Friday, April 29, 2011

San Jose - The Costa Rica Capital

Costa Rica's capital, San Jose, is a busy, congested and noisy city.  Most tourists will probably only want to spend a day or two in the Costa Rica capital for that very reason.  The center of San Jose is dominated by hotels, offices, high-rises and shops.  There are some benefits to staying in San Jose, such as easier access to modern conveniences, magnificent surrounding mountain scenery, and cooler weather than in most other parts of the country.  However, if you've come to Costa Rica to see natural wonders, then the Costa Rica capital will not impress you.  I was driving and walking around some of the more popular parts of San Jose just yesterday, however, and did enjoy taking in some of its main sites.  There are a few notable buildings and plazas to be seen, and the Costa Rica capital is a great place for people-watching (30% of the Costa Rican population live in the vicinity San Jose. That's about 1.3 million people).

People and Sights on San Jose's Streets

Avenida 2,  A Main San Jose Thoroughfare

The Plaza de la Cultura is considered San Jose's unofficial focal point.  It's a great place to soak up the colorful atmosphere of the Costa Rica capital.  This is where you'll find the Museo del Oro Precolumbino (the world-class Pre-Columbian Gold Museum) and the famous Teatro Nacional (pictured below).

Teatro Nacional (National Theatre)
Across the street from the Plaza de la Cultura is Parque Central, which is San Jose's main plaza.  Here you will find a fountain, a bronze statue, hardwood sculptures, and a large domed structure where the municipal band plays concerts on Sunday.  On the east side of the park is the Catedral Metropolitana, a Corinthian-columned Metropolitan cathedral with a famous white statue paying homage to Pope John Paul II standing next to it (both pictured below).

Parque Central and Performance Dome

Catedral Metropolitano and White Statue of Pope John Paul II to the left of it
Finally, if you are in the Costa Rica capital of San Jose for a day or two, you'll probably enjoy a quick visit to the Mercado Central (the large central market). Watch out for pickpockets, but have fun exploring the stands and stalls in this fun and lively market area (pictured below).  Now leave the Costa Rica capital and move on to the rest of the country where you'll see the real beauty that is Costa Rica.

Inside the Mercado Central, San Jose, Costa Rica

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tilapia Farming in Costa Rica

You'll find the fish known as Tilapia on many restaurant menus here in Costa Rica.  Tilapia is a mild-tasting freshwater fish, with firm white flesh.  Tilapia farming is becoming a very popular backyard business here in Costa Rica.  My boyfriend's uncle began his Costa Rica Tilapia farm on an acre of land in Guacimo a few years ago.  At last estimates he was making about $2,000 U.S. a month just selling the fish to local commercial outlets and neighbors who would come to his property to catch and cook their own lunch.  You can see pictures of our visit to this Costa Rica Tilapia farm below.

Standing in Front of the Tilapia Pools

Our Freshly "Caught" Tilapia Lunch

My Boyfriend's Aunt Frying Tilapia for Us
Tilapia are high in protein and low in saturated fat.  You don't need to find a fancy Tilapia recipe to enjoy this tasty fish.  The day we visited the Costa Rica Tilapia farm, we ate some that had only been sprinkled with a little salt and fried in vegetable oil (head and everything!).  But, if you do want to get a little more gourmet, you can find more than one excellent Tilapia recipe at where they list the Top 20 best Tilapia Recipes as voted by users.  Tilapia are mild-flavored, so any seasoning you add to a Tilapia recipe will come through quite nicely in the final product.

If you are interesting in trying your hand at starting your own Costa Rica Tilapia Farm you can find aquaponics supplies at Pachamama located in San Jose or Jaco.  Or, you can try it the way my boyfriend's uncle did it, and just create your own rustic farming pools. He uses cement slabs, PVC piping, netting and his water source is the local stream that intersects his property. Tilapia require a steady supply of constantly flowing fresh water.  If the water is not continually flowing, I've been told that the fish will die.  A Costa Rica Tilapia farm will require daily attention, whether that be you as the business owner, or having to hire a helper.  I've also been told that Tilapia need to be fed 3 times a day like clockwork in order to survive and thrive.

