5 REASONS EXPLAINING THE FASCINATION ABOUT COSTA RICA

5 REASONS EXPLAINING THE FASCINATION ABOUT COSTA RICA

Originally published on The Costa Rica News, Feb. 9, 2017. 

Tourism in Costa Rica is booming since years. Meanwhile about 5 million people are living in the country of “Pura Vida”. And more than another 2.5 million travelers per year are coming here for a visit. A number as big as half the population itself. The tiny state of Costa Rica seems to be a dream destination from all over the world: Australia, Canada and many western European countries. But the majority of visitors originates from the United States. Nearly 700.000 US tourists traveled to Costa Rica in 2015. The Costa Rican National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) already has mentioned that the numbers of 2016 continued to show growth, though they did not publish the statistics of last year yet. Seems like the whole world has a Fascination about Costa Rica.

Waterfall in Costa Rica
Waterfall in Costa Rica

Reasons for traveling to Costa Rica

Read More

Costa Rica is participating for the first time in Switzerland’s main touristic fair

Costa Rica is participating for the first time in Switzerland’s main touristic fair

Originally published by Laura Alvarado January 28, 2017, The Costa Rica Star 

Switzerland's Tourism Fair

Costa Rica was selected as a guest country by the organizers of the International Fair FESPO, the most important touristic fair in Switzerland.

This is the first time that Costa Rica participates in this international event that is taking place January 26th -29th in Zürich, Switzerland.

The participation in this fair will allow us to position the country in the European market, which represents a necessary and fundamental action to capture the attention of potential tourists”, said Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism. Ventura added that efforts are also being done to approach this market with the confirmation of a new direct flight to Switzerland.

During these days, Costa Rica’s stand will be located in the exhibition center in a privileged position that is given only to the selected guest country. As part of the benefits given to the guest country, Costa Rica will also have a special section in the webpage of this important event.

The participation of Costa Rica in the FESPO, is of great interest to the general public, since as of May 9th of this 2017 the Swiss and Europeans will have the possibility of taking a direct flight to Costa Rica via Edelweiss airlines, which will operate two weekly flights, Tuesdays and Fridays, between Zürich and San José.

FESPO gathers more than 63000 participants yearly, and these could visit the Costa Rican stand that features general information, elements of traditional Costa Rican cuisine and attractive decoration with images of the country.

Last year, 21,242 tourists entered Costa Rica from Switzerland, a number expected to increase with the enter in operation of the new direct flight.

5 Best Costa Rica Honeymoon Destinations

5 Best Costa Rica Honeymoon Destinations

Originally published by Shannon Farley, The Costa Rica Star, August 30, 2013 – Updated January 2017

You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams. You’ve planned your wedding down to the last sugared almond and flower arrangement. Now it’s time to think about the honeymoon.

You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams. You’ve planned your wedding down to the last sugared almond and flower arrangement. Now it’s time to think about the honeymoon.

Read More

Seasons and Best Times to Visit Costa Rica

Seasons and Best Times to Visit Costa Rica

By Evelyn Gallardo

Rio CelesteSeasonal terms can be confusing in tropical places like Costa Rica where online resources and guidebooks may describe them in different ways. To add to the confusion, some terms refer to the weather itself, while others refer to tourism.

Honestly, there are really only two seasons in Costa Rica, dry and rainy. There are no seasons with snow or drastic changes in temperature. The average temperature year round is between 71F and 81F degrees (21.7C-27C). One thing to keep in mind is elevation. The higher up you go, the cooler it gets. If you’re planning to visit Costa Rica you’ll want to optimize your experience by knowing what clothes to pack and what to expect weather-wise. No worries. The seasons in Costa Rica are about to become crystal clear.

Read More

Costa Rican Weather – What to expect when moving to Costa Rica

Costa Rican Weather – What to expect when moving to Costa Rica

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.

Beach and island view
Beach and island view

Read More

Fun Facts About Sloths

Fun Facts About Sloths

Two-toed and three-toed sloths are regular residents at the Discovery Beach House.

