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HOWLER LER February 2019

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


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Drea m On C

We took a couple trips here and then made a fast decision to purchase.

osta Rica is NOT right for everyone. Whether it’s right for you is a decision and process that must be looked at from many angles. So many things to consider! Leaving the comfort of the life you know back home will probably be a culture shock. You embark on an unknown adventure in a place with different laws to deal with. It certainly can be very rewarding, however, being immersed in a different culture and shaking up the status quo of comforts you have become accustomed to. Those comforts are less likely to be readily available here, but that is part of the adventure. I personally have found that I am less impatient in Costa Rica and have accepted the slower pace of life here. Drivers on the road who just stop and talk, or the really slow drivers who just can’t seem to put enough pressure on the accelerator to make the vehicle zoom a little faster … they are all part of the scene. My biggest annoyance is the banking system — sometimes having to wait a couple of hours to complete a “quick” transaction. However, I’ve come to accept that as the norm as well. Our decision to move to Costa Rica was kind of impulsive. In hindsight, I would not do that

again or recommend it. We took a couple trips here and then made a fast decision to purchase. The property development company to have its act together at first. After we purchased, it turned out to be far from the case. What we got was not what had been represented and continued to get worse. This can be an entrapment of so-called paradise … a harbor for dishonest business practices, with predators thinking they can hide behind the veil of selling pura vida. I have given warnings like this several times in my editorials because it’s such an important precaution. Make sure you are making the right moves and dealing with the right people. Once you have made up your mind, advance carefully. Check out the people you deal with as thoroughly as possible. Ask around for references and google them to find out if there have been issues before. Try to verify the information presented to you is accurate and complete. Enter into your dream slowly so that as your dream unfolds, it doesn’t turn into a nightmare along the way.

John B. Quam

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HOWLER T r o o p

February 2019 Vol. 24 No. 2 PUBLISHER / EDITOR-in-CHIEF John B. Quam

WRITERS Charlene Golojuch. Co-owner of Hidden Garden Art Gallery with husband, Greg; Ellen Zoe Golden. Former entertainment biz PR flack, now living the dream as a travel agent and journalist in Tamarindo. Fabricio Riggoni. Investment Consultant at NATIVU. 8301-0663. fabricio@ Giannina Olivares. Strategic communication planner for 14 years, energetic crystal healer, certified kidding around yoga teacher. divinopropó Gilberth Cavallini. Veterinary Doctor, owner Cavallini Veterinary Services, Villarreal (MegaSuper Plaza). Jenn Parker. An avid writer, traveler, and nature lover on a mission to surf the earth and share her stories.


Jim Parisi. Former owner of Jaime Peligro Bookstore, now called "Bookstore of the Waves". Tamarindo resident for 16 years. John Brockmeier. Writer and activist inspired by diverse interests and international life experiences. Laura Galvin. Founder of Nomad Design House. Contact info: 6282-6635, Marian Paniagua. Certified nurse and yoga Instructor, and local artisan, born and raised in Guanacaste. 8914-0199. Nicole Rangel. Managing Editor of Howler. 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. Dra. Paula Avila Leiva. Cosmetic Surgery MD-NC 11619 - Pacific Medical Clinic & Spa. Rachel Cherry White. Chases the sun from Michigan to Costa Rica with her four children and husband. She is a contributor to Fodor’s Guide to Costa Rica, Michigan HOME & Lifestyle and online. 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. tom@

PHOTOGRAPHY Gustavo Jimenez. Amateur surf, portraits, landscape, buildings, nature and wildlife photographer. Avellanas Beach. www. IG: @Selva_Azul. FB: @Gustavo Jiménez Selva Azul Jim Gomez. Surfing is our passion and our lifestyle. Some write their stories on paper, we do it through photography. Find me at Playa Grande. IG:@ timetosurfphoto. FB:@timetosurf John Pierpont. Photographer based in Guanacaste and North America: seascapes, landscapes, stories, abstracts, wildlife, events, sports, aerial, video. Marcel Freitez. Venezuelan-born photographer, in Costa Rica since 2014. Nature and surfing are his main interests. 8330 5436. shakamediainfo@

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BUSINESS DEVELOpmENT Martin Svoboda - Managing Partner John D. Lane - Director of Business Development C r e at i v e D i r e c t o r Martin Svoboda 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 Pura Vida and ACE departments Graphic Design Team M. Alauddin - Print Specialist Cover Designs The Chops O p e r at i o n s Marynes F. Chops Nikki Durling C o n ta c t

John Quam - Managing Partner 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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4 Up Front 4 - Editorial 6 - Contributors and Howler Troop 10 - Community Services 12 - Cover Story: Monteverde Cloud Forest

16 Travel, Adventure & Surfing CR



16 - Featured Adventure: Tapirus Lodge 18 - Cool Places: Nandamojo Valley 20 - Featured Parks: Diria, A Little-Known Attraction 22 - Creature Feature: Oropendolas of Costa Rica 24 - Surfing CR: Surf Events 24 - Tide, Sun & Moon Chart 26 - Surf Profile: Rubiana Brownell 28 - Surf Spot: Playa Camaronal

30 CR Biz 30 - Feature: Financing a Life in Costa Rica



32 - Entrepreneur Costa Rica: How to Stay Sane 34 - Understanding Markets: Millennials Rule 36 - Investment Chat with Nativu: Looking Ahead 38 - Opportunity of the Month: Casa Congos 40 - Retreat: Conchal National Mixed Wildlife Refuge

44 ACE: Arts Culture Entertainment 44 - Artist Spotlight: Carlos Hiller - Melding of Metal 46 - Museum: Museos del Banco Central de Costa Rica 48 - Bookshelf: Panhandlers



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49 Directories Flip Mini-Mags Pura Vida: CR Living & Dining Guide

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The Fairy Tale I Imagined

Monteverde Cloud Forest by Rachel Cherry White

Costa Rica is well known for canopy tours and Monteverde has some of the best.


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efore our first trip to Costa Rica, I had never been to a cloud forest. I don’t think I even knew such a thing existed before my tour guide suggested visiting Monteverde. And an elfin cloud forest? It sounds like something out of a fairy tale. I imagined unfamiliar creatures peering at me through the trees. Babbling brooks and thundering waterfalls. A mysterious fog hanging in the air. Wandering the treetops feeling like I was on top of the world. My true-life Monteverde experience delivered all this and more. It’s a rough and bumpy road along unpaved stretches to get there, but totally worth it.

Knowing a bit of history helps you appreciate it even more. In the 1950s, Monteverde was a Quaker settlement of dairy farmers whose pacifist beliefs found them in Costa Rica to avoid the Korean War draft. In 1972, they set aside their large tract of land to establish the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It is now run by the non-profit Tropical Science Center, a nongovernmental scientific and environmental organization. The Monteverde cloud forest site is exceptionally biodiverse — even for Costa Rica. Ticos have even named it one of the Seven Wonders of Costa Rica.

We decided to hike the Sendero Bosque Nuboso, or Cloud Forest Trail, one of about 10 routes to choose from on the reserve. Windsculpted elfin trees make way for the evergreen rainforest further on. Monteverde’s unique climate makes your surroundings seem almost like a greenhouse (the name means “green mountain”). Low-lying clouds provide yearround moisture for greenery like ferns, orchids and mosses to climb up and ride the backs of their big brothers, the sky-high trees. Scientists have established that there are more orchids in Monteverde — over 500 types — than anywhere else in the world. Although our hiking trail was barely more than a mile long, it took us more than two hours to complete, with three small children, because we kept stopping to gaze in wonder at everything.

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Wonders of wildlife

Those creatures I had imagined seeing in Monteverde were exquisite in reality. First and foremost were my beloved sloths. Another highlight was the eyelash pit viper that our guide spotted curled up asleep in the top of a bromeliad. We saw as many brilliantly colored hummingbirds during those two days in Monteverde as I had ever seen in my life until then. Of course, howler monkeys always let us know they were there. We think we saw an ocelot through our guide’s spotting scope, but it was far away and well camouflaged. Monteverde is home to more than 400 bird species, but you need to be there early in the day for best viewing. We did spot some beauties; the sweet little goldenbrowed chlorophonia was gorgeous. The icing on our Monteverde cake was a rare sighting of the elusive


A coffee farm tour and rarely sighted resplendent quetzal were highlights of our Monteverde visit.

resplendent quetzal — my sister’s reward for leaving the park a bit later than we did. Meandering rivers and gorgeous waterfalls throughout Monteverde are other incentives for visitors. The Catarata Los Murcielagos is a hidden gem that is often deserted, giving you a private paradise. The San Luis waterfall is a small but beautiful detour off the Cloud Forest Trail. At 4,600 feet above sea level, this spot is cooler than most other parts of Costa Rica. With an average temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit combined with the misty air that can give you a chill, plan accordingly and bring your raincoat.

Tantalizing treetops Costa Rica is well known for canopy tours and Monteverde has some of the best, revealing some treetop life you would never see from the ground. Suspension bridges soar 200 feet above the ground and some are as long as 500 feet. The canyon views below


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are simply breathtaking. Ziplines for the adrenaline seekers offer a thrilling and beautiful experience The one source of enchantment I wasn’t expecting? It was the tasty potion that wakes you up and puts pep in your step. Java lovers rejoice! The sustainable Cafe Monteverde Coffee Tour offers in-depth understanding of how coffee is made on this community farm. You learn it all firsthand, from growing the beans to brewing and tasting, and all the steps in between. Monteverde and the surrounding area offers a multitude of things to see and do. Night tours offer glimpses of tarantulas and there are serpentariums for snake lovers. There are orchid gardens and butterfly gardens, sky trams and canyoning tours. Restaurants and farmer’s markets offer regional delicacies. Accommodations include plenty of hotels and Airbnb options. So the only question: what are you waiting for?

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TAPIRUS LODGE by Nicole Rangel


A Naturalist's Dream Come True


apirus Lodge is the kind of place where any naturalist’s dreams could come true, even if not the cornerstone of a combo deal that leaves no outdoor thirsts unquenched. Our family is still raving about a recent stay that ranks high among our best Costa Rican experiences ever. The lodge setting and amenities alone would have made it so, but when factored into the 6-in-1 Tour Package offered by Rainforest Adventures, slices of life here don’t get much better. As home base for a series of adrenalinepumping and casually paced activities alike, Tapirus is situated on a 1,200-acre private reserve surrounded by lush trees, orchids, ferns, birds and animals galore. Guests are treated to a Costa Rican rainforest immersion like no other. With only 10 cabins, the lodge nestles them intimately and serenely deep

within the surroundings. Each cabin offers large windows, balconies and screenedin open-air walls so all sights, sounds and sensations can be fully embraced. Your stay at Tapirus Lodge includes a dedicated naturalist guide and delicious breakfast. Yes, you read that right! During your stay, you will have the expertise of a naturalist who will accompany you on morning and evening walks. This provides opportunities for your expert guide to point out spiders, snakes, frogs, birds and fauna that untrained eyes likely would not notice. These naturalists are also qualified to share their extensive knowledge about creatures in the butterfly and orchid gardens and the herpetarium. For the all-inclusive 6-in-1 Tour participants, they also coordinate your zipline canopy tour, aerial tram flight and hanging bridge walk.

Photos courtesy of Alvaro Cubero, Nicole Rangel and Rainforest Adventures

Guests are treated to a Costa Rican rainforest immersion like no other. 16

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Photos courtesy of Diamante Eco Adventure Park

Our own guide, Jaime, got our day off to an eager start at 6:30 a.m. where we saw a wild tapir, the namesake of the lodge. Later he led us on a night walk when we spotted the rare and elusive coronated tree frog (Anotheca spinosa). The lodge’s spacious openair restaurant serves hearty and delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Our favorites were the American breakfast with pancakes, the lunch offerings of fresh salad and chicken, and the Caesar salad and fajitas served at dinner. At lunch, a mischievous coatimundi was high in the beams of the restaurant, but once our rowdy crew came in, he meandered back to the jungle. My husband rated the lodge gift shop as the best he has ever seen. It provides staples like raincoats and snacks but also a large selection of unique and

special Costa Rican finds. Rainforest Adventures’ aerial tram tour is perfect for anyone relishing literally a complete jungle overview from top to bottom. Your naturalist guide accompanies you on the tram to point out monkeys, hummingbirds, falcons, snakes and more living in the treetops above 180 feet. Broccoli trees surpassing 200 feet sustain hundreds, if not thousands, of bromeliads, ferns and other succulents on their trunks along with all the wildlife. The ziplines include 10 cables and 14 platforms, traversing back and forth through the river’s meandering pathway. The two-line, self-braking system provides the safety you need while enjoying breathtaking rainforest views, from the surrounding understory to canopy and bubbling waters below.

