Category Archives: Whatever…

How to communicate (in Spanish) at a Costa Rica Restaurant

Ordering cocktails at a restaurant, an American friend of ours once said, “I’m going to have to try the Sex on the Beach.” Without missing a beat, the waiter said, “OK, and to drink?”

Here are some useful terms to know when ordering at Costa Rican restaurants.

Aderezo — salad dressing. Costa Ricans usually serve salad with no dressing (other than perhaps some lime), but you can always ask for it.

Bebidas — drinks. As in most countries, drinks are generally ordered first while diners look at the menu. Servers will often ask “¿Qué desean tomar?” or “What would you like to drink?”

Casado — traditional, inexpensive dish with beef, chicken, pork or fish, plus rice, beans, sweet plantains and chopped vegetables.

Entrada — appetizer. This word is easily confused with “entrée,” but entrée is “plato fuerte.”

Gallo Pinto — rice and beans served for breakfast, usually with eggs, fruit and toast.

La Cuenta, Por Favor — “Check, please.” Note that in Costa Rica it’s considered somewhat rude for servers to offer to bring you the check before you ask for it (as if they’re rushing you to leave). You can also request a check from afar by getting a server’s attention and using your hand to mime the act of writing.

Mascarilla — facemask. Under current coronavirus rules, you should wear a mask when you enter any business, though obviously you can take it off in a restaurant to eat and drink.

Naturales — non-alcoholic fruit drinks served at virtually all restaurants, made of piña (pineapple), sandía (watermelon), tamarindo (tamarind), cas (a type of guayava) and other fruits.

Plato Fuerte — literally meaning “strong dish,” this means entrée or main course.

Postre — dessert

Provecho — the Costa Rican way of saying “Bon appétit,” or “Enjoy the food.”

Soda — traditional, inexpensive Costa Rican restaurant. This does not mean a fizzy soft drink, which is a “gaseosa.”

Típico — traditional or regional, used to describe authentic Costa Rica food. Often translated “typical,” although in English “typical” usually means ordinary and uninteresting.

Costa Rica budget savings tips


Heck, these ideas apply to travel and residency.  We’ve found hitchhiking around our area pretty easy.  Just use common sense.

1.- Use the Colón, the local currency

You can pay anywhere in Costa Rica with American dollars, and there are many who live daily with this currency. However, I recommend using the Colón, (the local currency) because with it you are much less likely to be taken or treated as a tourist anymore. In addition, the dollar has more value so the rounding is always upward. However, with the Colón you can make much more controlled and accurate payments. With this trick, you will not save much money, but everything helps in a country with such high prices.

2.- Pay cash better than with a card

If, something caught my attention about Costa Rica is that almost anywhere can one can pay by card. However, if you carry a visa from another country it is very likely that with each payment you make you will incur a commission and in the end, you end up leaving a bit of money in commissions. That is why I recommend running with cash. Important, whenever you are going to withdraw money, look for a cashier where a commission is not charged and use a credit card for the trip that does not charge you fees for using it abroad. For example, the Evo Bank card.

3.- Buy a local SIM card for your phone

If something is cheap in Costa Rica it’s cell phone service and having a SIM (chip) with local number can get you out of many troubles. When I arrived in Costa Rica, I bought a prepaid mobile card (from the Kolbi company) and I put in 3 Euros, of which I did not spend even half after a month of travel. In addition, I thought I sent many messages and made more than one call. As footnote…make sure you bring and unlocked cell phone.

4.- Soda, the cheapest option to eat

Fundamental. Eating in sodas is a lot cheaper than doing it in restaurants. For us to understand, the soda is a type of restaurant in a basic plan, without too many luxuries but home cooked and freshly made. It is a good place to eat dishes of the day (the equivalent of the Spanish menu) or the Casado, which is a dish, composed of rice, beans, banana and other ingredients to choose from. It’s ideal to fill the stomach with a lot for little money. I never spent more than 5 Euros eating on a soda and I always came out perfectly satisfied. Eating in sodas is a great way support the local community.

5.- Shopping in supermarkets

This rule is useful for Costa Rica or for any other country in the world. The cheapest option to eat is always to buy your food in a supermarket and prepare it yourself. Generally, hostels have kitchens at the disposal of the tenant. Now, I can also tell you that the savings of eating via supermarkets in Costa Rica are minimal (the shopping cart is expensive) so many times it makes up or works out to eat in a soda and save you the effort of cooking. Buying in supermarket is a very good option if you travel in large groups since you can cook for more people for less price.

