How to Eat Rambutan Fruit or Mamones Chinos

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rambutan fruit

How to Eat Rambutan Fruit or Mamones Chinos

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Rambutan Fruit (Mamones chinos)

The following video shows the proper way to eat rambutan fruit. In Costa Rica, rambutan fruit is also known as mamones chinos. I use the term mamones chinos in the video. However, both names are used.

Tip: Make sure you have a napkin nearby when eating them!


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golfing at san buenas golf resort

Golfing at San Buenas Golf Resort

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Golfing at San Buenas Golf Resort

Below is a video that we took of Nick Halverson and Abigail Vargas golfing at San Buenas Golf Resort with some clients of ours.

 


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palmar sur airport update

Palmar Sur Airport Update

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Palmar Sur Airport Update

In August 28, 2018, we visited Palmar Sur regional airport to get an update on the construction project there. The following is our Palmar Sur Airport Update.

In early August 2018, we had a client who had a scheduled flight from San Jose to Palmar Sur, via Sansa airlines. They were planning on a weeklong vacation at Casa Lapas. Approximately 24 hours prior to the clients’ departure, they were notified that the Palmar Sur airport was close and no other information was available. After scrambling to get the clients rescheduled to Perez Zeledon’s regional airport, we decided to investigate what was going on.

Below are a couple of videos that provide how the Palmar Sur Airport Update will improve traveling to the southern pacific zone of Costa Rica in the not-to-distant future.

Here is a list of the changes taking place at Palmar Sur airport. All of these changes are scheduled to be completed in four months – with a goal of being completed by January 2019.

  • Existing terminal is going to be increased in size from 750 square feet to over 5,000 square feet. It is still unclear whether or not the existing terminal structure will be kept or if it will be torn down.
  • Rental car kiosks and other kiosks will be built
  • The width of the runway is being widened

One of the goals of the increased width of the runway is to allow more models of aircrafts to be able to make emergency landings if necessary. Palmar Sur is relatively safe compared to other airports in the area due to the flat topography and ease of landing for planes coming in from the west/Pacific Ocean side.



palmar sur airport update sansa plane
Sansa airplane at Palmar Sur airport (when the airport was operating). The Palmar Sur airport is scheduled to reopen in early 2019.


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playa ventanas cave ojochal

GoPro Walking Through Cave at Playa Ventanas

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Playa Ventanas is one of the best all-around beaches in all of Costa Rica, and it is my personal favorite. A couple of years ago I strapped a GoPro camera on my head and recorded my journey from the front of one of the caves, all the way through, and out on the other side. Enjoy the GoPro Playa Ventanas video below!

CAUTION: DO NOT TRY THIS! IT IS VERY DANGEROUS! I made the video so it is not necessary for you, your guests or friends, to do it themselves.

The caves at Playa Ventanas are the inspiration for the name of the beach itself. ‘Ventanas’ means ‘window’ in Spanish. Therefore, these are not caves, these are ‘windows’ of the beach.

The windows (or caves) at Playa Ventanas are equally beautiful and fascinating. As the tide rises, and more water is forced into the holes of the caves, the louder the WHOOSH!! BANG!! gets, caused by the accelerating water. The best time to visit Playa Ventanas is NOW! Regardless if it is during low tide or during high tide. As you can see from the GoPro Playa Ventanas video, during low tide, it is easy to enter and explore the caves/windows.

playa ventanas cave ojochal


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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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brad gudim smile costa rica

Morning Coffee in Costa Rica Paradise

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While sitting here in my home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I was thinking back to my recent trip and my experience in Costa Rica.

My favorite time of the day, has always been, and especially in Costa Rica, the morning. I enjoy having a cup of coffee and relaxing as I plan my daily activities.  What I really enjoyed about my morning coffee while in Costa Rica, was the ability to open the doors in the Villa and let the breeze flow through, while sitting on the patio near the pool listening to the tropical birds and the jungle animals.

scarelet macaw opm costa rica

Scarlet macaws flying in San Buenas, Costa Rica (c) Nick Halverson

The plethora of colorful birds in Costa Rica was very impressive. In Minnesota we have robins, blackbirds, blue jays, cardinals and sparrows primarily.  Although these birds are beautiful, and mildly colorful, they are not near as colorful and vibrant as the birds of Costa Rica.  The Scarlet macaw or Lapas as it is called in Costa Rica, is amazingly beautiful.

On my recent trip, we did make a few trips to the beaches, however on my next trip I think I will make more trips to the beach.  I have never seen a whale in its natural habitat, so this is on my checklist of things to do. I have also wanted to go deep sea fishing, and this is another item on my bucket list.

I appreciated the fact that the villas are well-equipped with washer and dryer and microwave and for kitchen, however I did not need to take advantage of those amenities. Personally, I enjoy dining out for most of my meals, so that is what I did on this first trip.  Similarly, the swimming pool was available, however I did not take advantage of that either.  The pool is however, a wonderful place to sit and enjoy nature.

