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191 Best beach towns to invest in Costa Rica over the next 5-10 years in Guanacaste

191 Best beach towns to invest in Costa Rica over the next 5-10 years in Guanacaste
191 Best beach towns to invest in Costa Rica over the next 5-10 years in Guanacaste

Podcast Transcription

[Richard Bexon]
Good afternoon, Andreas.

How are you doing?

[Andreas Murillo]
I'm doing great. Thank you.

Thank you for having me back.

[Richard Bexon]
Not at all. Not at all.

It's a pleasure to get you on here, as I think I mentioned in the introduction and also mentioned to you. I mean, I think it was one of the top 10 podcasts was the last one that we did. So how could we not get you back on?

[Andreas Murillo]
Thank you so much, man. It was it was such a fun time and hopefully we'll keep doing this.

[Richard Bexon]
I'm sure. I'm sure. Well, you know, the first question I like to always get and ask is kind of just a bit of an idea of kind of what's happening in the market.

You know, economically, things appear to have kind of stabilized a little bit. You know, real estate is still slow in the US, you know, with an interest rates. I mean, who knows where they're going?

You know, there was an indication today that maybe they might not change. But anyway, I mean, what are you seeing happening here in Costa Rica, Andreas?

[Andreas Murillo]
Well, it's very it's very interesting. Definitely we have seen a decrease in the demand of the of the houses, right? The amount of people, of course, we had the covid season and, you know, people was going crazy over Costa Rica and the flights.

And we're one of the few countries that was open. So that helped us a lot. Plus, you know, real estate boom everywhere.

So we I've seen a definitely and it's been slowing down a little bit, I'll say. And same thing for same thing for the prices. There has been an adjustment in the prices as well.

Still, they're still high. I'm not saying prices are going back to twenty nineteen. But, you know, I wouldn't say prices are as strong or sellers are staying in their prices as strong as they were, you know, in the last couple of years.

You know, it's very interesting. It also changes a lot, changes a lot between areas. You know, whether you're looking, I don't know if you know about these, but our to Costa Rica real estate office just opened up in in Osara as well.

So we were tapping that market as well, slowly but surely. And so we are able to compare a lot of what's going on in, you know, in all the other coast up north as as Coco Tamarindo or what we call the Tamarindo area, which is just south of Coco and and all the way to Marbella, maybe. And then from us to not on, we consider that like the no side area and then you have something that is and so on.

So, yeah, we're able to compare and see what's going on. And definitely there's markets that have stayed stronger than others for several reasons. You can call maturity most of the times, but variety is another reason.

So, yeah, I'll say that's what we're seeing generally across the board. Of course, you know, there's. The high end market, for some reason, staying pretty robust.

We've seen, you know, the bigger developments as Peninsula Papagayo or even Discoveryland that have been having, you know, pretty crazy sales, which are, you know. It's just out of the out of the books. You know, it's something you cannot come up with.

But those levels.

[Richard Bexon]
Yeah. Yeah. No, I mean, I was chatting with the guys over at Peninsula Papagayo actually this morning and like, you know, their cheapest lot at like two point eight million dollars.

You know, they've got brand new from three point one million. That's just a lot, you know. Plus, you know, it's yeah.

I mean, you've got to pay a hundred thousand dollars for its membership fees where you get that back 30k a year just in dues. And like your guests can't use it. It's only for you and your family.

Like there are some restrictions, but it's a it's a different playing field up there for sure. And Peninsula Papagayo and Discoveryland.

[Andreas Murillo]
And the returns are really high. I just recently I have some really good clients who've been buying with property with me. We did they did two purchases acquisitions recently.

Everything is to to increase their real estate portfolio in Costa Rica. And they purchased three lots in Peninsula Papagayo for just under five million bucks. Wow.

But these their ocean view, of course. And, you know, everything they're really close to the new sports center that's being built. I'm sure you're familiar with it.

But, you know, quick numbers. I mean, they're going to they're going to put, you know, let's say let's call it the most expensive law was one point eight. They're going to put a three million dollar house in there.

