Howler Magazine Costa Rica January 2019

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HOWLER January 2019

C o sta R i c a L i fest yle, T ravel & A dve nture


since 1996

Women on the waves of success

Manuel Antonio p.16



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ne of my passions is helping animals in need. I cannot pass by and ignore any creature that is in danger or hurting. While driving, I have turned around and stopped to rescue a parrot just sitting on the pavement that would otherwise likely be run over by someone else’s vehicle. I have also stopped to assist snakes crossing roads, and found myself involved with many other rescue cases: from lizards and monkeys to lots of dogs … even a pilot whale. As newcomers to Costa Rica five years ago, we needed to get used to a different culture and all aspects of being part of the community. One of the most noticeable concerns we had after arriving here was the number of dogs wandering the streets and roadways. Many of these animals looked like they needed help. One person or a small group can make a difference, but it takes a community coming together

to really have an impact. Part of making our communities appealing and wonderful is the extent that we take care of stray animals. It’s a daunting task as there are so many, but the situation is not hopeless. During my past five years of living here it’s become notably better. Regular spay and neuter clinics in the area are making a tremendous impact. Sterilization surgery for hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs and cats every year is quite a production. It’s available for free or drastically reduced fees to those who cannot afford to pay more. For just $20

It is one thing to rescue animals but quite another to assume financial responsibility for their care. you can sponsor an animal in this circumstance. These clinics are run efficiently and with care by the kind of role models who make our communities better for all of us. Shortly after settling in Costa Rica, we met Dr. Gilberth Cavallini at Cavallini Veterinary Hospital, as well as Silvia at Tuanis Veterinary Clinic and several caring local residents working so well together: people like Flamingo’s Barbara Deppe, the late Dawn Scott, and Linneth, a local Tica who stepped

in after Dawn’s passing with Yo Seré Su Voz Guanacaste, rightfully meaning "I will be your voice Guanacaste." Their efforts have made a huge difference, not only as the go-to people for animals in crisis but as dedicated citizens giving back to our communities in sometimes less visible ways. They need our support. It is one thing to rescue animals but quite another to assume financial responsibility for their care. When we drop off an animal for veterinary care, many assume that’s where our humanitarian sense of duty ends. Actually, it is just the beginning. The financial aspect of caring for rescued animals kicks in and can be very costly. It is not uncommon for such cases to cost many hundreds of dollars. The veterinarians and others involved are angels in our community who cannot bear this financial burden themselves. As a community, we all need to come together to ensure rescued animals receive the care they need. Please donate what you can … simply drop off some spare change or make a commitment to support consistently. It is so vital and rewarding to see the impact of animals getting help and stray populations decreasing.

John B. Quam

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WRITERS Alaks Thompson. Californian author of fiction novels short stories, screenwriter and filmmaker. Carol Campos. Producer, cultural and entrepreneurial manager for Feria Verde and Union of Music Workers (UTM). Charlene Golojuch. Co-owner of Hidden Garden Art Gallery with husband, Greg. www. Ellen Zoe Golden. Former entertainment biz PR flack, now living the dream as a travel agent and journalist in Tamarindo. Fabricio Riggioni. Investment Consultant at NATIVU. 8301-0663. Gilberth Cavallini. Veterinary Doctor, owner Cavallini Veterinary Services, Villarreal Herbert Weinman, MD, MBA. Ivan Granados. Managing Partner at GM Attorneys. Specializes in real estate and corporate law. Jenn Parker. Avid writer, traveler, and nature lover on a mission to surf the earth and share her stories.

Mark Haddad. Silver and bronze metal Australian nation lacrosse player. Now calls Costa Rica home. Marketing and sales director for 360 Splendor Del Pacifico. Nicole Rangel. Managing Editor of Howler and freelance writer and editor. Making memories forever with her family. Patricia Sterman. Argentinian fashion design graduate, living in Costa Rica for 20 years. Owner of Azul Profundo Boutique, jewelry manufacturer and co-founder of SalveMonos animal protection group. Rachel Cherry White. Chases the sun from Michigan to Costa Rica with her family. Contributor to Fodor’s Guide to Costa Rica, Michigan HOME & Lifestyle. She is working on a novel. Sylvia Barreto Benites. Owner of Spanish for Expats, a tutoring and translation service. Tom Schultz. BS Biology and Geology, avid birder and nature photographer, retired software executive. Valeria Gonzalez. Owner of Almacen Organico & Natural, Tamarindo. almacenorganicoynatural@ WhatsApp +54 9 223 5415383.

Jerad Portner. Founder of Pura Vida Vibrations. Martial Artist and Entrepreneur. hello@

Valerie Veer. Co-owner of V3 Reptiles, with enthusiasm for herpetoculture and nature in general, paired with long-time interest in photography.

Jim Parisi. Former owner of Jaime Peligro Bookstore, now called "Bookstore of the Waves". Tamarindo resident for 16 years.

Vern Veer Jr. Retired reptile specialist, Denver zoo. Co-owner of V3 Reptile breeders. PHOTOGRAPHY

Johnny Lahoud. Owner/broker of Pura Vida Realty, Playa Grande. Lover of Costa Rica.

Esteban Delgado. Professional photographer outside and inside the water; aerial photography of drone and videos.Contact:: 8622-4036,

Karl Kahler. Author of "Frommer's Costa Rica 2017," former travel editor of the Tico Times and former national editor of California's San Jose Mercury News. Laura Galvin. Founder of Nomad Design House. 6282-6635 Laura Méndez. Founder of Pura Vida Vibrations. Offering sound journey and related experiences. Marian Paniagua. Certified nurse and yoga Instructor, and local artisan, born and raised in Guanacaste. 8914-0199. marianpaniagua@gmail. com 6

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January 2019 Vol. 24 No. 1

Paul E. German. A professional international photographer addicted to nature and fine art imagery along with creative commercial projects. Sergio Bryksa. Freelance Surf Photographer from Argentina, co-owner and director at Santa Catalina Retreats. FB: Sergio Bryksa. Shifi Ettinger. Surf photographer Thomas Castillo Herrera. Passionate photography student. Active beach, mountain and sports lover. Contact: 6050-6456,

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BUSINESS DEVELOpmENT Martin Svoboda - Managing Partner John D. Lane - Dir. of Business Development C r e at i v e D i r e c t o r Martin Svoboda O p e r at i o n s Marynes F. Chops E d i t o r i a l S ta f f Nicole Rangel - Managing Editor Debbie Bride - Copy Editor Marian Paniagua - Creative Director of Pura Vida and ACE departments Graphic Design Team Adriana Zerpa - Layout Designer M. Alauddin - Print Specialist Cover Designs - Howler Troop Howler Cover - Salvejes Swimwear ACE Cover - Photo: Paul E. German C o n ta c t

John Quam - Managing Parner Martin Svoboda - Managing Partner Editor: Advertising: CR Office: (506) 4701-5942 US Office: (720) 507-7596 (leave message) Howler Magazine Costa Rica @thehowlermag @howlermagazine The Howler Gold Coast CR S.A. Ced. Juridica: 3-101-725213 The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Howler organization or its advertisers. Copyright © 2019 by The Howler Gold Coast CR S.A. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to: The Howler Magazine does not assume responsibility for the content of its advertisements. Images not credited are acquired from stock photography services.

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CO N T E N T S 2 Up Front 4 - Editorial 6 - Contributors and Howler Troop 10 - Community Services 12 - Cover Story: Girl Power - Riding Waves of Success



16 Travel, Adventure & Surfing CR 16 - Featured Adventure: Loving Manuel Antonio 20 - National Parks: Manuel Antonio 22 - Cool Places: Diamante - Family Fun

MANUEL ANTONIO Featured Adventure


24 - Cool Places: Las Pumas 26 - Creature Feature: Nine-Banded Armadillo 28 - Surfing CR: Tide, Sun & Moon Chart 30 - Surf Profile: Marcel Oliveira

34 CR Biz 34 - Feature: Who is Reserva Conchal 36 - Doing Business Right: Carbon Positive Pride 38 - Doing Business Right: Pro Tips, Part 3 of 3 40 - CR Investment Profile: 360 Splendor del Pacifico

CARBON POSITIVE Doing Business Right


42 - Development Spotlight: Santa Rosa Estates 44 - Investment Chat with Nativu: Why Manifesto 46 - Simply Spanish: Financial Terms 48 - Legal Ease: Builder Responsibilities

50 Pura Vida / Lifestyle 50 - Feature: Sound Journey to Self-Healing 52 - Fashion Flash: Beach Capsule 54 - Yoga Wisdom: Mudras 56 - Yogapedia: Savasana 58 - Superfoods: Quinoa

SOUND JOURNEY Pura Vida Feature


60 - Spanish: Conditional 62 - Doctor's In: Sand Flea Bites 64 - Animal Life: Another Rescue Case

68 Directories Flip Mini-Mags – Dining Guide and ACE

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Salvaje Swimwear Salvaje Swimwear

he ocean knows no gender. The waves Women owning it all belong to no one and everyone. Whether What’s happening is that female surfers you are in a bikini or board shorts, the are beginning to realize they no longer need to one who is closest to the peak truly has the surf like the boys. They can embrace surfing priority. For decades, the boys might have like a girl, which is powerful, fearless, graceful stolen the surf show, but not anymore. Watch and feminine. out — the girls are stepping up and shredding in Girl power has been an internationally bikinis that are true show-stoppers! strong theme this past year across many While surfing did not originate as a battle different boards, and on a micro-scale we can of the sexes, once appropriated from the see this perfectly displayed in several femalePolynesians by Westerners, it became a maleowned and operated surf bikini companies in dominated sport, in and out of the ocean and Costa Rica. grew in population. The International Surfing Many of the female surfing swimwear Association estimates that there are around creators are run by badass girl bosses who 35 million active surfers worldwide and only are designing unique, highabout 19 percent are women. quality, reasonably priced In an arena where you ‘Being able to support and truly flattering bathing often have to surf “like a women and make a suit suits that stay on and in boy” or risk being paddled place out on the surf. around, dropped in on, and that women feel strong Surf bikinis are different denied set waves, you can from sunbathing bikinis imagine the pressure many and bold in is very in several ways: they are female surfers feel to prove made from a more resilient that they deserve the same important to us.’ material, have thicker neck respect and waves as their strings or straps and usually male counterparts. And include adjustable bottom ties. Some surf heaven forbid you have a bikini malfunction bikini tops are designed more like a sports while dropping into a set wave! bra to provide extra support and coverage. On September 5th of this year, the The challenge is to create a surf swimsuit World Surfing League made a watershed that not only stays on and in place but is also announcement: starting in 2019, all women comfortable to wear and makes the surfer feel and men participating in WSL-controlled like the beautiful ocean goddess she really is. events will be awarded equal prize money. Other than their top-of-the-line surf Until now, many prize purses were 50 percent swimsuits, however, what makes these less for women than for men. businesses really noteworthy is what they Female surfers are also charging harder collectively represent. and bigger waves than ever, like Maya First, we have a group of ambitious, Gabeira’s record-breaking 68-foot wave in creative, ingenious, and inspiring women who 2018 at Nazare, Portugal. Female surfers are believed in themselves enough to start their on the rise and are breaking gender barriers own businesses. like never before.

All photos courtesy of individual companies as indicated on each photo.

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Andrea Pizarro, for instance, built Del Toro Bikinis from the ground up starting in 2011, when she couldn’t find a job in Guanacaste utilizing her degree in nutrition. Now, she has two successful shops, one in Tamarindo and one in Jacó. Del Toro bikinis are the most unique in the country; Andrea only makes a few cuts for each print of fabric she buys. Secondly, these women and their companies are helping to celebrate the female body. Lauren Rios and Anna Zapponi, the founders of Salvaje Swimwear, say they love making custom bikinis to empower women, especially in this time in history. “It is exactly what we need to be doing,” Anna says. “Our bikinis are made for all shapes and sizes to promote positive body image and self-confidence. Being able to support women and make a suit that women feel strong and bold in is very important to us.” Lauren and Anna started Salvaje Swimwear a few months after moving to Playa Hermosa as a means to continue living in Costa Rica. Neither had any prior experience making bikinis and actually didn’t even know how to use a sewing machine. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, so this innovative duo completely paved their own way to living the life that suits them best. “It’s important to know that you can really do anything in your life!” Lauren says passionately. “Just do it. Push all comparisons aside and be your own woman!” Tica designer Debbie Palacios is another inspirational role model for self-empowerment in a business promoting selfconfidence along with style. Debbie’s venture into designing

her own swimwear line originated as a hobby in 2013. Sister Patty brought her marketing expertise to their subsequent partnership in running De’ Lohana Bikinis in Tamarindo. Perhaps their success was foreshadowed in childhood, when the pair used to sew their own bikinis. Debbie remains the designer behind De’Lohana swimsuits, employing local sewing staff to create pieces from 100 percent biodegradable materials.

Support for the sport A third success factor for most bikini brands is their support for female surfing, which is rapidly growing. By creating swimsuits specifically designed for surfing and other highintensity activities, these swimwear designers are making it possible for female surfers to focus on doing what they love to do and not on nip slips, vedgies and wedgies … and worst of all, getting your bottoms pulled down by the sea.

Branded passion Megwyn Saunders and Carolina Camero, the founders and owners of Cámelo, met at a bodyboarding competition in Venezuela. Soon after, they decided to build a brand together that reflected their lifestyle and would provide the financial means to support their passion for bodyboarding and traveling the world. They both ended up moving to Costa Rica, and in 2008, Cámelo was officially born. “We are very proud of our brand,” says Megwyn. “We love motivating women to be sure of themselves, confident in their bodies, and empowered to play sports. We are a

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women’s brand for women!” The Cámelo partners not only make durable swimwear, they also support female athletes in many ways. They host a biannual clinic for female bodyboarders in Costa Rica, and are adding surfing and stand up paddle boarding to their clinics starting in 2019. They also sponsor several female surfers and bodyboarders in Costa Rica to help support these young women in the pursuit of their dreams.

The sea is a sanctuary and playground that accepts everyone equally. It is a place where societal barriers and superficial differences can break like the waves. As a gender, women are capable of achieving anything that a man can achieve, whether it’s surfing 68-foot waves or running a successful business. The female Costa Rican business owners behind the surf bikini brands and the women who are buying and surfing in their suits are demonstrating just that.

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MAGICAL by Rachel Cherry White





Castillo 16Photo: | #sThomas earchfind howl| online

’ve lived in Costa Rica a while now, and maybe (regrettably) I’m becoming a little immune to its charm. That’s why I was surprised stepping from the shady path winding through the lush, verdant forest of Manuel Antonio onto its tropical beach paradise. The beauty of it all was truly breathtaking. Nowhere does everything we love about Costa Rica come together in such a neat package as it does in Manuel Antonio. The wildlife, the rainforest, the people and the beaches converge to provide the best of all worlds. Add to this accessibility and Manuel Antonio is the country’s busiest national park. But by no means is it the only show in town. The area is booming with cool things to see and do.

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The Animals Monkeys, macaws, and sloths, oh my! The wildlife here is simply incredible. There are over 250 species of birds in the park and surrounding area, including toucans, hummingbirds and pelicans. The earlier you arrive, the more you’ll see. “My favorite part of Manuel Antonio was watching the scarlet macaws flying around wild. It was spectacular,” says Adrienne Thomson, a recent visitor. There are three species of monkeys: howler, white-faced capuchin and the endangered squirrel monkey. You’re sure to see a sloth or two hanging around. And frogs — did I mention the jewel-colored, amazing little amphibians? There are too many to list, but rest assured you WILL see amazing animals.

The park On the Pacific Coast, there are only two spots where farming and logging haven’t left us bereft of tropical rainforest. One of these is on the Osa Peninsula and the other is Manuel Antonio. The rugged mountains provide a backdrop to the jungle, which in turn leads to pristine white sand beaches. You will find all of this in the park. The trail is easy to walk for everyone, kids and elderly included. Pro Tip: Get a guide! The park trail is selfguided, but you will see and learn so much more with a guide (ICT-certified). They all speak English and carry spotting scopes to help you see hard-to-spot birds and critters.


3 Photo: Thomas Castillo



Just a 45-minute drive from Manuel Antonio is the spectacular Nauyaca Falls. The four-kilometer (2.5 mile) hike is not too difficult and should take you about an hour or 90 minutes each way. You can also choose to ride horseback. Enchantment awaits at the two sets of falls, upper and lower, with a combined 200-foot drop. The lower falls has a pool for swimming and some nice smooth rocks for picnicking. Entrance fee: $8 Pro tip: Bring plenty of water and bug spray. The trail is sunny in spots and full of mosquitos in others. Close-toed shoes (no flip-flops) are recommended — it’s slippery in spots.

Feria Friday afternoon until Saturday at noon, check out the local feria (farmer’s market). Located in downtown Quepos, on the south side near the marina, it’s a fun way to interact with the locals. You can buy regional delicacies like artisanal cheeses, seafood, seasonal fruits and vegetables, flowers and homemade jewelry.


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Mangroves Kayaking the Damas Island estuary, just 15 minutes from Manuel Antonio, is like entering another world. Meandering through this unique ecosystem where the roots of the mangrove trees are entwined, you can see crocodiles, monkeys, and perhaps even boas.

