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$40 Million Marina Will Change Laidback and Relaxed Puerto Viejo

October 10, 2007
San Jose, Costa Rica

More good news for Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Earlier this year, the government announced plans for a $600 million modernization of the two principal ports, Limon and Moin. Now, U.S. and Costa Rican investors are planning to build a $40 million, 398-slip marina for what is perhaps the most popular tourist destination on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, rasta-flavored Puerto Viejo (south of Limon and Moin) in the canton of Talamanca.

The developer is a consortium called Grupo Caribeño Internacional S.A.. Its members come from real estate and agriculture sectors and have never before built a marina, according to legal representative Walter Coto.

The marina project will include two breakwaters, a shopping center, an area for arts and crafts vendors, administrative offices, storage areas, and a yacht maintenance and repair area. A proposal has already been presented for approval to Costa Rica's marina authority, the Comisión Interinstitucional de Marinas y Atracaderos Turísticos (the Inter-Institutional Commission for Marinas and Tourist Docks, or CIMAT), and is under study.

Coto says that if the plans are approved on schedule, construction will begin in eight months, and will go on for two years. He also estimates that the marina will produce some 2,000 direct and indirect jobs in a poor region where they are much needed.

Talamanca Mayor Rugeli Morales says the municipal council supports the marina and voted on March 29 to declare its completion a matter of "public interest."

There are currently no marinas on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, but the race is on to see which of the many projects proposed for this area gets completed first. In total, 22 marina proposals are in different stages of the government application process.

As of now, the Los Sueños Marina, in the central Pacific Bay of Herradura, is Costa Rica's only legally operating private marina .

Your Latin America Insider,

Suzan Haskins
for International Living