They can sell for twelve. You know, so math in those numbers, they work. It works very differently.

And then they just purchased three more lots in in Osara with me. Ocean View for just under two million bucks. And they're going to do the same the same math.

Of course, the return wise is really high. Number wise is not so much. You know, we're talking top dollar in Peninsula.

But yeah, definitely Peninsula has that specific attraction to the market, which is it's very it's very different to everything else that we can see across the board in Costa Rica.

[Richard Bexon]
Yeah, I mean, look, I mean, just comparing those two markets, you know, I mean, you know, Peninsula, Papagayo, I think that once you've got, you know, your your rental returns are not going to be what they are in Osara. I think your rental returns are pretty better because in Osara, you're not going to be as in as much on the land and probably the build either. But when it comes to resale, the ability when you resell is you will make a lot of more money on your Peninsula Papagayo when you exit than you would do probably in Osara.

Well, way, way better.

[Andreas Murillo]
So definitely you hit it right on the point rental, you know, from from if you want to keep the properties as a rental, I'll say your money is is better off outside of a development like Peninsula if you're thinking flipping. But for flipping, you know, you it's a considerable amount. We're talking four or five million bucks.

Right. So it's a big investment. But, you know, the overhead is on on the on the winning side is really is really high.

[Richard Bexon]
Yeah. Well, well, I mean, for you, I mean, what are the number one? What's number one, number two and number three kind of beach town in Norman in northern Guanacaste at the moment?

Would you say? And why?

[Andreas Murillo]
Well, interestingly enough, I got to stay with the being one of the top still, even though it's so crowded, you know, everything, everything around it. You know, the market itself is is very mature compared to other beach towns. It has gone already to two different cycles.

Right. Many ups and downs. Also, what's really good about it is that it offers it has an advantage over over the other towns, which is the variety.

So you have condos in different price ranges. You have houses in different price ranges. You have houses in gated communities outside of gated communities, etc.

So just as in a quick example, I just I just had a listing that I sold in less than 30 days. Tamarindo, center of town, short walk to the beach. Checks all the boxes.

Not such a big line. It was a four four hundred. I want to call it four hundred and thirty square meters with two hundred and thirty, two hundred and fifty construction, square meter construction.

And I just put it under contract. We're about to close. I don't want to jinx it.

But just around eight, eight, seventy. So anyway, when we had crazy showings and that was under a month just to sell it. So, you know, you and I, we know that selling a property in here under a month in Costa Rica is it's a pretty good mark.

Yeah. And, you know, so I would say probably Tamarindo stays as one of the number one, just because the variety, the waves. What do you have around the services?

I mean, just around Tamarindo area, you have plenty of schools. You can do public and private. You can do, you know, U.S. curriculum. You have all kinds of services, clinics, doctors. I mean, supermarkets. There's like five different chains.

I mean, you name it. It's just it's just too easy. Everything is paved.

You know, it's just easy. Then I'll say interesting enough. I got to I got to bring up Nozada because even though it's one of the newest, not so new, but newest, I'll say.

And right now, I think they're hurting a little bit because they went up really fast. They they sell crazy. I mean, like all that close, close down to the beach like that by K section and all of that is just madness, how fast everything goes.

So I'll say Nozada, I've seen a significant amount of growth in prices. I mean, it's just. Sometimes there's there you cannot.

I have no idea how they come up with their prices, but they sell.

[Richard Bexon]
Well, I mean, we're doing a house there. And I mean, you know, the law, you know, is a million bucks that, you know, it's a short walk from the beach. It's, you know, demand and supply.

I mean, there is a lot of demand for that area just because, you know, it's in the minds, I think, of a lot of millionaires, you know, because there are billionaires there as well. But I mean, very, you know, 100 millionaires that come in and they just want that land and they don't care. They just want that lifestyle and that culture and that feeling that it's created and they're willing to pay for it.

