Quepolandia logo

Spanish Sucks – April 2019

Spanish Sucks click to enlarge

Manuel Antonio Spanish School logo


Finding Freedom: A New Comic Series About Sloth Education and Conservation

The Sloth Institute

“Finding Freedom” is a brand new sloth conservation comic series based on true stories from The Sloth Institute. The story stars a young Sam Trull, TSI’s Co-Founder & Sloth Director, doodled by illustrator Vivian Nguyen. Click to enlarge.

Finding freedom comic strip

Click to enlarge.

Follow the continuing story of “Finding Freedom” on Instagram @findingfreedom_aslothstory

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.


My Favorite Waves – The Quepos River Mouth

Surf CR logoAnother great surf break near Manuel Antonio is right in the heart of Quepos, the river mouth. If you are headed to the Marina Pez Vela it is just to the north of the jetty and can break well out past the rocks. 

This wave does not appear very often as it needs a considerable size swell and a swell direction from the Southwest. It starts working when other beach breaks are two feet overhead or bigger. The wave bowls up on the north side of the river mouth and then extends for 200-400 meters depending on how big it is, the tide, and the direction.

Quepos river mouthIt is great for Stand-up Paddlers who want to catch it way outside, and for long-boarders who can snatch some walls from the shoulder. Once past the steep section on the drop, the wall towards the inside is fairly crumbly. The break should not, however, be surfed by beginners unless you are with more experienced surfers, and if it is over waist high can have very dangerous rip currents for the inexperienced surfer.

The jetty and the steep hill behind the break block the winds a little so here may be glassier than other spots. The best time to surf it would be around an hour after low tide. At mid-tide coming in it tends to swamp out and the wave disappears. Also, there is more water flow from the Quepos river during high tide, which pushes out more pollutants from inland.

You can park right in front of the river mouth in a small lot, and there is a park with benches and lots of shade. Be sure to secure your vehicle and leave nothing inside. Then you can walk to the left towards the jetty and there is a path down over some rocks to the beach. At low tide there’s lots of sand and you can paddle across the river (20-40 meters) and walk out on the sand bar or let the current pull you out to the break.

This break can be very localized so show respect and space yourself so you don’t crowd the peak. Often there’s a set that swings wide and you will actually be in a better spot to catch the wave. Most of the time though there are only 3-4 other surfers out so there will be plenty of waves for everyone. For more advice on where to surf on your vacation, just visit CRsurf.com.


That’s Fishin’ – April 2019

That's fishing headerMan releasing billfishThe bite has been HOT HOT HOT this past couple of months here in Quepos. There has been some truly world-class Sailfish fishing with some very impressive catch numbers posted with lots of boats experiencing double digit Sailfish release days during February and March…and an awful lot more fish some days!

There have been some stunning Blue, Black and Striped Marlin caught making lots of dreams come true. Dominical resident Jerry Wells has landed two stunning Marlin this season during trips aboard GOOD DAY—his latest fish a beautiful 300 pounder!

Man holding a tunaWICKED TUNA!

The Tuna fishing has been on fire also with some fantastic Tuna caught by the Quepos Charter boats recently, with several boats landing Tuna in the 150-200lb range, fish-of-a-lifetime stuff for sure! The big Tuna are typically caught on Bonito or Blue Runner live baits, however, often equally as effective are the Fat Daddy Squids from SQUIDNATION. Trolled slowly but jerked aggressively just 20-40 foot behind your boat, when the Tuna are in the mood for them they promise to give you some of the most visual bites you are likely to encounter in your fishing career! Think 100 lb plus Tuna jumping clean out of the water just 20 feet from your boat with a big fake squid in his mouth! There are also plenty of smaller Tuna in the 20-80lb range that will take live baits or various styles of Jigs, dark coloured Bassworms have been a particular favourite this season. Encountering a group of feeding Tuna off the coast of Costa Rica is a sight in itself as they gather with mega-pods of hundreds of Spinner Dolphins which put on a spectacular show as they work together to herd up the bait fish, all of this going on right here in our backyard!