Learn How to Start Your Own Tilapia Farm:

Sustainable Freshwater Aquacultures: The Complete Guide from Backyard to InvestorMy Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Arenal Hot Springs in Hotel Los Lagos

There are various hotels and facilities around the Arenal Volcano that capture the hot springs water which pours from the base of the famous volcano.  The largest of these Arenal hot springs are found at the Tabacon facility.  However, this facility is also the most expensive to visit (around $60 U.S. per person).

We heard about cheaper Arenal hot springs facilities, but when we drove by them they seemed over-crowded, with tons of large tour buses were sitting outside their entrances.  We asked a local person for a suggestion and he told us about the Arenal hot springs at the Los Lagos Hotel, Spa & Resort.  We decided to try the place out and it ended up up being a great decision.  The cost here was $20 U.S.  per person.

The Arenal hot springs at Hotel Los Lagos may not be as majestic as those at Tabacon and elsewhere, but my boyfriend and I thought the site was fantastic.  The hotel Los Lagos offers five different Arenal hot springs pool areas which are surrounded by lush vegetation. The crowds here were not excessive, which was nice. Below are pictures of our visit to the Arenal hot springs at Hotel Los Lagos.

Entrance to Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort

Regular Pool Area with Wet Bar on the way to the Hot Springs

My boyfriend and I in one of the hot spring pools
Another Arenal Hot Springs Pool

View of Arenal Volcano as seen from the Los Lagos hotel grounds
The Arenal hot springs at Hotel Los Lagos are fed directly from pristine rainforest springs into natural looking hot tubs.  The Arenal hot springs water is said to be full of healthy minerals which chemical, physical and biological benefits, including total relaxation of tense and tired muscles. I can attest to that last part at least!

You do not have to stay at Hotel Los Lagos to use their Arenal hot springs.  But you might consider it, since Hotel Los Lagos offers many other features in addition to the Arenal hot springs, including a restaurant, a spa, horseback riding, a souvenier shop, butterfly/ant/frog/crocodile exhibits, and absolutely amazing views of the Arenal volcano.  Definitely worth a look into if you are thinking about staying in the area.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Our visit to the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica couldn't have been more perfect.  Although we are almost in May, rainy season hasn't kicked in yet, and so we had picture perfect views of the cylindrical cone of the Arenal Volcano while experiencing little to no cloud coverage.  Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica's most active volcano.  It frequently experiences explosions of incandescent rocks, ashes and lava flows which can be seen from far away.  The last major eruption was in 1968.  It was an eruption that killed 78 people and which could be felt as far away as Boulder, Colorado!

We did visit Arenal Volcano National Park and walked on some of its trails (see pics below).  There are five separate trails in the park, but the one that would put you the closest to the volcano was closed off on the day that we arrived.  There are many signs throughout the park warning visitors not to trespass.  It was not surprising to see tourists crossing these barriers to get as close to the volcano as possible, despite the possible risks to their lives.  We decided not to take any unnecessary risks, but I dont think we missed much since, in my opinion, the best views of the Arenal Volcano were experienced from other locations around the vicinity of the park, just driving along the main highway in the area (see pics below as well).

Heliconias Hiking Trail in Arenal Volcano National Park

On the Trail

More on the Trail

Arenal Volcano as seen from main highway

Arenal Volcano as seen from another vantage point on the highway

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lake Arenal Costa Rica

As we were heading to the famous Arenal Volcano yesterday, we would have taken the regular route trodden by most visitors from San Jose's capital in Costa Rica which puts you through the town of La Fortuna.  But on the advice of a friend, we took the alternate, and much longer, route that passes through the towns of Cañas and Tilaran instead.  Boy, were we glad we made this deviation!  This route introduced us to the amazingly beautiful Lake Arenal. My boyfriend has lived in Costa Rica all his life, but has not explored much.  So this area was actually new to him as well.  Lake Arenal is a huge, majestic, picture perfect lake.  Circling Lake Arenal on our way to the Arenal Volcano probably took about an hour, but this extra time was well worth it. I was reminded of the lake and mountain scenery that I've witnessed on my visit to the Swiss Alps.  It also reminded me of some of the landscape I saw when I drove around Lochness Lake in Scotland so many years ago.   The splendid Arenal Volcano can be seen looming over Lake Arenal to the east (see pics below).