You know, it's a very different client, of course, the Tamarindo and Peninsula Papagayo. But yeah, I mean, I don't see it slowing down because, you know, it's a demand and supply thing. And yeah, you can go further back up into the mountains and find cheaper land, but like walk to the beach.

And that's why I'm always like, OK, Grande feels like Nosara because, you know, Nosara was done in the 70s. Grande was done in the 80s. You know, and the waves are probably just as good, even though I'm not a surfer.

So feel free to tell me about, you know, what's wrong on that one. But like the DNA of Grande, you know, at land in Grande, you can still pick up for 250. It's a million dollars in Nosara.

I still think there's a lot of runaway in Grande to go.

[Andreas Murillo]
Yeah. So that was going to be the number three. I've been really surprised with the growth in with the growth in Playa Grande.

Playa Grande has well, you've seen it from close. But I mean, in 2021, at some point, I saw over over close to 90 building permits in a month. It was madness.

You know, it was the growth was very significant for the area. And you can see it. I mean, it's just growing a lot.

So I'll say I'll say Grande is going to be one of the one, you know, one of the fastest moving beach towns at the moment. And I mean, it makes sense. I mean, the place is beautiful.

You have again, it checks all the boxes as well. You have short walk to the beach. What's beautiful about it, especially that where you are, which is or where you build, which is in the Grande stage, which is really nice about it is it's almost like its own neighborhood.

You know, it's like just houses walking distance to everything. You just go down the beach a couple of blocks and you're right there. You know, it's what makes it really easy.

Yeah, I was I was thinking those three for the northern northern area. Of course, I cannot include Peninsula. That's a completely different animal.

And and discovering that as well. But yeah, if we if we take those out.

[Richard Bexon]
Yeah. So let's I mean, let's talk about like a five year time frame. I mean, which beach towns do you see developing the most over the next five years?

I mean, you've I mean, there are some there's some places which are just done like Tamarindo is not going to develop much more over the next five years. Probably it can't. You know, I mean, there's nowhere to go.

So it's going to move north and south, as it always does. Now, north is into Playa Grande. And I just don't know how much more can be done in Grande.

I mean, there is a little bit more. But yeah, you know. And south we have Hacienda Pinilla and Navianas and Negra.


[Andreas Murillo]
So definitely. And it's been it's been crazy. So, for example, now that you mentioned south for Hacienda Pinilla, this is this is insane.

So there were there's a there's a new development that came up. I want to say the the very end of last year, which is Bosque de Pinilla. Those were only five homes ranging anywhere from I want to say they started at around high eights and the highest price one was just around one point one.

There's five left right now. Yeah, that's it. In Bosque de Pinilla.

So they're like townhouses with their you can have them build with their own pool, three or four bedrooms. Now, this is even crazier. So what's going on in Playa Avellanas?

Avellanas water came in. Developers came in. We're talking.

We have the point that's twenty eight homes. Twenty seven are sold. We have the enclave.

Fifty one houses. Sixty percent is sold. And then we have the new project coming up, which are Ave Moana, which is twenty nine houses.

Numandi, which you've probably seen that it's under construction now. That's eighty homes ranging eight hundred and fifty thousand and all that way to one point two. I've seen Ave Moana is more on the meat ranges.

So I'll say a six forty nine, that three bedroom and seven. I want to call it seven. Twenty nine.

The four bedroom, which are going to be really nice. And and then you have a new project coming up. It's called Pochette Hills.

That's eighty one. Forty one lots in in condominium as well. Some with you, some with none of you that in Avellanas.

So just in the area of Avellanas in gated communities, we're talking over two hundred homes. So I don't know, to be honest, where are you going to put so many people? But I mean, in the next five years, thinking of, you know, investment wise, it's it's just going to it's going to boom.

What I like about it, to be honest, I mean, there's some definitely some houses that are single standing homes, which are nice. I also like the fact that it gated communities kind of bring an order to everything. I'm not a huge fan of smaller lots compared to larger lots.

I'm a big fan of of Parcelas Agrícolas, agrarian parcels, just because you have a acre and a quarter lots, a lot of space, a lot of nature. So it really feels like Costa Rica, more authentic. That's just my own taste.

