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6 Awesome Things About Costa Rica

vibrant Costa Rica sunset

Costa Rica is rich with biodiversity, conservation, beauty and culture

With all of the amazing things that make up Costa Rica, it can be hard to narrow down a list of the best of them. Nonetheless, we gave it a go, and managed to come up with our own list of the six absolute coolest things about this Central American tropical paradise.

The beaches

Costa Rica features an incredible 800 miles of coastline, and there is a beach to suit every taste and purpose. On the country’s Pacific side, the beaches tend to be livelier, more populated, and better suited for sunbathing, surfing and people watching. On its Caribbean side, the beaches are quieter, more secluded and more pristine, and are perfect for scuba diving and wildlife watching. From craggy, cliff-side shorelines to tranquil white, black, brown, and even pink sands, every beach is perfectly picturesque in its own way.

The landscape

Costa Rica’s incredibly diverse landscape offers nature-lovers endless opportunities for exploration. Twenty-five percent of Costa Rica is comprised of dense, lush rainforest, much of which is protected and nearly pristine. Costa Rica also features towering mountains, plunging waterfalls, misty cloud forests, and serene marshes. Finally, the country boasts 121 volcanic structures, and is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

The wildlife

While many people visit in the hopes of seeing iconic animals such as the scarlet macaw, the toucan and the capuchin monkey, not everyone realizes the vastness of Costa Rica’s biodiversity. While it makes up only .03 percent of the world’s total landmass, it houses 6 percent of the world’s species. The country is home to 130 freshwater fish species, 208 mammal species, 850 bird species, 1000 butterfly species and a full 34,000 species of insects. And if those numbers weren’t impressive enough, new species of plants and animals are discovered nearly every single day.

Conservation efforts

Costa Rica is a role model when it comes to conservation. Since the 1980s, the government has introduced a number of financing structures, which have helped to reverse forest loss and protect the species residing there. The country also has over 160 protected areas, reserves, parks and refuges, making up over 25% of the national territory. Costa Rica continues to be a world leader in slowing climate change by protecting its forests and mangroves.

Costa Rica gets 90% of its electricity from green sources; wind, water, and the country’s many volcanos. These efforts have made it a world-leader in renewable energy. Costa Rica aims to be 100% carbon neutral by 2021.

The people

Costa Ricans, in general, are a warm, friendly, educated, polite, and generous. They welcome newcomers, and they are always happy to accommodate, and help others. Not a confrontational culture, Ticos will almost go out of their way to not hurt your feelings. If they think that a “no” will be ill-received, they will typically say “maybe” or even “yes.”  You’ll quickly learn that “pura vida” isn’t just a national slogan; it’s a cultural way of life. One of my favorite local axioms is “tranquilidad ante todo” which roughly translates into English as, “Tranquility before everything.”

The activities

No matter what you love to do, there is an exciting activity waiting for you in Costa Rica. From rock climbing, to whitewater rafting, to zip-lining, or big game fishing, you can enjoy the outdoors year-round. Of course, if you just want to soak up some sun on the beach, enjoy some luxury spa time, or relax in some natural hot springs, you can do that, too.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Costa Rica is such a hot eco-adventure destination. Book your next eco adventure vacation now; call HRG and start planning today.


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Get Ready for Summer: Planning Your Family Vacation at Los Sueños Resort


Los Sueños Resort, Costa Rica is the perfect summer vacation spot and it’s not too early to start planning now


With the summer school break just right around the corner, it’s time to start planning your family summer vacation to Costa Rica. A short distance away from the U.S. and Canada, with several major airports offering direct flights to Juan Santamaria International, Costa Rica is paradise perfect for family adventures, and it’s a no-brainer to book your escape with HRG Vacations at Los Sueños Resort & Marina.

A vacation rental at Los Sueños Resort and Marina makes a perfect base camp for your Costa Rica summer holiday, and there is an endless list of things to do for everyone in the family. Los Sueños’ private 600-acre rainforest reserve is an exotic backdrop for the resort’s clustered communities, while the crystal blue Pacific Ocean beckons from your private balcony. HRG offer fully furnished condos, homes and villas, all available to make your stay in Los Sueños, Costa Rica absolute perfection.

Resort facilities include a 200-slip marina where you can book sport fishing charters, sunset cruises and offshore excursions to nearby Tortuga Island for snorkeling, jet-skiing, banana boat rides and other water sport fun.

