The words “master-planned” seem to have been paired for the sole purpose of describing a sustainable community like Las Catalinas, Costa Rica: a well-conceived, impeccably executed, and no-detail-forgotten walkable village designed for year-round active lifestyles, family life, and oneness with nature.
Before we dig into the heart and soul of Las Catalinas, let’s start with a general overview. This new beach town and community is located on Playa Danta (pushing into Playa Dantita), just north of Playa Potrero (3.75 miles/6 kms) and Playa Flamingo (5.25 miles/8.5 kms) and south of Playas del Coco (12 miles/19 kms). In other words, it’s both conveniently located and yet, just enough out of the way to feel like your private respite.
The master-planned aspect of Las Catalinas, Costa Rica is centered around its town center: The all-pedestrian community (note: there’s community parking and a valet, plus a few homes/lots have car access; see below, in the Amenities section) unfolds from a concentrated area of shops, restaurants, plazas, parks, recreational facilities, small hotels and inns, and residential homes.
It’s a true village atmosphere that almost feels Old-World Mediterranean, thanks to the walkable public spaces that are woven into the fabric of Costa Rica’s natural landscapes. Here, every street ends at a scenic overlook and almost every window opens onto a tropical view.
The other element to Las Catalinas: the great outdoors. To the east, you’ll find 1,000+ acres of tropical dry forest, ribboned with world-class mountain biking, hiking, and running trails, as well as rare dry forest ecosystems that house incredible flora and fauna. To the west, there are two spectacular beaches – Playa Danta and Playa Dantita – that offer some of the country’s best water recreation, including kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), snorkeling and boogie boarding.
Las Catalinas, Costa Rica at a Glance
It’s hard to summarize any destination, place, or community in a simple glance. But hey, we aim to please:
Location: Playa Danta & Playa Dantita (GPS coordinates: 10.482283105443267, -85.78674333998373)
Community Size: 1,200 acres
Price Range: $95,000-$8.5M+
Lifestyle: Pedestrian/Village Life & Active Lifestyle Enthusiasts. Lots of families, digital nomads, mountain bikers & retirees.
Las Catalinas Community Amenities:
- 24/7 Security
- Beach Club with ocean-view lap pool, kids’ play pool, lounging pool, and hot plunge pool
- Beach Club Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
- Private Events Pavilion
- Exercise Room
- Pedestrian-Only Streets
- Biking, Hiking & Trail-Running Trails
Las Catalinas: A Sustainable, Walkable Beach Town
Las Catalinas was founded on the idea that the world – that we all – need a new approach to how we define “the good life.” The status quo – keeping up with the Joneses, accumulating stuff, sequestering ourselves from our neighbors and communities – hasn’t worked for a long time (if ever). Worse, it’s leaving us socially isolated and creating fragmented communities, and it’s not ecologically sustainable, either.
So, Las Catalinas flipped the paradigm on its head and built a community that’s almost the complete opposite: based around real community – not the residential development definition, but the human-centered, neighbors-on-a-first-name-basis version of community – that invites you to get active, connect with others, and revel in the wonders of nature.
Because there’s something magical (and magically uplifting) about walking out your front door and onto pedestrian-only streets where you socialize, shop, do business, and play, all under your own power. You won’t need a car or a golf cart or even a moped: walk, roll, or maneuver your way around this community built for people as active as you are.
Las Catalinas, Guanacaste Real Estate
Las Catalinas, Costa Rica is a stand-out community, not just for its amenities but for its walkable, almost Old-World European (albeit in the tropics) lifestyle. As such, for people who seek this lifestyle – that know-your-neighbors, walk-everywhere, almost-a-small-town (but home to big-town amenities) sense of community, there is no comparable development anywhere in Costa Rica.
That creates a bit of a challenge for Las Catalinas real estate. So, let’s get this out of the way quickly: inventory at Las Catalinas is limited and homes sell quickly. In this market, you have to strike while the iron is hot; and in this market at Las Catalinas, you have to have the right agent and be ready to strike quickly.
With all that in mind, Las Catalinas offers three types of residential real estate options, some oceanfront or with ocean views:
- Lots: Priced at around $100,000-$600,000+, lots at Las Catalinas offer views and easy convenience to downtown. Very select lots have drive-up access.
- Terraced Flats: Las Catalinas offers terraced flats (townhomes) in 1/1, 2/2, 3/2, and 3/3 bedroom/bathroom configurations, with lovely architecture and views. Priced around $350,000-$825,000+.
- Homes: Homes at Las Catalinas are highly sought, starting at 4 bedrooms/3 bathrooms and expanding to 9,000+ square-foot works of art with ocean views. Prices start around $1M and can eclipse $8M for the largest homes with the most prized views.
Las Catalinas, Costa Rica Amenities
Some would argue that the greatest amenity at Las Catalinas is its walkability; there’s literally no other place like it in Costa Rica. And yet, Las Catalinas wouldn’t be satisfied with simply being one-of-a-kind. Welcome to an amenity-rich one-of-a-kind:
Las Catalinas Beach Town Village (Downtown)
Downtown is comprised of car-free streets designed for people. Let your mind and feet (or wheels) wander as you explore the ins and outs, paths and passages through beautiful parks and plazas, on your way to ocean views and your day’s destination.
Las Catalinas Beach Town Village is always evolving. As of this post’s publication, there are more than half a dozen restaurants – everything from a corner deli to seasonal cuisine on the beach – plus shopping (home décor, design, clothing & more), a day spa, and a handful of lifestyle services, including an outdoor exercise gym and Pura Vida Ride, the community’s outdoor outfitter specializing in mountain bikes, stand-up paddleboards, ocean kayaks, and other necessities for Las Catalinas living.
