Thursday, December 18, 2008

Arenal Volcano video

Nice tour video of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica made by Super Natural Adventures Kids. It was created a science report on how volcanoes work and interact with the rest of the planet. A Super Natural Adventure video that takes a close look at this active hot spot. For more info go to http://www.supernaturaladventures.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beautiful Rio Celeste video

Rio Celeste's intense turquoise water, the product of a whimsical combination of pure river water and volcanic minerals, offers one of natures most complete eccentricities.

Located in Tenorio National Park, Río Celeste is the main attraction as it winds around Tenorio Volcanos foothills. Natural hot springs; boiling pool; a lagoon so vividly blue that youll sense the areas absolute peace; dye pools, which are places where the rivers crystalline waters fuse with calcium carbonate and sulfur from the volcano; and of course the array of wildlife.



Video & photos: Andres Madrigal
Edition: Juan Mata
(crtraveler.com)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Music video about Costa Rica

Nice video about Costa Rica with salsa versions of traditional Costa Rican songs. Enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

National Geographic Wild chronicles Costa Rica birds

Nat Geo Wild Chronicles episode on Cagan Sekercioglu's research on forest birds in Costa Rica forest, fragments and coffee plantations. www.sekercioglu.org

Friday, July 11, 2008

Video with photograph collection of Costa Rican birds

Here's are a collection of photographs of various hummingbirds and quetzals from the Los Santos Reserve in Costa Rica. Hope you enjoy the video!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Cocos Island National Park 30th Anniversary

Imaging Foundation creted a short presentation for the Costa Rica government to commemorate the 30th Anniversay of this World Heritage Site. This, the largest uninhabited island in the world is one of the last refuges for large pelagics.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Landscapes and views of Costa Rica

Landscapes and views of a beautiful country located in the middle of America: Costa Rica. Hope you enjoy the video!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Picture of the day

A Green Iguana is seen at the National Biodiversity Park near Heredia, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 19, 2008. More than 2 million tourists are expected to visit Costa Rica this year, a record for this small Central American country, according to Costa Rica's Tourism Institute. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Video of Barrigona Beach in Costa Rica

Barrigona Beach is one of the best beaches in the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste and it's the same beach where Britney Spears went for a getaway with her father, Mel Gibson and some friends in May 2008.



Note: the author of this video claims that Mel Gibson bought this beach, but as far as I know this is not true. He bought a house that has a path leading directly to the beach but he has to keep the beach open to the public as beaches are public property in Costa Rica.

Unlike other countries, some beachfront property may be purchased. However, the 200-meter strip of land along the seacoasts is owned by the government and for public use. It is prohibited to build anything within the first 50 meters of the high tide line.

This zone is for the public and cannot be turned into a private beach. Also, you can no longer build within the next 50 to 200 meters of the high tide line -this is called The Maritime Zone- unless there is existing housing or a new tourism project involved. If this is the case, you can lease the land from the municipality, which is overseen by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Costa Rica video by the ICT

Promotional video elaborated by the Costa Rican Tourism Board [Instituto Costarricense de Turismo] ICT. For more info go to: http://www.visitcostarica.com/

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tiquicia's natural beauty

After living in Costa Rica, John Overholt shot a short compilation of some of the natural beauty that he saw in the Central American country. Here's the video:

A high-speed Internet connection is recommended to watch this video.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taxi companies in Costa Rica

Here are the phone numbers of a few taxi companies in Tiquicia.

Travelers should use licensed taxis, which are red with medallions (yellow triangles containing numbers) painted on the side. Licensed taxis at the airport are painted orange. All licensed taxis should have working door handles, locks, seatbelts and meters (called "marias"); passengers are required to use seatbelts.


Taxis Unidos del Aeropuerto
(The official taxi company for Juan Santamaria International airport)
2221-6865

Taxis Alfaro
2221-8466

La Guaria
2227-9300

Coopetico
2224-7979

Coopetaxi
2235-9966

Taxi San Jorge
2221-3434.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Beaches of Costa Rica by Google Maps

Here's a nice map that someone put up on Google maps. It shows many of Costa Rica's beautiful beaches. I think it's very useful and decided to share it with you all.


