Sabrina, our Discovery Beach House Concierge, and I have been having quite a bit of fun introducing you to all our favorite, and what we consider the best restaurants in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Today, we are at Jolly Rogers, a great sports bar here in Manuel Antonio.
It is a great and inexpensive place to bring the family. They have some of the most mouthwatering wings and burgers. For the chicken wings, they have 24 sauces you can choose from. I think the choice of sauces is hard to beat anywhere else. They also have pizzas. Who doesn’t love pizza!
Between their casino, sports bar, and live music, you’ll have a great time at Jolly Rogers. The owner, Lee Mercer, always has a warm greeting for our guests. He might even join in with the live band in the evenings. He’s a pretty good singer! You can also visit Manuel Antonio during Super Bowl season and enjoy watching it on the “big screen” in the parking lot.
Many of the families who stay at the Discovery Beach House will often ask Sabrina, our Concierge, where is the best family restaurant in Manuel Antonio? We always recommend Barba Roja. It is one of the oldest restaurants in the Manual Antonio area and has always been a fun place to hang out for the locals and visitors to Costa Rica.
What is even more fabulous is their two for one hamburger nights on Tuesdays. If you love ribs, then you definitely need to try the Barba Roja smoked savory ribs. For adults, the Barba Roja happy hour is every day from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It’s a great place to unwind after a day of Costa Rica adventures.
You can sit and watch the sunset, then listen to the live band at night. The locals think Barba Roja has one of the best views of the Costa Rican sunset. When you come to Manuel Antonio, we hope you will be our guest at the Discovery Beach House. Have Sabrina fill you in on all the great restaurants in the Manuel Antonio area, especially Barba Roja!
One of the requests guests at the Discovery Beach House will ask is if there is an authentic Thai restaurant in Manual Antonio. Today’s happy hour tour is at the Samui Thai Bistro. We love it here!
The restaurant uses locally grown food here in the Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica region. The owner, Angie, and her sister, Cherry, who manages the restaurant, are from Thailand. This is the only authentic Thai restaurant in the area. They serve a 100% traditional Thai iced tea, which is absolutely delicious. They have a wonderful selection of authentic Thai appetizers and entrees.
Happy hour has some great deals with their bottomless Sangria and house wine, along with a bucket of beer (six beers for the price of five). Evelyn and Sabrina tried a couple unique drinks… healthy and spicy!
When you visit the Discovery Beach House, you will definitely want to put this restaurant on your must go to list!
Are you losing sleep over your family’s next foreign destination vacation? Are you worried they’ll get sick, they won’t be safe or just be plain miserable with your choice once they get there? Stop and take a deep breath then let out an enormous sigh of relief because these hidden truths about Costa Rica are about to make your decision a whole lot easier.
Hidden Truth #1: You Can Drink the Water
If you’ve traveled to places like Mexico you’ve probably learned to avoid the Big 3; water, salads and unpeeled fruit. These can all contain bacteria that will ruin a vacation faster than an iguana can snap up a juicy grasshopper. The good news is the tap water is safe to drink in cities and towns throughout Costa Rica. If you don’t even drink the water from your faucet at home, bottled water is readily available everywhere. You can also safely eat all the food including salads.
Hidden Truth #2: Costa Rica is the Happiest Country on the Planet
Travelers are just beginning to discover the Pura Vida (pure living) lifestyle enjoyed by Costa Ricans. Ticos don’t rush (with the exception of loco taxi drivers) or let much bother them. According to the New Economics Foundation Costa Ricans live longer, happier and more stress-free lives. They rank Costa Rica #1 on its “Happy Planet Index” making it the favorite nation in which to retire. Perhaps this is why out of a small population of 4.5 million nearly 300,000 expats have taken up residence there.
Hidden Truth #3: There’s Security Everywhere
Costa Rica employs more teachers than police, so Its residents hire private security. You’ll find security guards inside malls, on bicycles patrolling parking lots and in banks and many other businesses.
Residents of many neighborhoods contribute to the safety of their communities by hiring private guards.
A significant number of luxury vacation rental homeowners in Costa Rica are responding to the current global climate of fear by providing security guards for their guests’ peace of mind.
