Posts Tagged With: Pura Vida

Life in Costa Rica

Do you want to know more about Costa Rica? Do you have questions? Are you thinking of moving here? Maybe just a vacation? Join this group and find out everything you need to know from people who live here! What is the best places to stay. Where are the best places to eat. How does the healthcare system work? You name it we have the answer for you!

 

https://www.mylifebook.me/index.php?do=/expatscostarica/

 

Pura Vida!

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Win an amazon gift card today!

9/5/14: Update Contests begins!

Lets start a contest!!! It will start today 9/5/14 and end on Thursday 9/26/14 at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard time. The contributor who raises the most money via referrals will get a $5 amazon gift card for every $2k raised by the end of the contest. There will only be 1 winner. Every Friday until the contest ends I will post who is in the lead and how much they have raised so everyone knows. See the Gallery for the current graph. So lets get to sharing!!!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/my-life-book/x/8546605#home

Pura Vida!

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Best of Costa Rica on Mylifebook.me

All new posts will now be on the blog section of My Life Book. You can find it at http://www.mylifebook.me

You can find us in the Coffee House section at Best of Costa Rica

There you can find my blogs, there is a live chat, videos, we can have discussions. You name it. Its a more interactive blog! So come join me there!

Here is what a current My Life Book member sent to his friends and us.

Here is a message from head of Marketing for My Life Book, LLC

 

Also My Life Book is running a crowdfunding project to raise money to place games on their site. Their games will have no advertising, no need to beg friends for help,they will be fully functional and not crippled and no privacy issues! So check out their funding site My Life Book Games.

If you own a business or sell products on ebay you want to check out these features of My Life Book!


Check out this other cool video telling you what My Life Book has to offer for members!



Pura Vida!

Categories: Costa Rica Life Experience, Finance, Food Chick, News, Photo, Restaurant Reviews, Travel, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry to say, but happy to say at the same time

My new project My Life Book has taken over my life. In a week we have already gained almost 5K members! That is great. So much of my time is now spent there I can no longer keep this up over here as well.

So Best of Costa Rica now has a presence on MLB. All blogs and other items will be posted there. This site will stay here for achive purposes, but anything new will be posted on Best of Costa Rica’s coffee house page. Please follow me over on MLB.  You will get everything you get here, but there. If you sign up before Monday you get a free lifetime membership. After Monday there is a yearly subscription fee depending on what you wish to do.

Here are two video’s for MLB. Hope you enjoy them and will join us over there. Look us up.

Hopefully I will see you there!

Pura Vida!

Categories: Costa Rica Life Experience, Facebook Posts, Food, News, Photo, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dental Procedure in Costa Rica

I asked a local dentist to send me some information on a new procedure they are doing and this is what I received. My wife uses them and she loves them! I hope you will enjoy it.

Over the past few decades, Costa Rica and plastic or cosmetic surgery have been become almost interchangeable. For the wealthy who wish to have their surgery in private, Costa Rica has become an internationally recognized center for high quality cosmetic surgery. Many consider it the ideal place to have surgery, due to its almost perfect weather and the peaceful natural surroundings in which to recuperate.

Due to the aforementioned reasons, we are able to offer the same or better quality than what you might receive in your own home town at a much better price. All this bined with the highly trained staff and quality medical facilities combine to make Costa Rica a much more desirable place to have dental work done.

If you are considering having cosmetic dental work done, we certainly hope you will consider a visit to Costa Rica. The savings you will enjoy, can also end up paying for a very nice vacation and more. Costa Rica dental implants are considerably less expensive, as are most other cosmetic surgery procedures, materials and treatments in Costa Rica.

Today I would like to speak to you about how much dentistry has radically changed over the past 20 years. For instance, in the past, we performed full mouth rehabilitation using large bone grafts involving complex hip grafting to restore a patient who was edentulous, that is being essentially toothless. As implant dentistry has become more technologically sophisticated we are able to address this condition in a more efficient and less invasive way. This name for this new technique is the All on 4. This new surgical procedure has become very popular because now we can treat many edentulous patients in a more economical and efficient way to obtain the best result for the patient in the shortest amount of time with less trauma. This new technique means fewer bone grafts, less aggressive surgery, more efficient use of implants with the tremendous benefit of having fixed non removable temporary bridges fabricated and attached at the time of surgery. You literally walk out of the office with a full set of teeth in one day! The advanced bone grafting protocol involving a mix of new materials has, in most cases, eliminated the need for complex bone grafts. This new grafting procedure has proven itself to be very successful and has become the medical standard. Using 3D technology permits us to fabricate a custom internal titanium frame structure for your temporary and permanent bridges. This results in a very precise fit over the implants and provides a long term resolution for edentulous patients, plus the maintenance of the bridges is simple and has a very low cost. Once again everything now is greatly simplified. With the new protocol the patient can be seen early in the morning and they can literally walk out with their temporary teeth fixed to their implants for one or both arches in a few hours. I have been doing this protocol for over two years now with excellent results. I will be more than happy to make myself available to call you to go through the process and explain it in greater detail. Also, I now operate my practice in a new, English fluent, multi-million, state-of-the-art facility with its own laboratory in San Jose.

I invite you to come and visit us at your pleasure to meet the staff and tour our new facilities. Please call 305.517.5172 to arrange a phone consultation or tour of the new facility.

Pura Vida!

 

 

 

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Why growing numbers of pot smokers eat mango before lighting up

Not only is the fruit high in vitamin C, it could be the secret to unlocking marijuana’s true potential

Why growing numbers of pot smokers eat mango before lighting up

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

It’s not a proven scientific fact, but many pot smokers are consuming mangoes an hour before lighting up to boost their highs. According to Marijuana.com, there’s a good chance that the myrcene molecules found in mango can possibly “increase, strengthen and even lengthen” the euphoric feeling from smoking marijuana.

Marijuana already contains more than 100 terpene molecules that are responsible for affecting THC in the brain and giving highs their ebbs and flows. But marijuana contains the myrcene terpene more than any other kind. So, if you eat a mango rich in myrcenes, you can potentially improve the high for low-quality buds or give a high-quality bud a little extra. As for how myrcene and terpene work, the research is still in its infancy.

“I don’t know the answer and the reason we don’t know the answer is because our government in its infinite wisdom didn’t permit any research in this area for many years,” said Christopher Hudalla, chief scientific officer at ProVerde Labs. “In many cases we are just starting to do this research.”

Myrcene is responsible for the aromas of apricots, walnuts and Valencia oranges and is widely used in the perfume industry. It gets its name from the plant mercia and is also found in lemon grass, verbena, hops and the West Indian bay tree used to make bay rum. Its aroma is much like cannabis as it can be woodsy, citrusy and fruity.

But one of its lesser-known qualities is that the myrcene allows THC to pass through the blood brain barrier much faster. On average, it takes THC seven seconds to reach the brain after inhaling. But if you eat a mango — or a mango smoothie — 90 minutes before smoking, you could potentially halve that time.

The “Big Book of Buds” notes that the Cavalo, Rosa, Espada and Paulista variety of mangoes are excellent sources of myrcene.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


Categories: Health, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Costa Rica Night life? YouTube Videos of the day

What is Costa Rica Night Life like? This question has been asked of me many time. Since I usually am in the house by 9 pm I really couldn’t tell you. Yes I am that old. Well not really. Just not big on the night life scene. So here are some videos that hopefully will show it. Enjoy!

Pretty typical bar type of music and such. Than there is this type. If you don’t want to see 1/2 necked woman dancing on bars don’t play these videos. Also if you don’t like talk about prostitution here in Costa Rica read no further. I try to give all sides and prostitution is a part of the night life here. I just want to state I am not promoting this activity in any way. These are the facts. 

So this brings me to talking about Prostitution here in Costa Rica. Is it legal? The short answer is yes it is. Is it regulated? No. It is not like it is in other countries such as Germany or Amsterdam. In these countries unlike Costa Rica all the girls and guys have regular health checks and ID cards. Health checks are offered and free to prostitutes here in Costa Rica, but very few actually get them done. There is no way to know for sure if they have had it. Again no regulation at all.

Pimping is illegal in Costa Rica, but like most things here it is very lax on its enforcement. Again like most things if you are an expat and think of going into this business where locals are concerned it is lax with you they will not be so. You will at min. be deported if caught and worst jailed! You do not want to spend time for pimping in a Costa Rica jail as an Expat.

The age of consent is 18 year old. No if’s, no and’s,  no “I didn’t know she wasn’t 18″. or “She told me she was 18″. 18 is the age a person can charge for sex and do not get caught with or even offering to compensate them in any way to have sex if they are under the age of 18. Again deportation and or jail! By the gods people on Facebook are insane. So don’t look at, don’t offer, don’t speak to, don’t talk to anther person to have them make an offer to anyone under the age of 18 about sex, compensation for sex or anything else that goes along with sex. Simple 18 good under 18 bad get you thrown in jail and or deported in Costa Rica. I assumed that my The age of consent is 18 years old would have covered all of this, but some people need it spelled out for them. Insanity people insanity. 

So how do you know? Fake id’s are easy to get here. So that doesn’t help. There are a number of options. Massage parlous are you best option. They have set prices and the establishment get about 50% of what you pay. Remember I said pimping is not allowed? This like all things in Costa Rica is the work around. They do not consider this pimping. The reason this is the best option as the rooms are there and available and you do not have to go rent a hotel or bring them back to where you are staying.

Pickup bars are you 2nd best option. The girls hang out there and you will know who they are it is very clear. They are independent and set their own prices. No one takes a cut from them. The will tell you what they are willing to do and not do. It is my understanding everything is negotiable with them unlike other option that have set prices. No negotiations with the other options. The price is the price. Now here is the down side of this way of doing it. You have to provide the room. You have to be very careful when you book your room that they will allow prostitutes in. Many do not! Now other hotels will allow them in, but they will charge you an outrageous fee to do so. Again this is not pimping. :-) yea right. DO NOT and I can not stress this enough DO NOT take them to where you are staying!  Make sure you know what you are getting into before you book your room. Do it a head of time and ask the right questions before you book. If you are embarrassed about saying, “I want to book a room to have a prostitute for the night” you may not want to go looking for one using this option. Use the option above.

You next option is strip clubs. Now these while they are the 3rd best option are very dangerous. They work the same way as the massage parlous as they have a set price. The establishment gets about 50%, but there are many stories of people being held at gunpoint and being robbed or having huge charges on their bills and not being allowed to leave until it is paid. You must be very careful if the option you choose is a strip club.

Your last and final option and really should not be an option is street girls. This is the most dangerous. Really you won’t know what you are getting until you get them back to your room. I have been told that many are not as they seem. You may think you are getting a woman and when you get them back to your room “Crying Game!!!!” Those of you who don’t not understand that reference its really a man and not a woman. Many especially here in Costa Rica make very nice looking woman! So be careful! You are also more vulnerable to being robed this way. There is no way to really verify their age! This is a big problem! The other options above all involve establishments that will be sure that everyone is 18 or older. Please don’t chose this option.

While yes it is mainly men who do this there are many woman who also seek this type of service. The services also extends to people who are looking for gay hook ups as well. Costa Rica does have many options and many choices n this regard. You must know what you are getting yourself into and be very careful. It isn’t a world you want to really do with out knowing what you are doing. Check out everything ahead of time.

NBC report on the Sex Tourism in Costa Rica

So there you have it the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly side of the Night life in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


Categories: Costa Rica Life Experience, News, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HOME FRIES AND FAUX POTATOES

HOME FRIES
This can be a lifesaver for a meat and potatoes man (or woman). 
Recipe from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.

4 slices bacon (3¼ ounce or 93 grams)
2½ cups (15½ ounces) Rutabaga Faux Potatoes (See following recipe.)
½ cup (2½ ounces) peeled and chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Chop and reserve. Pour off the fat from the pan. Measure 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and return to pan. Sauté  the cooked rutabaga, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add onion to the skillet with rutabaga and sauté until the onion is soft. Add the reserved bacon and the salt and pepper and cook until heated through.

“I appreciate the potato only as protection against famine, except for that, I know of nothing more eminently tasteless.”– Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825

Makes 5 servings of ½ cup.
Per serving—Net carbohydrate: 7.8 g; Protein: 3.7 g; Fiber: 2 g; Fat: 2.9 g; Calories: 77
Total weight: 14 ounces or 398 grams
Weight per serving: 2¾ ounces or 78 grams
Preparation time: 5 minutes active; 20 total

Notes: RUTABAGA
Some sources list the carbohydrate count for rutabaga as being higher than that for turnips; some list them as being about the same. I prefer rutabaga as a potato substitute because it is a bit milder and the texture is more like potatoes, but rutabagas and turnips can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

Buy the smallest, freshest rutabagas you can find. Fresh ones will be heavy for their size and they will feel firm to the touch. Avoid ones that have been waxed to give them a longer shelf life; they may feel hard but the older they are, the stronger they will taste.

~~

RUTABAGA FAUX POTATOES (Basic Recipe)
Try this when you are missing those hash browns and home fries. They may not pass for russets, but they are very much like Yukon gold potatoes. Unless you tell them, your guests may be convinced that they are eating potatoes.

3 small rutabagas (about 1¼ pounds total)
2 walnuts in the shell
1 slice of lemon with peel, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweetener, if needed

Peel the rutabaga and dice into ½- to 1-inch cubes. Simmer for 10 minutes in a generous amount of water to which you have added salt and pepper and the 2 whole walnuts. Change the water if desired, add the lemon, if using, and continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes more or until fork tender. Drain well. Discard walnuts and lemon. Return the rutabaga to the pan on low heat and stir a minute or two longer to dry. Taste the rutabaga and if it is bitter, sprinkle with a small amount of sugar substitute. Use like potatoes in soups or chowders or to make faux potato salad or Home Fries. (See previous recipe.)