The Beach Club, with its free-form pool, shaded palapas and white sand beach is exclusively for the use of Los Sueños’ residents and guests.

Golfers in the family will appreciate La Iguana, an 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Ted Robinson and surrounded by the Costa Rican rainforest.

In addition to the onsite activities, Los Sueños Resort offers even more to do offsite.

Zip-lining or tram-lining through the rainforest canopy is a great way to check out the treetop inhabitants. For the more daring family members, a nearby ropes course adds to the adrenaline with a Tarzan swing, swing walk and more.

Other choices include whitewater rafting on the Savegre River (Class II/III), ATV tours, horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking.

Manuel Antonio and Carara National Parks are nearby for hiking and wildlife watching, or the entire family can hit the beach for sunbathing, boogie boarding, stand up paddle boarding, and surfing.

With daily housekeeping, personal grocery shopper and chef services available by request, no one in the family needs to lift a finger. The Marina Village has restaurants and retail shops, as well as wine and grocery stores like Jimmy T’s Provisions or Los Sueños Wine & Spirits. Finally, the village is also home to banking and business services (in case you have a mind to buy a yacht or a condo while you’re in town).

Within Los Sueños, transportation around the resort is most fun by golf cart. Depending on ages, even the kids can get around on their own. The concierge staff at HRG can help you book tours, transportation, child care, surf lessons and more. As local residents, HRG staff can steer you in the right direction because they know the territory.

Los Sueños Resort is a family-friendly slice of paradise; everyone in the family can be comfortable and relaxed in spacious digs for the entire gang to spread out and enjoy; in other words, not at all like a cramped hotel room! In most cases, your rental will include most of the gear needed to enjoy everything Los Sueños and the Jacó area have to offer—no need to pack much more than your clothes.

With all the personalized service on offer, it’s the perfect combination of location and convenience. After all, it is your vacation, so why not relax in style at Los Sueños, where your dream vacation becomes reality?

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2017 Los Sueños Family Spring Break Vacation

Kids on a Costa Rica Beach

There is plenty to do at Los Sueños Resort during your 2017 spring break family vacation

Los Sueños Resort and Marina makes a great family destination for Spring Break. Los Sueños’ luxury vacation rentals include fully furnished, very spacious, luxury condos or vacation villas; there’s no need to cramped up with the entire gang in a hotel room. A vacation rental at Los Sueños Resort is a good choice for families with members of all ages. The concierge staff can arrange for unique necessities, such as portable cribs and highchairs; they can also help organize family tours and activities, babysitting services, golf cart rentals and more.

Between the swimming pools, tennis courts, and private beach club, there are plenty things to do even if you never leave the resort. The Beach Club, for guests’ exclusive use, is a 2-acre facility that includes a free-form pool, Jacuzzi, fountains, swim-up bar, the Al Fresco Restaurant, and an elevated, white sand beach with shade palapas and a children’s playground.

Farther afield, there’s even more to see and do. One of the most popular tours is ziplining, good for ages 7 and up. Guides point out the points of interest, including the canopy inhabitants. Families with very young children can try the aerial tram, where the guide, an expert in local wildlife, will explain the plants and animals as you travel through the treetops. The nearby Jacó Ropes Adventure Park offers a bit more adrenaline with its zipline, teak bridge, Tarzan swing, swing walk and more.

An ATV tour will take even the most inexperienced rider (suggested for families with teens, rather than little ones) can take you and the kids farther afield.

Horseback riding is another option; guides will lead your group through the rainforest to nearby waterfalls and pools.

Mountain bikes are perfect for the active family, and present a special kind of fun challenge for discovering all that the rainforest has to offer.

The surf break off Jacó Beach is gentle and perfect for beginners who ready to learn. Surf shops and schools will help the most inexperienced beginner catch a wave. For experienced surfers, Hermosa Beach is just down the road and has more challenging breaks.

Tour operators at Los Sueños Marina offer sunset cruises, snorkeling trips to nearby Tortuga Island, crocodile and mangrove cruises, and of course, Costa Rica’s famous sports fishing. Other boat trips include a crocodile tour on the Tarcoles River and a monkey-spotting mangrove tour in the swamps near Damas Island.

Finally, there is always the beach:

Playa Esterillos is just 25 minutes away, a long stretch of black sand beach where sunbathing, long walks, surfing and shell seeking are the perfect way to spend the day.