Most people go to Northern Costa Rica because it is familiar to them with the capital of San Jose being there. Fewer people come down to visit in the Osa Peninsula area, only because they are not aware of how easy it is to access. There is a small airport at Palmar Sur that is very close by, and also a hospital, small city and only minutes from the beach.

I encourage you to inquire about the multiple properties, amenities, tours and opportunities provided by Osa Property Management.

BRAD MagicBrad GUDIM


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My first trip to Costa Rica (MagicBrad)

I recently took my very first trip to Costa Rica.

I have been to Brazil,  Paraguay, Jamaica, Hawaii, Thailand, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Bali. But this was my first trip to Costa Rica.

My preconceived image of Costa Rica was very green, lush and a rain forest jungle.  So, this is what I was expecting when we landed in Liberia.  However, if you are familiar with Costa Rica, you know that the northern part around Liberia is more flat and less jungle.  We rented a car at the Liberia airport, and headed our way, south down the coast line.

As we headed further south, the greenery and foliage rapidly, became much more apparent.

My friend Nick, did the driving, so I was able to look out the windows and take in the sights.  By the time we arrived at our destination, it was dark.  So we went to bed, and got some good rest for the big day tomorrow.

The photo below is Nick while we were having our morning coffee.

I am an early riser, and really enjoy listening to the birds and animals as they are waking in the morning also. The howler monkeys are abundant in Costa Rica.  With Costa Rica being a tropical location, the birds are all very colorful.  The scarlet macaws are a common site. They tend to travel in pairs, because I guess they mate for life.  One of my most memorable sides was when we saw eight scarlet macaws flying through the sky, and they were in four pairs.  The scarlet my car is a very vibrant red, blue, green and yellow.

We also had some chance to see toucans.  That took in is a very intriguing site and they had their beak is about the same size as their body.  When they fly, it seems like they would flip upside down.

One of my favorite nature sightings is the blue Morpho butterfly.  It is a huge butterfly.  The wings are blue on one side, and gray on the other. However I swear that I saw them as blue and orange.  I must have been hypnotized by the beauty of Costa Rica. LOL.

Check out this tree. Even tree bark in Costa Rica is colorful!

We also took some trips to the beaches  and waterfalls.  I understand that Costa Rica is self-sustaining using hydroelectric power.  Getting energy from natural resources intrigues me. I am also intrigued that Costa Rica does not have a military. From what I understand, they use the money for education rather than the military.

I could go on and on about the many sites and activities however I would prefer that you came yourself.

I hope to see you in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida (Pure Live)

 

BRAD GUDIM aka MagicBrad


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No Booking Fee Vacation Home Rentals

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No Booking Fee Vacation Home Rentals In Costa Rica

Osa Property Management has recently joined the “No Booking Fee Vacation Home Rentals” model for all of the properties that we manage in the southern pacific zone of Costa Rica. Our commitment is to make visiting Costa Rica a great and enjoyable AND affordable experience.

Although we continue to list our properties on VRBO and other vacation home rental websites, including our on site here, we have also invested in the growth and success of CostaRicaVillasRent.com

no fee vacation home rental site

No fee vacation home rental site dedicated to Costa Rica

Vacation home rental sites like VRBO have quietly been increasing their fees to customers over the past couple of years. Home owners are typically comfortable (to a certain financial point) with paying the hosting company a fee per booked guest, however, VRBO has now started charging the customers an additional fee – a fee which increases the cost to the customer. These fees, when added together can be over 15%!

There are other advantages (from a customer and a home owner’s viewpoint) of CostaRicaVillasRent.com versus other sites such as VRBO and airbnb, including:

  • Contact information between homeowner and prospective client are immediately known. Once a prospect sends his/her information on the website, the homeowner or property manager is immediately notified and contact information is known.
  • All payments are handled directly between the homeowner/property manager and the traveler. CostaRicaVillasRent.com does not handle or facilitate payments. This empowers the homeowner/property manager to decide, along with the customer, the best and most convenient way to pay (in terms of how and in terms of timing)

We are financially investing in the new website, so we are committed to its success. If you are a homeowner or property manager anywhere in Costa Rica, please visit the site or contact us for more information.


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costa rica photo retreat video 2018 card

Costa Rica Photo Retreat Video 2018

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We are planning a Costa Rica photo retreat for July 15-21, 2018.  Below is a video for more information. You can find ALL the details on our dedicated website of our Costa Rica photo retreat.


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casa lapas costa rica vacation

Casa Lapas Vacation Home Video

Casa Lapas Vacation Home Video

Enjoy the 75 second Casa Lapas Vacation Home Video. Casa Lapas is a three-bedroom (all bedrooms are suites, with their own private bathrooms) vacation home in the town of San Buenaventura (south of Ojochal).


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