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Selva Nueva, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

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From mist-covered mountains to pristine sun-drenched beaches, the country of Costa Rica is rich with stunning natural beauty. Among its most precious assets is the incomparable Selva Nueva with a great property value of .10/m2.

Set between two magnificent lagoons and bisected by the famous Rio Oro, Selva Nueva is bordered on one side by the 167 square mile Corcovado National Park and on the other by its 2.5 miles of beachfront. This incredible 3200 acre property contains over 2% of the world’s biodiversity—that’s more than all of North America combined. Its beaches provide nesting grounds for three species of endangered turtles, while whales, dolphins, marlin, and orcas bask offshore. Hawks, pelicans, herons, toucans, and the largest population of Scarlett Macaws on the planet are just some of the bird species that fill the skies. All four species of monkey, massive tapirs, endangered anteaters, and all 6 species of Costa Rican wild cat, including the noble jaguar, roam this jungle.

Originally conceived as a nature reserve, the property is nonetheless capable of supporting a sustainable development. A consultant group has identified hundreds of acres, from the beachfront to the mesas, on which to build without unduly affecting the flora and fauna.

One such attractive site on the North side of the Rio Oro is a 50 plus acre mesa at an elevation of 450 feet. Commanding sweeping vistas of the ocean and lagoons, this location also looks down on a protected pocket of old growth primary forest filled with massive specimens of Ceiba, Espivel, Ajo, and Matapalo trees in additional to countless other jungle giants.

From the mesas the forest tumbles down the hillside, meeting pasture and flat land. Under current management, the pastures have been reduced in size, but remain efficient because of the Management Intensive Grazing principles employed to raise Brahman 100% Pasture Fed Cattle. There is also a 100% organic farm growing rice and vegetables as well as extensive orchards of tropical fruit trees, and pigs are allowed to free range over certain areas, where they help to weed among the fruit trees and forage the abundant fruits and coconuts. Ten to fifteen horses reside on the ranch as well, and are used for working the cattle or simply for pleasure riding.

In a world of diminishing water resources, it is comforting to know that Selva Nueva has an abundance of fresh, potable water. The Rio Oro, which flows through the center of the property, supports the fish and wildlife, while several natural springs and meandering creeks compliment the verdant ecosystem. There is even a spectacular 100 foot waterfall tucked away in the jungle. Recognizing this plenitude of water, government agencies have issued substantial water permits that would benefit a development-minded buyer.

The plan was simple but audacious: Buy out the various landowners to unite both sides of the Rio Oro into one protected estate. Utilize the emerging science of permaculture to maximize agricultural productivity while minimizing outside inputs. The new owner, an American music industry professional with a family background in ranching and agriculture, did just that. Over 20,000 trees were planted in the reforestation effort, from native hardwoods positioned to reestablish forest corridors, to tropical fruit trees that would provide food for the animals and economy for the human guardians, trees which would also provide an understory canopy to facilitate the later growth of native species. Existing pasture land was reduced in size and reorganized under Management intensive Grazing (MIG) principles; riparian areas were fenced to keep cattle from negatively impacting the lush lagoons. Rice and vegetable crops were added to feed workers and domestic animals. All of this was done under the auspices of 100% organic agriculture methods.

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