Always Stay Connected: Free Internet Coming to 11 Costa Rica National Parks!
Have you ever wished you could instantly upload an amazing nature shot while on a wildlife adventure through the jungle? Now you can at some of Costa Rica’s most remote National Parks! By 2021, you will have the luxury of always staying connected with access to free internet service at 11 Wildlife protected areas in the country.
The coverage will allow about 100 people to simultaneously use the National Parks’ WiFi with a speed of 6 Mbps, that will be available 7 days a week 24 hours a day.
This high speed service will begin at the Santa Rosa National Park, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, Tenorio Volcano, Arenal Volcano, Tortuguero, Cahuita, Poás Volcano, Irazú Volcano, Carara, Manuel Antonio and Marino Ballena National Parks.
“Considering that Wildlife Protected Areas in the country are visited daily by hundreds of national and foreign tourists and are an engine of national economy authorities have signed an agreement to offer free internet access to National Parks (in priority), strengthening in this way the quality of the experience in these public spaces,” stated in a recent press release by The Ministry of Science and Technology.
The idea of adding internet access to National Parks came about from the ideology that National parks are a key place where tourism, environmental conservation, digitalization and learning come together. With this idea in mind, The Ministry of Science and Technology, Environment and Telecommunications signed an agreement to start the project, “Connected Public Spaces” at Costa Rican National Parks.
“Connected Public Spaces” will also soon offer Internet Access Zones at over 515 public Costa Rica locations including parks, train stations, public libraries and civic centers with the hope to bring technology and information closer to the people of Costa Rica.
It’s Time for the 2019 Los Sueños Billfish Series Tournament!
It’s time to go billfishing again! The prestigious Los Sueños Resort and Marina is well known as the center of billfishing in the world’s best destination for big game fishing. As hosts of this annual billfishing tournament anglers from around the world come to enjoy Costa Rica’s calm waters, blue skies, big fish (and lots of them) and incredible competition!
Home to the renowned and highly competitive Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown Billfish Series, Los Sueños is a fisherman’s dream. But this year also marks the first annual Los Sueños Ladies Only Tournament starting January 15, presented by Chantilly Air. This one-day non-professional competition invites all ladies who have a passion for the open waters and competitive fishing too.
The Los Sueños BillfishTournament has been hugely successful not only because of the incredible number of billfish caught and released but also for the experience of competing with the best teams in the world surrounded by the country’s spectacular ocean and coastal scenery.
The Los Sueños Triple Crown consists of three annual tournaments, in January, February and March, and is fished out of the world class Los Sueños Resort and Marina! Leg I of the Triple Crown Series is January 16-19; Leg II February 27 – March 2; and Leg III March 27-30. No wonder Los Sueños is home to this world-class tournament, as it offers the best of both worlds–breathtaking sea views, luxurious amenities and the best Billfish fishing in the world!
Lie-Flat All the Way to Costa Rica! Liberia Becomes JetBlue’s First Mint City in Latin America!
How would you like a flight where taking a nap is actually comfortable without wrecking your neck and feeling rejuvenated upon arriving to your tropical destination? Well… JetBlue has made this possible! JetBlue now offers customers a direct flight into Liberia’s Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR)! Liberia has become JetBlue’s first Mint city in all of Latin America.
JetBlue Mint offers premium service on the A321 aircrafts with lie-flat seats (16 in business class), artisanal dining options, free inflight entertainment, quality amenities and more. This 159 seat airplane allows travelers to enjoy a first-class flying experience from the United States to Costa Rica.
The JetBlue Mint service operates seasonably between New York (John F. Kennedy Airport) and Liberia, Guanacaste. Previously, the route has been operated using an A320 plane which does not comprise of a business class.The new direct Mint flight arrives every Saturday from the JFK airport at 2:49 p.m. to Liberia and departs from Liberia at 4:15 p.m. and back to JFK at 10:14 p.m.
Premium JetBlue Travel From New York to Guanacaste
Business class passengers on JetBlue direct Mint flights to Liberia can fully relax in luxury with lie-flat seating, a signature cocktail, a mouth-watering tapas-style menu by New York City restaurant Saxon + Parole, fresh espresso from the first purpose-built cappuccino machine for a U.S. airline, amenity kits by Hayward and Hopper and dessert from local artisanal ice cream makers.