Notes: Adding walnuts in the shell to the cooking liquid will neutralize the odor of cooking cabbage; I have discovered that it also helps counteract the turnip or cabbage flavor of similar vegetables, like cauliflower and rutabaga. Lemon also helps to neutralize strong flavors. Changing the water once while boiling makes them even milder.

If the recipe you will be using calls for cream, rinse the rutabaga well after draining to remove any trace of the lemon so the cream won’t curdle.

“There is nothing so tragic on earth as the sight of a fat man eating a potato.”
– Vance Thompson, Eat and Grow Thin, 1914

Makes 5 servings of ½ cup each.
Per serving—Net carbohydrate: 6.5 g; Protein: 1.4 g; Fiber: 2.9 g; Fat: 0.2 g; Calories: 41
Total weight: 15½ ounces or 440 grams
Weight per serving: 3 ounces or 88 grams
Preparation time: 15 minutes active; 35 minutes total

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Water sports in Costa Rica

Water sports in Costa Rica: Unlimited thrills for you by Costa Rica Dave

If you get an adrenaline rush from participating in water sports, head over to Costa Rica, one of the world’s best destinations for this. Its superb climate, virgin beaches, tropical rainforests and whacky night life all add to the charm of this paradise on earth.

The best thing about enjoying water sports here is that you can come to this country at any part of the year and you can enjoy all the water sports they have to offer. The large gushing lakes and rivers and the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean make it the best place to enjoy water sports.

Here are some of them that you’re sure to enjoy:

Whitewater rafting: Central America’s best rapids are in Costa Rica which are suited to novice rafters and experienced ones too. The best rivers for rafting are Río Reventazón and Río Pacuare. It’s best to raft in all parts of the year except June to October.

Fishing: Serious fishers consider this an amazing place for fishing. They bring their personally owned equipment and fish here for hours. The winter is the best time to come fishing here and you can also take a fishing tour, if you like.

Waterfall rappelling: Something that water sports enthusiasts love indulging in, waterfall rappelling gives you a real close look at the waterfalls here. Also called canyoning, waterfall rappelling excursions can be taken between Manuel Antonio and Arenal, though the best spot is Los Chorros Waterfall, a superb cascading waterfall all of 180 feet. This highly visited tourist spot is very close to San Jose.

Sea kayaking: Here’s something not as stomach curdling as other water sports. Sea kayaking can be done on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean side at sunset. You can also go kayaking on the bays along the Pacific Ocean. You can rent a kayak from most of Costa Rican beaches for an hour or for a maximum of one day.

Scuba diving: Scuba diving is popular here because divers love the warm waters here. Additionally, there are unimaginably beautiful coral reefs on the side of the Caribbean Sea that you can see at Playa Manuel Antonio (Pacific), Gandoca-Manzanilla (Caribbean), Isla del Caño (Pacific), Cahuita (Caribbean) and Parque Nacional Ballena Marina (Pacific). Here, you can also see several species of crustaceans and dolphins.

Along the Pacific Ocean coast, you can dive at these locations: Playas del Coco, Bahia Drake, Playa Ocotal and Playa Hermosa.

Surfing: You can find just the waves you want on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Manuel Antonio, one of the most superlative Costa Rican beaches, is home to surfers and also has surf camps where beginners can learn the sport. Here, surfing also takes the forms of standup paddle surfing and windsurfing, which you can enjoy at Lake Arenal at the foothills of Arenal Volcano. This is the country’s top destination for windsurfing, so die-hard windsurfers will never leave this country without spending some valuable time here.

If these sports grab you, come to Costa Rica and enjoy what thrills you most–water sports.

 Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


 

Categories: Costa Rica Dave, Travel, Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Restaurant Review: La Divina Comida

La Divina Comida

We have had dinner here 3x now and it has been very consistent with is quality, price and presentation. Now it is not a cheap place to eat so you are not going to go here everyday. It is what I call Fu-Fu food. In other words very high end stuff. As far as high end food goes the price for what you get is pretty good.

Let us begin with the food. We were here on the day we went to Cartago. We stopped in for dinner. There were 4 of us so the bill was up there.

IMG_2312

This was our free starter. It was a little over grilled for me, but tasty none the less. The butter was an herb butter and it was very, very good! The bread was soft and warm. Again free! So even better!

IMG_2313

Ceviche Limeno. The lemon was a little over powering, but it had a nice flavor to it. Warning there is octopus in there so if you don’t like that kind of thing you may want to avoid this dish. Presentation was nice, but a bit over sauced really. This cost 5,609.76 colones or $10.36. It was a good portion and I think worth the price. It can most definitely be shared by two!

 

IMG_2314

Believe it or not this is a salad. Ensalad Arugula. A wonderfully tasty salad. One of the BEST SALADS I have had in Costa Rica! Yes the Salad Nazi said it is one of the BEST SALADS in Cost Rica! It had flavor and needed no dressing at all. The avacodo on top was wonderful! Nuts and leafy greens and all sorts of stuff put into that stack! I love how they stacked it! 7,235.77 colones or $13.36 and again enough that two could share it and make an nice salad appetizer.

 

IMG_2316

Lomito Funghi was very good. The sauce was very nice! The grilled veggies had a good seasoning on them. Now that steak was cooked to perfection Medium rare as I like mine. Sometimes I like it more on the rare side, but this was as I asked for it. The meat this trip was just a little tougher than I am use to having from it, but still nothing that horrible. Just needs to be mentioned. This cost 14,552.85 colones or $26.88. Now that is a bit on the high side. If the meat was a little more tender I would say sure. I would have been comfortable paying maybe $18.00 for this. So no I wouldn’t order this one again. While the presentation and it was cooked to perfection the tenderness and amount puts this more at $18 and not $27.

IMG_2317

Lomito Saltado and I have no clue what that means, but it is steak medallions. I was told it had a good flavor. The steak was again a little tough to eat. I’m surprised as the other times we have been here the steak has been tender. Not sure of the issue today. This was priced at 9,674.80 colones or $17.87 a little better price with the exception of you get a lot less steak on this plate. Plus you add that it has fries and rice and I’m sorry not at this price. I would not have paid more than $12 for this really, maybe not even that.

IMG_2318

Risotto Lomito Saltado and I was told this was very, very good. The best he has had. He loved the Risotto. Again steak was just a little on the tough side, but he said nothing to really complain about. Again just noting it. This dish was 10,487.80 colones or $19.37. I again would not pay this much for this plate again. Personally if this was priced at $15.00 I would not hesitate to order it again!

IMG_2319

Salmon Cointreau was very good. This was my wife’s dinner. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the veggies were nicely grilled and the butter sauce always makes a big hit with us! The cost of this dish was 9,674.80 so that would be $17.87. Now this I would pay for this dish.

IMG_2320

Mouse Tres Chocolates was scrumptious I was told. Nicely done, looks great and its cost was 3,170.73 r $5.86 an well worth this price. Taste and size makes it worth a try!

IMG_2321

This Suspiro Limento dessert needs to be savored and eaten slowly. It is very rich and very creamy and has just a lovely taste to it. The lime is not over powering and the sweetness is just a great match. We had two of these and the cost was 6,341.46 colones or $11.71  or $5.85 for one. Well worth the price no doubt!!!!!

Now we also had 4 bottle of San Pellegrino 750ml size which came to 9,430.84 colones or $17.42 an we had 1 coke zero which was 1,422.76 colones or $2.63. Now I was surprised to see that if we had all had soda it would of cost more.  Plus side is that Pellegrino is better for you than Coke zero so if you like sparkling water it is a better option here than a coke!

The balance of the meal was 2 Cafe Americano’s which cost 1,951.22 or $3.60 for the two. They were small cups and the typical bad restaurant coffee. We also had 1 herbal mint tea for 813.01 colones or $1.50 which isn’t bad for a cup of tea I guess. Not much of a tea drinker myself. Its as bag so it was what it was nothing special.

Our total price with tax and tip came to 98,850.00 colones on the nose or $182.57 for 4 people so that comes to $45.65 per person. That really doesn’t sound that bad when you break it down like that.

So lets wrap this bad boy up and tie a bow around it shall we. Very nice restaurant inside and out. The place is wonderful. The staff was very, very attentive and took care of our every need. The food had great presentation. The steaks were tough so I had to take a point off for that. The prices for the amount of food was a little high. So again a point off for that as well. The bathroom were very nice, clean, maintained and had what was needed. So would I go back? Sure! Would I get the steak? No. I would go for the seafood next time.

So I give them 3 Rating seashellout of 5. Took off as I stated for the toughness of the steak and the prices. As I stated I would go back no doubt.
Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


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I was just bragging how this stuff doesn’t happen here. :-(

A National Police officer overlooks a crowd gathering at the Fuente de la Hispanidad in San Pedro, San José, after the Costa Rica-Netherlands World Cup match on July 5, 2014. (Courtesy Public Security Ministry)

National Police arrested 90 people in brawls and other incidents during and after Costa Rica’s match against the Netherlands on Saturday, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry. More than half the arrests involved domestic violence, despite a government campaign to curb a recent spike in domestic abuse complaints during the World Cup.

Members of the national men’s football team, known as “La Sele,” hold signs in Brazil reading “No to violence,” as part of the government’s campaign against domestic violence.

Courtesy Public Security Ministry

 

One of the most dramatic events of the weekend took place in the Plaza de la Democracia in downtown San José, where a brawl broke out between several fans. Police confirmed Saturday evening that two victims were stabbed and another hit with a bottle. Eight arrests were reported, but no motive was disclosed.

More than half of Saturday’s arrests – 48 – involved domestic violence. Violent intrafamily incidents spiked during Costa Rica’s games during the World Cup. Guillermo Aroyo, president of the Costa Rican Red Cross, said that during Costa Rica’s June 29 match against Greece the organization responded to 200 more calls than usual. The Public Security Ministry, Presidency Ministry and other government bodies launched a campaign called “Give Domestic Violence the Red Card” last week to raise awareness about celebrating the games responsibly.

Some 23 suspects were arrested for fighting in alcohol-related incidents during or after the game that knocked Costa Rica out of the World Cup. Most of the arrests took place in San José, where police confiscated drugs and knives. Police also aprehended three suspects in the act of committing a crime, three for property damage, four for drug possession, one for robbery, and two for illegal gun possession, among others.

Some 3,500 police were out across the country and on the streets of San José, including at the Fuente de la Hispanidad, Plaza de la Democracia and Parque Central for Saturday’s game.

Originally posted Tico Times

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


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What you can see and enjoy in Costa Rica

What you can see and enjoy in Costa Rica

A tropical paradise you could never imagine–that’s the simplest and most appropriate way of describing this stunning country in Central America. The Panama Canal is to this country’s southeast. Beautifully located, this country is home to the most verdant tropical rain forests, lush and dense.

It is also home to the most amazing variety of exotic animals and plant life. Here’s a peek in to what you can see and be fascinated about on your trip to Costa Rica or the “rich coast” in Spanish:

Pristine and stunning beaches: Perhaps you want a quiet holiday by the beach or you may want to indulge in thrillingwater sports. Whatever your level of adrenaline rush, you can visit this miniscule country of 1,200 miles-long of beaches, with rocky coves and bustling coastal small towns.

Lush, dense tropical rainforests: You can also see a wealth of birds, insects and reptiles at the tropical rainforests and the most spectacular views on Earth.

Active volcanoes: Bang on the Pacific Ring of Fire, you will have the opportunity to see Costa Rica’s five volcanoes–each of them active! You can visit them by hiking here and enjoy a lava eruption.

Take your pick of national parks: With over 60 national parks, biological zones in 12 ecologically dense areas, wildlife refuges, you can get a never-before experience of the national parks insideCosta Rica has more than 60 national parks, wildlife refuges and biological zones spread across 12 ecological areas, offering the ultimate rainforest exploration experience. Visit the Manuel Antonio National Park, which though small, is home to four stunning beaches, unforgettable views of the Pacific Ocean, animal life like monkeys, sloths, ocelots, anteaters, etc. Coral reefs here will amaze you just as the occasional dolphin and whale will. You can also go scuba diving from here.

Another national park not to be missed here is the Corcovado National Park, home to over 100 amphibian and reptile species, and big cats, bats, jaguars and over 400 bird species. Don’t miss a trek from here.

Water sports–ride the waves here: If you’re a water sports buff, this is home for you. You can enjoy the water in an amazing array of water sports here, or go out for a small excursion where you can go bungee jumping, horseback riding or hot air ballooning.

Bird life watching: If you love being in the midst of Nature, you can’t leave Costa Rica without bird watching. This country regularly invests inenvironmental protection, so it has a huge and impressive wealth of biodiversity that is home to the world’s endangered species. This makes it a wonderful spot for bird watching tropical birds. You’ll be in the wonderful company of 900 bird species that you can’t find anywhere else.

However you may want to spend your holiday, you can’t do it better anywhere else than in Costa Rica. So, pack your bags and get here soon. There’s so much to see and enjoy here and memories to go home with.

Ready to book your vacation? Click on the link below!

Written by CostaRicaDave Best of Costa Rica Author

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

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Photo of the day

Our photo of the day comes from my Doctors Facbeook page at Cima. Yes my doctor has a Facebook page and you can communicate with her via this page. Costa Rica is amazing!!!!!!!!

Dra Yamilah Bouzid

La contemplacion de la naturaleza, desencadena hormonas saludables en nuestro cerebro y sistema circulatorio, aumenta nuestras defensas contra infecciones y nuestra capacidad de respuesta ante celulas cancerosas y envejecimiento! Dsfrutemos esta maravilla …

The contemplation of nature, triggers in our brain and circulatory system healthy hormones, increases our defenses against infections and our responsiveness to cancer cells and aging! Dsfrutemos this wonder…
Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


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Food Chick Tip

Today’s Chick Tip…..We all have different lifestyles. Weight loss is different for everyone. The key to finding what works for you is experimentation. The two common factors are diet and exercise. Find what works for you and enjoy the ride!

