San Isidro de El General

We are back from a trip to San Isidro de El General which is located four hours by bus, south of Ciudad Colon. The bus ride was beautiful. The road took us over a mountain pass through national parks. The hillsides were vibrant green, full of large trees, bromeliads, tree ferns and other plants. We watched the vegetation change as the altitude increased. At the top were plants and trees I am not familiar with. So much to learn in this new country! We traveled on the Pan American highway. The highest part of the road is called "Camino de la Muerte", Highway of Death in English. (I didn't tell my Mother about this before we left!) Actually, the road was in pretty good condition except for one part that had washed out and was down to one lane. The highway is called this because the road is extremely winding and subject to periodic landslides. Being the Pan American highway the workers are diligent about keeping the road open.

Both of us agreed, so far San Isidro is our favorite "big" town. The population is around 33,000. The temperature was slightly warmer than Ciudad Colon. The tallest mountain peak, Mt. Chirripo is nearby and the beach is 30 minutes away. We picked this town as a potential place to live due to the elevation above sea level and services available. We went into four large grocery stores to compare them with the ones near Ciudad Colon. Items we tested were jam, chocolate bar, a favorite type of pasta and chocolate chips. These are items we currently have to get on a bus to purchase in Santa Ana or Escazu. San Isidro passed the food and services test. The town was full of restaurants, produce stands, butchers, clothing stores, appliance stores, hardware stores, etc. The atmosphere of the town was peaceful and safe.

The main reason for this trip was to look at properties for sale. We met an agent in town that showed us four properties over two days. I never imagined how much hard work it is to view properties. The ones we looked at were about 20 acres. Walking the perimeter of these properties is hard, hot, sweaty work! We definitely got our exercise. The first we looked at was located in the town of Rivas, just outside San Isidro. The views from the property were enchanting. John and the agent walked down to the river boarding this property to view a waterfall. I opted out because it was incredibly steep and we had already walked for 40 minutes down a steep hill side. The access to this property needed improvement and utilities were too far away so we kept looking.

Of the four properties we looked at one met most of our requirements. Half of this property was covered with secondary forest. There were many large, tall trees. It felt like a walk through a national park. The other half of the property is pasture, that is where the houses would be built. The owner wants to sell to someone who will not cut down the trees. That's us! There was a small house on the property which is connected to city water and power. The bonus feature... high speed internet is available. We liked the property, the location and its privacy. The drawback... priced a little too high. We will keep it in mind as we keep searching.