Hidden Truth #4: Costa Rica was the First Country to Abolish its Army
In 1948 Costa Rica abolished its army. Since then it’s been a peaceful and democratic nation. Funds formerly spent on the military are now budgeted for education and universal healthcare improving life for the average Costa Rican.
Hidden Truth #5: Costa Rica is Considered the Switzerland of Central America
Geographically both countries are small and have beautiful mountains, but this moniker was earned by its former president Oscar Arias when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his pivotal role in bringing peace to Central America.
So, stop obsessing endlessly over where to reserve your next vacation rental home because these hidden truths will allow your family to eat, drink and be merry in Costa Rica. Exercise the same common sense you would anywhere else in the world and visiting the Happiest Country on the Planet may just turn out to be the most amazing vacation your family has ever had.
Happy Hour for your health can be good for you. Cheers! I know what you’re thinking. Healthy, “no way.” But it can be healthier than you think. Many of our guests at the Discovery Beach House are amazed at how delicious the tropical cocktails are in Manuel Antonio and Quepos are.
I recently did a video on with Sabrina, our concierge extraordinaire, on some of our favorite happy hour spots. Here’s a link if you would like to check out one of the Best Restaurants in Manuel Antonio.
One of the great things I love about living here is all the fresh fruit and juices you come across. So, instead of ordering a rum and diet coke or beer, try something new and exotic. My favorites are the local cocktails made with 100% natural juices. They’re delicious and much healthier than sugary drinks and beer.
Have you ever heard of guava? It’s a local fruit and it’s delicious. Guava is excellent for the immune system. Guava has about four times more Vitamin C than oranges. It’s also known as a great stress reliever. So, go ahead and relax with a guava margarita. There’s a reason why you feel so good after enjoying this cocktail; it’s not just the alcohol. It’s also great for those who suffer from diabetes because it’s low on the glycemic index. You won’t get the sugary spikes then crash like you would with soft drinks and energy drinks.
Passion fruit is another favorite here, maracuyá (mah-rah-cuya) in Spanish. This wonderfully flavored fruit is high in Vitamin A. You already know it’s good for your eyes, but did you know it’s exceptional for your skin and helps smooth out wrinkles. Woo-hoo! Have that passion fruit daiquiri and drink to a younger looking you. Check out our video on Ronny’s Place and hear about how the Lonely Planet travel guide voted Ronny’s Place as having the “Best Sangria” in Costa Rica, why it’s the best, and, even better, it’s right here in Manuel Antonio.
Want to try something really exotic and different? Try a local cocktail with guanabana, also known as soursop. It’s pure goodness in a glass. This unusual looking fruit has a spongy white interior with black almond-shaped seeds. Don’t judge this fruit by its cover. It looks like a weirdly-shaped, green football with spikes. It may not be pretty on the outside, but it’s tangy, sweet, and delicious on the inside. Guanabana juice is a perfect drink to enjoy on a hot day. The tropical flavor leaves you feeling refreshed and revitalized. It’s full of antioxidants, helps to lower blood pressure, and may help fight cancer. Are you starting to see a pattern here with these fresh juices helping to lower stress by now?
Do you like it spicy? Then try the signature shot of Costa Rica called, “Chili Guaro.” Nearly every bar you visit will have it. Each place has their own recipe and version of the shot. Guaro is a clear distilled alcohol made from sugar cane, like rum. However, Guaro has the appearance and nominal flavor similar to vodka. The Chili Guaro is like having a spicy Bloody Mary in a shot. That’s the best way I can describe it. If you like spicy, then be sure to give it a shot at your next Happy Hour.
One of my favorite things to drink is agua de pipa. You may know this as coconut water, and it’s one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. I drink it fresh just about every day. We have coconut palms right on the Discovery Beach House property, so if you see a ripe one, ask our gardener to prepare it for you. Here, they cut the top off the coconut with a machete, pop a straw in it, and enjoy. It doesn’t get any fresher than that. Add a shot of rum or vodka to turn it into a delicious, healthy cocktail.
