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Costa Rica bans plastic straws and plastic bags!

On June 5th, the Costa Rican government announced a new guideline to eliminate the use of plastic straws and plastic bags in the country. The strategy prompts the substitution of these plastics by non-petroleum renewable or marine-biodegradable materials. The strategy motivates actions by municipal governments and promotes the creation of policies and institutional guidelines to replace the consumption of plastic of single use by renewable and marine-biodegradable alternatives. "While it is true that we have built the National Recycling Strategy [...]

Turrialba Volcano and its potential effects to aviation in Costa Rica

Turrialba Volcano is an 11,000-foot stratovolcano located 50 km east of San Jose. It re-activated 6 years ago after being dormant for over 150 years. It produces phreatic eruptions and also expels columns of ash which given the sufficient volume and wind conditions can affect aviation, particularly in and out of Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose (Airport code SJO). The eruptions have been few over the last 6 years and the volcano is under careful monitoring and observation. There [...]

Packing List for an overnight Rafting Trip on the Pacuare River

Packing List for an overnight Rafting Trip on the Pacuare River W e made this list to help our travelers adequately pack for an overnight trip on the Pacuare River. Aside from whitewater rafting on class III & IV whitewater operators will offer the hiking options on the trails located nearby their lodge, and in some operations, zip lining is offered as well. The good news is that the same clothing can be worn for rafting, hiking [...]

What to pack to Costa Rica?

What to pack to Costa Rica A t just 8 degrees north of the equator Costa Rica has a tropical climate so dress accordingly. You can expect hot days with a warm evening except the mountain areas where nights can be chilly with temperatures dropping to the low sixties (~18° C).  Avoid bright colors if you want to get close to wildlife.   Informal wear is fine nearly everywhere but you might want to bring something more [...]

What to consider when planning a trip to Costa Rica

So you are entertaining the idea of taking a trip to Costa Rica. Here are some of the variables, you should be considering in your initial planning: When exactly do you wish to travel?  Do you have set dates, or perhaps tentative ones? How many people are travelling and how many hotel rooms will you require? Are there any children coming, if so, what ages? Does each child require their own bed or can they share? Are there particular places you [...]

Costa Rica: Low Season vs High Season vs Peak Season

Low Season vs High Season I n Costa Rica we have 2 seasons, summer and winter. With its Tropical climate it never gets cold, however, the difference between the two climates is determined by the amount of rainfall. That’s why we also refer to winter as the rainy season, or to make it sound more appealing: green season; summer’s nicknamed dry season. In regards to tourism, summer and winter are called high season and low season respectively. [...]

Corcovado National Park: “The most biologically intense place on earth”

Corcovado National Park - A different point of view F orget the luxury of your own bedroom, let alone your own bathroom. Even air conditioning, a comfortable bed, warm water, cold drinks, a convenience store, t.v, beer, wine, candies, electricity and all other facilities you do not worry about in your own bubble- you have them, so why worry about them- are no where to be found in "the most biological diverse place on earth" ( [...]

Canopy Zip Lining in Costa Rica

Canopy Zip Lining- Costa Rica Style I f you come to Costa Rica, there are at least two things that you will not be able to skip. The first is eating ‘rice and beans’ and the second is moving through the tree top by means of a harness, pulleys and a cable. The canopy tour or zip lines is a Costa Rican specialty. For the most part, its fame comes from the sensation it produces when [...]

White Water Rafting in Costa Rica

White Water Rafting in the Tropics T he combination of rugged terrain, numerous drainage networks and a great volume of runoff provide Costa Rica with more white water paddling opportunities than any other country of similar dimensions. Without doubt, some of the most majestic jewels of the rich coast are its white water rivers. Costa Rica’s rivers are the quintessential tropical jungle rivers, teeming with spectacular natural scenery and wild life. Most rivers flow through lush [...]

Arenal: the perfect Volcano

Arenal- The perfect Volcano A renal Volcano, formerly known as Cerro Arenal or Cerro Los Guatusos, began its 11th period of Activity on July 29th, 1968 with a devastating eruption of gases and material in the western at 1000 meters over sea level. The pyroclastic flows and volcanic bombs caused the destruction of the towns of Tabacon and Pueblo Nuevo and death toll of 87 people. Recent Studies suggest that previous to that the last active [...]