Tapirus Lodge is adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park, just 45 minutes from San José, 90 minutes from Arenal and two hours from Limón port. Visitors can experience all or some of the Rainforest Adventures attractions: aerial tram, ziplines, gardens, naturalist-guided walking tours, restaurant and gift shop. Closed-toed shoes are a must; an umbrella, binoculars and raincoat are highly recommended. Call for reservations (506) 2224-5961, mention Howler for discount.


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by Laura Galvin

Slowing it Down in the

Nandamojo Valley COOL PLACES

Guanacaste’s Antidote to Hustle and Bustle


f you’re looking to get away from the crowds and experience Costa Rica without feeling like a tourist at Disneyland, add the Nandamojo Valley area to your travel wish list. Just 30 to 40 minutes south of bustling Tamarindo, the sleepy beach towns of Playa Junquillal and Playa Negra are part of a small but international community of nature lovers and solitude seekers. When the concrete ends and you hit the dirt roads, slow your car and your mind down to experience a slice of the real Guanacaste. There’s no reason to rush here. You’ll always find a parking spot at the beach and the only traffic you may encounter is a crossing herd of cows.

Inspired activists and artisans

Playa Junquillal is a breathtaking stretch of palm tree-lined beach, perfect for a long, scenic stroll or family picnic. The area’s natural beauty has inspired


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much of the community to become environmental activists, working to reforest the local land, clean the beaches and help domestic and wild animals in different ways. While exploring the coastline, look for the Vida VerdiAzul turtle conservation project to see the protected nests of endangered sea turtles. You might even catch them releasing the babies around sunset. “It’s incredible to think what this area would be like if it weren’t for Vida VerdiAzul,” says Junquillal resident Jessica Mundo, noting the indigenous trees they’ve planted and marked all along the shore and recycling bins that line the parking lot. Twice a month you can attend the Junquillal Feria de Arte, a local art and craft fair graciously hosted by the beachfront Junquillal Eco Resort. Peruse handmade jewelry, natural soaps and

beauty products, crocheted tops, purses, sarongs, tasty baked treats and other unique artisan goods. In Junquillal, if you’re not an environmental activist, you’re probably an artist or maker of some sort, so for a small town there are quite a lot of quality vendors. Live music often accompanies the feria and after checking out the booths you can relax with a drink from the restaurant and watch the sunset. Chat up the eccentric local characters and you might get lucky enough to hear some wild stories about the old days in the area.

Free spirit allure

Playa Negra was put on the map for its famous reef break, attracting surfers from around the world. Many of these adventurous spirits settled down in the area before there was much development at all, making Playa Negra a diverse community of rebels and free thinkers.

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Tourism has grown and made the area more visitor-friendly, but it still attracts surfers, skaters, yogis and artists. If you’re not quite ready for the barrels at Playa Negra, you can try Sandy Beach just steps away, with surf lessons and friendlier water for a swim. You can also just grab a drink at the Playa Negra Hotel’s beachfront bar, the perfect spot to kick back and watch the surf from a shady palapa. And if you’re feeling like riding another kind of board, book a stand-up paddle tour or head to the skate park up the street. On the main road in Negra, a cluster of shops and restaurants has formed a walkable “downtown” area where you can find some Costa Rican treasures. Grab a cup of sustainably grown Costa Rican coffee at Corazon de Los Pargos, shop for unique art made by Costa Rican women at Lula’s Tours & Shop, and eat delicious, healthy food featuring lots of local ingredients at Cafe La Ventana. Though these beach towns are dotted with boutique hotels and small restaurants, much of the area is still undeveloped and it takes a certain type of adventurer to enjoy visiting or living here. As local expat Trever Adams puts it, “It’s not Tamarindo or Jacó and most of us want to keep it that way.” Photos: Nomad Design House


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by Tom Schultz


One of Guanacaste’s Least-Known Attractions


orthern Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula have several well known national parks: the history-rich Santa Rosa, the caves of Barra Honda, the marine preserve and turtle nesting grounds of Las Baulas and the wetlands of Palo Verde — now one of the top birding destinations in the world. But few know about or have visited the wonderful Diria National Park near Santa Cruz. It is the least visited locale in Costa Rica’s national park system, with even fewer tourists than the rarely visited La Cangreja Park, which was featured in the December 2018 Howler issue. The 5,500-hectare park (over 10,000 acres) was created only recently, in 2004. A key objective was to protect more than 380 species of trees that forest the area — many original old growth saved from the deforestation of the mid-20th century — as well as several rivers flowing out of the mountains creating the Santa Cruz


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region’s water supply. Diria National Park is also the home of rare and endangered bromeliads and cacti, along with a special group of orchids that can survive the extreme dry season conditions.

For anyone visiting the northern Nicoya area, a day trip to Diria can give you a totally different Costa Rica experience. When to go

If you’re seeking a great place to hike or mountain bike, see lots of birds and animals along with rare and endangered plants or even just cool off from the heat, you will enjoy Diria. The park has two

major areas: the lowland tropical dry forest around the casona (park ranger station) and the tropical humid forests covering much more mountainous terrain, rising to 1,800 meters (almost 6,000 feet) above sea level. The casona vicinity has three hiking trails that follow the rivers through the dry forest. The longest trail leads to beautiful Brazil Falls, requiring a demanding hike through rugged conditions. The park’s main facilities are located at the casona, accessible only by fording a river. Many opt not to drive through, especially in rainy season. The casona has restrooms and is equipped for overnight stays and meals if booked in advance, especially for groups. The rest of the park site can be reached by driving, or more recently, using a system of bike trails extending upward … and further up. You can drive to the crest of the Nicoya Peninsula’s

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

View crocodiles, birds, monkeys and more Photos: Tom Schultz

highest mountain ridge, looking back to the mainland and even sighting Palo Verde National Park. Animals and birds abound throughout Diria and change with the elevation. Howler monkeys, iguanas, anteaters and deer can be seen. Birding is also great here, with more than 140 species that include pale-billed woodpecker, barred antshrikes and longtailed manakins. All are easily seen in the park, as well as the beautiful elegant trogon, which is found only in the northern Nicoya Peninsula.

How to get there

First drive to Santa Cruz, from the west taking route 152/route 160 east, or from the east taking route 21. From there, take the road south to Arado; drive around the Arado soccer field and you will see a sign to Diria National Park. The road becomes gravel for the final 6 kilometers. Follow signs to Diria National Park (a 4WD vehicle is recommended). Signs to the park casona take you to the lowland trails

(remember you must cross a river) and those marked Los Angeles lead up the mountain. When you reach the ranger station, don’t be surprised if it’s unoccupied; the park has few rangers and those on duty are likely out patrolling, especially when there’s a risk of forest fires during dry season. Many park visitors leave their admission fee on the desk. For anyone visiting the northern Nicoya area, staying in Tamarindo or other beach spots, a day trip to Diria can give you a totally different Costa Rica experience. It can even cool you off a bit, as a bonus for enjoying some real wilderness.

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When to visit

As applies to most places in Costa Rica, the best time for visiting Diria is between December to April. However, visiting in the rainy season can be a treat if you visit Brazil Falls, which quickly dries out in summer. The downside is that rainy season conditions can be difficult for getting around and the roads might be impassable.

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Beautiful &Bizarre

by Tom Schultz


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isthmus area of Central America. The most easily seen and colorful is the Montezuma oropendola, whose clownish, brightly hued bicolor beak has been likened to a giant piece of candy corn. This species can be seen all over the northern part of Costa Rica and into the Central Valley, the southernmost end of their habitat range extending from Mexico (hence the Montezuma name). On Costa Rica’s Caribbean side, you can see both the Montezuma and the other northern oropendola species, the chestnut-headed. It is a Montezuma little harder to find, but common on the Atlantic coast from southern Mexico to Honduras, then regarious and loud, their unmistakable calls following the Caribbean all the way to Ecuador in resembling a crowd of people all gargling South America. at the same time, they are heard before The third type of oropendola in Costa Rica being seen. Oropendolas, the largest member of the is really hard to find if you do not know where to blackbird family that includes blackbirds, orioles, look. The crested oropendola is actually the most grackles and cowbirds, are found exclusively in common in countries to our south, from Chile and Latin America. In fact, their Argentina all the way to extremely descriptive name Panama. A few, however — is in Spanish - oro meaning ‘Golden pendulum’ just a very few — cross over gold and péndulo meaning Costa Rica around San describes the male bird’s to pendulum. “Golden Vito and a few other places. pendulum” describes the Sightings may be possible behavior of wagging its male bird’s behavior of by traveling a short distance yellow tail from side to wagging its yellow tail past Wilson Botanical from side to side to attract Gardens near San Vito. Keep side to attract females. females. driving towards Ciudad Highly communal, Neily and take the next right oropendolas are also known turn onto a dirt road, just a for their hanging nests that will fill a single tree — few kilometers from the Panama border. You can sometimes with 40 or 50 nests — into a community usually spot crested oropendolas right there in the habitat. It is believed the hanging nests are trees. designed to avoid predators, especially monkeys. With their clownish face and bizarre gargling Costa Rica and Panama are the only two call, the oropendola is one of the most visible and countries in the world where you can see both easily spotted, yet special, birds to be seen in Costa the northern and southern species of oropendola: Rica. They always make me smile, so go out and Montezuma, Chestnut-headed and Crested. Each find some and you are sure to smile too! has a different range intersecting the narrow


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February 4 New Moon


February 12 1st Quarter

February 19 Full Moon

February 26 3rd Quarter

Surfer: Jose Amed Murillo. Photo: Marcel Fritez

Surfing Events February • • • • •

Fridays, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22 - 4pm - Playa Hermosa, Backyard Bar Saturdays, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23 - 4pm - Playa Hermosa, Backyard Bar Mondays, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 - Santa Teresa, Banana Beach Club Sat-Sun, Feb 16-17 - Marbella, Circuito Guanacasteco Sharky’s Triple Crown Sat-Sun, Feb 23-24 - Puerto Viejo, 2019 Kolbi Circuito Nacional de Surf




SUNRISE February 1 February 28

6:01 am 5:54 am


• Fridays, Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 - 4pm - Playa Hermosa, Backyard Bar • Saturdays, Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 - 4pm - Playa Hermosa, Backyard Bar February • Mondays, Mar 4, 11, 18, 25 - Santa Teresa, Banana Beach Club February • Sat-Sun, Mar 2-3 - Avellanas, Circuito Guanacasteco Sharky’s Triple Crown • Sat, Mar 16 - Tamarindo, Robert August Surf and Turf Tournament • Sat-Sun, Mar 23-24 - Playa Guiones, 2019 Kolbi Circuito Nacional de Surf #searchfindhowl| online

1 28

5:44 pm 5:49 pm


February 01 - February 28, 2019







1 Fri

12:08 am 7.89'

6:33am 1.30'

12:49pm 7.22'

6:46pm 1.87'

2 Sat

1:02am 7.96'

7:27am 1.08'

1:41pm 7.48'

7:40pm 1.68'

3 Sun

1:52am 8.13'

8:11am 0.80'

2:27pm 7.80'

8:24pm 1.42'

4 Mon

2:34am 8.32'

8:51am 0.53'

3:07pm 8.12'

9:06pm 1.14'

5 Tues

3:14am 8.49'

9:27am 0.30'

3:43pm 8.39'

9:42pm 0.90'

6 Wed

3:52am 8.60'

10:01am 0.15'

4:19pm 8.58'

10:18pm 0.72'

7 Thurs

4:28am 8.61'

10:35am 0.11'

4:53pm 8.68'

10:54pm 0.63'

8 Fri

5:04am 8.51'