Vendors sell coconuts cold and fresh on the beach and around town. Give it a try. When you’ve finished drinking the refreshing liquid, ask the vendor to cut it open, so you can eat the coconut meat inside. It tastes much fresher than what you can buy from the store.
Here’s another tip: agua de pipa is the BEST hangover cure. So if you wake up feeling bad from the previous night of partying, drink agua de pipa. Here’s a little-known fact, during WWII they used agua de pipa for blood plasma transfusions for wounded soldiers when the regular saline IVs were in short supply. That’s how good it is for you.
So drink and be merry because here, even the cocktails are good for you. While at the Discovery Beach House, ask your concierge where to go for Happy Hour. We’ll help you find the best Happy Hours depending on the day of the week. So, get ready to enjoy your guilt-free vacation and have another tropical wonder cocktail.
Now you see how Happy Hour in Manuel Antonio and Quepos can be healthy for you. Your vacation at the Discovery Beach House will leave you rejuvenated, happier, and healthier than when you arrived. You’ll love all the fresh exotic flavors you can find here. So, here’s to your health. Cheers!
Come and visit us. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us. Check out our YouTube Channel and follow our Blog, for fun and pertinent content about our three local hot spots; Manuel Antonio, Quepos, and the Marina. You’ll leave having experienced the best place to vacation in Costa Rica.
Imagine yourself on vacation at the Discovery Beach House in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. You walk out through the resplendent backyard rain forest with its enormous lap pool and onto the beach. You see a mama whale and her calf breach high out of the water and make a huge splash (and a small one) right in Espadilla Bay. I’ve seen it, and it’s impressive. I’m sure you’ll love it too. Here’s an interesting fact, there are two whale seasons in Costa Rica. Much like yourself, humpback whales don’t all come from the same place when they vacation here.
If you love whales as much as I do, you’ll be ecstatic to learn the Manuel Antonio area has the luxury of two humpback whale migrations each year. These beautiful gigantic ocean mammals (yes, they’re mammals) come here each year to enjoy the warm waters of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. I feel so blessed we can see them nearly nine months of the year. Costa Rica has one of the longest whale seasons in the world. I know you’ll enjoy the thrill of seeing them too; they are truly majestic creatures.
We have two groups of humpback whales that come to enjoy the beautiful tropical paradise of Costa Rica, the Northern Hemisphere group and the Southern Hemisphere Antarctic whales. The Northern Hemisphere group is the smaller of the two groups and comes down from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. This group vacations here from December until early April. The larger group is the South American group that comes up from Patagonia, which is at the Southern tip of Chile, at the very bottom of South America. They vacation here from late July to the beginning of October. Believe it or not, their migrations do not overlap. I’m continually amazed at how nature is always in perfect harmony.
Humpback whales have some of the longest migrations in the world. They swim thousands of miles just to relax and enjoy the warm pristine waters of Manuel Antonio. They’re here to enjoy the plentiful food, give birth to their babies, or find a mate. Incredibly, they’ve known how magical this area is for thousands of years.
The pleasant waters of Manuel Antonio are perfect to raise their calves, get fat on the abundant food, and prepare for the long migration back home. The males attract female whales by singing to them. Their love songs last up to 20 minutes. Come on ladies, who doesn’t appreciate being serenaded? I know I do.
Often you can spot mama and baby whales swimming alongside one another. You can almost reach out and touch them; they feel so close. It’s quite a sight. On that note, remember we can’t touch the wildlife here. They’re wild, and we must keep them that way to ensure their health and safety, free from the risks of human-borne illnesses. At the Discovery Beach House, we only use expert guides and reputable companies that work to protect the wildlife and their beautiful habitats.
Be sure to ask your concierge at the Discovery Beach House to help figure out which whale watching tours will be best for you and your family. Not all the tours are the same; the time of year will determine which company we recommend. Both whale seasons in Costa Rica are great.
By now, you’ve likely already searched your calendar and checked out when you can vacation here and see the whales. I love August and September at the Discovery Beach House in Manuel Antonio. During the beautiful green season, the weather is generally cooler than in the dry season (December to April). There are fewer visitors, and you get to experience the splendor of the rainforest.
