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End of year? Marchamo time!

November 23rd, 2014

moneyIf you own a car here in Costa Rica, you probably already know what is marchamo. Marchamo is paid every December and give you the right to take your car out of the garage (or wherever) and drive it in Costa Rica, i.e. “circulate”. There are over 1 million cars in Costa Rica.  The marchamo payment includes mandatory liability insurance, property tax, sales and other taxes and any traffic fines that you have failed to pay.  Depending on the age and model of your car, marchamo is by no means cheap. Interested in this topic?  Read On! Continue reading »

Duty Free Shopping in Golfito, Costa Rica

March 26th, 2014

SaveOccasionally I get submissions from other bloggers here in Costa Rica and sometimes, I hear about an article written by one of them that would be a great additions to The REAL Costa Rica Blog.  In this case, I contacted the author and requested permission to reprint one of their Blog articles. I got a really good deal from blogger Pat Wegner who writes Blog: Mi Chunche. Don’t bother looking up chunche as you likely will not find it.  It means, for lack of a better word, thing or thingy… maybe even whatchamacallit…  a damned fine and handy word to know if living in Costa Rica and you have no idea how to say some word in Spanish.  Great catchall word!

Anyway, Pat’s fine article appears below and explains the processes and procedures for making a trip to the Southern Zone to do some serious shopping, especially for appliances, electronics and other highly taxed items.  As you will read, it IS an investment in time and money, but if buying a ton of hard goods, can be a very cost saving trip.

Duty Free Shopping in Golfito By Pat Wegner

Have you ever considered a duty free shopping spree in the Pacific town of Golfito?  If this article is of interest, read on! Continue reading »

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica 2013

November 26th, 2013

tgTrying to find a good and comprehensive list of restaurants that offer a good Thanksgiving feast in Costa Rica is difficult.  Several sites and user groups offer a few, but nothing really complete.  Saying that, I am starting this list. It contains almost nothing, but I am asking that my readers:

1. Add in the comments any restaurants that you know offer a Thanksgiving dinner in CR.  Include location and cost and opinion if possible. I will add it here on this blog page.

2. Spread the word by sending this direct link to anyone who you think might add to this list… i.e. eaters :)

Permalink: http://blog.therealcostarica.com/2013/11/26/thanksgiving-in-costa-rica-2013

The List – Please be proactive and add your favs in the comments! I know this is lame… so help me!!

 

As of Turkey Day at 7:30 AM, this experiment was not working well… only a handful of recommendations.  Oh well…. Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!  Now, go pig out. As on your birthday, calories do not count today.

 

Central Valley

EL PATIO DEL BALMORAL
(2-221-1700 / http://ElPatioDelBalmoral.com http://ElPatioDelBalmoral.com  /  https://facebook.com/pages/El-Patio-Del-Balmoral/138691386226515 )
Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, along with waldorf salad, mashed camote/sweet potato, calabasa/pumpkin cake, CRANBERRY SAUCE and a glass of wine (regular menu also).
HOURS: noon till they run out (they close the kitchen at 9:45pm)
PRICE: 14,000/$28 (INCLUDES Impuesto and service fee).  Reservations suggested but not mandatory.
LOCATION: San Jose-Centro – Avenida Central – between Calle 7th and 9th

 

Wyndham Hotel Herradura  (old Ramada)

Autopista General Canas        3 Miles South of Intl Airport, San Jose, CR
506-2209-9800         506-2209-9800
Excellent food, but bring your own cranberry sauce!

http://www.wyndham.com/hotels/costa-rica/san-jose/wyndham-san-jose-herradura-hotel-convention-center/hotel-overview

14,000 colones.

Begins at 7 PM

 

Sportsman’s Lodge

Downtown San Jose is the SPORTSMAN LOUNGE  $22.50  all you can eat, glass of wine .  Half price for 65 and over.  Same for women and kids
Caribbean   Thanks to Sarah

La Costa Papito
Puerto Viejo, Limón
$20.00 (I’m assuming this is cada uno)
Tel: 2750 0080

http://www.lacostadepapito.com/

Outback Jack’s
Puerto Viejo, Limón
$20.00/ per
tel: 2637 0407

 

Casino Club Colonial always has a Thanksgiving meal.
Here’s the link for this year. It’s $25 adn includes a beer or wine.

 

South Pacific

Here’s a very good restaurant in Ojochal on the South Pacific coast that is offering the following:
Yes, Azul Rest at El Castillo is offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal with the following menu:

$35 per person (plus tax and service)

Traditional Roasted Turkey
Classic Texas Cornbread Dressing and White Gravy
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Yams done Traditionally with Brown Sugar and Marshmallows
Greed Beans Sauteed with Almonds and Mushrooms
Honey Glazed Carrots
Homemade Rolls

For dessert we will be offering Pumpkin Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust and Layered Lemon Cake.

For a cocktail? How about a Pumpkin Martini

 

Guanacaste Pacific – Las Playas

Liberia and The Greenhouse restaurant has a five course Thanksgiving dinner for $30. Their food is extraordinary and the service and atmosphere are awesome. Located across from Ciprosal ferrateria on the main road from the Liberia airport.

Restaurante Louisiana- Playas del Cocos, Guanacaste – $40.00 includes 1 hot, 1 cold appetizer, Thanksgiving dinner, dessert and 1 glass of wine.

