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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – February 2022

Bienvenidos… Welcome to our little piece of paradise. Shed those winter coats and scarves and forget about those snow shovels and let your adventures begin. High season is here. Along with flowing rivers for rafting, sunset cruises of our coastline, beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants, and perfect weather all await you on your journey through paradise here in Manual Antonio.

February is the month of Love and Costa Rica will provide the peace and happiness. Movie Night Under the Stars is back every Wednesday night at 6:30 at Marina Pez Vela. The place for the whole family to enjoy movies on the big screen and some delicious ice cream at Gelateria Amoroso. For all you lovers, Valentine’s Day is upon us so don’t forget to make your dinner reservations for that special someone. Take a romantic sunset cruise on the elegant Brisa Elegante. How about a family portrait with Sarah Yunker Photography. Or a couples massage to bring your body peace and relaxation. A visit to Nauyaca Waterfall Nature Park is always magical. We want to thank Haroldo Rivas, MBA for the amazing cover shot of Nauyaca Falls. Please send us your best shots to info@Quepolandia.com and hopefully they make the cover as well.

Marina Pez Vela keeps the happiness going with fishing tournaments throughout the month with the Roosterfish Rodeo on Feb 5. February is also the time of year for the women’s only tournament the Pescadora Billfish Championship, Feb 17-19. It’s not to late to register your team to compete with some of the best woman anglers in the world. So come join us at Marina Pez Vela and enjoy all the tournaments action and show the women your support.

If you’re an NFL fan don’t miss Superbowl LV. The Superbowl is being shown at the Marina on the BIG screen in Quepos and at Jolly Roger in Manuel Antonio.

We added a new section to our pages this month. Our QR Code Directory has been added to help you connect directly to our advertisers to help you better enjoy your stay. Whether to checkout tours, check out what’s on the menu for dinner, searching for your perfect dream house or view our magazine on line. This will easily connect you to what the area has to offer.

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 and on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.
Peace, Love and Happiness…D

Lifeguard Update

Surf CR logoDid you know that Costa Rica has no national lifeguard program? The country averages about 60 drownings each year, many taking place on unguarded beaches. Luckily the beaches of Manuel Antonio are protected by at least one guard from the Cruz Roja (Costa Rica Red Cross), but they do not protect Quepos or any of the beaches at 30 kilometers to the north or south. Once you get to Dominical however, the Guardavidas de Costa Ballena are protecting those beachgoers.
That lifeguard program was created solely from private donations all the way back in 2001. In the past it had trouble with finances many times, and when the lifeguards could not be paid, people drowned in the heavy rip currents that at times are found there. Then in 2018 the community created a non-profit association to manage the program and received financial aid from the Municipality of Osa. This was the first time in the country where the local government helped fund a lifeguard program.
The non-profit association uses the funds received not only to pay the lifeguards, but to cover their insurance, legal fees, purchasing new equipment, repairing the towers, and help for the administration and accounting of the funding. The board of directors are all volunteers (including myself) and we ensure that there are lifeguards in the towers seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Dominical and Playa Hermosa de Uvita.
This year has been difficult to raise funds since public gatherings were not allowed and so a plea was made in September for help. Many private residents, local citizens, and businesses stepped up to donate what they could, and we were able to pay the lifeguards their holiday bonuses and give them a small raise. Over 30 businesses signed up for the $1/day club, contributing $365 a year to support the program. You can see who these generous donors are on our website, lifeguardscostaballena.com, and stay informed of our latest news and events.
A special thanks goes out to Benn Gilmour of Jackpot Sportsfishing who auctioned off a full day fishing trip on one of his boats. That one action raised $2000, and we hope other community members step up to help us continue to save lives. If you wish to donate to the program, you can by any of these methods:
Banco Nacional deposit
Asoc. Guardavidas de la Zona Sur de Costa Rica
Cedula Juridica 3-002-738759

Cuenta en colones: 200-01-195-003885-0
Iban: CR39015119520010038851

Cuenta en dólares: 200-02-195-002023-9
Iban: CR45015119520020020237

Banco Nacional swift code: BNCRCRSJGCI
Paypal (single or monthly donation),  Click Here! It’s easy!
U.S. tax deductible donation to the extent allowed by law through our U.S. non-profit partner Amigos of Costa Rica. This can also be a monthly donation, CLICK HERE! It’s easy!