If you liked to see these whales up close and personal, we’d recommend you to find an experience like the San Diego whale watching excursion. Make sure you find the right excursion for you and get ready to have the experience of a life time!
Come and visit us. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us. Check out our YouTube Channel and follow our Blog, for fun and pertinent content about Manuel Antonio, the best spot to vacation in Costa Rica.
Sabrina, our Discovery Beach House Concierge Extraordinaire, and I are continuing our Happy Hour Tour series of our favorite restaurants in the Manuel Antonio and Quepos, Costa Rica area. Today we are at another wonderful restaurant in the Marina Pez Vela. Gabriella’s Steak House Seafood & Pasta has some of the most delicious food. What’s great about going to Gabriella’s for Happy Hour is that you can mix your drinks when you are out with others. Gabriella’s Steak House Happy Hour has two-for-one drinks. For example, you can order a margarita and your friend can order a daiquiri. Gabriella’s Steak House has a fabulous selection of wines.
When you come to Costa Rica and to the Manuel Antonio Quepos area, be sure and come to Marina Pez Vela and enjoy Happy Hour (or dinner) at Gabriella’s Steak Seafood and Pasta. The owners, Mark and Gladis Hilton, would love to have you as their guest. If you come for Happy Hour or dinner, you will have a beautiful ocean view, where you can enjoy your steak, seafood, or pasta, while watching the sunset.
Suppose this happens on your vacation: you fall utterly and hopelessly in love. No, I’m not talking about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. I’m talking about falling in love with an entire country. For some, it may be just a fling. For others, it could be puppy love. Either way, you’ll be back. For some of you, it’ll be a heart-pounding, move mountains, inspired-to-relocate kind of love. All three scenarios happen to our guests at the Discovery Beach House here in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
We know, because it happened to us. My husband and I always knew we wanted to live on a beach in a tropical place with monkeys in our yard. We’d visited upwards of 40 countries, and in each, we always wondered, “Could we live here?” Costa Rica was no different — but our answer was, “Absolutely, we’ve finally found what we’ve been searching for.”
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Could I live here?” while you were on vacation, then be forewarned. Manuel Antonio is a magical place, and you may be bitten by the love bug when you visit here.
You could easily become enchanted with its majestic beauty or the wildlife right in the Discovery Beach House’s backyard. You’ll see two of three types of local monkeys; inquisitive Capuchins and adorable Squirrel monkeys. Howler monkeys are a bit shy but wow, are they loud. They’re the world’s loudest land mammal clocking in at 140 decibels, surpassed only by the sea-bound sperm whale that can reach as high as 230 decibels. And don’t get me started on the thrill of whale season (okay, it’s from July to October and December through March) when approximately one thousand humpback whales migrate from the Southern and Northern hemispheres to the warm waters of Costa Rica to have their babies or to find a mate.
You may take a shine to a prehistoric Basilisk Lizard basking in the sun, or if you’re lucky, you may even see one skimming the surface of the pool on its hind legs. That’s right, it can walk (actually run) on water. You get the complete nature lover’s package here.
The Discovery Beach House property was once part of Manuel Antonio National Park until park boundaries were legally defined in 1972. Fortunately, no one told the wildlife, and they continue to use their old foraging routes. Manuel Antonio National Park is located just a 15-minute walk away and was rated among the top 12 national parks in the world by Forbes Magazine. Ask your Concierge about a guided nature tour. As a fellow animal lover who has lived here since 2004, watching wildlife in its natural habitat still blows my mind. Just remember to pull over if you spot a sloth while you’re driving.
But this isn’t all. You’ll be swept off your flip-flops by the adventure waiting for you here. If you want to do something you’ve never done before, Costa Rica is the place to do it. Take a beautiful hike through the jungle to a waterfall. Climb to the top and watch the water cascade over into a forget-me-not blue pool below. With a guide providing direction, you can walk to the edge, take a deep breath, remind yourself, “You’ve got this,” and jump off the top and into the deep pool at the base of the waterfall to the cheers of your family and friends. You overcame your fear and checked jumping off a waterfall off your bucket list. Whichever of the 24 available adventures you may want to explore, you’ll be swept back into the childhood sense of wonder you once reveled in.
