Perez Zeledon is one of the most intriguing cantons in Costa Rica (a canton is roughly synonymous to a county in the U.S.) because it is arguably the most diverse in the country. The seventh largest canton of Costa Rica's 81, the 1,900 sq/m area of P.Z. includes mountains, valleys and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. People planning to purchase a home or property in Costa Rica should make Perez Zeledon one of the first areas they explore.
The largest canton in the San Jose Province, Perez Zeledon is located in the southwest portion of the country even though it is close in proximity to the Central Valley. With respect to the search for a happy medium between the modern amenities found in big-city San Jose and the private seclusion of Costa Rica's more rural areas, this canton provides a centralized location, the best of both worlds.
The largest city in Canton Perez Zeledon is San Isidro de El General which has about 50,000 people. It is 78 miles southwest of San Jose and only about 45 minutes northeast of Playa Dominical, home of some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Other beaches close to the western border of P.Z. are Playa Jaco, Manuel Antonio/Quepos and the virgin beaches of the Osa Peninsula.
Perez Zeledon is renowned for its national parks and treasures. Both of the two most famous mountains in Costa Rica are on or within the borders of Perez Zeledon: Cerro Chirripó and the Cerro de la Muerte. Chirripo is the second most prominent peak in Central America. In the Continental United States, only Mt. Rainier has more relief. Cerro de la Muerte, while the literal translation is "Hill of Death," it a mountain by any standards. The pass below the summit also happens to be the highest point on the Inter-american Highway in Costa Rica, the same road used to travel from the Central Valley into Perez Zeledon.
For people in search of river recreation, Perez Zeledon is home of 3 of the top 10 rafting and kayaking rivers in Costa Rica: the Rio Savegre, the Rio Naranjo and the high volume Rio General. These rivers range in class from III to IV in difficulty, so there's a stretch of river for everyone interested.
While Perez Zeledon is renowned for its sights and recreation, the majority of the canton is agricultural oriented. As such, most people find the east and west borders most attractive, though San Isidro de El General is also a means to a very pleasant lifestyle.
For an undeveloped plot of land -- depending on the area you choose within Canton Perez Zeledon -- you can expect to pay anywhere from $2 a sq/ft ($7/m2) to $12 a sq/ft ($40/m2). Higher prices usually mean the property already has access to public services (water and electricity). As with any property transaction, the more property you buy, the less you'll pay per square meter. The less land you purchase, the more you'll pay per square meter.
The price of constructing a house -- in addition to the land price -- varies depending on the square meters and the materials used to build it. There are three principal types of home construction in Costa Rica: wood, cinder-block and prefabricated. Prefabricated homes are very popular because they less expensive to build, take about 1/3 of the time to construct and are extremely resistant to Costa Rica's humidity and rain.
There are two types of prefabricated homes in Costa Rica, excluding log homes: baldosa and pre-fab block. The materials for a baldosa home cost about $4 per square meter and pre-fab block is closer to $8. That excludes windows, sinks, toilets and the shower. For a turn-key baldosa home you can expect to pay about $400 per square meter and around $500 per square meter for pre-fab block. Both standard block and wood or log homes will be more expensive by 10 to 15% as will existing homes on a property in Perez Zeledon.