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Surfing in Quepos and Manuel Antonio

Surf CR logoHere are my favorite two spots to surf around Quepos. There are other beach breaks and river mouth breaks, but they generally close out when it is big or if it is low tide. I will share the best tide and time of year to surf them, plus which swell angle works best.
 

Quepos River mouth

Quepos River mouth

In the center is the Quepos River mouth. At one time I feared paddling out there due to the runoff from the town, but now it seems to be better. That being said I like to paddle out at low tide when the outflow is minimal, and during the dry season months of March and April. I didn’t mention December to February since during those months it’s usually too small to surf. When it is on, there is a left that breaks close to the rocks and goes for about 150 meters, and another left on the north side of the river mouth that breaks 200-300 meters depending on the size and angle of the swell. It is best with a South-Southwest angle—too much West and the wave closes out, too much South and it passes by the end of the jetty from the marina. It needs to be 2 to 3 feet overhead at the beach breaks to make chest high waves at the river mouth. Luckily most of the time this wave is uncrowded, but if you see some locals out be sure to give them respect and they will return the favor. 
 
To the south in Manuel Antonio is Playitas. This is the section of beach that starts about a half kilometer north of the national park, and is located in front of the Hotel Karahe. The winding drive down to the break is hard to find (look for the Barba Roja Restaurant), but if you do then you can park right on the sand or if crowded on the side of the road. If you can’t find it, then park at the south end of the beach and walk north until you pass a small island just off the beach, and then another two meter rock sticking out from the surf about 50 meters out into the lineup. You can paddle out there or all the way to the point, and the waves break both left and right.
 
It takes a South to Southwest swell, but the shape can be imperfect due to the refractions of swell off the bigger islands off the coast. As a beach break, it works better right around high tide, and this is good since that also covers up some of the boulder sized rocks that sit right offshore in the middle of the break. This wave is very crowded at times since it generally is 1-2 feet bigger than other parts of Manuel Antonio, and the rocks provide a more hollow takeoff and some barreling sections. The best months are April to June when consistent Southern Hemisphere swells push up from Peru and across from Australia. I would not surf there as a beginner since collisions can happen with an aggressive lineup and broken boards are expensive.
 
There are fun spots to surf around the country, no matter your level of experience on a board. Please visit our website CRsurf.com and send us a note to help you find the best waves for your adventure. 


Spanish Sucks – January 2020

January 2020 Spanish Sucks

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Manuel Antonio Spanish School logo


Sadness, Love, Openness


I woke up and cried this morning. It really wasn’t more than my eyes watering, perhaps a tear or two escaped. When I wake I often take ten minutes to set my intentions for the day, to reflect, to simply enjoy sunrise (my favorite time of day). I open the glass slider door onto my porch, I am fortunate to live among nature, and stretch out while slowly waking to a new day. I sometimes water the garden, sometimes not; I try to let the day unravel itself, for some will be more challenging than others. Then I, like most people, turn my attention to the computer. On this particular day I went straight for YouTube and typed in “motivational speeches.” I sat down on an outdoor rocking chair and listened. That’s when my eyes teared up. The man speaking to me through the computer lectured on the power of dreaming big, of bounty in the universe, and of the power of passion. He told a tale about life and it being, in its truest sense, feeling like a dream when everything is aligned. That is what made me cry. The feeling of gratitude as strong as the sun’s rays soon to come. My witty wife walked by me thirty seconds later with a “no shit Sherlock,” referring to the last statement the voice lectured on. “If you wake up angry you affect the people around you.” I turned to her and explained that I was just crying from the happiness I have for this moment, for today, for the love in our lives. We had a big laugh and an awesome hug and I put the coffee on. I was prepping for a 5 hour massage day and had to get ready to go and spread some more love. It was great and positive morning.


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KIds Saving the Rainforest – January 2020

KSTR LogoThank you sponsors, runners, and volunteersHello from Kids Saving the Rainforest Animal Rescue and Sanctuary & Reforestation project. Is it really 2020 already? 2019 was a great year for KSTR as we planted 10,000 on our reforestation property and treated many kinds of birds, sloths, kinkajous, monkeys, anteaters, coatis, porcupines, and other wild animals at our onsite vet clinic. We also celebrated our 20th year anniversary in 2019.

We want to bring the New Year in right by thanking all of our donors, sponsors, and supporters of 2019.

