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Category Archives: Entertainment News

Where Paddling and Indulgence Meet in Jaco, Costa Rica Standard

Pulling the outrigger into the ocean for Kayak Jaco's night tour

When Neil, the owner of Kayak Jaco, shared with me what the sunset/ night kayak tour was all about, I told him he had me at cheese and wine. For those of you who live in Costa Rica, you know it is extremely hard to find good cheese, and if you do it’s incredibly expensive! Looking back on the tour, the cheese and crackers were just icing on the cake. The tour started about forty minutes before sunset on a picture-perfect flat water beach. Instead of individual kayaks, this tour utilized a large outrigger canoe. Neil explained that, “It’s really…

Reshaping a Canadian’s Life in Costa Rica Standard

Canadian Expat, Corey Coates

My path crossed with Corey’s when he contacted me about an author interview for my recent release, Becoming an Expat: Costa Rica. The more I found out about Corey Coates the more I wanted to hear his story, and so it goes… “I like the interaction between the brain and the machine, I’m an audio learner”~ Corey Coates Corey is from a small town outside of Toronto with just 5,500 neighbors. Music has been key throughout his life. He rocked out for most of his 20s as a professional musician, then transitioned into teaching guitar, working in a recording studio,…

Traditional Cuisine From Costa Rica Goes International Standard

Shrimp Rice, Puntarenas Style

Chef Doris Goldgewicht is one of the most arduous promoters of Costa Rica’s traditional cuisine, which she feels has been neglected insofar as making it known beyond the national stage. This country has great potential to attract foodies and the special tourism segment of epicurean travelers in search of international delights; alas, Costa Rica is mostly known for gallopintos and casados. Chef Doris is doing her part to change this perception. At the New York Times Travel Show earlier this year, Chef Doris showed off with four delicious traditional dishes that quite a few people in Costa Rica are barely…

Top 10 Things to Do in and Around Jaco Standard

Jaco is a town packed with social, adrenaline-filled, and nature-based activities. A walk down main street will lend you to countless tourist operators selling a variety of excursions. Let me help you whittle down your options by sharing the top ten things to do in and around Jaco.  1. Extreme Adventurer This is tour is operated from Jaco or Manuel Antonio. You will be whisked away from your hotel/house in route to four incredible waterfalls. Each waterfall is better than the previous, leaving the best for last. While this tour is picture-perfect, it is also packed with thrilling cliff dives!…

Savor Chocolate’s Ancient Secrets on Indigenous Costa Rica Tour Standard

Remember the film Chocolat, and how chocolate transformed a cold, inhibited French town into a loving, friendly community? Chocolate has that power. Prized by the Mayas, Aztecs and Inkas, and formerly kept only for royalty in Europe, chocolate was once considered so valuable that cacao beans were used for currency. In Costa Rica, indigenous tribes used cacao beans for currency for thousands of years up until the 1930s. Costa Rica’s Bribri indigenous tribe reveres the cacao bean as sacred. You can learn about cacao’s long history in Costa Rica and its importance in the Bribri indigenous culture on the Bribri…

What to do in Guanacaste? Get the One Day Pass at Hacienda Guachipelin Standard

Some of the best things to do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica are found at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin. The dilemma actually is trying to decide what to do, since there is so much from which to choose. That’s why the One Day Adventure Pass or the One Day Nature Pass really is your best bet. If you stay at this Rincon de la Vieja hotel for several days, you can go for both! You don’t necessarily have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the One Day Pass either – you can be a day tour visitor. An extravagant buffet lunch…

Skype is Helping Expats Learn Spanish in Costa Rica for Less Standard

Skype has been an incredible asset of mine while living abroad. Everyone knows about Skype’s video conference call capabilities, but not everyone knows all of it’s great services and purposes. I purchase my own phone number through Skype so that my loved ones in the US can call me as if I’m just a few states away! I also have unlimited calling to the states for a couple of bucks a month! Sheesh, I sound like a commercial. My love for the service recently doubled.  Living in Costa Rica has really helped groom my Spanish skills, but not to the…

Now in Costa Rica: Degas, Picasso, Renoir, Warhol and More Standard

Right before Costa Rica shut down for Holy Week and Easter Sunday, 158 important works of fine art were being transported in utmost secrecy and under sophisticated security through the streets of San Jose. A few unmarked trucks carried original works by European masters as well as pieces by Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat and more. This plethora of art will be exhibited as part of the 20th anniversary of the Costa Rican Center for Science and Culture. On April 16th, museum curators and visual arts specialists were busy offloading the precious cargo into the National Gallery, located inside the…

