If you’re heading for a vacation rental home near Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica, you’re in for an incredible nature adventure. In addition to iguanas, toucans, coatimundis and more, there are 3 species of monkeys indigenous to the park.
Manuel Antonio National Park
When the park boundaries were established in 1972 no one bothered to tell the Howler, Red-backed squirrel and Capuchin monkeys, so they continued to follow their established foraging routes beyond the park limits. Not all but many of Manuel Antonio’s vacation rental homes are located within these natural foraging routes known locally as the “Monkey Corridor.” However, staying in one of these vacation rental homes carries with it a big responsibility. It may seem cute, funny or thrilling to hand feed the monkeys, yet it’s extremely damaging to them in many ways.
One of the many attractions to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is the abundant wildlife particularly its primates – capuchin, howler and the endangered Red-backed squirrel monkey. Having Manuel Antonio National Park in such close proximity to many vacation rental homes gives vacationers the added thrill of seeing wildlife in their own backyard.
Unfortunately out of ignorance, indifference or for a photo opportunity many tourists feed the monkeys. However, they’re not fully to blame. Although local hotels are completely aware of the dangers, a few still encourage feeding monkeys to attract more clients. When tourists see others doing it they assume it’s acceptable. But feeding the monkeys is so detrimental to their health and survival it can have catastrophic consequences.
One of the beauties of staying at a vacation rental home is you have the option of eating in. However, you’re most likely to venture out for a few meals during your trip. Eating at a restaurant in a foreign country is intimidating, especially when you don’t speak the language or understand the cultural nuances. If you’re headed for Costa Rica here are 3 tips that will help you feel and act like a local.
Tip #1 – The Check Will Never Come Unless You Ask for It
Unlike the western world where the waiter can’t wait to hustle you out the door and make his next tip, Costa Ricans have a different attitude. This is the land of Pura Vida (living the pure life) where no one rushes (with the exception of loco taxi drivers) and there’s time for everything. Costa Ricans feel you should relax, enjoy your meal at leisure and when you’re ready you’ll ask for the check. So, don’t sit at your table and fume because the waiter hasn’t brought your check and you think you’re getting poor service. It isn’t bad service, it’s cultural. So lighten up, enjoy the sunset and have another cup of coffee. Bask in the moment – you’ll be back to the hustle-bustle soon enough.
Originally published in The Costa Rica Star by Laura Alvarado, Dec. 28, 2016
When you hear about the wonders Costa Rica has to offer, one of the aspects that always comes up is the wonderful weather the country has; this is the reason many choose it as a vacation escape, especially those that live in areas of very cold winters, and this is also the reason many decide to move to Costa Rica.
Ever wonder what to tip the staff at a vacation rental home? Evelyn Gallardo gives you insightful tips on what to tip the housekeeper, gardener and maintenance staff in this short video.
3 Insightful Tips to tipping the Staff at a Luxury Vacation Rental Home, Part 1
by Evelyn Gallardo
Hi, I’m Evelyn Gallardo and welcome to this episode in my FREE video series, Evelyn’s Vacation Rental Home Tips. The reason I made this video is because so many of our guests were confused about what to tip the staff and they were always asking for advice. Staying at a vacation home is different from a hotel stay. You can use the same guidelines. You have a staff that isn’t rushing off to take care of the next guest. Your vacation rental home staff gives you personal service.
For purposes of simplicity let’s take an example of a week’s stay at a 3-bedroom house for 6 people.
Insightful tip #1 is what to tip the housekeeper. The average is between $20 and $50. Now, there are factors involved. Was the housekeeper personable? Did she do special things for you? Did she put some flowers in a vase? Did she leave beautiful towel origami decorations on your bed? Did she smile? What’s important is how good you thought the service was. So it’s between $20 and $50.
Insightful tip #2 is how much to tip the gardener. You tip a full time gardener between $20 and $30. Did he do some special service for you? Did he tell you about plants and trees on the property or did he cut flowers for you? If he only came once a week then there’s no tip required. Otherwise, $20-$30 is appropriate.
Insightful tip #3 is what to tip the maintenance man. Between $10 and $20 is appropriate. Was there a maintenance guy on staff during the day or was he on call? Did something happen requiring his services? Did the toilet overflow at 11:30 at night and he came over and took care of it? If someone he only came once then there’s no need for a tip. But if there was someone on hand to take care of all your needs then $10 and $20 is good.
Keep in mind these are guidelines. If a staff member was exceptional feel free to add a little extra if you think it’s well deserved.
So, thank you for joining me today for more of Evelyn’s Vacation Rental Home Tips. Please let me know if this video was helpful by writing your comments in the space provided.
Until we meet again…Paradise Awaits!
Ever wonder what to tip the staff at a vacation rental home? Evelyn Gallardo gives you insightful tips on what to tip the concierge, chef and security guard in this short video.