Thanks to you all, our first 5K Rainforest Run was a huge success! So many people asked us to do it again next year, that it is now a tradition!! So save the date for November 22, 2020!

Kids Saving the Rainforest header

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Let’s Talk About the Costa Rican Pygmy Owl

Costa Rican Pygmy OwlBy Paul Gerace

Costa Rican Pygmy Owls hunt from a low perch in dense forest. They wait for small prey, usually birds, lizards, or large insects, and then strikes in swift flight. If the target is missed, the bird returns to perch rather than pursuing. Like other pygmy owls, they swish their tails from side to side when agitated.

The owls call mainly in early morning, late afternoon and at night with a long, slow song of randomly spaced, clear toots. Sometimes the sounds appear to come in groups of two or three. When excited, the owls give a faster, higher series of five toots.

This species prefers canopy and edges of highland forests and adjacent habitat, and sometimes even enters pastures and plains with scattered trees.

See more bird photos HERE


The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Chef's Corner logoFollow these easy steps and you’ll have a chewy, moist, wholesome snack that is full of character. By adding your choice of nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips, this soft cookie will eclipse all others.

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional but really adds depth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (try soaking them in a little rum) or craisins
  • Optional additions of chocolate chips, walnuts, coarse sea salt sprinkled on top before baking or other.

Oatmeal cookiesDirections

  1. Mix the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla.
  4. Using a spatula or a fork, fold in the dry ingredients until you obtain a thick dough. Do not over mix.
  5. I like to add craisins, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, chopped toasted walnuts, but you can use other ingredients that you may have on hand.
  6. Chill the dough in fridge for 30 minutes and place by spoonful on ungreased baking tray (cookies will not stick to tray if removed immediately with spatula once baked).
  7. Bake for approximately 12 minutes in a preheated 350 F oven (190 Celsius). The soft and chewy texture is obtained if you under bake them a little.

The Mixed Feeding Flock

HEADer, Army ants attacking a large wasp

By Jack Ewing

Pair of Yellow Crowned Euphonias

Yellow Crowned Euphonias

My obsession with tropical nature began with my first monkey sighting. I had seen them in the zoo, but there is no comparison between zoo monkeys and wild ones. My first toucan was another special moment. “How can it even fly with that huge beak?” My first sloth, boa constrictor, kinkajou, king vulture, and terciopelo viper were others. But it wasn’t until more than 15 years later that I was to witness one of the most complex and intriguing phenomenon the rainforest has to offer, the mixed feeding flock, a congregation of many different species of birds in a small area each busy consuming its own special food in its own special way at its own level of the forest.

Though the rainforest as a whole had already captivated my soul a number of years earlier, and I lived in a bird watcher’s paradise, it wasn’t until 1987 that I got interested enough in our feathered friends to start actively looking for them, identifying them, and making a list. In those days there were no field guides to the birds of Costa Rica. Birds of Mexico and Birds of Panama were as close as we could get. My bird list grew rapidly at first and then gradually slowed. Then on one special day I added 11 new species in less than an hour. It was about six months into my birding career when I was to wander into a bird watcher’s dream, a mixed feeding flock. It is a phenomenon that every birder and every bird watching guide prays for. For the aficionado it will assure new species for the list, and for the guide it is sure to result in a group of very happy visitors.

Hacienda Baru

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That’s Fishin’- January 2020

That's Fishin' header

By Benn Gilmour

A huge Happy New Year, may all your Fishy dreams come true in 2020 & welcome to the January installment of That’s Fishin!

Our peak fishing season is in full swing and we have experienced some truly incredible fishing during the past couple of months, I hope that you get to experience it for yourself during your time in the area.

Man releasing a marlinOFFSHORE FISHING

The Billfish bite offshore has been great with good numbers of Sailfish, Blue and Striped Marlin being caught. December and January are perhaps the best months of the year to catch a Billfish Grand Slam of 3 different Billfish species in a single day. Several boats in the fleet have already accomplished Grand Slams and I expect more to do so in the coming months whilst there remains the possibility of Striped and Black Marlin together with the more common Sailfish and Blue Marlin.

