Saturday, November 26, 2011

FUN Things to do La Fortuna Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano aside, there's TONS of things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica.

Here's just a few of the adventures and tours you can experience in the La Fortuna/Arenal area. There's many more and we'll be posting videos of those as we do them, but these are a few of the more POPULAR tours in the La Fortuna/Arenal area. And if you want to take it easy one day and do something a little different, check out the 4th video down which is a Costa Rica Cooking Class- informative and YUMMY!

And if by chance you'd like to do these of other adventure tours in the La Fortuna area, check out the last video, it will tell you how to book them.


Canopy Tour aka Zip line-

The Arenal Hanging Bridges-

Cultural Costa Rica Cooking Class-

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Costa Rica Nicaragua Border Crossing at Los Chiles UPDATE

Crossing the border from Los Chiles Costa Rica to San Carlos Nicaragua.

NOT to be confused with the more popular and EXTREMELY busy border crossing between the 2 countries at Penas Blancas, although we do have video of that border crossing as well. *BOTH Border Crossing videos are posted BELOW.

The majority of people who use the Los Chiles Costa Rica to San Carlos Nicaragua border crossing are usually folks who are affectionately or infamously, depending on your view, called 'perpetual tourists'. Briefly, 'perpetual tourists' are people who live in Costa Rica but do NOT have residency, so they have to leave EVERY 90 days (like a tourist would) to get their passport (visa) stamped in order to remain legal. It may not be the BEST way to live in Costa Rica but it is legal. And NO, you don't have to remain out of the country for 72 hours as evidenced by this video.

D'Angelo and I chillen' in Los Chiles Costa Rica waiting for the boat to leave.

Normally, we travel by bus since riding the buses in Costa Rica are a cheap and usually efficient form of transportation. We paid $4.00/pp from Muelle, which is about 25 minutes from our hometown, La Fortuna. Most buses to Los Chiles depart from Ciudad Quesada aka San Carlos. Often we rent a 'private' van if we have quite a few people who need to go (get their passport stamped). It's cost effective if you have enough people going.

The problem with this particular border crossing (at least with perpetual tourist types) at this particular time, is the boat only leaves TWICE a day, once at 12:30 and the other at 3:30 and the only return boat to Costa RIca is at 4:00. This gives you NO time in San Carlos to shop or even have a beer, let alone lunch, unless of course you want to stay a night or two in San Carlos. It used to leave earlier but what it really comes down to is 'supply and demand'... the more people crossing and the more times they will cross. Usually the folks working on the Nicaraguan side don't hassle you about 'coming and going' quickly,,but they could, which is ALWAYS the problem with these crossings...9 times out of 10, it's all good but get the wrong guy and they can give you shit, pretty much forcing you to at least stay 1 night, although this has NEVER happened to us.

THIS IS WHY YOU ALWAYS TREAT THE FOLKS AT THE BORDER WITH EXTREME COURTESY... and personally, I would give them a little something/something in the form of a 'present' or hell, bake some cookies..whatever, but if you live in Costa Rica and you ARE a perpetual tourist,,you don't need the problems, so do what you gotta do.

A couple years back, the boat left earlier and you could spend more time in San Carlos, which was a good thing, there's CHEAP shopping there, so technically, San Carlos shoots itself in the foot by letting you do a quick 'turn and burn' as we call it, but then of course, it could be Costa Rica fuckin with them since that's where the boat leaves from originally..... who knows.

San Carlos Nicaragua offers some good bargains.

Another option is to procur a 'private' boat in Los Chiles. A few years ago it was relatively cheap, NOW they gringo price you BIG time and a boat can cost you $200. or more if you don't know what you're doing. It's only cost effective to do this if you have a LARGE group.

No matter who you are, perpetual tourist or NOT, if you do happen to return to Costa Rica, you need to KNOW and REMEMBER one thing that is extremely important. When you return to Costa Rica to get stamped in, you probably and most likely, especially now, be asked to PROVE your leaving Costa Rica within 90 days... you either need to show a airline ticket or bus ticket with the appropriate dates proving that fact....if you can't, they won't stamp you back into Costa Rica, or they won't until you can produce said document,,which is a pain in the ass to do.. doable, but a pain in the ass. It also forces you to spend the night in Los Chiles because it's not possible to do it over the internet fast enough before IMMIGRATION closes for the night. This border crossing is not 24/7.

You may not get this if you can't prove your leaving Costa Rica within 90 days.