The beach With sparkling turquoise water and white sugar sand, these are truly among Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. The water is warm and the reefs and calm waters make it ideal for snorkeling if you want to bring your equipment. Pro tip: If the main beach, Playa Manuel Antonio, is too crowded, two other beaches are usually deserted: Playa Espadilla and Playa Gamelas.

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The sunsets If you’re not head-over-heels completely smitten yet, the sunsets here are sure to push you over the edge. Grab a cerveza and a blanket to sit on the beach, or head to Ronny’s place or Barba Roja, both with incredible views. As the sun dips into the Pacific, a sense of awe overcomes you in contemplating this delightful piece of heaven.

Your magical time in Manuel Antonio need not stop there. The area’s unique restaurants include El Avion, where you can dine in the infamous cargo plane that was part of the Iran-Contra scandal. For miraculous coffee, visit Cafe Milagro. Why not head to the Si Como No wildlife refuge for a night hike? Don’t forget to stop at the Rio Tarcoles to see the dozens of crocodiles lounging on the muddy banks.

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Crown Jewel of National Parks

by Tom Schultz

It became a national victory and an instant treasure.


o understand why Manuel Antonio is so famous and popular, you need to appreciate its beauty and accessibility, and to know its history. Relatively close proximity to San José and the Central Valley — just over a two hour drive — makes the park site easier to access than most. But that’s not the only reason it quickly became a must-stop for tourists. Bang for the buck is the most compelling draw. Rarely is it possible to capture as much diversity of landscape and wildlife interactions in the same place within a short space of time. As unfathomable as it seems now, Manuel Antonio’s destiny as a national park was neither certain nor straightforward. In the early 1970s, foreign interests acquired the area to create a private development. Local residents were strongly opposed and it became a national issue. Ultimately, the Costa Rican government bought out the developers and turned it into a protected park. It became a national victory and an instant treasure. This is hardly surprising to anyone who shares my regard for Manuel Antonio as one of the most beautiful places ever seen in the world. The area covers several beaches, including one

ranked highly among the world’s top 10. If that were not alluring enough, it is also a place where mountains dive into the sea, so along with those beaches come mangroves, forest and waterfalls. Most magnificently, it is a habit for some 109 animal species — including three of Costa Rica’s four monkey species and both types of sloths — and over 250 species of birds. Over the years, Manuel Antonio grew increasingly popular not only with foreign tourists, but also Ticos, flocking by the thousands on weekends and especially holidays. Overcrowding reached the point four or five years ago when the park had almost been loved to death. Relief came about two years ago when park officials started metering and limiting the number of visitors. This has proven effective in restoring the quality of park experience to what people enjoyed previously.

When to go

Implementing these crowd control measures — the daily maximum is 600 visitors on weekdays and 800 on weekends — makes it advisable to arrive at the park as early as possible before it gets too busy or is closed if the limit is exceeded. Photos: Tom Schultz


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COSTA RICA DINNER ADVENTURE Short Estuary Trip to Dinner at The Great Waltini’s in Bula Bula Hotel

View crocodiles, birds, monkeys and more

Morning is also the best time to see animals when they are more active and visible. The park opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 4:00 p.m. and is closed on Mondays.

How to get there

The park is easy to reach and impossible to miss! Just drive seven kilometers south of Quepos on route 618 until the road ends (it’s the only road). You’ll pass some hotels and restaurants before arriving at the park area at the end of the road. Buses go direct all the way, near the park entrance.


You must buy a ticket to enter the park. Tickets are sold at a booth about 100 meters from the entrance. The admission price is 1,600 colones for citizens or residents and $16 for foreigners. Official guides wearing badges are available at the booth, and guided tours are highly recommended. If you bring a car, there are several parking lots near the park, charging 3,000 or 5,000 colones per day. If you go early and eat breakfast at some local restaurants, they will allow you to park for the day at a reduced rate.

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Making Family Memories Was Easy


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by Nicole Rangel

s a mom and a 15-year veteran of the tourism industry, it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to tourist-centric experiences. In Costa Rica, I’ve experienced every level of service, safety and attention to (or lack of ) details. At Diamante Eco Adventure Park, I found that every expectation was met, and some exceeded. My family of four — each with our different personalities and preferences — agreed it was one of the best places we have been in this country eager to show off and please. So what makes the Diamante experience worth the hype? I think it comes down to one thing: attention to details. When Diamante opened in 2015, the park implemented one of the most intensively researched, allencompassing destinations in Costa Rica. And you see this everywhere in the details — from the food and the care of the animals all the way through to the safety features of the ziplines. The check-in process at the open-air Welcome Center, with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, is quick and easy. Of the three packages to choose from, the best value is the Adventure Pass. This allows you access to all the areas of the park including five ziplines, the animal sanctuary, the new ropes course, the botanical gardens and cultural learning

Photos courtesy of Diamante Eco Adventure Park

center, the beach, buffet lunch and much more. The park’s layout makes it very easy to move between attractions, especially with the Adventure Pass. It all starts with the ziplines. I was a little concerned because my daughter had never ziplined before, but Diamante’s revolutionary self-braking carbon line system calmed my fears and made the experience her favorite of the whole day. The ziplines conclude with a freefall “Quick Jump” and my favorite: a hanging bridge walk over the crocodile habitat. In the animal sanctuary, we were greeted by Mario. He told us that all the animals have been rescued and rehabilitated but are not able to return to the wild for different reasons. As an animal lover, I was impressed that the park works with a team of onsite and international specialists to ensure the greatest care for the animals. As any parent knows, kids have their bucket list of things they want to see and do. My daughter has been talking about jaguars for months now. When I told her we were going to see them in person, she couldn’t believe it until Nico and Sama came into view: beautiful three-year old jaguar brothers, up close through the glasswalled habitat. My son and husband opted not to zipline and met us in the animal sanctuary. On the


way there from the Welcome Center this area of the park. It was the first time traveling anywhere in Costa in the air-conditioned van, my son Rica that I have ever seen signs, in had seen the brand new Jungle English and Spanish, identifying Course. He couldn’t wait to try it all the flora and fauna in our midst. out after visiting the animals. With Surrounding the casita, a replica a safety talk, very similar to the one of a Costa Rican farmhouse, was my daughter and I had received an herbal and medicinal garden before ziplining, he was able to as well as coffee plants, fruit trees climb, jump, swing, and everything and sugarcane. These plants were in between on the shaded ropes chosen to supplement the nutrition course that had a climbing wall, for the animals in the sanctuary. swings and variety of obstacles. We My husband’s highlight of the day all joined in and it was fun to see was observing and learning about what elements the adults could do the different stages of chocolate or couldn’t do. My son’s favorite part processing and making his own hot was watching me try to walk across chocolate. a tightrope. We took a break and got a drink Our appreciation for Diamante’s at Diamante’s new restaurant, Adventure Bar & attention to details Grill, before heading continued as we My son’s favorite home. This provided realized how hungry a nice reprieve, with we were. We returned part was watching selections from a to the Welcome full bar and snack Center for the buffet me try to walk menu. It gave me lunch, included in the time to again reflect across a tightrope. Adventure Pass or on all the attention otherwise available to details throughout for an additional fee. the park. With a degree in tourism It was by far one of the best buffet management and extensive meals we’ve had in Costa Rica. The experience in the hospitality sector, food quality and selection were I hold high expectations wearing exquisite, from the pizza and french the tourist hat myself. Diamante fries for the kids to the fresh and exceeded my expectations on so full salad bar. There were plenty many levels, from safety to the finer of typical Costa Rican offerings, points of signage and supported by finished off with some delicious amazing hospitality. arroz con leche. Everything was As a family-friendly adventure, Diamante had something for each labeled, clean and most important, delicious. I’m still thinking about the of us to enjoy. It gave us many memories we will cherish for years. ribs and creamy salad dressing. And my children are already asking We finished our Diamante to return and I can’t wait either, visit with a cultural center tour. As which tells me the experience was someone who studied interpretive well worth it. experiences, I was excited to see

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*Some restrictions apply if#spurchasing earchf indhon-site owl at Diamante: Not valid with other offers or in association with third-party companies


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LAS PUMAS Animal Rescue Center Not Responsible for Cross-Species Love by Karl Kahler



knew we would see big cats just for being locked up,” Esther when we went to the Las Pumas said. “As much as we try to make animal rescue center in Cañas. the habitat nice and big, and leave I didn’t know we would see a them toys, they destroy them.” collared peccary in love with a Big cats three-legged deer. There are two jaguars here, But there they were in the three pumas, four ocelots, two same enclosure, the white-tailed jaguarundis and one margay. When deer hopping up to a feeding we visited, most of them were trough while the pig oddly licked doing what cats do best: sleeping. her haunches and scratched her But one gorgeous puma named flanks with his nose. The deer’s Bruno was walking around like, name is Milagro (“Miracle”), and well, like a caged puma. He was she was shot in the now-missing confiscated from some idiot who leg by a hunter. The peccary, Ñoño had a canopy tour with a cougar. It (“Fatso”) used to live in a cage at a goes without saying that it’s totally hotel in Tilarán before the owner illegal in Costa Rica to keep wild turned him in. animals to attract tourists without And then love bloomed. “They the rigorous permits required adore each other,” said Esther by the environment ministry, Pomareda, the resident biologist MINAE. at Centro de nonprofit Rescate Las It has a campaign LasThe Pumas was Pumas. Happy to educate people founded more than 50 years ago by a Swiss endings are not couple named Lilly all that common to leave baby Bodmer and Werner in any place animals alone. Hagnauer. It was where animals recognized last year live in cages, but with an international their beginnings certification from the Global are often a lot worse. Esther gave us a tour starting with white-faced Federation of Animal Sanctuaries — a distinction it shares with only monkeys, where one came right up to us and started moving his mouth one other refuge in Costa Rica, Zoo Ave. like he was imitating her spiel. “It demonstrates that the care A forlorn spider monkey came and well-being of the animals, over and took up a perch on the the quality of their health, the fence, dropping her head and financing, everything meets all covering it with her hand like she the norms and standards on an was sad. international level,” Esther said. Esther said that at first the Under Costa Rican law, animal spider monkey was in another cage sanctuaries can put animals on and was depressed and stressed, public display only if they are so they decided to put her with the capuchin monkeys to see how they deemed incapable of surviving in the wild — typically because got along. I remarked that she still of injuries or because they looked depressed. were raised as pets and are too “All animals in captivity are habituated to humans. Rescued going to be a bit sad or stressed,


Curubanda, the cross-eyed jaguar.

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animals that can be rehabilitated and released are required to be kept away from human contact under a separate permit from MINAE. If you release a jaguar, you want it to go out in the jungle and hunt, not walk up to some farmer’s house looking for a handout. Las Pumas has permits to do both — display animals that can’t be released and rehabilitate animals that can, away from the public eye.

Memorable rescues

Esther showed us an ocelot that was kept as a pet in a house and fed fried meat. “We had to teach him to eat raw meat,” she said. I imagined this spoiled cat saying, “I want Pollo Crispy!” A beautiful jaguar named Curubanda showed up behind someone’s house in the Santa Rosa area when she was about 10 months old and already at death’s door, weak and extremely thin. The lady of the house called authorities, who showed up and picked up the cat. “How did they pick her up?” I asked. “They just put her in a cage with their hands,” Esther said. “She was so weak that they just put her in the kennel.” Don’t try this at home. “Curubanda is a jaguar with vision problems,” Esther said. “She’s cross-eyed and she sees shadows. She’s myopic, not completely blind, but she came to us like that. When they brought her here and examined her, she recovered. She had anemia and she was full of ticks.” The hope was to release her, and since she was a wild animal, handlers offered her live prey like mice. “But they would run right between her legs and she wouldn’t hunt them,” said Esther. “Now she eats beef.” Cows are donated by local ranchers to become cat food, she said, and one cow can last four or five days. Curubanda is also a painter, it turns out. Her handlers give her paint and she spreads it around on a canvas, and her “paintings” are auctioned off to raise funds. #s earchf indh owl

Back in the 1980s there were two jaguars who were artists of another kind — escape artists who managed to break out of their enclosures. As you can imagine, nowadays this kind of behavior is strictly discouraged. Esther said one new jaguar enclosure cost $20,000 to build.

Your help may be unhelpful

Las Pumas has close to 60 parrots, toucans and scarlet macaws. There are some 15 turtles — Esther says people see a turtle crossing the road and they bring it here instead of putting it on the other side of the road. “Of all the animals we receive, 50 percent are babies, and of those about 44 percent could have been left in the wild,” she said. Las Pumas receives as many as 160 animals a year of 46 different species. It has a campaign called ‘Don’t Take Me Out of My Habitat” to educate people to leave baby animals alone. “A lot of people think the mother is dead, but in fact the mother is alive — she’s just hunting, she’s resting nearby, or she got spooked when people came,” Esther said. “We’re trying to educate people that when they find these babies, they should leave them alone.” It’s a different story if the animal is in danger, threatened by dogs or by flooding, or if the mother never returns. Call SINAC or move the animal if you can do so safely. “A very small percentage are animals where the mother really died — run over, electrocuted, different reasons,” she said. But if you ever find a threelegged deer, please take it somewhere else. There is a pig here who could get very jealous.

Anastasia, the scarlet macaw.

Chata, a female ocelot.

For more info: (506) 2669-6044, 2669-6019 4.5 km north of Cañas on Inter-American Highway Visit

Alita, the keel-billed toucan has a broken wing.






he nine-banded armadillo is a fascinating medium-sized mammal. It is one of the by Valerie and Vern Veer official state animals of Texas. Its ancestors originated in South America in a wide range of habitats from rainforest to grassland and dry scrub. It was the development of the Isthmus of Panama that allowed its migration north. Currently, it ranges all the way up through Central America and the southern United States and continues to expand its range in both directions. Historically in the United States, early German settlers lived on the meat of armadillos and referred to them as “panzerschwein’’ (armored pig). They were also called “poor man’s pork” and “Hoover hog” during the Great Depression by those who considered President Hoover responsible for the economic hardships. While its name — nine-banded armadillo — suggests it should have nine bands, the actual number varies by location. Unlike the South American three-banded armadillo, the ninebanded cannot roll itself into a ball. It does have some amazing escape tactics, however. It is capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines or sinking and running across riverbeds. The ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes means it can travel quite a distance underwater to escape predation. If alarmed, it It is capable can jump four feet straight up in the air or quickly burrow into the soil, making it almost impossible of floating for predators to extract. Although it is widely believed that armadillos across rivers are shy and therefore most visible during evening or night, we viewed several of these little by inflating guys rooting around under the bushes during its intestines midday on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. We within six feet taking photos and they didn’t or sinking and got seem bothered by our presence at all, but this is running across probably due to their very bad eyesight. This little guy is primarily an insectivore, riverbeds. with the ability to thrust its snout into loose leaf litter and soil for termites, ants, worms and grubs, which it laps up with a long sticky tongue.


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This aggressive digging poses some threat to the gopher tortoise by disturbing its nests of eggs. Armadillos are considered a pest, and — speaking of eggs — will steal the eggs of poultry and game birds. Nonetheless, armadillos have an important symbiosis with their environment. While they can cause mild damage to the ground with their burrowing and rooting around, other animals rely on these habits for their own existence. For example, rattlesnakes, pine snakes, skunks, cotton rats and burrowing owls may be found living in abandoned armadillo burrows. The fan-tailed warbler commonly follows armadillos to feast on the insects and other invertebrates they have disrupted. What Costa Rica offers the nine-banded armadillo in return is the consistently mild to warm climate needed to survive. This is essential due to its very low metabolic rate and cool body temperature without body fat to store heat. Also, Costa Rica’s generally rich soil makes for excellent rooting around and a generous food supply for the armadillo. Armadillos are prolific, reaching sexual maturity at one year and producing quadruplets every year for the next 12 to 15 years of life expectancy. The babies, however, are born blind and bald, requiring the mother’s protection for the first several months of life, leaving them vulnerable to prey. And that brings us to predators. Some animals that pose a threat to the armadillo are large wild cats, bobcats, wolves, bears, alligators, crocodiles and large raptors. But, surprisingly, humans, by far, are the leading predator of nine-banded armadillos today. Armadillos are still harvested for their meat and shells, and many thousands get killed on roadways every year. And we mustn’t fail to mention that they are domestically raised in Texas to participate in the small-scale, wellestablished sport of armadillo racing.