6.- Sleep in hostels and cabins

If you want to travel cheaply through Costa Rica, the best lodging option is to use hostels or cabins instead of hotels. For those of you who have never been in this country, I would say that cabins are a type of accommodation often found in Costa Rica that can be a simple room, with its own bathroom and a few more luxuries. I mean do not expect room service, hot tub and that sort of thing. However, despite its simplicity, it is easy to find cabins with a lot of charm. The difference between the hostel – youth hostel and the cabin is the one that usually includes common spaces, rooms of several beds and other elements that favor the interaction between the members. The cabins usually have more privacy. The average prices in both types of hotels are usually similar but the hostel you can usually find rooms with many beds which are always the cheapest option.

7.- Stay in Tico houses

Of course, there is nothing cheaper than free, so of course I invite you to look for accommodation in local houses. For me it is still the best way to travel and there are websites that facilitate this search as Couch surfing. If it is true that in Costa Rica, despite traveling alone, I found it particularly difficult to find a bed in this way. Moreover, it is distant or beyond San José and other cities, the community of Couch surfing is small, inactive and dispersed. However, this is not the only way to open the doors and that sometimes honesty, sympathy and a good attitude is the best key.

8.- Buses for locals, the cheapest transportation in Costa Rica

As tourists, we usually seek the most comfortable way to the sites and we find it much easier than a private minibus, a taxi or a car that takes us from one destination to another. However, in Costa Rica the difference in prices between private and public transport is enormous, so if you are encouraged as much as possible to abandon the comfort and bet for savings. The public bus in Costa Rica is very cheap. In this sense, I encourage you to read my blog post on bus transportation in Costa Rica, with all the keys to travel by bus in this country and save a lot of money on transportation.

9.- Hitchhiking in Costa Rica

In fact, hitchhiking is not a common practice in Costa Rica, let alone in the main cities. However, the lifestyle of some coastal towns such as Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Montezuma and Santa Teresa share much with this practice so you will not spend more than 5 minutes with your finger raised before someone picks you up. To optimize your results “pulling your finger”, I recommend you read our guide to hitchhiking.

10.- Be nice and mix

This advice applies to Costa Rica, to any country in the world … and to life. If you remove the tourist layer, you get your best face and try to mix with the local people for the maximum, prepare for many good things to happen. I did my entire trip and I never missed anything. Ticos are wonderful people.

If you apply all these tips, it is easy to travel cheap in Costa Rica. Now, as I have explained, Costa Rica is a very expensive country for the tourist so, avoid travel with a loose budget. Of course, do not forget that, no matter what, Costa Rica is a wonderful country and every euro, dollar or Colón that you invest will be worth it.

What the press is saying about Tamarindo

This article definitely presents the highlights!

Playa Tamarindo Costa Rica a Paradise in Central America

Tamarindo is a lovely shoreline town, which is similarly tropical heaven and also a Multicultural meeting point. Called by the Forbes Specialized Magazine as the Most Famous Beach in Costa Rica. The city has developed from a lethargic angling town to the Mandatory Parade of visitors with a blend of abnormal state of shops, eateries, nightlife and openings joined with the Costa Rican season.

Individuals from Costa Rica, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and different countries work Businesses devoted to Tourist Need as Gourmet Restaurants, Bars, Casinos, Clothes Shops, Surf Shops, Fine Craft Shops, and numerous others More situated to go to the requirements of travelers. In foundation, Banks, Pharmacies, Post Offices, Internet, Dentists, Car Rental, Supermarkets, Video Stores, and so on.

Since Tamarindo started to draw such a large number of individuals from everywhere throughout the world, it is coherent and reasonable the expansion in air activity at Tamarindo airplane terminal and its development step by step. Situated in the city and behind the Private Golf Course, it gets day by day approaching and active flights from national carriers Sansa and Nature Air. At the point when Robert August recorded the portion about Tamarindo in the motion picture “Perpetual Summer”, Tamarindo turned out to be universally known for surfing.

Playa Tamarindo a Great Location for Surfing Movies

Furthermore, for a justifiable reason, there is no less than 5 world class surfing spots inside simple driving separation of downtown. These incorporate Playa Grande, Playa Avellanas, Playa Langosta and, obviously, Tamarindo itself. Tamarindo has been the area of different movies, for example, Wild On Channel E and one more of a similar Entertainment Channel, which has been recorded around the city.