View of Lake Arenal Costa Rica

Lake Arenal with Arenal Volcano Looming in the Background
The only town along the entire perimeter of the Lake Arenal is Nuevo Arenal.  But you will still find a variety of eateries and lodging along most areas of the lake, including an actual German Bakery (photo below).  You'll also notice a lot of signs trying to sell you lakeview properties.  Several prominent signs were offering a home on a lake lot starting at just $149,000 U.S. dollars.

Due to the windspeeds here, Lake Arenal Costa Rica has become one of the world's top windsurfing spots.  November - January are the best months for windsurfing.  Other recreational pursuits available on Lake Arenal include kayaking, boat tours, wakeboarding behind speedboats, and fishing.

The beauty of the Lake Arenal district included more than just the lake itself.  There were rolling hill pastures with cows grazing, beautiful Swiss-like homes and churches, and a variety of rivers feeding into the lake along the route.

Church and Home Along Lake Arenal
German Bakery in Nuevo Arenal

Cute River Criss-Crossing Into Lake Arenal
My boyfriend and I absolutely fell in love with the Lake Arenal district of Costa Rica yesterday.  We plan on making it a retreat for future romantic get-aways.  It's a true gem in this marvelous country of natural beauty.

To Learn More About Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica check out:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Playa Doña Ana Costa Rica

While many devout Costa Rican Christians were heading to church this Palm Sunday, and actually holding palm branches in their hands, my boyfriend and I decided it was a good day to go to the beach.  Living out by Puntarenas City puts us close to many of the beaches that the people from the capital city of San Jose and tourists from cruise ships docking at Puntarenas for the day, like to spend their time at.  Our beach choice for today was Playa Doña Ana ("playa" is Spanish for beach).   This beach has a clearly marked entry off the coastal highway as shown in the picture below.

Entrance to Playa Doña Ana Costa Rica
Playa Doña Ana is a brownish-gray sand beach offering covered picnic shelters, snack bars, barbecue pits, and changing areas.  Some people were setting up tents on the beach, so it looks like you can even stay there overnight. The great thing about Playa Doña Ana it that is has tons of tree-shaded areas right next to the water under which to set yourself up.  The beach itself is in a cove area, bounded in on one side by a tree-studded land projection and on the other side by a craggy rock formation (see pictures below).  The beach is popular for surfing and swimming.  The water temperature was nice (not too cold or too warm).  But beware! The rip current here can be strong (there are warnings posted).  My boyfriend said he nearly drowned here when he was 12 years old because he got caught up in one and didn't know how to swim out of it.  Just exercise caution and keep an eye on children.

Playa Doña Ana View Looking Towards the Left

Playa Doña Ana View Looking Towards the Right

Enjoying the Water
To get to Playa Doña Ana from San Jose you drive on Hwy 1 (the Costanera Sur / coastal highway) towards Puntarenas City. Then get off on Hwy 17 and look for the entrance to Playa Doña Ana on your left.  It costs 1,500 colones per person to enter ($3 USD), and 1,000 colones ($2 USD) for car parking. 

My boyfriend and I had a great time at Playa Doña Ana today.  The water was clean, we got to spend lots of time in the shade reading and relaxing, and we had a good time just people-watching. We will definitely make more visits to this beach.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Costa Rican Slang

I've been exposed to the Spanish language all my life.  Panamanian-style Spanish (from my own mother and grandmother); Cuban-style Spanish from a large part of the population of Miami, Florida; and Mexican-style Spanish learned mostly from TV shows (such as the very funny "El Chapulin Colorado").  You'd think that all that exposure would have prepared me to understand Costa Ricans as they speak to each other without any problem. The truth is, when I first moved here I often found myself at at a loss as to what in the world was being said due to the use of so much Costa Rican slang.  I'd always have to ask my boyfriend later in private to clarify things for me.
I'm sure I'll learn a lot more Costa Rican slang in the months to come, but in the meantime, I'll share with you 10 of the most used Costa Rican slang phrases you're likely to hear during your stay or visit in the country:

