• Subscribe by Email!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Medical Care and Options in Costa Rica

March 27th, 2016

I was  diagnosed with cancer last year.

While I thought I had a pretty deep knowledge of medical care both private and public (my wife has been with Calderon Guardia hospital, the second largest CAJA hospital in CR, for 34 years), it turns out I was wrong.  In this post I will share some information on health care in this country and the stuff I have learned.

Medical care in Costa Rica is of interest to not only ex-pats living here or wannabe ex-pats with plans to live here…  but to the many thousands of tourists who visit Costa Rica every year for what is known as medical tourism. Medical tourism we can define as people who visit Costa Rica with the express intent of having various medical procedures done here with the expectation that those procedures may be far less expensive than those same services performed in their home country.  In general, those are realistic expectations, but things are changing.  Over the past several years, medical institutions here have learned the medical tourism is big business and they have responded as expected. There are basically two options here for receiving medical care.  Private (aka for profit) and public (aka the CAJA or socialized medicine). If this topic is of interest, please read on… Continue reading »

Zika Virus – A Travel Alert but NOT for Costa Rica… Yet!

January 19th, 2016

ta2I am getting a ton of email asking about the Zika Virus.  In fact… so many emails that I felt I needed to post the hot skinny on this disease.

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 »

Cost Rica Caribbean Coast is Pretty Much Isolated

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.

rt32floodingOn 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.

YouTube Preview Image

Tim

Route 32 San Jose to Puerto Limon Closed

June 24th, 2015

32This major route suffered landslides and will be closed likely until Monday and perhaps longer. Travelers to the Caribbean costs should check the status of this highway before traveling route 32. Rains will continue, so even if open, take extreme caution when traveling along this road.

While there are other routes, they take much longer and may be affected by the heavy rains.

Photo courtesy of La Nacion

Chikungunya has Arrived in Costa Rica

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 »

Using a GPS and Waze in Costa Rica

December 3rd, 2014

gpssatFor 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 »

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica – 2014

November 26th, 2014

tgThe ultimate in laziness for a blogger is to reprint an olde post.  OK… Here is a re-print plus maybe a bit new. Check prices!  They may have changed.

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!

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.

 

 

Subscribe to The REAL Costa Rica Blog by Email

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 »

Subscribe in a reader

Search this Blog