A Cool-Weather Homestead in Lakeland Costa Rica

Picture a kitchen garden, orchards of fruit trees, your own slice of jungle, and stunning lake views…

This is the Lake Arenal region, and you can have a dream homestead here with large properties for sale at affordable prices.

When it comes to up-and-coming destinations for expat home buyers in Costa Rica, this part of the country is not undiscovered. But until recent years, Arenal was mostly a destination for in-the-know retirees and other expats. What that means is there is still time to pick up good value here.

Expats generally make their homes on the gently sloping hillsides that rise from the lakeshore covered in verdant pasture and forest.

The natural beauty here is pristine and will be maintained. On one end of the lake a national park, surrounding the active but not dangerous Arenal volcano, restricts development. By law no construction is allowed on the shore of the lake in any spot.

The weather is pleasant year-round. Rainy season from May to November does bring frequent afternoon showers. But most residents don’t mind it because it brings out the green in the hills…and nourishes gardens and landscaping. Most of the days the high is in the 70s F, occasionally it will hit 90 F in the afternoon but it cools off by bedtime.

The 33-square-mile lake itself is remarkably free of boat traffic. Windsurfing, kiteboarding, and kayaking are the most popular activities. There are a few anglers who take their small fishing boats out to stalk the guapote (rainbow bass).

The new developments of expat-oriented communities here is low impact. The buildings meld with the green hills, with plenty of green space. And there are many properties for your own mini-homestead by the lake.

You’ll find a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with views of the lake, volcano, and—from the back—the sunset, for sale. The home has an open, vaulted-ceiling living, dining, and kitchen area, and is listed for $249,000. It’s set on 1.5 acres and lushly landscaped—flowers and plants flourish in the rich volcanic soil. You have a forest around you. With huge picture windows, you can check it out from your couch or head outside to your large flat yard.

In the same area is a 2,152-square-foot home with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and views of the Arenal volcano, but still close to the lake. With 5.3 acres of property, you have plenty of room for your garden or even a small pasture. It’s listed at $300,000.

If mature fruit trees and a home on secluded, peaceful five acres sounds good, there’s a two-bedroom, two-bathroom property that comes with a beautiful, scenic, natural pond and two streams. It comes fully furnished, including stainless steel appliances (granite countertops in the kitchen, too) and is priced at $299,000. You have a head start on your homestead—there are already mature fruit trees on the land. It’s just a five-minute drive to the town of Nuevo Arenal—a small village on the northern shore of the lake at about the midway point. Here you’ll find everything you need for daily life: pharmacy, medical clinic, bank, gas station, grocery stores, restaurants…perfect for everyday shopping and errands.

Many expats like nothing better than to relax on the terrace of their home, looking out over the lake as they watch the sun set or eat breakfast as the sun rises. The Lake Arenal area is a haven for rural calm. For those who live here, it’s just the way they like it.

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