  1. Chunche (choon-chay): use this to refer to anything that you don’t know the correct name for (kind of like “thingamajig”)
  2. Diay (dee-ay):  This is a commonly used filler word.  Throw it in pretty much anywhere you like while speaking (sort of like “um”, “like”, “man”)
  3. Guila (pronounced gwee-lah):  “una guila” is a girl, and “un guila” is a boy.  My mother-in-law-to-be enjoys using this term somewhat derogatively, as when she wants to refer to someone is breeding kids all over the place, she’ll say: “Ese tiene guilas por todos lados”.
  4. Macha / Macho (mah-cha / mah - choh): a blond-haired or light-skinned female /  male
  5. Mae (my):  Used to mean "dude" between friends, or simply to refer to any man or woman ("ese mae te esta buscando" = "that guy is looking for you").
  6. Por dicha (poor dee-chah):  thank goodness; fortunately
  7. Pura paja (poor-ah pa-hah): crap; bullshit
  8. Pura vida (poor-ah vee-dah):  this literally means "pure life". It is probably the number one Costa Rican slang phrase used throughout the country. My boyfriend will use it as a greeting, as a way to end a phone call, as a way to say thanks, or when someone has just given him some really good news.
  9. Soda (soh-dah): They are probably not talking about a soft drink whenever you here this phrase, rather it usually refers to the small, family-run typical restaurants you’ll find at every neighborhood corner.
  10. Tuanis (too-ahn-ees):  This popular phrase means "cool".  It is said to be a Spanish adaptation of the American phrase of approval "too nice!"
Learn More About Costa Rican Spanish:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cell Phones in Costa Rica

If you will be staying in Costa Rica for a while you are probably going to want to have a cell phone to be able to make and receive calls within the country, and also to be able to make 911 calls if needed (yes, Costa Rica uses 911 for emergency calls too). The problem with cell phones in Costa Rica, for foreigners at least, is that there is only one cell phone company (called the "ICE" and pronounced "ee-say"), and they won't set up cell phone service for anyone who is not a Costa Rican resident.  So the best way to be able to use cell phones in Costa Rica is to either rent one from a company that offers this service to foreigners; or else to buy an unlocked cell phone before leaving the U.S.

After comparing monthly rates, I found that renting cell phones in Costa Rica was too expensive of an option for me, especially since I was going to be here for more than a few months.  So I went ahead and purchased one.  Although you will not be able to set up a line for any cell phone you buy, you will be able to buy a SIM card at the ICE stand in the airport when you arrive (the stand is right past where you pick up your baggage, and right before you go through immigration). The SIM card works perfect with unlocked cell phones in Costa Rica, and comes in various denominations. I bought a $20 card at the stand and the ICE vendor immediately installed into the phone for me and even tested it before I left the counter (see picture of SIM card and my cell phone in the photos below).

Nokia 2730 with 2.0 Mega Pixel Camera (shown with SIM card & battery)

SIM Card shown inserted into my cell phone
Using cell phones in Costa Rica with SIM cards inserted into them is easy.  I've found the coverage within the country to be very reliable, except maybe for losing signal on and off in some of the remoter mountain-top areas.It is probably best to buy a phone model that is already proven to work on ICE's cell phone system by checking out the cell phones in Costa Rica currently sold by this monopoly at their website HERE. I personally chose the Nokia 2730 with the 2.0 mga pixel camera and have had no problems with it. Also, I get to keep the same phone number as long as I continue to fill my SIM card before the balance gets to zero. Unfortunately, there is no way to refill this card online. So when your cell phone warns you that your minutes are low, be sure to make your way to your nearest ICE office (they are all over the country) and get your card refilled.  You can find other great unlocked cell phone options for your Costa Rica trip at Amazon's link HERE.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Costa Rica River Dip in Rio Jesus Maria

This weekend my boyfriend took me to a beautiful river where he and his family would often go when he was a little boy.  The river is known as Rio Jesus Maria and is located in the canton of Esparza, Costa Rica in the town of San Rafael.  As we parked our car and walked downhill to get to the river, I was surprised to see so many locals picnicking and sunbathing along the it's banks.  There were so many people,in fact, that we had a hard time finding an open spot to lay down our towels and blankets.  We finally decided to cross the river, where very few people dared to venture, using the huge protruding rocks as stepping stones to get across.

My Boyfriend Crossing the River

Safely across on the other side, we laid out our blankets and sat quietly enjoying the sound of rushing water all around us and admiring the beautiful scenery.  I especially liked the quaint brick bridge that framed the river to the right of us.  The bridge (captured below) reminded me of one that I've seen in so many famous photographs and movies.