This VIDEO will give you a good idea on what to expect when crossing the border between Los Chiles Costa Rica and San Carlos Nicaragua. Below it, is the border crossing between Costa Rica and Nicaragua at Penas Blancas a much BUSIER border crossing to say the least.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

La Fortuna has a Costa Rica Cooking Class

La Fortuna Costa Rica, NOW offers a Cultural Cooking Class.

With all the ADVENTURE tours to experience in La Fortuna, a cultural cooking class is a perfect addition, especially since there's nothing like it in the area. *Don't want to read... SKIP down to the VIDEO we made.

Our friend Scott, (pictured above, middle),who also happens to own one of the more popular restaurant/bars in La Fortuna, Lava Lounge, has decided to offer a cooking class that combines all the elements- history and background on Costa Rican cuisine, step-by-step preparation and instruction, hands-on, local chefs, english-speaking presenters, relaxed atmosphere, and let me tell you, B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L surroundings. 'Rustica', as Scott calles it, is just a few minutes walk from the La Fortuna waterfall, so it sits atop a hill overlooking parts of La Fortuna and is surrounded by lushness which attracts a wide variety of wildlife and of course, has a GREAT view of the Arenal Volcano. Scott's, Costa Rican Tropical Cooking Class has it all. He even starts things off with a beverage or two, alcohol or virgin, your choice. Whoo Hoo! That's what I call starting things off RIGHT.

michael alan and D'Angelo chefin' up some Costa Rican cuisine.

I love, Love, LOVE, ceviche. Looks good right?

Well, we just had to do a video and I think it came out good. I believe you'll get a good sense of what Scott is doing. So CHECK it OUT and if you happen to be in the La Fortuna area and are interested in learning about local Costa Rica cuisine while preparing it, or hell, maybe it's just raining and you don't feel like whitewater rafting in the rain, Scott's, Costa Rican Tropical Cooking Class, just might be for YOU.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Monday, November 14, 2011

We'll MISS YOU Carol Patterson

I'm very seldom at a loss for words so I guess this is 'the seldom'. I'm heartsick. Our good friend, Carol Patterson, who also lived in La Fortuna along with her husband, Bill, died VERY unexpectedly the other day. Actually, D'Angelo was talking to her on the phone when we were crossing the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border about picking her up a few things 'on the cheap' in Nicaragua. She died of what we think was a massive heart attack about 6 hours later. She was 53.

I understand death is a part of life and I also understand death can strike at anytime but it's always seemed a bit surreal to me when one second someone is there and the next, not. Not 'shock', just crazy, strange to me. Either myself or D'Angelo talked to Carol about everyday because like us, she enjoyed blogging and promoting her husband's paintings on the internet, so she was always emailing us with ideas and updates and what not... the usual back-n-forth. There's a very recent email from her in our inbox and I swear in my brain I believe if I answer it, she'll write back.

My heart goes out to her husband Bill, who is also a friend, and as a matter of fact, we've made 2 videos with him. Bill and Carol were close and so excited about living out the rest of their lives in Costa Rica, enjoying each others company and doing things they hadn't gotten a chance to do when living in States. They have the cutest little house close to the La Fortuna waterfall with a unbelievable view of the Arenal Volcano. I hope Bill can somehow find the resilence to keep going.

I know why I'm posting this song but I can't tell you. sorry.

I realize death touches us all and I'm not even quite sure why I'm writing this post. I do know, for me, death has a way of putting life in perspective. Anyway, send positive thoughts to our friend, Bill, I'm thinking he's going to need them in the months to come. Here's one of the videos I did with Bill.

Carol, we love you and will miss you. Keep an eye on Bill, he's going to need your presence. I hope where ever 'there' is- it has blogger.

Friday, November 11, 2011

One of the BEST Things to do in La Fortuna

Rappelling in La Fortuna Costa Rica but technically it's called canyoneering.

There's many adventure tours in La Fortuna Costa Rica and canyoneering is one the BEST. Why you ask? Because it combines rappelling, hiking, trekking and quazi ziplining all in ONE adventure. But the BEST part, it's all done in the middle of the rain forest. It doesn't get any better than that.

Contrary to popular belief, D'Angelo does spend time away from the computer every now and then.

I say we let the video do the talking. So this is us, doing one of our favorite tours in La Fortuna Costa Rica, canyoneering. ENjoY!

If you'd like to do this tour, go HERE.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Arenal Hanging Bridges VIDEO

Arenal Hanging Bridges VIDEO from Travel Costa Rica Now.

