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A Photographic Guide To Birds of Costa Rica

By Gary Garrett

Birds of Costa Ricacover Of course the purpose of this guide is to help serious and lay birdwatchers identify and learn the characteristics of bird species most commonly found in the diverse regions of Costa Rica. 252 of the most commonly found birds in Costa Rica are chronicled in this handy, comprehensive, 140 page guide that can easily be carried with you as you explore the fascinating world of our flying friends. Although this represents less than a third of actual species that can be found here, these are the ones you are most likely to observe in your birdwatching travels.

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – March 2016

By Scott Cutter, Sales Director (and personal friend of the Easter Bunny)

February was an incredible month at Marina Pez Vela with an endless line up of events including the Quepos Billfish Cup, Costa Rica’s largest Super Bowl party, scholarship events for local schools, a Valentine’s Day Concert and an incredible season of tourists enjoying these amazing facilities. The energy and excitement will continue in March with new stores and services opening, this year’s earliest Easter Week/Semana Santa and the Costa Rica national soccer team back in action.

Outdoor Movie Nights

Our Friday Night Free Movie nights are once again in full swing and are just another way that the Marina is looking to create a public space for our local families, expats and tourist to enjoy the stunning backdrop of our coast in a pleasant environment.    Every Friday at 7 p.m., come and join us under the stars on our giant 30 foot screen, grab a pizza, some popcorn and an ice cream and enjoy!

Marina Pez Vela logo

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All About #slothlove—The TSI story 

2 rescued baby slothsAbout The Sloth Institute, Costa Rica

By Seda Sejud, Chief Sloth Ambassador at TSI

You may have seen the Sloth Mobile driving around town, or you may have seen some young people walking in Manuel Antonio wearing the shirts you see pictured here and wondered, who are these people and where did they come from? What is hashtag slothlove? What is a sloth mobile? And who/what is The Sloth Institute Costa Rica and where did they come from?

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – March 2016

Cover March 2016Bienvenidos/Welcome to Quepolandia…we know you’ll have a great time! It looks like another busy month what with St. Patrick’s Day and Semana Santa plus Spring Break for many schools in the US…lots of weddings happening in our beautiful location and just general great fun. We have it all…every tour you could ask for from sportfishing to ziplining and everything in between. We have awesome restaurants to tempt your taste buds and lots of fun places to have a nice cold drink. When visiting our advertisers please tell them you found them in Quepolandia! We would like to thank Manuel Cabalceta for our beautiful cover shot of the Quetzal. This one was taken at Los Quetzales Nat’l Park, located about half way between San Isidro and San Jose. Manuel is an awesome guide for trips all over Costa Rica, you can check our his website at manuelstours.com or call 8719-6195…he keeps promising us an article about the birds of our area…we look forward to it and more great photos! For our visitors we’d like to tell you about Semana Santa (Holy Week)…be prepared for lots of traffic as Ticos leave the city and come to their beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio…our best advice is slow downdrive defensively – be patient and kind… also at times we have a strong riptide so use care when swimming at the beach…please remember to pick up your trash…we wish everyone a happy and safe March…have a great time and remember you can follow us  here or on facebook.com/Quepolandia …we welcome your comments and hope you tell your friends about our little paradise and come back soon…………ciao for now…..P

PS: this issue marks the 7th Anniversary for me with Quepolandia and I would like to thank Paul Rees for always doing great layout and design…welcome home… we have missed you!  A huge thank you to all our advertisers and writers for making this magazine possible!


9 Steps to Create a Great Vacation Rental Property

House and pool at nightBy Shelagh Duncan

There are vacation rental properties and there are Great vacation rental properties. Owning a Great rental property can make you stand out from the crowd and will ensure that your property is rented as often as you’d like it to be. This will also ensure that you not only get top dollar, but repeat customers. So if you have a rental home, use this as your resource to help you create that great rental property.

  1. Build a team.

A property manager will act as the liaison between you and the renter so choose seasoned professionals. They can make sure that your renters are comfortable, and they can promptly deal with any queries or complaints and ensure a great renter experience. They can also encourage good online reviews from happy renters. This is a priceless resource!