I have been using my Nutri-Bullet for four weeks, once a day five days a week. I have discovered my favorite concoction; organic spinach and blueberries, cantaloupe, banana, almond milk and either chia meal or hemp hearts (sometimes both).
I have noticed a reduction in my fluid retention as well as increased energy levels. In addition I have opted to make my mid afternoon meal the largest meal of the day on most days.

For exercise my goal is five hours of cardio a week with three days of weight training. I mix up my workouts with walking, rowing, hula hooping, circuit and core work. This week I will begin Body Flow classes at my gym.

To date I have lost eight pounds and am six pounds away from my first target weight. I will set my next goal after that.
The key for me is to keep it changing, no monotony.

I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer. This is what works for me. Find what works for you. If you want me to help you I can do that. Contact me for more information through my website, www.thefoodchick.biz

Click here to get you magic bullet from Amazon! Magic Bullet

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


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4th of July Celebration in Costa Rica

I was invited to a 4th of July celebration at a resort here in Costa Rica. The owner Jerry invited me and his lovely wife Maggie who I had yet to meet were wonderful hosts! The party, I think was a great success. He had his staff on hand to help everyone. There were a ton of people there. It was a pot luck type of event. People brought all kinds of side dishes to share. There was the normal BBQ fair of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and such. All the fixings. I got to meet some new people and some people I know sort of though facebook and who know me the same way.

That gathering was very eclectic as there were people there from all over the world. British, Canadan, US, Tico, etc. This just shows that no matter your nationality people will come together for a party and especially if there is free food involved! Even the British who we are celebration our independence were there. :-) I know after over 200 years its all water in the Boston harbor now. :-) I know I am only funny to me.

So of course I had to sample everything! I did just sample I only took a tablespoon of everything that was there. I have to say nothing was disappointing. I think everyone did a wonderful job. They had a really good grill master who handled the grill perfectly. My next BBQ I will most certainly use him.

The highlights of the dishes I tasted, for me were, the meat balls! They were cooked just right and the sauce was very nice. The beans were perfection on a plate. There were a number of sauerkraut type sides which all were tasty. Like I said there wasn’t a dish there that I went, “Oh hell no who made this crap”.

See my video of the day at YouTube Video of the Day  for how not so American our most American celebration really is.

Very nice night the views are amazing from the resort. I could see my house very clearly from his back and front viewing areas. Have to wonder if he uses that telescope he has to watch me nude sunbath? lol Just kidding Jerry.

Now remember I get nothing an accept nothing when I talk up a place be it a restaurant or a resort. This place is a great place to stay if you are coming to Costa Rica. It is a great couples resort no doubt. He put a lot of thought into the design of the rooms as well as how to maximize his views. So if you are coming I would most definitely recommend you stay at Barons Resort. Here are some photo’s of the resort from their facebook page. Barons Facebook

So looking for a nice place to stay while visiting or moving to Costa Rica this really is a place you should try! The view alone is well worth the price. So check them out on the Facebook link.
Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Use this link to see all thing Costa Rica on Amazon! Make your purchase today! All things Costa Rica

Remember if you get an account with the Unblock-US vpn you can than Live stream your movie and tv shows at our link! 

Booking a vacation? Use our link below! 


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Exchange rate 7 2 14

Exchange rate 7 2 14

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!


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Final Update on Budget report June Recap

Well I have to admit I have learned a lot from doing this blog. I have learned where to shop and where not to shop no doubt. Pricesmart was way over priced, but I kind of knew that, just didn’t want to admit it to my self. I am now shopping more at that local Coope. Here are the last few days of the budget.

day 24 thur 30

As you can see we did do a little exploring and really all it cost was lunch one day. The other day because I drove both days they treated us for lunch on the 2nd day. Which was very nice. I still haven’t had to fill my gas tank yet. I love my car!!!!! You can see I am $757.73 over budget, but I think you can do it for less.  You really can live for under $2k a month and even under $1k a month and it all depends on how you wish to live. Size of the house, employees, etc. So lets look at how we can trim this thing down and what I have leaned from all of this.

final summary

If we look at the final summary and see what I have removed. You would have $604.14 left on the $2k budget. Now if we add back an amount for additional food because of the eating home more and not out. I also added back 4 of the cheaper meals so you can eat out once a month. Really you could eat our more on that if you know where to go. As you can see I also added Rent of $700 and I still only failed the challenge by $211.12. Really if I would have shopped more local and not at the expensive places I would have come out of this under budget!

So what are the tings I have really learned? I eat out way to much. The place I eat are way expensive and I will now avoid them, as the food and service isn’t any better than the cheaper places. Some of the cheaper places like Dingo’s the food was amazing! Yes I know I owe you all a ton of restaurant reviews! I promise I will get to them. I have all my receipts right here to be sure I remember which ones I need to do. :-)  Dingo’s review is in our trip overview for Zarcero. You can find that blog here: Zarcero when I finalize the Cartago trip there will be two reviews in it since we ate out 2x. Now the dinner I did not include in my budget as it was hella expensive and I knew I would take it out and not include it at all in any of my calculations. I have learned I need to be smarter about how I shop and not just look for what I am familiar with. I’m not going to do and full blown budget like this one, but at the end of July I will give you an update on how well I did in July. See where we end up shall we. Did I really learn anything and could I put what I have learned into action and change my habits? Only time will tell. Oh wait I can’t do it for July we are going back to the states so that won’t be fair. Ok so August.

I think my Goal is going to be in July to find the cheapest and best places to eat in Costa Rica. Yep that is going to be my goal!

Well that wraps it up. I hope you have enjoyed it and have learned a few things. Keep following our blog and we will keep you updated on where we go and the things we do and the bargains we can find in Costa Rica. Have fun today and thanks for reading!!!!
Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!


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Today’s Exchange Rate 6/30/14

BAC San José

BAC San Jose Bank

Exchange Rate 6/30/14

El tipo de cambio del dólar US$ para hoy es: Compra ¢540 y Venta ¢550
¡Buenos días amigos!

The exchange rate of the dollar $ for today is: buy ¢ 540 and sale ¢ 550 good morning amigos!
Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!


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Monkey Monday Photo of the day!

Photo’s taken by Tio Mago

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!!



Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!


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YouTube Video’s Monkey Monday!!!!!

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!! Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!


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Budget Hostel in Osa Peninsula

Corcovado Foundation opens budget hostel in Osa Peninsula

Hammocks await penny-pinching sojourners at the Drake Bay Backpackers Hostel. Courtesy the Corcovado Foundation

 

Budget travelers, rejoice: Visiting the Southern Zone just got a lot more affordable, thanks to Drake Bay Backpackers, a nonprofit hostel recently opened in Corcovado. Conceived of by the Corcovado Foundation, a sustainability-conscious NGO, founders hope the hostel will attract a new wave of visitors – and help environmental stewardship.

“All proceeds of this hostel are destined to help us support our sea turtle conservation and environmental education program in Drake Bay,” wrote Alejandra Monge, executive director of the foundation, in an email to The Tico Times.

Historically, the living space has accommodated foundation volunteers, and the hostel is actually based in the foundation’s camp on the Osa Peninsula, where guests have gathered, trained and donated their labor since 2003. Now the space will be open to any traveler, who may sleep there for as little as $10 per night.

Long broken in by volunteers, Backpackers has all the amenities of a regular hostel.

Courtesy the Corcovado Foundation

 

“We have volunteers here helping the community to protect the sea turtles between July and December,” said Rob James, director of the foundation’s sea turtle program, in a statement. “But the rest of the year the building is empty. It seemed like an obvious opportunity to generate income for our environmental programs and promote responsible tourism at the same time.”

As many Drake Bay veterans know, the region is filled with expensive resorts and upscale eco-lodges, and it is difficult for shoestring travelers to stay in the area for a reasonable price. Even reaching the Osa Peninsula requires either a day-long bus ride or a somewhat costly NatureAir flight. For travelers counting their colones, the new hostel will offer bunk beds ($10-15), private rooms ($20-25), a homestay ($30, including three meals), and even the option to camp ($5). The homestay program is an extension of the foundation’s volunteer network, giving travelers the chance to stay with local residents.

“Because we don’t have to focus on profits, we are able to offer [lodging] at a much cheaper rate than the larger hotels,” added James.

Guests will have access to the same amenities that volunteers have enjoyed for years: a community kitchen, hot showers, free WiFi, a library, a video projector and cinema screen, hammocks, laundry service and a “chill-out zone” for sultry afternoons. Because the foundation was partly established to encourage ecotourism, guests may sign up for community visits, hiking tours, scuba diving and whale-watching excursions.

For information and directions about Drake Bay Backpackers, visit the hostel’s official website.

Originally Posted Tico Times

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!! Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!


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Gay Pride Costa Rica

More than 10,000 LGBT supporters march down Paseo Colón, in western San José, on Sunday, June 29, 2014. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

An historic World Cup football win wasn’t the only thing people in San José were celebrating Sunday. Hours before the big game, more than 10,000 supporters of the lesbian, gay and transgender movement marched down Paseo Colón for the annual Diversity March. This year’s pride parade follows two historic victories for the Costa Rican LGBT movement: the flying of the rainbow flag over Casa Presidencial and the extension of public health insurance benefits for same-sex couples.

Marching alongside the droves of shirtless men, drag queens and rainbow-clad supporters was the U.S. Embassy’s chargé d’affaires, Gonzalo Gallegos.

“U.S. Embassies around the world are participating in these diversity marches,” Gallegos told The Tico Times. “We think that it is really important that people speak out about their rights.”

Former presidential candidate José María Villalta also was at the event as one of the parade marshals. Villalta and his Broad Front Party have championed gay rights in Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly. With nine Broad Front lawmakers now in the Assembly, Villalta said he hopes they can continue pushing forward with reforms, but he also noted that his coalition faces obstacles.

“We are always working to get reforms passed to support members of the LGBT community,” Villalta told The Tico Times, “but there is also a strong socially conservative block in the Legislative Assembly right now that opposes these human rights advances. We still plan to continue the fight.”

 Originally posted on the Tico Times

 

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. They do mail to Costa Rica fairly cheap. I did a test of a mouse pad and got it in 12 days delivered to my house! Amazing!!!! Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!


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July events happening around Costa Rica

Celebrate U.S. Independence Day at The American Colony Committee’s annual July 4 picnic at the Cervecería Nacional. Alberto Font/The Tico Times

Fourth of July Picnic

Hot dogs! Games! “The Star-Spangled Banner”! Celebrate Independence Day with the U.S. expat community on the grassy outskirts of San José. Hosted by The American Colony Committee, the Fourth of July Picnic has been a beloved annual celebration since 1961. Read more about this all-American event here.

The picnic takes place July 4 at the Cervercería Nacional, near the Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside San José. Gates open from 9 a.m.–1 p.m., entrance costs5,000 ($10). For more information, visit the American Colony website.

World Cup: Costa Rica vs. Greece

Costa Rica begins a new round at the World Cup by battling Greece this Sunday. Time to bust out that vuvuzela.

The game starts at 2 p.m. Visit designated “fan zones” in the Plaza de la Democracia or Avenida Escazú for public hi-def screenings. Check out all of our World Cup coverage by clicking on the hashtag #Brazil 2014.

LGBT Pride Parade

Celebrate sexual diversity at this massive, all-inclusive event. The parade features floats, music, and ornate costumes. Read our preview here.

Parade takes place June 29 on Paseo Colón, downtown San José. 10 a.m. Free.

Music: Sonámbulo Psícotropical and 11:11

Costa Rica’s favorite tropical jam band plays El Observatorio in San José, with amazing indie upstarts 11:11 opening. If you haven’t seen 11:11, check ‘em out!

Concert is June 27 at El Observatorio, Los Yoses, 9 p.m. Entry: 3,000 ($6). Info:Facebook event page.

Courtesy the BioFestival

Music: BioFestival 2014

This festival incorporates both music and environmental workshops in the Caribbean slope town of Pococí. Catch the last two days of this green-themed event.

Festival continues through June 29 at Casa de la Cultura in Pococí, Guapiles, Limón Province. Free. Fri., 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat., 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sun., 12 p.m. Info: RedCultura site.

Music: Vocal Rinse

A cappella sextet Enjuague Vocal plays three-night engagement in Jacó.

Enjuague Vocal performs June 27-29 at Teatro Jacó, downtown Jacó, Puntarenas. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. General, 5,000 ($10). Residents and Students, 3,500 ($7). Info: Teatro Jacó website.

Music: Leaf.fm Music Festival

Thanks to the phone app “Leaf.fm,” San José hipster club Steinvorth hosts eclectic musical artists this weekend, including Zópilot!, Sr. Tijeras, Passiflora, and others.

Leaf.fm Music Festival plays June 28 at El Steinvorth, downtown San José. 9 p.m.3,000 ($6). Info: Steinvorth website.

Courtesy Festival Calypso

Music: Second International Calypso Festival

One of the Caribbean’s most revered musical genres gets center stage this weekend, thanks to the International Calypso Festival. Artists include Johnny Dixon, Cantoamérica, Calypso Limón Legends, and many more.

Festival performs July 4-6 at the Alfredo Gonzales Flores Park, Cahuita, Limón Province. Musicians perform all day. Free. Info: Event Facebook page.

Theater: “The Sad Girl and the Madman”

This drama won Best Latin American Play at the Escena Viva theater festival. Catch this Spanish-language production produced by The National Theater Company.

“El Loco y La Triste” performs June 27-29 at Teatro 1887, downtown San José. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. 4,000 ($8). Info: RedCultura.

Theater: “The Drummer” Children’s Festival

This children’s festival incorporates puppets, skits and storytelling. The story takes its name from Juan Santamaría, Costa Rica’s famous war hero and drummer boy.

