I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

WATER OUTAGES - How to be Prepared for when the WATER gets SHUT OFF • OUTAGES • TURNED OFF • GOING OUT in Costa Rica - HINTS

Costa Rica is such a "GIFT" to us to remind us of the "Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do THIS SECOND" quote since it's not unusual for the Water and/or Electricity TO go off SUDDENLY for HOURS with NO notice (heck - you never know when the next big earthquake is going to hit here!).

I think one of the KEY WORDS about living in Costa Rica with more EASE and less "Victimhood" is -



When I had the guest house I learned to be prepared at ALL times so I had a BIG 5 gallon bottle (of tap water) PLUS a 1 or 2 liter bottle that I kept under the bathroom sink (or I'd pull it out to next to the toilet in times of need/use) for whatever purpose I needed it for
•  If the water went out - I'd pull out the 5 gallon bottle and put it next to the toilet and I bring in a smaller/medium pot with a handle to use for scooping water out for the "When it's Brown - flush it down" times (vs the "When it's Yellow - be Mellow" [do you get that concept??  I've had many friends not hear of that before - meaning - if it's just pee/urine - to show your love for Mother Earth - you do NOT flush every time - BUT - when it's "brown" - poop - flush [it down])..
•  I have it if I need a quick wash of the bod.
•  I put the 1-2 liter bottles on the sink for brushing my teeth, face and hands.
•  Get the Baby “Wipes” out for emergencies.d
•  I also had bottles of hand anti-bacterial gel I'd pull out and put by the sinks for those times!!!

•  In the Kitchen I had one of those 3 gallon bottles I'd put on the counter by the sink and put a big container in the sink to soak dirty dishes, etc. to wash later. 
•  I always had two 5 gallon bottles for "just in case" - one had good drinkable water (and I changed that every few months - just in case) and one that had tap water that I used for whatever I needed.
•  Set aside a tub of water to have by the kitchen sink to do dishes
•  I also had bottles of hand anti-bacterial gel I'd pull out and put by the sinks for those times!!!

•  No washing clothes that the day (and after the water goes back on, it may be a few hours/the next day before you have full pressure since everyone else will be trying to catch up!!

•  Make sure to have water set out for your animals!

•  Be forewarned that this will effect your housekeepers job (especially if she's the type that mops the floors 3-4+ times a day) and your plans for the day - especially any plans for eating out in those areas!!

Having things ready for sudden outages/emergencies sure helped me keep calm when it happened (and it DID QUITE a few times!!  ESPECIALLY during Dry Season when we had some variation of Water Rationing/Droughts going on) as I was PREPARED - EVEN the day I had a workshop with over 40 attendees for 4 hours!!


Be Prepared with what to do when the ELECTRICITY GOES OUT in Costa Rica (& it DOES!!) - HINTS




in Costa Rica!!!!  LOTS of resources & hints!!!


What do YOU DO to be
Prepared for loss of Electricity or Water -
or to Show YOUR Love for Mother Earth???

Please "Share" your hints/thoughts/experiences on what does/does not work for you in the "Comments" below AND email me at LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com so I can add it to this article!!


Friday, March 29, 2013

CLEAN UP the BEACH when you leave!! QUIT Littering this BEAUTIFUL LAND!! SHOW YOUR RESPECT for Mother Earth!!!

Yup - this pretty much sums up MY sentiments EXACTLY!!!! 
(though sadly not enough people will pick up after themselves!!  I don't get how people/a country can say they're ALL about the "environment" - yet have some of THE DIRTIEST rivers/streets than I've seen!!!!  When you do that, how much love are you REALLY showing Mother Earth eh???)
THANX for creating this News.co.cr


April 18 - TALK • Questions - the Keys to Success with Naomi Colb


Are you quietly, struggling alone.... 
when the resources and support from your colleagues, friends and family are only a question away?

Learn some simple practices to free yourself to ask and hear a genuine YES!

Join your host NAOMI COLB for an enjoyable and informative evening discovering what keeps us from asking.

Note this is an Introduction to a 

Weekend Transformational Workshop -
"The Freedom to Ask"
that Naomi will be giving on a Saturday and Sunday
in May from 10am-6pm!!!  
Learn details at the intro talks!

Facilitated in both English and Spanish.


