They say that all you need in life is a great friend and a thirst for adventure. Traveling with friends, says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, is a great way to focus on the “joy of camaraderie and increases a sense of fulfillment, confidence and resiliency.” For travelers looking to strengthen their bonds or spend quality time with their pals, Costa Rica is a destination brimming with opportunities for adventure, culture and relaxation.
Friends who travel together stay together. Those in search of cultural and natural attractions will find both in the Central Valley region. The country’s capital, San Jose, is home to many of Costa Rica’s most popular museums including the Gold Museum, Jade Museum, National Museum and the architectural jewel of Costa Rica, the National Theater. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, volcanoes and cloud forests friends can take a day trip to explore what Central Valley has to offer. The area offers numerous coffee estates, dairy farms, as well as sugarcane mills all waiting to be explored.
To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together. Those looking to enjoy the “Pura Vida” life at a more relaxed pace can head to the Limon Province in Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. The area, which is also known for its rich Afro-Caribbean culture, attracts anglers, naturists and water enthusiasts in search of unique experiences. Friends can head out bass fishing, embark on a fascinating excursion through the area’s interconnected canals or have the opportunity to witness green turtles nesting during the months of July through October at Tortuguero National Park. The area also provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy some of Costa Rica’s best beaches and picturesque parks, which are complemented by the areas inviting culture. A wide range of activities allow traveling buddies to mix adventure with natural history, present day culture, gastronomy and music.
Life was meant for good friends and great voyages. The combination of breathtaking white-sand beaches, sweeping mountain views and ideal tropical climate has made Guanacaste one of Costa Rica’s most popular regions. Located in the northwestern corner of the country, the area presents a diverse geography, active nightlife and boasts many of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches, including those found at Playas del Coco, Tamarindo and the Papagayo Peninsula. Friends can enjoy everything from snorkeling, zip lining, hiking and more. Travelers can also visit an active volcano with natural hot springs, fumaroles and majestic waterfalls at Rincon de la Vieja National Park, or visit the Nicoya Peninsula for world-class surfing, quaint towns and wonderful nature reserves.
Good friends dream of adventure. Best friends go on them together. High up in the mountains of La Fortuna, travelers have the opportunity to experience ecological tourism in a natural and picturesque environment. Visitors can set out on adventures like zip-lining, a mountain water slide, horseback riding, thermal springs and more. Guests also have access to natural hot springs, scenic trails, pristine waterfalls, bubbling volcanic mud pools and more. Visitors to the region may also enjoy exploring the inlets and mangrove swamps of the south side of the region and marvel at the arrival of the Ridley sea turtles at the Ostional Wildlife National Refuge or discover Barra Honda National Park, home to Costa Rica’s only underground caves.
From mountain ranges and rain forests to breathtaking beaches and cloud forests, Costa Rica’s diversity of landscapes, climates and natural wonders provide friends with unlimited experiences to bond, enjoy thrilling activities together and make memories to last a lifetime.
Roadside fruit stands are a delightful culinary experience not to be missed while traveling through Costa Rica. The country’s tropical climate and fertile volcanic soil create excellent conditions for a wide range of fruits to flourish. Although travelers may be familiar with fruits such as mango, papaya, pineapple, bananas, and coconut, Costa Rica offers a wide variety of nutritious and tasty tropical fruits, which stand out for their freshness and exotic flavor.
Below are the top five must-try delicacies no traveler should miss on their next trip:
The Nance is a small yellow berry with delicate skin and a white pulp. It grows in clusters, which acquire a penetrating aroma. They are sweet and slightly bitter. The tree can be found in Costa Rica’s dry forests, savannas and coastal areas, such as Alajuela, Puntarenas, and Guanacaste. Nance fruit is often used to prepare beverages, craft liquors, ice cream and desserts. It is a rich source of vitamin C and fiber.
In Costa Rica, Guaba is synonymous with luck. When someone is particularly lucky, they are called “Guabero”. Not to be confused with guava, the Guaba tree can measure up to 50 feet high and produces beautiful flowers. The fruit pods vary in size and shape, but have a woody bark that contains black seeds covered in a white cottony layer of delicate sweet flavor. Due to its flavor and texture, it is also known as the “ice cream bean.” Guabas are usually available during the rainy season and are often used as an ingredient in salads and ice cream. Its seeds are often used to create jewelry, usually necklaces or earrings, which can be found in craft markets throughout Costa Rica. This fruit is rich in vitamin C, fiber and other micronutrients.
Cas is a small round green fruit that can be found throughout Costa Rica. The skin is thin and the pulp is fleshy and juicy. Cas juice, which is made with ripe Cas, is tart—somewhat similar to lime or lemonade, but has its own unique flavor. It is a Costa Rican staple during mealtime. Cas is available throughout the year, but is most common from November to August. This fruit is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber and potassium. It is also used to make ice-cream.
