Why Las Catalinas?

The village of Las Catalinas was established in 2006 by an American city planner from Atlanta, Georgia. The goal was to develop a car-free village like Mediterranean coast villages in Spain, Portugal, or Italy. 17 years later, the result is amazing, and the village continues to grow. The variation in architecture is beautiful and I could spend days just walking around enjoying the creative nature of the homes and buildings. Windows, doors, and terraces are unique and many of the products are locally sourced and crafted right in the village. How the village ties into the landscape feels like it has been there for hundreds of years. Along the beach, a green zone was deliberately kept providing a rural beach feel instead of clear-cutting the trees for open views. These trees provide a softening of the coastline and shade during the hot afternoons. I have only experienced this specific village feel along the Italian coast or the Greek isles. 

Las Catalinas is located just 45 minutes from the Liberia International Airport in the Guanacaste Province along the Pacific coast. The village is off the beaten path and only one road leads into the village, so traffic and tourists are limited. Within a 30-minute drive, you can spend time in numerous local towns, visit various beaches, and access attractions. The temperatures in the area remain constant year-round with highs in the low 90s, and lows in the mid 70s. The ocean temperature is also constant at about 75 degrees all year. There is a rainy season from August to November, and we finally experienced it in August 2023.  

From a sensible perspective, we were concerned about building practices and codes in a foreign country and the construction occurring thousands of miles away. I had read about home buyers in Costa Rica finding out about sub-standard practices once their homes were completed. In Las Catalinas, I don’t foresee this as a concern. On my visits, I have seen numerous building projects occurring and seeing the foundation and wall work being conducted will stand for hundreds of years. Creativity is important, but we also want quality of work and we’re definitely seeing the right signs. We have also stayed in two separate flats during our visits and the quality of construction was seen on the interior as well. As our construction begins in a few months, I should have more details. 

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