By Alina Bradford, LiveScience Contributor

This article was originally published May 21, 2014 on  www.livescience.com.

3-toed SlothSloths are tropical mammals that live in Central and South America. They use their long claws to hang onto branches while they feast on the leaves that other animals can’t reach. Unfortunately for the sloth, their long claws — 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) — make walking on the ground difficult, so they spend most of their time in the tall trees they call home.

There are two categories of sloths. The two-toed sloth is slightly bigger than the three-toed sloth, though they share many of the same features. They are about the size of a medium-sized dog at around 23 to 27 inches (58 to 68 cm) and 17.5 to 18.75 pounds (about 8 kilograms).

Read More

Costa Rica Celebrates 68 Years Without an Army

Costa Rica Celebrates 68 Years Without an Army

Originally published by Wendy Anders in The Costa Rica Star –  December 1, 2016

“Blessed is the Costa Rican mother who knows that her son at birth will never be a soldier,” said the well-known Japanese politician and philanthropist Ryoichi Sasakawa in one of his visits to Costa Rica, as reported in Costa Rica’s Elperiodicocr.com digital news source today on the anniversary of Costa Rica’s abolition of its army on December 1, 1948.

Costa Rica. No army since 1948.
Costa Rica. No army since 1948.

Costa Rica made one of the most important decisions in its history 68 years ago by abolishing the army.

In a symbolic act, with a blow to the Bellavista Barracks, carried out by the then President of the Founding Governing Board of the Second Republic, José Figueres Ferrer, the Costa Rican army was officially dissolved, reported Elperiodicocr.com.

A series of events during that time, including the Civil War of 1948, and the ensuing formation of a Governing Board, which ruled for 18 months, allowed for important reforms in the country such as the creation of universal health care and education.

At the end of the Civil War and upon assuming power, the Founding Governing Board met with an extremely weakened army, and they jointly decided to eliminate it in order to invest the resources in improving the social and economic situation of the country, said Elperiodicocr.com.

The day the abolition of the Army was announced, the keys to the military barracks were handed over to the newly founded University of Costa Rica so they could establish the National Museum as a center for anthropological studies.

On October 31, 1949, the National Constituent Assembly incorporated the abolition of the army into Article 12 of the Political Constitution, thereby ensuring to the permanent elimination of the Costa Rican army, reported Elperiodicocr.com.

This year, the 68th anniversary of this momentous event for Costa Rica was celebrated with a symbolic act in the Plaza de la Democracia in downtown San José.

Drink Coconut Water

Drink Coconut Water

Reprinted from Home Remedies Web

Drink Coconut Water! 

Green coconuts are known as “pipas” in Costa Rica. You’ll see vendors selling them on the beach. Coconut water is delicious and nutritious. Drink it often while you’re here! 

What is Coconut Water? 

Nutritious pipas are available just steps away from your beach vacation rental home.Coconut Water is the nutritious clear liquid inside the coconut fruit, which is packed with vitamins and minerals. There is usually more water in a young coconut because the water is replaced by the white coconut flesh as it matures. Therefore, for drinking purposes, coconuts are harvested off the trees when they are still young and green. 

For best results, the water from a fresh coconut should be consumed shortly after being exposed to air due to the possible loss of important nutrients. A single coconut usually provides an 11 ounce serving of water, and it is low in calories and fat but rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. A few key nutrients in Coconut Water include Lauric acid, Chloride, and Iron, as well as important electrolytes such as Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, and Phosphorous. In fact, the potassium content in Coconut Water is close to twice the amount in a banana. A healthy balance of electrolytes is important for the optimal health of our muscular, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems, as well as to help with the absorption and balance of the body’s internal fluids. 

What are the Benefits of Coconut Water?

Many studies have shown that the antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of Coconut Water may help with a number of minor to severe health conditions. This nutrient rich drink has been used to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, and it has been found to boost energy levels and increase metabolism in the human body. Other conditions that it has been found to be effective at treating include stomach flu, dysentery, indigestion, constipation, intestinal worms, cholera, urinary abnormalities, urethral stone, malfunctioning kidneys, dry and itchy skin, age spots, and wrinkles. 