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JANUARY 01 - JANUARY 31, 2019





1 Tues

4:56am 1.15 '

11:10am 7.60 '

5:09pm 1.41 '

11:35pm 8.56 '

2 Wed

6:00am 1.07 '

12:12pm 7.63 '

6:11pm 1.48 '

3 Thurs

12:31am 8.60 '

6:56am 0.90 '

1:08pm 7.77 '

7:05pm 1.44 '

4 Fri

1:23am 8.68 '

7:46am 0.69 '

1:58pm 7.97 '

7:55pm 1.34 '

5 Sat

2:09am 8.77 '

8:30am 0.49 '

2:44pm 8.17 '

8:39pm 1.23 '

6 Sun

2:51am 8.83 '

9:10am 0.34 '

3:24pm 8.35 '

9:21pm 1.14 '

7 Mon

3:33am 8.85 '

9:48am 0.24 '

4:04pm 8.47 '

10:01pm 1.08 '

8 Tues

4:11am 8.79 '

10:24am 0.23 '

4:42pm 8.52 '

10:39pm 1.07 '

9 Wed

4:49am 8.66 '

11:00am 0.30 '

5:20pm 8.49 '

11:17pm 1.13 '


10 Thurs

5:27am 8.44 '

11:36am 0.48 '

5:58pm 8.39 '

11:57pm 1.25 '

11 Fri

6:07am 8.14 '

12:12pm 0.73 '

6:36pm 8.24 '

12 Sat

12:37am 1.40 '

6:47am 7.78 '

12:50pm 1.03 '

7:16pm 8.07 '

13 Sun

1:21am 1.57 '

7:31am 7.42 '

1:32pm 1.34 '

7:58pm 7.91 '


14 Mon

2:07am 1.72 '

8:17am 7.10 '

2:16pm 1.61 '

8:46pm 7.80 '

15 Tues

2:59am 1.79 '

9:11am 6.88 '

3:06pm 1.80 '

9:40pm 7.80 '

16 Wed

3:57am 1.74 '

10:11am 6.83 '

4:04pm 1.85 '

10:38pm 7.93 '

17 Thurs

4:57am 1.51 '

11:15am 7.01 '

5:06pm 1.71 '

11:36pm 8.23 '

18 Fri

5:57am 1.10 '

12:15pm 7.41 '

6:08pm 1.38 '


19 Sat

12:34am 8.66 '

6:55am 0.56 '

1:13pm 7.98 '

7:08pm 0.89 '

20 Sun

1:30am 9.15 '

7:49am -0.04 '

2:07pm 8.63 '

8:04pm 0.34 '

21 Mon

2:24am 9.62 '

8:39am -0.59 '

2:57pm 9.25 '

8:58pm -0.17 '

22 Tues

3:14am 9.98 '

9:29am -1.01 '

3:47pm 9.76 '

9:50pm -0.54 '

23 Wed

4:06am 10.15 ' 10:17am -1.25 '

4:37pm 10.08 '

10:42pm -0.72 '

24 Thurs

4:56am 10.10 ' 11:07am -1.24 '

5:27pm 10.16 '

11:34pm -0.67 '

5:46am 9.82 '

11:55am -0.99 '

6:17pm 10.01 '

26 Sat

12:26am -0.40 '

6:38am 9.34 '

12:45pm 0.54 '

7:09pm 9.66 '

27 Sun

1:20am 0.02 '

7:32am 8.73 '

1:37pm 0.06 '

8:03pm 9.18 '

28 Mon

2:16am 0.52 '

8:30am 8.08 '

2:33pm 0.72 '

9:01pm 8.67 '

29 Tues

3:18am 0.99 '

9:32am 7.53 '

3:33pm 1.31 '

10:03pm 8.24 '

30 Wed

4:24am 1.30 '

10:40am 7.18 '

4:39pm 1.73 '

11:05pm 7.97 '

31 Thurs

5:32am 1.40 '

11:48am 7.09 '

5:45pm 1.91 '

25 Fri

We h a v e y o u c o v e r e d . Free 2 hr

Board Rental with surf lesson

simply mention



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Happy hour

Daily, 4-6 2x1 cocktails 1000c beers Discount bocas menu


January 5 New Moon

January 14 1st Quarter

January20 Full Moon

January 27

3rd Quarter


5:56 AM 6:01 AM


5:29 PM 5:43 PM

#s earchf indh owl


SURFING COSTA RICA Photo: Esteban Delgado

by Ellen Zoe Golden

If its a Surfboard, Oliveira Rides It



rom a young start in Venezuela, Marcel Oliveira was a true waterman. At 5, he’d join his father on their small boat, skiing behind it or snorkeling when they stopped. Then, at 10, his dad gave him a Morey Boogie Board and soon noticed his son was standing on it. “He said, ‘Okay, we’ve got to switch to a surfboard,’” recalled Oliveira, whose first true rideable was a

Photo: Gregory Cedeno Solis


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70s-style Hobie twin fin. “I just kept surfing with it for a year, then began switching to nice, newer boards.” Although he entered a few surf competitions back home and during the time he lived in Brazil, Oliveira’s real international contests early on were as a mountain biker. That was before finally moving to Costa Rica in 2001, when an intended vacation never ended. Evolution to a longboard came on a Jacó trip in 2001, where the waves were small and he noticed everyone

Athlete: Marcel Oliveira Sport: SUP Surfing / SUP race / Longboard Age: 39 About: Master of water sports making his mark with SUP on the national and international stages. Sponsors: Costa Rica SUP & Surf Club, Jacó Beach House, Nativo Açaí, Spy Optic, SupHerr, Pura Vida Sun Block, Premier Dental Care.

catching more of them on those logs. He got longboard fever. While he was working at his friend’s place, Mar Surf Camp, the owner bought a quiver of standup paddleboard (SUP) boards and basically told the instructors, “We had to keep up with this thing if we wanted to stay working with her because we’d have to learn paddleboarding to take people out for the tours.” So Oliveira did as he was asked, starting with huge boards about 11 or 12 feet for touring. “Little by little for myself,” he recalled, “I started switching to shorter boards like my friends Joyce Solano and Marco Pacheco. They gave me some good tips for techniques. I was especially impressed with how Marco managed himself on a short paddleboard, since he is such a big guy.” Moving to the short SUP was a humbling experience, Oliveira admitted. His agenda mixed flat water touring and SUP surfing. Now he surfs on a 7’ or 7’2 X 3’5 board. His race board is a “really sick” 12’6 Starboard. Two years ago, Oliveira, who now lives in Jacó, entered the Costa

Toes on the nose for the national Longboard champion. Photo: Sergio Briksa

Oliveira ducks under the roof. Photo: Shifi Ettinger

Photo courtesy Costa Rica Surfing Federation

Rica Circuito for SUP and Longboarding. The results were good: first place in SUP Surf, third place in SUP Race and second place in Longboard. But this year, he went all the way and is the 2018 Costa Rica national champion of SUP Surf, SUP Race and Longboard. He sees SUP growing all over Costa Rica, noting that more schools are teaching it, and the divergent way the sport approaches waves — as fun, entertainment and dynamics. He compares the endurance needed for SUP to that of long swims, marathons or road biking. Last month, Oliveira was part of the Costa Rica National Surf Team that traveled to Punta Roca, Peru for the Olympic-sanctioned Pan American Surfing

Games. This was only his second time competing out of the country, previously participating in the Central American Surfing Games in Nicaragua. He cited Peru as a huge learning experience, gaining knowledge from his teammates and Coach Jim Hogan. Just being there was an honor, he admitted, with the opportunity to learn about new locations and the challenge of cold water. “I’m very stoked and very, very blessed and fortunate," Oliveira concluded, adding that he loves being in the water to also enjoy free diving, spearfishing, swimming or utilizing his ISA certification to teach surfing of all varieties. “At 39, I’m proof that it’s never too late to try stuff and become good at it and succeed at it.”

#s earchf indh owl



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SUSTAINABLE LIVING IS OUR WAY OF LIVING LL AMA DEL BOSQUE LOTS Lots starting at 1048 m2 From: $ 2 3 5 , 8 0 0

f i n d o u t m o r e at : w w w. r e s e r vac o n c h a l .c o m a b /r e s e r v a c o n c h a l

a /j u n t o s c o n c h a l

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tel: 265 4-3000

i n fo @ r e s e r vaco n c h a l .co m HM HOWLER MAGAZINE | 33

CR Biz Mini-Mag

by Laura Galvin




osta Rica may be a resort and real estate hotspot, but it’s rare for developers here to value their natural surroundings and community as much as their business goals. Reserva Conchal is an exception, leading the way as a truly conscious community. Aside from being an impressive travel destination or luxury home locale, the development likes to think of itself as a sustainability laboratory. With all the time and effort spent developing eco-friendly practices here, it has become the company’s goal to refine these sustainable practices and share them with other businesses. Reserva Conchal’s vision extends far beyond its borders, focusing on building a happy, healthy community as much as solid investment opportunities. This wisdom was instilled by the parent firm, Florida Ice and Farm Company (FIFCO). The prominent 105-year-old Costa Rican beverage corporation has guided Reserva Conchal using its triple bottom line strategy: financial, social and environmental sustainability are valued equally. “To be able to perform a leadership role in a company managed under a triple bottom line model to achieve objectives in the social and environmental dimensions with the same rigor as it does with its economic objectives, generates a feeling of extraordinary accomplishment,” says


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Helmuth Sauter, Director Inmobiliario FIFCO. “Reserva Conchal has a clear purpose to seek an integral achievement of goals as human beings, not only as professionals, offering the possibility to leave a positive imprint in our society, beyond the company,”

A new way of resort living Extending inland from the white sand beach of Playa Conchal, 930 hectares of Costa Rican nature make up Reserva Conchal. As its name suggests, the vast majority of this area is dedicated to a nature reserve, but it is integrated with nine residential communities, two hotels and a golf course. For those who would like to

It’s not uncommon for guests to become so enamored that they decide to plant more permanent roots in the community. experience Reserva Conchal while on vacation, the W and Westin Hotels will not fail to impress. The Westin opened in 2011 and is well known for offering a luxurious, all-inclusive tropical experience. The brand new W Hotel includes all the amenities you would

expect from the trendy chain. This level of comfort and service is impressive anywhere in the world, but when it’s offered in a remote nature reserve on a Costa Rican beach, the experience becomes even more special. It’s not uncommon for guests to become so enamored with Reserva Conchal’s natural luxury that they decide to plant more permanent roots in the community. Each of the residential communities in the Resort has its own unique characteristics, amenities and property manager. Some are comprised of condominium complexes and others groups of villas, while many are collections of lots and existing homes. “I love Reserva Conchal because it feels like home,” says Joy McElroy, who relocated from Texas with her family to Reserva Conchal in August. “It is safe, clean and has a sense of community. There is always lots of fun things to do and it is close to everything.” As impressive as these homes are, it’s really the community as a whole that convinces people to invest in Reserva Conchal.

A community that cares Reserva Conchal has made sure its residents and guests have every opportunity to stay active and social within the property. The company hosts a variety of community activities, Photos courtesy of Reserva Conchal

fitness classes and fun events, in addition to operating 12 restaurants, bars, and a beach club within the Resort. Beyond this sense of caring for residents and guests, the wellbeing of the surrounding community of locals is always a priority. In 2014, Reserva Conchal in alliance with Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA) introduced a dual education program, offering free education and on-the-job training to local residents. More than 200 participants have graduated so far, with at least half being hired afterwards. Reserva Conchal currently directly employs 170 people, over 700 more work at the Westin and 200 so far at the W Hotel. Jobs at Reserva Conchal come with plenty of benefits as well, from employee housing to golf lessons. Extending even further into the surrounding community, Reserva Conchal employees participate regularly in volunteer opportunities. Each year they dedicate around 11,000 hours to a variety of projects like helping at the local food bank, improving local school infrastructures, cleaning up beaches and guarding turtle nests. These efforts not only help the community directly but reinforce the importance of locals caring for each other and the natural environment.

Putting nature first Pride from living or working in such an incredibly sustainable project is what brings the community together on an even deeper level. At Reserva Conchal, nature and the local wildlife are part of the community as well. There are over 330 hectares of designated green space, guaranteeing local plants and trees retain a place in the reserve forever. The onsite 39 hectares National Wildlife Refuge, allows the community to experience the

wonders of nature and the local flora and fauna up close. On the trails throughout the Resort, guests and residents have the chance to see exotic birds, monkeys, ringtailed coatis and iconic Guanacaste trees. From the beach, you can see humpback whales breaching and all kinds of reef fish if you decide to go for a snorkel. In order to care for their natural surroundings, Reserva Conchal has implemented many kinds of new technology and practices. Solar power provides seven percent of the Resort’s total electricity bills. It is the first in the area to have an onsite desalination plant that turns seawater into fresh water. Hardly any waste is not reused, between the recycling and composting stations. All plastics, metals and hazardous chemicals are processed here, and organic waste from restaurants and landscaping is composted and turned into rich, fertile soil for use on the property. Even the golf course is the first in Costa Rica to be recognized by Audubon International for its environmental efforts.

How to join the community We all share this beautiful slice of paradise, and it will take the entire community’s efforts to preserve it. Anyone can start small by recycling and investing in other green practices little by little. Becoming part of Reserva Conchal’s conscious community as a resident means you are not only investing in a home and strong community, but a green future. To represent its values and goals more accurately, Reserva Conchal has just rebranded. The new logo is inspired by botanical illustrations and encompasses the love of nature and community. As part of the rebrand, the development has zeroed in on what matters most: progress, preservation of nature, community, safety and recreation.

For more information, visit (506) 2654-3000 ReservaConchalCostaRica

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Installing solar panels is a long-term and easy way to offset your carbon footprint.


Carbon Positive Pride


osta Rica is a country rich in history and love of the land, and that is why it is committed to being carbon neutral by 2021. This commitment to reduce emissions pervades many different areas of the world. News-making events grab headlines for being carbon neutral, from the G8 Summit, to Dave Matthews Band's concert tour to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. In a world with so much focus on the environment, it can be overwhelming for businesses to know where to start in reducing their carbon footprint and supporting the surrounding community.

One company, one example, one earth One Costa Rican organization that is very successful at being climate positive is Reserva Conchal in Guanacaste. At Reserva Conchal, providing a better environment for the future is a way of life and flows through all day-to-day operations. Given the distinguished

Carbon Neutral Certification by the Costa Rican Institute of Technical Policies (INTECO) and Ministry of Environmental Subjects (MINAE), Reserva Conchal continually assesses and improves its carbon footprint. Reserva Conchal uses every bit of its 930 hectares of land to promote carbonpositive business practices. Notably, the developer set aside 334 hectares of forest land to remain building free, including a 39-hectare wildlife refuge. Last year, more than 1,350 solar panels were installed to provide 7 percent of the Westin Hotel energy consumption. All buildings are monitored for energy efficiency. Waste management is the most impressive and easiest example of carbon emission reduction at Reserva Conchal. More than 80 percent of the waste produced by the on-site resorts, club, residences and golf course is recycled, resulting in nearly 7 tons of different organic compost produced weekly. Recycled materials include plastics, aluminum, paper, cooking oil

by Nicole Rangel

and glass. Reserva Conchal has worked extensively with recycling centers in Santa Cruz and private buyers to purchase almost all of the non-organic waste. Recycling is one way that a business can work towards carbon neutrality. Another way is to look at purchasing practices. Reserva Conchal makes a conscious effort to purchase products that are recyclable or packaged in recyclable containers.

Value in actions Better business practices can help any business become carbon neutral. By offsetting and reducing their carbon footprints, all businesses can work towards becoming responsible stewards of the earth. Whether it is planting trees in a nearby park or using recyclable items responsibly, the organizations we lead, belong to and support can find value in helping the environment and their community.

The composting process takes four weeks and produces new soil used in the nursery, golf course and other landscaping.

Reserva Conchal's efforts also extend to providing monthly recycling and clean-up36 projects the community. | #insearch findhowl| online

Wildlife, like the coati, thrive in Reserva Conchal.

What is Carbon Neutrality?


he basic idea behind carbon neutrality is that individuals or organizations implement systems to offset their carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. “Reducing our emissions is both a corporate responsibility and a way to mitigate long-term risk," says UN Environment climate change expert Niklas Hagelberg. There are many ways to do this, and any business can put simple practices into place to be carbon neutral or positive.

Offsetting One way to achieve carbon neutrality is to offset emissions by nurturing and protecting existing forest areas, or through reforestation and new plantings. For a business, it can simply mean ensuring trees are preserved or replanted on building sites or replaced elsewhere. Another way to offset carbon usage is through purchasing carbon credits.

Reduction Reduction of products and services that emit carbon gases is one of the easiest ways a business can become carbon neutral. This type of practice takes time to adopt, starting with an evaluation of current operations. Potentially, there is a need to invest in changing or updating infrastructure. Specific reduction practices include purchasing renewable energy, installing solar panels, limiting energy through usage, recycling, reducing purchases and waste management.

Inspiring a better way of living #s earchf indh owl





by Laura Galvin Nomad Design House

In our last two segments of Pro Tips, we discussed branding and marketing for small businesses. If you’ve put the time and effort into branding and marketing, the final key to running a successful business lies in follow-through. It’s common for business owners to let their enthusiasm fizzle out over time, or to become complacent with initial success. But longevity requires quality, consistency and maintenance. If you missed Parts 1 and 2, find them online at



s discussed in our branding segment, building trust with your audience is essential. So once you have captured their attention, make sure you deliver what your branding and marketing have promised! If you let customers down after building up hype, you may never gain their trust in your products or services again. Your brand’s reputation will become part of its identity, so do your best to build a positive image. Making customer service a priority is one of the surest ways to stand out in Costa Rica and leave a good impression. You want every experience that someone has with your brand to reflect your brand values. Train staff in developing excellent customer service skills, and go above and beyond to be responsive and

PART 3 OF 3 38

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thorough in your communications. Take pride in what your business offers and assure that the quality of your products or services doesn’t suffer over time. When you feel confident that you’re giving your clients the best experience possible, put effort into collecting reviews. Firsthand accounts of others’ experiences are extremely valuable to consumers these days, and often the first thing people look for when deciding to try a new business. Whether on Trip Advisor, Facebook or another platform for community reviews, this feedback will not only give your business legitimacy but help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses and make necessary adjustments. Don’t underestimate word-ofmouth recommendations either. Though we often get caught up with our popularity in the digital world these days, in-person referrals still carry much more weight. Especially in small communities where word travels fast, the experiences people have can make or break a new business. Maintain good relationships with your community so people send others your way. Following through with your marketing efforts also means getting data savvy.