The Past Is Present

It is August of 2000 and after traveling up and down the coasts of Costa Rica for two months my destiny brought me to Quepos. I had been in Jaco and paid a taxi driver/friend $20 to drop me off on the beach here in Manuel Antonio. I remember giving someone $5 for an obscure location to set my tent up and had usage of a revolting shower and a toilet. I didn’t care. I was 28 and had been on the road for over 2 months and somehow, I had arranged a “job interview” with the owner of Hotel California, Robbie Felix (who still lives here today). My funds were dwindling as I started my journey with $3,000 and I had no ticket home. My mindset had always been to go big, to absorb the stress and pressures and only to succeed. Having lived in South Korea as well as Japan for a year each, and months of vacation travels in Africa and Bali, I was street smart and an experienced back packer. My main focus was to become a surfer, I had never focused on saving money in my life other than for travel, isn’t it how it should be in your 20s? Interesting now that I have much more security, I can see how making the most out of each and every day was all I had…and all I needed. It fueled my passion for who I wanted to become. I needed to figure out a way to earn money, unravel my dream, and to prove to the community that I was here to stay. Carpe Diem goes a long way when one is young…. however, food, rent, and how to live the permanent vacation that I had envisioned was a long, long way from attainment.

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That’s Fishin’ – January 2022

A huge Happy New Year to all of our readers and visitors from around the world. I hope you enjoy this month’s edition for your update on all things fishing in the Quepos & Manuel Antonio area and I wish you tight lines for the year ahead!


It’s time to dust off those blow up guitars, don your punk-rocker wig and get yourselves down to the Marina Pez Vela for the PARTY OF THE YEAR on the weekend of January 14-16th. The PELAGIC ROCKSTAR is THE HIGHLIGHT on the Costa Rica tournament calendar and this year’s event looks set to award a staggering ONE MILLION DOLLARS in prize money making it the richest fishing tournament in Central America! There is a large boat category, small boat category, as well as Jackpots for Billfish, Tuna, Mahi, and much more. Registration is open until the day before the tournament and whether you want to fish in the event or just want to come down to the Marina to enjoy the LIVE MUSIC and TOURNAMENT VIBE, we hope to see you there!

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KSTR – January 2022

KSTR LogoDaniHi Everyone—Dani Here!
We wish you all a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy New Year in Beautiful Costa Rica.

Today I want to tell you about a few of the injured animals at our sanctuary, and what we need to do to prepare them to go back to the wild. The two animals I want to tell you about are Patricia, an injured Heron, and Teo, an injured Titi Squirrel Monkey.

Patricia is a Heron who was found orphaned, with an injured leg. She had to be immobilized, and her leg had to be bandaged so that it could heal. Because she was immobilized, she needs to learn how to hunt for her own food before she can be released.  

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Renacido: The Artist Reborn

Renacido Festival hosted their inaugural event in Manuel Antonio from Friday to Sunday, November 26-28, 2021. Billed as a celebration of the rebirth of art in Costa Rica, the festival brought many local and international artists together to create and make music together. To ensure safety and limit the crowd, music was dispersed between three venues: Papugami’s at Tres Banderas, Plinio, and Hotel La Colina with a shuttle running constantly between each.

Things heated up on Friday night, as each venue had a unique combination of sound, ranging from soulful folk and moody blues to high energy funk.
Andre Nowacki, manager of Papugami Tiki Bar at Tres Banderas Hotel, said, “The different locations to enjoy amazing music was a top experience of the festival, never a dull moment!”