Brick Bridge on Rio Jesus Maria

Me, Climbing the Large Rocks on the River's Banks

The water, cool as it was, was a refreshing break on this hot day.  Little fish could be seen in the clear river water swimming all around us.  Sometimes they'd even peck gently at our legs and arms.  Everyone else seemed to pack up and leave at about 3pm, which left me and my boyfriend to enjoy this surreal natural setting all to ourselves.

Access to Rio Jesus Maria was free, except for having to pay $1.00 for parking.  You can find the river by turning right off of Hwy 1 onto Hwy 131 (at the intersection that the locals call the "Cruces a Nances"), and following the road up the hill for about 5 km.  The parking lot is on the left side in a Bar-Restaurant called "Las Damas".  All in all, my experience at the Rio Jesus Maria was a great adventure.  And definitley one that I hope to repeat often.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grecia - The Place to Buy a Used Car in Costa Rica

If you are looking to buy a used and affordable car in Costa Rica, you may want to check out the town of Grecia.  My boyfriend states that it's the place that Costa Rican's themselves come to when they are in the market for a used car.  After spending a couple days comparing used car prices in the capital city of San Jose, with the prices we found at the used car dealerships in Grecia, we definitely found Grecia to be considerably cheaper and to offer a greater variety.  According to the dealers there that we spoke to, Grecia's cars are mainly imported from the U.S. (versus being cars produced for the Central American market directly).  That means they are a little roomier and probably offer more features inside and out.  Not sure if that makes them better quality or not, but it seemed to be a big selling point for most of the dealers here.

The main entrance to the town of Grecia (translated as "Greece" in English) is off of Hwy 1.  You can't miss it if you are looking, as you will be able to see a re-creation of a Greek-pillared rotunda at this entrance (pictures below).

About one to two miles up the road from the Greek columns is where you'll begin to see the second hand car dealers all along both sides of the street.  We stopped at about 10 or so of these small dealers, explaining to each one what we were looking for.  We finally found a car that met our requirements at Auto Salas.  The buying process was a little strange to me, as it involved all of us climbing into the car and driving to a lawyer's office in the downtown area of Grecia in order to sign off on the paperwork to transfer the car over to my boyfriend.  But, all in all, the process was quick and easy, and the customer service we were given there was great.  We received a 30 day warranty on the used car and two months later we are still happy with our second hand car purchase.

If you decide to come out to Grecia to find  your used car, you can also make it a sightseeing trip by spending a little time in the town's central plaza area.  Here you will be able to see Grecia's famous rust-red twin-spired metal church.  You could also add in a visit to The World of Snakes attraction in Grecia which features over 150 snakes from around the world.

Costa Rica Lottery

If you live in or have visited Costa Rica, you will have no doubt been approached by street vendors attempting to sell you a sheet of colorful lottery tickets (see picture below).  These sheets correspond to the Costa Rica National Lottery (Loteria Nacional).

I enjoyed playing the Florida lotto back home, where it was as easy as walking into a gas station and asking the attendant to give you a "quick pick" ticket for $1. The Costa  Rica lottery is a bit more involved than that, but I finally got a simple system down to be able to understand and play it.  As you can see from the photo below, each lotto sheet has 10 ticket stubs with the same series and number on it (our sheet is torn in two because my boyfriend and I split it amongst ourselves).  You can buy the entire sheet, or just a few of the ticket stubs if you prefer.  We bought an entire sheet last Saturday from a vendor in the Multiplaza Escazu mall for $12 U.S. dollars.  By buying the entire sheet we could  be eligible for the entire grand prize noted on the ticket, that is 110 million colones (about $220,000 U.S. dollars).

When you approach a Costa Rica Lottery vendor you can ask them if they are carrying the number that you want buy. Lotto tickets have three numbers on them, the "sorteo No." (which is the contest number); a series number (the 445 shown on the ticket stubs above); and the actual ticket number (the 22 on each ticket stub). When you ask for a number, you are asking for this 3rd number (22 in our case).  To win the biggest prize, you have to match the series and the number. Smaller prizes are awarded for matching one or the other, or for matching in other combinations (just look on the back of the ticket to see what the various ways to win are).