El Tamborcillo Festival performs June 29 – July 13 at the Juan Santamaría Museum, Alajuela. Daily at 6 p.m. 500 ($1). Info: RedCultura.

Good Deeds: Reusable Bag Day at Auto Mercado

Bring a reusable shopping bag to Auto Mercado to help the environment.

Auto Mercado will encourage reusable bags on Sat., June 28.

More Good Deeds: Animal Rescue Collection

Drop off food, medicine, pet shampoos, and anything else that might help our furry friends. Hosted by Rescate Animal.

Collection takes place June 27 at the Law School, UCR Campus, San Pedro. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Info: Rescate Animal Facebook page.

Art: “Dirty Game”

Costa Rican artist José Miguel Rojas González explores the nature of winning and losing in this subversive series.

“Juego Sucio” continues through Oct. 11 at the Central Bank Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, San José. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museos Banco Central website.

Courtesy the Central Cultural de España

Exhibit: “Cathedrals of Soccer”

This photographic exhibit illustrates the beauty of the soccer field – not the game itself, but the stadiums where games take place.

“Catedrales del Fútbol” continues through Aug. 1 at the Spanish Cultural Center, Barrio Escalante. Mon.-Thu., 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Fri., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Free. Info: Centro Cultural de España website.

Theater: “Run for Your Wife”

What’s worse than one dysfunctional marriage? How about two? Teatro El Triciclo presents this polygamous farce by Ray Cooney. See how the jokes translate in a Spanish-language production.

“¡Corre Por Tu Mujer!” plays at Plaza Tempo, Barrio Lujan, San José. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: Teatro El Triciclo website.

Art: “The Day We Became Contemporary”

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge arts with a comprehensive, retrospective showcase.

“El Día Que Nos Hicimos Contemporáneos” continues through Sept. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents ₡1,000 ($2), foreigners ₡1,500 ($3), students ₡500 ($1). Info: MADC website.

Drawings by Fernando Carballo

Master draftsman displays his diverse body of work at Casa del Artista.

Exhibit continues through June 30 at Casa del Artista, Guadalupe. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Info: Official website.

Art: “A Family Portrait of Helvetica”

This dual exhibit features a fascinating exploration on the typeface Helvetica, by artist Mimiam Hsu.

“Retrato Familiar en Helvética” and “Ojalá el Sol Me Esconda” display through June 28 TEOR/éTica Gallery, Barrio Amón. Free. Info: TEOR/éTica website.

Art: Great Painters Exhibit

Paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and Andy Warhol arrive in Costa Rica. Presented by the National Gallery, this collection incorporates 158 artworks and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture, based in the former penitentiary.

“Herencia del Arte” takes place April 28–June 28 at the National Gallery in Barrio México. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. Info:National Gallery website.

Theater: “Journey to the Center of the Earth”

The classic Jules Verne science-fiction story receives an innovative Spanish-language adaptation at Teatro Espressivo. Enjoy this family-friendly afternoon adventure.

“Viaje al Centro de la Tierra” takes place May 8-July 13, Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos, Cartago. Sat. & Sun., 3 p.m. ₡6,000 ($12). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Theater: “Baroque Café”

A variety of Spanish-language one-act plays make up this comic revue.

“Café Barroco” takes place through July 6, Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos, Cartago. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡5,000-10,000 ($10-20). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Enamorate de tu ciudad

Yes, you can get gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-long celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check back for games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.

Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website.

Originally posted on the Tico Times

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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Solis Demands Explanation From ARESEP for High Gas Prices

The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Due to the constant increases in the price of gasoline that have been adopted in at least the past two months, President Solis shall request for the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (Aresep) to provide a precise explanation of why these increases have occurred.

“I want to know if the formula they are using is the best way. We will request a review of the tariff model because gasoline keeps rising. I am not a technician. I want someone to simply explain to me why we are paying so much,” said Solis.  

In particular, the president wants to know if there are alternative formulas for calculating the price of oil.. 

Franklin Chang, someone you know very well told me about this formula. He’s an astronaut and he can’t figure it out,” he added.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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Best of Costa Rica’s Readers Top Restaurants

My top 10 list created such a stir with many of my readers as well as on some of the Expat Facebook groups I opened it up to everyone to send me what they had. So here is the list in no particular order and they are not ranked. This is just a comprehensive list to show you where our readers eat and to help give you an idea of where you may like to eat in the various areas. So I hope you enjoy it!  If you don’t see yours, I might not have received your list. Please feel free to comment on this post and tell us about your favorite place to eat in Costa Rica! Not all of these can you get a meal for 2 for under $60.

Here is a link to my top 10 list where you can get a meal for 2 for under $60, no including booze! The following are readers picks sent to me in email.

La Carreta – Atenas Centro – great Tico Food. Try the Aztec soup.

La Triilla, Atenas – Tico food. Favorite is grilled pechuga or fish with garlic

Hamburguesia – Escazu Plaza Tempo in the Holiday Inn Mall. Burgers, toppings and sauces make this a great place for lunch

 Sushi Kai – Santa Ana Via Lindora. Artistic Fresh sushi

Saga – Avenida Escazu . Fresh international food prepared to perfection.

 C-Vichito y Mas – Alajuela near Price Mart. Chef owned. Very creative and eclectic. He loves to add chocolate flavoring. Tell him what you want as your main and let him create your meal!

Tintos y Blancos – Multiplaza Escazu. Great Tapas and wonderful wine list.

Baccus – Santa Ana. Five Star food and service. Mediteranian food and hand made pizza. Great wine list.

Citron – Playas del Coco. Depending on what you order, you can get in under $60, but drinks are between $5 and $8 and wine by the glass is $5. Atmosphere and service is top notch. The best thing I like about this restaurant is that it has some imagination when it comes to food and the presentation and preparation have been consistently great.

Valero – Playa Hermosa near entrada two. Best value is on the nights they have their Parrilla set up. Then they offer a variety of specials that are between $10 and $18 including salad and side dishes. Atmosphere is right on the beach, so you’ll get great sunsets depending on when you go.

Toro Negro – Liberia (just across from the main church). They specialize in steaks, but have a wide variety of other things. The Hamburger Toro Negro was 4800 colones but was perfectly prepared and very tasty. Most steaks are around 8900 colones which includes salad and two sides.

Le Coc – Main street Playa del Coco. They have a small kiosk in front of the casino on the main street in Coco. There are no tables, so you pretty much sit at the counter or take it out to the beach. They feature basic menu of middle eastern wraps at vaery reasonable prices, and the food is amble and good.

El gusto de la vida – Playas del Coco. It is off the beaten path in a mall shopping center near the little luperon. Don’t confuse this one with La Dulce Vida – another Italian restaurant. Food is excellent and very reasonable – 4500 colones on the average. It is very small, only about 8 tables, but the service is good. They also bake their own bread.

La Esquina de Buenos Aires – San Jose

Hands down this is one of the best meals I’ve eaten in this country. The meat is amble and tender, presentation is perfect and service is excellent. Depending on drinks and wine it might go over the 60$ limit, but the food is terrific.

 Jalapeños Central, in downtown Alajuela – The food is tasty and quickly prepared to order and is moderately priced.  In addition to the Tex-Mex fare, there is some killer buffalo chicken on the menu plus some wonderful desserts.

 El Colibri in Puerto Carrillo – Argentinian barbeque everything is as fresh as can be

Mantras in Barrio Escalante 200 meters east of Farolito and 25 south – People who have never eaten vegetarian food before have commented that they never thought vegetarian food could taste so good, and this is what keeps people coming back again and again.

Jolly Roger near Dominical has excellent wings.

Galeria Steakhouse heir tuna steak is as good as it gets anywhere.

Restaurante  La Farola the gazpacho is out of this world, the Russian salad is unique and very tasty (sort of a potato salad with tuna)

Restaurante de Lucía –  Known for their succulent steaks you can choose your own cut and they will cook it to order.

Pecora Negra Puerto Viejo  – fantastic nightly specials

Graffiti in Jaco – we have eaten there three times and have had perfect meals each time. I had this dessert once that was amazing, it was Elvis something. It was on my husband’s bday, as I normally don’t get dessert, and it was to DIE for.

So you now have a few more selections, but that is all I got. So send me more or just comment on here and tell us the name, a link is always good, where it is, and what is best to eat there. So shoot us a comment to add to this list.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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Zarcero, boy did you have a surprise for us!

Today we decided to take a trip to Zarcero and boy and I glad we did! I went with the wife and 2 friends. It was a really good trip. Good company beautiful town and just a wonderful feel. Boy if I knew about this place it could have been in the running for where we may live instead of Atenas, but I really do lover our town of Atenas.

Our morning started at 10:45 as we drove off out on our adventure. We stopped to pick up one friend, the other drove to our house. We went to the gas station to fill up. Not that it was that far, but I have learned that in Costa Rica you should always fill up before you go on any adventure to anywhere you have never been before. You just don’t know what will happen.

It was a pretty uneventful drive. We had good company so the drive went pretty quickly. The roads can be a little twisty and windy from Atenas, but during the day and when it isn’t raining its pretty easy.

We got there right at 12:00 on the dot! It was time for lunch and we really wasn’t sure where to go. As we drove into town one of our friends saw a little shop area that had 2 restaurants listed. One had fast food in its name so we figured we would check out the other. So we go in and can’t find the one that was listed that wasn’t fast food. I went upstairs and saw what could have been it, but it wasn’t open. So we decided to take a chance. Here are some photo’s of the little center.

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Oh my are we glad we took the chance. The food was amazing and the prices were just as amazing! Dingo’s fast food  is where we ate. Don’t let the words Fast Food fool you. It was nothing like fast food!

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Patacones were ok. So at this point we were not 100% sure this was a right decision, but than we tasted the salsa! It was delicious! So we had hope. The only problem with this was there was way too much breading and too little plantains. This was 1,450 colones.

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My friends call me the Salad Nazi and with good reason. I am very picky over my salads. Now this doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value to it, but let me tell you it was good. The chicken was a pleasant surprise. This was the Ensalada Dingo. I don’t think that was dingo on our plate! The croutons were toasted bread and not too soft but not too hard either. The dressing was a ranch and just ok, but he chicken was the hero here. The added ham and cheese was nice as well.  This was 2,950 colones and actually it was enough to be a nice lunch in and of its self. \WP_20140625_12_44_22_Pro

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Next up our friend got the Super Hamburgesa. This is a direct quote from our friend who ordered it, “This is the best hamburger I have ever had in Costa Rica.” This is high praise coming from her. It had 2 kinds of cheese, pickles and just a small piece of bacon, but it was about 1/2 lb of burger! It came with a side of fries. This cost 2,950 colones as well and well worth the price!

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There is that wonderful salsa again! This was a Burrito and again direct quote, “One of the best I have had!” So again another winner and it comes in at 2,800 colones.

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Ok so Alitas Buffalo and there are 7 of them here. I took some flack for putting Hooters on my top 10 restaurants list and this place knocks them off! I would have liked a little more heat, but there was enough to make me happy and not too much that some who doesn’t like a lot of heat wouldn’t want to eat them. They were crispy and the breading was very different, but wonderful. They were very generously sauced as you can see. 7 of them cost 1,900 colones. Amazing price!

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This was the Costilla BBQ which is BBQ ribs. They cut them into pieces which made it easier to eat. Left the bone so you have to watch when you bit them. Pretty good. Wasn’t a wonderful BBQ sauce, but it was good. Now these potatoes were amazing! I don’t know what they did to them, but they were very tasty and flavorful! This dish was 4,000 colones.

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Ok so I was a little skeptical about getting the Churrasco. I am glad I did. Again served with those wonderful potatoes! The side salad was the same minus the chicken as our main salad. So the steak I am going to let this video speak for me.

Yes it was that tender. It needed a little salt, but other than that it was really good! So very surprised and wasn’t not expected this from a little shop that had Fast Food in its name! It was a good 6oz cooked so a good size. It cost 3,450 colones. I was shocked!

We also got 2 Cafe Negro, 1 Te frio and 4 Coke lights. The cold drinks were 1,000 colones each and the coffee was only 600 colones. We also got a dessert that we shared. I didn’t get a picture of it. There was a cinnamon roll and a fruit roll and I swear it was made from angle food cake batter. We couldn’t believe it. Very nice and it was only 500 colones for each one. Very good deal.

So total for our lunch for 4 with all that food and drink was only 29,450 colones or $53.69 for those who don’t know the conversion. I was amazed! It is one of those great accidental finds that you just never know will happen. We are so glad we decided to take a chance and not go anywhere else.

Now we get to the reason we were in Zarcero. We went for the garden and the church. Both were amazing! Love the beauty of the gardens and the church. So here are the pictures I took at the garden.  Click on the images below to see larger views.

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The other reason we went was to visit the church. It is one beautiful place, no doubt. The art and paintings are amazing. So here are the photo’s I took while at the church. Again click on the images below to see larger views.

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Over all it was a very nice day. Good friends, Good food, beautiful town and a wonderful drive. If you get a chance you should go visit this wonderful place and eat at that wonderful restaurant. Here is the blog of one of the friends that went with us. Check it out. Keeping you in Stitches

The only downside was the drive home. The rain held out until we were ready to leave, but I had to drive those twisty windy roads in the rain. We made it home safe and sound and that is all that matter.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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Lightning kills 18 year old

So for those living here or just visiting you need to know about this story.

On Sunday 6/22/14 at Playa Penca in Costa Rica an 18 year old died when he was struck by lightning. He was identified as David Otoniel Rocha Rivera. It is said he was getting out of the water when the bolt hit. Rainy season is very beautiful and also can be very deadly as well. As soon as you see the clouds turn dark get inside! Do not take a chance.