On Saturday night, over at Plinio, Tommy Panamarenko and Bethany Joy shared their more acoustic sound and haunting harmonies. At Hotel La Colina, the Fagan brothers Ben and Chris raised the energy level to the delight of their fans who traveled from Dominical and Uvita. Over at Tres Banderas Hotel, After Irma, a band based in the US Virgin Islands but with some roots in Costa Rica rocked it out. The guitarist and singer-songwriter RC Sanders lived for some time in Dominical and produced an album during his time there in 2020. This time, he brought the band to play their original groove style with a violinist and percussion player.

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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – January 2022

What's Shaking header2022!!! A new year is upon us, full of new beginnings, new hope, new opportunities, and an undeniable sense of energy, optimism, and Pura Vida in every breath of air! The last month of 2021 truly set a tone for what was to come and after an amazing holiday season here at Marina Pez Vela, highlighted by the illuminous nightly show and some amazing holiday celebrations, we are ready to celebrate all that 2021 has to offer. While for many places, after the Christmas and New Year holiday there is a bit of a lull, at MPV we move into the biggest events of the year to keep that energy and action moving with a super fun slate of news and events.


Every Wednesday night at 6:30pm the Marina welcomes back our community and visiting tourists to enjoy a free movie night under the stars. This is a great weekly tradition that brings together our local community and visitors to share in some magical sunsets and a weekly feature on Costa Rica’s largest projected outdoor screen. You can check out our website, marinapezvela.com, for the weekly feature films, but this is a great way to break up the week, enjoy a sunset and some food specials at any of our amazing restaurants and spend an evening with family, friends, chilling under the stars at MPV.

ROCKSTAR, January 14-16th

The biggest, baddest, largest jackpot tournament in all of Costa Rica is BACK. The 2022 Rockstar is going to be the event EVERYONE is talking about for all of 2022. There are already a record number of boats and anglers signed up for this event at the time of publication and it promises to be the single largest tournament in the history of Costa Rica, both with number of participating teams and with the largest payout in history here. If you are reading this before the 14th, get a team together and join the fun at MPV. If not, the daily weigh-ins and energy around this event is something you will not want to miss!

ROOSTER RODEO, February 5th

While this event is not until February, we wanted to include here to encourage anyone interested to swing by or call the Marina Pez Vela Guest Center and get signed up. This one-day tournament is focused on Roosterfish, one of the iconic inshore fish which is helping to make the local fishery famous all over the world. This catch and release tournament focused on conservation tagging Roosters for research and seeing which of our teams can land the largest Rooster of the day. A super fun tournament for anglers of all skill levels and the inshore nature also makes it a great way for those who might be a bit nervous about heading offshore to experience a tournament, all right off the coastline. Whether you are busy fighting this beautiful and fun species, or just marveling at the coast with a cold beer in hand, a day in the Rooster Rodeo is a day to remember!

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – January 2022

Bienvenidos… Welcome 2022. We hope you had a magical holiday season. We are so pleased for this new year and returning back to normal. The last couple years have been difficult for the world, but hope has carried us through them and we are ready to bounce back in 2022 higher than ever before. So hold on and let’s BOUNCE.

Manuel Antonio hosted their first 3-day boutique music festival Renacidofest with local musicians rotating around several venues to keep the crowds of wonderful people who came out to support this event in a socially conscious environment. The music was incredible and so was the vibe. I can’t express how great it was to get out and see old friends and make new ones and hear great live music again. The next festival is planned for May 2022, so make plans not to miss it.

Marina Pez Vela is jumping as always and kicking off the Sport Fishing Tournament season with the Pelagic Rockstar Tournament (Jan 14-16) which is always a great time and start to the new year. MPV has all your fishing options whether inshore or offshore is your thing they got you covered. Not a fisherman? They also offer great tours of the coast to experience the beautiful coastline not to mention the most beautiful sunsets. Check out Brisa Elegante and Sunset Sails. MPV also has great shopping and restaurants and the best gelato and desserts at Gelateria Amorosi.