Read More…


The Bush Dog

Bush Dog header

By Jack Ewing

3 bush dogs in jungleRarely is a new mammal discovered anywhere on the planet. Insects, yes. In fact so many new insect species are being discovered every day that it is not even newsworthy. Species of reptiles and amphibians new to Costa Rica are found at least once a year, birds occasionally, but 2016 was the first time a new mammal species has been confirmed in Costa Rica during the 48 years that I have lived here. I am referring to the Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus), a member of the canidae family sometimes called the Savannah Dog or the Vinegar Dog. A video of a pair of them was captured on a trail camera by biologist Jan Shipper in the Talamanca region at 1493 meters (4900 feet) above sea level. Prior to that time there had been several unconfirmed sightings in the Osa Peninsula, but no photos. It was believed that Shipper’s video was taken at the highest elevation where bush dog presence had been detected anywhere throughout its range. A couple of years later Dr. Mike Mooring, of the Talamanca Large Mammal Survey, captured photos of several groups of these canids at an elevation of 2086 mt (6844 feet). Prior to Jan Shipper’s video the species was not known to exist north of Panama.

Hacienda Baru Read More…


Fiddlin’ Around – April 2019

Fiddlin'Around headerWhen people can’t communicate with each other verbally, when age or physical differences keep us apart, when we share no common history or experiences—there is always music to bring us together! OK, so this is not exactly earth-shattering news, but I am writing this on Fat Tuesday, where in my beloved town of New Orleans people are going crazy right now and are dancing in the streets to all kinds of different music and rhythms. Mardi Gras music is its own category and lingo and everybody knows the songs—from little kids tap dancing to ‘Hey Pocky Way’ to Little Queenie singing ‘My Darlin’ New Orleans’ to Dr. John growling about ‘Going Back to New Orleans’. Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, the folks there will put away their costumes, donate all those beads that they were diving on the filthy ground to retrieve to a charity and trying new hangover remedies.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

But also as I write this, the folks from the Envision Festival are cleaning up the area and the beach after days of relentless partying to techno and dj and live music. They will be donating money and effort to local charities and everyone’s consciousness will have been raised. Well, in theory anyway. They’ll be slamming down fruit juice and smoothies and doing their yoga stretches and exchanging phone info with the other survivors. Up the road by Quepos the cowboys who participated in the local rodeo are sore from dancing to Cumbia music and battling bulls and are probably drinking shots of chili guaro to get them through their day. We are all feeling a bit beat up and weary, but most of us will be back at it next year, ‘cause the impulse and the drive to dance and sing is the same no matter where you are or where you’re from!

Violinist Available Read More…


In Memoriam of Monty

By Karma Casey

Monty headerHello fellow Quepolandia readers! Its Karma Casey, the spokes kid from Kids Saving The Rainforest, a wildlife rescue and sanctuary in Quepos, Costa Rica. This month I am dedicating my article to a kind-hearted, sweet-souled, three-toed sloth named Monty. I am very sad to report he passed away after spending nine months in Kids Saving The Rainforest’s wildlife nursery and making a huge place in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

About nine months ago, Monty was seen falling from a tree in Manuel Antonio National Park. The Kids Saving the Rainforest professional wildlife rescue team rushed to save him, and he was brought in to the KSTR veterinary clinic where he was examined by the vet, Dr. Carmen Soto. Dr. Soto was unable to find any visible injuries, and he was held for a few days under observation to ensure he would not start developing any new signs of injury or illness. At the time he fell, Monty was about six to seven months old.

Read More…


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.


Read More…


Let’s talk about the Yellow-Throated Toucan

Yellow throated toucanBy Paul Gerace

I can’t think of another bird that I was more excited to see during my first trip to Costa Rica than the Yellow-Throated Toucan.

It is one of 6 different types of toucan species found throughout Costa Rica and one of two that can be found in our area. The other is the Fiery-Billed Aracari.

