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Lake Arenal is the largest lake in Costa Rica and as of right now is very under-utilized. A Lake is always a big attraction. There are always people who love to live on a lake or have a lake view. For that reason, Lake Arenal real estate is always in the up and growing.
There are no large marinas on Lake Arenal. Therefore, it’s fairly quiet and most boats or water crafts are put in and taken out the same day.
There is a dock in San Luis and a couple of smaller docks sprinkled around the lake. Because the government’s electric company owns the land so access is limited.
The unspoiled beauty of Lake Arenal has attracted so many expats who have built their homes around the lake. You’d be amazed to find some gorgeous custom built Lake Arenal homes. Although there are plenty of expats, you don’t find big “gated communities with big fences”. There are a few but most are spread around and you can meet people and be as social or alone as you want…that is your own decision.
This creates a beautiful area with a great mix of people while keeping the true essence of beautiful & cultural Costa Rica. It is very common to see people riding their horses or herding cows down the street, which gives a very rural feel to the Lake Arenal area.
Lake Arenal towns
There are many little towns that are sprinkled around Lake Arenal:
- El Castillo- close to the Volcano & National Parks on the south side of the lake
- Nuevo Arenal– a town with nice restaurants & a little hub of activity and amenities
- Other smaller towns like Rio Piedras, Aguacate, San Luis, Tronadora, Tierra Morenas & much more.
Geographically speaking about Lake Arenal real estate can be a bit confusing because many of the towns around the lake are located in the Guanacaste Province while others are in the Alajuela Province.
Lake Arenal homes for sale
Lake Arenal has a huge range of homes for sale from little one bedroom places to beautiful American & European style homes. Some could be classified as a mountain home. Most people come here and “downsize” so when looking for 3 or more bedrooms, it can be a bit difficult. Two bedrooms, one story buildings tend to be the most popular type of homes in the area but you will find some 4+ bedrooms out there but they are few & far between. There is a paved road that runs all around the lake but as soon as you turn off of that, you are normally on dirt roads. Since the area is still quite rural – no big cities here.
Some of the best, most beautiful houses you will find tend to be on a dirty, bumpy road. So, prepare for that if you’re coming to look at property in this area!
There are only a few true Gated Communities that already have the infrastructure built in. Some are considered Gated Communities because they share a common gate but no shared pools or other amenities you might be looking for. Make sure to contact us and we can help you sort through it all and help you find what you’re looking for.
Lake Arenal lots & farms
There are properties of all sizes & prices and many lake-view lots for sale. Just like with houses, many of the Lake Arenal lots with beautiful lake views do require a 4×4 to get to them, absolutely worth it but this is not a “city” so paved roads are a perk, not the norm. We usually do not many that many farms around the lake on our inventory but if that’s what you’re looking for, check on the MLS or contact us.
Properties in Lake Arenal are very affordable. You can purchase an over 1-acre property for under $50,000.
The rainfall & weather make the perfect environment for living off the land and most places don’t even have air conditioning (some even have fireplaces)! Some very important things to think about when looking at lots is that this is a rural area in many senses of the words. That means you will find dirt roads & wide open spaces. That also means that you don’t necessarily have a gas station 1 minute from your property. You may need to drive a bit to get to a grocery store with the types of things you’re looking for. But be open-minded because living here is a slower pace of life. You won’t be driving that dirt road every day!
Commercial real estate
Lake Arenal commercial properties are spread out all around the lake. We usually have a very nice inventory of commercial Lake Arenal real estate such as hotels, B&B for sale, vacation rentals, restaurants & more on the MLS. Some businesses in the tourism industry prefer not to openly advertise their business or property for sale. Therefore, it is best to contact us so we can help you find the best location and business that suits your budget.
AE MLS Member available in Lake Arenal
Where to find Lake Arenal Real Estate
The map below shows you the exact location of Lake Arenal real estate.
Lake Arenal is located in the Central/Northern part of Costa Rica. You can reach Lake Arenal by driving 3 hours from the San Jose Airport (SJO). Or 3 hours from the Liberia International Airport (LIR).
Lake Arenal lifestyle
Lake Arenal has so many little towns, each with their own personality and range of amenities. This is the reason many expats love to retire and purchase Lake Arenal real estate. Also, in many small places, you’ll find a little market and restaurant but not much else. Other towns, like Nuevo Arenal, have just about everything one needs. In those, you can live a pedestrian lifestyle if wanted.
Your budget will determine what areas around Lake Arenal will work best for you. So contact us and we’ll assist you in figuring it out! 68 Interesting Facebook pages for Living in Costa Rica can also be of great assistance to you.
Lake Arenal homes for rent
Many expats live in this area part-time so you can find rentals everywhere! Our Lake Arenal real estate affiliate agent does not get involved in rentals. But if you do a search for Lake Arenal rentals on Craigslist, you’ll find plenty to choose from!
Lake Arenal weather
Lake Arenal offers overall much cooler weather than any of the beach areas of Costa Rica. Nonetheless, Lake Arenal has its sunny days too.
There tend to be nice breezes all year and rain to keep everything green & beautiful.
There tends to be a bit of a “line” of weather around the lake. Closer to the Arenal Volcano, the weather tends to be more like in La Fortuna which is the rain & the sun all year long.
On one side of the lake near San Luis & Tronadora, the weather system tends to deliver less rain than on the north side of the lake. There is also a wind tunnel that tends to go on one area of the lake. You can find where that is easily by looking for the wind turbines which generate electricity from the wind. This is also where some of the best windsurfing in the areas is so for many this is a haven. For some, however, the wind can be a bit much so it’s good information to have ahead of time.
Wendy Holt, as a Lake Arenal real estate agent, has huge experience in understanding the foreign as well as local mindset. This experience is a must for any professional Lake Arenal real estate agent. Building, buying and selling in Costa Rica has been a learning experience as things are done differently here. From building practices to legal needs. For Lake Arenal, La Fortuna and San Carlos properties, contact Wendy now.