It isn’t a question of will you fall in love, but rather what will you fall in love with most: the lifestyle, beauty, wildlife, locals, community, flavors, beaches, water, climate, and colors here in Manuel Antonio? But, I warn you; it’s not for everyone. Paradise can take its toll. There’s a laid-back attitude here. Things may not happen as you planned but they will happen. There is a lot of “Tico Time” here, which is similar to “Island Time.” Just relax and let the “Pura Vida” take hold. (I’ll teach you about Pura Vida in another blog.)
Suppose this happens on your vacation: you fall in love with Costa Rica at the Discovery Beach House. There’s a big community of expats and locals in this small town, and we see many people come and go. Costa Rica magnifies what you bring to it, and I love it, love it, love it! I think you will too.
Come and visit us soon. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us. Check out our YouTube Channel and follow our Blog for fun and pertinent content about Manuel Antonio, the best spot to vacation in Costa Rica.
Today we’re enjoying a little more than happy hour at the Z Gastro Bar in the Marina Pez Vela, in Quepos, Costa Rica. Z Gastro Bar absolutely has some of the best seafood in Costa Rica. Our Discovery Beach House concierge, Sabrina, and I are on a happy hour tour of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica and the surrounding areas. However, today, we indulged in appetizers and a full meal. We were hungry! Owner, Dean Paquette, and his wonderful chefs treated us to the most delicious seafood.
Z Gastro Bar has arguably the best seafood in all of Costa Rica. When you come to Costa Rica, and when you come to Manuel Antonio and Quepos, definitely come to the Marina Pes Vela. It’s only been here for three years and has some wonderful shops and restaurants. When visiting Costa Rica, you now have three wonderful places to explore, Manuel Antonio, Quepos, and the Marina Pez Vela.
By Rebecca Fox, as published in Quepolandia, July 17 2018
You’ve booked your tickets, planned your itinerary and are almost ready for your Costa Rican adventure. The only thing left to do is pack your bag. Many travelers are pleasantly surprised by the infrastructure and amenities available in Costa Rica, drinkable tap-water being a good example. There are, however, a few fairly simple things you can bring from home that will make all the difference to your experience. Whether you are a budget backpacker or a luxury traveler, make sure you consider bringing the following.
1. Waterproof Phone Case
I cannot count the number of times I have encountered a visitor desperately trying to dry out their (typically new and expensive) phone by putting it in a bag of rice or sitting it in front of a fan. A rogue wave or unexpected rainstorm can quickly turn the latest iPhone into nothing more than a shiny doorstop. Keeping it in a waterproof case will allow you to relax by the pool and Instagram those waterfalls without worrying about damaging your phone.
Protecting yourself from the sun is vital to a successful Costa Rican experience. You don’t want to waste precious days of your trip avoiding all the fun outdoor activities because you sizzled yourself on the beach within the first 24 hours of arriving. Due to all the water-based activities on offer and the high humidity, it’s best to pack a waterproof or ‘sport’ version of your favorite sunscreen in the highest SPF available. While sunscreen is available to buy here in Costa Rica, it is usually double or triple the price you will find it at home.
Making a bonfire on the beach, doing a night jungle tour, walking home after dark or finding your way to the bathroom during a power cut. These are all highly possible situations in Costa Rica and are much easier to navigate when you have a decent flashlight. Before they arrive, travelers often don’t realize that the sun sets quite early here, at around 5.30pm all year round. With little street lighting and fairly regular power cuts, this makes a flashlight one of the essential items for any trip to Costa Rica. If your phone does not have a strong light, consider getting a headlamp so you can keep both hands free to gather firewood, fend off spiders and find the toilet paper.
4. Sturdy Sandals or Water Shoes
Heavy duty Keens or Teva style sandals are probably the most comfortable footwear to use for the vast majority of adventure activities you will do in Costa Rica. Whether white-water rafting, zip-lining or exploring a hidden trail to the beach, you will want lightweight shoes that stay on your feet and dry out quickly.