It’s so valuable to track your marketing strategies’ success, to be able to see what worked well and what may not have. This lets you know where your marketing budget is best spent. Marketing is an ongoing task for small businesses, so having the data from last year’s campaigns can greatly influence this year’s strategy. Collecting data can be done in many ways, depending on your marketing plan. It could be as simple as counting coupons that were redeemed, or installing Google Analytics on your website to see how many visitors you had and where they came from. Even Facebook and Instagram business accounts now have analytics reports built in to track the success of your social media ad campaigns and show your audience demographics. Trends and technology are changing faster than ever, so stay nimble and don’t be afraid to try new things. As the years go on, you may need to rebrand, adjust your target audience, adopt new technology, update your website, join different social platforms or advertise in a new place. Don’t forget to delegate and get help with things outside your area of expertise. Contact a professional creative agency for help improving your branding and marketing.

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by Alaks Thompson and Mark Haddad


An Investment in Lifestyle and Personal Growth



oted one of Costa Rica's top new developments in 2018 by Revista Construcción. 360 Splendor Del Pacifico Luxury Residences is recognized for contributing to the continued growth of Playa Flamingo. The development is praised for its environmental stewardship, strategic design and foreign investment possibilities. What do you think of when you hear the word “investment”? A transaction in real estate, stock market or interests on venture capital are all commonly associated with investment. Costa Rica — moreover, Guanacaste — is swimming in investments of all types. Dotted along the coastline hills and valleys of the province, opportunities prevail with grand investments giving great rewards. The return may consist of a profit from the sale of property or an investment, or investment income including dividends and interest. A return could even be from all of the above combined. 360 Splendor Del Pacifico is just such an investment. More precisely, it’s an investment in lifestyle and personal growth.


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A combination of one, two and three-bedroom condos, and three and four-bedroom penthouse units make up the 36 luxury residences of 360 Splendor Del Pacifico. This gated and secure community surrounds you with breathtaking views of all the best vistas Guanacaste has to offer from coastline to expansive ocean to the lush mountains. One could say, it’s a revolution in design and engineering, balancing an eco-friendly multi-level residence atop an elevated bluff overlooking some of the best beaches on the northwest coastline of Guanacaste. Every vantage point of the property takes in the natural beauty all around. Couple that with farm-to-table restaurants, supermarkets and gift shops all conveniently located within walking distance. Our team of bilingual concierge staff will customize your amenities to suit. With 70 percent of the project sold, the remaining inventory could be your chance to invest in Guanacaste’s most diverse and spectacular residence. When it comes to investing, you don’t have to be smart, you just have to be right. 360 Splendor Del Pacifico Luxury Residences is the right choice.

Photos: Paul German

360 Splendor del Pacifico • Playa Flamingo • Phone: CR (506) 2537.4416, US (877) 405.4996 •

The rich textile and wallcover palette inspires an uptown feel

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BUILT ON TRANQUILITY Ground floor community provides the best of Guanacaste


by Marian Paniagua


This strategic location offers the best of both worlds.

estled in the forest of the Guanacaste grasslands, among malinche, guanacaste and cenizaro trees, awaits a silent, calming space. Imagine an organic and natural lifestyle, perfectly complemented by the area’s native flora and fauna and Pacific view. Santa Rosa Estates is an urban project located in Santa Rosa, Guanacaste. It’s just minutes away from idyllic, hidden beaches, but also nine kilometers from the popular and thriving Playa Tamarindo. This strategic location offers the best of both worlds: familyfriendly beaches, nightlife, shopping and restaurants, plus the convenience of large supermarkets, schools, pharmacies, clinics and shops … all without ruining the peace and tranquility that characterizes the area. The Estates project offers a variety of lot sizes ranging from 300 to 5,000 square meters. Access is provided to basic public water, electricity,

cable and internet services, as well as public streets. At the same time, the site encompasses an area of dry tropical forest that the developer has omitted from construction plans. This is a designated conservation space where natural paths will be created for residents to hike and enjoy the lush plant and animal life that Guanacaste is known for. Property prices vary according to size, on average about $50 per square meter. ALFACO is the designated designer and builder for Santa Rosa Estates. Custom homes begin at $100,000 and can be upgraded with handbuilt wood and concrete floors and furniture to fit your design dreams. Accessibility, stunning views, tranquility and nature are the essence of inspiration for the Santa Rosa Estates development. Anyone seeking a quiet place to build should consider this unique and special option.

Photo courtesy of Santa Rosa Estates


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The Power of Knowing Why Nativu Manifesto


ow often do you ask yourself WHY? For us at Nativu, this is one of the most important starting points when investing our time, energy and money. Deciphering the answers to your “why” can make lots of things start to happen. Decisions become wiser and quicker, and your time investment more efficient. Most important, your life becomes happier. Your own “why” is usually a combination of your personal beliefs, your experience and what you want to accomplish in life. I’m sharing our company’s “why” manifesto, reflecting what we believe in as a digital real estate company. We have partnered with The Howler in order to bring our services and knowledge directly to you. Both companies share a similar business philosophy and we would be glad to help you on your investment journey, with the best quality of service and attention. Nativu is a lifestyle. It’s a way of living happily and harmoniously combining all the important things for us. We believe in the balance of things; in which you can succeed on a personal and professional level without exclusion. We believe in intelligent work and the ability to invest our time, resources and energy wisely, leading us to live a happy life together with our loved ones. We believe in the responsible use

of technology and see it as an important means to connect with our collaborators, partners and customers. We believe in the power and importance of our communities and how they shape the societies where we live.

Do something fun every day. Life is too short for boredom. We believe in the following principles.

Lifestyle 1. Live happy, invest wisely. We can’t find another purpose more wonderful than to be happy. There are 7 billion definitions of happiness, one for each inhabitant of our planet. Being happy is a choice; we have to invest our energy, our dreams, our work and all our resources in creating our personal definition of happiness. 2. Family is first. ALWAYS! Family members are usually those who are with us in good times and in bad times: parents, siblings and children, but also our work colleagues, partners, clients and friends who raise us up every

by Fabricio Riggioni

day to be better people. 3. Do something fun every day. Life is too short for boredom. There is nothing better than laughing and enjoying the company of people we love. Let's try to keep this in mind every day and remember what it is like to have a good time. 4. Every day is an opportunity to achieve something incredible. Whether within our families, companies or communities, we look for ways to generate value in each of our actions. The satisfaction of achieving it every day will become the fuel to achieve more incredible things. 5. Do not have goals, have life purposes. Once we achieve our goals, we continue to search for more of them, which becomes an endless race. Purposes do not have a timeline; they are the way we guide our lives. 6. Ideas without execution are dreams. Do not be a dreamer; be a doer. Dreaming is incredible. Every day we dream of traveling, having our home and health for our families or growing our businesses. We may dream of a new idea inclusively. Choose your dreams and work intelligently on them to become reality. 7. Sleep, rest and relax. Continued p.46

NATIVU • Investment Consultant: Fabricio Riggioni Phone: (506) 8301-0663 • Email: | #searchfindhowl| online


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Driven by the community 8. Work with people who inspire you and put aside those who slow you down. If we surround ourselves with people who work with our same values and energy, we will achieve everything we set out to do. Within the Nativu family, this is very important at all levels. 9. Treat your employees with respect. They are the ones who make your company great. Companies are made up of people with different tastes, ideologies and traditions. All of them deserve the highest level of respect at all times, regardless of their position or job function. Only then will we be set to achieve group success. 10. Incorporate the energy of nature daily. True inspiration rarely happens within four walls. Often, the day-to-day bustle confines us for many hours inside our workplace. Inspiration often happens when we see, smell and experience things in the least expected places. Expose yourself to these moments and see how the tap of inspiration opens up. 11. Let us lead the course of our communities with good actions. Communities are the pillar of every country. Therefore, each one of us must become active participants within each one of them. We all have different talents and abilities that we should share with other people.

Digital first 12. Use technology wisely, but do not let technology use you. Use technology to connect, learn and teach. We are responsible with it and we do not abuse it. We live in extraordinary times, in the era of

the technological revolution with a changing world. How will we be remembered in history? 13. Always stay hungry to learn. It has never been so easy to learn about a specific topic. We are one click away from learning about anything. Never let that passion to learn go away. 14. To be a nomad is awesome! Nativu believes in the flexibility to live and work from anywhere we want. That is why every day we use technology to make it a reality for our partners and collaborators. 15. Set your phone in silence. As much as we love technology, it will never replace a romantic dinner with your partner, barbecue with friends, or coffee with a brother; There are times when technology must be turned off, period.

Financially wise 16. Be organized with your money; it will allow you to lead a peaceful life. Money should never be the final purpose. However, it is a resource that’s very important for knowing how to handle. Save, invest wisely and use money intelligently to achieve your goals. 17. Intelligent and constant work always wins over natural talent. There’s nothing that can’t be achieved if we put in the hours of work, dedication and desires. We create the opportunities ourselves, we just have to be ready to make the best decisions when necessary. 18. Think strategically and execute with savviness and speed. Analyze the financial decisions in your life with great caution. A bad decision can result in many months or years of stress depending on the case. 19. If you do not know, ask and listen carefully. We always want to learn new things. Listen to people with more wisdom and experience than we have, and have the humility to accept what we do not know and need to learn.

NATIVU • Investment Consultant: Fabricio Riggioni Phone: (506) 8301-0663 • Email: 46 | #searchfindhowl| online

SIMPLY SPANISH by Sylvia Barreto Benites and Spanish For Expats

Financial Terms account — cuenta accountant — el contador/la contadora accounting — contabilidad asset — activo ATM — cajero automático (account) balance — saldo (de cuenta) bank — banco cash — efectivo check — cheque checking account — cuenta corriente credit — crédito date — fecha debit — débito debt — deuda (make a) deposit — hacer un depósito digital receipt (electronic invoice) — factura digital (now required under Costa Rican law) exchange rate in dollars — cambio del dólar fiscal year — año/ejercicio fiscal funds — fondos interests — intereses loan — préstamo money — dinero property or real estate — inmobiliario savings account — caja/cuenta de ahorros signature — firma (account) statement — estado (de cuenta) tax — impuesto tax office (ministry) — Ministerio de Hacienda (where you register to pay taxes; only a passport number is required)

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Is Your Builder Responsible? by Ivan Granados



our beautiful new Costa Rican home was finally built and you settled in a while ago. Everything turned out great, so now you can kick back and enjoy your perfect space. Then one day you notice something that doesn’t seem right. Probably no big deal, you think … until seemingly overnight, one problem has led to another and it’s all going horribly wrong. How did you miss this? What do you do now? Who is responsible? The answer to the last question is, whoever was in charge of the building project, such as an architect, civil engineer, developer or construction company. Under Costa Rican regulations (Civil Code, Section 1185), such individuals or companies in charge of projects that include buildings, bridges or other infrastructure are responsible for total or partial losses due to defects in the construction process or the underlying soil. When more than one professional is involved, each one assumes responsibility for the extent of participation in the project (Civil Code, Section 1186). This is based on the information recorded in the official construction log book (bitacora). Since this liability is granted by law and not by contract, these


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are important considerations: The professional(s) responsible can be sued by the building owner — or the administrator of a condominium — only when hidden defects are discovered related to the construction process, the quantity and quality of the materials used, or the lack of supervision or recklessness and negligence of the professional(s) involved. Damage

These regulations were created to protect people in the event of major issues or accidents. or loss resulting from force majeure (acts of God) is not grounds for legal action. These regulations protect people in the event of major issues or accidents related to new construction or remodeling. They do not apply to minor construction work or damages that pose a relatively low risk. For example, a crack in a wall may not be sufficient grounds to sue; however, a crack in a structural beam would be. The scale or dimensions of the damage can only be determined in court.

The statute of limitations for these kinds of legal actions is five years, starting from the moment the project is completed and the owner officially takes possession (Civil Code, Section 1185). This statute of limitations is upheld by law and cannot be waived. Any other damages that occur during the construction process or thereafter — for example, failure to complete the project — can be claimed as a regular civil case for breach of contract (Civil Code, Sections 868 and 1045). The applicable statute of limitations is 10 years. However, there could be criminal liability in cases of accidental death or injury caused by a constructive failure relating to the responsible professional’s lack of expertise or negligence. Consequently, the statute of limitations is different for crimes, as opposed to strictly civil or commercial cases. As a final recommendation, any construction or remodeling project should always be covered by a full coverage insurance policy, including fire and/or civil liability coverage. Most local insurance companies provide this service. For more information and to review relevant construction agreements or contracts, please contact your attorney.

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A gentle natural healing tool

by Laura Méndez


o there I was, completely submerged in a bath of sound and vibration coming from some of the most amazing instruments I’ve ever seen (or heard) before. My body was tingling and vibrating so intensely it felt like I was levitating a foot off the ground! Then, for the first time in years, my mind was still, quiet and empty. I cannot express in words how much that meant to me. I had spent years in a depressed, anxious state working as a veterinarian. Unable to smile or even properly digest my food, I had extreme anxiety, depression, panic attacks and crazy mood swings. On a relentless search for natural healing approaches, I discovered the incredible power of sound. I attended my first “sound journey” and experienced something beyond my comprehension. Soon after, I went to another one with my partner, Jerad. It was clear from the beginning: we were both hooked and could not get enough.

So what exactly is a sound journey?

As Albert Einstein said, "Everything in life is vibration." 50

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It is an experience — sometimes referred to as a “sound bath” — in which gongs, singing bowls and other instruments are played in a manner that relaxes the body and calms the mind. Participants take a comfortable position, usually laying on their backs, and simply listen. The sounds guide listeners through states of deep relaxation, meditation, healing and self-discovery.

Sometimes, physical sensations are felt while at other times they are more emotional. People might also see colors, shapes or images similar to a waking dream. One way sound can help create deep states of relaxation is through altering our brainwave states. This refers to the progression from normal waking state (beta) down to alpha (conscious relaxed state), theta (dreamlike state) and sometimes even delta (deep sleep). In the process, we experience a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, our bodies relax, our breath deepens and we move into a receptive state where deep healing can occur. It is easily explained with simple physics. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything in life is vibration.” Einstein was referring to everything in the universe, including our body. Every organ and every cell in our body vibrates at a particular frequency. Sound and vibration travels up to five times more effectively through water. Since the human body is made up of over 70 percent water, we can understand how sound and vibration can affect us at a cellular level. In essence, your body, mind, and energy have an opportunity to shift to a higher frequency and let go of “lower” vibrational thoughts, emotions and other issues. The benefits of sound therapy have been demonstrated in children, adults - including pregnant women - and the elderly. It’s easy to see why Jerad and I were hooked. Even more remarkable, I could never have imagined how far my self-healing would go and where it would lead: I am now providing sound journeys in the community.

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Beach Capsule Wardrobe Basics by Patricia Sterman



henever you feel unsure or confused about what to wear, go back to basics and create a capsule wardrobe. Your basic wardrobe for city life must include a pair of jeans, white t-shirt, black dress and a good coat. What about your capsule wardrobe at the beach? • The list must start with a bunch of bathing suits. You need at least one one-piece bathing suit and one bikini to start. Black? Maybe … but for sure, any swimsuit must be one that fits perfectly and makes you feel good wearing it. • Shorts are the second most important item in your capsule wardrobe. Choose from many fabrics for many occasions: denim, rayon, viscose, silk and more. • The top you wear with shorts depends on your style. I prefer tank-tops, but you might go with a tube top, blouse or t-shirt. You definitely want something that is lightweight and breathable. • The “perfect” dress is the one you wear to feel the best version of yourself — fresh, comfortable and maybe you don’t have to wear a bra with it. I am sure you know which dress it is. • To the new beach fashion basics, I would like to add a kimono. Kimonos have been around for a while but today’s version has become a “wearable” sarong. It is the perfect summer coat to bring along. • Add flip-flops so you can walk around for hours, anywhere from muddy roads to sandy beaches. You might even have a dress-up pair and a beach pair. • Because I love jewelry, I must also add a beautiful pair of earrings — the type you can go to the ocean with and also sleep in. Get your basics together, grab a small backpack and you are all set for a trip to your favorite place!

If you need any type of fashion advice or recommendation for a special event, contact 52

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The “perfect” dress is the one you wear to feel the best version of yourself.



Embracing Opportunities Students for the Future

Making a Difference • (506) 2653- 6363 #s earchf indh owl



Anjali mudra is used as a posture of composure, of returning to one’s heart, whether you are greeting someone or saying goodbye, initiating or completing an action. As you bring your hands together at your center, you are literally connecting the right and left hemispheres of your brain.


