Forget Panama, get your papers for Costa Rica
The Central American nation that has been grabbing all the headlines of late has been the tax haven of Panama. Yet its neighbour Costa Rica is attracting investors for the right reasons. The lush country full of forests, waterfalls and jungle-fringed beaches that espouses the “pura vida” – a carefree sense of life – is often rated one of the “happiest places on Earth”, and is increasingly viewed as a safer alternative to Mexico.
While the bulk of second home owners – including Charlie Sheen and Michael Jordan – hail from North America, the number of Europeans is rising slowly. What’s more British Airways launched the first direct flights from Britain this month to the capital, San José, twice a week (a journey of 10 hours 50 minutes).
The anticipation of the new route has triggered an increase in British holiday-home hunters. “Costa Rica is on a lot of people’s radar at the moment, and this year I have had four enquiries from British buyers,” says Tina Wallace of agency Prime New Two and threebedroom villas in the luxury residence club of The Palms near Playa Flamingo.
Brits are coming around to the low prices and high quality of life, says Liz Rowlinson