Choose from either
Thursday - April 18  -  6-7pm
Sunday  - April 21  -  5-6pm
Thursday - April 25  -  6-7pm
Sunday  - April 28  -  5-6pm


San Jose, Costa Rica - Downtown
Tin Jo Restaurant - Bamboo Room 
(entrance to the left of their main entrance or inside Tin Jo)
No Charge • FREE • GRATIS


(tell her Vicki with the blog Connected you!!)



Naomi is a Tour Guide for Personal Growth and Transformation and LifeStyle Coach

Join Naomi's inspiring Facebook page where she shares many thoughts, ideas, solutions - facebook.com/MsNaomiColb

She likes to ask her clients:

"Can I ask you a question?
If you had all the money and time in the world and you could not be injured, killed or shamed .......what would you be doing with your day?"

Colb has traveled a long and winding road to the present.

You can read a bit about her personal journey through many entries in the "Notes" section on her Facebook Profile page - especially the "Transparency - Upping the Ante"

As a Coach, she is passionate about supporting people to design their lives with dedication to self-care, professional fulfillment and time for FUN!!


Colb is also the author of the eBook

"Hip Surgery:  How to Recover Rapidly"



(Google her to find a BUNCH of other things she's done!)



Brendan Evans Moorehead - Entrepreneur (Marketing, Real Estate, Green)
Naomi is the ultimate prophet of possibility. In 1999 I attended one of her "Freedom to Ask" workshops and experienced a fundamental shift in my perception of possibility and my feelings of "permission" to ask for what I want, resulting in a immediate improvement the next week in my fundraising performance at the California League of Conservation Voters, where I was working at the time. 

Perhaps the most valuable skill of a life coach or business consultant is the ability to faciliate an expansion in the client's belief system around what is possible and how to create it with a focus on bottom line measurable results. Naomi has this talent in spades.

Dr Beth Halbert - Owner - Dr. Beth's Compassionate Parenting

Thank you Naomi for all the inspiration, support, encouragement, and walk your talk coaching you have given me over the years. It has been a blessing to work with you and be your friend. I appreciate the specific feedback you have given me to continually remember to stand in my greatness so that I can be of better service to the world. Your commitment to transformation, love, and peace is a marvel. You Rock!!!

Cat Maida  -  C.E.O. at AMPS California

Naomi provided support for transforming the issues that were standing in the way of achieving my goals and helping me uncover my true potential. With her creative, outside of the box and inspirational pearls of wisdom, she provided the luxury of a confidant and co-creator. If you’re ready to do the work, Naomi will be the bridge to your personal and professional accelerated growth.... be prepared to take off like a rocket!



(Thanx to Tin Jo for the use of this great space)

TIN JO ASIAN RESTAURANT(2-221-7605 / 2-257-3622 / TinJo.com/new/?lang=en [English]  •  facebook.com/TinJoRestaurant)

 San Jose-Downtown - Calle 11 between Avenidas 6 and 8 
(Calle 11 is 1 block east of the new ChinaTown gate on Avenida 2nd/Segundo so maybe go check that out while you're there!!)150 meters Detras de la Iglesia La Soledad - Al frente del Teatro Lucho Barahona (de la Casa del Tornillo, 100 Oeste/West, 125 Norte/North)


Go straight up Avenida 10 until you pass Feraguilar (ceramic tile place) on your left. Turn left at the next corner (Calle 11), and Tin Jo is a block and a half up on the left side. 

On-street parking is not permitted during the day, there are several parking lots in the immediate vicinity. The parking garage Parqueo Musical on Avenida 6 gives
FREE PARKING to GUESTS that have DINED at Tin Jo

so make sure to bring your Parking Ticket and give it to the Host up front to give it a Validation Stamp (note that especially if there's a large group meeting/gathering - this garage WILL fill up FAST!!!). There is also a parking lot on Calle 11 - 50 meters past/North of the restaurant (on your left). 


PLEASE "SHARE" this with anyone you know that could use some assistance with Personal Transformation (can't we ALL?!!?!?!)!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The Costa Rican Congress voted unanimously and the president signed a wonderful law, one that we can only dream of passing in the U.S.: a BAN ON HUNTING!!!

The ban has teeth: a FINE of up to $3,000 for hunters who break the law.

