The Lake Arenal area of Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s paradise, boasting 2,000 species of plants, mammals including monkeys and sloths, and birds such as toucans and scarlet macaws.
In the northern highlands of Costa Rica, the lake is the country’s largest landlocked body of water, covering about 33 square miles. It sits at the base of Volcan Arenal, which dominates the horizon at nearly 5,500 feet.
The surrounding highlands not only make for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of life, but also provide a pleasant climate with plenty of sunshine and clear days offering a perfect and unobstructed view of Arenal in all its glory. During the rainy season, which typically spans May through November, you can expect tropical afternoon rains.
While the Arenal area has grown in popularity among expats and Ticos alike, much of the land in the area is protected by the government. Construction has been strictly prohibited in many areas which means no fear of overdevelopment.
If you want to live in a town, within walking distance to the bank, pharmacy, or local restaurants, then you can find a home in the heart of the community of Nuevo Arenal on the lake’s northern shore. One 1,000-square-feet, two-bedroom home that I came across had been fully renovated and sat on a beautifully landscaped double lot. It was on the market for $85,000. It’s the kind of location where you can enjoy seeing tropical birds and howler monkeys in your own backyard, with easy lake access when in the mood for some kayaking or paddle boarding.
This location also offers you the chance to enjoy the serenity of the mountains. I found a three-bedroom mountainside home on a generous lot complete with mature, fruit-bearing tangerine, avocado, lemon and banana trees, and offers stunning panoramic views of Lake Arenal from the covered deck, complete with hammocks. It was on the market for $169,900. Did I mention this property was fully furnished, with all updated appliances? A comparable lake and mountain-view home in Colorado or Arizona, for example, would cost more than $450,000.
For more space and a modern look, you can find some bigger homes in the area. Like a five-bedroom in one of the areas most upscale gated communities. Within walking distance of Nuevo Arenal, you can go enjoy a nice dinner in town at your convenience. For those who prefer to eat-in, you’ll enjoy cooking in a spacious kitchen complete with stainless steel North American appliances and granite countertops. It was on the market for $260,000.
In searching for properties we’re often conditioned to believe we need to make some sacrifices to stay within a budget. Not so around Arenal. Here, you can find all the amenities and space you want, with a stunning view and incredible opportunity to enjoy the area’s nature, at a very affordable price tag.
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