Liquor Made in Costa Rica Will Soon Enter the Export Market Standard

Some of the most popular and emblematic liquors made in Costa Rica are not readily available in other countries. Cerveza Imperial and Ron Centenario are not a problem in this regard; in fact, they are often sold at cheaper prices overseas. However, when it comes to Guaro Cacique and other fine products made by the government-owned National Distillery, they are hard to find outside of Costa Rica. That’s about to change. According to Kimberly Herrera Salazar of news daily La Prensa Libre, the National Distillery (Spanish acronym: FANAL) and the National Council on Production are formulating a policy that will…

Now is the time for Hot Costa Rica Travel Deals Standard

As the summer season in Costa Rica winds down and the green season draws near, it is time for great Costa Rica travel deals. One such bargain is a hot Costa Rica vacation package of a romantic getaway for two to Cala Luna boutique hotel at Tamarindo Beach. The Cala Luna Romantic Beach Package includes: three nights’ accommodation in a deluxe room with a romantic welcome of sparkling wine and strawberries upon arrival. You also will receive daily breakfast, a romantic candlelight dinner for two, a fun sunset catamaran cruise, and a private one-hour surf lesson for two persons on…

Top tours in Nosara, Costa Rica Standard

Nosara, Costa Rica is renowned for some of the best surfing in Costa Rica, and for being a yoga paradise. But there are plenty of other exciting adventure and nature tours to do as well on this string of beautiful beaches along the Nicoya Peninsula. Here are five fun tours to try during your visit to Nosara and Playa Guiones: 1. Miss Sky Canopy Tour Tours: 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily. When you vacation in Costa Rica you have to try a canopy zip-line tour. The Miss Sky Canopy Tour by Nosara is one of the most breathtaking. You’ll…

Sell Your Body, Travel to Costa Rica Standard

Although it is estimated that less than two percent of all visitors who arrive in Costa Rica do so for the purpose of engaging in sexual tourism, this particular travel segment happens to be the most controversial. Thousands of men (and hundreds of women) come to our country each year to get to know some of the locals really well, but what about those couples who have already arranged transactional sex before they even clear customs? That many people use sex to get what they want is nothing new; however, the use of Web technologies and niche online social networks…

30 Seconds to Mars Landing in Costa Rica Standard

Los Angeles alternative rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars will visit Costa Rica for the first time this coming Sunday, May 4th. This immensely popular musical group has been accumulating awards, significant radio airplay and sold-out tours for more than a decade, and fans in Costa Rica will soon be able to enjoy their live concert in support of their best-selling “Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams” album. Thirty Seconds to Mars (30STM) started as a duo. Actor Jared Leto and his brother Shannon have been playing music together since childhood. After a few changes in their lineup, the band settled…

Looking for the “Wild” Costa Rica? Visit the Osa Peninsula! Standard

For me, the Osa Peninsula is one of the most worthwhile places to visit in Costa Rica. The small stretch of remote rugged jungle in the southwestern corner of the country, bounded by the deep blue Pacific Ocean to the west and the placid Golfo Dulce to the east, is renowned by scientists, explorers and nature lovers as an astounding paradise. Covering an area of 700 square miles, this last remaining stretch of tropical humid rainforest in Costa Rica is estimated to hold 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. The natural report card is impressive: * More than 700 species of…

Jaco Canopy Tour, Where Ziplining, Jungle and Beach Collide in Costa Rica Standard

I had zip lined three times before I hiked up the gorgeous trail to the first platform of the fourteen offered by Jaco Canopy. Once in Montezuma, Arenal, and Monteverde. The views from the Jaco Canopy platforms are hard to top. It’s difficult to choose what to focus on. The emerald green offered by the surrounding jungle, the sapphire blue ocean, glowing below, or the metallic blue morpho butterflies that flittered around us. The guides were kind, playful, and professional. Ian, was a gentle spirit that taught me about the toucans that we observed, the poisonous caterpillars, pot belly trees…