5. Ziplock Bags
One thing to remember about Costa Rica is that it can rain at any moment, even during the dry season. When it does rain, more often than not, it is a torrential tropical downpour that drenches everything in five minutes flat. High humidity can make drying things afterward a struggle. Having a roll of Ziploc bags handy means you can stash your passport, important documents, and electronics safely away. Ziploc bags are also great for storing snacks and separating your wet, dirty things from your remaining dry clothes.
6. Power Bank
Picture this, you have hiked deep into one of Costa Rica’s National Parks and have been waiting patiently to catch a glimpse of an elusive wild tapir. As it finally emerges from the jungle, the battery in your camera dies. Taking a power bank with you on your adventures means you can keep your GoPro, camera, Kindle, and phone fully charged at all times and ready for action. This will make those long bus journeys a lot more bearable too. Some power banks are even charged by solar power, a real lifesaver if you plan on going off the beaten track or camping overnight.
Spending a day exploring the volcanoes, rainforests or coastal towns of Costa Rica? Having a small backpack to keep the basic necessities of water, snacks, money, camera, and a change of clothes will be very useful. We like the CamelBak bags that have an extra pocket for essentials in front of the water pouch. A lightweight, fold-up backpack that takes virtually no space in your luggage is another good option, and it can double up as an additional carry-on if you end up accumulating souvenirs.
Sabrina, our concierge extraordinaire at the Discovery Beach House, and I are enjoying our happy hour tour at one of our absolute favorite places in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. We’re here at Ronny’s Place.
One of the special things that I love about Ronny’s Place is not only Ronny himself, and the service they provide, but this restaurant is kind of tucked away. It’s the only working farm here in Manuel Antonio. Everybody lines up right before sunset on the benches because we get amazing, uninterrupted, sunset views at Ronny’s Place.
Ronny’s place does have a few signature drinks, such as their sangria, which the Lonely Planet Travel book voted as the best sangria in Manuel Antonio. Sabrina and Ronny also talk about how his sangria is so different from most other sangrias. He’s also famous for his Nanci shot. Then there is the Coco Loco.
Sabrina also shares what her favorite appetizers are and a couple of her favorite dishes at Ronny’s Place. We hope you are enjoying our Happy Hour Tour series at some of the best restaurants in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. We guarantee, if you visit us at the Discovery Beach House, you are definitely going to want to come back to Manuel Antonio.
Evelyn and Sabrina from the Discovery Beach House in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica take us on a happy hour tour of some of the best restaurants in Manuel Antonio. Today they are at Gaia’s La Luna restaurant. As Sabrina mentions in the video, they’ve already had one cocktail at Agua Azul and they’re one hit wonders, so they are really enjoying themselves at La Luna. Sabrina is having the Coconut Margarita and Evelyn is having the Guanabana Margarita. Have you ever heard of the Guanabana fruit? Sounds delicious.
The Gaia Hotel and Reserve is the reason the Scarlet Macaws came back to Manuel Antonio. They started a reintroduction program about five years ago because the Macaws used to be in Manuel Antonio but disappeared in the 1970’s.
Sabrina also teaches Evelyn a hilarious way to get rid of the hiccups. In Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, we have a relaxed and fun way of living life.
If you are in Manuel Antonio and looking for one of the best restaurants to enjoy happy hour or enjoy a five-star dinner, then Gaia’s La Luna restaurant is definitely one of Evelyn and Sabrina’s favorite places to go.
Source: U.S. Embassy Costa Rica
The United States Embassy in Costa Rica shared the following list of safety tips for travelers visiting the country:
Know Your Environment
Costa Rica lies in an active seismic zone; small earthquakes are commonplace and authorities sometime limit access to national parks near active volcanoes for safety. During the rainy season from May to November, heavy rains can cause flooding, wash out roads, or even temporarily cut off some destinations. Pay attention to instructions from emergency responders and exercise caution in the event of a shift in prevailing conditions..
Do not travel or walk alone after dark or in isolated areas. Be particularly cautious on secluded beaches; criminals target such isolated areas. When traveling, use only clearly marked buses or taxis, as unlicensed taxi drivers have been linked to a variety of crimes.
