Anthony Hitt

Engel & Völkers enters Central America with Costa Rican shops


The opening of two new shops in Playa Hermosa/Papagayo and Tamarindo marks the global luxury brokerage’s first foray into Central America.

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Luxury brokerage Engel & Völkers has expanded into Costa Rica, the company has informed Inman.

The opening of two new shops, one in Playa Hermosa/Papagayo and one in Tamarindo, marks the global brokerage’s first foray into Central America. Engel & Völkers currently has a strong presence in neighboring regions of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Anthony Hitt | Engel & Völkers

License partners Carlina Sarabia, Jessica Anawalt Johnson and Jorge Jimenez will lead the shops.

“A famed haven for international expats, Costa Rica is increasingly popular among retirees, students, digital nomads and families looking for safe, stable living and investment opportunities in a tropical locale,” Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas, said in a statement.

“In recent years it has been the second most popular market for Canadian buyers seeking relief from high domestic real estate prices, while also gaining popularity among buyers from America, France, Germany,  the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel and beyond. As a global brand, it makes sense for Engel & Völkers to establish operations here, connecting Costa Rica’s luxury real estate market with our buyers and sellers from around the globe under the seasoned leadership of Carlina, Jessica and Jorge.”

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Jorge Jimenez | Stone Alliance

Both Sarabia and Johnson were affiliated with Engel & Völkers shops in Florida prior to their appointments as license partners in Costa Rica, where they’ll focus their efforts moving forward. Sarabia is a certified luxury home marketing specialist with experience in design and development in Mexico, Columbia, Panama and Florida. Johnson is a fourth-generation real estate professional with a background in creating new businesses.

Jimenez has spent the last two decades working as a broker and developer in Costa Rica and is currently head of a multi-billion dollar portfolio of hotel, leisure, residential and nautical real estate projects, including Marriott and Marina Monaco Management.

The shops will service clients on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, including Santa Cruz, Las Catalinas, Flamingo, Potrero, Brasilito, Playa Conchal, Matapalo, Playa Grande, Playa Tamarindo, Playa Langosta, Playa Avellanas, Los Pargos, Playa Negra and Playa Junquillal.

The region draws full-time and part-time residents from across the globe, including entrepreneurs, creative types, nature enthusiasts and young families, an announcement from Engel & Völkers notes. Homes have a variety of architectural styles but frequently are designed to mimic the natural surroundings and incorporate local materials and craftsmanship. The lifestyle is focused on health, nature and easy living while still having access to modern services and amenities.

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Carlina Sarabia | Engel & Völkers

A number of luxury hotels have set up shop in Playa Hermosa in recent years, adding to its upscale vibe. The area is conveniently located about a 20-minute drive from Daniel Oduber International Airport. Tamarindo, where Engel & Völkers’ second shop is located, is roughly an hour’s drive south. The area is known as a surfing, sportfishing and diving destination and is home to nesting leatherback sea turtles from October to May.

“There’s no place on Earth quite like Costa Rica,” Sarabia said in a statement. “We have access to modern conveniences along with great restaurants, schools, shopping and top-notch healthcare, while pristine white sand beaches lie just outside our front doors, and mountains and lush jungles out back. Costa Rica is the combination of a gentle, sunny climate, clean living, committed conservation and a diverse, vibrant culture, resulting in what we refer to as ‘La Pura Vida,’ or ‘the Pure Life.’ As more people seek this out, we look forward to serving buyers and sellers with the highest level of care, attention and service, backed by the power of the Engel & Völkers brand.”

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Jessica Anawalt Johnson | Engel & Völkers

“A renowned name in luxury real estate, Engel & Völkers understands the nuances of navigating success in diverse global markets,” Johnson said in a statement. “With its beautifully branded shops in top destinations around the world, Engel & Völkers will introduce a new level of professionalism, gravitas and white glove service to our market, the demand for which we’ve already seen percolating among our clientele. In partnering with Engel & Völkers, we are ideally positioned to serve Costa Rica’s expanding luxury lifestyle market and believe that the opening of these two shop locations is only the beginning.”

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