The Tuna fishing was spectacular during December with lots of fish in the 30-80 lb range caught and frequent 100-200 lb class fish landed also. All manner of artificial lures work well for Tuna here in Costa Rica such as various sized Squidnation Squids, Bucktail Jigs, Bass Worms plus other styles of jigs. It is difficult to beat a Live Bonito for a BIG Tuna, however, Blue Runners, Goggle Eyes, Caballas, and Sardines all work well also.

After some insane Mahi/Dorado fishing in November, the bite slowed a little in December as the rains cleared and water temperatures started to rise. A few Dorado should still be caught over the next couple of months and are always a welcome addition to any Billfish charter.

The main event in January is most certainly Sailfish and is the start of our peak Sailfish bite which typically goes on from January through mid-April. Double digit release days can be possible when the bite is on!

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – January 2020

What's Shaking headerFrom the quiet tranquility and cool rains of our green season we emerge into the HOLIDAY MADNESS and explosion of another summer and peak travel season here at Marina Pez Vela. We are extremely excited about 2020 and all of what is to come both for the Marina as well as for our community at large. We will highlight some important news here for January and encourage you to visit our website, and to follow our social media on Facebook and Instagram for the most up to date news and events.
 

THE ROCKSTAR, January 11 and 12, 2020

The title could not be more fitting. It has now become the largest and biggest payout fishing tournament in Central America!! This two day shoot out is full of fun, rock and roll concerts, fishing crazies, fun team uniforms, photoshoots, and some incredible fishing. The tournament has divisions for anglers of all ages and capabilities and is an event not to be missed. For our local community, even if you are not participating, do NOT miss the early morning energy, (come down for some coffee at sunrise and enjoy breakfast in the marina…more to come on that) and DEFINITELY be back from 4-6 with the boats coming in, weigh station drama and live music in the plaza. GET READY TO ROCK AND ROLL.

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FAVORITE RESCUE STORIES OF 2019

In 2019, The Sloth Institute rescued and rehabilitated 65 sloths. Here are our Top 5 favorite rescue stories of 2019.

Dolly is a two-fingered sloth who was electrocuted and fell from the top of a transformer. She sustained damage to her eye and arm but she recovered surprisingly well. She is the first sloth we’ve tried acupuncture treatment to help with lost motor skills.

The Sloth InstituteHumpty Dumpty’s body was so broken, it was a miracle he survived. Multiple fractures, contusions and neurological issues are no match for his fighting spirit, however—he was climbing trees in no time!

While reuniting an abandoned crying baby with his mother we noticed odd behavior from mom. We brought Mrs. Jumbo and Dumbo in and found a bacterial infection. With care and a very trusting mother sloth, they became well enough to be released and are tracked daily with a collar.

Nemo’s eyes were covered with skin membrane from his eyeballs. His face was full of thorns and was possibly attacked by bees. Stem cells and other treatments allowed us to nally gaze in his sweet, beautiful eyes.

Schumer is not a sloth but a Tamandua anteater. Orphaned at two weeks, she’s now an adolescent and learning skills she’ll need in the wild. She’s named after a certain comedian 😉

Read updates on all of the sloths in care at TSI at TheSlothInstitute.org

What To Do If You See A Sloth In Danger

If you see a sloth who is in need of help, please call or send a message via WhatsApp to The Sloth Institute’s Sloth Response Team at +506 87SLOTHS. Ideally it is best to send photos or a video of the sloth in need of rescue. The TSI Sloth Response Team can then properly assess the situation. There are times we get a call about a sloth in danger when they aren’t in need of rescue.

You can also call your local Bomberos (Fire Department). If a sloth is on the electric wires you can also call ICE.

ABOUT THE SLOTH INSTITUTE

The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please visit TheSlothInstitute.org or email us: info@theslothinstitute.org. If you see a sloth who needs help: CALL or WHATSAPP +506 87SLOTHS 7 5 6 8 4 7.


¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – January 2020

January 2020 coverBienvenidos… Welcome 2020. We hope you had a wonderful holiday and want to wish you an incredible New Year. High season is upon us here in Costa Rica and we are glad you are here to be part of it with us. Green season has provided us a beautiful backdrop to begin this New Year of adventures and great memories. Our magazine is filled with the best of the best the area has to offer.