Hey Everyone! As promised a few days ago, here's our video of the Arenal Hanging Bridges just outside of La Fortuna Costa Rica. I think it's fairly easy to see why we recommend the Hanging Bridges tour even if you don't see any animals. The LUSH vegatation combined with the beauty of the surrounding area including Volcan Arenal and Lake Arenal, are simply stunning @_@. But for us, it was like sugar on ceral because we did see a LOT of wildlife (Thank-you Erick Guzman)- like this RARE bird, the Juvenile Ornate Hawk Eagle:

For a second, I think he thought I was a mouse.

Anyway guys, ENjoY the video and if you're ever in the La Fortuna Costa Rica area, the Hanging Bridges just might be for you.

Want to go on Hanging Bridges tour or see some others:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Promo Video for Vamos 4x4

Travel Costa Rica NOW does a promo video for Vamos 4x4 Car Rental Agency.

Vamos 4x4 is a Car Rental Agency based in San Jose Costa Rica. If Alamo, Hertz, Thrifty, Budget and other BIGger, nationally known agencies are McDonalds, Vamos is the hamburger joint on the corner, providing quality beef with an emphasis on service. Our relationship with Vamos started when a few years back we begun to receive frequent emails asking us if Vamos 4x4 was legit, something to do with their prices being so low. So we decided to check them out for ourselves and that's when we met the owner, George, who like us, is dedicated to providing a quality service for a fair price. We liked him immediately, so yeah, we do promote them to our audience.

Since, George decided he would like to have some videos about Costa Rica on his site, for no other reason than to provide INFO for his clients, so he decided to sponsor us as we travel around different locations in Costa Rica and make videos...

This is the FIRST in a series of videos we will be doing for Vamos:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

IT'S TRUE! Our Tours are the CHEAPEST! yeah.

We sell tours in La Fortuna Costa Rica SO CHEAP, you can do them TWICE!

Hey Everyone! Just wanted to share a nice email we received this morning. It speaks for itself. *I took out the 'other' website he was referring to, since we have to live here.

Dear michael alan and D'Angelo

Prior to you guys doing excursions, we were going to book with a site 'site name was here' to give you an idea of what we would have spent with them, you will see I have no complaints about your prices:

73.00-Sky Trek
55.00-Hanging Bridges
65.00-Cano Negro
Total= $363/person before taxes&fees!!!!!

With you guys, we are paying $275/person which includes all fees. That's a savings of at least a $100/ person!!!! Can anyone say Pura Vida ;) Not sure if you're allowed to tell people about my comparison, but I did a lot of my homework. Prior to you guys, that 'site name was here' site was cheaper than others I saw. I am almost afraid to tell you how much you guys saved me, you might realize how much of steal this is for us, lol.
Pretty nice letter I think since we just started selling these tours. Here's the VIDEO that started the ball rolling in case you missed it.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Arenal Hanging Bridges in La Fortuna Costa Rica.

I gotta admit, I wasn't super excited to go to the Arenal Hanging Bridges... I mean, I knew they were beautiful and all ,,,its just that we've done the hanging bridges before (in Monteverde) but I knew we had to go because we needed to make a video...

BOY! Am I glad we went.

Tourists ENJOYING the Arenal Hanging Bridges.

The Arenal Hanging Bridges are located about 20 minutes outside of La Fortuna close to Lake Arenal with a beautiful view of the Arenal Volcano as well. It really is a beautiful location and foto ops are about every 10 feet. Seriously!

We had a guide and again, am I glad we did.

*Our guide's name was Erick Guzman. Speaks better than average English, very knowledgable and has some nice write-ups on TripAdvisor. Here's his website if you're interested:

The BIGGEST complaint we hear about the Hanging Bridges is that you don't see any animals. Now, personally, even if you didn't see one creature on your hike, it's still a beautiful hike and SO worth it...the rain forest and the surrounding area is stunning to say the least. BUT, since we had a guide, we saw stuff we NEVER would have seen- snakes, like the eyelash pit viper, birds like the Motmot, the Juvenile Ornate Hawk Eagle, yup, this is him on the left, seeing this eagle was a TOTAL SCORE, so needless to say, a guide was totally worth it.

This is just one of those days we're glad we forced ourselves to go... know what I mean?
Wasn't really a bird enthusiast before, but since moving to Costa Rica I have a whole new appreciation. This is a Motmot.

We'll be posting a new video here on my blog and on our other sites in the next couple days with more INFO and great footage of the Arenal Hanging Bridges, so don't miss it. If you happen to be in the La Fortuna/Arenal area and you want to do THIS tour or any other tours in the La Fortuna/Arenal area,,we SELL them ALL for a BIG SAVINGS to you. Here's the LINK.

Again, if you're interested here's the VIDEO about CHEAP tours we offer in the area:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!