 

 

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Reading in Costa Rica – A How-To Guide for the 21st Century

October 27th, 2013

nookI recently received either an email or a comment from one of my readers asking why I don’t write about devices like Amazon’s Kindle, the Nook, etc. The digital eBook readers. Pretty good idea! So here it is.

My last post covered the affects of humidity on cameras. I hope that it was helpful. Saying that, humidity can do a real job on books as well. If not stored properly, they too can develop mold and mildew (sp. hongos). I know folks that actually shrink wrap books to protect them. Too much hassle for me. I use the latest in gadgets. 21st century stuff!

If this topic is of interest… read on!
Continue reading »

Cameras and Humidity in Costa Rica

October 19th, 2013

nikonPhotography has always been enormously popular not only with the tourists but with many ex-pats living here in Costa Rica.  It is one of my favorite pastimes. I have had and used several excellent film and digital cameras here in Costa Rica including an Olympus, a Mamiya, and my current cameras, Nikons).  What I am going to discuss in this post is probably more directed to ex-pats who live here full time, but may be of interest to those staying here for shorter periods.

The topic is humidity and its affect on cameras in the tropics.

If this topic is of interest, read on….

Continue reading »

Costa Rica Rains Causing Death and Destruction

October 5th, 2013

ta2This is a travel advisory for those visiting Costa Rica but might also be of interest to anyone living here and experiencing their first “green season“.

While Costa Rica does not suffer from hurricanes (we are too far south) we certainly get some torrential rains every year during the rainy season (mid-May to maybe mid-December ).  October is the wettest month. This year is no exception, and in fact the rains have been just incredible the attendant flooding has been wiping out roads and bridges all over the country.

If this topic is of interest, read on…

Continue reading »

NBC Terminates Service to Costa Rica

October 2nd, 2013

sucks1There are a LOT of pretty PO’d people in Costa Rica today.

NBC, for some unknown reason has now removed all programming to Costa Rica. As of yesterday, all cable operators displayed a sign on the NBC channel stating that NBC will no longer be available here. Further, the cable companies are denying requests for a price adjustment. I have been unable to find any reason for this blockage by NBC, but the station is popular not only with the Costa Ricans, with Ex-Pats living in Costa Rica but also by the many thousands of visitors here from the USA and other countries. I do not care much about the rebate for less cable service, but I am one of the PO’d people that NBC would be so high handed as to do this to so many viewers.

Interested in this topic? Read on… Continue reading »

Perpetual Tourists – Good Time to Get Legal or Get Gone

October 1st, 2013

pp.jpgPerpetual Tourists (PTs) are those folks who come to Costa Rica to live but have no intention of applying for legal residency.  They are under the mistaken impression that they can just leave Costa Rica every 90 days to “renew” their visa.  Some have done this for years and so will argue that it is OK.  However… This has never been legal, but sadly, it has never been made strictly illegal. Immigration has had many opportunities to remedy or clarify this problem, but instead it has skirted the issue time and again. Therefore, what we have now is a most unpleasant and even dangerous situation.  We have the immigration officials at airports and at the international frontiers  who pretty much seem to be acting on their own seemingly having received no guidance from their supervisors.  I know of nothing worse than bureaucrats acting on their own.

Interested in this topic?  Read on… Continue reading »

Dengue Fever Costa Rica 2013

September 29th, 2013

Aedes_mosquitoSome records are good to break… others… not so much. As of September 21, 2013 the Ministry of Health announced that they have recorded 38,497 cases, 699 more than 2005, the year with the heretofore highest incidence of dengue. Some areas such as Atenas seem to have been affected worse than others, but one should use caution wherever mosquitoes are biting in the daytime.  Why daytime?  Because the mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that transmits dengue fever only bites during the daytime hours.

Tourists or anyone visiting areas frequented by mosquitoes should use and good bug spray.  Bring some from your home country as you’ll pay ripoff prices in CR. Remember the pump spray or cremes will not get confiscated in airports as might the spray cans..

Rather than starting from scratch, I have posted below the FAQs form the Center for Disease Control website and you can also check out this info from the Real Costa Rica.

Click  to continue reading Continue reading »

New Rules for Obtaining a Costa Rica Drivers License

March 14th, 2013

COSEVIThis post is directed to foreigners interested in obtaining a Costa Rica drivers license. It is not relevant to citizens of Costa Rica.

I have been putting off writing this post for a couple of months now hoping that I could write the complete story.  Alas, I can only cover part of it, but the info is important, so I will either add to this post later or post anew.

In the past, any person from another country could easily obtain a Costa Rica drivers license.  The process was basically just to go to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes MOPT office (closest San Jose office is in Uruca) with your current drivers license. your current passport, and some money. You would stop at one of the doctor’s offices located nearby the MOPT and get a short physical called a Dictamen Médico. You would then walk to the MOPT, go in, get in line and maybe two hours later… you had your license! No test. Nothing.  Easy!

Not any more.

The new rules now restrict anyone seeking a Costa Rica drivers license to be a citizen of Costa Rica or to those foreigners who possess legal residency in Costa Rica. This means you must now show your current cedula de residencia (your national ID card valid for any form of residency i.e pensionado, rentista, permanent, etc) issued when you received your legal residency. No cedula? No license.

If you would like to know more about this topic… read on!

Continue reading »

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