Costa Rica’s Zona Sur (Southern Zone) is the country’s least-known area. For many Ticos, and more so for visitors, the region is still “the undiscovered country”, full of promise and pristine landscapes, such as San Gabriel Falls. The Zone is not as well traveled as the rest of Costa Rica, arguably because in the past most of the traditional tourism routes focused mainly on the Northern and Central regions, leaving much of the rest of the country alone. Things have changed. As a result, two of Costa Rica’s biggest industries, tourism and real estate have realized that the Zone is worth taking note of.
Appearances Can Be Deceiving
For starters, the Southern Zone is not a lonely, isolated territory. Many interesting things happen there. From bird- and whale- watching tours to world class surfing championships. From rafting to zip-lining through the jungle’s canopy, there is never a dull moment. Here is some examples:
- Under a bridge in Tárcoles huge crocs, part of the largest collection of crocodiles in all of Central America, bask in the sun.
- Isla de Coco harbors such a diversity of marine life that it has been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- ln the Diquis area hundreds of precolumbian spheres of stone o “bolas de piedra” make us wonder about their meaning. This area is an UNESCO World Heritage Site as well.
Although the trip is really interesting, this time we are going to reach our destination, in San Isidro del General, the old way.
Lugubrious Name, Great Vistas
A long time ago, the only access road to the South was through the “Cerro de la Muerte” or ‘Mountain of Death’ (10500 ft.) This lugubrious name comes from the fact that in olden times many travelers succumbed to exposure while trying to cross its difficult terrain. Of course, modern travel has made the trip much safer.
- The road, the highest in Costa Rica, goes though páramo ecosystems that are unique in the country and which are similar to those found in the Andean mountains. (Meaning: make sure you wear warm clothes).
- El Cerro is part of the Talamanca mountain range and a luscious National Park. The vistas from the top of the mountain are amazing.
A Quaint Place
Finally, after some careful driving, we reach San Isidro del General. In the Canton Perez Zeledon, 80 miles (130 km) south-southeast of San Jose, lies San Isidro del General. This quaint little city makes for an excellent stopover, as it has all the amenities and services: banks, hospitals, restaurants, “sodas” and hotels that a traveler might need after braving El Cerro de la Muerte’s winding road.
A Farm With A View
The place we are showcasing is part of an splendid 29 acre, fully landscaped property in San Gabriel de La Amistad. The town is located about 30 minutes via blacktopped roads, from San Isidro del General.
Off the beaten path, the farm is secluded enough to give you an idea of what living off-the-grid is like, but is still close to the main roads and to towns like Palmares. Popular places like Parque Nacional Marino Ballena and other important nature preserves are within a one hour drive.
The San Gabriel (de La Amistad) waterfalls are some of the most beautiful in Costa Rica. They are visited mostly by locals, usually during the rainy season when the river and the falls carry more water. Several “pozas” (pools) at base of the fall are ideal for swimming and diving. 20 acres out of 29 are planted with certified organic coffee (which is already generating income). That is a boon, but there is a lot more. The reminder 9 acres are virgin forest.
One great thing about Costa Rica is that you can have many experiences in one. In this estate you can find several additional construction sites. Facilities like an old tourist center, a small cabin located on the property and an old restaurant construction could be remodeled and turned into sources of income by catering to the visitors’ needs.
How about some fruit? Trees such as cocoa, mango, orange (citrus), plantain and banana would do nicely in here. Even a permaculture-based housing project would be feasible. The business possibilities for a place like this are really diverse.
Apart from San Gabriel Waterfalls, the farm features:
- Waterfall Property.
- Coffee Farm.
- Creek on property.
- Fruit trees.
- Income Potential.
- Jungle property.
- Matures trees on the property.
- Mountain view.
- River property.
- Valley view.