Costa Rica boasts world-famous beaches, but many have dangerous rip currents with neither lifeguards nor warning signs. Even strong swimmers should exercise extreme caution when swimming in the ocean. Surf can unpredictable, rogue waves have the ability to knock you down, and drag you out where it is very difficult to swim. Do not swim while drinking. See the Costa Rican Tourism Institute’s tips for swimmers.
The vast majority of arrests, accidents, and violent crimes suffered by U.S. citizens in Costa Rica involve excessive alcohol. Know your drinking companions and stay in a group of friends who have your safety in mind when in clubs, bars, out walking in dimly-lit areas, or in a taxi at night. Visitors found alone or incapacitated have been victims of sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault. Watch your drink at all times. Intoxicated young women may be targeted for assault.
Driving and Vehicle Rentals
Costa Rican roads may not always be fully developed, with many major highways only having two lanes. To reach many common tourist destinations, one must drive on unimproved roads or through particularly challenging terrain. This road network is also a key component of the Costa Rican commercial transportation system, with frequent instances of agriculture machinery and large trucks slowing travel. Allow additional time for any trips to offset probable delays. Please avoid dangerous maneuvers, such as passing in no passing zones. Remember that street traffic in Costa Rica can be unpredictable or difficult to navigate. And never drive after drinking.
Take extra care if you choose to rent a car. Inspect equipment carefully and avoid old or rundown vehicles. Ask to see a copy of the operator’s business license and inquire about their medical and liability insurance coverage in the event of accident or injury. . Consider taking your valuables with you if leaving your car. Never assume a locked vehicle is 100 percent secure.
Hospitalization in Costa Rica
Accidents in Costa Rica can result in difficult and expensive medical situations. Local doctors and hospitals may not accept U.S. medical insurance policies or Medicare/Medicaid, and private medical providers typically expect immediate cash payment before rendering medical services. Medical evacuations to the United States easily cost in excess of $15,000. Consider purchasing separate traveler’s insurance for medical costs, or review your existing plan’s overseas coverage, before you travel. Find useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs on our webpage Your Health Abroad.
Getting Help from the Embassy
An arrest during your travels can result in a messy legal situation. Your U.S. citizenship will not help you and will not exempt you from prosecution under the Costa Rican criminal justice system. U.S. Embassy officials can visit you in jail, provide information about Costa Rica’s legal system, and give you a list of local attorneys or doctors. We cannot arrange for reduction of charges, your release from jail or payment of medical, hospital or other bills. You are responsible for your own costs. Contact the Embassy if you are a victim of crime or your passport has been lost or stolen.
Visit the following to learn more about visiting Costa Rica: U.S. Department of State’s country information for Costa Rica, tips for Students Abroad, and U.S. Embassy San Jose’s website. Be sure to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program before you go.
If you’ve booked a luxury vacation rental home in Costa Rica and you’ve rented a car to get there, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of the twists and turns of the road. Driving in a foreign country can be intimidating, especially if all the road signs are in Spanish!
1 – Road Signs – Here’s a handy glossary of common road signs listed alphabetically for easy reference. Print them out and refer to them while you’re on the road.
Alto – Stop
Ceda el Paso – Yield
Derrumbres en la Via – Watch for landslides in the road
Despacio – Slow down
Hombres Trabajando or Trabajos en la Carretera – Men at Work
We’re taking you on a happy hour tour of some of the best restaurants in Manuel Antonio, starting with Café Agua Azul. The margaritas here are not your standard margaritas! The view of the bay and the islands from Café Agua Azul are astounding. The specials are absolutely scrumptious. Listening to Sabrina describe the Panko Tuna will make your mouth water.
If you are in Manuel Antonio and looking for one of the best restaurants to enjoy happy hour or enjoy a meal, then Café Agua Azul is definitely one of our favorite places to go.
Whether this is your first or third time renting a luxury vacation home, you may still be confused about how much to tip the staff. Luxury vacation villas generally provide more staff and a higher level of personalized service; therefore, warranting more generous tips than staff at a luxury hotel. You’re likely to be in more direct contact and come to know the staff by name. The amount you tip will depend upon the quality and quantity of service, length of your stay, and the size of your group. These recommendations are based on a five to seven-night stay. Follow these insightful tips and you won’t under tip or over tip.