Costa Rica had a lot to lose if it didn’t end hunting. The country boasts an amazing range of fascinating, beautiful, adorable and unusual animals. It is among the countries with the “highest density of biodiversity in the world,” according to Raw Story. Costa Rican species include  jaguars, pumas, armadillos, deer sloths, and a variety of different monkeys, birds, amphibians and reptiles like sea turtles. (To see some of them play the video below.)

Tourists drawn by the fauna come in throngs — about two million a year — and they contribute $2 billion to Costa Rica’s economy.

By happy coincidence, what is good for the animals and ecosystems is also good for the financial well-being of the Central American nation’s residents — and for their moral rectitude.

Read more:

Curso Vitrofusión Introductorio

Curso Vitrofusión Introductorio

Inicio: Sábado 06 de abril del 2013
Fechas de clases: 06-13-20-27 abril 2013 

Hora: 9AM-12MD

Espacios disponibles: 15 espacios

Costo: 85.000 colones 
(incluye materiales, 4 horneadas, estacionamiento bajo techo y refrigerio)

Teléfono: 2221-1344

1-Los interesados comunicarse antes del 05 abril 2013 con Roberto Solano o Roblan Arnuero.

2-Las fechas de los cursos intermedios y avanzados están sujetas a cambios.

TRAVEL ADVISORY • SECURITY ADVISORY from the U.S. AND Canadian Embassy to their Citizens Living in & Traveling in Costa Rica!!

Ok - with 2 of the BIGGEST providers of tourists to Costa Rica now issuing Travel/Security Advisories/Warnings to it's citizens coming to Costa Rica - MAYBE NOW Costa Rica can get their head out of the sand and QUIT being in DENIAL!!!
Crimes being committed are happening more and more here and more of them are getting violent - both to tourists, ExPats and even to their own people!
These governmental advisories I'm SURE are based on how OFTEN their people are coming into their embassies to replace their stolen passports+++!!!  The police/government MUST QUIT blaming it on the media making up these stories!!!

If you've had ANY form of crime committed to you or someone you know, PLEASE send me the DETAILS (the more detailed the better) along with ANY pictures you can share to
as I'm starting to compile this information!!!

NOTE:  Canada ALSO issued a Travel Advisory on Costa Rica

COSTA RICA - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory for Costa Rica. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution and be vigilant at all times due to increasing levels of violent crime.


Security Message for U.S. Citizens from the U.S. Embassy, San Jose, Costa Rica
March 26, 2013
Increase in Armed Robberies in the Puerto Viejo
Within the last few weeks, the Embassy has received increased reports of armed robberies of tourists in the Puerto Viejo area. In light of this situation, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Puerto Viejo area to remain cautious and vigilant with regard to their personal safety and security.
In the past four weeks, three armed robberies of U.S. citizens have occurred in the Puerto Viejo area, in addition to armed invasions of two hotels and one residence. Police in Puerto Viejo have informed the Embassy that they are undertaking active preventative measures to avoid further incidents of this type. Armed robbery continues to be the primary criminal threat facing tourists in the Southern Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.
If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy. Although the investigation and prosecution of a crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. In Costa Rica the U.S. Embassy can be reached by calling +506 2519-2000.   
The U.S. Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens to read its Country Specific Information for Costa Rica or any country to which they are planning a trip at http://www.travel.state.gov  and specifically http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1048.html for updated information on travel and security in the Costa Rica.  Information can also be obtained from the Department of State by calling +1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling +1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.  911 is the emergency line in Costa Rica.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Costa Rica to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step.

 STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through 
iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.
If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.   Follow us on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/travelgov.



This is REALLY SAD these types of things are happening more and more in Costa Rica - ESPECIALLY in such a BEAUTIFUL area (MY FAVORITE beach area of Costa Rica - on the Atlantic/Caribbean/East Coast)!!! 

Crime HAS gotten to be quite the issue in Costa Rica - ESPECIALLY targeting tourists.
I just returned from spending 6 weeks living in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (I'm SERIOUSLY considering living there PART TIME in between pet/house sitting gigs as it's SOOOO MUCH CHEAPER than Costa Rica)
and I met and interviewed LOTS of people from all over the world, all ages, economic backgrounds, etc. and 93% of them said they would NOT be going to Costa Rica or returning to it - #1 was because of prices are SOOOO HIGH and #2 was because they themselves or someone they knew/met/heard from had had some sort of "security issue" - mainly things stolen in their hotel or car (though many did NOT have it REALLY locked up) or robbed at gunpoint. 