Uses of Coconut Water

Age Spots, Wrinkles, and Other Skin Problems

Researchers have found that Cytokinins help regulate the cell growth and their divisions. Coconut Water contains these cytokinins and lauric acid, which can minimize the aging of skin cells, balance PH levels, and keep the connective tissues strong and hydrated. Therefore, simply applying Coconut Water onto affected skin areas every night before going to bed may help with acne, age spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, and eczema. 

Boosting Energy

Abundant in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, Coconut Water makes a wonderful energy drink. In particular, coconut water has less sugar and sodium content compared to most sports drinks, while packing more Potassium, Calcium, and Chloride, which makes it a better choice to rehydrate, replenish and boost the body’s energy levels after any strenuous activity or workout. For example, in every 100ml of Coconut Water there is approximately 294mg of potassium compared to 117mg in an average energy drink, 25mg of sodium compared to 200mg in energy drinks and 41mg in most sport drinks, 5mg sugar compared to 20-25mg, and 118mg of chloride compare to 39mg in average energy and sport drinks. 

Cardiovascular Health

According to researchers, individuals with high blood pressure usually have low potassium levels. Therefore, drinking coconut water on a regular basis can be quite effective at regulating blood pressure due to its high concentration of potassium and lauric acid. Similarly, some recent studies have found that coconut water can help increase HDL (good) cholesterol, which makes it a wonderful natural treatment for maintaining good cardiovascular health. 

Dehydration

Rich in Potassium and other minerals, Coconut Water helps to regulate our internal fluids and replenish and rehydrate the body. It has been used to treat dehydration caused by dysentery, cholera, diarrhea and stomach flu, and the electrolyte balance and plasma in Coconut Water has been found to be similar to that of human blood. Therefore, drinking one cup of Coconut Water twice daily during digestive tract abnormalities, hot temperatures, and after strenuous workouts can help rehydrate the body quickly. 

Digestive Problems

Coconut Water contains Lauric acid which our body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin has great antiviral, antiprozoal and antibacterial activity which helps fight against intestinal worms, parasites, lipid-coated viruses and other gastrointestinal tract infections in children and adults. Additionally, the water from coconut may not only act as an antibiotic but it can also rehydrate the body. Therefore, a simple remedy for Intestinal Worms is to mix one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil into a cup of Coconut Water and drink it daily for at least three days. For constipation, diarrhea and other common digestive problems drink one cup of Coconut Water twice daily. 

Weight Loss

Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and isotonic beverage, which help increase the body’s metabolism. Therefore, it can greatly benefit people who are struggling with weight issues. 

What are the Side Effects of Coconut Water?

Fresh Coconut Water is one of the best natural drinks on the face of the earth. It doesn’t have any known side effects unless somebody is prone to having allergic reactions or have severe nut allergies. It is considered to be safe for children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women. If you are taking potassium supplements it is recommended to regulate your potassium levels since Coconut Water is high in potassium.

Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s Top Destination, and There are Good Reasons Why

Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s Top Destination, and There are Good Reasons Why

By Guest Blogger Karl Kahler. This article originally appeared in the Tico Times October 3, 2016

Aerial view of Quepos & Marina Pez Vela
Quepos Aerial By Kevin Heslin, Courtesy of Marina Pez Vela

MANUEL ANTONIO, Puntarenas — The first tourists to lay eyes on Manuel Antonio were apparently the crewmen of the Spanish explorer Hernán Ponce de León, who sailed into these waters in 1519. But the numerous Quepo natives on the shore put on such a display of hostility against the foreigners that he decided against landing and proceeded to safer shores farther north.

How times have changed.

Read More

The Hottest Trends In Boomer Travel

The Hottest Trends In Boomer Travel

By Suzanne Gerber, Editor for Living & Learning channel for Next Avenue

The article was originally published on forbes.com.