This is a sad story and one that hopefully can be prevented in the future.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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Crocodile problems in Costa Rica!

A crocodile slithers into the water from the muddy bank of Costa Rica’s Tempisque River. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

For 14 years Jason Vargas has made a living by dangling raw cuts of chicken breast in front of massive crocodiles.

As the main tour guide for Crocodile Man Tours, based at the Tárcoles River, Vargas usually spends his workdays wading barefoot down the river’s banks, putting himself within inches of the beasts’ deadly maws for the amusement of tourists. Born and raised near the Tárcoles, in the country’s Central Pacific, Vargas’ unusual career path has roots tracing back to a childhood fascination with the giant reptiles.

“When I was a boy we used to drive up and down the river in a boat,” Vargas said. “Eventually we started throwing the crocodiles food and I just became obsessed with it.”

Vargas’ death-defying antics have turned him into a celebrity. He has been the subject of news stories, a French documentary and an episode of Animal Planet. But his success came to a screeching halt in May when officials from Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) held a meeting and told all Tárcoles tour operators to stop feeding the crocodiles.

“If we had 100 people on our tours before, now we have about 50,” Vargas said. “The hotels in San José and Jacó can’t sell a river boat tour as well as they can sell a crocodile feeding tour.”

But Vargas’ tour woes are of little concern to SINAC, which says operations like his make crocodiles more aggressive, and have spurred a sea of other croc-related complaints from the rest of the tourism sector.

In the past year, crocodiles have lounged on beachesattacked surfers, closed down national park entrances and eaten a man alive. The mounting number of incidents has sparked public concern, and members of the tourism industry are now asking for a crocodile intervention.

Though Environment Ministry officials have appointed a task force to assess the state of the crocodile population, they say it may be the tourism industry, not the crocodiles, that needs to change.

Watch Jason Vargas feed crocodiles on the Tárcoles River:

The Tárcoles River is among the most polluted waterways in all of Central America. Full of trash and teeming with crocodiles, the river is hardly an appealing place for a swim. But for one reason or another, the murky waters managed to tempt Omar de Jesús Jirón, a 32-year-old Nicaraguan man who drunkenly attempted a swim near the Tárcoles’ main bridge on April 29 of this year.

Police and Red Cross responders still dispute the exact details of why and how Jirón entered the water that evening, but one thing is certain: He never came back.

After swimming for several meters, Jirón was nabbed by a group of the river’s crocs. Unable to pull Jirón from the reptiles’ jaws, witnesses watched helplessly as the crocs ripped the man apart. Several days later a woman on a walk near the river’s edge discovered the only part of Jirón police were ever able to recover: his head.

The horror of Jirón’s death captivated Costa Ricans for weeks, and drew attention to the river’s unusually aggressive American Crocodiles.

Though crocodile attacks are not statistically common, the reptiles still sit among the top 10 most deadly animals in the world. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s crocodile specialist group, there have been 1,159 reported crocodile attacks on humans since 2010, and many other attacks go unreported.

The Nile crocodile and the saltwater crocodile are responsible for nearly all of these attacks, neither of which can be found on the American continents.

“Nile crocodiles view humans as prey, but new world crocodiles won’t hunt humans,” said Brandon Sideleau, a crocodile attack specialist with the IUCN. “With that said, Costa Rica sits at the top in the new world for croc attacks.”

Though country-by-country comparisons of crocodile aggression can be misleading due to inconsistencies in reporting, the number of recorded attacks in Costa Rica is significantly higher than most in the region.

According to CrocBITE, a worldwide crocodilian attack database that reports attacks from as far back as 1816, only the much larger American crocodile populations in the U.S. and Brazil outstrip Costa Rica’s in terms of aggression. Other than those two countries, in the Western Hemisphere, Costa Rica has seen more fatalities and more than double the amount of attacks than any other nation.

Five of these attacks occurred in the past year.

In rural parts of the Caribbean Coast, a 14-year-old girl lost her leg to a croc, and another crocodile pulled a 65-year-old man from his rowboat and killed him. But these types of attacks have always been common.

“People who live in rural areas near crocodiles have always been at risk, but education has helped with that,” said Juan Bolaños, a former professor at Costa Rica’s National University and a local crocodile expert for the IUCN. “Crocodile attacks as a whole are not increasing.”

According to Bolaños, crocodile attacks in communities near rivers used to be a common occurrence; the media just never reported them. Both Bolaños and MINAE say that any seeming growth in the number of crocodile attacks is due to better reporting rather than an actual increase.

Attacks near beaches and tourist hotspots, however, are increasing.

In February, a man nearly had his legs ripped off by a croc in a river near the popular Pacific surf beach Tivives, and a Spanish surfer was attacked in the ocean near the northwestern party hub of Tamarindo. The spot where Jirón was attacked, the Tárcoles River, has more than 100,000 tourists a year who stop off at the bridge to gawk at the crocodiles, according to local business owners.

“People near the Pacific Coast are worried because it seems like crocodiles are leaving rivers for beaches,” said Flora Ayub, executive director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotel Owners. “At this rate, an accident could happen to anyone.”

Earlier this month, the Chamber of Hotel Owners sent out an open letter to members of the government asking for controls on the crocodile population. In the letter, the chamber’s president, Gustavo Araya, wrote that tourists were getting scared of the high numbers of crocodiles near beaches, and asked that MINAE take action. The letter noted that in the case of overpopulation, MINAE officials can legally kill or relocate crocodiles.

“We aren’t necessarily asking for them to kill all of the crocodiles,” Ayub said. “What we want is for MINAE to do something.”

Siquirres native Gilberto Sheedon, or Chito, became famous for his close friendship with an American crocodile named Pocho. The Tico Times

While owners of tourism businesses complain of the lack of croc protection from MINAE, ministry officials claim that tour operators are part of the problem.

As the country develops, crocodiles’ traditional habitat has come under threat from agriculture, human settlements and, most recently, eco-tourism. Tourists who visit Costa Rica no longer stick to the well-treaded beaches and volcanoes that made the country famous, but also explore the lesser-traveled corners of the country that used to harbor wildlife.

“You didn’t used to have surfers and kayakers coming into close contact with crocodiles,” Bolaños said. “Tourists have invaded the areas that crocodiles used to be, so now crocodiles are invading the areas where tourists are.”

But some tours go beyond just entering croc territory. According to experts, crocodile feeding tours like Vargas’ Crocodile Man Tours actually change the way crocodiles perceive humans.

“As a rule feeding crocodiles makes them more aggressive,” Sideleau said. “Feeding a crocodile makes it associate people with food, even if it does not traditionally consider humans as prey.”

Costa Rica has a long-standing law that prohibits feeding crocodiles, but MINAE officials tolerated the Tárcoles tours for years because they were not perceived as a threat. After the recent attacks on tourists, MINAE decided it was time to enforce the regulations. They gathered the area’s tour operators, explained the law and told them if they did not conform they would be fined. According to Adrian Arce, MINAE’s director of wildlife for the Tárcoles region, not all of the tour operators have been cooperating.

To Vargas, it is not the tours that are causing a problem, but the dozens – if not hundreds – of other tourists who visit the Tárcoles bridge every day.

“On our tours we will feed one crocodile every hundred meters or so. That kind of feeding doesn’t make them aggressive,” Vargas said. “The problem is all the people feeding them from the bridge. Crocodiles don’t stay in groups like that anywhere else. The crocodiles there are crazy and aggressive because they have to fight for food.”

A quick search of “Tárcoles River” on YouTube, confirms Vargas’ claims. Coming from all corners of the world, camera-touting tourists have saturated the Internet with videos of near misses with the river’s massive reptiles. Some of the bridge’s visitors drop meat from above to watch the crocs fight, while the truly courageous (read: stupid) will approach the riverbank and stand face-to-face with one of the river’s massive beasts.

Surprising to most crocodile experts, Jirón’s accident was the first crocodile attack on the Tárcoles since 1995, but officials say if the indiscriminate feeding continues it’s only a matter of time before a tourist is taken out.

“It’s time we get a handle on what is going on at the Tárcoles,” Arce said. “The situation is dangerous and out-of-control.”

Though wildlife experts point to tourism as the probable cause for the crocodiles’ aggression, they remain unsure if overpopulation is also a contributing factor.

MINAE has had to address crocodile overpopulation before — just last month, SINAC officials killed 80 crocodiles in the Tempisque River, in the country’s northwest, to lower the population before breeding season — but a lack of resources has prevented the organization from studying most of the country’s rivers. The Tárcoles has not had a comprehensive population study for six years.

“For now we are educating the public about how to avoid an attack,” Arce said. “We are trying to do population studies as quickly as we can, but we are not going to allow indiscriminate killing of crocodiles just because tourists are scared.”

Watch this guy nearly fall into the jaws of a Tárcoles crocodile at 1:42:

For now, MINAE is managing the problem with a special crocodile task force charged with creating education programs and conducting population studies when funding is available. But crocodile experts say that the only real solution is to develop a comprehensive management system for all of the country’s rivers.

This would require population studies of all of the country’s rivers and personnel to continually monitor the animals. Those studies require money, money that the universally disliked crocodile has never been able to attract.

“Crocodiles have killed 14 people in the past 20 years, but still no one wants to give money to help manage them,” Bolaños said. “Jaguars, on the other hand, never kill anyone, but they are beautiful and people like them so they get all the money. Apparently people care more about saving pretty animals than they do about saving lives and protecting reptiles.”

Originally posted at Tico Times

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

 

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Cost of Living Update days 17 – 23rd.

Sorry for the lapse in updates, but really not a  lot to show. A few things and I was waiting on hearing from my Insurance guy on how much I pay for Ins. both house and car to post that for a monthly item. As it is in Costa Rica it took him forever to send it to me. So here is the update. Pretty boring!

day 17 thru 23

 

I can post pictures, but to be honest it really was a boring week. We had great lunch for the Expat’s group. Oh wait I have pictures of that I should post those. Hold on let me get them!

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I had the special This was yummy! and at 4,500 colones along with a piece of cake and all the ice tea I could drink a bargain as well!!!!!! He so should put this in as a regular special! Anywhere that gives you free refills is a place to go!

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Pretty good event. They handled all 20+ people very well. Food was good! Service was excellent. I think we could do it here again. If you are in Atenas you should stop by and see them and have a bite to eat!

So as you can see over budget by $700, but we still have month end to get to. We will evaluate the budget and see where we can trim without too much of a sacrifice and see where we land.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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Eat Costa Rica Today!

I have decided to every now and again, unless you all want this more often, to post a days worth of meals starting with Breakfast and working our way though dinner. all Costa Rican Style meals and how to prepare them. So hope you enjoy it!

Breakfast or Desayuno

Costa Rican Rice and Beans With Fried Eggs

Not the actual dish there was no picture to go along with this dish. Sorry.

Ingredients: 

3/4 cup long-grain white rice
kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons Lizano sauce, more to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Step 1
Put the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 1/2 cups of water in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice has absorbed the water and is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside with the lid on.

Step 2
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened about 3 minutes. Add the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Step 3
Add the tomato sauce and stir for 1 minute. Add the beans and 1 cup of water and simmer until the liquid reduces to the level of the beans, about 4 minutes.

Step 4
Add the rice to the beans and mix well. Stir in the Salsa Lizano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Step 5
Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling the pan to coat evenly. Gently crack the eggs into the pan. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook until the yolks’ edges have just begun to set, 2 to 3 minutes. (The eggs should cook gently, so lower the heat if needed.) Separate the eggs with the edge of a spatula.

Step 6
To serve, put a heaping spoonful of the rice and beans on a plate and slide 2 eggs on top. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Time Prep 10 min. Cook 20 min. Serves 4

Lunch or Almuerzo

Hearts of Palm Parmesan Salad.

Ingredients: 

1 (14 ounce) can hearts of palm, drained & rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, seeded & chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 green onions, chopped (use white & green parts)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper (Use fresh cracked pepper)
2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly shaved
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

If you want this to be a meal add the following:

2 medium sized Cucumbers chopped, 1 Shredded carrot, 2 oz each shredded cabbage (Purple and green), 1 while onion chopped or sliced, optional but very nice to have is some sliced mushrooms.

Directions:

Chop and mix in a a large bow. Let sit in fridge for about 1/2 hour to marinade.

Serves 2 to 4 depending on your cutting abilities about 10 min. prep.

Dinner or Cena

Appetizer or Aperitivo

Black Bean Quesadillas

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed, mashed with a fork
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 cup spinach, cleaned and dry
1/4 cup shredded Monterrey jack pepper cheese
1/4 cup salsa

Directions:

Step 1
Spread black beans on half of the tortilla.

Step 2
Spread the spinach on top of the black beans.

Step 3
Spread the cheese on top of the spinach.

Step 4
Fold tortilla in half.

Step 5
When time to heat up, cover tortilla with a napkin and heat in the microwave until heated through 1 – 1.5 minutes.

Step 6
Top with salsa and enjoy

Serves 2 Prep to cook time about 5 min.

Entree

Corvina a La Chorillana (Peruvian Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce). Photo by vvoci

Corvina a La Chorillana (Peruvian Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon annatto oil, divided (see note)
2/3 large onions, thinly sliced, divided
1 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped, divided
2/3 fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch strips, divided (red or green)
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
1/3 teaspoon salt, divided (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
1 lb sea bass (cut into 1/2-inch steaks)

Directions:

Step 1
Heat 1 tablespoon annatto oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over moderate heat, tipping pot to spread oil across the bottom.

Step 2
Spread half the onion slices, tomatoes, and chili strips in the hot oil.

Step 3
Sprinkle with half the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Step 4
Lay fish steaks on top of vegetable mixture.

Step 5
Cover with remaining vegetables and seasonings.

Step 6
Drizzle remaining annatto oil over top.

Step 7
Cover and simmer over low heat until fish is opaque and firm, 20-30 minutes. Do not overcook.