Gauging on how MANY U.S. passports are stolen - I'm SURE LOTS of the Safety/Travel Advisory warnings are coming from ACTUAL REPORTS from the embassies.

Have you been to the U.S. embassy on a Monday - ESPECIALLY after a holiday??  Maybe people will actually GET how OFTEN this happens here!

(fyi - MOST people I've spoken with do not bother to report the crimes - "Por Que"!!!)

What EVER you do, if someone approaches you with a weapon - PLEASE do NOT be foolish and resist as THAT IS OFTEN when "things happen" to people!!  Everything is replaceable - EXCEPT your life!!!

Goddess forbid you have a crime committed against you - IMMEDIATELY contact the
OIJ - Organismo de Investigación Judicial  
(pronounced “O-E-ho-tah” 
Costa Rica's version of the FBI who is who you report such crimes against)
and for how to replace your U.S. Passport if it was stolen check out Vicki's step-by-step experience at:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SPECIAL Price at Casa Laurin B&B in Escazu - a GREAT Convenient Base (updated April 1, 2014)

SPECIAL AVAILABLE AGAIN as of April 1, 2014!!!

Come check out CASA LAURIN's newly located, really centrally Bed and Breakfast in Trejos Montelegre, Escazu at a SPECIAL PRICE!

Can you use a City Fix - some shopping, culture, medical visits?  Our bright new home is around the corner from WalMart so a minute to the Pista/highway that takes you 5 minutes away into San Jose (without the toll booth!) - so we’re easy to get in/out of Escazu!  PriceSmart, EPA, MultiPlaza, Office Depot are a quick ride (or even walkable for walkers)!   And you can store your treasures in our secure/enclosed garage.

Because we're so centrally located - we're easy to get to many of the medical services the Central Valley has to offer (you can even walk to CIMA!!).  Whatever you need, we can help you find it!

Casa Laurin is a welcoming home and perfect base to use to do Day Trips from so no need to move around each night sleeping in one hard bed to the next (a common situation throughout much of Costa Rica)!  Come enjoy our comfy beds with Memory Foam!  Even if you just come for part of your trip, you can check off a few things located within 1-2 hours from us - like the action packed 1-day Poas Volcano (the easiest one to get to/around where you can look down INTO the volcano!), Doka Coffee Plantation (one of the best Coffee tours) and LaPaz Waterfall Gardens Tour where you can see many of the birds, animals, amphibians, etc. you had hoped to see in Costa Rica but don’t always get to!  You can hire one of our guides/drivers for a custom tour at YOUR pace - or join in on one of the daily organized tours - and each day you come back to your home at Casa Laurin!

Costa Rica is world known for Dental/Medical Tourism so consider adding a few days to your stay and see how you can save 30-50+% of some great processes from Dental Implants and Crowns, medical check-ups/visits and tests like physicals, blood work (especially great for the many people in the U.S. that don't have insurance or can't afford their insurances co-pay), dermatological procedures, even semi-permanent eyeliner/eyebrows and more.  Casa Laurin receives MANY people coming for these services and is a good place to recoup for people getting light procedures!

Or have the stresses of life and family or the insanity of Semana Santa having you needing a cooler (warmer if you’re coming from up North!)/chill scene?  You can just come sit around the SWIMMING POOL, read some of our many books, watch a DVD, watch cable tv (we have over 15 stations to choose from with some sort of programs in English including the main U.S. networks), do some puzzles, visit with your VERY service-oriented host Ginette or the other guests and BE!

For all our guests - We’re walking distance to over 50 restaurants (and many deliver) and most of the best markets in Costa Rica!
(VIP Movie Theatre Recliners!!)
You can walk to Avenida Escazu where you can lose yourself in the wonderful/pampering at the VIP Movie Theatre (where waiters literally come around IN the theatre and serve you panini and other goodies and bring you a drink from the full bar as you lay back in big electric leather recliners for around $11!!), giant screen iMax theatre or one of the other very comfortable seat theatres!

Taxi's are easy to get, buses into Escazu or San Jose are just a few blocks away or leave your car in our secure/enclosed garage (based on availability).

Our FULL delicious homemade BREAKFAST IS included (the favorite for many are the Banana Pancakes!)

(your host Ginette and the
sweet Dolly [that LOVES massages and guests taking her on walks!!!])

Ginette can help you in English, French and Spanish!

