The hand-painted sign showing two bridled horses does not point towards a fancy place. Turning down this stone driveway off the main road through Las Nubes will not deliver you to a state-of-the-art equine training facility. Nor are these lush pastures described in any Lonely Planet guidebooks. Yet, the animals grazing these hills speak volumes about the culture of Costa Rica’s Central Valley, where horses are not just historical throwbacks but remain essential for work, getting around and showing off in distinctly Tico style. About 5 km from the school “Coronado a…Continue Reading “Horsing around”

Up the hill from Academia Tica Coronado a cozy little place by the side of the road serves up about the freshest trout imaginable, Tico style. At this family-run “trucheria,” (trucha means trout), you can catch your own lunch from a backyard pond. Luckily professionals take over from there. Have a seat in the rustic dining room as the fish is seasoned and grilled to perfection, then served with rice, fries, plantains and salad. To find this authentic cultural gem, take the bus to Las Nubes to the…Continue Reading “Catching lunch in Coronado”

In the tangle of cacophonous green that is Carara National Park, two types of forest meet, a mix of plants, animals and insects found nowhere else in the world. This convergence of Costa Rica’s dry Northern Pacific region and its much wetter Southern Zone is host to half the known animal species in a country famed for prodigious biological diversity. For a while this year it was also host to an unlikely combination of young people, half from the United States and half from Costa…Continue Reading “Un día en la vida: Volunteering at Carara National Park”

When we pull up to his Escazú home, Gerardo Montoya hits play. Parade sounds fill this sleepy neighborhood in the hills overlooking Costa Rica’s capital city. Crashing cymbals and snare drums punch off time as we walk down the driveway towards a garage workshop where our host awaits, dancing among the monsters he’s created, many of them large enough to swallow a man whole. He cuts the music and announces: “Meet my second family!” There is el Chupacabra the blood sucking goat killer, just chilling next to Martina the spunky abuela. There are grinning diablos crowding long-nosed…Continue Reading “Changing face in Escazú”

Costa Rica is out of the run for World Champion, but the whole world cheered as they finished unbeaten in 5th place, just under four of the historically strongest national teams. We celebrate this fantastic performance as the underdogs, and all the passion that it inspired not only in Ticos, but in people everywhere praising the names of Jorge Luis Pinto, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, Celso Borges and Keylor Navas, among others. We would like to honor La Sele’s trip to Brazil 2014 with 25% flash discount!! The…Continue Reading “¡Gracias Sele! Celebration discounts”