Playa Blanca is just to the north; you’ll need to take the dirt road just before the Punta Leona entrance and head for Playa Manta- there will be guards, so just let them know you’re on your way to the beach. You’ll find parking at Playa Manta and then you can make your way over the rocks to Playa Blanca; be sure to bring a picnic basket, some blankets and maybe even a hammock so that you can make a day of it.

Manual Antonio National Park in just over an hour south and has two gorgeous white sand beaches, which are perfect for swimming as they are enclosed in a cove and don’t present heavy undertows or crashing waves. The best part though, is the abundance of wildlife. Watch out for the monkeys! The mischievous little stinkers will steal your stuff looking for food!


Los Sueños is a family-friendly vacation community, with everything you can imagine might be needed for a perfect Costa Rica family vacation.


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A Day With The Family at Los Sueños Resort

Beach Club Los Sueños Resort Costa Rica

Los Sueños is so full of fun things to do, you don’t even have to leave the resort

Los Sueños Resort & Marina, beautifully overlooking Herradura Bay in the central Pacific of Costa Rica, is probably as close as you can get to the perfect place to vacation in Costa Rica. Though there are so many eco-adventure activities nearby that you’ll be hard pressed to find some down time, there is also much to do right in the resort; if you do feel like taking a break from all that river rafting, ATVing, hiking, horseback riding, and Zip-lining, you can hang right in Los Sueños for a day and still have an amazing time with the entire gang. Her is our top 10 list of fun things to do in a day at Los Sueños Resort & Marina:

  1. Part of the fun in staying at Los Sueños is zipping around in a golf cart all day… golf carts are readily available. Just ask your concierge at HRG and we’ll hook you up!
  2. Prepare an amazing breakfast in the well-equipped gourmet kitchen of your vacation villa or condo; then, enjoy it out on the terrace as you gaze out at the ocean and marina, or across the greens to the forest, and savor a rich cup of Costa Rican coffee.
  3. Head for a few rounds of golf with the entire family- watch for the iguanas, red lapas, toucans and monkeys that will keep you company during your game.
  4. Have lunch outdoors at Bamboo Sushi, alongside the marina; or, eat at La Lanterna on the patio in Marina Village. After lunch, take a stroll along the board walk and check out all the amazing boats that are docked in the marina.
  5. In the early afternoon, head for the exclusive Los Sueños Beach Club. A huge free form swimming pool, with an equally large and shallow “kiddie pool” area, as well as Jacuzzi, the Beach Club is a great place to hang for the afternoon as you enjoy snacks and drinks brought to you at your lounge chair.  Between Al Fresco Restaurant, the swim- up bar and attentive beach club wait staff, you won’t be left wanting for great snacks, meals and drinks.
  6. In the late afternoon, it’s time to head for ice cream cones and sweet treats at La Dulce Vita in the Marina Village. Afterwards, take a stroll around and do a little shopping. At Marina Village, you’ll find an art gallery, a design store, a beach basics and bathing suit shop, Los Sueños wine and spirits, Jimmy T’s gourmet market, souvenir shops and more.
  7. As the late afternoon gloaming sets in, grab a sunset cruise out of Los Sueños Marina, a great way to enjoy the end of the day with drinks and dolphin watching.
  8. Not into boating? A really perfect way to wrap up the day is with a nice long massage at either of the two on-site day spas or right in your own luxury condo or vacation villa. Reservations and appointments can be arranged through your concierge.
  9. After coming in from your sunset cruise, or that wonderful massage, get dressed up (don’t worry, nice shorts and a shirt, or summer dress and sandals will be dressy enough- you’re on vacation!) and head for El Galeon for dinner; its al fresco dining area, amazing food, and exemplary service will leave you feeling pampered.
  10. After dinner, a quiet evening spent “at home” with the family playing charades or Uno is a great way to spend the evening. Or, if you feel like getting out, a night of drinking, dancing and gaming at one of the local casinos is always lots of fun. Need a sitter for the kids? Not a problem; ask your concierge at HRG and they’ll help arrange someone reliable.

With so much to see and do right inside Los Sueños, you don’t even have to leave the resort; but, you’ll want to. Still, it’s always nice to have a relaxing day right at “home.”