How much do baby boomers love to travel? According to industry research, we spend $157 billion on trips every year and many polls rank travel as our No. 1 leisure activity.

Recently, the Preferred Hotel Group teamed up with Harrison Group, a marketing research firm, to learn more about boomers’ travel preferences. “This generation is passionate about travel and want to have fun, says Lindsey Ueberroth, hotel group president. “And for professionals that are not focusing on this, it will be their mistake.”

Young Gorillas Spotted Dismantling Poachers’ Traps For The First Time

Young Gorillas Spotted Dismantling Poachers’ Traps For The First Time

Originally published by Arjun Walia on Collective Evolution February 5, 2016.

Gorillas dismantling traps

Just days after a poacher’s snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas worked together Tuesday to find and destroy traps in their Rwandan forest home.

“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.

“We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas … so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that,” Vecellio added.

Not long after a poacher’s trap killed a young mountain gorilla in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, researchers actually witnessed a couple of four year old gorillas working together to take apart other traps in the area. Large gorillas are able to use their strength to do this, but the younger ones aren’t.

It’s sad to think that thousands of snares are set up in these areas, leaving many animals to be caught and left to die.

Read More

16 Things You Might Not Know About Costa Rica

16 Things You Might Not Know About Costa Rica

Originally published at mentalfloss.com/article/60631/16-things-you-might-not-know-about-costa-rica

Costa Rica rain forestCosta Rica is as well known for its beautiful natural landscape and bustling biodiversity as it is for its wonderful, happy residents. Here are 16 interesting facts about Costa Rica that help make the country a truly singular place.

1. Over a quarter of the land is dedicated to conservation.

Tourists and locals alike are drawn to Costa Rica’s natural beauty—and are committed to preserving it. With 20 national parks, 8 biological reserves, animal refuges, and protected areas, 26 percent of Costa Rica’s land is protected.

Read More

29 Reasons Why You Should Visit Costa Rica – The World’s Happiest Country

29 Reasons Why You Should Visit Costa Rica – The World’s Happiest Country

Thank you to guest blogger Oliver Smith, Digital Travel Editor. This article appeared originally in telegraph.co.uk August 30, 2016.

1. It’s the world’s happiest country

According to the most recent Happy Planet Index, published last month, which aims to measure human well-being and environmental impact, Costa Rica is the most satisfying place in which to live. It has an HPI score of 44.7, putting it just above Mexico and Colombia. Britain, on the other hand, languishes in 34th.

5 happy people jumping in the air
Happy people in Costa Rica

2. Perhaps because it’s got no army

The constitution of this peace-loving nation has forbidden a standing army since 1949 and it is now the home of the United Nations University for Peace.

Read More

Coffee Tastes Best in This Color Cup and 5 More Outrageous Studies About Caffeine

Coffee Tastes Best in This Color Cup and 5 More Outrageous Studies About Caffeine

Thank you to guest blogger, Jeff Cattel. This blog originally posted on Greatist.com.

Scientists work tirelessly to uncover the mysteries of the natural world, from the reasons we binge eat to the best way to wash our hands. Now they’ve figured out why coffee served in white mugs tastes so bitter. Researchers found that the contrast between the color of coffee and a white mug makes the joe look and taste bolder (read: more bitter). By the same line of thinking, coffee served in clear glass mugs tastes sweeter.

Coffee in a white mug
Photo: Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

So, yes, those lab rats (the people, not the animals) are obsessed with getting (and studying) that jolt of java. This recent study got us thinking: What other crazy things do we know about coffee thanks to science? Answer: a lot.

Read More

Quepos History in Stone

Quepos History in Stone

Thank you to our guest blogger, Pat Cheek. This blog was originally posted on Quepolandia.com.

Walking along the malecón, sea wall, in Quepos you will notice large stone sculptures sitting atop pedestals. The sculptures were created in 2007, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and sponsored by the Canton of Aguirre with the support of the Chamber of Commerce, Aguirre. Each sculpture was sponsored by a local business.

Read More