Santa Ana, Costa Rica
I have lived and enjoyed Costa Rica for almost 20 years and can now be considered to be an expert on the subject! When I first got here, I went to live in Heredia, high up in the mountain…While many find that it works perfectly for them, personally, I came to live in the tropics for the climate!
Santa Ana is, for me anyway, the best place to live in San Jose, probably even in the Central Valley! While always warm, it is not as hot as the beach yet always very pleasant, with an average of 26 centigrade.
Sunny Santa Ana is located West of San Jose, further down the road past Escazu. While so close to the capital, it has a kind of almost at the beach atmosphere, maybe because of the heat, or because of the coconut trees above the horizon. Although it has seen many changes, it still has managed to keep its pueblo atmosphere. The original town is very typical, with a church that prides itself to be one of the oldest of the country, being no less than 350 years old! In Santa Ana centro it is possible to find anything and everything you may need. Trips to San Jose are seldom needed. The Sunday morning market offers a nice opportunity to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, and organic varieties can also be found there, at a much cheaper price than in the supermarkets. Hidden small roads lead to surprisingly striking real estate and properties, next to conventional Costa Rican houses, surrounded by flamboyant gardens of exuberant colors.
Santa Ana also prides itself to be the home for some of the very best restaurants of the country and gated communities such as Villareal Luxury homes community, Parque Valle del Sol Golf course, Cerro Real, La Hacienda Lindora, Hacienda del Sol and more . A ride up the mountain to the famous Rancho Macho offers typical food, with a wide selection of drinks, while the astonishing view of the entire valley can be admired. Best time to go is for a sunset drink.
For a more sophisticated meal, try the elegant Bacchus: This beautiful Italian restaurant is located close to the church, in an old house that was restored by the owner of the restaurant themselves, when they discovered that it is actually a national heritage protected by the municipality. The food is elegant, delicious and unforgettable. If you are looking for something a little bit more picturesque and romantic, you simply must try the D´Marco, in Piedades de Santa Ana, further west from Santa Ana Centro. D´Marco Restaurant is located in a property that belongs to El Canal Grande Hotel. This hotel has a lush, green and quiet property. Large rooms, nice size pool, yet not flashy or showy, this is a very good and reasonably priced hotel. The restaurant is totally independent from the hotel, at the entrance of the property. It has the unique characteristic to offer the best of Italian Cuisine, and a choice of Japanese dishes. Why? Marco married a Japanese lady, herself of very good chef. D´Marco is one of these places one simply must try to enjoy true Italian cuisine.
For those who prefer a bit more crowd and noise, well Santa Ana has it all. The famous Lindora has a selection of fast food, and not so fast food, outstanding restaurants like Mangiamo, bars like Big Dogs, Brad´s Grill, Club Blu, Tapas Bar, Creperie, Ice Cream Parlors, Sushi Bars, Shops, Pet Shops, and even a mini golf course.
If you are a mountain bike addict, the area offers hours of fun and exploration, with lots of little roads and tracks running up the mountains. Santa Ana really has it all, city, country, plain and mountain, wonderful views and even a surprising amount of wildlife; sometimes at night, I hear the coyotes…I am so happy to live here.
These reasons are why Santa Ana real estate has seen a rise in value the last couple of years. More people are moving to the west of Costa Rica and specifically to Santa Ana