Visit and “Like” them on their enhanced Facebook page where you can see LOTS of pictures showing you all they have to offer at:

and/or check out our website at:

(506) 2-289-4198-Costa Rica #   •   1-202-506-9007-U.S.#


$65/per night + tax

AND - you receive the
(so MAYBE you’ll get REALLY lucky and get the $115/night Master Suite for just $65!!!)

CONDITIONS:  Minimum 2 nights.  Based on double occupancy.  This is a CASH SPECIAL (you CAN pay by credit card BUT you pay the 5% processing fees).  ONLY when book DIRECT with us.  Based on availability.  You MUST Mention this Ad/where you found it when making the reservations.

Please "SHARE" this link with EVERYONE you know that could use this!

NO Tolls during Samana Santa

To help ease the traffic nightmares from people going to the beach celebrating Samana Santa/Easter - the following TOLL BOOTHS will NOT be collecting tolls from
Thursday at 12/noon until Saturday at 6pm (I haven't heard about the return exodus yet but since Sunday will be one of the worst days - there is a good CHANCE they will be in place also but don't quote me on it yet):

Florencio del Castillo Highway  - 
Bernardo Soto Highway  - 
Braulio Carrillo Highway  - 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Costa Rica Grocery Store compassison shows that Costa Rica is LOTS MORE Expensive than Panama when it comes to Groceries

SHOOT!!  I wish I had seen this last week when I was in Nicaragua as I'll bet that will show how WAYYYYY CHEAPER Nicaragua is than even Panama!!  When I go back I WILL bring this list!!!!
Survey shows that Panamá grocery prices are lower

SOURCE: AMCostaRica.com
March 7, 2013

When traveling from one Latin American country to another, the difference in prices becomes apparent.

Backpackers and locals in both Costa Rica and Panamá will immediately tell those going between the two countries that the prices of items in Panamá are less. Some expats who live along the border travel into Panamá to do shopping.

A taxi driver in Panamá described a recent visit to Costa Rica as too expensive.  He was traveling to the country to celebrate his Costa Rican relative's graduation.

“We went to a restaurant and a casado there was 4,000 colons. That's $8,” he exclaimed. “Here, in Panamá, you can get a meal with a Coca Cola, not a fruit drink, for $4.”

“The prices in Costa Rica are crazy,” he added.

A price check at the local groceries will confirm what the taxi driver said.  However, although the majority are cheaper, the savings in Panamá vary from a few cents to a dollar, depending on the item.

A reporter checked prices at the Machetazo grocer in Avenida Central, Panamá City, Monday and at Mas X Menos in Avenida Central of San José Wednesday.  It should be noted that these prices are not adjusted for taxes.   President Laura Chinchilla engineered a recent change that applies the country's 13 percent sales tax to many items that are not in the basic food basket.

The reporter found that a sampling of 15 items in Panamá would cost $26.94. The same or similar items in San José would cost $34.52, a difference of $7.58.  The Costa Rican prices were adjusted to dollars at the current rate of exchange. The difference is about 28 percent.

To compare the prices, staples like bread and beans did not vary much in price.  However with items like cheese and chicken, one could get a significant amount more in Panamá for the same price.

There are politics involved in grocery prices. For example, Costa Rica rice growers receive a subsidized price from the government and fight against importations of cheaper, foreign rice. That is one reason why two kilos of rice in Costa Rica cost $3.88, a price that is $1.49 higher than the same amount in Panamá.

Grocery price comparison
between Costa Rica
and Panamá
Costa Rica
Bimbo break family
$2.00 $2.24
Milk liter $1.12 $1.04
Eggs dozen $2.09 $2.74
Rice (premium) 2 kilos $2.39 $3.88
Red beans 1 pound $1.00 $1.06
Cheese kilo $4.50 $5.74
Chicken thighs kilo $1.85 $2.78
Chicky cookies 12 pack $2.74 $3.74
Recreo cookies 8 pack $1.80 $2.26
Mejitos tortilla
$1.95 $2.10
Platano chips 150
$1.20 $1.61
Fresca 600 ml. $0.85 $1.61
Coca Cola 600 ml. $0.90 $1.28
Coca Cola 2 liters $2.00 $2.44
Panamá beer
$0.55 N/A
N/A $1.06

$26.94 $34.52

A study by the economy ministry released last week found that the prices of products in different stores in different provinces varied by 161 percent.  It also found that in the case of articles that are the same weight and size, but have different brand names, the difference in prices can be up to a 720 percent difference.

