Writing a blog about Costa Rica real estate has its perks. We’ve got readers out there who are doing some pretty creative projects and we don’t even know about them… until they get ready to go to market with their project. Such is the case with Sierpe Del Pacifico (SDP). Fred and his son Cassidy approached Rod & I about a month ago to tell us about their project in Sierpe. I think that this type of inquiry wouldn’t normally have much interest to us Guys, but Fred had written such an eloquent and well crafted introductory e-mail that we were intrigued.
Sierpe is a bit out of the way, on the fringe of “The Zone”. I’ve also heard that it is hot and buggy. I’m not much for hot and buggy, but in truth I couldn’t speak from personal experience regarding the place, so I kept an open mind.
What Fred & Cassidy have done is they have formed a father & son team and are passionately developing a piece of property that offers what, I suspect, a lot of readers of this blog are looking for: a truly unplugged, solar powered, bio-digesting, boat access project, surrounded by some of the best fishing, both fresh water, brackish and deep sea, in the… country? World? I don’t know, but you always catch big, tasty fish when you go out with them.
We met in Sierpe where I parked my car and looked a little hesitant at Cassidy when he said to just leave it there as we started walking towards the boat. He saw my concern and said that Sierpe is one of the most crime free areas he’s ever seen.
We walked past the Sierpe jail, which had no door on it. They said that on the rare occasion that there is a resident there, and he needs to use the nearby bathroom, he stands in the door and waves at whoever may be nearby, and they have the community responsibility to escort the “prisoner” to the baño and back. If the prisoner were to just go it alone, he’d get in some kind of trouble.
This feel of community, safety, and security permeated our day along the Sierpe River.
Guillermo is the man in charge of pretty much everything having to do with SDP. Lean and clear eyed, Guillermo was born and raised in Sierpe, and is one of the pillars in the local community. He works full time for Fred & Cassidy, and has nicely interfaced the necessary connections between the cultures there. Gringo’s and Ticos, working together with a common interest in preserving some of the most profoundly natural terrain on planet earth.
We got in the boat and were expertly glided down the Sierpe about 10 minutes to the private dock that services SDP. All residents of SDP get their own slip included in the purchase of a property there. The prices in the project range from $40,000 to $225,000, depending largely on the river views. This compares nicely with a project up in Quepos where just the slip alone will run you $175,000.
The ocean tide is what affects the flow of the river. Sierpe has a constant floating bio-mass of what the locals call “lechuga” which translates to “lettuce”. It isn’t edible, but just looks a bit lettuce-like. There are some flowering lilies as well – gorgeous. The effect is that you can tell whether the tide is coming in or going out by what direction the lechuga is moving. When we got there in the morning, it was all moving inland. When we returned in the afternoon, it was all flowing towards the ocean.
The fact is, that waters around Sierpe are teeming with fish of all kinds. Red Snapper, snook, sea bass, robalo (not sure what the translation is of that) and more. The crocs, birds, and people are all well fed thanks to the larder provided by the earth.
To truly unplug, this is the place to do it. You can grow some of planet earth’s tastiest fruits and vegetables on your property. You can hop in your boat and catch your protein needs for the day. Pluck a couple of mandarin limes off of your tree, catch a red snapper, and concoct your own signature touch ceviche.
We visited the model home, a rustic, well built 800 square foot villa on one of the lots. We enjoyed the air motion provided by the ceiling fan, and marveled at the LED 60 watt light bulbs that generated a normal amount of lighting needs for the living space – all solar powered. The view off of the elevated patio was of a virgin primary stand of rain forest where monkeys, parrots, parakeets, and all other manner of wildlife can be seen. The cup of coffee made on the propane stove was stellar. We found ourselves delaying departure even though we still had a good amount of property to walk.
The properties are gorgeous, and well priced based on their inherent amenities: view, building pad, accessibility. Oh, there are no cars in SDP. You arrive by boat, and you walk, or use a quad-runner, (ATV) to get around. All internal roads are narrow and couldn’t accommodate the passing of a car. The mangroves are a huge value-ad. We stopped and watched a family of about 25 pizotes cross our path up ahead. Toucans, woodpeckers and on it goes.
To live off of the grid, in self sufficiency, must be a wonderfully secure feeling. I’ve never personally experienced it, but I have certainly experienced the draw of the lifestyle.
We’ll be posting more about SDP as we come to know the project better.