Author Archives: Michelle Halverson

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New Costa Rica Domestic Airport Terminal

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Costa Rica's Domestic Airport terminal received a substantial upgrade in mid-2018. The new modern design is sleek, airy, and bright with improved traveler amenities, including mobile charging stations and a well-provisioned convenience store.

The open, streamlined layout of the new Costa Rica domestic airport terminal is visible before you pass through the doors, and a gorgeous, contemporary bronze sculpture accents the glass-paned entrance.

San Jose Domestic Airport

Once inside, the crisp, minimalist styling is soothing on the traveler's nerves. Everything is well-marked, and signs are bright with large print, making information easy to read and locations easy to find. Airport staff, as always, are cheerful, friendly, and committed to customer service. Domestic flights are available through Sansa Airlines, with service to 14 destinations across Costa Rica, and Carmonair Charters, with service to nearly 40 stops nationwide.

Terra Tica, the shop located beside the gate seating area, offers a wide variety of refreshments, including fresh bakery items, cold drinks, and high-energy snacks. You'll also find an assortment of locally crafted goods and vacation souvenirs.

The gates are well-lit and airy, with accessible seating and charging stations throughout ensuring your mobile device and/or laptop are fully charged prior to boarding. The tarmac is visible through floor-to-ceiling windows which span the length of the building providing natural lighting and great views while waiting to board your flight.

San Jose Domestic Airport

As with the previous Costa Rica domestic airport terminal, travelers walk out to their plane. There are now many safety improvements including well marked walking paths, high-visibility vests worn by employees to guide travelers to the correct plane and easier access, including ramps.

For those returning to San Jose at the end of their trip, enhanced accessibility and clearly-marked points of entrance alleviate passengers' doubts about where they need to go when they deplane.

A roundabout in front of the terminal provides easy access to taxis and shuttles, and San Jose's Juan Santamaria's main terminal is but a short walking distance. Baggage handlers greet travelers at the entrance, and a central information desk is located across from the ticketing counters for travel or locale-related questions.

Updates are being made to regional terminals and airstrips as well, including San Isidro and Palmar Sur. For the most updated information on travel within Costa Rica, please contact us by phone or email, and be sure to check us out on YouTube.

Pura Vida!


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Fusion Restaurant Costa Rica

Favorite Costa Rica Restaurants

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My husband and I have taken several vacations to Costa Rica. Before our first trip together, I’d been warned that Costa Rica ‘was not known for its cuisine’. Simple meals, prepared with seasoning – such as rice and beans, chicken or fish – are common throughout the country. I figured I’d find it boring, but I was in for a huge surprise. The food was so fresh and flavorful everywhere we went. Seafood, fish, fruit, and vegetables…harvested at just the right time (quite possibly that same day). Pineapples were sweeter, juicier…better than anything I could buy at home in the US.

While there may not be much in the way of fancy Tico food, there are still a lot of restaurants in Costa Rica. Many restaurants are run by ex-pats who wanted to bring flavors of home with them.  This makes it possible to sample menus from all over the world. And sample, we did… and developed a few favorites.

We have many more places to try, so it’s possible new favorites await us. Until then, here’s our Top Five. (I’ve noted price range by each name).

 

Citrus ($$$)

Curried Shrimp at Citrus

My absolute favorite, Citrus is perfect for a romantic dinner or a get-together with friends. The open-air restaurant located in Ojochal is nestled in rain-forest and bathed in soft indoor and outdoor light. The ambiance is dreamy and inviting, and the menu boasts flavors from around the globe, served with a distinctly French flair. Citrus’ offerings include several vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes, ranging from appetizers to desserts.

Citrus is open for dinner and serves wine, beer, and spirits. I strongly recommend making reservations: the restaurant is popular with vacationers and ex-pats alike, and fills up quickly.

 

Diqui’s ($)

Mother’s Day at Diquis

Diqui’s is a great casual restaurant situated on the edge of Palmar Norte, a short drive from Las Villas de San Buenas. The open-air restaurant is also a heladeria (ice cream parlor) and offers cones, smoothies, naturales, and frappés. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Diqui’s menu includes both Tico and ‘Western’ favorites.

Free wifi and friendly service.

 

Fusion ($$)

Pollo Tropical at Fusion

Fusion, located in Ojochal, just 5 minutes from Playa Ventanas, is a fantastic restaurant with an array of delicious offerings, including a full sushi menu. Decadent dishes like the Pollo Tropical pictured above boast unusual combinations of flavor that strike a savory balance. Here, strawberries are paired with basil pesto, wrapped in a seasoned chicken breast, and grilled to perfection. Served over a strawberry-balsamic reduction with salad and fried plantains.

Fusion serves alcohol and is open for Lunch and Dinner; it’s an excellent place for families and groups.

 

Restaurant Terraba ($$)

Restaurant Costa Rica

Authentic, bold dishes are hallmarks of this unassuming roadside restaurant. Enjoy the relaxing, casual environment, generous portions, and friendly service. Terraba’s moderately priced menu offers Tico and ex-pat favorites. Enjoy a casado for lunch, and pasta carbonara for dinner!

 

Villa Leonor ($$)

villa leonor seafood

Curried Shrimp at Villa Leonor

Villa Leonor offers delicious, authentic cuisine in a fun, casual atmosphere. Access the beach just beyond the restaurant to catch a phenomenal sunset before dinner. Or enjoy a dip in the restaurant-adjacent pool, and swim up to the bar.

The Sunday BBQ menu is especially delightful. If you dined at Leonor during the week, it’s worth the additional trip. So flavorful! I recommend the Pollo (BBQ chicken) and the Pinchos Camarones (pictured above).

 


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Costa Rica Whale Watching

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Costa Rica is heaven on earth for my husband and I; this embodiment of unhurried and abundant life. Our little slice of paradise is waking up just before sunrise, sipping a cup of coffee, watching clouds and fog slip around the mountaintops, and listening to macaws and parrots and howler monkeys welcome the new day.

We are completely content doing nothing on our vacations. We might dabble a bit in hobbies, read, draw, or write, but we’ve not made a point to get out and try the activities Costa Rica is known for.

So, when we vacationed in Costa Rica last August, we decided on a tour. We’d heard a lot of good things about the dolphin and whale-watching tours, so we booked one.

Wow.

Am I ever so glad we did. What a humbling, awe-inspiring, amazing experience. Dolphins swimming right next to the boat, so close you can almost touch them. And the whales, what gentle giants. There is nothing quite like watching a baby whale play; breaching, flipping, rolling. It is beyond words.

I cannot say enough about the tour; the guides were all knowledgeable, very focused on safety, and went out of their way to make the experience memorable. They even packed fresh fruit for us to snack on while we were out.

I plan on repeating the tour…and this time, take lots of video!

 

 


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