Step 8
NOTE: to make annatto oil, heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in 1/4 cup annatto (achiote) seeds. Stir for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and strain. This will keep several months if tightly covered and refrigerated, but it will lose flavor as it ages.

Dessert or Postre

Oven Baked Sweet Plantains. Photo by Sue Lau

Oven Baked Sweet Plantains

Ingredients: 

2 very ripe plantains (when the skin is yellow with spots of black they’re perfect)

Directions:

Step 1
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Step 2
Coat a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Step 3
Cut the ends off of the plantains and peel.

Step 4
Cut each plantain on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.

Step 5
Arrange in single layer and coat tops with cooking spray.

Step 6
Bake, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until plantains are golden brown and very tender.

Serves about 2 Prep and cook time about 17 min.

So there you have it! A complete day of meals Costa Rican Style! I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know if you try and how it turned out. Either comment here or send us an email. If you want us to show your creation email us what you did and the pictures and we will post on our blog. Thanks!

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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In Search of Wild Costa Rica

Clockwise from top left: Rain forest in Corcovado National Park; a tapir in the park; a cabin at Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge; spying on a toucan at the lodge. CreditScott Matthews for The New York Times

By the end of our fourth day on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, we had seen, according to the tally kept by my 9-year-old, Sasha, dozens of species of animals. We had peered at leafcutter ants, army ants and zombie ants. We had been deafened by howler monkeys, beguiled by squirrel monkeys and strangely stirred by capuchin monkeys, whose feet bear an eerie resemblance to human hands. That afternoon, in the national park that covers a third of the peninsula, we had even spied two tapirs, endangered mammals that look like hornless rhinoceroses with long snouts.

To sample this extravaganza of biodiversity, we had risen early each morning of our vacation. So when our guide informed us that he would be taking us out at 4:30 a.m. to witness the rain forest waking up, I — the motivating force behind, and thus bearer of responsibility for, this trip — glanced apprehensively at my family and swallowed hard.

“We’ll be up!” I said brightly.

I had shepherded Sasha and my husband, Scott, to Osa in hopes of a tropical wildlife experience that was, in fact, wild. But as we crawled into our tent that night, the beaten path from which I had so resolutely steered clear was starting to look more inviting.

Photo

Nito Paniagua, a guide, finds an anole lizard. CreditScott Matthews for The New York Times

Costa Rica, home to large tracts of untouched yet accessible rain forest, had seemed the obvious place to immerse ourselves in nature for a week in February. On Facebook, people responded with the Costa Rican phrase “pura vida!” (“pure life”) at the mere mention of the country. We had admired photographs of bright-colored birds, frogs and butterflies from the preserves near the capital, San José, which could be reached by direct flight from New York. The ubiquitous “canopy tours” through the treetops seemed a great way to indulge Sasha’s love of zip lining.

But as I researched where to go in the West Virginia-size country, I began to suspect that its popular ecotourist destinations might not quench my yearning for the untamed. On TripAdvisor, phrases like “well-developed” and the less-charitable “Disneyfied” arose in regard to the storied Monteverde Cloud Forest in the central highlands. Manuel Antonio National Park on the central Pacific Coast, widely loved for its beaches and restaurants, was reportedly better for night life than wildlife.

The more people who can enjoy the rain forest without destroying it the better, of course: The 70,000 or so who visit a sliver of Monteverde each year help pay to preserve the rest of it. But the remote Osa Peninsula, which juts into the Pacific Ocean from Costa Rica’s southwestern corner, seemed to hold an increasingly rare chance to observe the rain forest in all its fecund, carbon-storing, oxygen-producing glory, without quite so much human company.

Mostly mentioned in travel guides as an alternative for those who had hit the other highlights, Osa did not rank on Lonely Planet’s list of “Top 10 Costa Rica Spots for First-Timers.” To get there requires a second flight or a seven-hour drive from San José. And while the draw is the 160-square-mile Corcovado National Park, accommodations there are limited to a few dozen bunks and a tent platform at the Sirena Ranger Station.

I mapped a tentative itinerary that would bring us to each of two jumping-off points to the park, Puerto Jiménez to the southeast, and Drake Bay to the northwest, both of which have several excellent lodging options. In between, we would stay one night in the park, perhaps the last refuge in the country, I read, of the sweet-looking Baird’s tapirs Sasha and I had fallen for while searching online for “Costa Rica animals.”

An email from a well-traveled friend sealed the deal: “Costa Rica is very touristy,” he wrote. “Osa is not.”

Our first stop, Bosque del Cabo, was a 40-minute ride by taxi from Puerto Jiménez, the biggest town on the peninsula with a population of 1,780. I had chosen one of the two cabins at Bosque just steps from the rain forest, at the edge of a large clearing planted with native trees and plants. A half-mile away from the main lodge area, these “garden cabinas” are reached by a trail through the forest that crosses high above a river over a suspension bridge.

Photo

The author and her daughter in a tide pool near Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge.CreditScott Matthews for The New York Times

“We ask that only guests that feel they will be comfortable with the walk and the increased isolation of these accommodations book into them,” the lodge’s website warns.

Any pangs I might have had about passing up the dozen or so bungalows with ocean views disappeared as soon as we found ourselves in the company of spider monkeys, swinging from branch to branch at eye level on our first pass over the bridge. The lodge staff member escorting us waited patiently, albeit with the amusement of a New Yorker watching tourists marvel at pigeons.

“Do you feed them?” I couldn’t help asking. He assured me they did not.

A few steps off the bridge, we stopped short with the odd sensation that the earth was shifting under our feet. The highway of leafcutter ants hauling their leaf-bits toward the entrance to their underground caverns was our first inkling, repeatedly confirmed over the next few days, that they were in charge there. (“Are there more ants in Costa Rica than there are humans in the world?” Sasha would ask. Answer: many more).

Bosque itself sits on 750 acres that encompass some primary-growth rain forest and large swaths of “jungle,” rain forest that has grown back on land that had once been cleared — in Bosque’s case, for cattle grazing. We would have virtually no chance of seeing a tapir on the hotel’s trails, the staff told us candidly (even in Corcovado, we were told, our chances were 50-50). But we spotted poison dart frogs, lizards and monkeys dozing in the sun. A wild pig called a peccary often visited the lodge’s modest pool, where we cooled off and sipped ginger lemonades.

The hotel also offered nature-oriented activities: One morning we rappelled 70 feet down a strangler fig tree, another we hiked down the empty beach to a waterfall, splashing in the tide pools that form in the reef formations along the way. On an evening wildlife tour, the hotel naturalist taught us the trick of holding our flashlights against our temples, revealing the reflection of thousands of spider eyes shining in the grass.

Dinner, served buffet-style with a bounty of delicious choices (panko-crusted eggplant, roasted hearts of palm, crispy chicken with figs) was eaten at communal tables. And if I needed validation on my destination choice, we found ourselves dining more than once with others who had firsthand knowledge of Costa Rica’s well-traveled spots.

Photo

Capuchin monkeys near Drake Bay. CreditScott Matthews for The New York Times

“Osa is — crunchier,” said one civil rights lawyer from Washington, D.C., as Sasha and another girl her age excused themselves to look at the bats hanging from the bamboo light fixtures.

His wife, a judge, concurred about their desire for a less-processed experience.

“More what we had in mind when we thought about Costa Rica,” she said.

In our cabin, open on three sides, we felt less like observers than residents of the forest, along with monkeys playing in the trees directly above us and the leafcutter ants below. One late afternoon, a rainbow of toucans and scarlet macaws flew by a few feet away, on their way to the fruit trees in the clearing behind us.

Yet knowing that the trees had been planted to attract the birds undercut, just a bit, the pleasure of their proximity. Perhaps it was our own fault, too, for being diverted by rappelling adventures and poolside lemonades. But when we landed the next morning at the ranger station, the headquarters of Corcovado park, it quickly became apparent that there would be no distractions from the natural world. Other than lounging on the shaded porch of the low-slung ranger station, there was really was nothing to do but be in it.

Our guide, Nito Paniagua, who met us in Puerto Jiménez for the 15-minute charter flight, lost no time snagging us a spot on the tent platform at the station and heading out on a trail to the river.

The park has just started requiring tourists to be accompanied by a guide, but in any case we would have been lost without Nito’s six senses. He caught lizards and hung them from our ears, trained his scope on resplendent birds no one else could see and produced bats from furled-up leaves.

Photo

Tent platform at the Sirena Ranger Station in Corcovado National Park. CreditScott Matthews for The New York Times

“Look at the two species playing together,” he said at the trail’s entrance, pointing his viewing scope so we could see the howler and spider monkeys teasing each other in the branches above. “That’s so nice to see.”

Unlike the many hardy backpacker types who had walked 12 miles or more to camp at Sirena, we were not big hikers. But the walk down to the river where we ate lunch was not so much strenuous as it was intense. It took two hours only because we stopped every few steps for a new creature: the bird with the small heart, the carnivorous cricket, bright blue butterflies, the notorious fer-de-lance snake.

And because Nito had quickly divined that we were keen to see tapirs, he brought us to a spot where they are known to nap.

That we were lucky enough to see two of them through the trees from perhaps 50 feet away was one reason for the collective groan that night when Nito announced the 4:30 a.m. wake-up call.

What else, we wondered, did we have to see that couldn’t wait until dawn?

In my grogginess I left the tent without my glasses and had to run back to get them while Scott, Sasha and Nito waited for me on the grass beyond the porch of the ranger station. We stopped to admire a spider web at the start of the dirt trail, then traipsed on toward the beach where Nito wanted us to watch the sky grow light.

That was when the tapir came crashing out of the forest right in front of us. My heart beating hard, I held my breath, wishing I could freeze the moment. Scott and Sasha, too, stood transfixed. For just a split second, the large, strange animal seemed to register our presence. Then the tapir lumbered away from us, down the trail, toward the river as we followed, until it veered off into the darkness.

map ny times

I didn’t know it until then, but this, more than anything, was what I had hoped we would find on the Osa Peninsula. It wasn’t like seeing an animal lured to a spot by human guile, or to where all the guides know it’s likely to go on its own. If I hadn’t forgotten my glasses, we might well have missed it.

It felt wild.

There was no shortage of moments like that in our short time at Sirena. Sasha’s favorite siting may have been the anteater carrying a baby on her back all the way up to the top of a tree, spied that morning after a breakfast of eggs and ham that was, like our dinner there the night before, plain but tasty. We all oohed over the baby hummingbirds in the nest Nito found, and the baby hawks the ranger showed us through his scope in between his other chores at the understaffed station.

Before we left, we walked one more trail, cooler and less dense than the one we had taken the previous day because the soaring tree canopies blocked the light others might use to grow. The logging and slash-and-burn agriculture that had prompted the formation of the park in 1975, Nito told us, had never reached here. As we stumbled into a clearing where one tree, an espavel, or wild cashew, towered some 150 feet above us, we stood again in silent awe. That tens of thousands of acres of such forest are destroyed each day worldwide seemed inconceivable.

Most life in the rain forest, Nito reminded us, lives in the canopy, and never descends to the forest floor. Speaking of untamed, no one even knows entirely what’s up there.

We might have been happy staying longer at Sirena had our tent been pitched on the lawn, rather than the platform, which was hot and crowded at night. (Nito was scheming to go in with other guides on tents with rain flaps that could be used on the lawn.) The ticks, albeit not disease carrying, were also not a plus, especially for Sasha, who pried five off her legs.

As it was, we were happy to get to our final Osa destination, La Paloma Lodge on Drake Bay, after an hourlong boat ride from Corcovado that afternoon. It felt good to take a hot shower and to enjoy the rain forest as a view from the hotel’s elegant dining room, set high on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean.

At night, Tracie Stice, a local naturalist universally known as the “bug lady,” showed us a scorpion (“Don’t sit down,” she suggested as we leaned against the stone wall) and gently pried open the well-camouflaged home of a “trap-door” spider so that we could see the creature promptly slam it shut again.

On our last day, we went on a decidedly human-manufactured, 13-zip-line canopy tour arranged for us, a highlight of the trip for Sasha. But when Scott asked her which leg of the trip she would eliminate, if she had to lose one, she couldn’t choose. Like her parents, she could have happily lived for decades in our first cabin. She wouldn’t give up zip lining.

“And I can’t take out Sirena,” she said. “Because that’s where we saw everything.”

By 

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Categories: Costa Rica Life Experience, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Youtube video of the day

Fishing in Costa Rica!

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

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Best of Costa Rica’s Top 10 Restaurants

top-10-list-231x300

Update: Who knew this would be so controversial. :-)Let me clarify a few things about this list. 1. It mainly covers the Central Valley area. While we do travel out of the area we do not eat out of the area enough at any one place to be able to evaluate it property. 2. You must be able to get a meal for 2 for under $60. and 3. Consistency is key. Please visit my blog I wrote on this subject to understand more of my guidelines that I used to select the following places. Yes there are 3 US chain restaurants. That is just the way it is. There are none that I have found that can replace them for the items I suggested you eat at each one. They meet all my requirements for being on this list.

Best of Costa Rica’s Top 10 Restaurants you must visit when you are here in Costa Rica. We will start with 10 and count down!

10. SOLO Camaron - It is reasonably priced and the food has good flavor. Don’t go in there with a large crowd. It is a small space, but comfortable. Clean and the service is very good. Everything and I mean everything has shrimp. So if allergic you may want to avoid it!

9. Hooters - Is pretty much the same as they are in the states. You only go in there for 2 thing. One is the wings and the other well it is what it is. :-) We have tried a few other items on the menu and were not impressed. They do have a limited selection of wings sauces, unlike in the states. If you are in the mood for wings this is your place to go no doubt!