But business travelers on JetBlue’s Mint A321 to Liberia are not the only ones enjoying exquisite interior amenities. Mint coach passengers also leisure in an array of perks such as: full access to personal 10-inch television screens offering free entertainment, comfortable seats with the most legroom and power outlets accessible to all customers.
JetBlue’s popular marketplace– a self-serve station full of free snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience, is also available throughout the direct flight to Costa Rica. An additional JetBlue Mint amenity offers free Fly-Fi high-speed broadband Internet service and access to JetBlue’s Hub content on personal devices and first-run Hollywood movies for complete travel comfort and relaxation.
As stated in a recent press release, JetBlue is currently the only airline to offer lie-flat seats between the U.S. and Costa Rica, providing passengers with the ultimate travel ease to their destination in paradise.
From fine dining to local favorites, there are now many great restaurants in Tamarindo. With so many to choose from within this small tropical beach town, we provided a list worthy of a Pure Luxury recommendation.
Dragonfly Bar and Grill
In the mood for some amazingly fresh California Asian Fusion with a Tico twist, and some live music too? Be sure to check out Dragonfly Bar and Grill. A little hard to find (yet easy if you know where to look), this rustic chic open-air restaurant serves extraordinary dishes curated by Chef Giovanny Campos. From delicious tempura shrimp rolls with avocado to Asian cashew salads to fiery Thai beef and Tuna so fresh it melts in your mouth. Dragonfly also offers exotic cocktails, try a blackberry mojito, choose from a good wine list and great dessert menu. At Dragonfly you’ll enjoy a relaxing and memorable dining experience in Tamarindo.
Signature dishes: Dragonfly Refresher, Tuna Tartare, Grilled Filet Mignon, Red Curry, Buddha Bowl
Hours: 5:30-10 p.m.
Contact: 506 2653 1506
Pangas Beach Club
Pangas Beach Club is truly the epitome of tropical beachfront dining–where timeless elegance meets oceanfront casual. Fresh gourmet dishes and pumping surf breaks are right at your fingertips. Located directly on the sand of north Tamarindo beach, Pangas is a sophisticated beach club by day and a relaxed gourmet restaurant and bar by night. Whether grabbing an afternoon beer or refreshing blended fruit cocktail after shredding the waves or enjoying a candlelit dinner in the dining room, Pangas has something for everyone. The restaurant chefs use the area’s freshest seafood with all-natural and local ingredients to guarantee satisfaction in very bite.
Signature dishes: Pangas Surf and Turf, Lobster Risotto, Curry and Coconut Mussels, Tuna Tower
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Contact: 506 2653 0024
Wok n Roll
Fresh, healthy and delicious! Wok n Roll delivers authentic Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine with a contemporary twist, right in the center of downtown Tamarindo. Wok n Roll offers quality sushi and asian dishes prepared by expert chefs.
Signature dishes: Succulent Raw Oysters, Pad Thai, Spicy Dragon Roll, Stir Fry
Hours: 12-10 p.m.
Contact: 506 2653 0156
Patagonia Argentinian Grill & Restaurant
Feeling like a quality meat dinner with a hint of sparky latin flavors? Enjoy a mouth-watering meal with fantastic service at Patagonia Argentinian Grill & Restaurant located conveniently across from Tamarindo Beach. Patagonia serves outstanding steak and meat dishes as well as seafood and vegetarian options.
Signature dishes: Stuffed Eggplant and Zucchini Rolls, Ribs, Seafood Pasta
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Contact: 506 2653 0612
Ready to wine and dine? Discover casual fine dining at its best at El Coconut. The setting just as well could be in Upper Manhattan or Downtown LA, but with the roaring surf and beach town vibe as its backdrop makes it just so much more unique in character. Where else in Costa Rica would you find a temperate wine cellar of almost 1000 bottles? El Coconut offers a high-quality wine selection, from the easy drinking Latin American table wines to finer selections such as Châteauneuf du Pape, Penfold 389 and many more. El Coconut takes pride in their amazing seafood dishes. The Surf and Turf is big enough to satisfy the hungriest surfer.
