas in the south like Pavones or Drake Bay are far above your budget. have you been here before? are you sure you wanna live in the south? it is realy the steam bath of the country: hot and very humid. on the carbbean it is warm and humid :-) I also like the northwest with it's longer dry season. 

Tropical Raw! Thanks for your reply. To be more specific this is everything I am looking for:

Mineral Rich soil,

Land that's never been sprayed with any chemicals,gmo's, etc,

Natural springs, pools, waterfalls,

Old growth forests,

An hour to an hour and a half from the beaches. Would love to be as close as I can but won't sacrifice quality of land,

Lots of fruit trees producing well,

As far as the weather goes my feelings are " it is what it is and I'll get used to it" haha but I no longer want land on the pacific due to fukashima reactors destroying our ocean :/ so the southern caribbean side works best I think.

I've never been to Costa Rica but know many who have and have been researching the country and all countries for the last 3 years and CR is the only logical country :)

Any steering in that direction is very helpful. I'll be going down to search for land this January for the full month and then making my move shortly after (Feb march)

I don't want to discourage you because CR and South Caribbean is a wonderful area. Despite the human activity it has beautiful nature with old forest and rich animal life.  But you need to realize a few facts:

- Tropical soils are not very profound due to big rain fall. Even in primary forest the black soil is not very profound – in average it is about 10 cm, in some places more in some places less. When the forest is cut, the erosion due to rain and agriculture (especially cows) depletes (in only few years) the soil and what you can see in many paces is the red tropical soil which is a bad soil.  It does not mean that it cannot be rehabilitated. Even thou I manage to find a finca with a pretty good soil in some places I removed this criterion from my list. There is why: I as a human feel responsible in same way for an agricultural disaster and primary forest cut off - for 35 years I was on a bad diet so I did participated in it. Then I didn't know but now after I have learnt so much I don't want to cut any trees any more. I know that soil rehabilitation is possible, even more, all people who has successful fruit production in my area work on soil constantly by applying char coal, EMS (Effective Microorganisms), rock dust, compost and mulching – this works for sure and if you do not do it from the beginning you will deplete the soil.

- Land that's never been sprayed with any chemicals – according to wikipedia: "Conventional agriculture has put pressure on indigenous customs and traditions. The use of pesticides in Costa Rican agricultural fields has nearly doubled over the past two decades. Currently Costa Rica ranks first in world pesticide use. Plantation agriculture was a significant contributor to the runoff and other environmental effects caused by the pesticides because over a third of these agrochemicals are used on banana and plantain production. "Unfortunately South Caribbean is where banana and plantain production is. The plantations are spayed from plains and the wind blows it for a few kilometers. All chemicals are easily available and used by ticos broadly. I have seen many times roads and their borders being sprayed (probably roundup). Vegetation is so vigorous here that if people have trouble of getting rid of it they just spray because it is easier. Additionally what upsets me the most is that Ticos burn they trash and the smoke of burnt plastic is so horrible, sometimes they dig a whole and put the trash in it. It is very common hobbit

- Old growth forests – if you have a limited budget it is better not to buy old growth forests because you need a place for your fruit trees, it is better to have it on your border.

- An hour to an hour and a half from the beaches – you need to know that it could be still close to the beaches where prices are still high. Roads are in worse condition in function of fathering from the cost and d fast with a criving fast is not advisable because you can damaging your suspension and it is better to avoid any reparations but this is another story – for short - it is better to avoid this trouble.

- Lots of fruit trees producing well – it really depends what you mean by "lot". Ticos do not eat a big variety of trees. Sometimes they have almost nothing (lemons, banana and papaya); sometimes they have a few trees of one variety. Many times they have acid fruit trees like acid carambola limones and other acid citrus trees (oranges and mandarins can be acid to) and many others. They do fresco with it – a drink with a lot of sugar. Finca with a lots of fruit trees producing well will cost more…

But still it is the best place to live for me because I can make it a fruit paradise, it will require a lot work and time but it will work. Before coming here, be sure you can accept those facts. So many people come here and return home disappointed because they had some dream image of this country. CR has his downsides but still it is a good option. It has beautiful nature, quite a lot of primary forest, beautiful beaches, waterfalls, big potential for fruit production, is quite safe, has nice mix of different nationalities (Puerto Viejo area) – a community of people who want to grow an organic food and is open to many "ideas". For me this place is far better than living in more industrialized country (US or Europe).

You make a lot of good points.  The Costa Rican farm I bought was 40% secondary growth forest, 40% abandoned pasture land, and 20% agricultural.  I loved the natural feel of the secondary growth forest and have almost completely reforested the abandoned pasture with fruit trees and the agricultural area has supplied me with food in the mean time.  Now I feel ready to move on to another project because there is no more space to plant any more fruit trees!

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