11:09am 0.18'

5:29pm 8.67'

11:30pm 0.64'

9 Sat

5:40am 8.30'

11:43am 0.36'

6:03pm 8.57'

10 Sun

12:06am 0.74'

6:16am 7.99'

12:17pm 0.61'

6:39pm 8.40'

11 Mon

12:46am 0.91'

6:54am 7.64'

12:55pm 0.91'

7:17pm 8.19'

12 Tues

1:28am 1.12'

7:38am 7.27'

1:35pm 1.21'

8:01pm 7.98'

13 Wed

2:16am 1.32'

8:28am 6.97'

2:25pm 1.49'

8:53pm 7.80'

14 Thurs

3:12am 1.45'

9:28am 6.79'

3:23pm 1.67'

9:55pm 7.74'

15 Fri

4:16am 1.41'

10:36am 6.86'

4:31pm 1.65'

11:03pm 7.88'

16 Sat

5:24am 1.13'

11:46am 7.23'

5:43pm 1.35'


17 Sun

12:11am 8.26'

6:30am 0.63'

12:50pm 7.87'

6:49pm 0.80'

18 Mon

1:11am 8.78'

7:28am -0.01'

1:48pm 8.62'

7:49pm 0.14'

19 Tues

2:07am 9.34'

8:22am -0.64'

2:40pm 9.36'

8:45pm -0.50'

20 Wed

2:59am 9.80'

9:12am -1.15'

3:30pm 9.96'

9:37pm -0.97'

21 Thurs

3:49am 10.07' 10:00am -1.45'

4:18pm 10.32'

10:25pm -1.21'

22 Fri

4:39am 10.09' 10:46am -1.47'

5:06pm 10.39'

11:15pm -1.17'

23 Sat

5:27am 9.83'

11:32am -1.21'

5:52pm 10.17'

24 Sun

12:03am -0.86'

6:15am 9.34'

12:20pm -0.70'

6:42pm 9.69'

25 Mon

12:53am -0.34'

7:07am 8.67'

1:08pm -0.02'

7:32pm 9.05'

26 Tues

1:45am 0.30'

8:01am 7.95'

2:00pm 0.75'

8:26pm 8.36'

27 Wed

2:43am 0.93'

9:01am 7.29'

3:00pm 1.45'

9:28pm 7.75'

28 Thurs

3:47am 1.41'

10:09am 6.85'

4:06pm 1.97'

10:34pm 7.35'

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‘To achieve my goals is a really good feeling. All the hard work and training has paid off.’

by Ellen Zoe Golden




his past year, 15-year-old Rubiana Brownell of Avellanas made Costa Rica surfing history. The teen, in only her third year doing the sport, pulled off quite the coup when she became Costa Rica’s Women’s, Junior Women’s and Girls champion all at once in the 2018 Kolbi Circuito Nacional de Surf. No one that young had ever accomplished a national trifecta like that.

Brownell’s rapid learning curve in surfing came straight from the training that her dad, Trey, instilled in her. He himself was a two-time member of the United States national surf team before moving to Costa Rica. It was that competitive experience, plus what he learned during his time as a traveling free surfer, that he imparted to his daughter.

“Since I started surfing, my dad taught me a specific style of competitive surfing that I believe sets me apart from my competitors,” Brownell explained. “That’s surfing vertically, powerfully and fast.” With competition in her blood and once she mastered her own free surfing, Brownell entered whatever surf contests she could. At the start, in the case of the Circuito Guanacasteco

Athlete: Rubiana Brownell Sport: Surfing Age: 15 About: Solid young surfer with a beautiful style, flow and speed that you rarely see in female surfing. Sponsors: O'Neill USA, Surfing Republica, Camelo Bikinis, Cabinas Las Ola's, Global Surfboards, Fisiospot, Selina, Pimiento Verde, Selva Azul, Avellanas Camp. Photographer: Gustavo Jimenez


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de Surf, she would go for as many categories as allowed, which meant heats in Women’s, Girls, and … well, Boys too. Her aggressiveness in the water definitely helped in the latter division — often landing her on the awards podium with young male surfers — as well as those times when she collected trophies among female competitors. Brownell advanced in the Circuito Nacional de Surf quickly. After this year’s triple crown, she said she felt absolutely amazing. “To achieve my goals is a really

good feeling. All the hard work and training has paid off. Yet, she revealed, she has even loftier goals for her surfing future. Brownell hopes to win an International World Junior title, hit the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS), qualify for the World Championship Tour, and maybe one day, win a World Title. “I surf because it makes me happy. It’s always challenging me. As I achieve one goal, there’s another one right after. And just simply, I do it because of my love for the ocean.”

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Always take extra precautions surfing in a river mouth, as crocodiles and bull sharks also prefer these spots.

by Jenn Parker



f you are staying in the Samara area, a visit to Playa Camaronal is easy breezy. This remote, dark golden-colored sand beach is a wildlife refuge primarily focused on protecting the nesting sea turtles and hatchlings that depend on this site every year. That includes four types of sea turtles, with the Olive Ridley species being the most prominent. It is this combination of remoteness and protection that makes this beach so special. It so happens that there are pretty consistent waves here too. Camaronal is not a beginner surfer’s beach though. The waves can get quite big and very heavy. Rip currents are not uncommon here either. But, if you know your way around the waves and the ocean, this spot can really provide a special surf when caught on the right swell with the right wind.

may be impassable. You take the same road as you would driving to Playa Carrillo, but keep going south for another five kilometers toward Punta Islita.

Where to Surf

This surf break is made up of a sand bottom beach break and a river mouth break. There are lefts and rights. When you arrive at the beach, you can take a look and decide which peak you would like to paddle out to. Be mindful of the rip currents, and always take

How to Get There

Playa Camaronal is located just to the south of Playa Carrillo and Samara in Guanacaste. During the rainy season it can be difficult to access this beach as the roads


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Photographer: Jim Gomez Company: Time to Surf Photo About: Surfing is our passion and our lifestyle. Some write their stories on paper; we do it through photography.

Playa Grande, Guanacaste Daily, 5am-6pm 8709 0561 @timetosurf @timetosurfphoto @jimgomez

extra precautions surfing in a river mouth, as crocodiles and bull sharks also prefer these spots. The waves break here when there is a solid south or southwest swell, which is the type that Costa Rica’s Pacific coast receives most often. The wind needs to be coming from the northeast to be offshore. As a measure to keep the sea turtles safe, no dogs, camping or fires are permitted on this beach.

Local Companies

There are no commercial establishments in the immediate Playa Camaronal vicinity. The closest tourismgeared places to find surf instructors and camps, as well as restaurants and other amenities, are Samara or Playa Carrillo. Jesse’s Samara Surf School and Choco’s Surf School are two that come highly recommended. Both offer camps, group lessons, private lessons and surf guiding, as well as surf rental equipment. Beginner surfers, however, are better off just staying in Samara. If you are looking to grab a tasty bite to eat between surfing outings, check out Hulu’s Jungla, Soda La Plaza and Chez Nous. These three restaurants are located in Playa Carrillo, which is closer than Samara to Playa Camaronal.

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CR Biz


Financing a Life in Costa Rica

by Sylvia Barreto Benites


et’s move to Costa Rica!” These words have been uttered excitedly all over the world. It might be while looking at a hard-to-pass-on condo or within the first few months of returning to normal life from a whirlwind vacation or while planning your retirement. Financing a move to a different country is much different than moving cities or states and having a sustainable income in Costa Rica can be more difficult than you think. Here are some things to consider before you take that leap.

Do you have financial stability?

You need to have enough money to float for a year or two.


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Then good for you! Life should be a lot easier to handle in Costa Rica, like anywhere. A major life change like moving your family to a foreign country takes time and planning... and being smart with your money. Although many people who decided on a whim have actually pulled it off, chances are they got lucky or they are independently wealthy and have no worries about finances. Costa Rica is expensive, especially living on the beach. You need to have enough money to float for a year or two. It’s also important to consider which credit card or savings you can rely on to cover emergencies like health care. How will you earn money or have a sustainable income here is one of the first questions to ask yourself. Thinking you will get a job here —

especially right after arriving — is foolhearted. Salaries in Costa Rica will not compare to those in the U.S., Canada or Europe. Not even close … perhaps $48,000 a year — and that’s an executive position in a large company in the city. Most people who make more than that work for themselves and have started a successful business. Also, laws in Costa Rica protect jobs for citizens of Costa Rica and it is costly and time-consuming to obtain a work visa.

Working online Telecommuting in a virtual workplace may be one of the golden tickets of our age. An online job that pays first-world salaries can offer you an economic balance here that seems magical. Keep in mind time zone differences that commit you to being online or on the phone at certain times of the day. This can put a damper on your fun chilling out and enjoying the people and world around you. The importance of consistent internet connections when you need to be online is another consideration. Kathleen Evans, a local writer and influencer, came to Tamarindo six years ago from Texas with an online job. While enjoying the benefits of a solid salary and living by the beach, she encountered some of the common drawbacks that require life and work adjustments. “A huge pitfall for me was not being there

in person for some of the presentations or proposals. It really makes a difference. At that time many folks did not Skype, and GoToMeetings video worked horribly with our slow internet.” Evans also missed the social aspect of work. Not having access to coworkers for help, guidance or just friendship made the job less fulfilling and ultimately lose its luster. Lynore and Bill Soffer brought their family to Costa Rica from Pennsylvania in 2009. Both had online jobs, but unsatisfactory residential internet access was problematic so they had to rent office space to compensate. Living in Jacó, Monteverde and then Potrero while the kids were growing up turned out to be invaluable, Lynore says. Ultimately, the Soffers purchased a house in Potrero before moving to California in 2014. They feel fortunate to have made this property investment, having no difficulty renting it out and even profiting from the income.

Retirement Walk around almost any beach town for evidence that Costa Rica is a favorite place to retire. Some of the vibrant retirees you encounter are former snowbirds who planned ahead. They purchased a place some years before making their full-time move and came down to live each winter. Although most realtors will assure you that such investments are solid, with your preretirement rental income paying off the cost of your future year-round home, actual retirees like Kathy Bowen beg to differ. Four years into her retirement from a financial position in New York,

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Bowen opts to continue renting a home in Tamarindo. “My impression is that there is a surplus of short-term rentals available and a shortage of long-term units for those who are not ready to buy.” Having the freedom to travel and health care needs are also huge qualityof-life considerations. Do your retirement payments allow for trips home to see family? Do you have a buffer in the bank for health care costs? Notwithstanding the range of health insurance options for expats in Costa Rica, including those offered by some care facilities, peace of mind may be another cost factor. Finding a good doctor and hospital you can trust saves a lot of heartaches when an emergency does arise.

Investing and buying a business The rule of thumb really isn’t different here in Costa Rica than anywhere else. Don’t buy a business in any of these circumstances: if it will be your main source of income, if you don’t have money to float for a year or two, and — most importantly — if you have no experience in the business. (Waiting tables and working in a kitchen does not qualify you to own a restaurant.) Bureaucracy and red tape are part of doing business here, and it takes knowledge and assistance to do it right and be successful. Come here first to observe, allowing enough time to see what services are missing and would benefit those living here already. Saddest of all are those people who buy a business that has been flipped dozens of times. Tourism

related businesses and restaurants have an incredible turnover, mainly because people underestimate the complexity of balancing tourist season, competition, saturation, local labor laws and licensing requirements. Savvy business owners in Costa Rica have worked hard to establish their business, understanding the challenges of doing so in a “Pura Vida” lifestyle. Unless you live here already, talk to other business owners who have been here and learn about the local economy and business practices; it is not the same in other developed countries. Otherwise, there is no way to be sure what you are investing in and could lead to more heartache than happy ever after in paradise. .

Only fools rush in

My own six years in Costa Rica have made this statement a mantra for making it. Patience is so much the virtue that it’s sometimes mind-boggling. Migrating to a different country — any country — involves time and moneyconsuming paperwork and procedures relating to your legal, work and living status. Crossing the border every three months for tourist visa updates works for some people, but beware of proposed government actions to monetize and further complicate that process. There is a fitting joke: How do you make a million dollars in Costa Rica? Bring two million! When contemplating a move to Costa Rica, take a deep breath and talk to the right people. Do your homework before choosing to sell your life for the unknown.