Signature dishes: Sautéed Shrimps with Avocado, Lobster Seasoned with Pineapple, Raisins and Ginger
Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Contact: 506 2653 0086
El Barco Restaurant at Capitán Suizo
Situated directly on the beach, El Barco effortlessly combines romantic and tranquil beachfront dining. Choose to dine for a buffet breakfast or for an a la carte lunch and dinner with a delicious mixed cuisine of international dishes and classic Costa Rican eats prepared by chef Jujo Molina. Enjoy a candlelight dinner under the stars with the views of the endless horizon and the soothing sounds of the waves. Every Monday and Wednesday dinner is accompanied by live Marimba music. El Barco offers relaxed and peaceful dining surrounded by Costa Rica’s nature.
Signature dishes: Ceviche, Tacos with Pineapple Pico de Gallo, Ensalada de Atún, Mahi Mahi, Homemade Tortellini
Hours: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Contact: 506 2653 0075
Price: $$- $$$
Sabanero Steak House (JW Marriott)
Save a night for some homemade bread, juicy steaks, fresh seafood, top-notch service and a large assortment of wines at Sabanero Steak House. Just a short drive from downtown Tamarindo you will find yourself at the beachfront JW Marriott within the premier Hacienda Pinilla resort. Sabanero Steak House offers an elegant dining experience amidst refined hacienda-style décor. It is highly recommended to make a reservation before visiting Sabanero.
Signature dishes: NY Strip, Filet Mignon, Grilled Chicken, Caesar Salad
Hours: 5:30- 10 p.m.
Contact: 506 2681 2000
Price: $$$- $$$$
Cala Luna Restaurant & Bar
Dine under the shimmering Costa Rica moon at Cala Luna Restaurant & Bar. Emphasis on elegance and delicious creations is evident when dining at Cala Luna’s intimate poolside setting. Cala Luna’s menu is fully gourmet and organic, offering local and sustainable meal options. Relax poolside with a fresh, locally-sourced organic fruit cocktail or choose from Cala Luna’s long list of beers and wines. The lounge features a large, vaulted tiki roof shading numerous cushioned beds and couches dressed with colorful boho pillows.
Craving some traditional Italian cuisine made by local Sicilian transplants? Antichi Sapori is the perfect spot to get your pizza and pasta fix! Oh, and don’t forget to try one of their incredible desserts and pastries. This hidden gem sits in Plaza Tamarindo and offers you various appetizers, carpaccio meat and fish, pasta, risotto, pizza, daily specials, vegan food and gluten free pizza and pasta accompanied by fine Italian wines.
Signature dishes: marlin carpaccio, pasta bolognese, gluten free pizza/pasta, bruschetta and cannolis
The Best Surf Spots Along Costa Rica’s North Pacific Coast
Costa Rica’s North Pacific coastline is home to some of the country’s most pristine beaches and phenomenal waves, making it a surfing haven! Offering a wide selection of surf spots, from slabby beach breaks to barreling points, you are sure to find a wave to fit your surfing ability. When surfing any new exotic surf locale, it’s always recommended to hire the services of a private surf experience, as they know the shortcuts and secret gems!
The southernmost spot on the list offers surfers very consistent waves. Through a windy dirt road, and hard to find, Marbella is regularly a less crowded beach break. Best during mid-tide falling to low, Marbella can definitely hold some size.
Want to find some shade from the tropical sun? Make your way to Marbella at low tide and you will surely find yourself covered in the green room. This is a perfect destination for advanced surfers.
Want a remote surf experience? Make Playa Junquillal your next stop! You won’t have to fight for waves here, as it is rare to see anyone else on the beach, much less in the lineup. During higher tides, there are many A-frame peaks that offer hollow, fast rights and lefts. The waves jack up off a sandbar very quickly, creating a tough, but exciting, drop in. Junquillal breaks very close to shore in shallow water over a sandy bottom. This is an intermediate to advanced surf spot.
Playa Blanca is a short ride from Junquillal and another pretty rural spot, only breaking when there is substantial swell. Though, when it’s good, its really good– often producing double overhead left handers.
Playa Callejones and Playa Negra
Playa Callejones is a lesser known break located south of the more famously known, Playa Negra. This beach break creates fantastic rights and lefts over a sandy bottom. Callejones is best surfed at low or upcoming tide with swell from the north or northwest. This is a great option for surfers who are not yet ready for the heavy conditions of Playa Negra.