Las Catalinas Beach Club
Perched on a bluff overlooking Playa Danta and the Pacific Ocean, Las Catalinas Beach Club is a definite gathering spot and social hub for the community. Here, you can do everything from dine and exercise to swim and socialize.
The Beach Club offers the following amenities:
- Swimming Pool: 25-meter (half-Olympic) lap pool with 4 swim lanes
- Lounging Pool
- Hot Plunge Pool
- Kid’s Play Pool
- Pool Lounge Furniture: Ample seating & lounge chairs
- Beach Club Restaurant: La Taquería, a family-friendly eatery serving fresh eats and Latin-inspired meals
- Cocktail Bar
- Octagonal Pavilion for Private Events
- Fitness Center: Weightlifting and cardio equipment
Las Catalinas is home to world-class hiking, running, and mountain biking trails that, for many, are a primary attraction to the community. That’s because there are over 26.1 miles (42 kilometers) of trails through the nature reserve, divided into two types of established paths: Multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and running; and exclusive hiking trails. Welcome to paradise!
Mountain Biking Trails
We know, we know – we already mentioned the trails! But mountain biking is a big part of the Las Catalinas lifestyle, and the mountain bike trails are a big draw. That’s because the community is home to 13.7 miles (22+ kilometers) of world-class, single-track biking trails that descend into shaded valleys and peak scenic hilltops, often ushering you through forest home to monkeys, coatis, deer, and other local wildlife.
Onsite Pura Vida Ride (Las Catalinas Beach Town Village) provides everything from bikes and tours to guidance and bike maintenance.
Community Parking Lot & Valet Drop-Off/Parking
In case you’re wondering how well this pedestrian lifestyle dovetails with everyday realities, like international travel or even a big grocery run, then know that you can own a car and live at Las Catalinas.
La Catalinas offers a community parking lot with valet service, available to all owners. Just in from the airport? Rainy afternoon? Big grocery run? The community’s valet service can deliver you (and your bags) directly home, then park your car in the lot. It really is the best of all worlds.
What to Do in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica: Water Recreation
Las Catalinas hugs the curve of Playa Danta (Danta Beach) and Playa Dantita (Dantita Beach), two of the best beaches in our area. Why? Because they’re not only safe swimming beaches but also offer an array of recreational opportunities. Here’s a taste:
Snorkeling: Costa Rica doesn’t often get the nod for great snorkeling but the community’s beaches are definite exceptions to the rule. The best spots are wherever you spot rocky outcroppings, including the far end of Playa Dantita; the reef that separates Playa Danta and Playa Dantita; the shoreline at Punta Penca; and the offshore Islotes Pitahayas (Pitahayas islets). Grab your snorkeling gear and look for spotted eagle rays, reef fish, sea turtles, coral, and other spectacular underwater life and landscapes.
Sea Kayaking & Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP): Protected Playa Danta offers ideal conditions for ocean kayaking and SUP, while just offshore, the Pitahayas islets offer a bit of a challenge, with swells that dramatically crash on the rocks. Love nature? The scenic islands promise lovely coastline, quiet beaches, wonderful snorkeling, and safe swimming, and are also an important (and world-renowned) nesting site for frigate birds and pelicans.
Body Surfing & Boogie Boarding: You’re never too old to enjoy body surfing and boogie boarding, and Playa Danta is one of the best places around to enjoy them both! Because Las Catalinas is partially sheltered from southern swells, the waves stay perfect (and perfectly consistent), so even families can enjoy this timeless water sport. Try to shoot for medium-to-low tide, when the beach is flat and wide, and enjoy moderate and safe swells that crash in about every 15 seconds.
Scuba Diving: Guanacaste offers some of the country’s best dive sites and protected marine ecosystems. Some of the top nearby choices include the Catalina Islands, Dirty Rock, and Dos Sombreros, when you can come face-to-mask with dolphins, whitetip reef sharks, manta rays, bull sharks, sea turtles, and even whales, plus a rainbow of reef fish.
Surfing: While the beaches at Las Catalinas offer waters tame enough for a leisurely swim, the Guanacaste coastline promises many surf spots for beginners and experts alike. Check out Witch’s Rock, Playa Grande, and other nearby (and often, famous!) surf breaks.
Wellness: It’s no surprise that a community built for active lifestyles would put a high priority on wellness. And so, in addition to the hiking, biking, running, walking, and water recreation opportunities, Las Catalinas invites you to indulge in a bevy of other body-and-mind pursuits.
Read a book in one of the plazas. Spend an afternoon relaxing in a park. Book mat time for sunrise or sunset yoga on the beach. Reserve your favorite table for a healthy meal. Swing into the Beach Club for a workout with a view. Go swimming (or soaking) in one of the pools. Las Catalinas is your oyster.
Interested in Living at Las Catalinas, Costa Rica?
If you’re researching master-planned developments and gated communities in Guanacaste, and you think Las Catalinas might be the one, then you’re in the right place!
At Blue Water Properties, we’re experts in Playa Danta, Guanacaste, and Las Catalinas. In fact, we live and vacation here! We appreciate and fully understand the unique opportunities that this walkable, beachfront community provides. And we can talk to you, one-on-one and from personal experience, about what it’s like to live here, raise families here, retire here, and explore every facet of life at Las Catalinas, Guanacaste.
We’re happy to answer any questions or just help talk you through your decision. We’ll talk pros and cons, whole truths and hard truths – all the details you need, with the honesty and transparency you deserve. Because at Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, we’re more than a real estate team. We’re good neighbors and, we hope, future friends.
We’re also bilingual, bicultural, and seriously experienced. We’re sticklers for responding within 24 hours. And we put you first. Because we’re also proud to offer some of the best Costa Rica real estate, including spectacular lots, dream homesites, and so much more.