Royal Palm Interiors

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That’s Fishin’ – February 2016

Sharks have sharp teeth

Sharks have sharp teeth

By Sara Munro

The ‘funnest’ thing in the world is taking rookies out fishing. It can also be the ‘not-so-funnest’ thing in the world. What’s even crazier, is that it can happen at the same time.  Seriously. All you have to do is take one Tico river fisherman and a granola girl—neither of whom have been offshore fishing before—fishing on one of the top boats in the country. Welcome to my world.

We got up early that day, 4am to be sure, and packed up the marine cooler in expectation of filling it with fresh fish, and made our way to Los Suenos. It was nothing but sheer excitement all the way there for me; not only was it my first real ‘tuna hunt’ but it was my friend’s very first time fishing. We got there with plenty of time to meet Captain Franklin and the rest of the gang on the Fire-Fly for our departure; it’s funny how fishing excitement can turn into drinking beer at 8 am in the morning. Again, welcome to my world.

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The most important sounds of Spanish

Spanish Sucks by Os¡Hola gente!  ¿How are you guys doing?  I hope you are doing alright.  This month I wanna talk about the most important sounds of the Spanish Language:

The Vowels = Las Vocales.

Remember:  The Spanish vowels each have only one sound, regardless of what letters they precede or follow, or accent marks on the vowels.

There are only five of them so let’s get them straight!!!!!

Spanish Pura Vida

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Release of Squirrel Monkeys by KSTR

Margarita with squirrel monkeysBy Volunteer Margarita Samsonova

KSTR logoKids Saving the Rainforest is in the process of establishing a reintroduction program for squirrel monkeys. Central American squirrel monkeys, also known as Saimiri oerstedii, are nearly extinct in Panama and are threatened in Costa Rica. Although there have not been resources available for a thorough count recently, it is believed there are only a few thousand individuals living in the wild. They are mainly found in Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Park, located on the central and south pacific coast of Costa Rica. The low population makes reintroduction programs of these species very important to sustain the population and help reproduction. In order for the release to be successful, the monkey’s behavior and its predator responses are tested to see what chance the animal has to survive in the wild. The project requires sustained long term observations and research to ensure a successful reintroduction into the wild.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Memoirs of a Masseur – February 2016

By Todd Pequeen

I expand my possibilities by cultivating the opposite in myself. When I was young I did not have much choice. As an adult I do, so I use my freewill to be the antagonist from within. I understand that no matter how correct I think my decisions are, or how black and white a situation seems, there are always shades of grey or layers of circumstance that I may be unaware of. This requires humility beyond the four decades of lessons I have learned. A set frame of mind can be my own worst enemy. Cultivating the opposite moves my life towards the pursuit of liberation. Freedom from all lesser pursuits (that often revolve around money, food, sex, and power) can be greatly empowering. The value of seeking change and enlightenment enriches my days beyond what I have previously dreamed.

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Exploring the Rainforest Canopy

Santo Domingo Andrivel

Santo Domingo andrivel

By Jack Ewing

Everyone I know who has ever crossed a river on one of those old cable cars has gotten their fingers pinched at least once. Years ago this was the only way to cross some of the major rivers in rural Costa Rica. There was one over the Guabo river at Barú before the bridge was built in the early 60s, and I have ridden in the one that used to span the Savegre River at Santo Domingo. Up until about 2010 a cable was stretched across the river there with a platform hanging from it on a couple of pulleys. In Costa Rica this type of cable crossing is called an “andarivel”. Everybody knew that the carrying capacity of the one at Santo Domingo was two passengers, but people often overloaded it anyway. In order to make the platform move along the cable it was necessary for the passenger to pull on the cable. Since the only place to pull was between the two pulleys people often got their fingers caught in the second pulley. I can testify to this from personal experience. The andarivel at Santo Domingo was replaced with a suspension bridge about five years ago. There is still a functioning andarivel on the Savegre river between Silencio and Santo Domingo. I jokingly say that the andarivels were Costa Rica’s first zip lines.
Hacienda Baru

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Crispy Spring Rolls

Chef's Corner logoBy Desiree Brassert

These fried rolls are very different in texture and taste. The authentic recipe calls for ground pork and shrimp although the shrimp can be substituted with crab meat. You can offer a vegan alternative by using tofu and shitake mushrooms. I find that using ground chicken or turkey is just as delicious as long as a little butter is added to keep the juiciness while frying.