View Larger Map

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Video of a crab at a beach in Costa Rica

Here's a video of a crab at a beach in Costa Rica's pacific coast. Since I shared a photo of a crab with you before I thought it would be nice to show you a video so that you can see up-close how they move and what they really look like. If you have never seen a crab in real life, other than dead in a plate and ready to be eaten, you will find this video interesting.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Surfers sunset in Guanacaste

Surfers leave the Pacific Ocean during sunset in Santa Cruz de Guanacaste, 250 miles (402.34 km) northern of San Jose, April 28, 2008.
REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate (COSTA RICA)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tabacon's beauty

Bruce Thompason took the beautiful picture of this cascade in Tabacon Hot Springs in La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajuela. He has taken several stuning photos of Tiquicia while living and travelling across the country. To see more of his flickr photos click here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Costa Rica's best beaches

Manuel Antonio BeachThe Beaches around Playa Samara: Playa Samara itself is nice enough, but if you venture just slightly farther afield, you'll find some of the nicest and least developed beaches along the entire Guanacaste coast. Playa Carrillo is a long, almost always deserted crescent of palm-backed white sand located just south of Sámara, while Playa Barrigona and Playa Buena Vista are two hidden gems tucked down a couple of dirt roads to the north.

Playa Montezuma: This tiny beach town at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula has weathered fame and infamy, but retains a funky sense of individuality. European backpackers, vegetarian yoga enthusiasts, and UFO seekers choose Montezuma's beach over any other in Costa Rica. The waterfalls are what set it apart from the competition, but the beach stretches for miles, with plenty of isolated spots to plop down your towel or mat. Nearby are the Cabo Blanco and Curu wildlife preserves.

Malpais: While the secret is certainly out, there's still some time to visit Costa Rica's hot spot before the throngs arrive. With just a smattering of luxury lodges, surf camps, and simple cabinas, Malpais is the place to come if you're looking for miles of deserted beaches and great surf. If you find Malpais is too crowded, head farther on down the road to Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa, and Manzanillo.

Manuel Antonio: The first beach destination to become popular in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio retains its charms despite burgeoning crowds and mushrooming hotels. The beaches inside the national park are idyllic, and the views from the hills approaching the park are enchanting. This is one of the few remaining habitats for the endangered squirrel monkey. Rooms with views tend to be a bit expensive, but many a satisfied guest will tell you they're worth it.

Punta Uva: Below Puerto Viejo, the beaches of Costa Rica's eastern coast take on true Caribbean splendor, with turquoise waters, coral reefs, and palm-lined stretches of nearly deserted white-sand beach. Punta Uva and Manzanillo are the two most sparkling gems of this coastline. Tall coconut palms line the shore, providing shady respite for those who like to spend a full day on the sand, and the water is usually quite calm and good for swimming.

Information provided by Frommers

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A renovated Barcelo Rincon del Valle Hotel reopens

San Jose, Costa Rica (PRNewswire) - Barcelo Hotels & Resorts announced the reopening of The Barcelo Rincon del Valle Hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica. The hotel has doubled its size and has upgraded its services and amenities to become an upscale Barcelo Hotel.

The expansion includes the addition of 22 new guestrooms and suites bringing to 42 the total number of guestrooms and suites. The new guestrooms include 16 junior suites with kitchenettes. In addition, all existing guestrooms have been refurbished and upgraded with new furnishings and amenities.

Additional hotel services include a meeting room that can accommodate up to 30 people, and a board room that can seat eight people. The hotel also added a new mini-fitness center, a buffet restaurant and bar, as well as room service. The Barcelo Rincon del Valle Hotel is equipped with WIFI and offers additional business services such as airport transfers

The Barcelo Rincon del Valle Hotel is located in the Southern Sabana area, across from Sabana Park in the main tourist area of San Jose.

For more information and reservations visit www.barcelo.com or call 1-800- BARCELO.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Some practical notes on travel to Costa Rica

by Chris Welsch
Minneapolis Star Tribune

GETTING THERE
From January to March, Northwest offers direct flights to the town of Liberia near Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Last week, Continental was advertising round-trip fares (with connections) to Liberia for as little as $600. Costa Rica's biggest city, San Jose, has the country's other major airport.

GETTING AROUND
The roads are rough and signs are few, but some turistas brave them in rental cars. Opt for the bus or one of several shuttle services that connect towns and parks with low-priced fares, about $48 from San Jose to Monteverde, for example (www.costaricashuttleservice.com).

