Boom testing Costa Rica’s “green” image

Costa Rica

This once-isolated Pacific coast community, made famous by its laid-back surfer’s vibe and velvety ocean curls, is now a thriving small city. Developments with such names as “Millionaire’s Mile Penthouse” and “Treetop Condominiums” shoot skyward among the dusty brown hills. Gaudy, pastel-colored gated entrances proclaim “Quality homes built to American standards,” and boast “Prices from the $500,000s through the millions.” Mirror-glass commercial centers offer “avocado and oatmeal facials,” and a shopping mall with enormous rock Buddhist statues and foaming fountains displays imported wines and US$25 Gouda cheese. Here in Guanacaste province, construction has surged 80% over the past five years. Last year alone, developers built nearly 500 new hotel rooms and an estimated 3,500 condominiums along this stretch of coastline... [Log in to read more]

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