But that said, having gated communities allow a little bit more organized development versus Tamarindo, where you have everything and anything. So I think. Looking at it from a broad perspective, you know, with these gated communities, you know, some sort of.

Significant value in organization design is going to come to the area and it's going to be it's going to be very large, it's going to be significant.

[Richard Bexon]
Well, I mean, look, I think people like gated communities because it's safe, but they can lock their door, they can go away and not worry about it. If it's a single home, like someone needs to keep an eye on it. So it's just a lot easier and people just feel safer.

I mean, you know, Costa Rica is a safe place. I mean, we do have, you know, opportunistic, petty crime here. But when you're in a gated community, it doesn't really happen that much because, you know, I mean, as we all know, Costa Rica is a pretty relaxed man.

And even the criminals are pretty relaxed. I don't want to work too hard.

[Andreas Murillo]
Yeah, exactly.

[Richard Bexon]

[Andreas Murillo]
It makes it. Yeah, it definitely. And especially thinking more of the type of buyer or the type of investor or the type of people looking only for lifestyle property at night from a lifestyle perspective.

You know, it's a lock in and leave it. You know, you leave your house in a gated community. You know that, you know, nobody's going to come to it.

You can probably have somebody come in and cleaning once or twice a week. Make sure it gets dusted off and the ACs are running and whatnot. And that's it.

You know, you need you don't have to worry about it too much. Not that you have to worry. I've been living in Havana for the last I'll say probably about the last year.

I have built a couple of houses in their rentals and my own. And in quite honestly, I'm surprised on how quiet and they're not part of any gated communities. And I feel pretty safe in there.

It's pretty quiet, pretty mellow. I'm pretty stoked to be there, actually. Such a short walk to the beach and and just the beach is nice.

It's beautiful.

[Richard Bexon]
Well, you guys have a great community there as well, though, in Havana. It's like everyone kind of there's a lot of long term residents there as well. It's not as transient, you know, as like Tamarindo or some other area.

So I mean, it sounds like five year punt, guys, if you're doing it, Avianas. Now let's go a little bit further out. Let's go 10 to 20 years.

Andreas, if you would make a 10 to 20 year punt, where would you be looking?

[Andreas Murillo]
Oh, that's that's a tough question. But I think what's going to happen is as we go. Biggest towns called the Tamarindo area and the Nozada area, they're going to start, you know, getting close to each other and probably that Marbella area, which is surprisingly developing in those two now as well.

I mean, you having us tonight, you have one Avista, which is a beautiful development. We've been working with them a little bit. And in Marbella, you have other communities that are slowly, but surely they're they're growing up.

So quite honestly, I don't see that that far. I think, yeah, 10 years from now, everything will be really close together.

[Richard Bexon]
Paved roads and all. So, I mean, it sounds like you'd be looking at punts on Junquiao, Marbella, Austin, I mean, Austin is pretty pricey as it is at the moment. I kind of feel that that Nozada crowd has already kind of probably got there.

If that's, you know, it's like that. But I still think there's opportunity in Marbella, Junquiao, you know, all those areas. I was in Petalia the other day, which is beautiful.

Yeah, it's I suppose those beaches south of Avianas and north of Austin now.

[Andreas Murillo]
And then I can see some some interest going on, you know, closer to like that Coyote area in the next 10 years.

[Richard Bexon]
Well, it's funny you say that, because I always say wherever the Ticos are going is wherever it's going to like. It used to be Tamarindo, but it used to be Playa del Porco. And now that's done, you know, it was, you know, Jaco, that one's done.

Like, you know, now all of the Santa Teresa and Nozada guys and whatever are moving to Coyote. Like there's so many people just going to Coyote. So I'm like, OK, at some point, the wave of people that love to follow the Costa Ricans, which happens in a lot of the beach towns, it's going to go to Coyote.

