Costa Rica has long been a hidden gem in the surfing community. Great waves, laidback atmosphere and cheap beer always seem to draw a select few.
Tucked beneath dense greenery and located along Costa Rica’s northwestern Pacific coast, Reserva Conchal sits on 2,300 acres of dry tropical forest. This diverse ecosystem consists of mainly deciduous trees and shed their foliage in dry seasons. Today, dry rain forests are one of the earth’s most threatened environments.
Reserva Conchal is not only a private community, but also home to a five-star, all-inclusive Westin Golf Resort and Spa and a stunning par-71, 7,021-yard Robert Trent Jones II course.
The Robert Trent Jones II-designed Reserva Conchal Golf Club opened in 1997 and is considered one of the top courses in Costa Rica. (Photo: Reserva Conchal)
Couple that with everything else this place offers and living here is, well, idyllic.
And buying real estate here is easier than people think.
According to Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the country is one of the most convenient in the world for expats to buy property. Once the buyer and seller have agreed on a price, closing usually happens within 30 to 60 days. Basically, foreigners have the same rights to purchase land in Costa Rica as locals do.
Currently, Reserva Conchal is offering several neigborhoods with homes ranging from condos and townhomes to custom homes.
One family recently moved to Reserva Conchal from the states. With three boys and a hectic life, they were also on the go, but never really together. Now, the 40-something couple is working and raising a family in Costa Rica.
At the other end of the spectrum, Vivia and Max Fernandez were close to retirement and started thinking about where they wanted to be.
“We were all over Costa Rica looking for a place to retire, with security,” resident Max Fernandez told Reserva Conchal. “Something that if you want to go back to the states — which because of the family, we are going back and forth—you can just lock it up and be safe. At Reserva, we found it.”
Reserva Conchal was first conceived in the mid-1980s. The goal was to create a leading vacation community along the coast. In 2007, the Florida Ice and Farm Company became the sole shareholder and parent company of Reserva Conchal, and continues to operate the community.
Sustainability is big within the community. Even extending to the award-winning golf course.
With its dry tropical landscape and rolling hills, the Jones-designed course has not only been recognized for its play and beauty, but it’s also an Audubon International Certified Cooperative Sanctuary golf course. This certification ensures valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats are prioritized, while harmful impacts are minimized.
At points along the course, howler monkeys can be heard in groups.
The course hugs the coastline and routes its way along the Pacific and neighboring tropical forest. On the back nine, holes meander through striking ocean views, rugged ravines and significant elevation changes.
Reserva Conchal may remain somewhat overlooked for only so long.
Patrick Rhyne has spent the last 20 years building luxury and private community brands across the United States, Mexico and Caribbean. He lives in Asheville, N.C.