How to Stay Sane


as an Entrepreneur in Costa Rica

ntrepreneur burnout exists no matter where you start a business, but Costa Rica has proven to challenge the sanity of even seasoned business owners. Things like slow processing of paperwork, unrelenting heat and flaky employees are just examples of what may start to drive you bonkers. Not to mention, if Spanish is your second language it could add extra stress during that learning curve. But don’t fret — it’s a great time to start a business in Costa Rica. We’re sharing five helpful tips for staying sane and making your entrepreneurial endeavor a success. by Laura Galvin


1. Learn not to ask the "WHY" question You can always expect the unexpected here in Costa Rica, so it helps to be adaptable when things don’t go as planned. Learn from it, but don’t waste too much energy trying to rationalize. Focus on finding alternative solutions to move forward, instead of dwelling on what went wrong. You’ll save yourself a lot of needless stress if you can master this, because roadblocks (literal and figurative) are going to happen a lot here. Holding onto anger about your expectations not being met will not help you progress; it will just slowly eat away at your sanity. Try to value progress over perfection, and let limitations push you to get extra creative with the resources you do have in order to achieve your goals.

2. Practice gratitude & patience When you’re feeling a bit kooky from trying to figure out how to send your first factura electronica, take a deep breath and remember why you wanted to run your own business in the first place. Be grateful for your freedom and independence. If you are a foreigner, think about how lucky you are to be able to open a business in another country. Practicing gratitude will help keep you

motivated and positive through the challenges. With a little patience, you can stay calm and try to see the bigger picture when you’re about to lose your cool.

3. Maintain a healthy balance Keeping a healthy work-life balance is a classic struggle for entrepreneurs. When you run your own business, it’s much more of a challenge to separate work and personal time. Working on your business around the clock is a sure path to burnout, but you can’t sip cocktails on the beach all day either, as tempting as that may be in Costa Rica. Try to set some boundaries and a stick to a schedule. Focus 100 percent on work during that time, and then fully disconnect from everything work-related in your free time. If your business is often done in the digital world, be sure to put all those devices away and get out into nature to truly detach and recharge

4. Connect with other local business owners When you work for yourself, you don’t have an instant support network of coworkers like you would at many other jobs. Not having a team to lean on through challenges can be isolating, and

loneliness can lead to an entrepreneur’s descent into madness. Here in Costa Rica, where half the people you come in contact with are on vacation or retired, it can be especially hard to form a network of friends who you can relate to as an entrepreneur. If you’re feeling all alone in the challenges of entrepreneurship, seeking out other business owners to connect with, vent to and share tips with can be very therapeutic. (Look for the “Entrepreneurs in Costa Rica” group on Facebook!)

5. Know when to hire help Spending too much time trying to do something that is outside your skill level will lead to frustration quickly. Part of being a successful business owner is knowing when to delegate tasks. The passion you had for your new venture will soon turn to lunacy if you handle every tedious task that an employee or freelancer could take off your plate. The same goes for when you start spending excessive time and energy to learn something like building your own website, instead of hiring a professional to handle it. Not only will you have a more professional finished product, but you won’t go crazy trying to do absolutely everything yourself.



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Millennials Rule


t took me awhile to understand “the millennials.” Who are they and what gives them the right to rule? Indeed, millennials are a force to be reckoned with in the business world and every other sphere, now representing more than 75 million of the U.S. population. Demographically categorized as people born in the 1980s and 1990s who reach adulthood in the new century, they recently surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation on earth to date. Wrapped in the cyber world they helped create, millennials buy clothes from an app and follow the “influencers.” Trying to set opinion and have a non-perishable look at the same time, they are in the search of durable fabrics and timeless clothes. For a brand to succeed in between these purchasing parameters, it should be involved in environmental sustainability and social responsibility.


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by Patricia Sterman

That can be established by choices of materials and labor practices, as well as ecodonations or environmental campaigns. Authenticity, durability and sustainability … those are the things that really matter. The outside look changes fast with everyday posts on social media, but the “soul” of the brand is what keeps this generation next to you. Millennials prefer highquality products and a classic look, making brands like Patagonia, North Face and Fjallraven the most popular among this new generation. Like everything else in the world they are evolving in, millennial preferences change quickly. It’s crucial to continue to engage these customers to understand their emotions, attitudes and intent. Customized classics with personalizing options are being offered by more and more companies. It’s the answer to fashion designed for the century’s new leaders.

Like everything else in the world they are evolving in, millennial preferences change quickly. Photos: Paul German

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Investing in Guanacaste: Look ahead!

by Fabricio Riggioni

I see a lot of great opportunities in Guanacaste.


an José is Costa Rica’s capital and most populated city, filled in recent years with hundreds of trendy restaurants, creative residential projects and a big traffic problem that desperately needs a solution. All these are signs — some good and some not — of an important city on the rise. Now, let me describe San José 20 years ago. It used to be a “city” filled with vacant land, where you could see cattle and coffee farms everywhere. Today, those lots are occupied with 30-story buildings. A few private schools back then have now turned into a vast list of education options. You could count with one hand the number of shopping malls that existed in the 1990s. Also at that time, getting to Guanacaste from San José was still a bit of a headache … definitely a bumpy road for the car. Looking back, I can see a lot of similarities between San José 20 years ago and what Guanacaste is like now. What a great time 2019 is for an investor to be in Guanacaste! Talk about a rural area becoming the most desired destination of the world, just in the last 10 years. I believe

this is a great year to look at your investment master plan and reorganize according to your needs. That might mean looking ahead at the overall development Guanacaste is undergoing. Having a well-balanced portfolio is the key to achieving your investment goals. The time to diversify your portfolio is when facing dynamic changes in a location such as Guanacaste. A mix of short and long-term investments, alongside a mix of cashgenerating properties, is the way to go. A diversified portfolio is great when managing the rough times as well. Economic downturns will always be in the picture, so be ready to face them and come out ahead. Technology has played a huge role in Guanacaste’s growth. A few years back, the majority of buyers were retired people and second home buyers. Also, investors were not as savvy and made a lot of rookie mistakes in this area. Today it’s another game! Young entrepreneurs from all over the world are looking at us, lots of Ticos from the city are moving here every day and we are seeing a more financially

educated investor “playing” the market. Technology has enabled people to be free and live wherever they want; data is available only seconds away and buyers and sellers can communicate more efficiently. A good investor knows how to process all this information and take advantage of it when making important decisions. I see a lot of great opportunities in Guanacaste for the next decade. We need more housing inventory allocated to long-term rentals. We need more housing projects taking advantage of solar energy and innovative designs. We need to be responsible in the overall design of projects and fight for smart infrastructure. As an investor, you also have a great responsibility, which is to take good care of Costa Rica’s natural resources while playing an active role in Guanacaste’s development and growth in the interest of its citizens. I’m really excited to see what the decades from 2019 to 2029 are going to look like. I’m a true believer that the great mix of people and nationalities in this small piece of the world can produce something great for all.

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


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Opportunity of the Month








10 MIN

15 MIN

59 MIN

$259,000 2,100m2 Lot 420m2 House 4 Bed 3 Bath

Casa Congos

by Fabricio Riggioni


asa Congos is a beautiful secluded property built in 2008, located in the developing community of Marbella, Costa Rica. The 420 m2 four-bedroom, three-bathroom house sits on a 2,100 m2 lot that is four minutes from the main beach.


Financial Analysis

Casa Congos is a prime investment for the short or longterm. As a flip property, Nativu sees a short-term gain of 15-25 percent. • • • •

Asking price is $259,000 Average land price in the area is $30 m2 Conservative land assessment: $63,000 Building/structure assessment: $378,000

Predominant construction materials are cement and teak. Average construction expense in Guanacaste is $700 to $1,500 m2. To build Casa Congos today would require a conservative estimate of $900 per square meter. Current market value = $63,000 + $378,000 = $441,000 Asking price / current market value: 58,7%

Buying at 58.7 percent will allow room to invest in value added features to improve the property for a successful flip. Additional value investment suggestions - Install pool - Building improvements - Add landscaping and gate Total

$20,000 $ 5,000 $ 1,500 $26,500

Total investment $259,000 + $26,500 = $285,500 Nativu forecasts a 15-25% profit

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Contact Nativu for detailed breakdown. +506 8301-0663 |

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Conchal National Mixed Wildlife Refuge RETREAT

Connecting with Nature and Each Other

by Nicole Rangel

Nothing we saw could be taken for granted as being timeless.


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ucked away in the back corner of Reserva Conchal is an untouched paradise, providing an essential habitat for migratory birds, traveling monkeys and endangered species. It was an idyllic setting recently for Howler Troop members to enjoy a team building event unlike anything we could imagine. When making reservations for a two-hour guided hike through the Conchal National Mixed Wildlife Refuge, we had no idea what to expect. Our mid-December afternoon walk through a variety of distinctive but seamlessly intertwined eco-environments was both leisurely and intense. It would be hard to feel any closer to our natural surroundings, enlightened by the science that is everywhere connecting everything together. Arriving at the entrance, we were greeted by Santiago Díaz, Wildlife Refuge Coordinator, who walks the trails daily to ensure that the land remains virtually untouched except for occasional visitors like ourselves. True to form, our group of five proceeded along in a chatty and jovial manner, with Santiago quieting us at regular intervals so he could listen for familiar bird calls. We were fortunate to

see many of the different species of birds living throughout the 39.75 hectares of forest, mangrove and estuary. From the red-topped pale billed woodpecker to the elusive, but vibrant summer tanager high in the canopy to beautiful white cranes in the distant mangroves, each encounter was a captivating surprise. The double taps of woodpeckers feeding on tree trunks and the clucks and chirps of other birds flitting among the branches filled our ears with melodious concatenations. We traveled down man-cleared paths but also through deer trails and dry creek beds, navigating between rocks, roots and terrain along the way. We saw tracks for boar, deer, wild cats and lots of crab holes as we rounded the trail closer to the mangroves. We stepped over and through many monkey ladder vines and saw nature’s symbiosis all around us with bromeliads, ivies, flowers and succulents all growing on one tree. At one point along the trail running through the refuge comes the juncture where dry forest meets mangrove. The sound of waves called us closer and closer, then faded as we shifted direction further on. “Every step we took led to a surprising

Photos courtesy of Howler staff and Reserva Conchal

discovery waiting to be revealed,” says Debbie Bride, Howler copy editor. “Our guide also gave us an appreciation for what we were NOT seeing — wildlife that only appears at night or disappears in the presence of humans.” In fact, one of the most compelling take-home lessons from our nature walk at Reserva Conchal is that nothing we saw could be taken for granted as being timeless. As in many other parts of Costa Rica, this area had been razed during the deforestation efforts in the mid-20th century to make way for a potrero (cattle pasture). Just 35 years ago, the cows were removed and the land was allowed to naturally grow and change, untouched by man, into this serene space prolific with numerous plants and young, but grandiose trees including the endangered rosewood (cocobolo) tree. The cement water well and cattle feeding trough are still visible but now overgrown with roots, ferns and vines. The unspoiled wildlife refuge we were privileged

to visit is an integrated forest, wetland and beach conservation site, protected and growing day-by-day. This is thanks to the efforts of Reserva Conchal and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), a department of Costa Rica’s environmental ministry (MINAE). This nature preserve is part of what makes Reserva Conchal a community and corporate role model for conservation and sustainability. Guided tours are available by special arrangement only. Reserva Conchal residents and their guests should contact Swiss Travel Agency to book the tour and non-Reserva Conchal residents should contact Lisseth Valerio at lvalerio@reservaconchal. com to coordinate the visit. The cost is 2,000 colones per Costa Rican and $10 per foreigner. Our visit reminded us that nature is the key to our internal mindfulness and connection to the beauty around us is key in our daily lives.

Inspiring a better way of living #s earchf indh owl



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Carlos at work creating an oceaninspired sculpture like those pictured from his 2018 collection of cold forged iron pieces.

