Archives for March 2016

Annie Daly Shares Her 25 Reasons Why A Trip To Costa Rica Could Actually Change Your Life

Costa Rica is Pura Vida

Annie Daly

Annie Daly has been to several places because of her job as a Travel Editor. However, she says that Costa Rica is, by far, one of her favorite places in the world. She liked it so much that decided to live in the country for 1 month while she could work remotely. She got to spend some time in both sides of the country – Caribbean and Pacific, the one known for its low-key rainforest vibe and the other known for its stunning beaches.


So, according to Annie, here are the 25 reasons why Costa Rica could change your life:

  1. Costa Rica has some of the most beautiful beaches ever: like Playa Conchal, where the beach is actually made of conch shells (how amazing is that!), but there are many others just as sweet.
Playa Conchal, Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. The country has beautiful cloud forest: different to rainforest mainly because the cloud forest is at a higher elevation, weather is cooler and the place has a foggy, misty atmosphere. Monteverde is one of Costa Rica´s biggest attractions. Annie describes this type of forest as super magical.
  1. The rainforests: they exists in both sides, Pacific and Caribbean. The well-known Monteverde is on the Pacific side and this is the one most people visit. However, the Caribbean has some like Manzanillo, which is super remote and if you are into that vibe, like Annie, this one will be a better option. However, she recommends you still visit Monteverde for the experience.
Rainforest in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. Costa Rica´s motto “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) will speak to your soul. This is what Annie Daly says about it: “It certainly spoke to mine. The locals are so friendly, the vibe is so chill, and there is a lightness in the air that makes you feel like you’re living in happy land, where all is joyful and wonderful. (I’m sober right now, btw. It’s just that peaceful there.)”
Pura Vida lifestyle in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. The locals – called Ticos – truly embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle. Yes, tourism and business has taken the Pura Vida motto for commercial purpose and they are trying to sell anything under that umbrella. However, outside of the touristy towns you will have a chance to discover that the Pura Vida lifestyle is truly ingrained in the soul of all Ticos, they appreciate the simplicities of life and will assure you that actually everything is pretty chill.
Costa Ricans are called "Ticos"

Annie Daly

  1. Outside of the big touristy towns, you will feel like you´ve stepped back in time. Most small towns don´t have any big commercial chains, people smile at you as you walk down the street. Annie simply describes this as “life is golden.”
  1. There is a sloth sanctuary. The staff of this sanctuary has been rescuing sloths – very common animal in Costa Rica – since 1992. You can even go on a sloth tour. Click here for more information.
  1. Of course, we had to mention the monkeys. There are howler monkeys. By the way, they´re everywhere, they just chill in the trees and howl.
  1. The roads are stunning; despite the borderline dangerous twists and turns. Driving in Costa Rica can get tricky, if you drive to slow in front of people they will pass you, regardless of the sharp turn ahead or how tight it could get. Could it get terrifying? Yes. But it is totally worth it because you get to cruise along and see gorgeous local back roads.
Roads in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. Sunsets, unreal! This one deserves a direct quote from the original author: “There are sunsets, and then there aresunsets. Costa Rican beauties fall under the latter category, namely because of the STRONG pinks and purples and oranges. They’re just killer.”
Sunsets in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. Sunsets deserve another space on the list because “it´s a daily show, it´s free, and it´s epic 99.99999% of the time.
  1. What about them sunrises! If you are a morning person you will be able to enjoy some worthy sunrises, plus you get to enjoy the beach all to yourself. What a way to start off the day!
Sunrise in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. There are beautiful bougainvillea bushes everywhere you look!
Flowers in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. There is some cool flora too. Heliconia, pink ginger, golden trump it… you name it, Costa Rica most likely wil have it.
Flora in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. The local food and those platains. In Annie´s opinion, the best food is served at the local sodas (casual roadside restaurants). The most common meal in Costa Rica is the “casado”, which is: rice, beans, cabbage salad, fried platains, an option of meat – chicken, steak, fish or pork). Annie describes the platains as buttery, carby, fried and perfect, as a matter of fact she says those are her favorite.
  1. Imperial, their most well-known beer, tastes great at the beach. A lager beer, which makes it perfect for drink it at sunset without getting tanked, like a good tropical beer. It is cheap too, about $1 each.
Imperial, The beer of Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. Incredible surfing for beginners and for experienced surfers. Costa Rica has tons of surfing schools and camps. Some of the beaches are ideal for beginners to learn how to get out on the waves, others have stronger waves for legit surfers. One of the best spots being Playa Grande in Guanacaste.
Surfing in Costa Rica

Daniel_goldin / Getty Images

  1. It is not all about surfing, Yoga is also all over the place. Nosara, in Guanacaste, is well-known for their yoga.
Yoga in Nosara, Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. The volcanoes. There are six active ones and 61 dormant or extinct.
  1. We have to mention the hot springs, especially those around Arenal, which are some of the most soothing in the world. Water contain lots of healing minerals and small amounts of sulfur, which reduces the weird smell.
Hot Springs, Tabacon, Arenal, Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. Ziplining will give you a new perspective forever. Most famous places for ziplining are Arenal and Monteverde, but you can go to other areas of the country as well. It is amazing.
  1. You can bike almost anywhere you want, even to the beach.
Biking in Costa Rica

Annie Daly

  1. Do you like hiking? There are lots of it in Costa Rica… forest, beach, whatever it is, Costa Rica will have it.
  1. Magical waterfalls. Nothing else to add to that.
  1. “Costa Rica is a great place to chill out, breathe deep, get in with nature, and let yourself totally, completely, decompress from the stress of daily life”. This is what Pura Vida is all about.

