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Costa Rica

A Day in the Life of a San Jose Costa Rica Hotel Operator

Before I opened my eyes this morning I could feel the perfect spring-like temperature that I have known each morning for eight years. Considered to have one of the most ideal climates on the planet, Costa Rica's capital, San Jose, is in a large central valley, the Mesita Central. Formerly a tropical rainforest, this lush central valley is a kilometer above the Pacific and Caribbean, surrounded by green patchwork mountains on the Central American isthmus between Nicaragua and Panama. It is ten to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit cooler here than on the humid coasts.

As the sky slowly lightens, the ni...

Further thoughts on crime in Costa Rica

Please understand that after you read this article, do not be paranoid, just aware. Like any big city these days, there are over four million people living in the Costa Rica, the majority quite poor for American standards, and what I am about to report are a few of the isolated incidences that have occurred. Keep in mind the chances of running into severe trouble are rare, and increase with stupidity, drunkenness and lack of knowledge.

Around the world, crime is increasing and tourists, with their perceived wealth, are prime victims. Costa Rica has not escaped this plague and In San Jose in pa...

Costa Rica Safety other than crime

Costa Rica is the safest country in Central America, though nothing is guaranteed. On both coasts but especially the Pacific, currents are swift and dangerous, and generally there are no lifeguards or signs warning of dangerous beaches several tourists drown in Costa Rica each year in rip-tides, the major cause of tourist deaths (see article below).

Adventure tourism is increasingly popular in Costa Rica, and many companies provide white-water rafting, bungee jumping, jungle canopy tours, deep sea diving, and other outdoor attractions. A few years back, a couple of tourists died on Costa Rica'...

Costa Rican bocas n' booze

Though the free service is rapidly disappearing, a few holdout bars in Costa Rica serve bocas with each drink. Bocas (translating to mouthfuls) are a variety of traditional foods served in small amounts, from black bean soup, to a couple of chicken wings, perhaps a small amount of ceviche, a small bowl of olla de carne, or fried yucca or pork strips. Some rural bars still provide bocas free of charge, most bars today have a small charge with their boca menu.

Often in cantinas, Ticos like to swallow down raw turtle eggs in a sweet, spicey sauce. They say it gives them the 'strength of lions'. I...

Costa Rica Flora and Fauna

The richest wildlife imaginable - Costa Rica, making up 0.01 percent of the planets landmass, and being at the cross-roads of two continents and caressed by two warm oceans, is said to have an amazing five to six percent of the earth's biodiversity.


Costa Rica has an extraordinary abundance of flora, with more than 9,000 species of 'higher' plants, and more being discovered every day. There are 800 species of ferns alone, 1,400 species of gorgeous orchids, and thirty species of heliconias (birds of paradise). There is a fast turnover of nutrients within the soils, and root systems theref...

Costa Rica entry requirements

A citizen from the following countries presenting a valid passport valid for six more months is permitted to stay for ninety days in Costa Rica without a visa:

Andorra, Australia, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, México, Montenegro, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands*, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Principality Of Monaco, San Marino, ...

The Economy of Costa Rica

Historically, the Costa Rican economy has been predominantly agriculture, such as coffee production, pineapples, bananas, ornamental flowers and palm oil. In recent years ecotourism, pharmaceuticals, electronics, finance and the software industry have moved in. The location of Costa Rica on the Central American Isthmus gives easy access to US, European and Asian markets. It switches time zones, half a year central (CST) and half a year mountain (MST).

The Costa Rican economy has been growing in part because their government implemented a seven-year-plan to expand into the high tech sector with...

How to check-in

When checking into any hotel, even Adventure Inn, ask the receptionist to show you the room first. You will naturally be shown the best room available, I do it myself. If you don't ask to see the room, you may end up with an inferior room for the same price. Anywhere on the coasts, you need at least a good fan to keep you cool, and the mosquitos, sand flies that come out at night, and 'no-see-ems' away. Many beds have mosquito nets. I'm not sure about breathing the air from burning Pic coils, especially when it isn't necessary.

I come from northern Ontario where in the late spring and early su...

Costa Rica hotel reservations - are you being ripped off?

Being a hotel owner, I could just slap other hotel owners for having no marketing spirit or a sense of reaching out to their future guests. To fill their rooms, they rely on the Global Distribution System (GDS), the big internet hotel distributors, you know the ones,, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline (and several hundred more) where the guest unknowingly pays sometimes 30% or even 40% more than the hotel receives. The GDS has become a huge multi-billion dollar internet industry capitalizing on the ignorance and fear of the average tourist, resulting in inferior hotel stays at...

Starting a business in Costa Rica

It is an eye-opening experience opening business in Costa Rica. Throw everything you have learned doing business in the First World out the window, and believe what other business owners tell you about, it is true.

It can take years to get a phone line in some parts of the country for example, but greasing the wheel, or knowing someone in the department, called nepotism, can get it done in days. Unfortunately your integrity is put to the test, and you have to decide if you want to play along and get things accomplished with a minimum of red tape, or suffer not wanting to give in to a corrupt s...