MUDRAS In Your Own Hands by Marian Paniagua


udra is a sanskrit word translated as “seal,” “closure” or “gesture.” A mudra may involve the whole body or be a simple hand position, symbolic in different cultures to communicate a feeling. My focus here is on hasta mudras, which are hand gestures in yoga. For example, drawing together your palms at the heart is a familiar gesture perceived as a posture of prayer. Most people tend to use this gesture intuitively to show respect or gratefulness. We routinely express ourselves through hand gestures in everyday life. For example, we connect the tip of our index finger to the tip of our thumb, leaving our other fingers straight, to indicate something is “OK,” or we raise our hand up to signal “stop”. There are many theories about how and why mudras work. Investigators have sought to understand the energetic, emotional and physical impact on practitioners, depending on where pressure is placed on the hand. Some theories are influenced by alternative branches of medicine such as reflexology, acupuncture and Ayurveda, a holistic healing approach based on mind-body connectedness. Other theories about mudras are supported by scientific studies of the brainbody connection. Not only is one of our brain’s

vital functions to control the movement of our body, but moving our body in different ways has a remarkable effect on our brain. It can enhance neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to reorganize or “rewire” itself through new neural connections, or neurogenesis — the formation of neurons from neural stem cells. Yoga instructors complement their practice with mudras, and they are also used in other traditions such as Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Tai Chi and Jin Shin Jyutsu. This opens up a whole avenue of research from the perspective of yogism. Hasta mudras in yoga allow us to channel the energy created by our postures and conscious breathing to the chakras, to the mind and to whatever part of ourselves need transformation. It helps us attain many objectives for spiritual elevation if that is part of our intention in yoga practice, as well as physical and emotional healing. Mudras are simple to perform by yourself or guided. Yet, they are very powerful in helping release or awaken blocked energy from your body. We are moving from the age of information to the age of intuition. Take this knowledge about mudras and their effect on your body. Let it sink in your intellect and be digested by your intuitive self.

Mudras are simple to perform by yourself or guided.

YOGA TERMS Hasta: Hand Chakra:

From the Sanskrit word meaning wheel, cycle and circle. Responding to both psychic and physiological functions, chakras are directly linked to mental, physical, and spiritual attributes.


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SAVASANA Corpse Pose


Shava = corpse / asana = pose


his posture is named the corpse pose for two reasons. From a physical perspective, your body will remain stationary without moving for a period of time. From a spiritual perspective, it’s like being quiet to the external world — to the ideas of the past and the future and to the mental construct of yourself. It’s not just a resting posture. Your body is completely relaxed but your mind is alert and observing, receiving and releasing every stimulation from within and from your surroundings. Usually, this is the last pose taken after your yoga practice allowing the effects of all the previous postures to be assimilated and for the energy to resettle. For many, savasana is one of the most difficult positions because it is more mental than physical. Yet, it is the perfect opportunity to practice conscious attention.

Benefits of the corpse pose Physically • It gives your body a deep rest. • It relaxes your muscles. • It lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. • Your entire organism goes back to its natural state of relaxation. Mentally Savasana helps your mind gain clarity and calmness, facilitating focus and creativity. Energetically The silence and stillness maintained during savasana clarify and deepen your emotions, letting you recognize them from a higher perspective. If you are less overwhelmed by your emotions, you will have more space and presence to cultivate your spiritual exploration.

by Marian Paniagua

How to do the corpse pose

1. Lying on your back, let your arms and legs drop open. Place your arms comfortably at your sides, slightly away from your torso with your palms facing upward. Scan your body one last time. If you perceive a remaining muscle tension, use you’re your breath and the power of your intention to help you relax. Make sure you are comfortable and make any adjustment you think is necessary. 2. Close your eyes. Take a slow and cleansing breath through the nose, then to exhale, open your mouth and sigh it out. Let your intention be to allow your body to fully relax into the floor. Watch it becoming soft and heavy, only rising and falling with the rhythm of your breath. 3. Do not worry if thoughts come to your awareness. With love, release all control of your mind, your breath and your body. Let your body move deeper and deeper into a state of total relaxation. It’s in this space where integration and healing takes place. Stay in savasana for 10 to 15 minutes, or even longer, without falling asleep. 4. To start coming out of the pose, intuitively choose a part of your body to move first. From that first move, begin to carefully move other parts of your body. Softly rock your head from side to side; this will give a gentle massage to the back of your head and bring back movement to your spine. Bend your knees, roll to one side and remain there for a few more breaths. Then open your eyes and push yourself up with your hands. Take a moment to perceive your body and the space around you.

To be mindful

Savasana is not recommended for the third trimester of pregnancy. In this case, roll on your side with knees bent and a pillow under your head. Place a pillow under your legs to release tension from your lower back.


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by Valaria Gonzales

It’s easy to incorporate into your diet by substituting for rice in any recipe.


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id you know that quinoa is technically not a grain, but rather a seed? It seems irrelevant though because it is known as the mother of all grains … an ancestral gift of the Incas. First cultivated more than 5,000 years ago in mountainous areas of South America, quinoa had a place in the religious ceremonies of early civilizations as well as home kitchens. Today, quinoa is classified as one of the “ancient grains,” so-called because their properties have remained largely unchanged for hundreds or even thousands of years. It is primarily grown in the Andes regions of Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Bolivia. Quinoa plants grow to heights of between one and three meters, producing an annual grain crop in colors ranging from white, yellow and pink to orange, red, brown and black. The most common varieties available in stores are white, red and black quinoa. As a superfood, quinoa offers human dietary benefits associated with improved organ function and metabolism regulation. Researchers have investigated its role in breast cancer prevention, diabetes and healthy weight management, blood pressure reduction and skin, bone, brain and colon health. Quinoa is a gluten-free energy booster and natural laxative, containing antioxidants and antiseptic properties. According to the Oldways Whole Grains Council, just one cup of quinoa goes a long way in meeting recommended daily requirements, as follows: 30 percent magnesium, 28 percent phosphorus, 19 percent folate, 18 percent copper, 15 percent iron, 13 percent zinc and 9 percent potassium, plus small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6 and E, and calcium. All of this comes with only 222 calories, 39 grams of carbohydrates and a measly 4 grams of fat. Quinoa is readily available at local supermarkets and health food stores. It’s easy to incorporate into your diet by substituting for rice in any recipe. Use quinoa in baking or as a breakfast grain; it also works well in hot side dishes, cold salads and even in burgers.

Preparation tips

Quinoa seeds are coated with a compound called saponins, which creates a foam during cooking and causes a slightly bitter taste. It’s advisable to remove any residual saponins from the seeds before cooking by placing in a sieve and running under cold water to rinse thoroughly. Drain and you are ready to easily cook fluffy quinoa in the same manner as rice. Combine one part quinoa seeds with two parts water and salt to taste, in a saucepan, keeping in mind the seeds will expand to about three times the original volume during cooking. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat to maintain a gentle simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water (10 to 20 minutes, depending on amount). Remove from heat, cover and allow to steam for five minutes, causing grains to open. Uncover, fluff with a fork and season to taste.

Quinoa Veggie Burger (Vegan) Ingredients

• 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa • 1 cup gluten-free flour (quinoa, amaranth, almond or coconut flour) • 2 tbs. raw coconut oil (divided) • 2 medium cloves of garlic, crushed • 1 medium to large red onion, minced • 3 cups organic spinach (or collards, stems removed), finely chopped • 2 carrots, peeled and minced • 1/2 red or orange bell pepper, seeds removed and minced • 2 stalks celery, minced • 1 tbs. cumin (divided) • Sea salt (to taste) • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Method of Preparation • In a frying pan, heat 1 Tbs. coconut oil with the garlic and onions for approximately 3 minutes • Add the spinach or collards, carrots, bell pepper and celery and cook for 2 minutes, then add half of the cumin. • Adjust seasonings to taste with sea salt, and maybe cayenne pepper if you like it spicy. • Sprinkle quinoa with the rest of the cumin and pepper. • Turn off the heat and transfer contents of frying pan into a mixing bowl. Add flour and quinoa to the mixture and stir well until everything is coated. Set aside and clean frying pan while mixture cools. • Heat the pan on high and add the remaining 1 tbs. of coconut oil. Make patties from the quinoa-veggie mixture in the bowl, each about 3 inches in diameter. • Cook each burger on both sides until brown and crispy.

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by Sylvia Barreto Benites

The Conditional: A Spanish Hack

How to Survive in Polite Society SPANISH



Conditional is a particularly simple tense to use.


n Costa Rica, people are polite. It is part of the culture to be accommodating and they pepper the language with niceties like please and thank you. Many times, what we believe is bad service is in fact, our own cultural fumble that caused a rift. Even after seven years of Tico living, my New Yorker self still forgets to engage in light banter before asking for goods and services. My “get-to-the-point” culture clashes deeply with the Costa Rican need to be polite. The conditional tense can come to our rescue. Many students are certain they have experienced a different quality of service and treatment after simply starting to use the conditional. What is the conditional? It’s a tense in verb conjugation, which means manipulating the verb to show time and subject. A common example of English conjugation is adding “ed” to a verb to make it past tense. Verb conjugation is definitively one of the most challenging aspects of learning Spanish. Fear of conjugation is what halts many Spanish students from progressing. For those who persist, however, conjugation will come naturally … eventually. Until it does, you should simply learn the meaning of verbs and use them in their base form. Don’t worry about sounding “cavemannish” — it is the natural first step. Conditional is a particularly simple tense to use.

COMER Yo comería Tu comerias El/Ella/Usted comería Nosotros comeriamos Ellos comerian

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I would eat you would eat he/she/you would eat we would eat they would eat

It does not drop anything but simply takes the full verb and tacks on an ending. For example, the verb comer (to eat) with the ending “ia” becomes comeria (I/he/she/you would eat). Spanish has no real equivalent word for “would” instead it is an ending attached to a verb. In effect, conditional “softens” the word when you are making a request so it sounds less demanding and more polite. Instead of, “Limpie el baño” (Clean this bathroom.) you say, “¿Podria limpiar el baño, por favor?” (Would you please clean the bathroom?). It is amazing what a difference this little change can make! Adding “ia” to gustar (to want) or encantar (to love) just makes you sound polite and sophisticated: “Me encantaria un vaso de agua.” (I would love a glass of water.) is a much better option than “Quiero agua.” (I want water.) Conditional can be added to any request, suggestion or invitation. By softening your language to the ear of those listening, they tend to help you with a smile and gratitude. This little trick of adding “ia” to a verb is easy enough to start tomorrow! Try it when you go to the store and face the same clerk for the 100th time. Knock her flip flops off with some conditional language and see what happens. But still, don’t forget that bit of opening banter: in Costa Rica, every conversation should start with “Hello, how are you?” and then move on to your needs. Adding the conditional only sweetens the deal.

USEFUL SAYING Me encantaría Me gustaría ¿ Sería tan amable de...? ¿ Podría? ¿ Me podría hacer el favor de...?

I would love I would like Would you be so kind? Could you? Could you do me the favor of...?

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SAND by Dr. Herbert Weinman

Flea Bites Do not scratch the bites as it can increase the chances of infection.



othing is worse than enjoying a beautiful Costa Rican sunset then waking up in the middle of the night with your legs red and itchy from the common sand flea. What are these little nuisances and what should you know about their bites? Contrary to its name, a sand flea belong to a small crustacean category that includes the mole crab, sand crab, sand mite, sand tick, sea cicada and sand fiddler. A tough exterior skeleton enables the sand flea to hold its appendages close to the body. This plays a very important part in its ability to move through tidal currents. Small in size, these crustaceans can range between 0.5 inches and two inches in length. Bites are usually confined to the feet, ankles and legs, being


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closest to the ground, as sand fleas can only jump as high as eight to 15 inches. There are two types of sand flea bites or irritations. The first type isn’t worrisome, but does cause an allergic reaction to the injection of saliva into your skin, appearing as a red welt. Those are the ones you wake up to at night swearing off the sunset beach frolics. Swollen areas of the skin with black spots in the center are more cause for concern. This occurs when a female sand flea burrows into your skin and lays eggs. In this case, it’s best to seek medical attention to remove the eggs. Treating sand flea bites is quite simple. First, do not scratch the bites as it can increase the chances of infection. Apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to control the itching. Baking soda mixed with water will give temporary relief. Soaking in an oatmeal bath will also reduce the itching. Aloe vera, which is great for all kinds of wounds, also has a soothing effect on sand flea bites.

Six Ways to Prevent Sand Flea Bites 1. Don’t go to the beach after it rains. Rain cools the air and causes the fleas to be very aggressive. 2. Avoid early or late hours. Before 10 or 11 am and after 5 or 6 pm are favorite times for these fleas to come out and eat (bite!). 3. Avoid areas with seaweed. If you see lots of seaweed or sea plants washing up on shore, leave the area. This is prime feeding time for the fleas. 4. Cover yourself in repellent. Whenever there’s a chance of encountering sand fleas, apply repellent to your entire body and clothing. This will also ward off mosquitoes and other pests. Always reapply repellent as often as possible. 5. Always bring a towel or blanket. A towel and/or blanket should be placed on the sand as a barrier between you and the fleas. A beach chair is even better. 6. Wear foot protection. Unlike dog or cat fleas, sand fleas do not jump high off the ground, and they can’t bite through clothing. Since your feet and ankles are most susceptible, protective footwear can go a long way in preventing these itchy and potentially infectious bites.


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Rescued pups at veterinary hospital, where they received treatment before leaving together with their new owners.

Another Rescue Case: What’s Involved? ANIMAL LIFE

Priority Protocol Saves Pair of Pups


s many Howler readers are aware, our veterinary practice is constantly involved By Dr. Gilberth Cavallini with animal rescue cases. Typically, these are dogs, cats and wildlife … even sometimes horses and cows. It’s important to understand that no veterinarian, or the clinic or hospital where we work, has any obligation to take rescue cases. It is something that some of us do because we want to do it, but also because we consider it a community collaboration. With the support of the community, our willingness to help can make a difference. One of our recent rescue cases was just the latest of many made possible by John Quam, Howler Editor-in-Chief. Even those who only know John through his editorials in this magazine likely realize how deeply he cares for animals. Since my first encounter with the man I now call “Mr. Dolittle” coming to the aid of an animal in need, the lengths he has gone to time and time again are incredible. Rescue cases have a way of searching for John … incredibly, once even a whale! In this newer case, it was two emaciated and completely hairless puppies that John happened upon while driving. Obviously, they had been abandoned on the road in this alarming condition. Their rescuer did not hesitate to pick them up and seek urgent medical attention. Our main clinical finding with this pair of pups was skin-related, but the care they needed was anything but straightforward. We follow a priority protocol in such cases. Rescue puppies often suffer from malnutrition with low levels of antibodies in their blood. That means their first vaccination can be given earlier than usual because its effects won’t be blocked naturally. Otherwise, the risk of delayed vaccination while treating skin conditions— a lengthy process — is the puppies could succumb to a viral infection. Meanwhile, full deworming is necessary and initially, segregation from humans and unvaccinated dogs. Once free of parasites, puppies can receive the first booster shot. Their Photos: John Quam immune system needs at least three boosters to

Both of the roadside foundlings were adopted — as a pair — by a family who accepts the commitment.

strengthen and be protected against parvovirus and distemper, the main viral diseases fatal to dogs worldwide. Good quality food is an essential part of a rescue puppy’s care protocol. With lack of essential fatty acids being a common cause of skin issues in stray animals, we provide them with wet food formulated with omega-3 and -6 nutrients. Ideally, we run complete tests to determine whether the skin infection is caused by a fungus, bacteria or mites. Some rescue patients test positive for all three agents, meaning delayed recovery and eligibility for adoption. The skin treatment protocol includes medicated baths and cream applications daily. Human contact is also necessary to ensure rescue dogs are healthy and adoptable. Fortunately, this protocol had a favorable outcome for the pair of puppies John found starving and hairless on the roadside. These two remarkable dogs started getting stronger quickly, gained weight and growing their hair. With proper treatment and vaccinations, they overcame a bacterial skin infection and non-transmissible mange, and were rid of parasites and ready for adoption. What made a huge difference was their will to survive and get healthy, which unfortunately may be absent in rescue animals who lose the battle. Most important, both of the roadside foundlings were adopted — as a pair — by a family who accepts the commitment of providing the special care they need. Unfortunately, little Hero, the pink puppy, died due to complications but his last few weeks of life were filled with love. As you can see, there is a lot involved with rescue cases like this. Even with special discounts, and with help from several donors, the cost of caring for the two puppies was in the $300 to $400 range. That’s why we need your support; please consider making a commitment. It does not have to be money — time, transportation and foster homes are other essential needs.

