Monday, June 27, 2011

Update on Our Costa Rica Cabin Building Project

You may remember my post 3 months ago about building a cabin in the hills of Esparza Costa Rica with my boyfriend.  Well, the cabin has been completed (at least on the inside) and we actually moved into it this past weekend.  This is a small studio cabin, and we plan to build 5 more on the land, and eventually rent them out to people (mostly those from the capital city of San Jose) who are visiting the beaches in Puntarenas Costa Rica.  In the meantime, we are living in the first cabin until we have more money to continue our project.  We've only been there one week, but it has been an interesting experience for me so far. Here are some of the "highlights":
  • Costa Rican building prices have gotten quite expensive.  We had wanted to build the cabin for about $16,000 USD total, but are already up to about $24,000.  This doesn't include the cost of any landscaping or of pouring a cement driveway.
  • Due to costs being so much higher than expected, we decided to go without a few amenities for a while, including: air conditioning, a stove, and a washer / dryer.   These things are a luxury in these parts of Costa Rica.
  • Bugs are a fact of life here.  We have our windows open during the day and no one out here believes in using window screens.
  • I am really enjoying being surrounded by so much nature out here. Our backyard leads to a tree-filled area that drops off a cliff down to a small stream. My boyfriend's mother bought the lot of land next to ours and built a small picnic shelter down by the stream.  She hung a hammock there, so it has become one of my favorite places to hang out and read a book, or just take in the sights and sounds of nature.
  • We are about 20 minutes from the closest city of Esparza (where we can do our food shopping, banking, etc.).  Buses rarely pass by the cabin road, and cabs are about $5 each way (a bit pricey in my opinion).  So getting around without a car is almost impossible.
  • We also found out, to my dismay, that there is no internet service out here yet.  I guess I didn't realize how out in the boonies I really am!  We are trying to see if a data card will work out in this area.  Still haven't had success with it, but our fingers are crossed:)
  • My boyfriend and I figured it would be safe not to put up any bars on our windows for a while (since it will probably cost another $2000 USD or so).  Bars on windows are a way of life throughout most of Costa Rica. Unfortunately, we were just informed that a couple of our neighbor's homes were broken into recently and everything was stolen from them.  So much for thinking you can really be safe anywhere anymore :(
  • My cats have adjusted well to life in the cabin and are loving the views out our windows (see them lounging on our bed below).
As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to living out in the quiet hills surrounding the town of Esparza.  For now, I'm patiently adjusting to my new life and learning to enjoy "roughing it" in paradise. 

The Outside of our Cabin

Kitchen Area

My Two Cats Blackie & Sierra Chilling on our Bed

Closet and stairs to a small study area

The Cabin Bathroom

View towards trees in the back and the picnic shelter down by the stream

1 comment:

liz said...

this is so nice, my dream too. I was living in costa for many years, found the love of my life and there and made a family. now we are back in the states working towards building our home in costa...we actually were living in esparza for quit some time last year. My hubs family is from there. i know exactly where this is. the road to caldera? it, glad to see its working out for you guys...hows the other cabinas coming along?

Post a Comment