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Best Sport Fishing Music For the Los Sueños Triple Crown

Sport Fishing_1

A day out on the water from Los Sueños Marina demands a great music play list for the right sport fishing frame of mind

Some occasions demand a great music play list and a day’s sport fishing charter out of Los Sueños Resort is one of them. In just ten days, Leg III of the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown competition will begin, and we’ve put together the perfect soundtrack for you and your team. Given the distance from shore, it’s unlikely that streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud or Apple Music will do you much good—cell service/Wi-Fi will probably be spotty; perhaps even non-existent. The best bet is to buy and download from digital music and store it on your phone or other smart device. MP3 Mixx is a good low-cost source, while music lovers prefer eMusic.com. The Apple Store, Google’s Play Store and Amazon are also treasure troves of your favorite tunes. If your captain has a good sound system aboard, you can probably play a CD you’ve burned; if he has a great system, you’ll be able to connect via Bluetooth to blast your jams. Find out in advance; you may need to bring along a good waterproof, Bluetooth speaker. In order to save you some time and effort in your music search we’ve put together our favorite playlist for a day out on the water. Shoving off:

  • Good Vibrations, Beach Boys
  • Take A Back Road, Rodney Atkins
  • I’m Gonna Go Fishin, Dr. John
  • Knee Deep, Zac Brown Band (Feat. Jimmy Buffett)
  • Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett
  • Jamming, Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • Buffalo Soldier, Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • People Get Ready, Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
  • Boondocks, Little Big Town
  • Three Little Birds, Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones
  • California Dreamin’, The Mamas & The Papas
  • Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Paul Simon
  • I Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash
  • Joy To The World, Three Dog Night
  • Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison
  • Beautiful Day, U2
  • Cheeseburger In Paradise, Jimmy Buffett
  • Stir It Up, Bob Marley & The Wailers

Amp it up to bring in the big one:  

  • Truckin’, Grateful Dead
  • Smokin’ In The Boys Room, Brownsville Station
  • Summer Of ‘69, Bryan Adams
  • Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Rollling Stones
  • Sympathy For The Devil, Rolling Stones
  • Honky Tonk Women, Rolling Stones
  • Classical Gas, Mason Williams
  • In A Gadda Da Vida, Iron Butterfly
  • Like A Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
  • Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeplan
  • Shake A Leg, Ac/Dc
  • Takin Care Of Business. Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  •  The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels
  • Gimme Three Steps, Lenyrd Skynyrd
  • Ramblin’ Man, The Allman Brothers Band
  • Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • The Swimming Song, Loudon Wainwright Iii
  • Crossroads, Ry Cooder
  • Oye Como Va, Santana
  • The Joker, Steve Miller Band
  • Who Do You Love, George Thorogood
  • Should I Stay Or Should I Go, The Clash
  • Proud Mary, Creedance Clearwater Revival
  • Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones
  • What I Like About You, The Romantics
  • What I Got, Sublime
  • Comeback Kid, Brett Dennen
  • Bad To The Bone, George Thorogood
  • Welcome To The Jungle, Guns & Roses
  • Back In Black, Ac/Dc
  • Born To Be Wild, Steppenwolf
  • One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, George Thorogood
  • My Generation, The Who
  • The Boys Are Back In Town, Thin Lizzy
  • Paranoid, Black Sabbath

Heading for home:  

  • 99 Luftballoons, Nena
  • Walkin’ On The Sun, Smash Mouth
  • Smooth, Carlos Santana/Rob Thomas
  • Free Bird, Lenyrd Skynyrd Live At Oakland Coliseum
  • Hotel California, Eagels
  • A Horse With No Name, America
  • Maggie May, Rod Stewart
  • American Pie, Don Mcclean
  • Dancing In The Dark
  • The Times They Are A-Changing, Bob Dylan
  • Black Magic Woman, Santana
  • Late In The Evening, Paul Simon
  • Brandy, Looking Glass
  • Down Under, Men At Work
  • Dancing In The Moonlight, Toploader
  • Layla, Derek & The Dominos
  • One Love, Bob Marley
  • Take It Easy, Eagles
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Stevie Wonder
  • Tequila, The Champs
  • Move It On Over, George Thorogood
  • The Passenge, Iggy Pop
  • Reelin In The Years, Steely Dan
  • Dream On, Aerosmith
  • Friend Of The Devil, Grateful Dead

Coming into port:

  • We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You, Queen
  • The Dock Of The Bay, Otis Redding

The best part? Every time you hear these songs, you’ll be back on the water when the bite was on. And, if your team won the Triple Crown, you’ll have put it all to music. Sport fishing crystal blue Pacific waters within an hour’s cruise of Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Costa Rica, is just about the best kind of day you can have; with the right sport fishing play list, it gets even better.