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ACE Arts Culture Entertainment

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CO N T E N T S Margaritaville Cover Story





Dining Guide

4 - Cover Story: Flamingo Welcomes Margaritaville 6 - 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill - Flamingo 7 - Banana Wind Cafe - Flamingo 7 - Capriccios Pizza Bistro & Cafe - Flamingo 8 - Marie's Restaurant - Flamingo 8 - Vaca Loka Italian Restaurant - Flamingo 8 - La Playita Restaurant - Huacas 9 - New York Pizza - Huacas 9 - Black Stallion - Villarreal 9 - Simply Spanish: Let's Dine Out 9 - Perfect Burger - Tamarindo 10 - Barefoot Restaurant & Lounge - Tamarindo 10 - The Roof Sunset Experience - Tamarindo 10 - Shaka Food - Tamarindo 11 - El Barco del Capitรกn - Langosta / Tamarindo 11 - La Cave Traditional French Cuisine Grill - Langosta 12 - Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar & Restaurant - Brasilito 13 - Nasu Restaurant - Surfside / Potrero 13 - The Beach House - Surfside / Potrero 14 - The Great Waltini's - Bula Bula - Palm Beach 15 - Pots & Bowls - Playa Grande 15 - Che Sirloin Steak House & Grill - Playas Del Coco 15 - Coconutz Bar & Grill - Playas del Coco 16 - Sentido Norte - Las Catalinas


Arts Culture Entertainment

Nightlife Spotlight

by Henry Bastos

Las Fiestas

22 NATIONAL MUSEUM Featured Museum


A Celebration of Life and


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17 ACE: Arts Culture Entertainment

18 - ACE Feature: Las Fiestas - A Costa Rican Tradition 19 - Simply Spanish: Fiesta Fun 22 - Nightlife Spotlight: Lucy's Beach Vibes 24 - Urban Tourism: Feria Verde 26 - Artist Spotlight: Artist Susan Adams 28 - Featured Museum: National Museum of Costa Rica 30 - Tico Time Zone: All in on Costa Rica, Part 2 32 - Bookshelf: The Chalk Man Book Review

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Photos: Cortesy of Margaritaville


is always a good time here

by Rachel Cherry White


Flamingo Welcomes Margaritaville Beach Resort


t’s five o’clock somewhere, and if that somewhere is Costa Rica, that means it’s just about sunset. If it’s sunset, that means you should be at 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar. Confused yet? Let me break it down for you. Margaritaville Beach Resort is the newest resort in the Flamingo area, located in what used to be the Flamingo Beach Resort. 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar is the beach bar, open to the public, that has the best margaritas in town. Also, killer sunset views. Pro tip: diagonally across from the door is a special bar set up facing the ocean. This spot — if you can nab it — offers the best views of the magnificent sunset.


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At this resort, barefoot luxury abounds, or maybe flip-flop luxury? After all, this is Margaritaville, a resort brand inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation. Margaritaville delivers a tropical experience where anyone can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of their favorite destination regardless of their current latitude. Pedro D’oñas, General Manager, is a Tico with experience in resorts all over the world. “This place is all about relaxation,” he says. “It’s authentic Pura Vida. People feel like they have no worries here.”

Speaking of flip-flops, don’t forget to get your picture taken by the giant flipflop statue at the entrance. It’s a perfect souvenir for Parrot Heads (Buffett fans) or anyone living the flip-flop lifestyle. There are three restaurants on the property, but luckily for us locals they’re not just for resort guests The focus for all of the resort's restaurants is on fresh flavors. Banana Wind serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. A must-try is the Poke Bowl. Set on a bed of watercress, it combines tuna straight from the ocean, mango straight from the trees, and flavors so good that I wanted to pick up the bowl and drink what was left when I was done eating. The only things stopping me were

my good manners and the burger that arrived. The imported beef, topped with sautéed mushrooms, cheese and bacon and served on a freshly baked brioche bun, was … well, truly a cheeseburger in paradise. If you’d rather enjoy your food on the sand, they have beach service on Playa Flamingo from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Just upstairs from Banana Wind is the aforementioned 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill. With live music three times per week, it is poised to be a local hotspot. The upgraded bar fare is a mixture of signature Margaritaville dishes and classic Costa Rican cuisine. The chifrijo is divine and the Nachos Don Carlos are made with braised beef that’s slow cooked all day. Don’t forget the drinks. Try their signature cocktail, 5 o’Clock Somewhere: rum, tequila, Guaro Cacique, passion fruit puree, orange and pineapple juices mixed with the house sweet and sour and finished with a splash of grenadine. For another option, there’s a restaurant inside the hotel with views of the resort. Capriccios Pizza Bistro & Cafe, features Italian favorites like gourmet pizza, pasta and panna cotta. The resort itself is gorgeous. There is a huge kid-friendly pool and an adultfriendly swim-up bar, aptly named License to Chill Bar. Totally freshened

up, the rooms are beach themed and beautiful. Margaritaville has something for everyone. From the honeymoon suite with jacuzzi tub to the bunk bed suite for a family of six, your hosts accommodate you with authentic and eco-friendly Costa Rican comfort. Not up for staying the night? You can get a day pass and let the kids play in the pool and enjoy the game room upstairs, complete with a minicinema showing scheduled family movies. For a limited time, the resort is featuring a local’s discount. For just $35 per adult, half price for kids, you can enjoy all of the hotel amenities all day, including the swim-up pool bar. Your admission price includes one draft beer, soda or juice, and one food item from the License to Chill Pool Bar & Grill menu per person. The biggest question on everyone’s mind: Is Jimmy Buffett coming to visit our cheeseburger in paradise? D’oñas makes no guarantees, but…”He’s been to every Margaritaville property. He comes unannounced.” D’oñas looks around, surveying the white sand beach, impressive suites and enormous pool. “I think this will be his favorite.” This writer agrees. Pura Vida Margaritaville. It doesn’t get any better than that.

‘He’s been to every Margaritaville property. He comes unannounced.’

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SOMEWHERE OMEWHERE BAR AR Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo Hours Daily from 4pm to 11pm Happy hour: 4:30-6:30 Phone: 2654-4444, ext. 3264 Specialties Nachos, tacos, burgers, salads and sandwiches

World Famous Margaritas!

5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill: Drinks and Casual Dining

January Evening Music Schedule Wed. Jan 2 - Trio Bayen, 8-10 Thur. Jan 3 - Karen Andrade, 8-10 Fri. Jan 4 - Jose Vega, 8-10 Sat. Jan 5 - Groobeach C., 8-10 Tues. Jan 8 - at Capriccios Curcho L贸pez, 7-9 Wed. Jan 9 - Karen, 5-7 Thur. Jan 10 - Jose Vega, 5-7 Charly L贸pez, 8-10 Fri. Jan 11 - Groobeach C., 8-10 Sat. Jan 12 - Mystic Regae Trio, 8-10 Wed. Jan 23 - Karen Andrade, 5-7 Thur. Jan 24 - Trio Bayen, 8-10 - Capriccios- Chucho L贸pez, 7-9 Fri. Jan 25 - Jose Vega, 5-7 Groobeach C., 8-10 Sat. Jan 26 - Mystic Regae Trio, 8-10 Wed. Jan 30 - Trio Cafe Soul, 8-10 Thur. Jan 31 - Karen Andrade, 5-7 Charly L贸pez, 8-10 @margaritavilleCR Check for updates


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Best place on the Gold Coast to take in panoramic oceanfront views and multi-screen sports TV while enjoying hand-crafted cocktails and a delicious casual dining menu. You will want to return again and again for juicy cheeseburgers and mouthwatering tacos, not to mention the perfect margaritas and other specialty cocktails. Enjoy a beautiful sunset view during the daily Happy Hour 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday nights feature live entertainment with the best of the area's local bands and musical talent.

MENU SELECTIONS 5 o'Clock Ceviche

Papaya Salad

Fins Up Margarita

Nachos Don Carlos

Fish/Shrimp Tacos

Last Mango in Paradise

Patacones Pollo

Pork Tacos


Flamingo Burger

Fish Sandwich

Beer & Wine

Fresh local fish, shrimp, lime juice, mango, avocado, jalapeno, onions, cilantro

Corn tortillas topped with braised beef, cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro

Fried plantains, black bean spread, grilled chicken, pico de gallo, queso fresco

Grade A beef, cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions, tomato

Fresh greens, papaya, mango, red onion, shrimp or chicken, honey-citrus dressing

Grilled fish or shrimp, cabbage, tomatillo, pineapple, pico de gallo

Carnitas in salsa criolla, fresh cheese, pineapple, pico de gallo, cilantro

Fresh local fish grilled or fried, chipotle-lime aioli, lettuce, tomato

Gold tequila, triple sec and our special house margarita blend

Gold tequila, Cointreau, mango puree, special margarita blend, cranberry juice

Gold tequila, rum, vodka, triple sec, sweet 'n sour mix, cranberry, pineapple

Bavaria, Imperial, Pilsen, Corona, Heineken; Perdices Reserve variety

Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo Hours Daily 6:30am to 9:30pm breakfast, lunch, dinner Phone: 2654-4444 ext. 3269 Specialties Fresh fish, grass-fed beef, International buffets, kids menu

Banana Wind Cafe: Casual Fine Dining A perfect blend of Costa Rican, North American and International Cuisine, to please the entire family. Freshly caught local fish and grass-fed steak are the specialties. Enjoy the oceanfront sea breeze on the outdoor patio or enjoy the view in air-conditioned comfort.

MENU SELECTIONS Costa Rican Casado

Whole Fish

Ropa Vieja

Corvina a la Plancha


Poke Bowl

Grilled steak, rice and beans, plantains, fried cheese, potato, salad, tortillas Spicy shredded beef on a bed or white rice, stuffed plantains Tender beef filet with caramelized onions, mushroom sauce, stuffed plantains

Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo Hours Daily 5pm to 11:30pm Pizza only from 9:30pm

Fresh tuna, seasoned rice, mango, cucumber, avocado, citrus ponzu

An Italian bistro with a tropical view in a friendly, fun, family atmosphere. Start with a salad or appetizer, choose from the selection of pizzas, pastas and paninis, or build your own dish with a variety of fresh, delicious ingredients. Add wine and a delicious dessert for a meal to remember!

MENU SELECTIONS Prosciutto y Melon

Fettucine Alfredo

Pizza Capriccios

Panini Caprese

Penne Puttanesca

Calzone Italiana

Fresh cantaloupe slices wrapped in prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, basil pesto Pomodoro sauce, mozarella, prosciutto, gran padano cheese, capers, arugula Homemade tomato sauce with red pepper flakes, garlic and basil over penne

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Grilled seabass, gallo pinto, potatoes

Capriccios Italian Bistro: Pizza, Pasta & Paninis; Dessert

Phone: 2654-4444 ext. 3268 Specialties Specialty artisanal pizza oven; design your own pizzas and pastas

Grilled or fried, gallo pinto and stuffed plantains

Delicate fettucine noodles topped with a creamy cheese sauce and lightly seasoned Pressed sandwich of tomato, mozzarella, basil pesto on grilled artisanal bread Crepe-like sweet calzone filled with Nutella, with choice of house gelato






La Plaza, Playa Flamingo Hours: Daily, 7am-9:30pm Phone: 2554-4136 Specialties Check out @mariescostar for weekly special event nights


Local and International

The place in Flamingo for delicious beakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails with great service. Live music and weekly Monday Morning Market

Present ad for complimentary Passion Fruit Mimosa with breakfast, lunch or dinner entree purchase.


Flamingo - 100m south of road to Potrero Hours Daily, 5:30pm-10:30pm Closed Wednesday Phone: 8532-8613

Vaca Loka:

Italian Restaurant

True Italian cuisine. Pasta like you are in Roma! Fresh bruschetta served when you arrive. Buon appetito!

Specialties Pizza, pasta, meat, fish


Eggs Benedict


House Lasagna


Chicken Ceasar Wrap


Ribeye c6.500

Fish Tacos c7.000


3km south of Huacas, road to Tamarindo Hours Daily, 7am-9pm Breakfast 7am-10am

La Playita: Poolside Dining Located at the Seis Playas Hotel, La Playita restaurant and bar is open to hotel guests and the public, and is known for its friendly and inviting environment. It is the ideal setting for sharing good food and drinks with family and friends, or a romantic dinner poolside while enjoying the convenient distance to our six local beaches.


Phone: 2653-6818

Broken Yolk Sandwich



Specialties Food cooked to your taste — con mucho gusto Friday Night Texas Barbecue

Breakfast Quesadilla


Open Grill

BLT La Playita


Pineapple FlambĂŠ

Fried egg, bacon or ham and cheese on toast, served with seasonal fruit Eggs, tomato, onion, sweet pepper and cheese, served with seasonal fruit Always a favorite for a light bite to eat: bacon, lettuce and tomato


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Build your own pasta bowl, with a mixed salad

From $16

Pork tenderloin, chicken breast, ribeye, New York strip, beef tenderloin & catch of the day


Our most popular dessert served hot with vanilla ice cream

Hours Mon, 5pm-9pm Tues-Sun 3pm-11pm

New York Pizza: Pizzeria

New York Pizzeria is your go-to pizza spot in Guanacaste, for an authentic New York style pizza or calzone. Dine-in or take-out available. Enjoy! Specialties Authentic New York style pizza and calzones. Freshly made breadsticks.

Phone: 2653-6296 8729-5640


Black Stallion:

Rustic Outdoor BBQ

Hours By reservation

Dine with the stars of Guanacaste on a private ranch. Enjoy a delicious BBQ buffet with sides. Wine, beer and sangria included! Call for reservations.

Phone: 8869-9765 Specialties Zipline and BBQ buffet for only $85.

Available for private parties and events.


Meat Lover's Pizza

Mixed BBQ Buffet


House Special Pizza

Seafood Buffet


Pepperoni, ham, salami, bacon, and ground beef

Pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onions, and sweet peppers

Baby back ribs, chorizo and chicken, sides included A delicious array of seafood and sides dishes

SIMPLY SPANISH by Sylvia Barreto Benites and Spanish For Expats

Let's Dine Out la carta — menu la cuenta — bill el menu de niños — children’s menu mesa para dos — table for two mesero(a)/camarero(a) — waiter (waitress) para empezar — to start para picar — starters el plato fuerte — main course los postres — desserts los refresos — drinks Useful Phrases ¿me trae …? — will you bring me …? ¿nos trae …? — will you bring us …? perdon — excuse me

prefiero — I prefer ¿qué menú prefiere? — which menu do you prefer?

50m east of Dragonfly in the Bolas Locas mini-golf complex

¿qué va a comer de postre? — what are you going to have for dessert?

Hours Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm Sun, 12pm-10pm

¿qué va a comer? — what are you going to eat?

Phone: 8709 8182

¿qué va a pedir? — what are you going to order? ¿qué va a tomar? — what are you going to drink? quiero — I want quisiera — I would like tenemos … — we have … ¿tiene …? — do you have …? ya regreso — I'll be right back #s earch findhowl (506) 8729 4857

Perfect Burger: Gourmet Burgers

Specialties Delicious and unique burgers, sides, and craft cocktails. Beach Treats ice cream

The best burgers in Tamarindo, maybe all of Costa Rica! Gourmet burgers, fries, homemade crispy onion rings, craft cocktails and Beach Treats ice cream.


Perfect Original

Cheddar cheese, slow caramelized onions, pesto mayo

Perfect Bacon BBQ

Cheddar, homemade BBQ sauce, and lots of bacon!



HUACAS 200m west of the Brasilito/ Huacas crossroads, Huacas @nypizzeriahuacas

8 min. drive from Tamarindo, 2km south Villarreal





Calle Del Parque at the curve between Condo Diria and Balcones del Pacifico Hours Daily, 5:30pm to 10pm Closed Tuesdays

BAREFOOT Restaurant-Lounge: Poolside and Garden Deck Dining Tropical oasis apart from the noise and crowds of Tamarindo's main street, where you can experience a quiet dinner and a relaxing lounge atmosphere. You can choose the garden deck or our Costa Rican rancho "Shakalaka" poolside deck. Make reservations online or call, or place an order online for pickup, delivery or special order.


Phone: 7006-1476 Specialties A tropical fusion experience of seafood, fish, meats, and vegetarian dishes with gluten free and vegan options Order/reserve online

Pico Poke (G)


Seared tuna with mango, avocado, over seaweed salad served with ginger soy sauce

Tropical Spring Rolls (VE/G)

Rice noodle wraps filled with fresh vegetables, mango and avocado

Reef Salad (G)

Grilled Mahi-Mahi (G)


Grilled Costa Rican Trout (G)


Ocean Potion


Grilled mahi-mahi over a bed of spinach topped with caramelized onions


Grilled Costa Rican trout served with our house coconut and almond sauce


Fresh seafood and fish salad that includes octopus, shrimp, calamari, clams and seaweed

Tropical seafood and fish soup with coconut cream served with avocado and plantain


the roof Pizza • Bar • Sunset tamarindo, costa rica

4th floor above Super Compro


Hours Daily, 7:30am to midnight Happy Hours: 4pm - 7pm Phone: (506) 7240-6072 Specialties Pizza, pasta, meat, fish, French crepes

Sunset Experience Come and enjoy Tamarindo’s best sunset experience on our rooftop with family and friends. With pool tables and many activities throughout the week, we’re the best place in town for your event or holiday time. Call for reservations!


3 km from Villarreal on Tamarindo Road

Shaka Food:

Hours Mon-Sat, 7am-8pm Sun, 8am-4pm

Special breakfast, lunches and dinners, coffee and desserts

Phone: 4701-3291 Specialties Natural foods vegetarian and vegan


Salads, lasagna (meat and vegetarian), falafel, fruit juices and green juice. We also provide vegetarian and vegan options.


Pizza, Vegetarian and Italian

Falafel Tabbouleh

Seafood Pizza

Pad Thai - Chicken and Vegetarian

Crepes - Sweet or Savory

Arepas y Cachapas (Venezuelan food)


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El Barco Del Capitán: European-Tico Fusion, Beachfront Restaurant

Hours Daily, noon to 9:30pm Mon, 7-9pm, Live Marimba Wed, 7-9pm, Avellino Fri, 7-9pm, Live Marimba Phone: 2653-0075 restaurante Specialties Healthy dishes made from scratch with local and fresh products All taxes included in price

Playa Langosta in front of Cala Luna entrance Hours Daily, 5:30pm to 10:30pm

El Barco del Capitán is nestled in a beautiful tropical garden within the Hotel Capitán Suizo and offers a modern, healthy and fresh cuisine. Our chef, Jujo Molina, has created the dishes inspired by his European heritage and the incredible products available in Costa Rica. Using our homegrown ingredients from our organic garden, we strive to offer an environmentally friendly menu and an authentic experience to our guests.