The moral, whether shopping in just Costa Rica, or traveling to the next country over is to shop around.  A lower price is always available somewhere, but you may have to travel a bit to get to it.  Then comes the next question, is the travel expense really worth it?

MORE Speed Trap Cameras in Costa Rica

More speed trap cameras might be going into service this year
SOURCE:  AMCostaRica.com
March 7, 2013

Highway officials say they will have a final decision April 15 on a proposal to place more traffic surveillance cameras on four major highways. They said that the plan will reduce accidents by 60 percent and deaths by 90 percent. The proposal is being put forward by Radiográfica Costarricense S.A., which will provide the electronic hookups.

Initially the project will place 18 cameras on the General Cañas highway from San José to the airport, on the Florencio del Castillo highway, on the Circunvalación and on the main highway in Alajuela.

Eventually the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad plans to install
 150 cameras in the first four years beginning with the initial batch going into operation in December. Eventually some 150 will be in service by March 2017, according to the plan.

The cameras mainly will monitor speed and there by reduce accidents, according to the plan.

The road agency put cameras into service on key routes in 2011, but the project was defeated by a number of court actions. Not the least of the arguments was that speeding tickets were being awarded to the owners of vehicles whose license plates had been photographed by the automatic cameras. The agency stopped the use of the cameras at the end of that year and have repeatedly promised to put them back into service.

Spheres Festival - March 2013

8th Annual Spheres Festival 
planned for this month in central Pacific
SOURCE:  AMCostaRica.com 
March 7, 2013

The Municipalidad de Osa is getting ready for the eighth Festival de las Esferas later this month.

This is an entertainment and cultural event set against the backdrop of the pre-Columbian stone sphere in that part of Costa Rica.

The event is March 19 to 24 in Palmar Norte, Palmar Sur, Ciudad Cortés and also on the famous Finca 6 where the Museo Nacional is developing a museum specifically for the stone spheres.

For the first time there will be a foot race as part of the program. The recreational race will be March 24 at 4 p.m., and participants will travel between Finca 6 and Palmar Sur.

The residents of Rey Curré also will present the Juego de los Diablitos. That will be March 23 at 2 p.m. This is a shortened version of the confrontation between the devils and the bull, representing a cultural statement about the invasion of the Spanish in colonial times.

There are seminars every day on biology and archaeology as well as tours. There also are workshops and musical events.

Costa Rica just received word that the spheres have been advanced to candidate status for inclusion in the World Heritage cultural list of the U.S. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

This is expected to give a boost in tourism to the area as well as open the door to additional funding.

The stone spheres are the local stones that were shaped by pre-Columbian people, probably the ancestors of the individuals living in the area now. The use is uncertain but local archaeologist think the spheres, which range in size, were symbols of rank. For example, the chief's dwelling might have two spheres erected in front.

Finca 6 is one of the locations specifically included in the U.N. announcement.

The event also is sponsored by the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Palmar Sur.

CONSTRUCTION PLANS now MUST be Submitted via the Internet

All construction plans now have to be submitted by Internet
SOURCE:  AMCostaRica.com
March 18, 2013

Starting today, officials involved in the construction approval process will only accept plans over the Internet.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio emphasized this in a statement Friday.

The agencies involved in the approval process include the Ministerio de Salud, the Cuerpo de Bomberos, the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y de Arquitectos and the Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo.

The digital process of plans is a fundamental tool to improve the competitiveness in the construction sector," said  José Guillermo Marín, president of the Colegio Federado de

Ingenieros y de Arquitectos. "Many investors prefer to build in other countries because their processes are more efficient, but now Costa Rica has a modern system that allows us to compete is this field."

The officials speculated that with residential construction plans there could be a decision in just seven days. Commercial projects might take up to 15 days, they said.

In the past, plans on paper had to be brought to each office and the bearer had to stand in line.

Now the submission Web site is active 24 hours a day, said the Ministry of Economy. It is TramitesConstruccion.go.cr

"Funny Brownies" at Agricultural Fair in Quepos

I HAD to add this as I think it's FUNNY (I personally don't smoke ANYTHING as I'm allergic to smoke of ANY kind plus I'm too much of a control freak to do drugs - but it reminds me of when I was in college and went to Rosarita Beach with a friends work buddies and the group knew I didn't do drugs at ALL - so they gave me some marijuana brownies withOUT telling me and it was VERY amusing!!!  Needless to say I was the entertainment for the party and to this day never ate as many brownies in my life (oh those munchies you get with pot!!).

