Is San Juan Mountain Nosara’s best bet?
This is a question that deserves some exploring, and to really answer it, we would need to understand the reliance this beautiful area has on the main town of Nosara.
Recently, I was reading an article about Mayan trade routes.
This may seem a little esoteric, but it was the idea of a trade route in general that I was thinking about and how civilizations or even towns built, maintained, and relied on these routes. The more successful the route, the bigger and more grandiose the city centers benefitting from these routes became.
In the time of the Maya, the trade routes stretched all over Mesoamerica and the items that were traded were things like salt, cacao seeds, slaves, obsidian, feathers, and gold.
Obsidian was a valued commodity because it was used for adornments, weapons, and rituals that were part of daily Mayan life. The volcanic glass formed by quickly cooling lava was a prized
possession to the Maya and found at almost all the modern-day archaeological sites.
Today, obsidian is prized by archaeologists because they can use techniques to match obsidian to the original quarry it came from, and this has allowed them to reconstruct trade routes used by the Maya by examining trace elements in the stone.
The biggest beneficiary financially of the trade routes established during the classic Mayan period was Tikal, still some of the most awe-inspiring ruins left for modern-day people. As the routes stabilized, they became very profitable, and Tikal grew and eventually became the site of some of the most awe-inspiring sites available to view the majesty of a past people.
So what does this have to do with San Juan Mountain in Nosara?
Patience, my friend, we are getting there. Slowly, but surely….
Look at Nosara today as a stop on a modern trade route.
The shape of the trade route has changed in modern times thanks to the rise of cheap fuel.
Fuel led to the aviation industry, which eventually led to tourism, which completely changed the trade route of the past from a network of waterways like much of the ancient Mayan world to a network of air routes today.
To really grow and thrive, a town has to be more than just a stop on the modern tourist trade route.
We have seen this over and over again in Central America; not all towns or countries are equal. Generally there are several qualities needed for a town to really stick in the consciousness of modern travelers.
And it helps immeasurably to be associated with large, growing trends of the current day.
A modern trend is how Nosara differentiates itself from many other destinations that offer the traditional tourist experience of umbrellas in drinks on the beach or all-inclusive resorts that let consumers travel the world without ever experiencing anything new.
The trend that is helping Nosara is the meteoric rise of the wellness industry.
Several thousand years ago, there was a type of obsidian that was identified by its unique greenish hue and was of very high quality.
This particular obsidian became cherished for its qualities and can be found all over Mesoamerica today, but it all came from one place called Pachuca. Pachuca obsidian became very popular, and with that demand, an industry of trade grew up around it. Mining, export, and transport of the valuable rock took it via Mayan trade routes all over Mesoamerica.
Pachuca had a unique resource that was coveted from great distances. Nosara does too.
Visitors attracted to Nosara find a rare mix of nature and healthy living, and just like Pachuca did thousand of years ago, Nosara has grown to meet the demand.
Nosara has become more than a just a surf town with yoga; it is a place that makes people feel better.
This is the power the town has, good or bad. Nosara is making people feel better at an exact time in history when feeling better is a rapidly growing industry sold as an experience to consumers.
Selling these types of experiences is more or less what the travel part of the wellness industry is all about.
Our addiction to screens, the nonstop access we give our work to our lives, and the increasing isolation that modern-day society feels on a daily basis, all make it safe to say “wellness” is not going the way of the Maya any time soon.
Like a pendulum that swings back and forth, so does our behavior when pushed to extremes. And the opposite of working in a cubicle in a high-rise in the city has to be coming to an isolated jungle town for a juice cleanse and yoga retreat.
We believe Nosara will continue to grow and benefit from our modern lifestyle as long as we don’t destroy the natural experience that is paying the bills down here now.
… This is where we finally get to the original point of this article.
As Nosara continues to morph and grow, the experience of tranquility is harder to obtain. Noise, ever-increasing density, and the economics of expensive land all push a formerly sleepy town into a more and more bustling, chaotic experience.
San Juan, located in the mountains just minutes away from the beach, is one of a few places to go to find a balance of the old Nosara and the new Nosara.
Open space, fresher air, giant views, and boundless nature combine for an opulent lifestyle.
Enabled by the growth of Nosara, San Juan offers people the chance to separate their home and home life from a busy and touristy beach town.
Like trade routes of the past, their strength was determined by the collective strength of the route.
San Juan is no different and could not exist without Nosara, but as Nosara grows we expect it to become one of the top places to live.
The key for San Juan versus other up-and-coming spots is that it is trending toward higher-end development.
People who don’t mind the inconvenience of a treacherous mountain road get access to some of the best views in the Nosara area. A few people have known this for years and built homes more like castles than surf shacks, and that is a trend we expect to continue as we have been watching what has been happening the last couple of years.
Also, the plan of Playa Guiones, where most people live, was developed 50 years ago. San Juan offers a fresh chance to adapt a more modern lifestyle to the landscape that appears to be resulting in a thoughtful way to develop residential living.
Nosara is going to grow, like it or not.
In the future, some new areas will come into their own, and we think San Juan is our pick for best bet and that is why we have been purchasing property in this area.