Likewise MTV certifiable order one of their groups to show them to surf in the Bay. The premises have as of late been shot in the film FE DE AGUA to exhibit at worldwide celebrations and in the well-known novel Meine Wunderbare Familie. Seen by Millions consistently.

The shoreline of Tamarindo has an incredible adequacy of tide so in the morning is a gigantic shoreline of clear and fine sand, with a few reefs on the drift yet toward the evening the tide rises and the shoreline gets to be smaller as we set up a Magical evening in some of its bars with great music to give us the best of consistently, its dusks in the ocean.

In the event that the water of the Pacific ocean was similarly as sublime that in the Caribbean would be a standout amongst the most lovely places on the planet to live. The water is warm so you can spend the entire evening penetrating waves however it is not straightforward, it looks a considerable measure like the Argentine ocean or southern Brazil in shading.

To arrive, it is important to travel only 19 km north of the town of Tamarindo yet for 3 unique courses from the condition of Guanacaste, 152, then 155, lastly 180. We needed to ask a couple times where to turn. The shoreline of Brasilito has waters much clearer than a similar shoreline of Tamarindo, in spite of the fact that it doesn’t have a similar wonder in its shorelines.

It is extremely pleasant at any rate and tranquil as should be obvious and from the same toward the south you can stroll to Conchal shoreline which has quiet waters to repair a projecting to the Pacific Ocean.

Surfer’s Paradise

Costa Rica has a large number of surf breaks with waves originating from all bearings on two coasts. There are populated breaks for those needing organization or a crowd of people, normally circumscribed by discharge breaks inside strolling separation. What’s more, on the off chance that you need to get remote and outlandish, there are a lot of impeccable waves available just by watercraft or long climbs.

This minor Central American nation has turned out to be a standout amongst the most prominent goals for voyaging surfers around the world. Travel to Costa Rica and you will rapidly observe why – warm water, extraordinary nourishment, reasonable hotel, neighborly individuals and a wide assortment of waves.

Costa Rica is additionally a wonderful and quiet majority rules system. The way of life is one of the most astounding in Latin America, and instruction and education rates are high contrasted with different nations. Costa Ricans are pleasant, upbeat and very much mannered. And keeping in mind that Costa Rica is still a nation battling wrongdoing, savage wrongdoing is uncommon.

You likely been asking yourself when is the best yo appreciate this superb shoreline?

There are two seasons in Costa Rica: wet and dry. Amid the dry season (December to April) the surf is, all things considered, littler on the Pacific drift and bigger on the Caribbean. The wet season (May to November), otherwise called the ‘green season’, surf conditions switch, so the Pacific surf is greater.

The dry season matches with Costa Rica’s high season. This implies it’s more costly to go here this season of the year, because of heavier tourism that leans towards drier climate. It’s likewise more hard to secure cabin, which means you’ll have less flexibility to meander freely. Costs begin dropping not long after Easter (you can even arrange room rates) and it is significantly less swarmed. Indisputably the least expensive time to go to Costa Rica is amid the times of September and October.

Different Facts About Tamarindo Beach

The act of surfing in Tamarindo is straightforward, particularly for apprentices and families. The shoreline has numerous breakers inside strolling separation so you don’t have to take your vehicle. For the most developed and experienced surfers, Tamarindo has 2 superb principle surfers: Peak, a rough point before the Tamarindo Diría Hotel and the estuary El Estero.

Despite the fact that this city has turned into a world-renowned hub for surfers, Tamarindo is likewise a most loved goal for eco-sightseers. Encompassed by National Parks toward the north and south, and mountains overflowing with untamed life and plenteous foliage, Visiting Tamarindo is a delight. Toward the north of Tamarindo shoreline, isolated by a characteristic saltwater estuary, is Playa Grande. Playa Grande is known for being one of the fundamental settling purposes of the Baula Turtles, which has turned out to be a standout amongst the most earth neighborly attractions in the district.

The shorelines in the territory are normally spotless, and late endeavors by the legislature and neighborhood associations are being put under a magnifying glass. In spite of the way that the shoreline has not recouped the Status of Blue Flag Ecological, of 2008, got an endorsement of the soundness of the Government of Costa Rica.

So If you’re wanting to have a getaway of a lifetime tropically, simply book those flights immediately! Say no more, come visit this extraordinary Paradise in Central America.