MENU SELECTIONS Tacos Carne (Lunch)


Tartar Capitan (Dinner)


The Veggie (Lunch)


Linguini (Dinner)


Lomito (Dinner)


Beef, tortillas with mixed cabbage salad, guacamole and tamarindo sauce

Grilled portobello, tomato, zucchini, chilealmonds-garlic sauce, homemade bun

Calamares Crujientes (Snack) $13

Crispy calamari with homemade green pesto and a honey, red onion escabèche

200gr of tenderloin with a tamarind sauce over Swiss Roësti and vegetables

France on our plates but served with Costa Rican smiles. French food including seafood, meat, salads and more. We are located near the beach, with outdoor and indoor tables. Featuring 10 signature cocktails and our house specialty. We also have a nice variety of wines.

MENU SELECTIONS Bisque de Langouste Lobster cream soup

Steak Tartare de Boeuf

$6 $22

Beef tenderloin with green pepper, fresh mushroom or red wine sauce

Filet de Porc a l'Estragon $18 Pork filet with tarragon

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Calamari, jumbo shrimps, mussels, Spanish chorizo, cherry tomatoes, white wine

La Cave: Traditional French Cuisine Grill - Seafood

Phone: 6281-8200 Specialties Premium meats and fresh seafood

Tuna and mango tartar with capers and a cilantro, ginger and soy dressing

Crevettes Jumbo au Gril


Pave de Saumon Grille


Bouillabaisse d'Ici


Jumbo shrimp with garlic butter au grill

Fresh grilled salmon with garlic and parsley butter sauce Fish and seafood cooked in fish soup, Marseille style



Hotel Capitán Suizo, Playa Tamarindo





Main corner, Brasilito Hours Mon-Fri, 11am-midnight Sat-Sun, 10am-midnight Phone: +506 4702-0826 costarica@ LucysCostaRica Specialties Only for the brave: Our infamous scorpion shot

Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant: Coastal Cuisine Beachfront restaurant and bar serving unique coastal fusion dishes and cocktails featuring the freshest ingredients in Guanacaste! Lucy’s is more than just a restaurant, it’s a lifestyle. With locations in some of the most tubular spots around the world (New Orleans, Key West, Costa Rica and Aruba), we know how to have a good time. Let the sea breeze and sound of the waves remind you that when you’re here you’re always on vacation. At Lucy’s we’re serious about our grub – we’ve got all your classic favorites like burgers and nachos, as well as our signature coastal bites with a touch of Pacific flair. Our one-of-a-kind drinks are the perfect way to cool down after a long day at the beach, and we keep them flowing all day (and night!) long. Lucy's’ daily food and drink specials are boat-to-table and will give you something new to try every day. With live music, a radical bar scene and six large-screen TVs, Lucy’s is Guanacaste's hottest new bar and restaurant!



The Juicy Lucy

Avocado Fritas


Bacon Brie Chicken Sandwich

Cheese Quesadilla


Tsunami Tuna Salad

Serious Nachos


Blackened Fish Tacos c6,000

Delicious fresh local fish and shrimp in a citrus marinade topped with avocado

Beer-battered avocado slices served with black bean salsa and homemade ranch

Flour tortilla overflowing with melted cheese, served with pico and guacamole

Fully loaded nachos topped with beans, pico, sour cream, and our rockin’ guac


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Our famous 8 oz. burger served on a brioche bun with Lucy’s special sauce

Grilled marinated chicken breast topped with bacon, brie, tomato, and spinach


Freshly seared yellowfin served over spring mix with fresh fruit and feta

Blackened local fish topped with mangopineapple slaw and avocado crema

Pao Pao Shrimp Tacos c6,500 Fried or grilled shrimp tossed in a sassy pao pao sauce, topped with cabbage slaw

Flank Steak Tacos


Marinated flank steak topped with jalapeño chimichurri and queso fresco

Whole Red Snapper Casado c8,000 Served with island rice, black beans, and a side salad

N’awlins Surf n’ Turf c10,000 Marinated flank steak served with head-on Cajun BBQ shrimp and roasted potatoes

Hours Daily, 6:30am-9:30pm

NASU: Creative Tropical Cuisine Welcome to Nasu Restaurant, tropical creative cuisine. Join us oceanside, where the freshest catch is prepared every day by our acclaimed chef. Enjoy the culinary treasures of Costa Rica, where tradition and innovation meet.


Phone: 2654-4671, 2654-5340 Specialties Fresh seafood and pasta

NASU Salad

Shrimp Spicy Tacos

Potrero, 800m north of Banco Nacional Hours Daily, 11am -10pm Kitchen closes 9pm






Grilled lobster garlic buttered, baby potatoes with rosemary and mixed vegetables

With baby potatoes and carrots garlic buttered

Homemade cheesecake with blueberry topping

Keylime Pie

Special dessert of the chef


The Beach House: Beachfront Dining Private residence on the beach transformed into a quaint restaurant and bar, renowned for its fresh seafood. Come and enjoy incredible food and awesome sunsets and views of the Pacific Ocean.


Phone: 2654-6203 Specialties Fresh seafood Epic sunset view Call for reservations

Grilled Octopus

Flour tortilla, breaded shrimps, mango coleslaw and spicy mayonnaise

Pacific Lobster All taxes included in price


Lettuce mix, avocado, hearts of palm, blackberries, orange and passion fruit dressing

Grilled Scallops


Shrimp Ceviche


Catch of the Day


Bang Bang Shrimp


Seafood Platter


Grilled Lobster Tails - Market Price

Grilled in a bath of Cacique liquor, lime and garlic With tropical salsa, grilled vegetables & potatoes or rice

Fresh mahi mahi, grilled jumbo shrimp, sautĂŠed calamari, with rice pilaf and grilled vegetables

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Peruvian style marinated shrimp, red pepper and onion, tomato and cilantro with plantain chips Crispy, creamy, sweet, and spicy: shrimp in cornmeal breading with tangy Thai chili sauce

Two roasted lobster tails in wine-garlic butter sauce with grilled vegetables and rosemary potatoes



1 km east of Banco Nacional in Flamingo





Palm Beach, next to the estuary Hours Breakfast available all day long: 7:30am-2:30pm Lunch: 11am-3pm Dinner: 5:30pm-9pm Phone: 2653-0975 Specialties


Sunset happy hour 50% off appetizers 4-6pm


Mexican all you care to eat buffet 5:30-8:30


Italian All you care to eat buffet 5:30-8:30

Specialty coffees and espresso

The Great Waltini's - Bula Bula: American Fusion Cuisine Enjoy casual fine dining and experience “a fusion of the Americas” in a tranquil and inviting setting. At the Great Waltini’s, you can enjoy a sumptuous meal in an attractive dining area or choose to sit under the stars and enjoy your meal on the garden patio. Choose from houseaged steaks, seafood dishes, and down-home fare. Top with cocktails and desserts — the complete experience. Located in beautiful Palm Beach Estates next to the estuary. We are easily accessible from Tamarindo via boat taxi (complimentary with dinner reservations). Pickup time are 5, 5:30 and 6 pm. Please call before 2pm to reserve boat taxi (2653-0975). Happy hour – includes domestic beer, well drinks, famous giant Bula margaritas and appetizer specials.


Annie's Salad

Double Cut Pork Chop

Hand Carved Turkey

Blackened Shrimp Salad

Aged Filet Mignon


Baked Lasagna

St. Louis Style Pork Ribs

Mixed Seafood Combo

Aged New York Steak

8 oz filet prepared tropical, blackened, sautéed or fried Oven roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and house made gravy 8 oz filet prepared tropical, blackened, sautéed or fried Tuna, mahi-mahi, jumbo shrimp, calamari, and mussels in a white wine saffron sauce


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Blackened chicken breast with avocado over crisp greens and fresh vegetables Blackened jumbo shrimp, sliced avocado over fresh lettuce and fresh vegetables Italian sausage, beef and pork, tomato, ricotta, mozzarella and romano cheese

10 oz cut prepared charbroiled, blackened or au poivre in brandy cream sauce 10 oz cut prepared charbroiled, blackened or au poivre in brandy cream sauce Baked tender and served with our famous tropical Bula Bula BBQ sauce

10 oz cut prepared charbroiled, blackened or au poivre in brandy cream sauce

Hours Tue-Thu, 8am - 5pm Fri-Mon 8am - 9pm Phone: 4701-2394

Pots & Bowls:

Coffee Shop and Plants

Fresh, healthy and fun. Focus on homemade ingredients. Different dietary options: gluten free lactose free - vegan. Specialties Coffee, plants and pots Costa Rican boutique Workshops

Pueblito Sur #10, Las Palmas, Playas del Coco Hours Lunch/Dinner 11:00-14:30 and 17:00-21:00 Closed Wednesday

Choco-Banana NiceCream

Peanut butter, cacao, almond milk, granola, bee pollen, nibs


Steak House & Grill

Che Sirloin Steak House & Grill is a meat lover’s heaven. Located steps from the beach in a tranquil garden setting with indoor and outdoor seating. Specialties Prime Cut Steaks, Gourmet Hamburgers, Brunch

Phone: 8467-7664


Che Sirloin


Ribeye Steak

Served with salad or french fries

Animal Burger Tuna Poke $15 With chorizo, grilled pineapple, fried egg and bacon Sushi rice, avocado, edamame, wakame, mango Homemade Cheesecake With dulce de leche

Avenida Central, across from El Coco Casino, Playas del Coco Hours Mon-Thu, 11am till late Fri-Sun, 9am till late Phone: 2670-1982 Specialties Smoked BBQ Microbrewery Gourmet bar bites Sports bar Live music Private parties

COCONUTZ BAR & GRILL: Sports Bar Coconutz is your neighborhood sports bar and microbrewery in an exotic tropical setting, complete with gorgeous local hardwood, trees growing through the floor, license plates from all over the world, surfboards hanging from the rooftop, and of course ... our famous swing set! We feature the best tropical drink selection in the area, as well as our on-premise brewed Angry Goats beers on tap. Come visit the premier sports bar in Playas Del Coco.


Walking Taco

Smokey Shrimp Poppers

Chicken & Waffle Burger

Memphis Ribs

Al Pastor Pizza

Pineapple bites wrapped in bacon, topped with teriyaki and sesame seeds Fresh jumbo shrimp, sliced jalapeño and cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and smoked Half rack or whole rack, with choice of two sides

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Shredded chicken or beef, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, fried tostada, grilled in tortilla Buttermilk fried chicken with waffle bun, American cheese, heat and sweet sauce Adobe smoked pork, pineapple salsa, local fresh cheese, house mole sauce




Main road to Playa Grande





At Casa Chameleon, 4km north of the Potrero soccer field Hours Daily, 7am-10pm No children under 12 years Phone: 2103-1200 concierge@ Specialties Fresh fish, sunset cocktails, "boquitas" menu

Sentido Norte: Fine Dining Sentido Norte, a restaurant and bar at Casa Chameleon, proudly offers an adult fine-dining experience that celebrates the best of Costa Rican cuisine. Your drive through winding roads above the quaint beach town of Las Catalinas is rewarded by an unforgettable but affordable taste of luxury. Just a few steps uphill from the bright and welcoming entrance, your table awaits in a gorgeous, open-air perch framed by a panoramic view of the Pacific. A design motif incorporating responsibly sourced teak adds a sense of warmth and well-being to the romantically lit atmosphere. All food and drinks are inspired by the country’s bountiful abundance, combining uniquely local and native ingredients in the glass and on the plate.



Casa Chameleon Burger $19

Guacamole and Salsa


French Toast


Ceviche $14

Octopus & Mussels


Knife & Fork Tortillas


Grilled Skirt Steak


Fresh Tuna Poke


With almond milk, yogurt, fruit, cashews, local honey or tapa dulce

With sweet plantains and coconut milk cream

Angus burger with arugula, Swiss or goat cheese and aioli Fresh fish ceviche, leche de tigre, homemade "chilero"

Grilled Chicken Wrap

Octopus and mussels wok-sauteed in garlic butter and white wine


ChicharrĂłn or vegan huevos rancheros

With greens, avocado & tomato, spicy aioli

Vegan Omelettes

Vegan Bowl

With asparagus, mushrooms and caramelized onion


Hearts of palm ceviche, avocado & tomato


Quinoa, mushroom and squash picadillo salad, spicy garbanzo beans

Skirt steak, chimichurri sauce, salad, french fries

Raw tuna, mango, avocado

Prices shown include 13% tax and 10% service / Prices subject to change


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Arts Culture Entertainment

Las Fiestas

A Celebration of Life and Tradition

#S earch F ind Howl #s earchf indh owl



Viva Costa Rica

by Sylvia Barreto Benites

"La Fiesta" Season is in Full Swing


Tico-style bullring action

It’s a trip to the emergency room and a lifetime of bragging rights.


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s the rains taper off and winds pick up, Costa Ricans dust off their cowboy boots and hats. Fiesta season is upon us in the town square fútbol (soccer) fields throughout the country. Each festival (synonymous with fiesta) is a showcase for local communities to celebrate a custom dating back to colonial times.

Nothing speaks to Costa Rica’s fiesta heritage more vividly than the running of the bulls “a lo Tico” (Tico style) — a cross between a rodeo and something totally unique. The first bull runs were set up in San José for celebrating the crowning of the king of Spain and for civic celebrations. That’s where similarities with the Spanishbased tradition of bullfights end. Tico style bull running took Costa Rica in an entirely different direction, minus the stylized costumes and fanfare. The Tico version is more an exhibition and celebration of the bull’s virility and strength in the face of the common man. This is quite unlike the Spanish tradition of a ballet between the matador, picador and bull, culminating with the bull eventually being killed in a most bloody manner. It represents the domination of man over beast. Costa Rica’s adaptation is much more about the human-beast synergy and respect for the animal’s strength and power. It is more comparable to American rodeo riders getting on the bull’s back and seeing how long they can hold on using different sitting positions. But here is where things go a lo Tico. Once the rider is knocked off, the men sitting on top of the wooden bull ring jump into the ring and taunt the bull before running away. Then it’s every man for himself, with the crowd standing on bated breath as their young boys and men come dangerously close to harm’s way. Ultimately, the bull is taken out of the ring and a new one put in. As the night proceeds, the size and strength of successive bulls increase. This jumping into the ring is the biggest difference between the bull-centered traditions of Spain and Costa Rica. For centuries, it has been a right of passage for young Tico men to jump into the ring, demonstrating their virility and fearlessness of the beast as their whole community watches. In recent years, women have also joined the action. It is not uncommon to be shown wounds and scars from Ticos and expats alike who were gored by the bull and even thrown in the air. Fatalities are rare but do happen; more commonly, it’s a trip to the emergency room and a lifetime of bragging rights.

SIMPLY SPANISH by Sylvia Barreto Benites and Spanish For Expats

Named for patron saints The customary festival for every town began in the late 1800s when Costa Rica started producing cattle, around the time of realizing the population could not live from coffee production alone. Festivals became “patronal,” meaning a week-long celebration of each Central Valley town’s patron saint. That’s where the biggest festivals in the country still take place and the Zapote fiesta became the most important. This festival surpasses all the others not just in size but in length and profile, lasting from Christmas through New Year’s and televised throughout the country. You cannot travel during this season without seeing it on every television set in the country. This juxtaposition of the Christmas holiday and excitement of a good gorging can be startling at first, however much the gorged hero enjoys his 15 minutes of fame in televised news reports on every station.

Fiesta Fun corrida de toros a la tica — Costa Rican style rodeo el arroz cantones — fried rice el chinamo — food vendor el montador — the bull rider el redondel — the bullring and stands el pincho — shishkabob la boleteria — ticket booth la entrada — the entrance fee la pista de baile — the dance floor la pupusa — a stuffed corn tortilla (pork, beans or cheese) topped with tico coleslaw la temporada taurina — rodeo season (December - April) las fiestas — celebration in town center featuring rides, a rodeo, food, a bazaar, bars and dance floors los boletos — tickets los fuegos artificiales — fireworks los juegos mecánicos — rides los toreros improvisados — spectators that jump in the ring and taunt the bull

Horses in the spotlight Outside the Central Valley, Liberia’s fiesta, also televised, gains special cultural significance from its renowned tope, a horse exhibition and parade featuring riders from all parts of Guanacaste and the country. The Liberia fiesta, held at the end of February, offers traditional food from the area and traditional dress — think colonial cowboy. An important tope figures prominently in the Palmares festival as well. Top riders from around the country participate in exhibitions of horses prancing and performing. Palmares celebrates its festival in the first week of January.

