Central Valley is a lush and green tropical escape spanning a large portion of the interior of Costa Rica, including San José, the capital city, and exclusive districts like Escazú and Santa Ana. Also known as Meseta Central, the area has a mild and dry climate and is peppered with fertile plantations as well as high-end real estate spanning hacienda-style villas and modern vacation homes.
Investors and second home seekers are attracted to the varied and beautiful scenery, be it the two striking volcanoes – Irazú and Poás – the crater lakes, the geysers, or the local forest reserves that dot the landscape.
Aside from being visually impressive, Costa Rica’s Central Valley also boasts a wide variety of art and culture, including the oldest active church in the country: Iglesia de San José Orosí, built in 1734.
Our partner Luxury Living Costa Rica features a host of upscale properties in Escazú and Santa Ana, two of the top areas in Central Valley.
High-end living in Escazú and Santa Ana
Escazú is a trendy suburb in the province of San José, and a popular choice for those wanting to be close to the capital, but not in the center of the hustle and bustle. Much of the real estate in Escazú features year-round panoramic views of verdant mountains, yet San José is just a quarter of an hour away.
The area is in demand among European and North American ex-pats. Why? Modern amenities and deluxe properties mix seamlessly with native Tico culture. Costa Rica Country Club is on the doorstep, and a number of excellent schools are within a 15-minute drive, including Blue Valley, Arandú, Saint Mary, Mount View, West College, and Lighthouse.
Not only that, but residents are also less than 60 minutes from the beaches of the Central Pacific Coast, and three and a half hours from the Caribbean Sea.
Santa Ana sits next to Escazú, a quaint, quiet area to escape from the capital, with a good balance of modern amenities. Fresh produce is grown there and often sold at “Feria del Agricultor”, a farmers’ market where people can meet local merchants while getting a feel for traditional Costa Rican life.
Top schools in the area include St. Jude, Franz Liszt Schule, and Tree of Life. And for golf lovers, Valle del Sol course is nearby, as is Cariari Country Club – both 18-holes.
Superb Central Valley real estate
There’s an array of properties on the market in Central Valley and beyond, from ultra-contemporary Mediterranean-style villas to high-end city developments. Below, we tour a handful.
1. Luxurious mansion between Escazú and Santa Ana
Meet La Cigale, a premium five-bedroom villa that offers resort-style living, and is finished to the highest standards, be it the vaulted ceilings, rounded arches, top-quality quality materials, or elegant yet contemporary aesthetic. Located in the mountains but just a 10-minute drive from shops, schools, restaurants, and hospitals, the Provençal-Mediterranean Style home benefits from the best of both worlds.
Head upstairs via the marble staircase and admire the oversized master suite, complete with a sitting room, a hydromassage Jacuzzi, a shower, a walk-in closet, and a balcony. On the lower levels, noteworthy features include a playroom, a wine cellar, a library, staff quarters, and an art studio.
Spanning a massive 1,600 square meters and sitting on a plot of 7948 square meters, the next owner will be wowed by scenic views of the valley and magnificent sunsets – all the more enjoyable from the privacy of the manicured grounds that are home to a swimming pool and a terrace.
2. Elegant hacienda-style villa in Santa Ana
Villa Artesana is a grand seven-bedroom, eleven-bathroom estate situated in a prestigious private neighborhood, sitting on 20,000 square meters of well-kept secluded grounds. The property boasts far-reaching mountain vistas, yet it’s just five minutes from malls, top-class hotels, schools, and restaurants, and 25-minutes from Juan Santamaría international airport.
The air-conditioned residence was built by an acclaimed regional architect according to the highest anti-seismic standards, and has a security system with monitored cameras.
Offering ample living space across 1,400 square meters, the villa features an array of high-end materials, including precious woods, granite, and ancient bricks. Other highlights include vaulted ceilings, an open-plan layout, staff quarters, a gym, and terraces that lead out to an 18-meter-long heated swimming pool.
3. Sprawling five-bedroom estate in Alajuela
Natura is an ideal investment opportunity that offers many potential uses, from a luxurious gated community to a tourist retreat – it’s surprising to find an oasis like this in a city. The plot spans 461,637 square meters and has internal roads, while the main Balinese-style mansion is 2,435 square meters and comes complete with triple-height ceilings, tropical wood beams, and covered terraces. Guest bungalows and staff houses are adjacent to the primary building, and the vibe is modern European.
Additional highlights range from an indoor Japanese garden with a 20-meter artificial river and waterfall to exotic landscaped grounds with a 300-meter swimming pool and a private lake. Location-wise, the complex is ideally positioned just 20 minutes from Juan Santamaría international airport.
4. Characterful eight-bedroom mountain escape in Escazú
Say hello to hillside Casa Alta Vista, a 12-bathroom, 11-garage property overlooking Central Valley, just minutes from first-class amenities like the Multiplaza shopping center, less than an hour from Juan Santamaría international airport, and two hours from the Central Pacific Coast.
Formerly a coffee plantation, today the 14,626 square meter plot houses a modern colonial-inspired home that spans 1,261 square meters and boasts lovingly cared for gardens complete with a heated infinity pool. From there, enjoy fabulous sunsets and mountain views.
Out and about, explore the natural forest and mountain trails on an ATV, by bike, or on foot. Back at Casa Alta Vista, it’s all about relaxing on your private balcony, lounging in the large sitting room, or whipping up a meal in the fully-equipped kitchen. Other points of interest include marble flooring, handcrafted woodwork by lauded artisan Daniel Bolaños, and granite countertops.
Offering peace and seclusion, the residence makes an ideal family dwelling, but would also work as a boutique hotel or a yoga retreat. The added bonus? Because Casa Alta Vista is situated 5,280 feet above sea level, there are no mosquitoes to contend with.
5. Contemporary five-bedroom ocean villa in Whale Bay, Uvita
Villa de Ensueño lies 150 kilometers away from Central Valley on the outskirts of Uvita, in one of the country’s most scenic areas. Ballena Marine National Park is just a stone’s throw away, a top spot for snorkeling and watching humpback whales migrate.
Spanning 1,100 square meters of inside space and sitting on a plot of 60,936 square meters, the modern duplex offers indoor/outdoor living aplenty, with patio doors leading out to a gigantic deck area featuring a saltwater infinity pool overlooking Shaman Beach and the Pacific.
There’s also a caretaker’s house that could double as a separate space for guests, an art studio, an office, and a wine cellar for 3,000 bottles. Wander down to the beach at low tide and look out for the “whale’s tail” – a large formation of sand and rock that resembles the mammal’s fluke.
Turn around, gaze upwards, and Villa de Ensueño is visible in the distance, surrounded by the lush forest of the Dominical Mountains. This hidden treasure really is the ideal vacation home for those seeking privacy, luxury, and independence.
Upscale services for house hunters
Luxury Living Costa Rica is a high-end real estate agency for international buyers; the team has over three decades of experience in the country’s property market. Over the years, the company has grown into an exclusive lifestyle brand that serves as a resource for clients looking for end-to-end consulting services.
Part of Luxury Living Costa Rica’s mission is supporting national artists, meaning visitors to their website can access the “Art Gallery”, an exclusive selection of recognized Costa Rican creatives. Edgar Zúñiga Jiménez’s powerful sculptures are currently featured on the site. Meanwhile, the “360 Solution” offers buyers connections to a range of professionals, from interior designers to conveyancers.
For more information about Costa Rican living and these phenomenal properties, contact Luxury Living Costa Rica.