The day after the drawing you can see if you've won anything by going to this website and plugging in your series, your number, and the other pertinent information found on the ticket itself:

We won $24 in the April 3rd, 2011 drawing because our number 22 ended in a 2, which matched the winning number's ending digit (winning number was 52).  I know, it's a little out there, but that's what makes it so fun.  Anyhow, we ended up doubling what we paid for the tickets, which is not too bad of a deal.  Now that you understand how the game works, I hope you too will have some fun playing the Costa Rica lottery too!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gallo Pinto - Rice and Beans For Breakfast!

One of the stranger parts of living in Costa Rica for me, was eating rice and beans for breakfast.  I, like so many foreigners, see rice as a dinner-time option.  Here in Costa Rica, this national dish of mixed rice and black bean's is referred to as Gallo Pinto (this literally translates into "Painted Rooster").  It can be eaten at any meal, but when eaten in the mornings for breakfast, it is often served with eggs, plantains, and cheese.  You can see the dish below from a picture I took this past weekend while at a roadside "soda" known as 5 Tecas.  "Sodas" in Costa Rica are the small restaurants you see sprinkled throughout many of its neighborhoods and off most highways.  They serve basic Costa Rican cuisine, are usually open-aired (which means they can get really hot inside), but are usually pretty cheap to eat at.

Soda 5 Tecas (off the highway from Esparza to Miramar)

Gallo Pinto for Breakfast at the 5 Tecas

Gallo Pinto Recipe

After about my third breakfast of Gallo Pinto, I was able to acquire a taste for the dish in the mornings.  While it's a very simple dish, it's also considered nutritious, since rice and beans form a complete protein when combined together.  If you'd like to try your hand at making Gallo Pinto, here is the basic recipe:

2 cup of cooked rice
1 cup of cooked beans
1 chopped onion (small)
1 small chopped red pepper
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp oil
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 Tbs. Salsa Lizano (a popular Costa Rican condiment developed in 1920. It is slightly sweet, with just a hint of spiciness.  You can use Worcestershire sauce instead but, of course, don’t expect the same taste.)
A pinch of black pepper
1 tbsp of your favorite multi-purpose seasoning

How to prepare:
1. Fry the onion, red pepper, garlic, and cilantro in the vegetable oil until translucent.
2. Pour in the beans and add the sauce, black pepper and seasoning. Let it cook for a few minutes, but don’t let it dry out.
3. Pour in the cooked rice and mix it with the beans.

Lizano Salsa 4.5oz

Multiplaza Escazu - An Upscale American-Style Mall in Costa Rica

Although we live more than an hour away from the capital of Costa Rica in San Jose, we like to make the commute there on the weekends whenever we want to catch a movie (there are no movie theatres out here in Puntarenas).  Our movie theatre of choice is within one of the more upscale malls within Costa Rica known as the Multiplaza Escazu.  Besides the stadium-seating Cinemark movie theatre there, you will find an impressive selection of boutique and name brand stores, as well as a fairly large food court.  This Multiplaza is located in one of the nicest and most modernized areas of Costa Rica, a neighborhood known as Escazu. For any foreigner moving to Costa Rica, who just can't live without the advances of modern life, Escazu is definitely one of the places you'll want to think about settling in.  Of course, it's much more expensive to live there due to all the amenities.

Besides the movie theatre, another favorite of ours in the Multiplaza Escazu is the Libreria Internacional (that is, the International Bookstore).   If you want to find English books in Costa Rica, you'll want to check out this very pleasant and roomy bookstore.  My boyfriend claims it's one of the largest ones in the country and that it offers the greatest selection of hard to find books.

Outside of Multiplaza Escazu Mall

Another View From the Outside of the Mall

Inside the Multiplaza Escazu Mall
The Multiplaza Escazu food court has all of the regular fast food places you'd come to expect in a mall like this, including McDonald's, Burger King and KFC. But you'll also have a few less common choices, such as those offering typical Costa Rican food.  Fortunately there are two natural food and juice bars, great for those trying to eat a little healthier.  The food court is a great place for people-watching as well.

If you will be visiting Costa Rica and would like to know more about the selection of stores and events going on at the Multiplaza Escazu, you can visit their bilingual (English / Spanish) website at: