Northwest Guanacaste

Northwest Guanacaste is probably the fastest-growing tourism and real estate market in Costa Rica. The side effect is that its environment is possibly the most endangered from bad development. Water resources have been strained to the breaking point, and the urgent need for better planning and zoning regulations has yet to be met.

The central government is aware that something needs to be done and that measures need to be put in place to prevent other areas becoming overdeveloped with the kind of sanitation problems Tamarindo is experiencing, but other than a temporary building moratorium, nothing has been done.

Coupled with risking the environment, the building boom and its attendant real estate speculation have pushed prices through the roof, meaning it’s no longer a cost-effective way to live on the beach.

The high prices and the environmental damage that’s happening make it doubly important for you as a buyer to do proper due diligence when buying in this area. Guanacaste has perhaps attracted more than its share of scam artists and hucksters, so you should keep a sharp eye out for them.

The best case scenario is to find a nice development that’s also environmental responsible. Environmentally sensitive development isn’t necessarily more expensive than slap-dash efforts, and if it’s more than just marketing hype, it’s usually better done.

In any case, the area has plenty of investment and living opportunities to suit all tastes, and the growth in Liberia of a private hospital, more private schools and more commercial centers will serve to make the area self sufficient. Lawyers, title insurance companies, accountants and all the other professionals necessary for investing have offices in the region and more are coming.

The question remains, however, if the government can handle its responsibility to the community and environment to ensure that what happens from now on is controlled.


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