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Owning a Piece of Paradise: The Benefits of Buying a Vacation Home in Los Sueños Costa Rica


Owning a vacation home in Los Sueños Resort delivers so much more than a convenient place to land when you want to visit Costa Rica.

So many people visit Los Sueños Resort in Costa Rica and dream of owning a vacation condo or home here.  HRG Vacations can help make it happen. Just about an hour’s drive from San José, Los Sueños Resort & Marina showcases luxury condos, villas and sprawling eco-friendly homes—each one with spectacular ocean, jungle, mountain, marina or fairway views. The private resort community sits within a 600-acre rainforest reserve, with plenty to do and see on-site: restaurants, bars and lounges, an 18-hole championship golf course, spa, marina, plenty of retail shops and services.

The region around Los Sueños Resort is a narrow coastal plain fronted by the crystal-clear blue waters of the Pacific and backed rainforest-clad mountains. The surfing beaches extend south to Dominical and beyond. To the north, lie the dry tropical forests of Guanacaste and the cloud forest reserves of Monteverde.

Los Sueños is one of the most popular resorts in Costa Rica. The benefits of vacation home at Los Sueños don’t stop with a luxury base for your own vacations in Costa Rica; location, convenience, income-generation, tax-savings, and a jump-start on an unrivaled ex-pat retirement lifestyle also come into play.

Renting your second home to Costa Rica vacationers can help offset mortgage and maintenance costs, generating income when you’re not using the property. Rental fees vary, but during peak season weekly rental fees equal or exceed the monthly mortgage payment. You may break even with an annual occupancy of about 30% in terms of cash flow.

Depending on personal use versus rental, tax benefits vary. If you rent out your property 14 days or less in a year, you can treat the mortgage on your second home the same as the mortgage on your primary residence. Consult a tax professional or review IRS Publication 527 on vacation rentals for advice on your specific tax situation.

HRG Vacations will take care of marketing and renting out your vacation rental, along with seeing to all the needs of your vacation rental guests. HRG Properties and Rentals can also handle immediate response needs, regular maintenance, and payments for utilities, HOA fees and insurance. The concierge staff is always there assist your tenants with a full range of services.

Los Sueños properties tend to retain their value because of the resort’s location and amenities. Of course, there is no guarantee vacation homes realize higher sales prices, but it’s likely. For more information about Los Sueños Resort and Marina, or the surrounding communities, call our office at 011 506 2637 8484 or call toll free 1 888 490 4581.



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Leg 1 of the 2017 Los Sueños Triple Crown Results Are In

Trolling fishing boat rod and golden saltwater reels

Another stellar year for the Los Sueños Triple Crown Billfish Series: 2017 does it again

It was congratulations all around at the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown awards banquet on Saturday, January 21, 2017. The Los Sueños Beach Club hosted 237 anglers, who came off of 50 boats, after they released 997 billfish during the first leg of the three-leg competition: 785 sailfish and 212 blue and striped marlin. Day 1 of the competition saw Tranquilo in the lead, Tarheel in second and Agitator in third. By the end of Day 2, Tranquilo was still in the lead and Agitator had moved up to second with Blue Eagle in third on time. Xta Sea would change everything by lines out on Day 3. The Team Xta Sea, with Alexis and Julio Chamorro, Emilio Munkel and Jacob Graves and captained by Ronnie Riebe released 18 billfish, including 12 marlin, to win first place with 6,600 points. Agitator released 30 sails and 7 marlin for a total of 6,500 points to finish second. En Joy reeled in third place with 6,400 points: 19 sails and 8 marlin. The marlin made all the difference in scoring for Xta Sea, giving them a slight point advantage that Agitator and Reel Screamer couldn’t quite catch. Although the bite was off previous years’ record breaking numbers, Leg I 2017’s marlin release (212) eclipsed 2016 (15). The first four years in the tournament’s history saw astonishing numbers for billfish releases. The Triple Crown’s predecessor tournament, Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series, ran for 10 consecutive and very successful years. In their 15th tournament year, Los Sueños has clearly demonstrated it knows how to host a tournament. Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coastline is one of the best global fisheries and Los Sueños Resort and Marina on Herradura Bay is a short cruise across usually calm waters to one of the top-ranked billfisheries in the world. The Billfish Report ranked the area Number 1 in 2015 and 2016. The Triple Crown includes three legs, one during each of January, February and March. The teams are back at Los Sueños Feb. 22, for Leg II. Leg III sets sail March 22. For more tournament information, follow Los Sueños on Facebook or Twitter (@Lossuenosresort) or visit the official Los Sueños Tournament page.

