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Costa Rica

Is it just me, or do others feel the same?

By Eric Robinson

Where are the brains and integrity behind the Costa Rica government?This week's Tico Times, Costa Rica's most popular English weekly newspaper, featured three main stories.

The first was about Walter Teper, a retired NY police officer who had to abandon his 33-foot sailing vessel after engine failure and a broken mast because the Costa Rican Coast Guard didn't respond to his distress call. He tried to radio them directly, and got no response, so he radioed the US Coast Guard who has records of passing the info on to the Costa Rican Coast Guard at 3:59 pm ...

Driving in Costa Rica

By Eric Robinson

Before you get behind the wheel of your rental car here in Costa Rica, be prepared for an experience beyond belief. After driving on the sane roads of Canada, for the first half of my life, I wasn't prepared for Costa Rica. Two major factors create havoc on the roads here.

Firstly, the roads vary greatly in Costa Rica. There are some excellent routes that are a pleasure to drive, smooth, open, you can enjoy the scenery, the mountains and greenery around every corner, the seascapes and the small friendly villages. But in general, country roads tend to be narrow, wind...

New Hydroelectric Project in the Southern Zone

By Eric Robinson

The Boruca Hydroelectric Project on Costa Rica's largest watershed, the Terraba River basin is getting closer to becoming a reality.Hydroelectricity accounts for 85% of Costa Rica's consumption. After nearly five decades of planning, impact studies. numerous altered proposals, and controversy,  it will boost the capacity of Costa Rica's electricity infrastructure by thirty percent to keep pace with the country's annual 5.3% increase in demand, independence from fossil fuels, and will initially produce a surplus that can be sold to other countries. The final plan cal...

Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias Takes Presidency

By Eric Robinson

Two decades after his first overwhelmingly successful term as president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias was sworn in again today as president. Arias's second term seems to hold as many difficulties as his first term, but totally different in nature. Born into a wealthy coffee family, Arias studied law and economics at the University of Costa Rica and Harvard, then earned a masters degree from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D in political science at the University of Essex in England.

His main challenge in his first term beginning in 1986 evolved around bringing ...

Caribbean Coral Reefs Rebound

By Eric Robinson

On a recent snorkeling adventure in Punta Uva in the southern Caribbean region of Costa Rica, I had a pleasant surprise. It was great to see a tremendous regrowth in the coral reefs, that appeared all but dead only a few years ago on a previous snorkeling escapade. The banana industry took much of the blame. Silt, caused by the exuberant growth of water hyacinths from fertilizer run-off that washed into the ocean, killed much of the pristine coral reefs, bringing them to near collapse. The five year old government Eco-OK Program encourages banana producers to reduce...

Costa Rica Hotel Association Benefits Vacationers

Adventure Inn owner Eric Robinson has founded Adventure Hotels of Costa Rica, twenty-two eco-minded three and four star hotels strategically located throughout Costa Rica. The non-profit 'hotels working with hotels' association is the first of its type ever in Costa Rica, as Eric saw an opportunity to exploit a marketing niche.

Erics visited and screened every member hotel for quality and 'eco-friendliness', and that there are several excellent properties in the association. Prices for the hotels vary tend to be of good value, all falling within the $40 to $80 range depending on the...

New Road Plans Unveiled for Costa Rica

By Eric Robinson

Massive plans have now been approved to fix Costa Rica's roads, and decongest traffic in and around San Jose.The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT) will undertake a number of measures designed to upgrade the nation's pot-holed roads, and relieve the choked transportation arteries in the San Jose area.

Lack of funds has been the traditional excuse for the pathetic road conditions, but this is to be relieved with a creative plan to sell bonds to the public, which will be repaid with future tax revenues from gasoline and car ownership.

Pot holes are already ...

Immune to Hurricanes!

By Eric Robinson

Why invest in a property that has a chance of being blown away by hurricanes? Why chance your vacation that part of it will be clutching loved ones hiding under your bed, or getting killed?Like super-soldiers marching westward along the Atlantic's 'hurricane alley' from June to November, the Caribbean is relentlessly slammed each year. The hurricanes are invariably forced northward by the presence of the Central American Isthmus before reaching the Costa Rica coast. Northeast Nicaragua, the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba stick out like sore thumbs, catching more...

Rip Tides

Rip tides (properly known as rip currents or undertows) cause more tourist deaths in Costa Rica than all other reasons put together. Tripped by alcohol, weak swimming skills, misinformation, and perhaps sudden weather changes, several tourists secumb to Neptune's quiet hidden killers each year. 90% of Costa Rica's 150 to 200 total drowning deaths each year occur at 5% of Costa Rica's beaches, and 80% of those deaths are rip tide assisted. Understanding rippers allows you to safely enjoy the ocean.

Caused by a build up of higher water along the coast brought in by waves, invisible channels of w...

Nowhere is Closer to Paradise Than Costa Rica

As my professor of South Pacific Studies at the University of Victoria in British Columbia once said, "There are no perfect paradises left". Costa Rica comes much closer than most nations, and has tended to keep the world's problems at arms length. It has had a slow, almost uneventful beginning leading to a relatively peaceful history. Today, the factors that historically limited the expansion of civilizations and empires are the very reasons that Costa Rica tourism receives in excess of a million visitors per year. Tourist arrivals and Costa Rica lodging revenues are on a general increase eve...