Author Archive

Eco House Photo Inspiration

Here are some photos of houses like those we’d love to build here in Costa Rica at Solar Vistas.

They are green colored, and blend well into the background, giving each neighbor more of a feeling of privacy and space. Some also use natural plants on their walls or roofs to absorb heat.

eco house example

green building house

sustainable construction

eco village house example

Tropical Green Building for Developers

By Geoff McCabe

If you’re thinking about developing a property in Costa Rica, and you’re reading this, then you’re already taking a good first step in seeking information about green building in the tropics. In developed countries such as the U.S., Canada, and Europe, the market is rapidly moving towards more ecological and sustainable building techniques, which result in a superior product.

In general, “green building” is a construction technique that involves using less waste, less toxic chemicals, less energy, and requires less ongoing maintenance, creating a healthier living environment for the owner. Green building has become the fastest-growing category of construction in the U.S., especially among luxury house designers. It makes sense… if you’re richer and can afford it, wouldn’t you rather have a house for your family that has less poisons in it and is better for the environment? Green building appeals to wealthier clients also because it is generally a little more expensive, so it is a status symbol. In the U.S. media, Hollywood celebrities now brag about their new eco-friendly “hybrid” cars, their solar panels on their houses, etc. It’s just like how the grocery store Whole Foods has become the store in which the rich people are shopping… it’s not just that it’s got the healthiest food, but it’s the most expensive, so “green” is becoming a luxury add-on in the market. And of course, product markets in general always follow what the rich are doing.

However, from a developer’s point of view, building green doesn’t have to mean that it always COSTS more. It’s possible for a developer to incorporate some green building techniques that won’t cost you more, but will allow you to charge more, therefore improving your profits while also creating a superior product that’s seen as upscale in the market. Some of these are:

    — Using chemical-free stuccos, made in Costa Rica.
    — Creating house designs that use natural air flow and breezes for cooling, rather than Air Conditioning
    — Using architectural styles that provide lots of shade, keeping the sun off the sides of a house. This keeps the house cool, and creates more outside living area.
    — Using recycled plastics as roofing materials, or replacing wood with recycled plastic beams
    — Creating outside bathrooms with the shower in the open air, adding more usable space to the house for less $ per m2.
    — Recycling or re-use of grey water to be used either for flushing toilets, or to water plants in the garden.
    — Reforesting part of the property with rare and endangered native hardwood trees ($1 or less per tree) and planting fruit trees for your clients and for the animals. Also, planting lots of flowers that attract butterflies, which also attracts more birds.
    — Design using as many locally produced materials and furniture as possible

Be especially careful about being perceived as “green-washing”, which is when developers simply attempts to brand their development as green simply by highlighting the fact that it has trees and animals on it, while claiming some type of ecological superiority. This is common in Costa Rica – when a developer has a property that has no ocean views and doesn’t want to spend money on bringing in power, water, and decent access roads to the lots, some attempt to obfuscate these facts by claming that they are an ecological community! Consumers are becoming ever more immune to these types of marketing strategies, and justifiably cynical about the companies that use them. The key is to offer a truly superior product that differentiates itself from your competitors. Especially in Costa Rica, people investing or moving here are weary of marketing ploys and want to experience the real deal.

The market is rapidly moving towards green building in the U.S. and Europe, so every developer in Costa Rica who is hoping to appeal to foreigners should pay attention and think ahead to attract this clientelle. Over the lifetime of your development, green building will become ever more important.

To see an example of an eco-house, click here: sustainable green building techniques.

Building Living Sanctuaries for Nature and People

By Dan Balogh

If you’re thinking about developing a property in Costa Rica, and you’re reading this, then you’re already taking a good first step in seeking information about green building in the tropics. In developed countries such as the U.S., Canada, and Europe, the market is rapidly moving towards more ecological and sustainable building techniques, which result in a superior product.

Nestled a few hundred feet above sea level in the southern Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, is the area’s first real eco-village. Solar Vistas is reforesting a 13 acre expanse of land with several high grassy knolls, with views into the surrounding forest, seasonal river, and blue ocean. Each of the 8 home-sites has spectacular vistas and fresh breezes which blow year-round, offering peace and tranquility in classic tropical landscapes.

The location of Solar Vistas is perfect for people who want to live near the beach areas and still be surrounded by natural serenity. Also nearby are world class waterfalls, a large national park, excellent fishing and boating, and year round surfing.

The solar-powered village will share a spacious rancho overlooking a meandering lake and salt swimming pool, with native fruit trees and flowering tropical plants.

A caretaker’s home will be stationed at the entrance to the village, employing a local Costa Rican and his family to look after the gardens and provide year-round security and maintenance of the homes.

Home Building

Each home will be hand built by one of the top green builders in the country. Solar and wind orientation are prioritized for optimal natural day-lighting and ventilation into the house. Before beginning construction, Solar Vistas works with each client individually to customize the home specifically to fit their needs.