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The Los Sueños Resort Beach Club


 Our favorite hangout during our vacation at Los Sueños Resort & Marina was, without doubt, the Los Sueños Beach Club.

During our recent vacation at Los Sueños Resort & Marina, we spent a lot of time at the Los Sueños Resort Beach Club, an exclusive beach club reserved for Los Sueños Resort residents and their guests. The Beach Club is truly one of the premier amenities at Los Sueños Resort. The $3 million facility features an impressive, free-form swimming pool and Jacuzzi, as well as shower and change facilities, expansive decks, fountains, swim-up bar and an elevated, white sand beach with shade palapas and a spectacular view of Los Sueños Marina and Herradura Bay. Arriving each morning around 9:30 am, we staked out our choice corner spot, right near Jacuzzi and directly across from the swim-up bar, where the shallow “kiddie” area of the pool meets the divider wall between it and the deeper end. Unloading all our stuff (floaties, towels, sunblock, and cooler) we spread out for a fun day in the sun on “our” club provided chaise lounges and umbrella- shaded patio table with chairs.   Loving every minute of every day at the Los Sueños Beach Club, we really appreciated all the wonderful amenities and conveniences it had to offer. Here are a few of our favorite things about it:

We were able to bring our favorite pool toys and comfortable floating pool loungers for plenty of fun in the pool for the whole family.

There were no restrictions about bringing a cooler with fresh drinks and snacks for our family; of course, they asked to check that we were not bringing in any glass, but we are so glad they did! Safety first…

We loved the white sand beach and the playground; the kids had a ball building sand castles and playing on the swings, monkey bars and slide.

When lunch time rolled around, we could order from the amazing menu at Al Fresco Restaurant. The wait staff brought it around to us in the morning, so all we had to do was catch someone’s attention (easy to do as they are very attentive) and order. Our favorites??

  • Hawaiian Waves Neapolitan style pizza with its artisan crust, fire baked in a wood burning oven. Wow. Garlic shrimp, grilled pineapple and mozzarella; it doesn’t get much better than this! 
  • Fire roasted mixed veggies served on freshly baked flat bread. With spinach, feta cheese, tomato, cucumber, portabello mushrooms and more…. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
  • Last but not least, sea bass ceviche served with crispy corn tortilla chips.
  • Ice cold cocktails, beer and wine

We loved everything about the Los Sueños Resort Beach Club and even talked about reserving it for a private function (totally doable); perhaps our upcoming family reunion!

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Flying to Costa Rica During High Season

airplane costa rica

Your flight to Costa Rica during high season can be a breeze when you follow these tips

Costa Rica’s dry season means it’s also high season, which can make cheap flights harder to find than a resplendent quetzal. However, with persistence and our best advice, you won’t have to pay over the top for a comfortable and convenient flight. AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying are great online resources. If you are a frequent flyer member, check individual airline websites. Kayak, Hipmunk, Skyscanner, Expedia and others do some, but not all, of the comparison for you. Visit  CheapAir.com’s blog for a list of best Costa Rica high season travel days. Be aware price quotes will vary from search to search, even for the same route on the same day on the same airline. Browse using the incognito feature: In Google Chrome or Safari, simultaneously press Command or Control, Shift, and “N.”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, press Command/Control, Shift, and “P.”  For older versions of OS X, open Safari, click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing.” Other booking tips:

  • Know a great deal when you see one— $500 is a steal. Normal round trip coach rates tend to hover around $700 (deepening on where you’re flying from, of course) during busier times.
  • Book early; except, there are sometimes last minute deals because the airplane hasn’t filled up.
  • Be flexible about travel dates and days of the week.
  • Use air miles.
  • For checked luggage, book and pay when you choose the flight.
  • Book (and pay for) disability assistance at the airport at booking.
  • Read the fine print and know the rules.