We want to welcome our new advertiser Drunken Monkey.

We also want to thank Frank Schulz and his amazing cover shot of the frolicking scarlet macaws. He has sent in several photos for consideration for our cover and has made my job hard to pick one, so we will be using most of them in the coming months. We look forward to sharing them.

This is a new year… a renacido. Life is what you do with it—let’s live it, let’s bounce back… BOINNNGGGGGG!!!

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 and on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D

Brisa Elegante: The New Experience in Quepos-Manuel Antonio

Looking over Marina Pez Vela, the wooden sail cruiser Brisa Elegante dominates the view of the marina. She has become the new landmark of Quepos and Manuel Antonio.

Your cruise on Brisa Elegante starts from here and takes you out on the Pacific Ocean. 

So, how is sailing on Brisa Elegante?

After leaving the marina and setting the sails, the long pacific waves gently roll the cruiser. This feels a bit like sitting in a giant rocking chair on the front porch—with a gigantic view!

Watch the dolphins playing under the bowsprit and how they are chasing each other. Just relax and enjoy the sound of the wind in the sails and the water murmuring under the keel.
What are our guests saying?

Daniela from Switzerland is taking a deep breath, saying: “Now I really feel like being on vacation!”.

Anne-Marie from Canada is happy: “This is the single best experience I had during my stay in Costa Rica.”

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Agoutis: Precocial Rainforest Rodents

William Faulkner once said of Ernest Hemmingway: “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary”. Though I certainly don’t pretend to place myself in the same class as Hemmingway, I readily admit that the same criticism could be leveled against my writings. I try to use words that people use in everyday conversation, not words that will send you to a dictionary. But here I am going to make an exception. I’m sure that many readers have never heard the word precocial, or its opposite, altricial. Most farm animals are precocial like a colt, lamb, or a calf for example. All of these are born with their eyes open and can stand, nurse, and follow its mother shortly after birth. Puppies and kittens are altricial, born with their eyes and ears closed and helpless for days after birth. Most rodents are altricial, but agoutis are an exception to that rule, being the only precocial rodent I know of, though there are likely some that I don’t know of.

Biologists often compare agoutis, who are diurnal, to their larger nocturnal cousins, the pacas, and often to rabbits, excepting the long ears. Agoutis hop like a rabbit when startled, and even when not startled they are impressive jumpers. I once set a trail camera near a pool in hopes of getting a video of otters, which to my delight, came to the pool daily. In addition to the otters, the camera captured many videos of pacas and agoutis, who came to the pool to drink, and several species of wading birds that fed in the shallows. One day a mother caiman moved in with about a dozen babies. None of the wading birds would go near the water, and the two mammals kept their distance. One brave agouti walked to within a meter of the pool, which was about two meters wide, leaped high in the air and all the way across the water, landing safely on the other side, a jump of about three meters (almost 10 feet). I’m not sure a rabbit could jump that far.

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That’s Fishin’ – December 2021

The rains are almost over, and December officially marks the beginning of the dry season here on the Central Pacific Coast. Expect the fishing and the weather here to be HOT, HOT, HOT and we are so glad that you are here to join us.


As I write, we are just coming down from the high that was one of the most successful tournaments ever here at the Marina Pez Vela. The 2021 Dorado Derby which took place on Nov 13th was one for the local history books as no fewer than 56 of Costa’s most well-known boats took to the high seas in search of the largest Dorado (Mahi Mahi). The 7am ‘shotgun start’ literally gave us goosebumps, witnessing the amazing scenes of all 56 boats lined up before racing off into the horizon, with every single one of them truly believing, today could be their day for victory. The FUN & SIMPLE format of this event has been designed so that literally every single boat in the fleet has a chance of winning. Simply catch the heaviest Dorado to take home the winning check & more importantly the lifelong bragging rights! And that is exactly what TEAM OFFENSIVE did, catching a monstrous 65lb Dorado, taking home a check for more than US$26,000—just wow! Huge congrats to everyone at TEAM OFFENSIVE!