The Yellow-Throated Toucan is the largest of the 6 and are they are easy to locate. Often you will hear them first with their high pitched calls. They are not graceful fliers and can be seen moving about the trees hopping from one branch to another.

You will often find them up above eating ripe papayas in papaya trees and the fruity growths in cecropia trees. Besides eating fruits I have seen them raid other bird’s nests and pick out the eggs and even the young chicks! Their long bills help them reach the fruit and they actually function as a thermoregulator. This action helps cool off the toucan’s body temperature as heat dissipates through it’s large bill.

Just another one of the colorful and amazing birds that can be found throughout Quepolandia. See more bird photos HERE


6 Incredibly Easy Ways to Maximize your Kitchen Island

Design Wise logo
Uncluttered counterby Shelagh Duncan

The hardworking kitchen island can be a very functional and beautiful centerpiece of a kitchen design. It is one of the most popular features in a modern kitchen. However, in some spaces a built-in island can feel more cumbersome than useful, or becomes cluttered with ‘stuff’ so we lose the benefit of all that extra working space. If you are feeling that you need to rethink your island, to make it more functional and maybe add a feature two – read on. Let’s think about some other options that can be smart space-savers and at the same time, cool design solutions.

Reduce clutter on top of your island

It is oh-so-convenient to use the island surface as a catch-all space, but try to move things off the top and keep it clear of everything that is not beautiful. Says William Morris “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. A simple bowl of fruit or floral arrangement on your island may be all that is needed to make your kitchen look like something out of a magazine. Make sure you have adequate lighting: use a striking pendant light that is low enough and bright enough to illuminate this principal work area. Remove non-essential items and as the island is usually the focal point of the kitchen – play it up!
Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


How and Why You Should Start Meditating

A Healthier You header

yoga on the beach at sunsetMeditation is an approach to training your mind that can bring peace and fulfillment to all aspects of your life. Many people don’t know what they should be thinking about when meditating—a common myth is that meditation is all about stopping your thoughts, when it’s actually about learning to step back and observe them. It can be difficult for beginners to sit for an extended amount of time with an “empty mind,” so here are some tips to starting your own mediation practice and how it can benefit your life.

Tips to Starting Your Own Meditation Practice

  • Start with a guided meditation. Headspace and Insight Timer are both excellent apps with a variety of guided meditations and calming music.
  • Try meditating for 5-10 minutes a day, and then increase the amount of time slowly but consistently. Example: Increase 2 minutes a day or increase 5 minutes a week.
  • Close your eyes. This helps reduce distractions and direct your focus inwards.
  • Find a comfortable seated position where you feel supported and relaxed.
  • Breathe naturally but focus on each inhale and exhale.
  • Set an intention for your meditation, whether it’s simply clearing your mind or using a guided meditation on attracting abundance or finding inner peace.
  • There is no right or wrong time of day to meditate. Don’t worry if you miss your meditation in the morning—just try to fit it in at another time throughout the day, maybe on your lunch break or before bed.
  • Put your phone in another room, or set it on silent if you’re using a meditation app.

Benefits of Mediation

  • Less anxiety and stress: Meditation provides an overall better feeling of well-being and connection to yourself and the world.
  • Better focus: Meditation can help you stay on task longer, switch between tasks less frequently and enjoy your tasks more.
  • Deeper relaxation and sleep: Guided meditations use sound and visualization to create an atmosphere for healthy, restful sleep.

Remember, life is short. We can live it lost in thought, or we can choose to be present as life unfolds around us.


What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – April 2019

What's Shaking header
March Madness may be over, but April is going to include celebrations of all shapes and sizes here at Marina Pez Vela, as we embrace the last month of our peak travel season, dry season under the stars, and get ready to welcome the cooling first rains of May! It seems like every month is action packed here at MPV, but with each passing year, the team at the project, along with our guests and tenants find new ways to reinvent this space and build on the synergy between the community fo Quepos/Manuel Antonio and the marina. April 2019 will be another fun filled time as we forge another stitch in the fabric of our community.