Transportation in Costa Rica

Transportation in Costa Rica - Private vs. Non-Private Transfers A t MrTico we pride ourselves in exclusively using vans, coasters and buses in tip top shape; all with the required permits, operator´s insurance, AC, seat belts, and the capacity to install child seats. All vehicles are driven by experienced and knowledgeable full time drivers. With land transfers within Costa Rica, one very important thing to note is the difference between private transfers and non-private transfers. A private [...]

Dominical: the Uncut Gem of the South Pacific

Dominical, the uncut Gem of the South Pacific O n the south central Pacific coast, roughly 50 km south of Manuel Antonio, lays the tiny beach community of Dominical.  The area´s natural beauty is second to none, bordered by the turquoise Pacific Ocean, the beautiful Baru River and rainforest carpeted mountains. The location is amazing for surfing. You can be an intermediate, advanced or beginner surfer and still fully enjoy Dominical, with that wide sand break [...]

Monteverde Sky Tram, Trek, and Walk

Monteverde, Sky Tram, Trek, and Walk E xperience a full nature & adventure combo on the Monteverde the Sky Tram, Sky Trek and Sky Walk. Upon arriving to the location, the journey starts in the reception where you will board the Sky Tram´s slow paced gondolas and ride smoothly up to a wide observation deck at the attraction´s highest point.  While on the tram you will have the opportunity of observing  the cloud forest´s  biodiversity, the [...]

Caving in Costa Rica

Caving in Costa Rica - Get down and get dirty! S omewhere in the Northern zone at the end of a dirt road near the tiny town of Venado are the Venado Caves. Be warned: this adventure might not be suited for everyone; especially those who are not comfortable with confined spaces or walking on extremely uneven terrain. However, if you don’t mind confined spaces, crawling, getting wet and dirty, climbing and squeezing through narrow passages [...]

The Southern Nicoya Peninsula

The Southern Nicoya Peninsula T he Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula is nature & beach lover, and surfer paradise; with abundant wildlife and plant life and several natural parks and protected reserves. You will find awesome surfing spots, breathtaking beaches, diving, snorkeling, golfing and much more. This corner of Costa Rica features 6 small towns, each with it unique character and charm. The town of Tambor faces the calm but windy Gulf of Nicoya, and its [...]

San Jose: Costa Rica’s Capital

San Jose, Costa Rica's Capital A voided like the plague and trash talked by some, called home and loved by others. San José, Costa Rica's Capital is a city of contrasts, surrounded by green volcanoes, scattered with enjoyable squares, tree filled university campuses, coffee shops, restaurants, coffee baron era, architectural jewels, lookouts, friendly familiar faces, tree lined streets, vibrant strip malls and of course traffic, pollution, crime, road rage, potholes, poverty and areas that simply put [...]

Driving a rental car in Costa Rica

Driving a rental car in Costa Rica D riving a (rental) car is a great way to get to experience Costa Rica but it comes with some warnings.  There have been some recent improvements however many roads throughout the country are still in poor conditions. Tico drivers are generally polite but can also be reckless.  Pedestrians, bikes, stray cattle and potholes are additional hazards. It’s best not to drive at night due to potential bad visibility, [...]

Why use a travel agent for your vacation to Costa Rica?

Why use a Travel Agent for your trip to Costa Rica? W ithout a doubt Costa Rica is a great place to visit, but you can easily make mistakes in your travel plans if don’t know what you’re doing.  Contrary to what a lot of people think you can’t simply mine all the information from the World Wide Web. Once you find the information, is it up to date and reliable? Eventually, questions which cannot be [...]

What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

What is the best time to visit Costa Rica? A s Costa Rica Travel Experts this is probably the most frequent question people ask us. If someone is looking for a quick answer we say anywhere from December through April for great weather or July and August if you don’t mind some rain and want better prices. However it’s actually really a little more complicated than that; of course it’s all about weather and getting the [...]

Who are the Ticos?

Who are the Ticos? C osta Ricans, Costarricences or Ticos are unique on the isthmus. They take pride in a distinct identity and relative prosperity and stability in a region beset by poverty and turmoil. Costa Rica’s original inhabitants were the roughly 100,000 indigenous peoples organized in desperate tribes.  Most of them rapidly succumbed to decease and ruthless leadership of 16th-century Spanish Conquistadores. In many cases tribes were reduced to subsistence status. Whereas in neighboring countries [...]