WHERE TO STAY
In Monteverde, I stayed at the Hotel Fonda Vela, a tastefully furnished resort with rooms for about $100 a night. The upper-level bar has a veranda with views that extend to the Gulf of Nicoya, at least 50 miles away (www.fondavela.com). At Arenal, I stayed at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, with unobscured views of the volcano and trails that lead into the national park. Rates range from $58 to $150 (www.arenalobservatory lodge.com).

CURRENCY
Costa Rica is the most expensive country in Central America. One U.S. dollar equals about 500 colones, the local currency. In tourist areas, costs for food, taxis and lodging are comparable to those in the United States.

GUIDE SERVICE
I hired a guide/driver through Preferred Adventures of St. Paul. Costs vary depending on group size and itinerary, but figure on about $100 per person per day (www.preferred adventures.com).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Scuba Diving in Cocos, Costa Rica

Youtube video of a virtual tour of a typical dive site in Coco's Island, Costa Rica. Dive into the deep blue waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific and get close to schools of grunts and snappers, sharks and rays.

Note: a high speed internet connection is recommended to watch the video

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Celeste River waterfall


People walk towards the Celeste river waterfall at Tenorio Volcano National Park in Upala, March 18, 2008. The blue color of the lagoon, formed from chemical reactions of calcium carbonate and sulfur, is surrounded by amazing rainforest of 12,819 hectares of this park. The Celeste river carries its color for a distance of 36 km (22 miles). (Photo: Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Halloween crab stands guard

This Halloween crab (Gecarcinus quadratus) was photographed by a tourist from Wales on the lawn of his hotel during a trip to Costa Rica. Halloween crabs also known as Moon crabs, Mouthless crabs or Harlequin land crabs, are found in mangrove, sand dunes and rainforest along the Pacific coast from Mexico south to Peru. To learn more about this crustacean click here. To see more great pictures by this flickr user click here.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Costa Rica a tourism hot spot

Beachgoers play in the Pacific Ocean during sunset in Playa Guiones, Nosara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, on Dec. 26, 2007. Costa Rica, located between Nicaragua and Panama, has become a tourism hot spot. The Tico Times, an English-language newspaper, reported that 1.9 million tourists visited the country in 2007, about a 10-fold increase from numbers in the late 1980s. (Photographer: Peter J. Brennan/Bloomberg News)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Costa Rica among USA Today's Top five bargain destinations for spring 2008

USA Today has listed Costa Rica among its top five deals presently available for spring trips. The list presents an appealing variety of destinations to the budget-conscious tourist. The other destinations on the list are Tahiti, Spain, Boston and Washington D.C.

Here's what USA Today wrote about Costa Rica:

Costa Rica
Beach, jungle, cities: Costa Rica's got a little bit of everything, including service from U.S. low-cost airlines. This spring, you can also find new air-and-hotel packages from a well-known provider.

Last spring, Spirit began daily service between Fort Lauderdale and San Jose, Costa Rica. And just recently, Frontier followed suit with five weekly non-stop flights between Denver and Costa Rica. American just ended a Central America sale with spring fares such as $408 from San Francisco to Costa Rica, so it's worth keeping an eye out for similar sales from both the legacy and the low-cost airlines in the coming months. Prices will most likely drop further as spring progresses.

If you've ever searched for an airfare-and-hotel package to Hawaii or Mexico, you may already be familiar with Pleasant Holidays. The company has just added Costa Rica to its roster of tropical destinations, and currently has offers such as airfare from Los Angeles and three nights at the all-inclusive Barcelo Tambor Beach for $551. Other providers, including Expedia, go-today.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity, offer air-and-hotel packages as well, so it's worth shopping around before you buy.

Note: With so many options it's easy to understand why USA Today chose Costa Rica among the best deals for bargain travelers this Spring.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beautiful Costa Rican sunset

This beautiful picture of the mountains around San Jose, Costa Rica, was taken by Ricardo Carreon. According to the description on his flickr page as they "were coming out of the rain forest there was an area in which the weather changed quite rapidly from the rainy and foggy areas into drier lands. The result was a thinner mist that created an interesting environment together with the sunset sun. The sun size is exaggerated by the mist in the environment."

To see this picture in other sizes click here. For more of this man's amazing photos you can click here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gaudy leaf frog photo

This beautiful picture of a gaudy leaf frog was taken by Peggy Collins during a trip to Costa Rica. To see more of her beautiful pictures in flickr click here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The town of Sabalito

The town of Sabalito* has spectacular views of Arenal Lake and two volcanoes. In the last few years it has attracted energetic sports-oriented early retirees from Europe and North America.

