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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – December 2018

December 2018 coverBienvenidos/Welcome to paradise. We are glad you have arrived. The rains are slowing. The sun is shining, and the jungle is alive…so let the fun begin. Our pages are full of awesome restaurants of every flavor. Arbol, Victoria’s, and Z Gastro Bar just to mention a few. Want to catch all the games, try Sancho’s or Jolly Roger for all the action. We have Tour companies to take your adventure to the next level: Titi Canopy for zip lining, learn to surf with Dante’s Water Sports, whale watching and snorkeling with Sunset Sails, and much, much more. Transportation companies (Monkey Ride and the Marina Pez Vela shuttle) that will get you where you need to go. Not to mention great articles to enjoy while chillin’ at the beach or by the pool.

The fish are jumping and so will Marina Pez Vela this month. Movie night under the stars is back on Friday nights check out the movie schedule on page 55.The annual Bright Lights Boat parade will be held December at two locations this year. Bracelets for admission will be required so don’t forget to pick up yours beforehand. What a great way to kick off the holiday season for the entire family. Quepos will bring in the New Year with live performances at the sea wall and fireworks from Marina Pez Vela will light up the skies overhead. Make reservations at Mira Olas for great food and views of all the action. Great time to feel all the “Pura Vida” this country has to offer.

Our shops are great for your holiday shopping. Check out Mot Mot Gallery, The Captain’s Booty, or Modern Primitive Living for that one of kind gift idea. Also let’s not forget the Toys for Tots boxes in the area and help brighten someone’s holiday. 

We would like to welcome our new advertisers this month Dante’s Water Sports, Modern Primitive Living, and Nancy Buchan, Violinist.

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.

We at Quepolandia would like to wish all our advertisers, writers, staff, and readers a Wonderful Holiday Season and an Incredible 2019!!!

Peace on Earth and Enjoy…D

What a Crazy World We Sleep In!

Design Wise logoby Shelagh Duncan

If you ever wondered why the king sheets you brought down with you when you moved to Costa Rica never seemed to fit properly, then join the club! Most of us never think about things being too different in other countries. Weather, food, language for sure – but beds?

Most countries may call their beds King, Queen, Full or Twin, and some have a bunch of other in-between sizes like XL-Twin or California King. However – the big reveal is that each of these beds have different dimensions in almost every country in the world!

U.S and Costa Rica bed sizesThe reason is that the Western names have been given to the popular sizes in that country to follow Western culture. The sizes however, are usually specified by the Institute of Standards in each of these countries. The first of these organizations came into being around the time of the Industrial Revolution and set out guidelines to ensure that standards for all kinds of things as well as furniture are understood and followed. A “Standard” is just a protocol which is widely accepted, and these guidelines also incorporate such issues as strength, durability and safety for manufacturers to reference. There are many internationally recognized standards that we take for granted, such as musical notes, chemical and math symbols, and the clock, the calendar and mapping to name just a few. But it is not that simple for beds and mattresses.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – November 2018

KSTR logoTiti monkey using a bridgeby Karma Casey

Hello again Quepolandia readers! I’m Karma, the spokes-kid for Kids Saving the Rainforest. This month I’m going to tell you a little bit about our wildlife bridges. In this area, many animals are sadly electrocuted or hit by cars. To help give these animals a safe way to move around this rainforest home we share with them, Kids Saving the Rainforest works together with ICE, the electric company of Costa Rica, to put up wildlife bridges. These bridges are ropes going over the roads, giving many animals such as monkeys and sloths a safe way to cross the road without going on the dangerous power lines.

We now have put up well over 100 wildlife bridges in the Manuel Antonio and Quepos area! We originally called them monkey bridges and put them up for the very special Grey Crowned Squirrel Monkeys, a species that only lives in this area. Through camera traps, we have now learned many types of animals are able to use our bridges, meaning we are helping all sorts of wildlife with this project, and not just monkeys! Sometimes it is sloths on the bottom and monkeys on the top like a two-lane highway!