Vuelo Móbula Ray

made by the same fter more than two living being that is, decades bringing to or was, and so from life oceans and their my perspective, it needs creatures on painted canvases, nothing further." artist Carlos Hiller immersed Thinking that stone himself in a new project might be the perfect medium without straying far from his for his endeavors, Carlos marine environment. Perhaps contemplated its potential influenced by so many hours on by carrying out studies on ships traveling to and from dive pre-Columbian petroglyphs. sites, Hiller’s captivation with But it was only through a seascapes has deepened on happenstance multi-dimensional opportunity to levels. Aboard ‘Metal has a start playing with vessels whose metals that he felt essence is conflictive completely at ease constantly being relationship as a sculptor. This transformed by discovery came the elements of with the sea.’ as a result of a seawater and family gathering the weather, he and discussions with relative became fascinated by the colors Jonathan Luque, who is and textures of oxidation. From an expert in industrial the chains connecting boats welding. With Luque, the and their anchors to the hooks groundwork for Hiller’s removed from the sea, the dream took months of metal was always present. preparation. "Metal has a conflictive "When I first started relationship with the sea," shaping and creating Carlos tells us. "We relate to my sculptures, it it from a human perspective, definitely required a but it acquires its own beauty negotiation with the by telling stories of countless metal,” he recalls. waves. Metal does not fear the “Very noisy with oxide." twists, cuts, welds, With a more cuts, more longstanding desire blows, until the to create sculptures, shape is found and Hiller explored many we are copacetic. different materials. It quickly Then the metal became clear that wood did understands and not speak to him. He explains, begins to travel "When I see a tree trunk it the path we always seems perfect to me. take together." The sculpture was already Señal Humpback Whale


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Tu Habilidad de Nadar Manta Ray

With the sculptor and the metal both making concessions, Hiller's vision shines through. When the piece is finished, he then decides if the piece calls for a protective finish or he purposefully chooses to let the oxide act, so it will eventually show the passage of time. Working with marine themes, including ocean creatures and the texture of seawater, Hiller's sculptures don’t necessarily attain the perfection seen in his studio paintings. Rather, they tell epic stories … those that divers see every day: a giant manta ray leaping over a rock, a whale rising and lovingly holding its newborn breathing for the first time or fish jumping and gliding at the water's edge. Forging black iron and stainless steel, Hiller seeks very particular results with his sculptures. Using both new and recycled materials with patinas of gold, silver and copper, the piece finally

comes to fruition. "Something that amazed me is the proximity of these sculptures with music,” Carlos observes. “The vast majority of the works are — without looking for it — practically musical instruments, to the point that I am including them for percussion in my presentations of live painting." Another happy discovery Hiller has found is the connection his pieces have with the force of gravity, seeking balance through principles of core, yoga and Pilates. He explains, "When the sculptures stand up for themselves, they feel like the son who finally manages to stand on his own … almost ready to go exploring the world, or in this case, the oceans." Carlos Hiller's new creations can be viewed alongside his traditional and contemporary paintings at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery.

For more information Photos courtesy of Hidden Garden Art Gallery

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Museos del Banco Central de Costa Rica by Sylvia Barreto Benites

The city center’s famed Plaza of Culture is a splendid setting for the museums.

More information


Mon-Sun, 9:15am-5pm Cost: c2,000 locals, $13 foreigners and children under 12 free


o trip to San José should be considered complete without visiting one of its many historical museums. The Museums of the Central Bank of Costa Rica (Museos del Banco Central de Costa Rica) has two of these museums, each offering fascinating and surprising insights into some of the country’s most precious legacies. Living up to the promise of its name, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museo de Oro Precolombino) showcases the splendor of Costa Rica before the conquest of America. The intricate and delicate gold art pieces on display are a wonder to behold, telling a remarkable story of their masterfully talented creators. Some 1,500 artifacts in the collection, some dating back to AD 300, include many figurines of animals — notably frogs — as well as jewelry, erotic statutes and El Guerrero, a life-size statue of a warrior adorned with gold ornaments. The Numismatic Museum (Museo de Numismática) takes visitors on a chronological voyage back in time through the nation’s postconquest heritage of coin and paper money, starting in 1516. Some1,500 specimens were collected through the years since 1828, when the Costa Rican mint was founded. The current exhibit also explores women in printed money. The city center’s famed Plaza of Culture (Plaza de la Cultura) is a splendid setting for the museums. The bank had begun amassing

its archaeological, numismatic and visual arts collections in the 1950s with hopes of cataloging and offering future generations a cultural identity. Built in 1980, the Plaza site was envisioned as an architectural phenomenon for all times like that of the National Theater. Representing a 20th-century milestone of Costa Rican modern architecture, the building originally incorporated then-futuristic elements, including an underground structure with iconic metal vent tubes. Recently the museums have gone through some renovations, including a restructuring of the space for a better flow between exhibits and overall visitor experience. Digital technology has made it possible to add new didactic and interactive exhibits. In one instance, nine thematic units were designed for visitors to travel between past and present historical eras encompassing indigenous civilizations, migration, mining and metal production. Costa Ricans can reflect on their ancestral connections and modern conditions, as well as their relationship with nature and the impact of the Spanish conquest and colonization. Each museum’s exhibit can take a little over an hour and is a great compendium to visiting the National Theater, which is right next door and beside the National Cathedral.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of the Museum Walk (Paseo de Museos) by purchasing one ticket and visit the Museums of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, National Museum and Jade Museum for an all-inclusive price: 5,000 colones for locals and $31 for foreigners. This gives you one kilometer packed with archaeological, artistic and historic exhibitions about Costa Rican history.

Photos courtesy of Museos del Banco Central de Costa Rica


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Stories Masterfully Portray Florida Setting


by Jim Parisi


by Jim Parisi

The real main character of this novel may be the Panhandle itself, steeped in generations of poverty and tradition.

aving moved to Tamarindo from Florida in 1999, Nic Schuck cut short his stay here to help his traveling buddy get back to Florida safely after an unfortunate accident. Nic returned to Pensacola to begin teaching and started writing his first novel. “Native Moments” was a fictional account of his time in Costa Rica, with Tamarindo and surrounding area as its primary backdrop. The 2016 successful and popular publication of “Native Moments” has given Nic bragging rights as “local color” in Tamarindo. Since that time Schuck has assembled 12 of his short stories, written over the past decade, and retooled them in a more thematic format of a novel, “Panhandlers”. As its name conveys, the novel is set in the Florida Panhandle, that east-west ribbon of land just below the Alabama border, stretching south into the Gulf of Mexico. Each story stands on its own, while most are connected by recurring themes and characters, particularly Hank Ackerman and the fictional town of Sullivan. But the real main character of this novel

Tamarindo's Only New And Used BookStore 48

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may be the Panhandle itself, an area in the deep south of the U.S., steeped in generations of poverty and tradition. Nearly everyone dreams of getting out but few actually succeed. Many of those who work do so for minimum wage or by freelancing for spot jobs. And so there are get-rich-quick schemes, be they cockfight circles, dogfight rings, drug deals or petty theft. A six-pack of beer or a joint can offer quick escape too. All these elements appear in “Panhandlers,” as well as that other great escape, surfing. Nic is simply portraying an accurate scene in his novel, not a dismal one. There is a camaraderie among the characters, an allegiance. Schuck scores a bullseye describing the Sullivan pace of life, in part through his conversations and colloquialisms. He told me the idea for the title was a kind of tribute to James Joyce’s “Dubliners.” I would say the homage has been a masterful one. “Panhandlers” is available at Bookstore of the Waves in Playa Tamarindo.

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CO N T E N T S Is Costa Rica Your Dream Home? Cover Story

Photo courtesy of Mar Vista

FAMILY IN TOW TO CR Moving to CR Series


4 Pura Vida: Costa Rica Living

4 - Cover Story: Is Moving to Costa Rica Right for You? 8 - Moving to CR Series: Moving Your Family to Costa Rica 10 - Moving to CR Series: Costa Rica Your Way 12 - Moving to CR Series: Pick Your Place to Live 14 - Medical Tourism: Esthetic Treatments and Vacations 16 - Education Spotlight: The Core of Education 18 - Yoga Wisdom: Yoga and Meditation for Kids 20 - Mindfulness: Creativity and Consciousness 22 - Spanish: Unlocking Pronouns 24 - Animal Life: Boarding Facility for Rescue Cases

8 27 Dining Guide






28 - Playas del Coco - Coconutz Bar & Grill 28 - Playas del Coco - Che Sirloin Steak House & Grill 28 - Simply Spanish: Table Talk 29 - Las Catalinas - Sentido Norte 30 - Surfside / Potrero - Nasu Restaurant 30 - Surfside / Potrero - The Beach House 31 - Brasilito - Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar & Restaurant 32 - Flamingo - Margaritaville: 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar 32 - Flamingo - Margaritaville: Banana Wind Cafe 32 - Flamingo - Margaritaville: Capriccios Pizza Bistro & Cafe 33 - Flamingo - Marie’s Restaurant 33 - Flamingo - Vaca Loka Italian Restaurant 33 - Huacas - La Playita Restaurant 34 - Huacas - New York Pizza 34 - Villarreal - Black Stallion 34 - Playa Grande - Pots & Bowls 34 - Tamarindo - The Roof 35 - Tamarindo/Langosta - El Barco 35 - Tamarindo - Barefoot 36 - Palm Beach - Bula Bula

Read all current and past articles online 2

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by Rachel Cherry White


osta Rica is one of the most sought-after destinations for retirees, singles and families looking for a new place to live. Year after year, it tops lists of “Best Places to Retire” and “Best Places for Expats.” No less than three times in the last decade, it’s scored highest on the planet’s happiest countries index. But what makes it so?

Yes, it's paradise

Before deciding to relocate here, it’s important to determine whether you can afford the lifestyle you want. 4

The weather, the people and just the vibe of the place make Costa Rica completely intoxicating. Many people come looking to flee the rat race back home. Be it politics, consumerism or keeping up with the Joneses, they feel the need to escape. And they do find respite here. Things move more slowly; no one is in a rush. There is so much beauty to behold —a waterfall here, a toucan there. Ticos are renowned as some of the friendliest and most helpful people on earth. Another factor luring many to Costa Rica is the sustained absence of an army and presence of a stable democratic government. “My heart has always yearned for a tropical climate and slow-paced beach life,” says Marissa Floyd, who moved here with her husband and two young children two years ago. “Costa Rica has the weather I crave and the lifestyle I want for my family.” Few would argue that the climate is divine, with an average year-round temperature of 80°F. There is a dry season and a rainy season, with many preferring the latter “green season” because a couple hours of afternoon rain makes flowers bloom and everything look lush. For those preferring a more temperate climate, the Central Valley has somewhat cooler temperatures and year-round flora.

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With the new “Digital Nomad” trend gaining traction, plenty of folks are able to retain the same job they had in their home countries by doing everything remotely. WiFi quality is good in major cities and serviceable everywhere else making this an easy option. Others dream of buying a seaside restaurant or operating a hotel. It is fairly easy to open a business — requiring only a tourist visa to do so — which makes it enticing for entrepreneurs. Make sure to do research and have a good business plan. It is worth noting that a business can employ no more than 10 percent of its workforce as foreigners. Some move to Costa Rica because of its health care system, consistently rated one of the best in the world and relatively inexpensive too. Expats who establish residency are eligible for universal Caja health care insurance coverage by paying a small, sliding scale fee. This enables them to receive treatment at any government hospitals or clinics throughout the country. Otherwise, privately delivered health care services in Costa Rica cost about one-quarter of what people in the United States would pay. Some patients come here specifically to receive services they cannot access in the U.S., including stem cell treatments for certain illnesses.

Things to consider

Costa Rica isn’t right for everyone. First of all, are there things you can’t live without? Then it may not be the place for you. Do you make twice weekly Target runs? There are no Target stores in Costa Rica. Nor will you even get your Starbucks fix outside the capital city of San José. So if you are someone who doesn’t like making compromises, think long and hard about taking up residence here. Also, keep in mind the requirement for

Besides Costa Rica's "maintenance-free" roads, expect the unexpected anywhere, even in your own driveway. If you were bothered by neighbors not picking up after their dog, Costa Rica may not be for you. But, beauty is around almost every bend.

