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Costa Rica May Soon See a Mega-Marina in Limon

limon marina
The new marina would house 500 boats.

SolerPazos Group has announced that it will go ahead with plans to build a marina in Moin, Limon on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Isla Moin, as it will be called, will become the first mega marina in Costa Rica and will include a luxury hotel, 600 condominiums, 100 homes and 100 ocean view villas amid its 113 hectares and 2.5 kilometers of beach front land. The marina itself will have 500 spaces for the yachts and “mega-yachts”.

The building permits have been obtained for the first stage of the marina that requires a total investment of $150 million, while the project is still awaiting approval from the Interinstitutional Commission on Tourist Marinas and Docks (Cimat). This stage will consist of building the international marina, capable of harboring yachts measuring between 50 to 250 feet. It aims at becoming the largest marina in the whole Caribbean. Once the first phase is finished, the construction of the rest of the complex can start. The mayor of Limon, Eduardo Barboza, received this information last week, and is now expected to give the go ahead so that work can start promptly as this is the final step before building can start.

While talk of the construction of a marina in Puerto Viejo caused havoc and protest with the majority of the population rallying against it, it looks like the marina Isla Moin is going to happen with little opposition. The Isla Moin has promised to keep a certain harmony with nature, while the marina of Puerto Viejo would have an irreversible ecological impact, causing severe damage to the flora and fauna of this small paradise. So far the project for Puerto Viejo is on pause. SolerPazos is a Costa Rican company and also promises to use all national labor to construct the marina.

Oceanographer Guillermo Quiros, however, is totally opposed to the Isla Moin project, stating that so far he has seen very little information regarding its effect on the environment. “While it is a now a known fact that the Puerto Viejo project would be an ecological disaster, little is known about Moin, as so far there has not been enough investigation proving whether this is a good or bad thing”, Quiros said. He has himself been asked to conduct research by the communes of Limon to determine whether this would have a negative impact on nature.

Myrna Pierre, member of the Patriotic Committee of Limon, said that if the program were proven to be beneficial, it would be allowed to go ahead. The plan is to preserve the architecture and tradition of the region so that tourists get to learn more about Limon. It cannot be denied that this project would attract a lot more tourism to the area, and that looked at it in a positive way, Limon could benefit a lot from such a project. If indeed such a huge marina can manage to rise without causing ecological damage, it promises to bring Limon to a higher level. It is exactly what Limon needs at this point in time, so let’s hope that everything works out well and that finally the Caribbean gets back its popularity, a well deserved popularity!

Currently there is only one international marina in Costa Rica, in the Los Sueños Resort complex in Playa Herradura, just north of Jaco. However, there are about 10 marinas in the works still awaiting approval. Currently it takes about 3 years to get approval to build a marina, but a new government bill hopes to bring that number down to between 12 and 18 months. They also hope to lengthen the amount of time that a private company can hold a concession for a marina to 35 years, stating that it takes longer than the current 20 years to profit off of marina construction.

Photo courtesy of La Nacion.

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Written by Mireille

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