Try something new this year like sport fishing for your record Marlin with Marina Pez Vela. Either onshore or offshore the fishing season has arrived so get out there and catch your dream and dinner. Want to party like a rockstar, than get to the marina for the 2nd Annual Pelagic Rockstar Tournament January 11-12. Speaking of partying like a rockstar, Paws is holding the 9th Annual Battle of the Bands at Ronnie’s Place in Manuel Antonio on January 26. So if your looking for great music, great food, great people, and a really GREAT cause. This is the place to be. Movie Night Under the Stars is back on their new night Wednesdays. So grab some of the best gelato in Costa Rica at Gelateria Amarosi and enjoy the movies with the entire family. Experience zip lining or explore the canopy with Titi Canopy and Hacienda Barú. Paddling through the mangroves or down one of our incredible rivers with Tucanes Tours. Just chillin’ on the beach try parasailing with Aguas Azules. We also have some of the most beautiful National Parks in the world. Looking for all the bowl games and NFL, Jolly Roger has all the games on big screens and awesome food. We So get out there and let the Pura Vida lifestyle set the pace for an INCREDIBLE 2020.

Life is short… GO LIVE IT!!!

I want to thank Paul Gerace for another wonderful cover shot. We are always looking for great shots so please send us your best nature shots for cover consideration to info@Quepolandia.com.

We would like to thank and welcome our new advertisers this month, Dolce Vita, Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park, Pacific Coast Law, and Pesca Seafood House.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here or on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D


Spanish Sucks – December 2019

Spanish Sucks December 2019

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Let’s Talk About the Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara

By Paul Gerace

The Crested Caracara has broad wings and a long tail that is white in color with a broad terminal band and black barring. With the help of long yellow legs it can easily run and walk on the ground.

This bird normally stays low to the ground even when they are flying, so it is easy to steal food from other birds. The Crested Caracara also follows automobiles and trains to fetch the food that falls from them.

Just another one of the beautiful bird species found here in Costa Rica. See more bird photos HERE


Fiddlin’ Around

Fiddlin header

Guitars hanging on a store wallEvery year at Christmas time I write about getting the Xmas Blues, or about sad, forgotten souls, or depressing songs about hookers during the holidays or melancholy loners or mean ex’s, or stupid songs about reindeer, or sentimental slop about sitting by a fire with a golden retriever drinking eggnog. Me drinking eggnog, not the dog. I dearly love bad Xmas songs—but I do realize that I might have overdone the whole weird Xmas thing in the past.

Well, this year I’m gonna get right to the materialistic point, and tell you guys what you should get us musicians for Christmas! Keep in mind we have all spent more of that sacred holiday in bars playing for you guys than we have eating turkey at your dinner table. Usually we don’t even get any leftovers! I don’t know why I’ve always gone to the dark side with the Xmas thing, ‘cause actually it’s quite a cheery and fun time of year to be here in Costa Rica. Most folks have a bunch of days off, so don’t think you’ll get much accomplished business wise—it’s Xmas! Happiness depends on whether you are paying your employees an aguinaldo or you are the one getting that extra month of pay at the end of the year.
I bet everybody knows or is related to at least one young and inexperienced aspiring guitarist who could use some help getting his musical ducks in a row. So get him a present from a music store this year, but be careful, because even new guitar players can be mighty opinionated about what they like. The array of options just to buy some strings is pretty intimidating—you got your nylon and your steel wound and your light gauge and your electric and your 12 string and a kzillion brands to choose from! Shoot, if you go to someplace like Guitar Center you’ll come out hours later all bleary eyed and still without a clue what to get young Santana. And you can’t assume that the strings you saw inside his instrument case are the ones he would actually prefer to use. Maybe he just liked the artwork on the package and they have been in his case since the last Grateful Dead tour!

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That’s Fishin’- December 2019

That's fishin header

Manh olding large doradoWelcome to the December edition of That’s Fishin’. The peak months are upon us with visitors arriving from all around the world ready to experience some of the best fishing on the planet.

OFFSHORE FISHING

We experienced some truly amazing fishing for Marlin during November with lots of Blue Marlin in the 150-250lb category release by the Quepos fleet. A few Black & Striped Marlin also made an appearance and coveted Billfish Grand Slams started being caught during November, which means 3 different Billfish species released by a boat in one day.

The Mahi/Dorado fishing in November did not disappoint with lots of Dorado in the 15-25lb category being caught at the current breaks found typically 6-15 miles off Quepos. There were a few HUGE Dorado in the 60lb plus category landed, fish of a lifetime stuff for sure!

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