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Fiddlin’ Around -November 2018

Fiddlin'Around headerWoman on a horseHorses and music have been the two most consistently wonderful and important and therapeutic things in my life. When I was a kid my parents scrimped to pay for violin lessons and the expenses for the beautiful mare my Dad indulgently bought me, but they wouldn’t let me gallop away until I had practiced the violin. In my case the apple didn’t fall too far from the parental tree—my Dad was a classical and jazz violinist and a bit of a clown, and he was also a member of the U.S. Horse Calvary and was a fine rider. I used to think I was Annie Oakley reincarnated….

It is well documented by scientists, health care providers, shrinks and educators that music has healing powers on many levels. Folks with physical or mental challenges can be positively affected by either playing music or listening to it. I’ve talked about this before—lower blood pressure, better diabetic numbers, pain management, increased attention and memory. There are many reasons why music is beneficial to us humans, besides the obvious facts that it is fun and communal and makes us think and feel deep emotions and get up and dance.

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You Don’t Have To Be an Expert to Be a Sloth Warrior

The Sloth Instituteby Sam Trull, Co-Founder and Sloth Director of The Sloth Institute

Abusing sloths for selfie tourism is one of the conservation issues that The Sloth Institute (TSI) is very passionate about correcting, but it is one that we often thought would never happen in our “backyard”. Most of the online evidence (photos and videos) of sloths being abused for hugs and photos from tourists originates in other countries, countries that are more ‘well known’ for their wildlife trafficking. But the truth is that these kinds of wildlife crimes DO happen in Costa Rica, even if they are better disguised.

Someone may tell you they “rescued” this sloth but now it’s so used to humans that it cannot be released back into the wild. This is a lie. Someone may tell you that the sloth is happy you are giving it a hug, because look…it is smiling! This is a lie. Someone may tell you that wild sloths don’t mind living in captivity because they are lazy anyways and don’t move much. This is a lie. The people who commit these crimes are getting savvy. They know their audience is trying to pay attention, but even a caring tourist can get fooled.

The bottom line: Never participate in tourism that encourages you to pet, feed or take photos with wildlife (especially sloths).



Esperanza is a young juvenile three-fingered sloth that was rescued here in Costa Rica by the government from this selfish tourism scheme. After a thorough health check by myself and our vet friends at Toucan Rescue Ranch, we released her into the jungle.

Luckily, she is now wild and free and being tracked daily by our expert TSI sloth trackers. Since being set free into the jungle where she belongs, she has gained 1 kilogram (nearly doubling her original weight) in just 6 months. This is a testament to sloths being healthier and happier in the wild with the freedom to make their own choices about their own lives. We can stop this industry together.

Don’t Be Selfi(e)sh … #SayNOtoSlothSelfies

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 email info@theslothinstitute.org.

If you see a sloth who needs help: ALL or WHATSAPP +506 87756847/87SLOTHS.

That’s Fishin’ – November 2018


By Ben Glimour

November is one of my favourite months of the year to Fish out of the Marina Pez Vela, here in Quepolandia. After the rains of the past few months, our afternoon rains should start to subside as the month progresses, water temperatures will start to warm back up again and the volume of baitfish in the area increases both Offshore & Inshore bringing the hungry predators with them.

Three men with a tunaOFFSHORE FISHING

We have enjoyed some incredible fishing over the past few months. Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado and Tuna have all been getting caught in good numbers with some weeks producing excellent fishing and opportunities to catch all of these species just 20 miles or so from the Marina.

We have had an awesome Dorado bite this year which should peak during November, just in time for the Dorado Derby here at the Marina Pez Vela on November 17th! This tournament really is open to all, tourists, locals, expats, professionals, novices, ladies, kids— all are welcome! It’s still not too late to get your entry in to what is the most accessible Sport Fishing Tournament in Costa Rica with a team entry fee of just $250. It is going to be one epic weekend as competitors battle it out in the search of the largest Dorado. If recent catches are anything to go by, Anglers could be in for a real treat, as there have been some HUGE Dorado caught these past few months with several Quepos boats catching 70lb plus Dorado, which is just huge for this species.