Tipping in Costa Rica

Tipping in Costa Rica T ipping in Costa Rica is not a fact of life, with the exception of the Tourism Industry, where it certainly is. People in this industry depend on tips to make ends meet, given that wages are low in comparison to the cost of living. Having said this, tips are an acknowledgment of good service, while the lack of it means not such a good service. Tips should be given for good [...]

Pacific Pearl: Golfo de Nicoya

Pacific Pearl: Golfo de Nicoya T he Golfo de Nicoya is a Pacific inlet located in the North Central Pacific of Costa Rica. It’s 90km in length and varies from 15km to 50km in width, separating the Nicoya Peninsula from the mainland of Costa Rica. It constitutes a rich marine habitat high in biodiversity. Its coastal landscape is lined with wetlands, jagged rocky outcrops, sandy beaches and cliffs.  The gulf features the highest concentration of Islands [...]

Ostional: Environmental Sustainability with Room for Improvement

Ostional – Environmental Sustainability with Room for Improvement T he Beach of Ostional, in the north Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is the site of a unique biological spectacle. During the new moon nights of the rainy season, hundreds, sometimes thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles simultaneously land on Ostional beach to lay their eggs. Although well known for this phenomenon, Ostional is even today, one of the most isolated communities in Costa Rica. Not by [...]

Epiphytes: From Colonizers to Adventures

Epiphytes | From Colonizers to Adventures! I f botanists have verified that one-fourth of all the lowland forest plants are epiphytes, then we surely like to know a little more about these….epiphytes. Right? First of all an epiphyte is a plant that grows on other plants such as a tree while it derives its moisture and nutrients not from its host (therefore it’s non-parasitical), but rather from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around [...]

Happy Tico’s Booming Eco-tourism

Happy Tico's Booming Eco-system S ince the mid 1980’s Costa Rica has placed considerable emphasis in developing the tourism industry, which in the early 2000’s has surpassed agriculture as the main source of foreign income. The number of international arrivals to Costa Rica increased from 430,000 in 1990 to over 2.4 million by 2013. The main focus of Costa Rican tourism policy is eco-tourism which means low impact development which preserves the natural vegetation of the [...]

Mangroves: Pioneer of the Seawaters

Mangroves: Pioneer of the Seawaters L et us talk about one of the most unusual types of vegetation on the planet. Mangroves are forests that become submerged periodically by the waters of the sea or when the rivers rise or overflow. Its base is an interminable interlacing of adventitious aerial roots, sometimes having forms that are fantastic or haunting, but always and continually emerging from and sinking into the mud that is rhythmically flooded or exposed [...]

Should I bother exchanging my Dollars to Costa Rica currency?

Should I bother exchanging my Dollars to Costa Rica currency? C osta Rica travelers often ponder whether they should exchange their US dollars to local currency. The simple answer to this question for most travelers is: yes, but don’t exchange much currency, certainly no more than $100. The colón (named after Christopher Columbus, or Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) is the currency of Costa Rica. The US dollar however is the unofficial currency of tourism in Costa Rica, therefore hotels, rental cars, tours and merchandise [...]

The Benefits of Traveling during the Costa Rican Green Season

The Benefits of Traveling during the Costa Rican Green Season P reviously we’ve blogged about the definition of high and low season in Costa Rica, but we actually never looked into the benefits of the latter, the so called ‘green’, ‘wet’ or ‘rainy’ season. Don’t think your trip will be a washout when traveling between May and November. Depending on the region, clouds usually drift by in the afternoons, dropping rain for a couple of hours. [...]

Pacuare and Savegre Rivers are given 15 year of Protection from Dams

Pacuare and Savegre Rivers are given 15 year of Protection from Dams C osta Rican President, Luis Guillermo Solis, signed a decree which banned the development of hydroelectric projects in the Pacuare and Savegre and Rivers for the next 25 years. The measure applies to projects with a capacity equal to or greater than 500 kilowatts and aims that rivers are kept clean and free of physical barriers. This initiative responds to the need to protect natural [...]