Las Catalinas, consisting of approximately 1,200 acres in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica, is envisioned to be a seaside resort town that builds on the design precedents of historic Mediterranean coastal and hill towns. The planning process included an extensive on-site reconnaissance and a week-long design charrette that brought together planners, architects, engineers, and economic analysts to determine areas that should be developed and preserved, character and scale of residential and commercial development and architecture, and transportation networks intended to minimize vehicular use. The resulting master plan framework is a series of beach and hill towns with a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational uses with each town having a unique identity based on topography and purpose.
Beach Town, the main activity center, is located on the site’s prime beach frontage and will contain a broad range of retail, restaurant, entertainment, office, recreation, and other supporting uses. The town will be predominantly pedestrian-oriented but will provide for automobile access and parking. A diverse mix of residential options, often stacked above other street-level uses in multistory buildings, will include hotels, apartments, and attached, as well as detached dwellings.