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los toros — the bulls los vendedores — the vendors

Useful Phrases

¿Cuanto cuesta la entrada? — How much is the entrance fee? Me gustaria … entradas — I would like …. tickets Me regalaria ... — I would like to purchase (direct translation: would you gift me)

Sponsored by SPANISH FOR EXPATS (506) 8729 4857


Party hearty

Shopping fun and food fare There is much more to Costa Rica’s fiestas outside the bullring. Like the traveling circuses of old, fiestas bring with them caravans of cheap goods, traditional fair foods and portable dance floors. It all starts some weeks before the actual event when work is started to build the redondel, the wooden stands and ring analogous to the circus big top. The local builders come in and take days to painstakingly build the wooden bull enclosure and it is the ultimate advertisement to attract a crowd. Then a few days before the festival start date, vendors arrive with their caravan-style kiosks to sell anything from shoes and clothes to toys, knick-knacks and mini-head shop items. You can still get a sense of the past from what would have once been the town's main access to goods from the city. Fiestas also have traditional rides for all ages, including bumper cars, a ferris wheel and some spinning ride sure to make you remember what g-force is, as well as a few kiddie rides. Food is another big reason people flock to fiestas. The traditional Costa Rican fair food is fried rice and chop suey, which dates back to a huge Chinese migration some 50 years ago. Every fiesta menu also features pupusas — pork-stuffed corn tortillas that are then opened and stuffed with cabbage and spicy vegetables. For your sweet tooth, there are always churros — a caramel stuffed donut tube. In recent years, pizza trucks have become a staple, as well as Argentinian steak and pincho (shish kabob).


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Even if you don’t like bulls or you don’t enjoy rides, and the same goes for toy or knick-knack shopping and yummy food, there is still one more reason to head to the fiestas: the party. If you have ever wondered how Ticos party, simply head to a local fiesta. Check out the dance floors and bars, where Imperial and Pilsen flow freely. As the children get tired of their sugar rush and rides, the adults start dancing. Fiestas can go on all night; the level of drunkenness is proportional to the lateness of night or earliness of morning. Dawn can shine its light on drunk bodies passed out and awaiting pick-up by spouses and family members. This … only to begin again the next night. Fiestas last minimally a week. It’s the one occasion a year when locals can let their hair down, since all other holidays are either civic or religious.

Your local communities will each have fiestas. Fiestas are the place to see the faces of your neighbors and spend time with your family. Bring cash because credit cards aren’t accepted and costs add up. The beginning of the night is full of happy squealing children. When the bulls start running, the community becomes mesmerized watching their men and boys show their fearlessness. After the bulls comes the party and dancing all night long. Wherever you are in Costa Rica fiestas are a step into tradition and community celebration a lo Tico.

When? We've tried to find out, but...

Watch for schedules, signs and preparation activity in your area. The Howler has tried hard, but so far has been unable to come up with any comprehensive list of fiesta dates covering the entire season and country. Our goal is to become the goto source of this information for people visiting or living in Costa Rica, so we’ll keep on trying.

Americana Jam Band Atlanta, Georgia, USA


COSTA RICA 2019 02/01 – Perlas, Country Fest, Potrero, 4-7pm

02/01 – Wil-Mart, Playa Grande/Montapelo, 9pm-12am 02/02 – Coconutz, Playa del Coco, 9-12pm 02/03 – Coconutz Super Bowl Party, Playa del Coco, 3-6pm 02/04 - Paradise Flamingo Beach, Playa Flamingo, 1-3pm 02/05 - Paradise Flamingo Beach, Playa Flamingo, 1-3pm 02/05 - El Chiringuito Beachfront Bar, Tamarindo, 5-8pm 02/06 – Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar, Brasilito, 5-8pm 02/09 – Coconutz/Angry Goats Brewery, Playa del Coco, 9pm-12am

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o r a u g Chili

Lucy's Beach Vibes All the Reasons You’re in Costa Rica

L Monkeyss Busine

a i r g n a S a t i r a g r a M


ucy’s is why expats move to Costa Rica. I mean, not the bar itself, but everything the bar is. Lucy’s embodies that Costa Rican spirit that draws us all to this amazing place. The management and staff have mastered the quintessential beach bar vibe. We went there on a recent Friday to check it out. Friday night is Ladies Night, and there is always a reason to celebrate. Ladies drink free from 10:00 p.m. to midnight, with a DJ spinning tunes to make you hit the dance floor. “We’re staying open later to accommodate the younger crowd that comes out for our late-night scene,” says Dania Fallas, chef and manager. Yes, on Fridays, Lucy’s caters to the ladies, but for the most part, it’s for everyone. Families, friends, dogs, kids … it’s the perfect spot to hang out. Denise Lowmaster and

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her husband are regulars. “We just meet the nicest people,” she says. “It’s such a friendly atmosphere.” Fallas has worked hard to make that happen. The space lends itself to bringing the community together. “We’re able to host all kinds of events because of the size and parking,” she says. The most popular regular event is a Taco Tuesday that you can’t miss. Live music and happy hour from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with drink specials. Beef tacos cost $1 all day. Show up on a Tuesday and you’re liable to see Ticos chatting with some Canadians at one table, and some Americans dining with Argentinians at the next. “I love how Lucy’s brings everyone in the community together,” Fallas notes. Lucy’s also hosts trivia nights that benefit a local non-profit, paint nights and special events like Barbara’s Dog Day Afternoon.

As we all know, sunsets are best enjoyed with a cocktail.

by Rachel Cherry White

A Drink Called Wanda

Photos: Paul E. German

Shark Attack

Scorpion Shot

Some menu highlights include starters like calamari and fried avocado — fresh and unique. The Bacon Brie Chicken Sandwich is rich and creamy, and salads are fresh and in generous portions. The Pao Pao Shrimp Tacos are a treat as well. The sunset at Lucy’s is incredible. And as we all know, sunsets are best enjoyed with a cocktail. The drinks menu is extensive, with something for everyone. You must try the Shark Attack, with vodka, rum, tequila and more, but the best part is the story that comes with it. Of course, being Howler staff, we had to try the Monkey Business. It’s basically a dessert — a coconut banana milkshake blended perfectly with rum, vodka and kahlua. But, you know what they say, “Life is short, eat dessert first!”. With our meal, we sampled a Sangria Margarita, which is as beautiful as it is delicious. I thought I was done and was considering having a Cafecito after dinner, but then our dinner companion, Jay

Lowmaster piped up. ”Lucy’s has the best Chiliguaro shots in Costa Rica,” he declared. How could I properly write about the restaurant without trying one? Well, when you try one you realize that Jay may be right, but you’d better try one more just to be sure. But even Jay couldn't get me to try the Scorpion Shot that night. Forget the worm, Lucy’s is known for real scorpions in their Scorpion Shots (aka tequila shots). Maybe next time...the free t-shirt you get when you drink it might just be worth it. I was also told there is a "Special" secret prize if you take a Scorpian Shot in all their locations in three different countries. Now there is a challenge to think about! As our night at Lucy’s was winding down, I reflected on another fun night, doing what Costa Rica is all about for me: slowing down, laughing, dancing, spending time with family and friends, enjoying good food and drink, and watching the sunset. Because really, what else is there?

Host your next party or event with us!

Beachfront views customizable menus full-service event space free parking CONTACT US +506 4702 2616 Monday - Friday 11 AM - 12 AM Saturday - Sunday 10 AM - 12 AM

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Located steps off the beach at Main Corner, Playa Brasilito HM HOWLER MAGAZINE | 23

by Carol Campos


More Than Meets the Eye and Satisfies Tastes



Feria Verde also offers a diverse range of cultural programs and events.


decade after the idea was dreamed up by an eclectic group of visionaries, Feria Verde (Green Fair) is a flourishing venture into lasting community connections. In 2008, collaborators from various professions had the notion of a San José meeting point for likeminded friends, local producers and consumers dedicated to organic agriculture. In essence, it would be an urban common ground for promoting widespread sustainable lifestyles. Through the non-profit nongovernment group Asociación Amantes de lo Orgánico (AAMOR), with support from the British embassy and United Nations small grants program, Feria Verde was inaugurated on May 15, 2010 — Farmer's Day in Costa Rica. From the start, it was destined to become much more than meets the eye as an organic fair. Feria Verde has stayed true to the concept of an inclusive meeting space for people from all backgrounds to create connections that develop and thrive. This occurs in an environment conducive to longterm health, sustainability and care of our food systems and Costa Rican communities. The Feria Verde model incorporates these seven elements: organic, local, artisanal, healthy, small-scale, agroecological and fair trade. Visitors can browse, shop and converse with a variety of vendors providing:

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Photos courtesy of Feria Verde

• Fresh organic vegetables, legumes, tubers, fruits, and grains (rice, beans, corn, etc.). • Food from responsible livestock farming or fishing practices, including eggs, chicken, oysters, fish. • Processed organic foods: preserves, jams, ice cream, baked goods, sweets, dressings, wines and coffee. • Home care products: household cleaners and disinfectants, dish and laundry soaps. • Personal care products: shampoo, conditioner, deodorants, skin creams, bar and liquid soaps, makeup and baby products. • Artist/designer creations: jewelry, clothing, shoes and ceramics. • Restaurants and snacks: healthy and delicious food made on-site. Besides being an open market venue for selling locally grown and handmade products, Feria Verde also offers a diverse range of cultural programs and events. The agenda includes live concerts, yoga, workshops (for example, parkour, aerial dance and percussion), talks and exhibits.

Where and When:

• Aranjuez — Polideportivo Aranjuez Park - Saturdays 7:00am to 12:30pm • Ciudad Colón — Old Market - Tuesdays 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Visit us at:

FeriaVerde @feriaverde

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The Costa Rican-inspired paintings of Susan Adams include (clockwise):“White Skirts and Blue Sashes,” “Champagne Jungle” and “Ventana de Inocencia.”

by Charlene Golojuch

‘It’s the people, the unique culture and traditions, that drive me and give me endless energy.’ 26

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s a multiple award-winning artist, Susan Adams' career started with advertising design. It quickly morphed into children's book illustration and for a short time, teaching. But Adams found her life-altering inspiration after a private showing of Claude Monet works at the Chicago Art Institute. So inspired by Monet’s works, she returned to her native Texas, packed her bags and moved to Costa Rica to actively pursue her relentless passion: capturing the sights of her new homeland on canvas. With a zest that has never dissipated, Adams continues to create poignant and dramatic scenes using mixed techniques of impressionism and realism. Fast forward 25 years to the present, when we asked Susan how she maintains her enthusiasm and motivation. "It’s simple — by constantly observing," she tells us. With her camera always within reach, Adams observes daily life and culture in Costa Rica, along with its fabulous indigenous nature. She credits a lot of her vision to the locals. "One day I was at a soccer match and noticed an interesting church across the street to photograph,” she recalls. “Though I was trying to be invisible, suddenly the whole team lined up and had me take a group photo for them. The people here are so friendly. I get invited into their homes. They are absolutely amazing." When asked to describe the most interesting invitation she received, Susan told us about a funeral she attended where everyone was on a horse! "So besides the incredible panoramas, the wildlife, the gorgeous unimaginable colors, it's the people, the unique culture and traditions,

that drive me and give me endless energy for my painting," she says. "Guanacaste Folklorico Dancers" is the artist’s newest series, inspired by a dance troupe she met in Libera. Not only did she capture the dancers themselves, but also the show preparations. "My focus," Adams explains, "was to bring them to life on my canvas: the huge skirts with various rays of light strategically shining on them, the mixing of shadows, warm and cool, and the swirling shapes and forms." Beyond the images on canvas, Susan’s goal is to focus her brushstrokes on the beauty and joy she wants to impart to the viewer, sometimes playfully expanding from the expected composition. As an example, she tells us, "If I painted a bowl of fruit, I would probably want to put a monkey in it trying to steal a banana, and maybe have a jaguar looking on in the background. I sometimes try to add some humor, whether or not it comes across! If I can spread a little light or uplift someone's spirit, then I am pleased." Adams’ media techniques include stucco, gesso, acrylics, metallic paints and oils. Her images come to life on canvasses and banana papers, or sometimes doors and windows. You can see her permanent exhibit at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery, located five kilometers west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport.

For more information visit: or email Photos courtesy of Hidden Garden Art Gallery

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The Shining Star of History by Howler Staff

This transformation from war icon to cultural and scientific learning center was a symbolic milestone.


he National Museum of Costa Rica is a history lover’s gift that keeps on giving: with each visit you learn more, dive into a new story and develop a deep appreciation for the vast reaches of Costa Rica’s influence in history. Even a website tour or learning about the museum’s own history could occupy many worthwhile hours. More than 130 years after its inception, the San José main historical attraction continues evolving with the country in retrospect. Created on May 4, 1887, it was been relocated twice before occupying its current headquarters opposite the legislative assembly building. Residing in the Bellavista Fortress, a military barracks built in 1917 that figured prominently in Costa Rica’s civil war until the army’s abolishment in 1948, the museum continues to impress inside and out. Its walls remain peppered with bullet holes for museum visitors to see and this transformation from war icon to cultural and scientific learning center was a symbolic milestone. Scientific investigation has been a key focus since the museum’s establishment to "deposit, classify and study natural and artistic products." Vast collections of artifacts and information are on display today in five exhibition halls:

Photos courtesy of National Museum of Costa Rica


Objects created by Costa Rica’s first settlers dating back13,000 years ago include ceramics, stone, gold, jade and bone.

History of Costa Rica

From the watershed years of European contact and conquest through colonial times to the present, discover the economic, political, social and cultural facets of the country’s remarkable journey.

Houses of the Commanders

Two houses built between the late 1800s and early 20th century are former residences of Costa Rica’s first and second army commanders. They are now used as temporary exhibition halls.


These Bellavista Fortress cells are a showcase for prisoners’ graffiti from the 1940s. In addition to an ever-changing variety of temporary attractions— currently, one featuring legendary animal scares — the museum is also a popular urban venue for concerts and other special events.

For more information visit:


Tue-Sat, 8:30-4:30 Sun, 9-4:30


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by Johnny Lahoud

I was on fire and was feeling no pain.


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art 1 of “All in on Costa Rica” recounted how I managed to get fired from the hometown summer job that was so hard to leave. It was off to Costa Rica for good. Or so I thought: a few days before I was to leave, I hit the jackpot! My bartender friends and I had won a trip to Las Vegas! Earlier that summer, five of us had signed up with Budweiser in a team competition to sell the most Buds in three months. I had forgotten the contest ended the week before my dismissal from the job. When the final tally came out in September, our Team Landing had taken the crown. Our prize was a four-day, three-night stay at the MGM Grand Las Vegas in October. As my buddy Melvin so aptly put it: “I’m headed to Sin City baby, and I’m a sinner!” So with Costa Rica clearer in my sights than ever, I was ready to double down during this detour and head there afterwards with some real dough. The first obstacle was at the Boston airport check-in lineup. Someone had the bright idea to bring a few Buds in his golf bag. Lo and behold, the security dogs came along and sniffed him out. Then our whole party was asked to step aside for a thorough sniffing over. My first lucky break — the local officers took pity on us Budweiser champs and let us go on our way. Once we landed in Vegas, it was all systems go. My initial 48-hour roller coaster ride almost broke me. By the time I was down two grand,

Part 2

Costa Rica was looking grim, to say the least. On day three, I awoke thinking, “It’s now or never, baby, so I’m going out swinging.” That was when it all came together! I walked down to the sports book and bet $200 on the Marlins and over in game 4 of the World Series. Next, I headed to the tables and played Let It Ride poker for $100 each and hit a full house for $2,000. Then I went over to the golf course with a buddy and we watched Tiger Woods. We bet birdie or bogey on alternating holes for the front nine. I was up $400 on the ninth and needed him to make a birdie. That’s when he teed off and nearly picked me off with a 3-wood that whizzed over my head and hit a tree next to me! Needless to say, I won the hole and was well on my way to having the day you can’t lose. That night, I won another $2,500 at blackjack and hit craps for $500. I was on fire and was feeling no pain. By the time the Marlins won the game and I collected another $600, I was up over $8,000 and well on my way to Costa baby! Most importantly, I was smart enough to quit while I was ahead and didn’t even try to bet on the way out the next day. I headed back to Rhode Island, packed my bags and was even further on my way to all in on Costa Rica. Stay tuned for the outcome of getting Super Pura Vida off the ground in Playa Grande.

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Debut Novel Keeps Readers Guessing by Jim Parisi

He and his clique played no small part in the series of disturbing incidents.


he most successful mystery writers keep their readers guessing, turning to the next page in suspense as the plot thickens. And C.J. Tudor does just that in her debut novel “The Chalk Man,” published earlier this year. The story is being told in the first person by Edward Addams, age 42, in the year 2016. Ed relates the tale of the gruesome murders that took place three decades earlier in the small English village where he lived. He and his clique — four other males and one girl — played no small part in the series of disturbing incidents, which probably began when one of them received an anonymous pail full of chalk as a birthday present. The group members divide the chalk pieces and begin using them to communicate with each other. Stick figures and signals, but never words, indicate where and when to meet. Suddenly, new chalk figures begin to appear with messages leading to the nearby woods and directing them to the whereabouts of a young

Tamarindo's Only New And Used BookStore 32

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dismembered body. Then more chalk figures appear after that as well. Tudor does a magnificent job engaging the reader with her quirky characters in their awkward world of being nearly a teenager. She intersperses chapters between “then” (1986) and “now” (2016) as the surviving adults try to deal with their memories of that horrendous summer and all that has occurred since. She also plants the seeds early on about the dilemma of complete honesty, regardless of the consequences, as opposed to secrecy or hiding parts of the truth, no matter how honorable the intentions. Tudor succeeds in taking on a huge challenge as a female author writing in the voice of a male, no easy task. “The Chalk Man” is a well constructed, surprisingly impressive work for a first-time novelist that leaves its readers poised for C.J. Tudor’s next offering.

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