Known to be one of the more popular surf breaks in the country, Playa Negra is an incredible reef/point for those seeking a thrilling challenge, with consistent right hand barrels. Although the beach is easily accessible, the take off zone is a very small, accommodating only a few surfers at a time.
Playa Avellanas Playa Avellanas boasts world-class waves that break consistently year round. There are five main peaks (not including the secret spots), all working on different tides–offering you all day surf sessions if you can handle it!
Ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers, Little Hawaii is directly off of the Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club and provides long rights, enabling you to show off your best maneuvers. The ideal time to surf is mid to high tide. Although, when the tide bottoms out, it still gets really fun down at the Avellanas beach-break by Lola’s (the perfect after-surf beachfront restaurant).
The family-friendly and energetic beach town of Tamarindo offers surf for all skill levels! Tamarindo is the perfect spot for surf lessons. For both beginner and intermediate surfers, Tamarindo provides great breaks for you to practice dropping in on bigger waves and making turns. Just watch out for the crowd in the water, especially during the high season!
Just north of Tamarindo, Playa Grande caters some of the finest and most consistent beach breaks in Costa Rica. The main peak provides surfers with consistent offshore right and left peelers over a sandy bottom.
Access this world-famous break by boat. The waves at Witch’s Rock have a unique sandbar shape, created by the river mouth feeding into the Pacific. The point has clean, glassy waves with offshore winds during the months from December to April. The waves are large stretching about 3 miles onto the beach. The sandbar is probably the best place to surf, with hollow waves suitable for surfers on varying levels. Just be careful and watch out for crocodiles, as they have made the remote beach in front of the break their home!
This advanced surf spot between Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s sits on an exposed reef and only accessible by boat. El Laberinto rarely gets crowded and is best on a southwest groundswell. This right hand reef break is best for experienced surfers, as there are often rips and many sharp rocks below!
This extraordinary right point break located near the Nicaraguan border sits in Santa Rosa National Park. This famous surf destination is accessible only by boat, closest from Playas del Coco and Playa Ocotal. The waves are fast and hollow, breaking over a rocky bottom, best for intermediate to advanced surfers. If you plan to surf here, be sure and use a private surf guide, which relieves the stress and hassle of park entrance fees and finding the remote location…All you have to do is surf your brains out!
Northern Whale Migration to Costa Rica is Approaching!
While Costa Rica is better known for its abundance of rare wildlife on land such as sloths, monkeys, birds and butterflies, the country’s ocean is filled with unique life too! Costa Rica is a prime whale watching destination–all thanks to the annual migration of two groups of humpback whales.
This long migration journey starts when temperatures in both North and South America start to cool during their winters. This is when humpbacks decide to head toward the equator where waters are warmer—and Costa Rica is one of their favorite vacation spots! This migration is the longest of any mammal in the world, stretching up to 6,000 miles! While on their holiday in Pura Vida paradise, the humpbacks use this valuable time to find suitable mates, breed and rear young.
Making Their Way Down South
There are two different migrations for humpback whales in Costa Rica– one from northern areas such as California and Alaska and another from the southern Antarctic zone. These migrations happen at different times of year and do not overlap. Northern humpbacks typically start to arrive in Costa Rica in December and can be seen until April. Southern humpbacks typically do not show up in Costa Rica until July and stay until the beginning of November, which means that whale watching is fantastic for nine months out of the year!
While you are able to see humpback whales all over Costa Rica’s Pacific, they tend to migrate toward the south in places like the Osa Peninsula,Uvita and Dominical. Uvita is probably one of the best known beach towns for whale watching in Costa Rica as it home to Marino Ballena National Park (National Whale Marine Park), a protected area known for attracting whales close to shore.
Tamarindo has officially become Blue Flag approved! With the help from many community organizations and residents, this Guanacaste surf mecca and lively beach town boasting fantastic dining options, luxury accommodations and endless water activities recently was awarded the prestigious Blue Ecological Flag.
You might be thinking what in the world is the Blue Flag award? The Blue Ecological Flag is in fact a sustainable certification which shows importance for two reasons–first being it demonstrates the area’s strong values toward taking care of the planet and also that the Tamarindo community prides themselves in improving their surroundings.