A BIG shout out to MATTHEW ORLOWSKI who was the Champion Junior Angler with a 25lb Dorado, this young guy fished his heart out and the win was well deserved, definitely one to watch for the future! CRYSTAL PETEREK was the top Lady Angler and huge congrats to Crystal, fishing against some of the seriously talented Lady Anglers we have in the Quepos area.


Team Offensive, 65lb Dorado
Team Nastia Bill, 47lb Dorado
Team Nameless, 43lb Dorado

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Spanish Sucks – December 2021

Click to enlarge.

What Makes the Perfect Surf Instructor?

Surf CR logoYou see them on the beach, sitting between rows of surfboards on the beach, dark tan, with a small sign offering surf lessons. You have always wanted to learn to surf, but not sure which instructor is going to be the best for you. Well, there are some important things to consider for your safety and ability to learn.
The first thing you should ask is what are their qualifications to teach. Just because they have surfed their whole life (if they are 20 years old that may be only 6 or 7 years) does not make them an instructor. In Costa Rica there is a specific certification an instructor must hold in order to give lessons, offered through the ISA (International Surfing Association). If they do not have it, they are working illegally.
Part of this course is knowing how to save someone in open waters. That can make the difference between life and death, and the rip currents in Costa Rica can be dangerous. The instructor should also know how to speak English or your native language, so he or she give clear instructions. They should give the first part of the lesson on the beach, showing you the parts of the surfboards, how to hold it when walking out to the water, how to paddle and stand up. 

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Memoirs of a Masseur – December 2021

I tell my nieces and nephews to not be part of the herd. I suggest that they live their lives in a conscious manner recognizing what their peers are doing then choosing to do the opposite. I believe that creating an exceptional and rewarding life often means finding unique ways to navigate time and decisions to obtain one’s dream. I find it curious that parents commonly slip from telling their kids to live their dreams yet when they become young adults the advice is to seek a practical way of living. Get a job, pay the bills, buy a house, get married and have kids, we have all heard it before…it’s an expired way of thinking. I recently read a Gallup report showing that 70% of Americans polled either hate their job or are “disengaged” from their work, and even perks don’t work if they’re unhappy with management. To wake up unmotivated is a clear sign that something is missing. If my college-aged nieces and nephews do what everyone around them do they most likely will not become exceptional. Included in this is their physical, mental, spiritual, and financial levels of happiness. It will undoubtedly be much easier to not take chances and to quell big dreams with rationality and practicality. I think a line from one of my favorite artists Bob Marley says it perfectly. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery—none but ourselves can free our minds.”

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KSTR December 2021

KSTR LogoDaniHi Everyone, it’s Dani, your spokeskid for KSTR!

Happy Holidays!

The holiday period is a busy time here in Manuel Antonio for tourists and locals alike. So I wanted to tell you about all the interactions we do with the animals during this period.  

In my experience working with the animals in the winter, we do lots of fun and exciting activities with the animals. We decorate the outside of their cages (so the animals can experience Feliz Navidad, from a distance 🙂 ) And we give them presents!  

During Christmas time every year we make “presents” for the animals, with their food inside! Then, the animals get to “open” the presents, and eat their food and treats. We try to give them their favorite foods or snacks in these presents. For example, we give the Capuchin monkeys spiders in their boxes (because that’s their favorite snack!). The Marmosets get peanuts, and the Coatimundi love watermelon, so we give them lots of extra watermelon in their treat box! Last year, kids in Quepos decorated the presents for the animals! We made sure to use kid-safe non-toxic markers to keep the animals safe.

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