2 expats accused of adding a little zest to the baking mix
SOURCE:  AMCostaRica.com 
March 18, 2013

Some shoppers had a high time at the weekend agricultural fair in Quepos. But not everyone appreciated it.

Fuerza Pública officers said they received tips from residents that there was something extra in that brownie recipe. A U.S. citizen and a Canadian were selling the baked goods at the feria. The recipe was right out of the Alice B. Toklas cookbook.

Police detained both men and identified the Canadian by the last name of Reid. They said he was 56. The U.S. citizen was identified by the last name of  Francis. He was reported to be 63.

Officers said that they detected a strong odor of an illegal weed in some of the brownies. But they needed experts. Experts on drugs, that is, and not culinary expertise. So the
A.M. Costa Rica graphic 
Two different types of brownies. Eat one, see the other.

Policía de Control de Drogas became involved. Officers reported that 18 of 37 brownies contained marijuana.

Both men were freed after questioning by prosecutors.

RAINY SEASON Start - Costa Rica

Seasonal transition beginning at start of April
By Kayla Pearson
SOURCE:  AMCostaRica.com  March 22, 2013

Costa Rican summer is coming to an end, as indicated by the first big storm of the season Thursday afternoon in the Central Valley.  Residents can expect the rainy season to officially begin next month in the Pacific regions.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional is predicting that the rainy season will come to south Pacifico Sur during the first week of April.  Next it will come to the central Pacifico between April 21 to 25.  The Central Valley will see the start of the rainy season May 1 to 5 and the north Pacifico will start getting rain May 6 to 10.  All the areas are expected to have rain 20 percent above average.

The Caribbean coast and the northern zone are always out of step with the rest of the country and generally have rain when the rest of Costa Rica experiences a dry season.

The weather institute is predicting rains through June from 5 to 15 percent below average.

This 2013 prediction is more positive than what happened last year, said Juan Carlos Fallas, general director of the weather institute.  2012 had a rain deficit that ranged from 31 to 70 percent, the highest being in the north Pacific where there was drought.

There is also a high probability that there will be
Estimated start
of 2013 rainy season*
South Pacific
April 1 to 5
Central Pacific
April 21 to 25
Central Valley
May 1 to 5
North Pacific
May 6 to 10
*Source: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional

no El Niño or La Niña phenomenon, but a neutral climate, said Fallas. In the Atlantic Ocean, temperatures will be slightly warmer, but normal, he added.

Also, when compared to the last 10 years, the number of cyclones is also predicted to be normal. For the Caribbean, the prognosis is around 4 tropical cyclones, Carlos said.

Next week, the country will celebrate Semana Santa or Holy Week.  It will be a time of religious celebrations and vacations.  The weather prediction is that most of the country will be warm and clear and cloud cover at the beaches.

There is a likelihood of showers around the mountains. Towards the end of the week there is a probability of more downpours, said the institute.

Are you OVER your Visa?? WARNING!!! NEW Tourist VISA Rules starting April 23, 2013


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Costa Rica's "Save My Planet" video series featuring STEPHEN BROOKS

Some WAYYYY COOL videos that are great for tourists and locals alike
narrated by the FUN and AMAZING and ever SOOOO knowledgeable
Stephen Brooks with

from the
"Save My Planet Series"produced by

Subscribe to this site to learn more about Costa Rica!

#1:  Hotel Villa Blanca / INBio

#2: Moth Catching

#3: Finca Rosa Blanca / Sustainability

#4: Finca Rosa Blanca / Organic Coffee

#5: Lake Arenal Dam and Hydroelectric Plant

#7:  Tirimbina Rain Forest / Environmental Education and Research

#8: Rancho Margot Pt. 1

#9: Rancho Margot Pt. 2

#10: Monteverde / Cloud Forest School 


PLEASE "SHARE" these links with EVERYONE you know that's planning on visiting Costa Rica, living here, or into Sustainability!

