Tourism and Investment on The Rise in Costa Rica’s Gold Coast

What’s the attraction, draw and attention all about? We delve in to why Guanacaste (Gold Coast) in Costa Rica is on many hot lists.

The province of Guanacaste lies in the northwestern section of the country. The province borders Nicaragua to the north, of which it was part of until 1824-25 when it was annexed to Costa Rica. The province occupies 10,141 km2 (3,915 sq mi) and despite it’s large size, the province of Guanacaste is the least populated in the entire country with an estimated population of less than 300k.

The capital of Guanacaste is what is now known as Liberia. This was not always the name. In 1836 the town of “Guanacaste” was officially declared the capital of the province. Eighteen years later, the capital city was renamed to it’s current name, Liberia.

Liberia has since grown to become a bustling community of some 45,000 inhabitants and even holds one of the country’s only two international airports, Daniel Oduber International. Caturgua, the company responsible for monitoring statistics for Daniel Oduber International, are showing a 16.6% tourist arrival gain over last year at this time. With such high tourism dollars being injected in to the area, the government of Costa Rica recently approved a $35 million dollar expansion of the Liberia international airport.

Starting to see the trend? There’s more…

The tourism sector accounts for around 7 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and generates annual revenues of around $2 billion. With record tourism numbers and the widespread media attention, it was only a matter of time before high rolling investors began to take notice. And that is precisely what is happening.

Guanacaste, without exception, has seen the most investment outside the Central Valley. Slated to open in 2013, Hyatt announced they would open their first Latin America Andaz overlooking the world class Papagayo Marina in Guanacaste.

With distinguished names such as Westin, Four Seasons, Hyatt and JW Marriott, naturally investor confidence rises which in turn attracts attention to the already surging Costa Rica property market.

With copious numbers of development projects in the works throughout Guanacaste, there are a few that are certainly worth noting.

In April of 2010, Grupo Do It announced that Clinica Biblica, Costa Rica’s largest private and JCI accredited hospital, will be constructing a $40 million dollar state of the art hospital on the site of their Sun Ranch Retirement Community.

John Scheman, Director of Development for Clinica Biblica had this to say,

“For Clinica Biblica, the decision to construct a state of the art medical facility in Sun Ranch Guanacaste was a simple one. With clear and concise direction and planning, this could prove to be the greatest development project Costa Rica has ever seen.”

From the same group responsible for bringing us Sun Ranch, also comes another industry leading development project. However this time it’s on the beach!

Nautica is located in what is called the Gold Coast. Situated along the shores of Playa Brasilito and next door to the world renown Westin Conchal Resort and Golf on Playa Conchal, Nautica offers what no other project of this magnitude can.

Fully permitted and ready to build, Nautica is currently permitted for six 9 story mid-rise towers and covers an area of 135 acres. The five sections of the project include operational wells and water committee, residential sector with permits ready for 45 custom homes and a currently operating commercial zone at the beach.

With such an influx of investment in to the area, Guanacaste in poised for greatest and along with it, the additional attention of the high lucrative and coveted tourism market. Tourism brings money – Money brings investors.

These are simply a sampling of what’s going on in Guanacaste and with everything from tourism to investment on the rise, we can only speculate that this indicates a bright future for the province moving forward.