[Andreas Murillo]
Yeah. So it's definitely going to be that Costa de Oro, Coyote, even like closer to Santa Teresa, Manzanillo, which is really it's the same effect. Manzanillo is very similar to Ostionala and Nozada or Guiones.

All the people is the way people is looking for more peace. So I think it's going to it's going to have the same effect. For for those areas.

But I think 20 years from now, it's I think everything is going to.

[Richard Bexon]
It's going to be growing. Well, let's let's focus on Avianas and Grande. Where do you think the gap in the market is at the moment?

What's not there? I mean, what are people just looking for that you just don't have?

[Andreas Murillo]
Well, I'll say in both places, I think there's even though there's a few options. Well, I'll tell you what, there's a few in for the area. There are a few of these developments.

They're coming with commercial spaces. So it's a commercial school plus the plus the the houses on the back. So, you know, those spaces are going to be taken and definitely services are needed.

So anything really right now, I can tell you what's coming. There's a spot coming to Avianas. There's a cafeteria coming to Avianas.

There's a architects and and construction company coming to Avianas. But, you know, what's missing? Doctors, dentists, you know, all kinds of services, and I'll say, you know, even even property management companies, you know, I wouldn't say there's a reason why in the area, right, really.

[Richard Bexon]
I mean, they're in Hacienda Pena or they're in Tamarindo.

[Andreas Murillo]
Exactly. Yeah. So there's definitely there's definitely room for for business in there.

And I'll say the same for Grande, because very interestingly, Grande has a lot of people. But now you have Onda. You have a how you call it?

The I was about to say. So what was that?

[Richard Bexon]
Sorry, are you talking Rupjat Pots and Bowls? You know, Huerta, La Huerta. And yeah, but I think people need a little.

I agree. Not enough. The problem is, I think people want to know commercial water letters are going to be given.

[Andreas Murillo]
You know, exactly. That's the problem. Yeah.

So but definitely that while you have a gym, I think Avianas could use a gym, which is really cool. I think I think Grande did it really well in terms of that. But I think if there could be like even like a fruit stand or like a really nice bakery, you know, stuff like that is things that are missing.

And maybe maybe not in Grande, but close enough. You know, it could be because Ventanas is growing a lot.

[Richard Bexon]
Yeah, it could be.

[Andreas Murillo]
And that's going to be Walmart. Exactly, exactly. So.

I mean, I think that that always comes second. I mean, no one's willing to put the commercial in and then with the residential unless it's the developer that comes in and does it all, you know. So I agree.

I mean, residential has to be there in order for the commercial, but it's kind of a catch 22 because residential needs commercial, but commercial needs residential, but the residential really needs to come first.

Exactly. Well, exactly. I mean, in order for me to think about investing into a business, I need to see people buying my business, right?

So it comes hand in hand, but definitely development in terms of people coming to the area, they need to come first.

[Richard Bexon]
Yeah. Okay. This has been great, Andreas.

I mean, I always love chatting this stuff with you just because you're all over the place like I am. But my last question for you, I mean, if you have $500,000, you inherited $500,000 and had to invest it into a business or real estate in Costa Rica, what would you do with it and why?

[Andreas Murrillo]
Well, definitely. And that's my area of expertise, but definitely real estate. Yeah.

For me, real estate. Well, I mean, interestingly, now with $500,000 right now, we're lacking some, there's a gap in there of even, you know, somebody could hit and, but, you know, you can find some good deals still. But yeah, I'll definitely stay on the real estate part.

I'm more than into flipping. I love renting. I just love passive income.

I think just having the properties, renting, giving the services and everything that comes with it, you know, even offering your own concierge service, that's extra money that comes in as part of having your own houses on the, and I'll say also what's really missing and be interesting is finding not that expensive land and having, I'm building some sort of apartments or something for long-term renters. That's easy, passive income, easy contracts.

You get the money every month and then you're done. So yeah, I'll stick with the real estate. That's my area of expertise.

That's what I really like that. That's what the area, in my opinion, kind of like pushes you into. And I just, I've had really amazing results in my, in my experience.