Mamón Chino is an exquisite round fruit covered in an intensely bright red skin, which is protected with soft thorns. The trees grow in clusters and can reach up to 65 feet in height. Mamón Chino is typically found in the southern regions of Costa Rica, where small and large producers, especially from the Corredores area, produce high quality fruit. The sweet and juicy pulp is consumed fresh, and is the ideal ingredient for the preparation of desserts, salads and drinks. Mamón Chino is a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, vitamin A and other beneficial components for health.
Pitahaya belongs to the cactus family, is native to Mesoamerica and is also known as dragon fruit. The plant grows in dry stony areas, and is resistant to drought. In Costa Rica, it is found in tropical dry forests—mainly north of Puntarenas and Guanacaste. It is also possible to find the plant in some dry areas of the Central Valley. The Pitahaya fruit is oval-shaped with a bright pink and scaly surface. The pulp is soft and translucent, with multiple tiny black seeds—similar to that of grapes. The fresh pulp is a common ingredient in desserts, drinks, salads and ice cream. On the Costa Rican Colón, the Pitahaya appears as a symbol of the country’s natural heritage. This fruit is rich in vitamin C, iron, phosphorus, potassium and fiber; it is also a rich source of antioxidants.
But these are just a few of the many delicious fruits found in Costa Rica, the Guayaba, for instance, is similar to Cas in appearance but they are bigger in size and they are firm, they can be enjoyed by itself or can be used in juice, it is also used to make delicious jelly and jam.
Guanabana known as soursop is also widely found in Costa Rica and because of its creamy texture it is used specially for fresh juices and in ice cream.
Manzana de agua (water apple) or Malay apple is an exquisite fruit that is easy to find during the summer months in Costa Rica, many people eat it with salt, while others prefer it alone or use it to make juice.
The Caimito or “Star apple” is also commonly found in the farmer markets, it is purple and round, it has a sweet flavor with milky juices inside, it is said to have a lot of anti-oxidant properties.
Last but not least, the Jocote are easily found in Costa Rica particularly during the summer time, the small fruit can be enjoyed unripe when their taste is more tart (add salt to it) or ripe when they are juicy and sweet.
Costa Rica has a reputation for being naturally endowed—and deservedly so. But as stunning as the nation’s cloud forests, volcanoes and river gorges are, there’s more to the country than canopy tours and white-water rafting. In fact, you could craft an amazing trip entirely from the cultural offerings. Here, seven favorites that prove the point:
The National Theater in San José
Dress to the nines, sip Champagne at intermission and snap a selfie next to Beethoven’s statue when you attend a performance at the Teatro Nacional. A multicultural mashup—think Carrara marble, Belgian metalwork and local tropical-wood floors—the 1897 theater was modeled after the Paris Opera House in hopes of luring the A-list of European opera stars. The ploy worked, and this neoclassical beauty just celebrated 120 years of dazzling audiences.
The intermezzo ceiling mural of a coffee and banana harvest, painted by an Italian who never set foot in Costa Rica, is not to be missed—or judged too harshly: The coffee is shown growing in the wrong region and the bananas are upside down. Still, USA Today rated this one of the world’s best ceilings. Nab tickets for the National Symphony Orchestra from April through November, or for productions such as the International Piano Festival July 17, an all-Costa Rican concert Sept. 11 or a flamenco fest Oct. 2. Not that you need attend a show to soak in the glamour; there are also guided hourly tours.
The oxcarts of Sarchí
Two-wheeled oxcarts—known locally as carretas—are as Costa Rican as pura vida (the multipurpose saying that will make its way into pretty much every conversation you have in the country). Dating back to the 19th century, these utilitarian carts—often pulled by a pair of mighty oxen—were once used to haul coffee beans, sugar cane and tobacco from fields to market. Today, the artisan community of Sarchí honors that tradition by crafting miniature oxcarts and painting them in vivid colors and intricate patterns. You’ll find one in almost every Tico household.
In the town square, see what the Guinness Book of World Records pronounced the biggest oxcart on the planet: a 2-ton, 45-foot-long creation, about five times the size of a normal oxcart.
The Museum of Jade in San José
Think you know jade? Think again. This museum is a revelation, starting with the rainbow’s worth of shades the stone comes in. See the entire surprising spectrum as you wander through the starkly modern halls—all designed to resemble a piece of glistening jade.
Juxtaposed against this modernity are the ancient history lessons you’ll learn: From about 600 BCE to 500 CE, jade was worth more than gold. And indigenous craftsmen have long carved the stone into anklets, pendants, vessels and figurines. See more than 7,000 examples from the world’s largest collection of pre-Columbian jade. You’ll also see ancient tools and ceramic pottery (don’t miss the polychrome terra-cotta vase embedded with human teeth).