Guanacaste’s Efforts Toward a Greener Costa Rica
“Tamarindo is tourist destination, and everyone who lives here works for tourism directly or indirectly. Today the market trends and consumer behaviors to show that sustainability issues are very important when deciding a product or service, and that’s another reason why we must focus on improving the sustainability of our businesses and community. The Blue Flag shows that we are going in this direction. It can be applied by all the businesses of the community, and this is the only way to continue being an international tourism destination,” said Jordi Rivera, the head of the Tamarindo Blue Flag Committee.
Being awarded the Blue Flag honor is no walk along the beach. It takes dedication and time, persistence and community effort.
“It has been really hard to get the Blue Flag. First, we needed a team of people committed to work hard, and that has been possible thanks to CCTT (Tamarindo Chamber of Commerce and Tourism). Then we needed to put together all the efforts from our town’s organizations and businesses who are working to better our community– such as: Hotel Cala Luna, Asada Tamarindo, ADI Tamarindo, Salvemonos, Surf Rider Foundation, Cepia, Clean Wave, Municipalidad de Santa Cruz and Bomberos de Costa Rica,” said Rivera.
The Blue Flag, which Tamarindo received on behalf of the entire community, focuses on the most crucial aspects of the area, which is overseen by the country’s National Committee and other country-wide ecological organizations. The main sections looked at for the Blue Flag are drinkable water, protected green areas, solid waste, recycling, street cleaning, liquid waste, road signs, environmental education, public health, water springs protection and security.
Even though the Blue Flag is now in Tamarindo’s hand, this Guanacaste surf town must continue their conservation work, striving to hold onto the Blue Flag award for the years to come.
Robert August’s Endless Summer Living in Guanacaste’s Beachfront Gem: Tamarindo
Robert August’s effortless ease and relaxed style make for a true longboarder. Pair his surfing with his clever, laid-back humor and you get one of the most highly-respected surf pioneers, famous shaper of Robert August Surfboards and star surfer in the world-renowned film, The Endless Summer. Now you can find him here living, and yes, still working on surfing in Tamarindo.
Growing up in Huntington Beach, August was surrounded by world-class surf from the very beginning. His father, Orral (Blackie) August, was an original California waterman and had Robert surfing by the age of 6. August later went on to become a successful contest surfer and remarkable athlete, landing him a spot in both Bruce Brown films. Robert August helped put Costa Rica on the global surf map, featuring Ollies Point, Witch’s Rock and Tamarindo in The Endless Summer II.
Costa Rica’s Untouched Beauty and Pumping Surf
August first visited Costa Rica while filming in 1991, discovering the sleepy community of Tamarindo — now a lively, captivating and bohemian beach town. Back then, there were no more than a few local homes along a beachfront dirt road surrounded by untouched surf, dense rainforest and roaring wildlife.
“The Tamarindo locals had never seen surfers ride their perfect waves. Over the years, the entire country of Costa Rica has really grown and evolved into a surf mecca,” August said.
You think driving along the Costa Rican roads today are difficult? Try back then, with no GPS, cellphone or paved road — just a pure wild ride through the jungle all the way from the San Josė Airport. Yes, that’s right. Liberia Airport did not exist then, making travel to the Gold Coast of Guanacaste extremely difficult.
“Back in the day, Tamarindo barely had any place to get food. Thankfully there was Nogui’s, the only restaurant to get a bite to eat after hours in the scorching sun celebrating the world-class waves… all to ourselves. No one surfed here in Costa Rica back then,” August said.
After a long surf session in Tamarindo, Robert was asked if he wanted to look at some land to potentially purchase.
“I remember thinking, ‘What? There is nothing here!’ But I went along with it,” August said.
Calling Costa Rica Home
August is happy he reluctantly agreed… as he ended up buying his own slice of Pura Vida.
At 73, the talented and witty surf legend calls the unique surf town of Tamarindo his home. Here, he raises his teenage daughter, is an ambassador of surfing at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp and continues to produce custom-shaped Robert August Surfboards.
If you wish to meet legend Robert August or speak with him about shaping your custom autographed board, give us a ring… we can hook you up.