Last month of MOVIE NIGHTS

With the end of the typical dry season we also have our last series of FREE MOVIE NIGHTS here at Marina Pez Vela. It is so common for families, couples, and friends to be looking for something to do on Friday nights and this is a great way to share under the stars, enjoy some of the great food and shopping at MPV, and relax with some great cinema on Costa Rica’s largest outdoor screen

Friday, April 5th: Aquaman
Friday, April 12: Spiderman – Un Nuevo Universo
THURSDAY, April 18th: Marco Ramirez
Friday, April 19: Hombre de Fe

NOTE: We have a special Thursday night movie, a Costa Rican film based on one of the nation’s most iconic pieces of literature, Marco Ramirez during Semana Santa, and Friday, April 19th will be our LAST movie night as on the 26th of April we will be hosting the final leg of the Marina Pez Vela Championship Series of Fishing that weekend.

Read More…


Pescadora Billfish Championship

Pescadora logoBy Samantha Mumford
Photos Tony Cadorin pelagicfinder.com

“To tell a woman everything she cannot do, is to tell her what she can.”

Many moons ago, I had an enlightening conversation with Captain Don Dingman who has a TV show on ESPN called “Hook the Future.” He told me a story about a 13-year-old girl who was featured on one of their shows. This young woman explained to Captain Don that one day she wanted to be a boat captain, but she was upset that she couldn’t be one. He asked “Why?”. She answered, “Because my Dad won’t let me fish in a bikini”. This 13-year-old girl assumed that you had to have a million followers on social media and dress scantly in order to be successful in this industry.

Sam Mumford and award winnerOn February 21, 2019, at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica that stigmata was changed and HISTORY WAS MADE! The Pescadora Billfish Championship crowned the World’s Top Lady Anglers! 81 female anglers aboard 22 boats from 7 different countries released 517 billfish, an average of 23 fish per boat. THE MOST FISH RELEASED IN ANY LADIES TOURNAMENT IN HISTORY!!

19 countries followed the leaderboard as women started racking up their releases and making a run to be Female Angler of the Year. On the morning of Day One, assisted by good luck mimosas, Team Uno Mas took an early lead with 28 sailfish releases, and just managed to hang on as Team Big Oh made an incredible push on Day 2 releasing 31 sailfish! The Cinderella story goes to the ladies of Team Game Plan, three of which had NEVER fished before, releasing 40 billfish for the tournament landing them in 3rd place overall. What an awesome accomplishment! Congratulations to Team Uno Mas, who took home 1st Place Overall with 49 billfish, 2nd place winners Big Oh with 44 billfish, and Game Plan with 40 billfish releases. Each angler on these teams were awarded an awesome custom-made trophy created by local artist, Adrian Valli.

Read More…


Tuna Poke Salad with Mango and Avocado

Chef's Corner logoIn this town, we can almost always find the freshest tuna. This colorful salad is so quick and easy; it is a perfect cool lunch dish or a stunning 1st course.

Tuna steakTuna Instructions

Start with a slab of tuna like this in the photo.
Cube about 200 grams or 1/2 pound of the tuna, and toss with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of honey (or brown sugar), and 1 tablespoon of good quality soy sauce.

Salad ingredients

A bed of salad greens
A handful of ripe and flavorful mango cubes
A handful of ripe avocado cubes
A small amount of thinly sliced scallion greens (too much will overpower)
Finished saladToasted sesame seeds
A small amount of Japanese sweet bbq sauce or eel sauce to drizzle for finish ( can be substituted with a mixture of soy and honey)
Sesame oil to drizzle
Sliced red chili (optional)

Salad Instructions

Build the salad by layering the greens, the tuna cubes, mango cubes, avocado cubes.
Drizzle with Japanese sweet sauce or homemade mixture of soy and honey.
Top with sesame seeds and scallions.

The seasonings can be adjusted to taste where the main flavors are from the soy sauce, the honey or brown sugar, and the sesame oil. 


Freddy Hilbbert

Freddy Hilbbert