These are site-specifically designed homes, built to last through the heat, humidity, and dry season characteristic of the Costa Rica beach climate.

A combination of the best green building materials and techniques available are incorporated to ensure many generations of comfortable use.

Every-day life in this area of Costa Rica is as laid-back and “pura vida” as the rest of the country. Additionally, the artistic cafes and coffee shops in town provide a unique mixture of local culture with international influence and cuisine.

For more information on living in an eco-village in Costa Rica, visit Solar Vistas Intentional Community.

Santa Teresa Sites

The point splits, beach breaks and perfect lefts and rights found here, all turn this tiny Central American country a number one surfer hot-spot nowadays. Along with beaches that are commonly very clear, pristine and rarely populated, Costa Rica has certainly become a favorite surfer hangout. Despite some of the surfer beaches maybe difficult to reach, because of bad road conditions, they are definitely worth the trip as the waves here are good all year long. Some splits like Pavones have the longest attractions on earth and is definitely worth the long journey to get there. Some cozy accommodations offer regularly instructed yoga lessons with local coaches, and two healthy, mostly all-vegetable meals on a daily basis. A simple, local fare lunch is offered also. Some are delivered to beautiful, nature excursions, conducted outdoors at the most spectacular, attracting, and relaxing setting, although some are organized free of charge on the fine sandy beaches.
Santa Teresa Maps – Internet radio based out of the beaches of St Teresa

Finding your way all over a new country may be difficult and also mind-boggling in some cases. Public transit is actually fine and you’ll get buses to simply about any part of the country! Shuttle services are readily available all over Costa Rica. They go to all of the most prominent vacation destination of the country. You’ll get the chance to view dolphins, whales, Manta Rays and also other marine wildlife. It’s the quickest and a lot of enjoyable way for you to travel this section of Costa Rica.

Casa Zen – Casa Zen by the beaches and specializing in yoga
Sola Luna Yoga – Yoga retreat center together with Shaka surf camp
Funky Monkey Santa Teresa – Nice St Teresa Lodging for travelers in Costa Rica
Costa Rican Vacation – Travel etc for the St Teresa areas of the Southern Nicoya
Delmar Surf – Santa Teresa Surf camps in Costa Rica – Don Jons hotel in Santa Teresa


The wonders of a Costa Rica holiday break are confirmed by a leading global survey of this world’s popular tourist destinations that has branded Costa Rica as one of the best Latin America travel destinations.. Costa Rica comes with plenty of fulfilling alternatives like these, particularly when you are engaged in nature and outdoor activities. That’s why so many individuals have selected to go there: In the past decade, the number of guests has quadrupled, and tourism has developed into a huge part of the country’s overall economy.

Some of our best friends’ sites: – Eco lodges and sustainable travel in Costa Rica – Scuba diving and dive spots in Costa Rica

Yoga Teacher Training – Yoga teacher training in Montezuma nearby at Anamaya

The abundant tropical weather encourages travelers to explore the great outdoors and also to actively interact with the folks, to experience the natural and organic beauty of the around countryside, and to immerse themselves in the energetic way of living that allows Costa Ricans to enjoy a good life and longevity that is the envy of the world. Drop by La Fortuna, a very small area near the bottom of the volcano to get a view of the awesome fireworks display. The excellent tropical rain forests and the pure elegance of the Osa Peninsula makes this place one of the most wonderful places in Costa Rica. All of these locations are getting to be holiday getaway locations for people who want to have a close experience with nature.

More friends in Costa Rica: – Rental housenearby the Montzum – Weather reports in the country of Costa Rica
Romelia Wildlife Refuge – Wildlife conservation project on the beach of Montezuma, Costa Rica

Costa Rica boasts a comprehensive selection of hotels, which offer clients with tremendous flexibility when organizing their vacation. Regardless of what kind of lodging you seek, the country has hotels to match every budget, group size, and destination type. If you are looking for peaceful and personal accommodation, cabins and villas can be a fantastic choice. There’s also a wonderful beach front Bed and Breakfast on the south end of Playa Tamarindo, among Guanacaste’s most popular beach destinations. – Montezuma school for grades 1-12 with a green vibe – Tours specializing in ATV rentals, surf lessons, and more
Zumatours Montezuma – Montezuma Tours and Transport specializing in ATV rentals, boat trips, nature hikes and much more
Luz en el Cielo Hotel – Downtown Montezuma small hotel in the jungle
Montezuma Gardens – Hotel with a butterfly park in Montezuma, Costa Rica
Montezuma Surfing – Surf schools, classes, waves in Montezuma, Costa Rica

You’ll find two oceans to choose from: the Pacific as well as the Caribbean, whose rich marine life can be seen while snorkeling or scuba diving. In addition, Costa Rica provides a great pleasing mood and magnificent landscapes!