By Ivo Henfling
Everyone is talking about how much tourism got hurt with the 2009 - 2011 world crisis. Surprise! Costa Rica does not seem to have any problems as San José shows empty and everyone seems to be at the beach. During most of Easter week, San Jose is like a ghost town.
This means there is still money in Costa Rica, unless everyone is using his credit-card. Dany and I used to go to our apartment in Jaco Beach during holidays like this, but since real estate developers Joshua and Jerry ten Brink of Desarrollos Naturales got slam dunked by the banks, we have not been able to use our apartment for exactly one year now.
Monday and Tuesday are still oficial working days. I tried to get hold of a couple of attorneys on Monday but people don't even bother putting their emails on auto-responder, so you know at least they're gone for the week. At least my own agents do.
So, we stayed home and actually enjoy the quiet of San Jose, more than ever. No traffic, no honking, no standing in line at the toll. Unless you plan to go to the beaches.
That is a whole different issue. On thursday, we were visiting the family in Puntarenas and had planned to meet up with a friend at the Turrucares turnoff. We ran late and thankfully the friend called (thanks to Martin Cooper, who invented the cell phone) to take the old highway and we would meet there, because traffic was horrible on the new road.
It took us about 2 hours to get to Puntarenas and later that day our friend got a text message from someone saying it took them 5 hours to get to Puntarenas. This is, on a normal day, a 1 hour trip.
On the way back, we thought it would be smart to take the new highway, because why would it be heavy with traffic on a holy Thursday? Wrong, it was like everyone thought the same thing. I guess a lot of people who left Friday and had Monday and Tuesday off, came back on Thursday to go to church or something. But it took me 2 hours to get back. The tolls can't keep up and at least the owners of Autopistas del Sol had a great week.
The pictures above show you the main street from Escazu to Multiplaza, the parking lot at Multiplaza and the highway from Escazu to Santa Ana during Good Friday. These places are usually packed with traffic.
The transit police estimates 930,000 vehicles to get back into the Central Valley this coming weekend. They say they will have over 20 policemen "watching" rout 27 (the new highway).....
I hope this information will help you a bit to organize your Easter vacation for next year.
Ivo Henfling, your Escazu and Santa Ana realtor