Afro-Caribbean culture in Cahuita
Sway to the rhythms of Costa Rica’s Afro-Caribbean music in the tiny beach town of Cahuita, where banjo, washtub bass and percussion players—primarily descendants of 19th-century Caribbean laborers—liven up bars and restaurants with a uniquely local brand of calypso. Cahuita even hosts an annual festival to honor local crooner Walter Ferguson, whose soulful singing made Costa Rican calypso a thing.
Want to know what pairs perfectly with the local restaurants’ calypso soundtrack? Costa Rica’s ever-popular staple, gallo pinto (rice and black beans spiced with onion and cilantro), plus Caribbean jerk chicken, rondón stew (meaning whatever the chef can “run down”) and all manner of fish and vegetables doused in coconut sauce.
The pottery of Guaitíl
Though it looks perfectly at home in a 21st-century living or dining room, the earthenware you’ll find in the hamlet of Guaitíl is the result of 5,000-year-old techniques. Local Chorotega potters still harvest mud clay in the nearby hills, then mix it with freshwater “iguana sand”—so named for the iguana eggs often laid therein. Before the clay pieces are fired, artisans decorate them with hummingbirds, toucans and other natural motifs.
Shop for your favorite design at stalls and stands near the town’s soccer field, then learn more about ancient pottery practices at the Ecomuseum of Chorotegan Ceramics in San Vicente.
The cowboy culture of Guanacaste
Call it four-hoof drive: Horses remain a hugely popular way to get around in Costa Rica, nowhere more so than in Guanacaste, where cowboy culture has thrived since the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. Celebrate the noble steeds and the sabaneros who ride them at the 133-year-old Hotel Hacienda Guachipelín, home to a Saturday rodeo of high-stepping horses, straight-backed cowboys and bull-wrestling ranch hands. You can also pitch in with ranch work during the Cowboy for a Day adventure, which starts at 5:45 a.m. with cow-milking and then might include saddling horses, herding cattle and fixing fences.
In the evenings, hit a restaurant for another infusion of local culture—performances that highlight the percussive sound of the national instrument, the marimba, a wooden cousin of the xylophone. Slurp a bowl of sopa de albondigas (spicy meatball soup) or olla de carne (meat and vegetable stew), then raise a frosty glass of Imperial to cowboys everywhere.
The ceremonial masks of Boruca
Costa Rica is famous for splendid wood carvings, but few are more intriguing than the fanciful devil masks made by the Boruca indigenous people. At the annual New Year’s Festival of the Little Devils (Fiesta de los Diablitos), Boruca villagers don painted balsa-wood masks to fight a theatrical battle against the Spaniards, collectively represented by a man in a bull costume who invariably loses.
Take a scenic drive along mountain roads to the Boruca reservation and visit its small Museo Comunitario Indigena de Boruca. Shop the museum store for devil masks, along with intricately carved gourds and hand-woven shawls and purses. Ask for permission before taking photos and be sensitive to this unique culture; the Boruca want to protect their ancient traditions while also opening up to modern tourism.
The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, the Minister of Environment and Energy, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, international guests, personnel of the Cocos Marine Conservation Area (ACMC) of the National System of Areas of Conservation (SINAC), celebrated the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Isla del Coco as a National Park.
Isla del Coco has a total area of 24 square kilometers and 12 nautical miles of absolute protection around the island, making It the biggest National Park in Costa Rica and the home to over 2600 species, 100 of which are unique in the world.
Flights to and from Guatemala Affected due to Emergency after Volcano Eruption, Check With your Airline
The Guatemala airport has remained closed since yesterday after the eruptions of Volcan de Fuego; the eruptions of the volcano which stands at 3,763 meters and is situated 35 kilometers southwest of Guatemala City caused the death of at least 25 people.
International Airport of La Aurora remained closed for several hours due to the emergency and currently is operating irregularly causing the disruption of flights to and from Guatemala.
Avianca Airlines, Copa Airlines and Volaris, which operate connecting flights to and from Costa Rica through Guatemala have announced the cancelation of several flights.
Airlines are offering their clients different options to reschedule their flights without any additional charges before specific dates.
Please contact your airline if you had a flight itinerary scheduled for this week that could be affected by this situation.
Blackbaud, Inc. is a world leading cloud software company that has had a rapid growth over the past few years and is now serving customers in over 50 countries. Blackbaud recently announced it has selected Costa Rica to open its first office in Latin America.