8. Tony Roma’s - It is a little on the pricey side, but not as bad as some places. If you are looking for a good Italian meal this is your place to go. Don’t get the beef products as tey are on the tough side, but pasta is delicious!

 7. Chilis – After being here for over a year we finally went and we were pleasantly surprised. It was really good. It had the best pizza I have had in Costa Rica. I know sounds strange, but it is true. So for no other reason you should go here for the pizza! The prices are reasonable. Our friend who was with us said they had the best ribs he has ever eaten in Costa Rica as well. Give it a try.

6. Sisso - Another new find and we loved it. If you are a vegetarian this is one of the best places to go no doubt. They don’t have a salad bar, but they do have a make your own salad. So always a plus in my book. Food was good, prices were very good for what you got and the place was nice. Service was very good.

5. Los Antojitos – This is one of our favorite places to have lunch. I’m sure dinner would be just as excellent. We have been to two different ones and the food and services was great at both of them. So if you see on in your travels stop in and have a bite. You won’t regret it. I love their grilled salad!

4. Alida Ristorante – If you like a true Italian pizza this is your place. It has that thin crust you are hoping for and they are tasty. They have a great salad and the other food is good as well. It is a little pricey, but worth it. Nice place and great service.

3. Grego’s Bar and Grill - We do go here often. The prices are a little high for a bar, but not really that bad. The food is good! The only problem with it is the consistency of the food. One week its good, next its ok, than it is good again. I love their chicken soup! It is served with an egg that is cooked by the heat of the broth. Our favorite is the Chicken and the Corvina and I do like their churrascos as well but it is hit and miss as to its toughness.

2. Kay’s Gringo Postres – Is one of our favorite places to go in Atenas. The food is good, reason prices, and the desserts are a little bit of heaven. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, but worth a stop on in no doubt. It is the Cheer’s of Costa Rica just no booze. The staff is friendly and helpful and you will always find helpful people.

1. La Trocha - If you want a good steak this is the place to go! We love their steaks! Their ceviche is very good as well. Service is wonderful and the owners are just great people. If  you get their pasta dishes they do sauce it very generously! They have a signature sauce that is great! I love their jalapeno sauce!  If you want just a bit of heat or full tears and red lips you can get it. Just tell them how hot you want it! They will cook your steak medium rare! The only way to have a steak!

So that pretty much covers it. If you are here for 7 days or 10 days this list pretty much has you covered. Check these places out and let me know about your experience.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

 

 

Categories: Food, Restaurant Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Photo of the day

p3

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

 

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Youtube video of the day

Its Surf day Sunday!!!! Here is a beginers lesson on surfing. If you like to see more of these let me know and I will have more made.

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

 

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Fun In Costa Rica’s Central Valley

Fun in Costa Rica’s Central Valley

Costa Rica is one of the safest and most exciting places to visit in Central America.  The Central Valley area has a wide variety of fun activities with something for everyone.  Whether you want to relax, have an adventure, or both, the following things to do will be sure to please novice and seasoned travelers alike.

National Theatre of Costa Rica

If you are flying into or out of San Jose, you will find that Costa Rica’s capital city has plenty of unique attractions.  The National Theatre of Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful and ornate buildings in the country.  With famous paintings, lavish furnishings, and a floor comprised solely of Costa Rican woods, this cultural landmark is not to be missed.

Jade Museum

Pop quiz:  where is the world’s largest collection of jade located?  Hint:  it is not in Asia.  This fabulous and famous collection can be found in the heart of San Jose.  The museum also features many pre-Columbian gold artifacts.  It is a must for everyone who loves rich and sparkly things.

WCCR2

Catch a Saprissa Soccer Game

Even if futbol is not your favorite sport, taking in a home game at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma will give you a taste of local Costa Rican flavor like nothing else can!  Ticos are passionate about Saprissa and many of their players headline Costa Rica’s national team.

Our Lady of the Angels Basilica

Costa Rica is a Catholic country with no shortage of churches done in the old Spanish style.  If you love beautiful architecture, you will adore this Basilica in Cartago, outside San Jose.  Outside the church, a spring with healing waters can cure your ailments.  Inside, the statue of La Negrita the Black Madonna is usually covered with many charms shaped like body parts for Our Lady to heal.  There really is nothing like it anywhere else in the country!

Poas Volcano

Located in the Alajuela Province, this is one of the most active volcanoes in the country.  Scientists think that a new eruption is imminent given the noisy gas that can be seen rising from the crater.  The sulfur and other chemicals give the water in the crater an usual grayish hue.  Get there early because you will enjoy a lovely view of the Central Valley from the crater’s viewing platform.  However at about 9AM clouds will completely obscure it for the rest of the day.  It is called a cloud forest for a reason!  Despite standing on an active volcano, you should dress for the cold and wet.  The hiking trails offer many opportunities for bird watching.

Veragua Rainforest

What can’t you do at this lush rainforest?  Enjoy a tram ride, zip lining, and hiking.  Exhibits include hummingbirds, snakes, butterflies, and much more.  Explore the waterfalls and observe scientists at their work in the biological research station.  You will certainly achieve a better appreciation for this beautiful ecosystem after this fun and educational visit.

Doka Coffee Plantation

What trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a trip to a coffee plantation?  This plantation is unique to the especially immersive tours that are offered.  The tour begins at the seedbed and takes you all the way through the coffee making process.  There are also free samples of Costa Rica’s most notable export for everyone to try.

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Tarcoles Bridge

This bridge in the Alajuela Province is famous for its smiling crocodiles.  Enjoy these wonders of nature from the top of the bridge but don’t get too close!  Disney World this isn’t!

Botanical Orchid Garden

A stop at this beautiful location in La Garita will please any gardener you may be traveling with.  With hundreds of rare and beautiful orchids and other tropical flowers, something is always in bloom for you to admire.

Atenas Central Park

Get a taste of classic Costa Rica at this quaint park.  With lots of trails that wind through the palm trees and other tropical vegetation, you can work up quite a sweat!  Afterwords, grab a refreshing traditional repast at any of the little restaurants around the park.

Farmers Market

In Atenas on a Friday afternoon?  Get a taste of local culture and flair at this market.  Fresh produce and traditional handicrafts are on offer and haggling can be fun!

Atenas Swimming Pool

Atenas is more of a mountain town and is a little bit of a drive from the beach.  If you need to take a dip, there are two public swimming pools.  Bring a picnic lunch and prepare to spend the day swimming and sunning.

I think that about covers it. That is more than you can do in 10 days. :-) Well maybe. So come and enjoy!

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Sale and Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

Categories: Costa Rica Life Experience, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Costa Rica Ranked #1 vacation destination!

Selvatura Adventure Park, Monteverde Ronald Reyes/The Tico Times

Rain forests, volcanoes, world-class beaches, great weather, sloths, what’s not to like? A new global survey confirmed that tourists love Costa Rica, naming the country most recommended tourism destination in the world.

The Global Tourism Monitor Survey asked 23,000 globetrotters from 26 countries where they had traveled during the previous 12 months and which destination they would more recommend based on their experience there. The report, released Monday, ranked the top 65 most recommended destinations.

Austria came in second, followed by Israel, New Zealand and Italy.

Ukraine, Malaysia, China, Indonesia and Tunisia were the five least recommended destinations, according to the survey conducted by BDRC Continental.

While Costa Rica placed atop the list of most recommended destination, no other Latin American country made the top 10.

Latin America and the Caribbean placed among the least popular regions with only 6 percent of respondents saying they were “seriously” planning to travel to the region. Europe ranked the highest among potential travelers with 43 percent planning to travel there, followed by 27 percent in the Asian Pacific. Only 4 percent said they planned to take their holiday in Africa or the Middle East.

Costa Rica received a record-breaking 2.4 million tourists during 2013, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Board.

Here’s the list of the top 10 most recommended destinations (with a three-way tie for 10th place):

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Austria
  3. Israel
  4. New Zealand
  5. Italy
  6. Japan
  7. Croatia
  8. USA
  9. Norway
  10. Canada
  11. Greece
  12. United Kingdom

…and the 10 least recommended:

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Russia
  3. Albania
  4. Cambodia
  5. India
  6. Ukraine
  7. Malaysia
  8. China
  9. Indonesia
  10. Tunisia

Originally posted to the Tico Times

Categories: News, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Top things Costa Rican Restaurants need to know

no inconsistency

In the wake of last night dinner and a friend making the suggestion to create a post about the top things Restaurants in Costa Rica need to know that they are doing wrong!

  1. INCONSISTENCY!!!!!! Yes please just say no! This if you listen to nothing else I say can save your Restaurant. Everything you serve should come out the same every time. If you salad calls for cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Make sure that is what it has on it every time. How do you combat this? Keep a recipe for every item listed on you menu. Say what you do and do what you say! Keep things measured. If one day your plate has 6oz of beef on it and the next there is only 4oz you will lose a customer or two or more when they talk to their friends or write a blog seen by hundreds  of people a day all over the world!  For the love of all that is the Food Gods if you have it on your menu be sure you have it at every service! Telling a customer you are out is bad! Yes it happens sometimes, but it shouldn’t always happen. Offer a discount on another option. They will lover you for it!
  2. Service believe it or not can actually make your restaurant a success even if you just have ok food and prices. A great wait staff that knows what they are doing, is attentive, knows when to play with the customer and when to leave them alone is golden! A glass should never go empty unless the customer says so. There should never be a dirty dish on the table. You should not have to ask for salt, pepper, napkins, or for gods sake silverware. You are in the service industry and you need to stand out above the rest! If a customer asks a question about a menu item you server should not have to run and go check for you. They should know the menu in and out.
  3. Price for Quality is again a big point and one of the hardest points for a restaurant to control. You are not going to pull the wool over a customers eyes buy charging more and serving less. I like most, but not all customers are willing to pay a little more if #1 and #2 are there and the quality of the food being served is there as well. In Costa Rica local fruits and veggies are the cheapest anywhere. You should be shopping and looking for those bargains. If you are selling a $12 salad it better be one amazing salad! If your steak dinner is $30 you better have over 8oz of meat and it better be tender and juicy. Don’t be greedy. Higher prices will kill your business. Restaurants thrive on repeat business not the one timers. If your price for the quality is way too high that is all you are going to get is one timers.
  4. Presentation of the food is the cherry on top of the Sunday. If what you are serving looks like you just slopped it on a plate it tells the customer you really don’t care. If you don’t care whey should they care to come back. I’m not talking big and fancy and swirls and stacks that like like you created a master piece, but something presentable. It should be neat and organized on the plate. There should be room and space for people to cut their food without it falling off the plate. This doesn’t mean give them less. See #3 it means get new plates! If it doesn’t look appetizing it may not be appetizing!
  5. Cleanliness is that which binds all these things together and makes you THE RESTAURANT to go to.  The tables should be neat and in order and bused. See #2. Utensils, floors, counters, etc should be clean. Here is a big tip! Bathrooms need to be clean, orderly and functional! Nothing will turn off a customer faster and have them not return than a bathroom that is disgusting. If that is  how you keep the bathroom, the customer is going to wonder how do you keep your kitchen! I have been to places where there is no running water to wash your hands, no toilet seats, no paper towels.

So in summary Good food, good service, good prices, good presentation, and a clean place will keep your customers coming back time and time again. They will also tell their friends who will tell theirs. People will blog your praises to hundreds of views a day all over the world! So please restaurant owners of Costa Rica heed my words and take care. You never know who is there and what reach they have to either praise you or bury you in the sand!

Want to turn your restaurant around? Email  me at info@bestofcostarica.net I would be happy to come in and evaluate (not review) your place and help you to make it the best place in town!

Pura Vida!

Don’t forget to check out our Cafe Press shop! $3 of every item purchased goes to Charities here in Costa Rica. Also check out our House for Saleand Rent listings as well!  If you are traveling and you want a cheap $4.99 a month and good VPN so you can watch hulu, your countries Netflix, and amazon click here. Good for travel or if you live here in Costa Rica. Don’t forget about our Amazon shop as well!

 

Categories: Food, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The True Meaning of Pura Vida

I opened my inbox one day to find an email with a peculiar subject line.  “Congratulations, you have won a trip to Anamaya Yoga Retreat in sunny Costa Rica”.  I promptly deleted it but a nagging feeling prompted me to retrieve that email and read it again to be sure it was, in fact, just another scam.  Four months after I reread that email, I boarded a plane for San Jose, Costa Rica. A long drive through the countryside that led to a ferry that took me across the gulf of Nicoya and onto the small Pacific Coast village of Montezuma was the beginning of an unforgettable journey…one that taught me an important lesson in life and in living it to the fullest.

There wasn’t much going on at Anamaya Yoga Retreat on my 4th day in Montezuma, Costa Rica.  I developed a routine of waking early, watching the sunset, reading in the hammock, taking a dip in the infinity pool and checking emails all before breakfast was even served. On this day, I decided to break the routine and do something a little different.   I didn’t want to waste the day sitting by the pool so I strolled down the hill into the village and spent the day exploring the little streets and surf shops and enjoying the beach.  The village had so much energetic ambiance.  Smiling, energetic people of all walks of life, embracing the day and one another.  I can still feel that ambiance now if I close my eyes and bring myself back there.

It was the hottest morning in Montezuma since I’d arrived and the walk down the hill was torture.  I was only half way down the hill when a young man on a motorbike stopped.   “Senorita, I take you to bottom of the hill if you like.”  He was wearing a nice shirt and khaki shorts which gave him an air of coolness and confidence – like he often picked up strange women who were about to pass out while walking down that hill.  I usually don’t take rides from strangers but I didn’t think I was going to make it any further without collapsing. I took him up on his offer and a few minutes later he dropped me off at the beach.  With a wave and a friendly “Buenos dias”, he sped off.