Before you go:

  • Contact the post office to place a mail hold.
  • Stop newspaper deliveries or ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up for you.
  • Be sure your passport isn’t going to expire in the next six months.
  • Make copies of your license and your passport.
  • Tell your bank/credit card company you are traveling.
  • Book pets with the pet sitter.
  • Pack lightly: one nice sundress/outfit, a couple of pairs of shorts and T-shirts and bathing suit.
  • Be sure you have enough of your daily medications for the trip.
  • Consider carry-on only; its cheaper and there is less to keep track of.

At the airport:

  • Arrive at the airport early
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to enter the airport security line.
  • Don’t take drinks into the security line.
  • No more than 3 oz. of anything liquid in Ziploc bags for screening.
  • Remove your shoes, coat or sweater, jewelry and keys. Have your laptop, notepad or cell phone out and in its own bin.

Once you land:

  • You can pick up a sim card for your unlocked GMS phone at the kiosk that is in baggage claim. This is highly recommended, as roaming rates will kill your vacation budget.
  • If you have a lot of baggage (especially those on a staycation or those in big groups), get one of the baggage claim attendants to assist you; he’ll likely also whisk you through customs. Its customary to tip around c1000 per bag.
  • There is a money exchange window in the baggage claim area. They will give you the current exchange rate and it’s a good idea to have some colones on you.
  • Taxis will be readily available just outside, but you can also arrange for transport with the concierge team at HRG
  • If you’ve rented a car, there will likely be a shuttle waiting for you to get you to the rental agency office. If not, a taxi or Uber can get you there inexpensively; its right around the corner, but not so close you can walk. Ask your rental agency for instructions before you arrive.

Flying Internationally can be stressful but forward planning can keep everyone relaxed and the budget healthy.

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What You Need to Know About Retiring in Costa Rica

retired couple Costa Rica

Retiring in Costa Rica is easier than you think

Retirement in Costa Rica is exciting, especially if you’re buying a new home. Los Sueños Resort and Marina aims to make your dream of life in a balmy tropical paradise come true. As always, there are things to know before you buy.

If you are buying property, you’ll need an attorney who is also a Public Notary (not all attorneys are notaries), a surveyor, and a translator. Ask your Realtor for recommendations, but shop around. Closing costs include registration, notary and attorney fees, documentary stamps and transfer taxes. The bases for these costs amount to about 6% of the purchase price. The good news is, your team at HRG can guide you through all of this and point you in the right direction where needed.

You’ll need a local bank account and you have a choice between a private or state bank. State-owned banks guarantee all deposits, among other advantages. Private banks have shorter lines and the staff is more likely to be bilingual. Savings accounts are the most common and easiest to open. A debit card linked to a savings account will work for most transactions. Most banks require:


  • Identification: A DIMEX ID card
  • Minimum Deposit: Savings, US$25; checking, $500-$1,000.
  • Utility Bill: Electric, water, Internet or telephone bill with physical address or a rental agreement.
  • Proof of Income: Certification of Income (Certificacion de Ingresos) prepared by a CPA.
  • U.S. Tax Forms: U.S. citizens must fill out tax forms and other documentation with foreign banks to inform the IRS of offshore bank accounts and renewed annually.
  • A reference letter from your previous bank (even if that bank is in the United States or Canada).


Retiring in Costa Rica means you’ll also need to apply for a residency visa, typically one of two types: pensionado (pension income of at least $1,000 from Social Security or other retirement plan) or rentista ($2,500 monthly income for at least two years or a $60,000 deposit in a Costa Rican bank approved by immigration authorities. The list of required documents (all must be translated into Spanish by an official translator) is extensive. Hire a lawyer and assemble the required documents before you make the move. You can receive Social Security while living in Costa Rica.

When you receive the official paperwork approving your residency, you have a month to have your resident ID card (cedula) issued and apply for the Caja (national health insurance). Pay for your first month and take the receipt to your cedula appointment. Cost depends on type of residency, income and age. You’ll need to keep paying your caja every month unless you can prove you are insured otherwise.

A retirement home at Los Sueños is a great investment; the master-planned community offers more than 600 private homes, from expansive villas to one, two and three bedroom condos, and amenities that include a full service international marina, an 18 hole, championship golf course, a private beach club and private rainforest reserve, and the marina village complete with restaurants, a bar, a bank, a car rental agency, a wine and spirits shop, art galleries, and more.

The professionals at HRG Properties & Rentals have the local knowledge and experience to help you find and enjoy the creature comforts of your new retirement home near the ocean in Costa Rica.

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