From Russia With Love: Costa Rica Seeks More Tourists Standard

Добро пожаловать! The preceding Russian expression, which is often pseudo-phonetically written as dobro pozhalovat, means “Welcome!” When properly spoken, it sounds warm and inviting, and it is an expression that the tourism industry of Costa Rica should be practicing now. According to Marvin Barquero of national newspaper La Nacion, Russian passport holders will soon be able to visit our country without a visa. Around the same time Russian soldiers were amassing forces in Crimea and along the Ukraine border, the Board of Tourism (Spanish initials: ICT) was enticing tourists from the Russian Federation to visit Costa Rica and learn more…

A Sheynem Dank! Devout Jewish Traveler Enjoys Costa Rica Standard

Shalom aleichem. Daniel Retter is a New York attorney, religious scholar and author of HaMafteach, a Talmud Bavli Indexed Reference Guide. Mr. Retter recently found himself in the capital city of Costa Rica, the lovable San Jose, whereupon he prayed at the shuls of Chabad Lubavitch in Escazu and the Zionist Israeli Center of Costa Rica in Pavas. His experience recently appeared in the Jewish Press, and it is in sharp contrast to the experience of Washington Post intern Zach Cohen as reported by the Costa Rica Star earlier this year. Mr. Retter preludes experiences of his visit to our…

15 Years of Costa Rica Adventures is a Dream Come True Standard

When Massi Devoto used to guide small groups around Costa Rica, he noticed that out of all of the experiences the tourists shared, the ones they enjoyed and talked about the most were the simplest. Buying tropical fruits at a roadside stand. Watching a monkey in a tree. Meeting friendly folk in a rural town. Walking through the rainforest. The realization led him to start his own tour company in 1999 with his associate, Ronald Bottger. Their goal was to combine adventure and the natural attractions of Costa Rica with the cultural experience of meeting the friendly, happy people for…

Hotel Le Caméléon Opens New Beachfront Club on Caribbean Standard

New beginnings are old hat at upscale Hotel Le Caméléon in Costa Rica, where their motto is “Every day is a new day”. The Costa Rica boutique hotel on the southern Caribbean Coast, that changes the color of its décor daily like a chameleon, is marking its fifth anniversary year with the opening of its new La Sula Sea Lounge on the beach at Playa Cocles. A vivacious opening party will be held on Sunday, March 30, from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the La Sula Sea Lounge, across the main road from Hotel Le Caméléon, just south of Puerto…

Stamp Collector Alert: Pope Francis Stamp Issued in Costa Rica Standard

Correos de Costa Rica, the national post office and sole official issuer of postal stamps, has formally announced the issue of 15,000 special postage stamps that observe and celebrate Pope Francis’ first year in the Holy See. The image of this fine stamp comes from an oil painting by a Costa Rican artist who personally traveled to the Vatican and presented his masterpiece to the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Numismatics and philatelists are constantly on the lookout for currency and postage issues from Costa Rica. This country has some of the prettiest historical legal…

Modern Archeology: Researching Dive Bars in Costa Rica Standard

They are known as cantinas or, less elegantly, “chicheros.” Cheap and disreputable dive bars can be found in all regions of Costa Rica, but most of the cantinas in the lovable city of San Jose are as legendary as they are infamous. According to architect and social researcher Andres Fernandez, cantinas form an important part of the archeological and anthropological record of Costa Rica; for this reason, he has dedicated part of his life to documenting the boozy subculture of the capital city. Mr. Fernandez is the author of several books that explore the arts, culture and architecture of Costa…

New Tour Explores Cultural History of Guanacaste at Rincon de la Vieja Standard

Not much is known about the first native peoples to live near the massive Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. A new archaeology tour at the area’s eco-lodge Hacienda Guachipelin will help shed some light on the mysteries of these indigenous ancestors of Costa Rica. “We’re rescuing the cultural traditions of Guanacaste,” said Fernando Camacho Mora, archaeologist in charge of the project. In about 900 AD, a tribe known as the Chorotegas migrated south from Mexico through Nicaragua to Guanacaste, explained Camacho. They lived in places along the Pacific Coast from Salinas Bay south to the…

Undervalued Casualties, a Sandy Beach Secret in Costa Rica Standard

More people have drowned along the 17 miles of the Central Pacific Coast, including Esterillos, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Bejuco, than any other stretch of Costa Rica. So why haven’t you heard a warning about it? World Life Expectancy reports Costa Rica as the 101st country out of 192 countries polled with 3.4 reported drownings for every 100,000 people. That’s almost triple the amount of deaths of that of US. Keep in mind that all the statistics mentioned are for reported drownings. Many of the young lives lost are nationals who live well below the poverty line. They venture to…