NO License Plate Restrictions in San Jose during Easter • Samana Santa

As with most holidays in Costa Rica - 
License Plate Restriction within San Jose, Costa Rica will be 
LIFTED (not enforced) during 
Samana Santa•Easter Week
Monday through Friday - March 25-29, 2013

(more information on License Plate Restriction within San Jose, Costa Rica at:
PLEASE "SHARE" this with EVERYONE you know that this may effect!!

ORQUEDEAS•ORCHIDS - Exposicion de Nacional ORQUEDEAS • Costa Rica ORCHID Exposition - 2013

For details on 2014
ORQUEDEAS•ORCHIDS - Exposicion de Nacional ORQUEDEAS • Costa Rica ORCHID Exposition
go to:


42nd Annual Costa Rica
Exposicion de Nacional Orquedeas
Orchid Exposition

Friday and Saturday  -  Marzo•March 22-23, 2013  -  8am-7pm
Sunday • Domingo  -  Marzo•March 24  -  8am-6pm

2,500-c -general  •  1,500-c - Seniors•Adulto Mayor y nines 8-12 amos•years

Antigua Aduana (2-223-3699) • the old Customs building 
 San Jose - Barrio EscalanteCalle 23 and Avenida 3 just north of the Estacion al Atlantico • the Atlantic Train Station.

(get directions by clicking onto:
Facebook.com/pages/Antigua-Aduana/215220061824160 and "Get Directions"

For more information on Antigua Aduana check out this site:
CostaRicaPages.com/blog/social/antigua-aduana/1058 )

Asociacion Costarricense de Orquídeas
San Jose
TicOrquideas.com  •  ACOrquideas1970@gmail.com  •  2-221-0029  •  2-240-4269


PLEASE "SHARE" this with EVERYONE you know that LOVES Orchids!!

CERVEZAS • BEERS - Places with BIG SELECTIONS in Costa Rica

Places with BIG SELECTIONS of 

Restaurante Kalu
Proyecto Amon 11/7 Boutique • Arte • Cafe
San Jose-Barrio Amon - Calle 7 y Avenida 11


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TRAFFIC WARNING - Sabana - March 20-23

Just learned there will be some road work happening around La Sabana in San Jose, Costa Rica - which is sure to effect traffic from 9am to 5pm - Wednesday - Friday - March 20-23, 2013.
(SERIOUSLY?  They're doing road work on Friday - with the mass exodus - MEGA Traffic chaos???)

Monday, March 18, 2013

PROPERTY STEALING - How to Avoid your Property from being STOLEN in Costa Rica!

Sadly in Costa Rica, it happens WAYYYY TOOOOO MANY times where someone has their property stolen out from under them (too often the people I've known where this has happened it was from their SOOOOO TRUSTED - like a family member - LAWYER!!). 

My bud Tim just shared with me a link to this eBook - CRTruth.freehostingcloud.com - that has some REALLY right-on tips about life in Costa Rica (some good info though I do NOT agree with him on everything - especially how he describes the Nica's in this chapter link below).

In it, the author give what I think is THE BEST HINT I have EVER seen for anyone that owns a house or land in Costa Rica:

"There is a way to protect oneself from property theft. First, ensure that your property is held in a Sociedad Anonima, a corporation, which is a legal entity here also.

Next arrange for a monstrous mortgage (hipoteca) against the property, payable to yourself, and make sure that you register it with the Registro Nacional. As long as that mortgage is not satisfied, there can be NO transfer of that property."


PLEASE • PLEASE • PLEASE "SHARE" this with ANYONE you know that has or desires to have property•a house in Costa Rica!!!!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

BAN on SELL OF LIQUOR during Samana Santa•Easter in Costa Rica

For the current status on what Municipalities•Cities will or will not BAN the selling of liquor during Samana Santa 2015 go to:

Mandirigma FMA - Personal Self Defense • Safety Training with Darren Friesen in Costa Rica

Personal Safety can be a big problem in Costa Rica and you want to be prepared don't you?

Personal Self Defense Safety Training 

Personal Defense
Civilian Preservation Technologies
Combative Martial Arts
Women's Self-Defense
Mandirigma Filipino Martial Arts Academy

in Costa Rica

(and Subscribe)

Classes in English and Español

Darren Friesen
MandirigmaFMA.cr@gmail.com  •  8-718-0365  •  8-301-1165


PLEASE "SHARE" this with everyone you know that could use this information - ESPECIALLY help with Personal Safety!!