They are drawn to a variety of sports activities: Top-notch windsurfing and kiteboarding on Lake Arenal, mountain biking on adventurous trails, hiking and exploring the nearby rainforest. There is also horseback riding, tennis and more.

This friendly little town is very safe and welcoming to foreigners. This is a great little community of active, exciting, educated health-conscious people who love to explore and live life to its fullest.

See howler monkeys, toucans, hummingbirds and lots of other animals in your own backyard. It is a birdwatcher's paradise!

* = Sabalito is a fish: the little tarpon. The scientific name is Bramocharax Bransfordii

This information was priovided by The Sabalito Guide. Go to their site if you want to find out more about this cozy town, visit their photo galleries, watch some videos or just get information on how to get there. (Photo by by Augustinus Linssen).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Find flights to and from Costa Rica

Here's Expedia little widget that allows you, among other things to find flights between any two destinations. Costa Rica's international airports codes are SJO for Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, and LIR for Daniel Oduber Internationational Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste.

Just insert those codes in the widget and combine them with the codes or names of the city of your choice, choose the dates, the numbers of travellers and press search.

To help you find the desired airport code in case you don't know it you can go to Airport-Codes.com and search by country or city.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Scuba diving in Tiquicia

Hello, this is a very funny and well-edited video that I found on Youtube and that I will use to show you some of the species that you will find under the sea. The video contains scenes of Puerto Viejo, Cano Island and Playa Cocos in Costa Rica.

Note:
a high-speed internet connection is recommended to watch the video

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rainbow in Heredia, Costa Rica

Click on picture to enlarge
Outstanding photograph of a rainbow in Heredia taken by a Costa Rican flickr user with a Canon PowerShot SD450 on January 2, 2008. To see more pictures taken by this guy click here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The yigüirro: the national bird of Costa Rica

The Clay-colored Robin or Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi) is a common Central American bird of the thrush family (Turdidae). It is the national bird of Costa Rica, where it is well known as the yigüirro.

It ranges from northeastern Mexico to northern Colombia; west and north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec it is limited to the Atlantic slope, except for a population around Oaxaca City that probably originates from escaped cagebirds. It occurs rarely in south Texas, mostly in winter, and has bred there. Its habitat is open areas with trees or hedges and forest edges.


The plumage is brownish, somewhat lighter below than above, lightest on the flanks. Birds from humid regions are darker than those from dry regions.

The throat is faintly streaked. Immature birds have faint mottling on the back and underparts. The bill is greenish-yellow with a dark base, the legs are pinkish or flesh-colored, and the irises are reddish – all useful identification points.

The song, rather low-pitched and with a slow steady tempo, consists of many slurred musical phrases which are often repeated irregularly.

In 1977 the Costa Ricans chose the yigüirro (over many much more colorful birds that inhabit the country) as a tribute to its strong and melodious song that always comes during the start of the rainy season.

In addition, unlike many of the forest songsters of Costa Rica, the present bird has been familiar to the general population since the country's early history, thanks to the species' tendency to live near houses and settlements.

The yigüirro usually forages for fruit or invertebrates on the ground or near it, singly or in pairs, but flocks may feed high in fruiting trees. It will follow army ants to feed on small prey disturbed by the ant columns.

It builds a heavy cup nest of grass, moss, and mud on a firm support above the ground, which may include human constructions such as windowsills.

It lays 2 to 4 pale blue eggs with red-brown and gray markings between March and July and may double-brood. It is aggressive in defense of its nest, but is not otherwise particularly territorial.

Information and photo provided by Wikipedia

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Arenal Lake

Arenal Lake is a reservoir in Costa Rica, formed by enlarging an existing small lake of the same name by the completion of a dam in 1979. It is located near the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde cloud forest.

Lake Arenal is the key driver in a nationwide hydroelectric project that currently produces the majority (70 percent) of electricity for the entire country. Water depth generally varies between 100 and 200 feet. The communities of "old" Arenal and Tronadora were submerged by the expanded lake.

From November through April the dependable strong winds attract windsurfers to its western end. Primarily, there are two species of fish in Lake Arenal, the Machaca fish (not to be confused with Machaca food) and Bass. Birds found in the area include the hummingbird and woodpecker.

Arenal Lake offers areas for activities all year round on and around it: windsurfing, fishing, boat tours, boat shortcut to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, kayaking, horseback riding and mountain biking along the shore.