[Richard Bexon]
Would you do Avianas or would you do Gdansk? Well, Nosada for 500,000, I don't think you get much for it, right? So.

[Andreas Murrillo]
Not really. I mean, in Nosada with 500,000, I don't think you can buy anything really, not in the center, not in Gdansk.

[Richard Bexon]
No, but I mean, yeah. I mean, would you be looking at land in Avianas for like 200,000 and then maybe $300,000 build on it somehow?

[Andreas Murrillo]
Definitely, definitely. I'll say probably, you know what? There's a few interesting options.

You can look into what you just mentioned. There's a few things that are like around 200,000 just lots. Interesting enough, closer to the town of Pinillas expanding as well.

So it's not in Avianas yet, but you're close enough. And there's cool developments coming up in there. You can find a thousand square meter lot for $85,000.

And those have been selling like easy that they go fast and you can build, you know, pretty much a house, flip it for, you know, something in those ranges, let's say you can get a lot for 80 grand, build a house with 150, 200, put in the market for 450, stay on their 500,000 easy or build apartments or whatnot. So very interestingly enough, there has been development in between Tamarindo and Avianas, not necessarily that close to the beach and there's demand for it and people love it. And, but honestly, people don't have anywhere to leave anymore.

So as long as you build something nice, your return is going to be, it's going to be really good. I have a couple of long-term rentals in Avianas and I'm pretty surprised with the returns. Wow.

[Richard Bexon]
I mean, what returns do you think someone could get for a long-term rental? I mean, if they're in it, you know, I mean, as you said there, let's say they build for 200, they're in it for 80 for the land, you know, say they're all in it like 250 just for, you know, giggles. I mean, what do you think?

[Andreas Murrillo]
I think, to be honest with you, the way you structure that if you're going to flip it or if you're going to do rentals, I think the structuring should be different. I think if you're aiming to do long-term rentals in a thousand square meter lot, you can probably fit two, maybe three really tight homes with a little pool in the center. And each house can bring you what a thousand bucks a month.

Right? Yeah. Yeah.

That's $3,000 a month. Pretty easy. Now I wouldn't say that area that I just mentioned is good, that good for vacation rentals.

Now, if you get closer to Tamarindo, I'm sorry, to Avianas, let's say, because Tamarindo is a whole different thing, you know, everything rents amazing. So I'll say that the return right now for houses in Tamarindo, Hacienda Pinilla is a little bit lower because the reselling prices are really high right now. But I would say anywhere like between seven, 8% right now.

[Richard Bexon]
That's still pretty good. I mean, it still beats, you know, inflation and it's a diversification outside of the market. So, so, yeah.


[Andreas Murrillo]
I in the process and the more involved you are in the day to day renting management, that's going to be directly reflected in your return. So I've seen, I can talk from my experience, the numbers on my properties are significantly higher than what I just mentioned, but I'm, I'm involved from, from A to Z, you know, I'm involved from the acquiring of the land, the construction, the management, everything. So same as you, you know, we can see significantly higher returns that what I just mentioned.

Now, this is for somebody who wants it easy, wants a lifestyle and wants to have a property management company taking care of everything, make it really easy for them. That's what can be expected.

[Richard Bexon]

[Andreas Murrillo]
Well, cool, man.

[Richard Bexon]
I really appreciate you taking time to come on the podcast again and share your knowledge and information. And I'll put all of your contact details in the description down below for anyone who wants to reach out to you, but really appreciate it, buddy.

[Andreas Murrillo]
Thank you, man. I appreciate your time. I love, you know, these conversations.

I think they're great and I can learn from you a lot as well. So thank you for having me and yeah, whatever you need and you can just let me know.

[Richard Bexon]
Cool, man. Thanks very much.

[Andreas Murrillo]

Let's Get in Touch!

What beach towns are developing in Costa Rica that could become the next investment place? Andres Murillo of 2 Costa Rica Real Estate and I discussed the developing beach towns in Guanacaste and where he would invest in the next 5-10 years.

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