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keeping your tourist visa up to date: you have to leave the country every 90 days. Most people drive or take a group shuttle to either of the bordering countries, Nicaragua or Panama. Others take advantage of relatively cheap flights to destinations like Colombia or Mexico. From an overall expense standpoint, living in Costa Rica is hardly inexpensive. Before deciding to relocate here, it’s important to determine whether you can afford the lifestyle you want. Cost of living varies depending on where you live; the closer you are to the beach, the more expensive it usually becomes. Talk to people who live in the area you’re looking at. How much do they spend on groceries? Average rent? A night out? Take these things into consideration so there are no surprises when you take the plunge. And don’t forget about your startup costs. For renting, you’ll need the first and last month's amount, plus security deposit. If you want to buy a home, mortgages for non-residents are very rare, so you’ll probably need cash. Unless you live in a town where you can walk or take taxis, you’ll need to purchase a car. Again, loans are difficult to get, so you may need to have cash on hand or find a place that takes credit cards. This is why you see many expats driving turn-of-the-century cars. If you have children, school is a huge factor. Costa Rica’s public education system is not like that in North America, and most expat families choose to enroll their children in private international schools. The costs can add up. Are you scared to drive on less-thanperfect roads? Costa Rica is notorious for bad roads and drivers. The drivers in the metropolitan area blast you with horns, roaring motorcycles and yields on red. Stretches of unpaved dirt, mud, and gravel, single-lane bridges and rivers that sweep cars away are par for


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the course. And all of these must always be shared with pedestrians, cyclists, farm and construction vehicles and all types of animals. But then, if your ideal traffic jam is a herd of wandering cows, you have found the right place. Last but not least, expect otherwise normal days in Costa Rica when your electricity and/or water stops for no apparent reason. It happens all the time and people make do.

All or nothing proposition?

The how-to aspects of moving here are up to you. Some people decide to leave their household goods in storage and rent out their existing home for a year or two, bringing little more than suitcases with clothes to Costa Rica, before deciding whether a move is right for them. Others take bolder measures in putting all of their furniture and belongings into a Costa Rica-bound shipping crate. Shipping rates vary but generally range from between $6,000 and $15,000 for a 15to 20-foot container from the U.S. to Costa Rica. Others bite the bullet, sell everything and move down with only their checked bags. These folks usually rent a furnished space, at least at first, until they’re able to purchase their own things. All things considered, Costa Rica offers no end of reasons for being the happiest place on earth … ask any of the estimated over 400,000 foreigners now living here. Whether drawn by the people, the sunshine or the lifestyle, they have found the allure irresistible. Turn your dreams into a reality, live on vacation every day. Pura vida. The CR Biz article on page 30 in the main magazine "Only Fools Rush In,” elaborates on some of the key decisionmaking factors for moving to Costa Rica, particularly financial aspects.

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What to Really Expect Moving Your Family to Costa Rica

by Nicole Rangel


ost people would agree that moving is a major life stressor, but moving to another country with children adds on more layers of stress. When moving to Costa Rica with our children, I found that I was not the only one with the same questions, concerns and hopes. Each family story is unique, but we all strive for a similar outcome. Here are a few things to expect when moving to Costa Rica with children.


You will go crazy in Costa Rica unless you tame that type-A personality. 8

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Your family will become really close

Most people who move to Costa Rica downsize in some way, which means smaller homes and usually one or no family vehicle. This results in lots of time together in smaller spaces and moving around to activities as a family more often. If you move to an area where you don’t know anyone, many parents are pleased to find that siblings play together more and family meals become routine. A common conversation topic among couples is whether all the additional togetherness with your partner is making or breaking your relationship.


Safety is overrated

One reality in Costa Rica is that despite the many laws and regulations, you will still see babies riding on motorcycles, kids on teetertotters, children serving beers in restaurants, and a bunch of people standing in the back of trucks. It is very common to plan playdates and totally

forget to exchange car seats, get phone numbers or even know exactly where someone lives. And definitely do not look at the kitchen of any soda if you have food safety concerns.


Finding support wherever you go

From the moment you entertain the idea of moving to Costa Rica, you can join one of hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to living here. Ask one question and a plethora of answers and offers to help follows. Some of these turn into offline conversations and even in-person meetings. It is even more special when you can be the one offering support and answers to those eager to live this life in paradise. This support also transcends into your everyday life in Costa Rica. Whether someone helps shuttle you to the nearest city when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere or jumps in to translate for you when setting up a utility, Ticos go out of their way to help in the best ways. When you befriend one of them, you have a friend for life.


Rely on the unreliable

From communication with your kids’ school to the availability of electricity, you never know what you will get. You set up a time for your house cleaner to come every week, but yet she often shows up on a different day and/or time. The dance recital was supposed to start at 7, but it is now 7:30 and the curtains are just rising.

Playdates are made on the spot and birthday parties planned a week in advance. This is not due to a lack of social life or planning, it is due to loving the moment and people in your life right now. You will go crazy in Costa Rica unless you tame that type-A personality.


Bugs, bugs and more bugs


Welcome to the ‘80s


World view is truly worldly


Kids play with each other

The Animals

There are so many bugs in Costa Rica! Army ants that swoop in cleaning up every surface. Lice infections you can’t brush away. Stomach bugs that plague your whole family. From creepy crawlies to bacteria, you will encounter so many kinds of pests while living here. But hey, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, right? It is true that life is simpler here. Kids get dirty playing outside for hours and there is less stress about testing, rushing to/from after-school activities and keeping up with the Joneses. But that also comes at a price. It’s not uncommon in the Tico culture to brush off common bullying behavior, use female-demeaning language and dismiss responsibility for mistakes. This can be downright infuriating, especially if your child is having any social problems at school. Just take a chill pill, dude. You might have moved to Costa Rica to give your family a better world view, expecting the socialization and schooling with Ticos to change your children’s ideas of needs, wants, happiness and contentment. Then you find yourself surrounded by not only Ticos but families from the Americas and Europe too. You realize the new world view you sought has truly become worldly. The blessing of exposing your children to multiple languages is amazing until you realize they have picked up more bad words in Spanish and French than usable phrases. You will also find the heartache that comes with this worldly community: people come and go often, and finding friends who stay can be difficult. Over and over again, I am amazed at how diverse our friend circle is, but I am most elated by how kids play differently here. Children, pre-teens and teens all play together regularly, regardless of gender, language, nationality or age. Take a group of mixed-age kids to the beach and throughout the day, you will see everyone partner up with a different kid in the group at some point. Watching a French teenager build a sand castle with an Argentine 3-year-old, or a group of boys and girls who just met team up to play a pick-up game of fúbol, makes you wonder — where in adulthood do we lose those socialization skills it takes to be productive world leaders? Best of all, moving to Costa Rica is about unleashing expectations, being uncomfortable and learning through it all … for kids and adults. By showing your children that you are struggling, learning and adapting just like them, you are modeling life behaviors too few people learn these days. Embrace the tranquila life and enjoy the unexpected.

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When things get difficult, remind yourself what it was that drew you here in the first place.


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n the morning of Jan. 7, 2010, I arrived at Miami International Airport with nearly everything I owned, including a surfboard I had acquired, a Maine coon cat that had acquired me, and a suitcase filled with books. I had a one-way ticket to San José, a lease in a beach town I had only briefly visited once, a tight six-month budget, no job, no Spanish skills, and a level of confidence that can only be attributed to the unshakeable belief that the life I had imagined for myself was in Costa Rica. I boarded that plane and never looked back. The metaphorical road ahead of me resembled the reality of many actual roads in Costa Rica — laced with potholes, lacking guardrails, heavy with hairpin turns and demanding of patience, prudence and poise. The details of my story are uniquely mine, but many of the themes and lessons are ones that are widely shared within Costa Rica’s population of foreign residents. Approximately 9 percent of the country’s 4.9 million people are from elsewhere and have relocated to Costa Rica, according to Index Mundi. Part of life here, regardless of where you decide to call home, is contingent on making mistakes, taking risks, and learning some lessons the hard way. However, many hardships, frustrations, and anxieties can be avoided or reduced when someone who has

“been there, done that” shares with you the kind of invaluable wisdom that can only be gained through experience. While the list of do and don’t tips, life hacks and advice is inexhaustibly long, these are some points worth noting if you are thinking about or in the process of moving to Costa Rica, or have just done so. As a pescatarian and produce-loving foodie, I found my food heaven here. One of the best ways to keep your food budget reasonable and take care of your health is to eat locally sourced food. Imported goods and products are expensive in Costa Rica. Take advantage of the bounty of fresh food that is grown and harvested here. As a cancer survivor who has suffered through two severe bouts of dengue fever, broken a rib, had stitches inside my ear, and sustained multiple other injuries and weird tropical ailments, I can attest that the private health care system in Costa Rica is superior. For families, retirees and really anyone considering a life in Costa Rica, it’s comforting to know that all your health care needs can be met here, and for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay in North America. Many of the private clinics and hospitals have a multilingual staff of highly accomplished medical professionals. As a car owner to a future car owner, I

Writer Jenn Parker shown in these two photos enjoying Costa Rica "her way."

advise people not to buy a cheap car. Cheap cars quickly become expensive cars. You are better off using the public bus system, taxis and friends with vehicles until you can afford a car that isn’t already on its last legs. Almost everyone who owns a car in Costa Rica has at least one nightmarish mechanic story. Make sure you do your due diligence and find a mechanic who comes highly recommended. When you find that gem of a mechanic — and they are definitely out there — form a good relationship and never let it go! From the perspective of a former teacher in Costa Rica, the private school education opportunities are inspiring. Costa Rica has a 97.8 percent literacy rate and classrooms filled with diverse populations of students, teachers, cultures and languages. There are a lot of private school choices, especially in San José, Guanacaste and the Central

Pacific area. When I first started teaching, I asked a fiveyear-old student of mine, who was born in Israel, how many languages she spoke. She replied five. I then asked her how, on top of her native language, did she know how to also communicate in English, Spanish, Italian and French? She replied, “If I didn’t, how would I be able to talk to my friends?” As someone who was seeking a slower-paced, more nature-infused and wavesaturated life, where I would actually have the time to live, Costa Rica became my spot in the world. When things get difficult, especially things that “should” be easy, it is important to remind yourself what it was that drew you here in the first place. There is no perfect place and Costa Rica is no exception. Living in Costa Rica is only “the dream” if it is truly your dream.

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Photo: John Pierpont


PICK YOUR PLACE TO LIVE by John Brockmeier

Cost of living varies a great deal among different locations.


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he mystique and adventure that Costa Rica offers are a big draw for those looking to be part of this special place. What are your deciding factors for moving here? What is your ideal living environment? Research and knowing what you want are very important. From weather and terrain to lifestyle and costs, there are many things to consider and Costa Rica offers something for everyone. Your choices of living space are among the most biodiverse in the world for a country so small. Besides boasting mountainous regions, Costa Rica also has plains and grasslands, cloud forests, jungles and some of the most pristine beaches in the world. With the exception of snow and deserts, you can surround yourself with almost any type of flora and fauna. Within these regions of the country, climate variations are also wide and diverse. Do you like rain and moisture on a regular basis? Or something in a cool mountainous area? Then the Central Valley is for you. Are you better suited for a drier climate? Or prefer beaches? Then staying closer to the Pacific or Caribbean coasts will meet your needs. Are you willing to deal with mold and humidity,

which in some places are constant? Other spots, like the northern Guanacaste region, are dry with only limited months of rain during what is affectionately referred to as green season. The rest of the year is dry and can be very dusty. Each location has its own calling for different preferences. Knowing yourself well and doing your own research from that angle is invaluable when making such big decisions.

The good life – what does yours look like?

What kind of lifestyle are you looking for? Beach life, seclusion, city amenities or a little of everything? It’s important to identify your specific likes and dislikes before picking a place. San José and surrounding areas are the closest to a truly bustling urban life you will find in Costa Rica. All the other areas are spotted with smaller cities and pueblos, each with its own unique personality. Also think carefully about the kind of social life are you want: the expat experience of living in a multicultural place, or full Tico immersion? Is there shopping close by, or are you ok with stocking up during less frequent trips for supplies? If you have children, what type of schools are available in your desired area?