Spring rollsSpring Roll Ingredients

•Rice paper or banh trang
•One small bundle of bean thread noodles (they are often sold in little bunches gathered with string)
•5 oz (150 grams) shredded carrots
•5 oz (150 g) shedded cabbage
•2 oz (100 g) shredded daikon (optional)
•1 small onion, thinly sliced
•1 lb (500 g) of ground chicken or turkey
•1 tbs soft butter or margarine
•Salt and white pepper to taste
•Vegetable oil for frying

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A New Paradigm of Healing

By Luke DeStefano, Healing Arts Practitioner at Posada Natura.

Every human has a body. Every body has a story. Embedded deep within our physical being are the memories of all our past experiences. The body is a living library, silently recording every step of our life’s journey, all the pleasure and pain, somewhere within its immense labyrinth of cellular memory. As pioneers of the modern age, many of us experience some kind of physical or emotional pain on a daily basis. The paradigm of healing we’ve accepted for centuries has us turning to outside authorities that we believe hold the key to our well being but we are only offered a quick fix for the symptom—not the root cause. The problem persists and we being to feel powerless because we are looking outside ourselves for the answers while key to our healing lay within us.

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela? – February 2016

By Scott Cutter, Sales Director (and die hard Denver Bronco fan)

Happy 2016 from the entire team and family here at Marina Pez Vela (MPV). It is such a tremendous honor for the team here at MPV to be able to share the amazing public space with the community of Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Your support of the project, the signature restaurants & shops, and the events our team works to create are what makes this project and our community great and unique here in Costa Rica.

Quepos Billfish Cup:

MPV is hosting our signature billfishing tournament this February 3-6th. We expect our largest angler and boat count in the history of the tournament and will be welcoming teams from around the country and the U.S. to compete this Quepos classic tournament. The tournament is a qualifier for the Offshore World Championship, another enormously important event we will be hosting later this year.

Marina Pez Vela logo

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – February 2016

February 2016 coverBienvenidos/Welcome to our beautiful corner of Costa Rica…we are happy you chose our area to enjoy…we know you won’t be disappointed!…This is one busy month starting with the Quepos Billfish Tournament out of our beautiful Marina Pez Vela the 3rd-6th…there are lots of activities open to the public so check out their new column for details in “What’s Shaking at MPV”…then we jump right into Super Bowl 50. No worries you can watch it from the beach at Hawg ‘n’ Bill to the Double Hook in Quepos, to the marina…wherever enjoy…You can barely catch your breath and its Mardi Gras…always a big time at Wacky Wanda’s in Quepos…aslo help PAWS on Feb 11th …check info on page 22. For all you lovers that enjoy Valentine’s Day we have placed hearts on our restaurants that will have a special dinner so look for the red heart and make your reservations…we enjoy great restaurants, top notch tours, beautiful beaches and friendly people… so get out and have some fun, mix with the locals, enjoy live music at its best, sip a cold beverage and be sure to tell our advertisers that you saw them in the Quepolandia. Our cover is of Nauyaca Falls that I was lucky enough to visit this past month. One heck of a hike but beautiful to see and enjoy the refreshing water…its not far from Quepos & the directions are on line. You can do it on your own or check with a tour company. It’s a fun day trip. To all you margarita drinkers we just discovered Nat‘l Margarita Day on the 22nd and Dos Locos in Quepos makes a good one plus the bartender is Margarita! Action packed days & nights so have a wonderful time…enjoy it all and remember you can follow us  here or on  facebook.com/Quepolandia. Tell your friends about our corner of Paradise and come back soon………ciao for now………P


My Profound Awakening

Epic Living logoBy Amber Zuckswert

I never used to think of myself as a spiritual person. I didn’t go to church, wasn’t interested in any formalized religion, and didn’t care or know I had a connection to a higher source of energy. My journey really began in high school the first time I ever meditated to overcome stage fright as a dancer. Back then I never could have imagined I would be here now writing to you from such an expanded place of understanding.

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