At this time of year we often get some great Dorado fishing less than 10 miles from the marina and when the fishing is like this it is perfect for a half day Offshore family trip with the kids.

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Let’s talk about the Montezuma Oropendula

By Paul Gerace

One of the more interesting birds found in our area is the Montezuma Oropendola. When you hear its call there will be no doubt about what it is. The sound is a very strange kind of gurgling.

This class of bird is aptly named for the golden (oro) yellow color of its tail feathers and for the pendulum (pendola) type of movement that it makes when courting. It actually swings by its feet, dips down, and then back up again in repeated sequences.

It has chestnut colored body feathers and an orange cone shaped bill. I think that shaped bill gives it an aerodynamic advantage during flight which is evidenced by the smooth sound it makes when flying overhead.

They nest in colonies. The nests look like hanging baskets and hang delicately from very tall tress as protection from predators.

Montezuma Oropedula

The Montezuma Oropendolas are one of 3 types of Oropendolas found here in Costa Rica. The others are the Chestnut-Headed and the much less common Crested Oropendolas.

You can see more of my images at www.photosofcostarica.com

Land of the Fat Cats

But There Aren’t Any Sloths

By Jack Ewing

I have always wanted to see a jaguar in its natural habitat, but had resigned myself to the reality that it wasn’t going to happen in Costa Rica. From the moment I heard of the Pantanal, the best jaguar viewing location in the world, it became number one on my bucket list, and it finally came to be.


With an area of 355,000 square kilometers, a little over seven times the land area of Costa Rica, the Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world. Parts of it are found in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and the largest portion in Brazil. In August of 2018 my daughter Natalie, and I spent eight days in the Pantanal National Park. It was definitely the most incredible eight days of my entire life. Our main reason for going was to see jaguars, but we also had giant anteaters, giant river otters, tapirs, and capybaras on our wish list. We saw more than we had ever imagined: fifteen jaguars, two giant anteaters, nine families of giant river otters, five tapirs, approximately 200 capybaras, 3000 to 5000 black caimans, and 128 species of birds including about 200 jabiru storks.
Hacienda Baru

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Enjoy Your Retirement: How to Find an Affordable Vacation Home

Deck chairs facing beachBy Jim McKinley

You worked hard much of your life and now you are ready to kick back and enjoy your retirement. Perhaps a vacation home sounds like just the ticket, but how do you find an affordable property? And are you really ready to make the investment?

Finding an affordable property

You need to weigh several factors to find an affordable vacation home, including:

Establishing a budget

Decide what you can afford and determine the additional costs involved with purchasing a second home. Include property taxes, travel to and from the location, utilities, maintenance and repairs, and the costs involved if you hire a property management service.

Getting funding

Unless you can purchase the property outright, you will need a mortgage for your vacation spot. Consider reaching out to smaller, regional lenders for financing. Another option is to seek investment from family members and friends, or splitting a purchase into shares.

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Transformation in Barrio San Francisco

By Len Homan

A mural being painted in Manuel Antonio by local artist Juan Calderon is energizing the residents of barrio San Francisco. The mural and the newly paved road surrounding the U shaped neighborhood are inspiring the residents to remodel and beautify their own properties.

Artist Juan with the mural

Wall before the muralArtist Juan is donating his time and talent after park guide Dagoberto and the staff of Peace of Paradise converted the close-by concrete utility wall left standing by the road crew into a smooth, inviting artist canvas. “There is so much hidden talent in this neighborhood” said Len Homan, retired educator and partner at Peace of Paradise. Local volunteers for preparing the wall and painting the mural are bringing those talents to the surface.”

Dagoberto secured support and endorsement from the municipality for supplies and to encourage the face-lift and progress of San Francisco. Plans for more projects are spreading around the neighborhood.