SIMPLY SPANISH by Sylvia Barreto Benites and Spanish For Expats

Buying and Renting Terms alquilar — to rent Housing design options are as varied as the geographic locations throughout Costa Rica. Choose wisely!

Are they accredited, and if so, what form of accreditation? And for anyone, whatever place you have in mind, your safety and security should take highest priority. Cost of living varies a great deal among different locations. In resort areas, prices of housing, food and clothing can be as much as 30 to 50 percent more than in other regions. Access to groceries, clothing and restaurants can be limited depending on where you live. These are not only important budget considerations but also factors when purchasing real estate. If you are in a high-traffic area, real estate is more expensive but you

will probably be able to resell your property faster. Somewhere off the beaten path might be a fast purchase and seem like a steal, but when you are ready to sell, it might take a long time for an interested buyer to come along. Life is not all wrapped up in a basket with a bow and plopped on your lap. There are pluses and minuses to each area of Costa Rica. You learn very fast how to deal with things here and accept those that cannot be changed. There are so many options for finding your paradise. Consider what makes you happy and go on your quest.

alquiler — the rent or rental of something (car, house, etc.) amueblado — furnished apartamento — apartment balcón — balcony cabinas —apartments, condos carta de agua — water concession letter casa — house catastro — land survey cerca de — close to comunidad residencial — residential community con/sin aire acondicionado — with/without air conditioning condominio — condominium contrato — contract escritura de traspaso — transfer of conveyance deed folio real — number assigned to each property that proves registration in the national registry habitaciones — bedrooms impuestos municipales — municipal taxes lavandería — laundry metros cuadrado — square meters mudarse — to move piscina — pool poder — power of attorney propietario — landlord uso de suelo — zoning permissions vecino — neighbor Useful Phrases ¿Se permiten animales domésticos? — Do you allow pets?


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ESTHETICS a Prominent Face of Medical Tourism by Dra. Paula Avila Leiva Pacific Medical Clinic


Treatments and Vacations Mutually Compatible

‘You can go out walking soon afterwards without having to hide from the sun for long periods.’

14Paula | #sAvila earchLeiva findhowl| online Dra.


s one of the world’s most popular medical tourism destinations, Costa Rica offers no end of accessible and affordable options for services and treatments. In cases where recovery time and follow-up care pose little or no inconvenience, there is no better place to enjoy an unforgettable vacation while tending to your health and wellness needs. Esthetic treatments are one of the best examples of the win-win benefits that are attracting a growing number of tourists and local clients alike to Guanacaste facilities like Pacific Medical Clinic, operating in Liberia since 2012 and for five years in Tamarindo. Three commonly sought facial rejuvenation treatments are explained in this article, all well suited to a beach-loving lifestyle. These are procedures that have immediate results without interrupting your

favorite activities. You can go out walking soon afterwards without having to hide from the sun for long periods of time.

Botulinum toxin

Commonly known by the trade name Botox, this is the most highly recommended treatment for facial skin rejuvenation. Its application by injection is fast and safe, with results that are often surprising! There are no contraindications for sun exposure or activities such as boating or swimming. The advantages of a refreshed look become Results from Hyaluronic acid treatment.

visible within 30 minutes. While resting and relaxing on the beach, your face is transforming for perfect vacation photos. A bonus for many tourists is that botox treatments in Costa Rica cost less and access is more convenient than in other parts of the world.

Platelet rich plasma

This famously known treatment makes cell regeneration possible while you vacation! Pacific Medical Clinic is equipped, in compliance with high safety standards, to stimulate facial rejuvenation through the use of your own blood cells in a therapeutic serum. The results of a single session of a facial illumination are 100 percent natural looking and compatible with your skin type, generating changes lasting for weeks. The facial plasma application technique is delicate and fine, in an effort to avoid bruising and inflammation. The recovery period is generally 24

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hours or as long as 48 hours maximum. Most patients are suitable candidates for the procedure, with very few exceptions.

Hyaluronic acid facial filler

Imagine showing up for your next local tour with no more sad and tired face! The application of this remarkable product immediately eliminates the so-called marionette grooves on the facial skin, as well as the appearance of deep circles under the eyes. The filler procedure takes about 30 minutes and the favorable results of improved eye contour last up to a year. Pacific Medical Clinic offers these services in Liberia and Tamarindo by appointment only. For information, call 506.2667.0767 or email to




by Nicole Rangel


Educarte's Electives Spark Learning


hroughout the world, interest in “elective” educational options is being overridden by a stronger focus on core subjects like math, reading and science. Many educational programs “teach towards the test,” emphasizing that students must be able to not only pass, but also excel at, standardized or college entrance exams. This comes at a time when STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is the way of the future, but also at a cost. Today, more and more students globally are entering higher education with no real direction, spending years in what many experience as an endless loop of education funk. When most people consider moving to Costa Rica with their children, there is a huge concern about the quality of education. But it is not the relatively limited scope of education mentioned above. Instead, most are seeking educationally enriched days full of activities, play and socialization that are often missing in schools back home. Parents recognize that pursuits such as art, music, theater and sports are at the center of developing a well-rounded citizen of the world. One school in the Guanacaste area, Educarte, is committed to children developing their own core values, talents and learning styles. While cycling through a variety of classes that are sadly becoming obsolete in many countries, Educarte students are offered electives to enhance their experiences.


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Electives part of standard curriculum Each week, students receive at least one hour of instruction — if not two hours— in art, music, swimming and physical education. These not only complement the so-called core classes, but are actually considered part of Educarte’s standard curriculum. In addition, students also take elective classes on a monthly basis. The idea is quite simple. Each month, all the students at Educarte sit down with their teacher and decide what workshops (taller in Spanish) or electives they want. This begins in first grade and runs through high school, when teens benefit from having greater control in pursuing a chosen academic path. Students attend one-hour sessions in their selected taller twice a week. Talleres can be similar to other regular classes such as soccer, crafts or Educarte band. Others may fully be expanded in multifaceted disciplines ranging from healthy food cooking and collaborative games to Math Club, drama and origami. The taller program is loosely based on psychologist Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI). Gardner believed in eight intelligences or ways of learning. Using and strengthening these intelligences helps each student develop new skills and learning techniques. Most children

have a dominant intelligence, with a secondary one supporting their learning path. Educarte’s approach in offering talleres focuses on these eight intelligences. Educators here believe that their students will not only open up their learning capabilities but also find new activities and friends they enjoy.

Favorite ways to learn and enjoy With each taller they complete, month by month, individual students not only understand more about how they learn best, but also what they enjoy. This translates to the classroom setting, where teachers are equipped with many tools to help the students learn in different ways such as visual, auditive and/or hands-on instruction. Within the teaching discipline, schools ideally seek ways that fit children’s intrinsic needs. Educarte strives to achieve this simply through a multilingual education that promotes civic responsibility, emotional wellness and learning adeptness. The taller program is offering kids choices, developing skills and discovering new talents.

To find out more about Educarte, email or call (506) 2653-6363.

Embracing Opportunities Leaders of the Future

Making a Difference • (506) 2653- 6363

HOWLER Read all current and past articles online

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Odry’s Massage Massage Pedicure

Manicure Waxing

Tamarindo - main intersection, above Tamarindo Transfer & Tours Daily, 9am-6, call for appointment, walk-ins welcome 2653-0939

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Practicing Yoga and Meditation

by Giannina Olivares

Even 20 minutes is long enough to help kids relax and navigate their inner space and imagination.


n our stress-filled world, it has become increasingly common for children to be affected, even here in the paradise of Costa Rica. Stressors for kids can include school, difficult people or any situation lasting long enough to be perceived as stressful. Yoga and meditation have proven effective tools to help reduce stress in adults and kids alike. By lowering levels of cortisol in the body — the socalled stress hormone that functions as nature’s built-in alarm system — yoga encourages relaxation. The impact is felt in the body as well as the mind, improving balance, strength and flexibility. Scientists have found that meditation lowers blood pressure and helps improve other physical functions. In her book “Sensational Meditation for Children,” Sarah Wood Vallely explores the many advantages of teaching children to meditate. Some children told her that meditation helps them prepare for tests and sport events, or it improves their relationships with their parents, friends and siblings. Others said they like meditation because “it makes them feel good when they are sad.” Teachers who build meditation into their lesson plans report favorable outcomes that include a more peaceful classroom environment. Their students have demonstrated reduced test anxiety, more positive peer relationships and enhanced anger management skills. Meditation is a big word and mature concept. It might seem like a difficult fit with the super active

world of children, but not when we consider the depths of their incredible imaginations. For those daring to take that journey, meditation is just a blink of an eye away. Ideally, it occurs in a space filled with music and games that guide kids through yoga philosophy, poses, mindfulness and relaxation. This helps them explore and connect to the inner and peaceful space we all have inside. A childrens' yoga class may last from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the context and age of group members. The class outline will always include an initial mantra meditation, followed by sun salutations, song or activity, asana practice and final relaxation. Even 20 minutes is long enough to help kids relax and navigate their inner space and imagination, while opening themselves to practices of peace and love. In my experience, most kids love to do yoga and meditate; it is very natural and intuitive to them. Children are happy and open to trying breathing exercises, mantras and meditation. They can be enthusiastic and active while challenging their bodies, with asanas providing a learning balance. “Peace begins with me” is the mantra for so-called “kidding around” yoga. It promotes understanding of the most important aspect: giving kids the resources to calm down, control frustration and live peacefully while growing up to fully develop their own personal yoga and meditation practice. Let it sink in your intellect and be digested by your intuitive self.

Giannina teaching a Karma yoga class for CEPIA at the Movement Dance Studio. Photo: Giannina Olivares


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The Yoga Shala at RipJack Inn

Classes Workshops Retreats

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(506) 2653-1636



Creativity and Consciousness MINDFULNESS


by Marian Paniagua


e live in potent times, when unrelenting stimuli can make our mental world a crowded and noisy place. We experience it in different degrees from our own unique perspectives, spiritual points of view and levels of awareness. But what we have in common is the deep desire for fulfillment, with the belief that being fulfilled will make us feel better and happier. We make lists of goals, recite mantras and affirmations every day to program ourselves for greatness or sign up for the latest online master class to beat procrastination. Meanwhile, we can easily lose sight of the underlying desire itself. Human beings have a boundless capacity for creation. We create using our minds, our actions and our words with the power of focus and intention. Ideas flow to us moment by moment from a limitless source of information and creativity. Our brain, as the legendary Nikola Tesla said, is only a receiver. Something powerful happens when we cultivate a habit of presence through the practice of meditation and mindfulness: our internal dialog quiets down and the mental turbulence disappears. This makes it easy to transcend to higher levels of awareness that distinguish human beings from other species. From that space we are able to see the interconnectedness between

everything. Now we advance to a different level of creativity. We start creating our life in sync with the laws of nature, with ease and purpose. Every thought, word and action is impregnated with the consciousness that creates nature as well as the material world we see. We observe Mother Nature creating herself with ease, without hurry and with exquisite precision. Now, remember that we are a part of nature; therefore, we can also create with ease and precision, and with no expectation other than the pleasure of creating to express our essence. My suggestion is to make silence a daily habit. Find a quiet place to withdraw from any and all activities and give yourself the opportunity to experience silence. Don’t make this a quest or an additional bullet point on your list of goals. The extreme simplicity of practicing silence can tempt our logical mind to overthink and make this practice complicated. With loving compassion, observe and acknowledge this urge to over-analyze. Be absolutely okay with it, and again sit back and retract. Soon you will start recognizing the creative flow of ideas that come to your awareness. They will point you to inspiration and conscious creation.

We observe Mother Nature creating herself with ease, without hurry and with exquisite precision.


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Unlocking Pronouns T here is a key rule for reading Spanish: DO NOT try to translate word for word in your head. Instinctively, you will want to, but it’s not a good idea. Invariably, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a sentence completely baffled. That’s because English and Spanish sentences don’t have the same structure; the words are in a different order. To overcome this Spanish learning challenge, you should read each sentence in your head as a whole. Pick out the words you know and allow your mind to logically put them together. Until your mind is trained to do these sentence translation calisthenics automatically, resist the urge to translate one word at a time.