Costa Rica Versus Ecuador, Which Country is Your Best Retirement Option? Part I – Immigration Standard

Year after year, International Living, Forbes, and hundreds of other publications release a list of the best places to retire. Do you believe that one retirement destination fits all? Where you spend your golden years is extremely personal and variable. One expat-to-be may place a warm climate at the top of their list. Another places cost of healthcare above all.  Ever since I published Becoming an Expat: Costa Rica, the questions have poured in. Where can he/she find good quality healthcare, where is the best place to bring a young family, where are the job opportunities best, where is the…

Jazz Nights at Pranamar Villas in Santa Teresa Every Wednesday Standard

“Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life.” — Art Blakey “Jazz does not belong to one race or culture, but is a gift that America has given the world.” — Ahmad Alaadeen The gift of jazz can be admired weekly on the spectacular beach of Santa Teresa in Costa Rica at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas & Yoga Retreat. The Buddha Eyes Restaurant at Pranamar Villas is presenting Jazz Nights every Wednesday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Local musicians David Walker, a saxophonist from California, and trumpet player Luciano from Argentina accompany the sounds of the waves with their own mix…

Costa Rica is the Land of Viral Videos Standard

Mountains, active volcanoes, beaches, lagoons, indigenous people, tourists, locals, Guanacaste… In less than four minutes, filmmaker Patrick Pearson shows viewers the many facets of Costa Rica in a video that has achieved massive viral status across several online social networks. The short film, hosted on Vimeo, has garnered thousands of views and positive comments in just one week, and it is just one of the many viral videos produced in Costa Rica. The video is titled “Pureza. Espiritu. Vida.” (Purity. Spirit. Life.). According to Carolina Ruiz Vega of business weekly El Financiero, this is the third short film produced by…

Hooters Pageant in Costa Rica Sparks Social Media Quibble Standard

The Hooters restaurant located in the brand-new Plaza Mango near the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela has become one of Costa Rica’s most visited restaurants. Getting a table at this casual dining eatery usually involves waiting for a minutes, but on Wednesday night this place was nearly standing-room only as tabloid media reporters and photographers jockeyed for position during the presentation of the 13 waitresses who will compete in the Hooters’ Road to Vegas Bikini Contest. One of the 13 Hooters Girls introduced earlier this week in Alajuela will be chosen to represent Costa Rica at the Hooters…

Childhood Memory Leads to Amazing Sensoria Eco-tour in Guanacaste Standard

When Fernando Madrigal was a young boy growing up in Costa Rica, the place that gave him the most happiness was his grandparents’ farm – called Finca La Troya in the Orosi Valley of Cartago. “I spent practically all of my childhood and youth on this farm until my grandparents sold it,” reflected Madrigal. “I remember that La Troya was a magical place. There was a place at the top of the farm where there was a mountain with primary forest. My uncle, Rodrigo Madrigal Montealegre, would take me, my brother and my cousins walking there. The forest was full…

Costa Rica Has Arrived in Disneyland By Way of Starbucks Standard

The next time you are in Southern California and in urgent need of a shot of Costa Rica, you may want to head to Anaheim -specifically Downtown Disneyland. Once you are properly on Mickey Mouse property, look for the brand-new Starbucks Coffee location on the east side, go inside, find the Clover bar and look above: A giant electronic display will show you a digital photo montage and videos of coffee growing in Costa Rica at Starbucks’ own agronomy center on the skirts of the Poas volcano. According to Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer at Mouse Planet, a self-described consumer’s guide…

The Real Deal with Costa Rica’s Isla Tortuga Standard

The abundance of outdoor activities hosted by Jaco never ceases to amaze. Did you know, from Jaco you have access to a gorgeous island filled with jet skis, kayaks, banana boats, volleyball, tropical fish to snorkel with, and loungers? Let me share with you my recent experience at Isla Tortuga. My day started with a gorgeous one and a half hour boat ride from Playa Herradura where I observed jumping manta rays, a dolphin surfing our bow, and the gorgeous pacific lulling me into a relaxed state. As we approached the palm fringed island the water color transitioned from a…