Community working together


Dra. Fabiola Quesada, VET HOUSE CALLS
Domicilios Pacífico Sur
Tel: 88 48 01 03 fabiquesada07@yahoo.com

The age range for dogs with clinical ehrlichiosis is 2 months to 14 years and the signs vary with the phase of infection ( fever, hemorrhage, nose bleeding, pale mucous, eye problems, kidney and liver, etc) also the nervous system (depression, pain, seizures, etc) and even death in our dogs.

The definitive diagnosis requires a blood test by a veterinarian.

With a treatment, the vet will provide you with the correct antibiotics for no less than 28 days to kill the infection.

Prevention includes environmental tick control and dog tick control ( pills, oil drops for the skin, baths, etc).

Dog and tick


La enfermedad de las garrapatas es llamada Ehrlichia, su principal transmisión es a través de las garrapatas, aunque también puede transmitirse mediante una transfusión sanguínea, el organismo no sobrevive fuera del huésped.

El rango de edad puede ir desde los 2 meses hasta los 14 años en perros con ehrlichiosis clínica.

Los síntomas van a variar de acuerdo a la fase de infección (fiebre, sangrados, sangrado por la nariz, palidez, problemas en los ojos,hígado, riñones e incluso puede afectar el sistema nervioso con depresión, dolor , convulsiones, etc), incluso si no es tratada a tiempo puede ocasionar la muerte.

El diagnóstico definitivo se realiza mediante exámenes de sangre realizados por el veterinario. El doctor le recetará los antibióticos necesarios no menos de 28 días, para eliminar la infección.

Cómo prevenimos: controlando el ambiente libre de garrapatas, así como protegido a nuestras mascotas podemos utilizar pastillas, aceites para la piel, baños, etc.


Memoirs of a Masseur – November 2018

I am tired of this world of appearances. Everywhere I look there is a masquerade vying for my time, my energy. From million dollar advertisement agencies to a quick browse on Facebook I feel everything around me is trying to be original. Authenticity however, serves a purpose, it actually provides something of quality and always has results, it is durable and will last the test of time. I am on the never ending search for this state of being. From my family and friends, to my massage work and my travels, all I want is the situation or the person in front of me to be compelling and intriguing. I need excitement in the current moment and it must be permeated with positivity, everything else is the easy way out. This is a lifestyle choice that requires work and is magnetically endearing. Once in that state of being it is hard to look back, it can be quite a struggle to pretend to be enthused when one is utterly bored.
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Shrimp in Tamarind Sauce (Goong ma kham)

Chef's Corner logoThe compressed fruit pulp of the tamarindus indica tree is available in any produce store. Ask for “tamarindo,” pronounced just like the beach town in Guanacaste, or look for the brown packet as shown in photo.

It is a popular ingredient in south Asian recipes; it has an incomparable blend of sweet and sour best described as a full flavored and complex lime juice. It is packed with anti-oxidants, digestive aids, and vitamins that cover the entire alphabet.

Locally, ticos turn these tasty fruits into refreshing drinks—fresco de tamarindo.

This sauce is excellent with shrimp, fish, or chicken. Crispy garlic and cilantro leaves add the finishing touch that is so popular in Thai dishes.

Tamarind pasteIngredients (4 servings)

  • 1 kilo of medium to large shrimp, peeled and veined (can be replaced by boneless fish or chicken)
  • 1 cup of cornstarch for dredging
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • 200 grams or ½ packet of solid tamarind pulp
  • ½ liter of hot water
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • ½ medium size white onion
  • 2 green onions finely sliced
  • ½ small carrot cut into thin julienne strips
  • ½ small red bell pepper (chile dulce rojo) cut into thin julienne strips
  • 1 red hot pepper (optional)
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce (nam pla)
  • Small amount of fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Shrimp in Tamarind SauceDirections

