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April 13th, 2016
First, I want to thank the many readers who communicated with me after my last post, part of which discussed what I had learned from my cancer treatments. I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate the numerous comments and best wishes I received via email, phone calls, and comments from the various ex-pat groups on Facebook. Thank you so much! As an update, I have completed all the treatments (last week), and now I wait. The doctors are very optimistic and tell me that they believe I have beaten this thing. Feels great. I will now take various tests about every 90-120 days to confirm their positive prognosis. Again… thanks to all. Very unexpected but very appreciated.
As for part 2, from the questions I received, it seems I need to clarify some of the info in my past post. Interested? Read on! Continue reading »Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Health, Hospital Metropolitano, Living in Costa Rica, Medical Tourism, Medical Tourism Costa Rica, MediSmart, Private Health Care Costa Rica, Questions from Readers | Comments (4)
January 19th, 2016
Most important is the Zika has not yet arrived in Costa Rica. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it is now in about 19 other countries, and I know that a lot of folks visiting Costa Rica have travel plans that will take them to one of these other countries.
The next important thing is that Zika has very few symptoms, BUT can have devastating affects to the unborn children of pregnant women who contract this disease in any other other other countries. Babies are born with very small skulls and apparently some brain damage.
If this topic is of interest to you… read on! Continue reading »Filed under Chikungunya, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Dengue Fever, Disease in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel Advisory, Travel to Costa Rica, Zika Virus | Comment (0)
June 27th, 2015
Weather conditions have worsened and for all intents and purposes, the Caribbean side of Costa Rica has been cut off not only for travel but much of communications. The most affected are Siquirres, Matina, Sarapiqui, Turrialba, Limón, Talamanca and Valle de la Estrella.
The only way to the Caribbean area is Route 10 (Paradise-Turrialba-Siquirres) and is regulated.
On Route 32, at KM 25, a landslide of an estimate 4 billion cubic meters has closed the highway completely. Other massive flooding has temporarily affected the fiber optic line disrupting the cellular and fixed phone service near Sarapiqui.
Obviously my readers here in CR know all about this, but folks visiting Costa Rica may well want to find out the current situation on the Caribbean side before setting off. Conditions are dangerous.
Below is a video sent to me by a friend near Guapiles. It pretty much shows the incredible flooding and while in Spanish, it is not hard to understand what he is saying.
TimFiled under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Driving in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel Advisory, Travel to Costa Rica | Comment (0)
December 15th, 2014
I am never fond of travel advisories because far too often, people overreact to things that are just not all that serious. On the other hand, I delayed blogging about these two topics until I could get the full picture. Neither is, in my opinion, reason to change travel plans. Both, however, should be read and absorbed so you can enjoy your time in Costa Rica.
The first is about the chikungunya virus now having arrived in Costa Rica.
The second is about the death of an 11-year-oldchild from a brain infection last July that prompted the Florida Health Department to issue an advisory alert after tests confirmed the infection was caused by an amoeba he contracted while vacationing in Costa Rica. If these subjects are of interest to you… read on! Continue reading »Filed under Amoebas in Costa Rica, Chikungunya, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Dengue Fever, Disease in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel Advisory, Travel to Costa Rica | Comment (1)
December 3rd, 2014
For the longest time, I have wanted to blog about the use of GPS devices in Costa Rica. I actually asked and received some GPS maps from companies (located in Costa Rica) to test on my Garmin Nuvi. These are pretty much the same maps available online and when you rent a GPS at car rental agencies in Costa Rica. For tourists especially, a GPS can be pretty handy as this country is well known to have no street names nor addresses. Pretty daunting for many travelers. Anyway, I tested several, and all worked adequately, especially for location hotels and common tourist destinations, they did not work so well once you got off major highways. In fact, I found it to be common for at least two of the maps to cheerfully tell me to “turn right” from where I was driving on the Pan American Highway! Only problem? I was between exits!
Another more personal issue was that NONE of them showed MY street… like the one where I lived. If I entered my GPS coordinates, it happily took me to the street running behind my home and suggested I enter my driveway via my neighbor’s living room. In fact, the entire subdivision where my wife’s daughter lives (for three years now) shows as empty farm field.
It was then that I decided to write this article covering not only GPS systems in general but Waze as well as that is the future of GPS. Interested? Read on… Continue reading »Filed under Apple iPhone, Cell Phones, Communications, Costa Rica Tourism, Driving in Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Smart Phones, Tourism, Travel, Waze | Comments (9)
November 26th, 2014
Trying 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. Hotels often offer Thanksgiving Dinner… quality can GREATLY vary. Interested in this topic? Read on!
November 24th, 2014
Forever its seems, when you left Costa Rica by air, you paid the ($29.00) exit tax at the airport in a special area to the right of the main entrance at SJO. I am not sure where it was paid in Liberia (LIB). Technically, you could also pay it at at Bancrédito bank branches, or at travel agencies, but I know I never did that nor did many folks I know. The line was actually fairly efficient in SJO, so it generally did not bother many people. I guess this is now changing! If this topic interests you, read on! Continue reading »Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Exit Tax, Costa Rica Tourism, Travel, Travel Advisory | Comments (3)
October 19th, 2013
Photography 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….Cameras & Photography, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Expatriate Life, Humidity Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (13)
October 1st, 2013
Perpetual 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 »Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Costa Rica Residency, Costa Rica Tourism, Immigration Law, Living in Costa Rica, Perpetual Tourism, Retire in Costa Rica, Travel to Costa Rica | Comment (0)
September 29th, 2013
Some 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..
Click to continue reading Continue reading »Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Dengue Fever, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel Advisory, Travel to Costa Rica | Comment (0)