Understanding Object Pronouns

Also try not to slam the page shut on this grammar talk and crawl into a fetal position waiting until it stops. Bear with me for a moment as I try to make it as painless as possible. By “it,” I’m referring to little words just like it in Spanish right before the verb … that until now you’ve just avoided and pretended don’t exist. How cool would it be to simply say the word “it” like in English? Think about it … how do you say “it” in Spanish? Such an important little word, so let’s deal with it. Please follow me into pronoun town.

The structure changes when you start replacing the object nouns with pronouns by placing them before the verb. 22

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By simple definition, a pronoun takes the place of a noun. Spanish pronoun town has many different inhabitants. We will focus on a trio of pronouns that are a bit troublesome.

Lo, La and Le

They might sound like the chorus of a quaint 1980s song, but they are pronouns. They take the place of nouns in a sentence that answer the questions “what?” (direct object) or “to whom?” (indirect object). Example: The boy gives the ball to the dog. What does the boy give? the ball (direct object noun) = it (direct object pronoun) To whom does he give it? the dog (indirect object noun) = him (indirect object pronoun) In English, we simply replace the nouns with the pronouns and keep on trucking: The boy gives it to him. In Spanish, it’s trickier. The base sentence has the same structure as in English: El chico da la pelota al perro (The boy gives the ball to the dog). However, the structure changes when you start replacing the object nouns with pronouns by placing them before the verb. In Spanish, the ball is la pelota (direct object noun). For the direct object pronoun (it), we drop pelota but keep la:

by Sylvia Barreto Benites El chico la da al perro. If the direct object noun you are replacing is masculine, the it pronoun becomes lo. Example: El chico da el palo (the stick) al perro = El chico lo da al perro. Using our original sentence, El chico da la pelota al perro (The boy gives the ball to the dog), let’s explore the Spanish le as the indirect object pronoun (it) replacing al perro (the dog): The boy gives the ball to him = El chico le da la pelota. Note: the indirect object pronoun le can be translated as to him or to her, regardless of whether the noun being replaced is masculine or feminine. Now, if you are still with me, prepare to have your mind blown. To say The boy gives it to him, here’s what happens: El chico se la da. Le becomes se whenever it precedes lo or la, but only when they are together. If you haven’t already gone off to pour yourself a stiff drink, I leave you with this advice for reading in Spanish: those pronouns you see before the verb (me, te, se, le, lo, la, nos, los, las or les) are receiving the action. Jump over them, figure out what the verb is doing and then swing back to see who or what the action is aimed at. As suggested before, read the full sentence first, start working with the words you know and let your brain figure out the structure.

Pondering Pronouns Yo doy el palo al perro. I give the stick to the dog

Le doy el palo. I give him the stick.

Lo doy al perro. I give it to the dog.

Se lo doy. I give it to him.

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A Place In Between

By Dr. Gilberth Cavallini

Boarding Facility for Rescue Cases ANIMAL LIFE


This meets a critical need in the community that may not be readily apparent even to most animal lovers. Thanks to donations from caring animal lovers, rescued dogs like these will soon have a new place to stay while becoming ready for adoption. Photos: Schantz Productions

s many Howler readers are aware, Hospital Veterinario Cavallini has been working to help Guanacaste communities in various ways over the years. Animal rescue cases are an important focus of our efforts in providing special discounts to caring individuals and groups who do what they can with limited resources. The late Dawn Scott in Flamingo was an early role model for this kind of partnership with dedicated volunteers helping animals in need. Dawn’s outstanding example has since been followed by the leaders of groups we are privileged to collaborate with: Barbara Deppe with Barbara's Animal Rescue Clinic, Linette Matamoros at Yo Seré Su Voz Guancaste and Doris Luby of Homeless and Helpless. These registered non-profit charitable organizations rely on donations to make such a remarkable impact on animal well being. A current priority needing attention and financial support is the boarding facility we are building for rescued dogs. The boarding facility is designed for dogs recovering from non-infectious illnesses to stay during their transition to being ready for adoption in the near future. They have a chance to gain weight and strength being fed a healthy diet, while also getting used to being around people and other dogs. Also while boarding here, some of the dogs are being treated for skin conditions and common diseases like tick fever. This rescue dog boarding facility meets a critical need in the community that may not be readily apparent even to most animal lovers. As always, our

clinic will continue to provide treatment services for rescue cases at a discount, with donations covering the cost. However, we cannot afford the expenses of operating an animal rescue shelter for long-term or permanent boarding. For example, there are building maintenance costs for services such as electricity and water. At least one staff person is needed on-site 24-7 to care for the animals, including regular walks and weekly baths. Properly registered volunteers are always welcome to assist. The boarding facility project has been led by architect Amaya Artiñano, who previously managed the creation of our clinic and Dogs Hotel. The new boarding facility currently consists of cages at our property, where the roof and basement are in place. Construction of the facility is nearing completion, with the costs being covered by our own resources and donations from clients and friends. Comaco assisted with preparing a list of building materials and supplying them at a special discount to support the cause. Reserva Conchal has been involved with donations and volunteer work. We appreciate any donation you are willing to make, either in person at our front reception desk or to the following account: 100-01-060-000835-6, Banco Nacional, Hospital Veterinario Cavallini, Cedula Juridica: 3-101-455763. Please indicate on your donation: “Boarding Facility for Rescue Cases” or contact us directly. We are willing to credit sponsors for regular maintenance of the project. As always, a tax receipt will be issued for all contributions.

Help Stray and Wild Animals – Adopt • Donate • Volunteer 24 | #searchfindhowl| onlinecall: (506) 2652-9009 • email:



You are invited to attend the 6th Annual

DOG DAY AFTERNOON AT LUCY’S Sunday, March 24, 2019 • 4:00 - 7:00 PM

WIN, WIN OPPORTUNITY Great Raffle Prizes and 50/50 Draw to be won SILENT AUCTION Bid on some really good stuff from local businesses FOOD AND DRINK SPECIALS Eat & drink to your heart's content

Live Entertainment by PINKY

MIX AND MINGLE Join with family, friends & neighbors for a great evening and a great cause BARBARA'S CORNER Novelty pet items, organic pet treats, unique gifts for dog & cat lovers!



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DENTAL Advanced family, implant and cosmetic dental services

Call or email to schedule initial consultation Tamarindo - Garden Plaza

(506) 2215-5715 • US Toll Free (866) 978-8305 • 26

w w w . g u a n a c a s t e d

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s e n i t Valen Day! #s earchf indh owl

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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

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

Half rack or whole rack, with choice of two sides

Adobe smoked pork, pineapple salsa, local fresh cheese, house mole sauce

SIMPLY SPANISH Table Talk Perdon, me regala ____. — Pardon, can you give me ___. Permiso, me puede traer ____. — Excuse me, can you bring me ___.

Pueblito Sur #10, Las Palmas, Playas del Coco Hours Lunch/Dinner 11:00-14:30 and 17:00-21:00 Closed Wednesday Phone: 8467-7664

Che Sirloin

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


Con permiso, necesito ____. — Excuse me, I need ___. Me gustaría la carne rojo ____. I would like my meat rare ___. medio rojo — medium rare medio — medium bien cocido — well done labridor de vino — wine bottle opener asado — grilled batido — smoothie botella — bottle botella de agua — bottle of water copa — wine glass cubiertos — cutlery

Ribeye Steak

cuchara — spoon

Animal Burger 

cuchillo — knife

Served with salad or french fries

With chorizo, grilled pineapple, fried egg and bacon

Homemade Cheesecake With dulce de leche


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cucharilla — teaspoon fresco natural — fresh fruit drink

frito — fried horeado — baked jarra — pitcher jugo — juice mantel — tablecloth plato — dish, plate plato ondo — bowl servilleta — napkin tenedor — fork taza de cafe — cup of coffee vaso — glass (506) 8729 4857



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 



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-sautéed in garlic butter and white wine


Chicharrón 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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1 km east of Banco Nacional in Flamingo Hours Daily, 6:30am-9:30pm Phone: 2654-4671, 2654-5340 Specialties Fresh seafood and pasta

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.


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

Keylime Pie

Special dessert of the chef


MENU SELECTIONS 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

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

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Homemade cheesecake with blueberry topping

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.

With tropical salsa, grilled vegetables & potatoes or rice


With baby potatoes and carrots garlic buttered

The Beach House: Beachfront Dining

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

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



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

February Event Schedule 2/1 - Ladies Night

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. 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!

2/3 - Super Bowl Bash 2/8 - Ladies Night 2/6 - Concert - Cougar Love 2/12- Live music by Fatiniza 2/14- Valentine's Day Dinner 2/15- Ladies Night 2/17-Blues Festival Brunch 2/22- Ladies Night 2/23- Paint Night 2/26- Live Music by Fatiniza Check social media for updates

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MENU SELECTIONS Shaka Cevichec5,500

Serious Nachosc6,000

Fish Tacos

Avocado Fritasc5,500

The Juicy Lucy c6,500

Shrimp Tacos c5,500


Tuna Salad

Steak Tacos

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

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


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


Blackened local fish topped with mango-pineapple slaw and avocado crema

Fried or grilled shrimp tossed in a sassy pao pao sauce, topped with cabbage slaw


Marinated flank steak topped with jalapeño chimichurri and queso fresco




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

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.

A perfect blend of Costa Rican and international cuisine that includes freshly caught local fish and grass-fed beef. Enjoy the oceanfront sea breeze on the outdoor patio or dine inside in air-conditioned comfort.


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An Italian bistro with a tropical view. Choose from a selection of pizzas, pastas and paninis or build your own dish with a variety of fresh, delicious ingredients.

Hours Daily 6:30am to 9:30pm breakfast, lunch, dinner

Hours Daily 5pm to 11:30pm Pizza only from 9:30pm

Phone: 2654-4444 ext. 3269

Phone: 2654-4444 ext. 3268

Specialties Fresh fish, grass-fed beef, International buffets, kids menu

Specialties Specialty artisanal pizza oven; design your own pizzas and pastas

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 breakfast, 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

Vaca Loka:

Italian Restaurant

Hours Daily, 5:30pm-10:30pm Closed Wednesday

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

Phone: 8532-8613 Specialties Pizza, pasta, meat, fish


Eggs Benedict 


House Lasagna 

Chicken Caesar Wrap






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


Fish Tacos c7.000

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 Phone: 2653-6296 8729-5640

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.

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

Black Stallion:

Rustic Outdoor BBQ

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. 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


the roof Pizza • Bar • Sunset tamarindo, costa rica

Pots & Bowls: Main road to Playa Grande Hours Daily, 8am - 5pm Phone: 4701-2394

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

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

Hours Daily, 7:30am to midnight Happy Hours: 4pm - 7pm Phone: (506) 7240-6072 Specialties Best ocean view in town, amazing sunset, wood fire pizza, private events.

MENU SELECTIONS Choco-Banana NiceCream

4th floor above Super Compro


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!


Thin Crust Pizza

Thick Family Pizza Tuna Poke $14 Sushi rice, avocado, edamame, wakame, mango Italian Pasta


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

8 min. drive from Tamarindo, 2km south Villarreal



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

Calle Del Parque at the curve between Condo Diria and Balcones del Pacifico Hours Daily, 5:30pm to 10pm Closed Tuesdays Phone: 7006-1476 Specialties A tropical fusion experience of seafood, fish, meats, and vegetarian dishes with gluten free and vegan options Order/reserve online #s earchf indh owl

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

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

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

Calamari Crujientes (Snack) $13

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

Calamari, jumbo shrimps, mussels, Spanish chorizo, cherry tomatoes, white wine 200gr of tenderloin with a tamarind sauce over Swiss Roësti and vegetables

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.



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)



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

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

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



Hotel Capitán Suizo, Playa Tamarindo





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

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Howler Magazine Costa Rica February 2019  

Costa Rica Lifestyle, Travel and Adventure Magazine: The February 2019 Howler features the “mysterious” Monteverde Cloud Forest in its capti...

Howler Magazine Costa Rica February 2019  

Costa Rica Lifestyle, Travel and Adventure Magazine: The February 2019 Howler features the “mysterious” Monteverde Cloud Forest in its capti...

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