Annie Daly is the Travel Editor for BuzFeed. She wrote this article after a trip to Costa Rican. For the original article click here.

International Guanacaste Veteran´s Association Is Working to Positively Impact the Community

Veterans PicRetiring in Costa Rica is amazing! Playas del Coco in Guanacaste, has a large number of retired foreigners who have made this place their new home. Attracted by the outstanding ocean views and the relaxed lifestyle, the proximity to an International Airport with daily flights to the U.S. and Canada, the area becomes a convenient location for retirement. One of the main questions people ask themselves when they are considering to retire to a certain community is “what is there for me to do?” Luckly, Guanacaste has a pretty active retired association called International Guanacaste Veteran´s Association.

The International Guanacaste Veteran’s Association had their monthly meeting March 19, 2016 at the A Lo Tico Restaurant (new owners – one is an active duty Navy Seal soon to retire in Coco). Linda Gray, Owner/Broker of Coldwell Banker Coast to Coast Properties, member of the Veteran’s Association (her husband Jim is a retired Lt. Commander U.S. Navy Submarines), organized the event with the help of a devoted volunteer Lee Rhea.

There were guest speakers at the meeting. First speaker was Priscilla Solano, President of the Chamber of Tourism Guanacaste (CATURGUA). She spoke about all the projects the Chamber is working on. The primary project is to provide water for our area (Sardinal, Playa Hermosa and Playas del Coco).  It appears that between the local government, AyA (government owned water company) and the local community of Sardinal, there have been disagreements about area water use, volume and infrastructure. After several years it appears the local government will be on a fast track to solve problems and approach the minority in disagreement (long story) that it is the good of the general/majority public who must prevail.  She discussed different options for water systems; desalinization, water collection/storage, and a fairly new water collection system that collects the water from the air/humidity, purifying and collecting to storage facilities.  She also talked about the airport expanding to include cargo plans and mentioned that the last week of December 2015, 149 airplanes landed at the Daniel Oduber International Airport located in Liberia, Guanacaste. (Click to Tweet this great news!)

The next speaker was Diego Lopez from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, he used to be in the Navy, now working for the Embassy as the Representative in the United States Office of Defense and he is also connected to the Humanitarian Assistance Program.  He is currently working on a project in the Filadelfia (Carrillo) area where they are delivering water filter systems to a number of communities.

He is happy to work with our local government who must submit to him and the U.S. Embassy their requests for funding special projects like water filtration, collection and desalinization.  A non-for-profit organization cannot submit directly to the Humanitarian Assistance Program.  However, Diego encourages the Veteran’s Organization and the Chamber of Tourism of Guanacaste to work together to present ideas/projects to the city in order for them to submit requests to the U.S. Embassy.  Diego said he has already contacted the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for possible assistance with the water projects.  He said they can also assist with security issues and requests also medical emergency (additional defibrillators, CPR training for the police, etc).

One of the Municipality of Carrillo attorneys was present at the meeting, Katherine Mourelo. Diego and Priscilla had the opportunity to speak to her about the projects they presented at the meeting.

The event attendees asked several questions of both speakers and there was a great deal of interaction after the presentation. The meeting created a great deal of synergy and hopefully will motivate volunteers to get and STAY involved.

Linda encourages the community to attend the Guanacaste Veteran’s Association meetings. You don’t have to be a veteran to attend or join but you do get the benefit of meeting new people, attending events that are informative and fun and the opportunity to get involved, volunteer and help promote worthwhile projects in the community.  The Association meets every 3rd Saturday of the month (except this last meeting) at Coconutz Restaurant on Playas del Coco Main Street at 11:00 A.M.

Just a reminder (another Veteran’s Project) – the Cardio Safe Community Project is having a CPR class, April 12, 2016 at the Bosque Del Mar Hotel (beach front) in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste from 9:00am to 4:00pm.  To reserve a space call Linda’s office 2670-0805 or write to her at

A Costa Rican Artist Transforms Wood From Fallen Trees Into A Magical Masterpiece

tony3Costa Rica is not just nature, rain forest, colorful frogs, prestine beaches and active volcanoes. In later years, Costa Rican´s appetite for local culture has been on the raise, with music groups like Editus and Malpais just to name a few. But also painting and sculpting are becoming more and more important in the country.

An example of this is Tony Jiménez ( He is a Costa Rican sculptor who transforms wood from fallen tries into creative masterpieces. Tony was born in the northern province of Guanacaste. He has participated in several art expos where he has received many recognitions.

Just by going online and checking the pictures of his art you will be able to feel what the artist wants to express, now being closer to those pieces is a totally different experience. According to his website, in each piece Tony wants to “bring out the texture, quality and color of the woods he uses” through including “movement, dynamics and fine finishes” to each one of his pieces.

We at Today In Costa Rica want to share with you the local talent of the Ticos. We want to invite you to visit Tony´s website and next time you are in the country go visit his workshop in Guayabo, Bagaces, Guanacaste, located right on the foothills of the Miravalles Volcano.

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