Sitting in a valley at an elevation of about 2,000 feet in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, San Isidro de El General enjoys consistent temperature lows of 65 F and highs of 85 F year round.
It’s not just the weather that fulfills the vision of a perfect town, the beaches are close by as well. And with real estate options from as low as $114,000, it’s hard not to like this location
A 45-minute drive will take you to the unique beach town of Dominical, with excellent surf and great restaurants, all served with a hippy vibe. Drive a bit further south and you arrive at Uvita with its famous beach shaped like a whale’s tail.
Because every day is not a beach day, those living in San Isidro are fortunate to have other options. Take a 30-minute drive to Costa Rica‘s tallest mountain (2nd tallest in Central America), Mount Chirripo. The mountain reaches over 12,000 feet and on a clear day you can see both of Costa Rica’s coasts, from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. You could spend a day in town and shop at the feria, the largest farmers’ market outside of the Central Valley, with over 200 stalls of fresh produce. Or you could go see a concert or play at the cultural center.
This combination of great weather and close proximity to beaches and other activities typically comes with a price. This is not the case in San Isidro de El General. The town is still a hidden value and will most likely stay that way. Part of the reason is it’s a lengthy three-hour drive from the capital city, San José, and the airport in Alajuela. This has helped to keep the expat growth in check.
Also, while the town is close to many tourist destinations, it’s still primarily an agricultural town, which has kept prices down for real estate as well as daily needs such as groceries and other staples.
Looking at real estate in the area recently, I found a three-bedroom home for sale in the center of town for just $114,000. The home is located at the end of a dead-end road, keeping traffic and noise to a minimum while providing privacy. The home is basic, but well kept, with three bedrooms, one bath, and a small yard. This home is within walking distance of the central park and shopping which adds to the value.
If you have a large family (and a bigger budget) then there’s something here for you too. I came across a magnificent five-bedroom home spanning a palatial 4,000 square feet sitting on one-and-a-half acres, with a large open-air rancho for cookouts and get-togethers. The home is secluded but not too far from conveniences. The view from the property is a panoramic look toward Mount Chirripo and the Perez Zeledon valley and the price is a reasonable $230,000.
Another property I found would be perfect for life outside the city and those looking for a home with a bit of land. Sitting on 26 acres in the mountains above town, this estate has three separate homes: a two-bedroom, two-bathroom main house; a guesthouse with a one-bedroom suite, full bathroom and kitchen; and a two-bedroom, one-bathroom caretaker’s home. Just outside the main home is a sparkling lap pool, Jacuzzi, and large patio just perfect for hosting parties.
The property has river frontage and hiking trails that lead to waterfalls. An orchard and a hobby coffee farm take up the rest of the 26-acre farm. Picture this–sitting on your patio drinking coffee harvested right from your backyard. You may be surprised at the price for all of this, just $349,000 (which includes a 2000 Toyota Prado SUV).
As you can see, this small town of 45,000 residents has a lot to offer. There is wonderful year-round weather, spectacular views of surrounding mountains, and easy access to world-class activities. All of this, in a town large enough to support everyday needs and not overpriced. San Isidro de El General might just be the perfect town.
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