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I walked a few feet to the beach and plopped myself down in the sand in a shaded area and relaxed for a bit.  A storm had passed near Montezuma the previous night and the water was extremely rough.  I tried to go for a swim but the waves were too powerful and the undertow too dangerous.  The smell of Cerviche and Empanadas in the restaurant a few meters away filled the air.  The sounds of palm trees rustling in the gentle breeze and locals and tourists going about their daily business lulled me.  A dog chased a stick nearby while some children egged him on.  A stray cat sat near a food cart, waiting for a hand-out.  The rhythmic sound of the waves coming ashore, like a lullaby, gently rocked me to sleep.

Shouting zapped me out of my trance to see people on the beach pointing to something in the water; some brave, fool-hardy surfers were attempting to surf dangerously rough waters close to some jagged rocks.  It looked like the scene might end in tragedy but, fortunately, the surfers made it safely to shore.  Welcome to Costa Rica – home of adventure seekers, lovers of life and daredevils!

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By late-morning, the heat was really getting to me and I started to feel dehydrated.  I was craving a refreshing fruit smoothie but didn’t want to pay the going rate of about 7 dollars for one at a tourist trap.  So off I went, up and down those little streets, in search of a reasonably-priced smoothie.  At the end of a side street, I noticed an interestingly-decorated, outdoor smoothie bar.  The thatched-roof and colorful plants sprouting from the walls caught my eye.  It looked like just my kind of place!

A free-spirited and friendly, young man was eager to take on the challenge of making me something that was refreshing but not-too-sweet.  It took a long time for him to make it as he carefully thought out each ingredient and made sure it was mixed to perfection by allowing me to taste it at intervals.  After some mixing and shaking and adding of various exotic fruit, some of which I never heard of, he placed his finished masterpiece before me.  For the price of 3 dollars, I received a delicious, orange-colored smoothie in a massive glass.

I stayed at the bar and took a seat.  “So, are you from around here?” I asked him.  “Yes, born and raised in Costa Rica, just down the road a little bit.”  He obviously loved his life in Montezuma and at one point, he asked if I knew what “Pura Vida” meant.  To me “Pura Vida” meant The Pure Life and it was what I had witnessed over and over again while traveling through the country.  Natural, untouched, simple and pure.  He went on to explain it in more depth for me. “That is how most people interpret it.  You see, ‘Pura Vida’ can be a greeting, a state of mind, a way of life.  You meet someone walking down the street, you say ‘Pura Vida’.  You catch the perfect wave while surfing, you say ‘Pura Vida’.  You have a wonderful day, instead of saying goodnight, you say ‘Pura Vida’.  You find a great smoothie bar while walking the streets of Montezuma, you say ‘this is Pura Vida’.  It can mean anything but always something good.  Anytime something good happens, “Pura Vida” is the appropriate thing to say.”  Made sense to me.  How can you not be living the “Pura Vida” in a country that is considered to be one of the happiest in the world according to the Happy Planet Index?

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It was mid-afternoon when I started walking up that steep hill to Anamaya.  I made it to the top without collapsing in the ditch.  There was still enough daylight left to hike to Montezuma Falls.  I had gone there the day before and chickened out of jumping off the falls into the pool below but now I was determined not to leave Costa Rica without taking that plunge.

The path to the falls was steep and rocky.  I stopped to take a rest mid-way down the trail and that is when I became fully aware of my surroundings.  The growling of nearby howler monkeys, the buzz of millions of tropical insects, the sound of the distant waves crashing onto the beach below, the trees rustling in the gentle breeze.  The rainforest sounded so alive. It was like the forest itself was living and breathing.

I made it to the waterfalls and again, paused to take in the beautiful sight before me.  Beautiful, cascading water falling into a crystal clear, blue pool beneath a canopy of thick rainforest.  Before I could talk myself out of it again, I took the leap into the clear, refreshing water.  If there is one thing I absolutely hate, it is missed opportunity.  I take every chance that comes my way because, sometimes, you only get one chance to do something.  And to think, if I had not listened to that little voice in my head telling me to read that email again, I would have missed out on the time of my life and would never know what it is like to live the Pura Vida.

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Categories: Andrea MacEachern, Travel, Writers | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Here a gringo, there a gringo oh my god unhappy gringos!

waterfallSo, this is going to be my 1st rant type of my blog. So just focus on the warm waters of the picture and everything will be OK. :-) I recently was asked to admin a Facebook group. Oh by the Gods can these gringo’s and others in other groups, talk some smack about Costa Rica. They seem to only want to focus on the bad, and not one of them has anything good to say. I have heard them say things from , “Its too hot”, “Its dangerous”, “The people are all thieves”, “The government is corrupt” and I think my favorite of all is, “Why can’t it be more like the united states!”.  A question comes to mind, “Why the hell are you here?” So this is going to be the topic of this blog.

Is Costa Rica to Hot?

weather

I guess that all depends on where you come from and what area  you will live and or visit in. My personal opinion is that some areas are too hot. I love the town we live in of Atenas. It isn’t called the Best Climate for nothing! Now I will not live in the beach areas. I have no problem going there for a day trip or a weekend, but it is way to hot, for this Gringo, but I come from Maryland and we get some harsh winter weather. I used to keep my thermostat in my house set at 68 all year long. Our house was never open and it was always cold. I loved it. As I got older and the weather in MD got worse I looked forward to sun and warm. So here I am and no in my opinion most of Costa Rica is not too hot! So please don’t come here and say, “Oh my God why is it so hot?” or “I didn’t realize it would be so hot!”. You are near the equator. It is Central America, its hot. Hello? Are you new? 

Pura Vida is a bunch of Crap!

Let me 1st briefly explain what Pura Vida is. Pura Vida is a saying that means a couple different things. Pure life, slow life, easy life, whatever. It equates to slow it down and enjoy the world around you is how I take it. Now this coming from someone who worked 70 hours a week and was the poster boy for a workaholic back in the states. If you can not embrace the Pura Vida life style of this country you will not make it here and you will run screaming back to your home country.

workersWhat does this mean to every day life. You should not expect that if you hire someone to do work for you that they will be here on time and every day. Always keep in mind the pay as you go plan here. You pay them for the work they do that day. Sometimes you get a few days before they ask for a payment. You usually have to give them money for materials 1st and a little for them. Now if you gave them enough that day and something comes up, they may not be back tomorrow. That is ok because the day after the will be back, well hopefully. I did do a job here at the house and they came the 1st day and than didn’t show up for 3 or maybe it was 4 days later. Not the people showed in the picture above. These guys are great. If you want their names let me know. They got the job done and it was a good job. They got paid and everyone was happy.

Why was I happy? I knew before I came to Costa Rica that this is how life is here. We are in no rush. So, you say to your self this job is going to take 3 days to do. Ok that is is good. Now say to yourself, but I know that it could take 3 weeks to get it done. You have to be ok with that happening. The same goes for the price. You budget for $100, but understand that it could cost you $300. So plan for it. Now I do have to say all the work I have had done has cost what they quoted me. Don’t expect everything to be done yesterday. This is how I lived my life back in the states. I wanted it yesterday! Hurry, hurry, hurry! What over budget! Are you mad!!!!!!!!

So I would have to say in my personal experience that the Pura Vida life style is one of the major reasons people leave this country. They can’t handle it. It is also one of the best things about this country as well. It does give you a Pure life. One that can lower your blood pressure and fix many of your problems, if you can truly embrace it!

I don’t feel safe!

Back CameraLet me 1st start off by saying yes! I feel very safe. Yes those are bars on the windows of that house. There is less crime in the town I am in here in Costa Rica than the City I lived in back in the states. Just like everywhere, you do have to use common sense. Don’t leave your camera on a table in a restaurant and come back 5 minutes later and expect it to be there still. In the states you will be lucky if it is still there. Don’t leave your GPS and Iphone sitting int he car unlocked and then complain that the crime rate is so high and it is horrible here. Don’t wear a ton of expensive jewelry and flash it around like no body’s business.

Bars on windows, high fences with razor wire along the time is common place here. Yes there is crime. Just like everywhere else. Here they take more precautions than we do back in the states. So you are going to see things you don’t see there as much. You do see bars on windows and door in the states. It is rare to see high walls and razor wire just everywhere, but it is there.

Now you will go to a store or a mall and there will be guards everywhere. They will be armed. I’m not talking just a pistol at their side either. Some of them have very big guns! That did take a little getting use to, but not long at all. I know they are there for my protection and to keep the peace. So it makes me feel safe.

I have been here over a year as I write this and back in the states there has been 1 maybe 2 school shootings, a mall shooting, and countless other gun related large events. That is just in the state of Maryland. Here I have never heard of any of that happening. So do I feel safe? Yes. Again use common sense. If you are a gringo living here or visiting here and don’t feel safe go back home. Really go. Where the violent crime rate in most states is much higher and your chances of getting killed at a mall or at school is much higher.

I hate the rainy season!

Really? Why? Are you daft? Are you on crack? Really? Ok yes that chart look bad! You have to understand a few things about rainy season. In most areas and not all so you have to do your research, it is once a day for about 2 hours. Here in Atenas last rainy season we got a storm that came though sometime after about 1pm and lasted for about 2hrs. When it rains it rains! Don’t go anywhere, don’t drive in it, stay where you are and enjoy the show. It is beautiful and deadly. The lightning is amazing and especially from our patio. We go out and sit and watch it as it comes in.

The rain comes and cools everything off, it lets the flower bloom and the plants grow lush and green. The country is so much more colorful during rainy season. Yes you may get the occasional non-stop all day rain, but that is usually very light so you can go out and do thing and not worry about it. I can only remember 1 day last season where it rained all day. We stayed in that day.

Now don’t get me wrong it does bring its challenges as well. If you have pets the cane toads are out more and that is dangerous for your dogs mainly. If you dog bites one or it spits its poison at your dog, you have 15 minutes to get them proper treatment or they will die. Most of the wildlife and insects comes out more during rainy season. They are looking for a dry place to stay and your casa is it! Lets remember people we live in a jungle. It may not look like it, but we do. So stop the bitching and moaning that it is raining during rainy season. Remember in the dry season everything is brown and nasty and you have water shortages.

The food here sucks!

Really? Again smoking crack? I can’t tell you how many times I hear this. I hate when they say, “All they eat is beans and rice. Breakfast beans and rice, lunch beans and rice, dinner beans and rice. I hate it.” So don’t eat beans and rice. Not like you don’t have a ton of options here. Eating out, depending on the area can be expensive. Eating at home is cheaper and healthier.

Let me allow the food to speak for itself.

food food2 food3 food4 food5 food6 food7 food8 food9

I had to put one beans and rice dish in there. :) Let me tell you each and every one of those dishes in those pictures were amazing. Its fresh and its natural and its not covered in sugar or preservative. You have to ask and you have to experiment, but you can find some great food here. Not all are good. Beef can be very tough and very dry. They don’t like to cook it medium or medium rare or rare. You can find some really good meat if you look. The chicken and seafood is never disappointing. Pork is hit and miss depending on where you get it.  So please give me a break, “Beans and Rice”. Yea sure…No problem…I got your beans and rice right here. :-)

Its so damn noisy!

Yep you damn unhappy gringos got me on that one. It is a noisy country. They love their music, dancing and karaoke to all hours of the night. There seems to be a bar in every block. They have the cars with the big speakers on the roof that is just junk mail advertising.

tipscostarica.com / Via tipscostarica.com

tipscostarica.com / Via tipscostarica.com

There are the dogs, the monkeys, the birds and all manner of jungle creatures that howl and bark, and make sounds all hours of the day and night. Yes this is a noisy country. Some areas more so than others, but you are going to have noise no matter what. Than again so are most countries. You eventually get used to it and if you don’t you find yourself a nice set of noise canceling headphone and you put on some tunes and you go to sleep.  OH and don’t forget you sleep mask, cause the sun is going to wake your ass up at 5am every day! :-)

It so expensive to live here!

Well lets see are you trying to live like you did back in your home country? I’m thinking you are. I’m thinking you are looking for all the foods you are use to and looking for those brands you love so much back there. Well guess what? It is expensive if you live like that. Now I have to admit I do look for my name brand stuff. I do shop in places that are more expensive. The only difference is I don’t complain about it all that god damn time! I make that choice to shop at the pricesmart and the automercodo. I don’t have to. I can get everything I need right here in our little town of Atenas and for much cheaper mind you. Tico’s live on $700 or less a month. Now I wouldn’t want to do that, but most gringos who come here and embrace the life can do it for under $2K a month. Here is a budget from a friend who does a blog about living here cheaply.

Yes it is expensive if you try to live like you use to. It doesn’t have to be that way. I have made some changes on where I shop for some items, but I need to do more. If you eat out every night of the week, and complain about beans and rice, than again I say to you go back to the old country. You really are not happy here.

Ok, so I could go on and on and on, but why. I think I covered the top reasons gringos are unhappy here. What I think the top reason a gringo is unhappy here is they didn’t do their research and they can’t change their life style. That is what makes them unhappy. Sometimes they are just people who like to complain about everything!

So lets wrap this one up. Food sucks, its too expensive, its not safe, its noisy, its too hot, it too rainy, its dusty and dirty and the workers are horrible. So I would have to say I give unhappy gringos -100 seashell1out of 5 because they really have missed the point. Now I give living in Costa Rica especially Atenas 5 seashell1out of 5 for its beauty, wonderful food, friendly people, and just pure and simple way of life!

Pura Vida!

Update: After I posted this blog Roman Savin on a facebook group said and I quote: “There are two types of expats: parasites and fertilizers. Parasites come with “you owe” me attitude and look at locals not as humans, but a source of cheap food, labor, entertainment. Fertilizers are trying to integrate and enrich foreign culture with their own.

We live just once and Costa Rica is an amazing place to be. Let’s be fertilizers!”

I love love love this saying!

Pura Vida!

Categories: Costa Rica Life Experience | Tags: , , , , | 25 Comments

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