“As the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, we’re committed to providing the very best experience for our customers around the world,” said Mike Gianoni, Blackbaud president and CEO. “We chose to open an office in Costa Rica because of the great economic climate, talented workforce and growing tech sector – it’s a place where we know our company culture can thrive and where we can build a high-impact team committed to the continued success of our customers, which is our focus, day in and day out.”
The Minister of Foreign Trade in office, Duayner Salas, commented: “During the last years, the services sector has represented over 40 percent of our exports and consolidated as a strong driver of our development, contributing continuously to the resilience of the national economy and facing the new global challenges. Today, we celebrate Blackbaud’s arrival, highlighting its trajectory of more than thirty years in the digital technologies market. We are honored that Costa Rica becomes the first service center in Latin America, from where this company will provide highly innovative and disruptive services, such as cloud software and data intelligence. We also reaffirm our gratitude for the vote of confidence placed in the country, and our commitment to continue working on strengthening our investment climate.”
For the first hiring phase, the company is seeking to fill positions related to computer engineering, software implementation and technical support, among others. “Blackbaud’s vision is to power an ecosystem of good that builds a better world, and to accomplish this, we need a diverse group of talented people to join our team,” said Althaf Sheriff, Blackbaud’s country director, Costa Rica. “I’m excited about the opportunity to build a foundation in Costa Rica that will serve Blackbaud for many years to come.”
Those interested in applying to a job position in the company, can send their resume to the following email address: CRRecruitment@blackbaud.com. SOURCE: CINDE
The best surfers in Costa Rica gather today and tomorrow (May 26 and 27) at Playa Bejuco in Parrita for the fifth date of the Kolbi Surf Tournament: Copa Los 40 (The 40’s Cup).
The last time the tournament had a stop at Bejuco Beach was back in 2016, an event that saw Anthony Fillingim and Emily Gussoni take the first place positions.
The organization of the event confirmed it has received one of the highest registrations so far this year, a result of the amazing waves offered by this surf break in the Central Pacific and the closeness to Jaco Beach (25 minutes), beach town that hosts one of the biggest surfing communities in the country. Unfortunately, though, some important figures will not be taking part in this date due to their participation in the Word Surf League events.
So far, Jordan Hernandez from Limon, has managed to maintain the first place of the tournament by taking the first place in two of the four stops. Figures such as Malakai Martinez and Andre Chacon will also be present.
In the female category, Rubiana Brownwell who took first place in the fourth date in Santa Teresa, Coral Wiggins, Zulay Martinez and Lisbeth Vindas will be battling for the first position in the ranking.
Action begins at 7 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m. today, while on Sunday the competition kicks off at 7 a.m. and it’s expected to close by 3 p.m.
In addition to great surfing the Kolbi National Surf Tournament will offer live music, balance board, playlist in video, beautiful models, games and products by sponsors.
The event can also be seen live on www.surfingcr.net
The Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica has been in a period of relative calm throughout the past weeks with the constant emission of gas as vapor.
On Sunday afternoon, however, the volcano had another eruption of importance with emission of ash and a column that reached 500 meters above the crater (3,800 meters above sea level).
Another eruption was registered at 9 a.m. of Monday morning, with an important column of ash that could not be adequately measured due to the cloudy conditions in the area at the time, but estimated in 600 meters above sea level. The ash is being carried to the North by the wind.
“The Turrialba Volcano maintains a continued degasification with frequent ash emissions. The seismic activity in the past 24 hours has remained in a low level. The National Meteorological Institute’s station indicates variable dispersion between the north and west. Smell of sulfur is reported in Turrialba, Barva and Aquiares”, describes the report by the National University’s Volcanology and Seismology Research Institute ( OVSICORI)
A group of tourists found a baby sloth alone in Playa Cocles, Puerto Viejo, Limon, and brought him to the Jaguar Rescue Center, where the personnel and volunteers took on the task of searching for the mother. The baby sloth weighed only 400 grams.
They recorded the baby sloth’s cry and went into the forest armed with speakers playing the recording over and over. It took them two days but they finally found the mother who after hearing the cry slowly started to come down from the tree she was on.
The Jaguar Rescue Center posted the video of the beautiful moment on Facebook and commented: “We are happy to say that we were able to reunite this mother and baby 3 toed sloths (Bradypus variegatus). The baby was brought to us late Tuesday afternoon. We spent two days looking for the mother along the beach. Yesterday, she finally came down after hearing the recording of her baby crying through a speaker!”
This is not the first time personnel at the Jaguar Rescue Center use this technique to reunite sloth families.
The Jaguar Rescue Center opened doors in 2008 and it’s a temporary or permanent home for ill, injured and orphaned animals. The center tries to reintroduce rescued animals to their natural habitat whenever possible.
They offer guided visits Monday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m. and they also offer private tours at 2 p.m. by reservation only.