  1. Mix tamarind pulp with hot water so that it becomes loose. Strain with fine sieve. You will need 1/3 cup of the thick liquid, free of seeds and fibers.
  2. Take 5 garlic cloves and thinly slice to deep fry.
  3. Finely chop the other 5 cloves or use a garlic press.
  4. Pour ½ cup of vegetable oil in a small frying pan and fry the garlic slices until they begin to brown. Quickly strain the oil into a larger frying pan with a metal strainer. Be careful because garlic can burn easily.
  5. Dry the shrimp, fish, or chicken before dredging into the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  6. Add the rest of the cooking oil to the strained garlic oil to pan fry the shrimp. Fry until golden and set aside on paper towels. Keep warm while making sauce.
  7. In a saucepan, heat a small amount of cooking oil, add the garlic, the carrots, the onions, the green onions, the bell peppers until the vegetables are fragrant. Add tamarind, sugar, and fish sauce.
  8. Pour sauce preparation over the crispy shrimp and garnish with crispy garlic and cilantro leaves. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Surfing Quepos – Manuel Antonio

If you are a surfer or want to learn to surf while you are here, then you should know a little about the surf breaks in the area. Here is a quick guide from north to south:


2 surfers

photo: Paul Gerace

Playa Bejuco

A beach break that has hollow waves and works best at two hours before high tide going up to high tide. It has strong rip currents and no lifeguards so it is only for advanced surfers. 

Isla Damas

Another beach break but you need a boat to get to it. It works best right around high tide, but at lower tides on bigger swells can produce heaving barrels—definitely an expert break when there is swell. 

Quepos River Mouth

The jetty from the marina blocks a lot of swell so when it’s too big everywhere else, this break can produce long lefts and some rights that go up into the river mouth. It works at low and mid tides, but at high tide it can be mushy and polluted at times from the outfall in town. Not a beginner break due to the rip currents produced by the river mouth, but it can be fun for long boarders.

SurferManuel Antonio (Playitas)

At the far north end of the beach this stretch of sand has better formed waves and is a foot or two bigger than the rest of the coast. It is best an hour before to an hour after high tide. Watch out for boulders that stick up in the shore break. It also is a favorite spot for locals, so respect them in the lineup. Intermediate or advanced only.

Manuel Antonio

The rest of the beach works well around high tide, and there are lifeguards at the southern end. There are lots of guys on the beach giving lessons and renting boards, . This is most often a beginner break, but if there is swell watch out for heavy rip currents.

What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – November 2018

What's Shaking headerSeptember and October were a wild ride for us all, with some of our first real intense rains and storms of the year, as well as a month of national strikes which made for some interesting experiences for both our local community and nation as a whole. November brings with it the final days of our green season and the annual rains, along with it the first big events and energy for the coming high season of 2018 and 2019. Marina Pez Vela, as usual, is doing things bigger and better than ever and November is when all the activities start to roll out in full force. It is such an amazing experience to see how MPV has become a part of our community with locals, expats and tourists alike making the project a home base for dining, shopping, services and special events and our team and family here have already begun full planning to insure that we have even more to share with you all in the coming months!

For November here are a few highlights of what we have to come!

Dorado Derby, November 17

This is our first annual Dorado Derby Fishing Tournament which has been designed to be the MOST FUN TOURNAMENT in all of Costa Rica. This one day event, scheduled for November 17th, is all about anglers of all abilities and experience, friends, families and businesses coming together to enjoy a day on the water, some good times, great laughs and fun way to participate in an fishing tournament at MPV. There are amazing packages here for $1,750 which includes the boat, tips, entry fee for the team and participation in the pool for biggest Dorados of the day and it is a great way to get your business, family or friends out on the water and experiencing one of the big draws and magical parts of our area. The day will culminate with a live weigh in for all the teams in the plaza, awesome DJ, and a fish fry part to celebrate the winners, the losers, new friends and old. There is still time to sign up and join the party of the first annual DORADO DERBY. Contact the team at IFish to make your reservation now!

Marina Pez Vela logo
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