Friday, October 30, 2009

Arenal Volcano things to Consider

La Fortuna, Costa Rica is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Volcan Arenal, or for you gringos, the Arenal Volcano.

La Fortuna is only on the tourist map because of Volcan Arenal and although the area is beautiful and pristine in it's own right with its waterfalls, lush rain forests, abundant wildlife and the very close by Lake Arenal, really, if it wasn't for the volcano, people outside of Costa Rica would probably never journey here. La Fortuna was basically a farming town until theTico's realized they were a couple a miles a way from a reaLLY Big GOLD MINE called the Arenal Volcano.

You'd be making a HUGE mistake if you visited Costa Rica without venturing to La Fortuna/Arenal area. It's like going to Italy and skipping Rome. Luckily, there's plenty to do in Fortuna even if you don't get to see the volcano, I'm sure you've heard, (it's known to be clouded over..... A LOT). You can get a pretty good of an idea of the BEST odds at seeing the volcano with our VIDEO:

We made this video about 2 years ago when we were just beginning our video-making journey, but the information is SCARY ACCURATE still.
That 'seen' and 'said', no matter what time of year, you should take the RISK- the volcano is ALL THAT and MORE, and like I said, plenty to do in La Fortuna regardless. The Arenal Volcano has been active for many years NOW, but particularly in the last 7-8 months.

Here's some things to consider for Volcano viewing:

* Pretty much any hotel in and around the area has a 'volcano view', but that doesn't necessarily mean they have a 'lava' view. Ask.

* If you have a rental car, you can do the 'volcano tour' yourself'.

* Unless you have some people splitting the cost, don't take taxi's in order to view the volcano if you're staying in La Fortuna. It's cheaper to take the 'volcano tour' or purchase the volcano + hot springs tour, they also have one that includes dinner. Ask around, rates can vary considerably.

Here's our latest VIDEO about Volcan Arenal. It contains some really nice pics and volcano footage as well as Volcano Viewing TIPS:

Hey EVERYONE, we have tons of Costa Rica Travel Information on the LINKS to the right of this page. ENjoY!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

David Gimelfarb- What's the STORY?

David Gimelfarb has still NOT been found in Costa Rica. (David is a 28-year old student who went missing from Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Costa Rica on Aug. 11th). I've been following this story and have written about it on 4 separate occasions:
* David Gimelfarb MISSING in Costa Rica
* David Gimelfarb- the search CONTINUES
* Red Cross pull OUT of Search
* David Gimelfarb- MISSING or NOT?

If the latest updates are to be believed, David is either hiding, on the run or WANDERING Rincon de la Vieja National Park dazed and confused- thwarting rescuers and volunteers like the 'Bourne Identity.'

I am VERY frustrated and unhappy with his OFFICIAL site: Help find David Gimelfarb on Facebook.

Go to his page and read it for yourself, but the 'status reports' have become sporadic NOW, which I understand- WHAT I don't like is they were recently alluding to the fact David is ALIVE and wandering about the jungle in 'trance like, hide-n-seek fashion ', merely in need of reassurance that people are there to HELP him... and if only rescuers could get close enough to EXPLAIN- then everything would be alright.

Sorry, but I'm calling BULLSHIT. If they thought he was ALIVE, they would be doubling and tripling their efforts, NOT the opposite. If in fact they are increasing their efforts, they're not reporting it VERY WELL- which to me, doesn't make much sense... we obviously CARE what's going on, but they're making us NOT.

'If you think David is ALIVE- then lets get this SHOW on the TRAIL.'

THINK about it, if you truly believed a loved one was ALIVE, wouldn't you do ANYTHING to get the word out, hire dogs, procure a helicopter, 'beg, borrow or steal' money to pay volunteers and professionals, talk to whoever would listen, keep the story alive in the media.... I'm just sayin... wouldn't YOU?

Obviously their could be SHIT I'm not privy too and I apologize if I'm completely OFF base. I can appreciate the fact friends and family are trying to stay positive, but personally, I would prefer a more truthful and even 'opinionated' approach to the 'status reports'. Do you NEED more HELP, do you think he's DEAD but still need to find the body for CLOSURE, are you embarrassed because you now believe he fell off the grid on his own accord, are you in DENIAL about whatever, are you being a tad dishonest because you don't want people to LOSE interest, do you even BELIEVE the people who said they spotted David..... do you really think he's ALIVE but you're just becoming worn OUT and having a hard time keeping up because you have your own LIFE........... WHAT gives? please tell us.

If you don't BELIEVE he is dead- LET us know what you WANT and NEED.... we're in it with YOU, but if you truly believe he's ALIVE, well then, you're doing it WRONG.

But he's sounding DEAD to me... just sayin.

Monday, October 19, 2009

SEX and Prostitution in Costa Rica

'San Jose, Costa Rica where SEX and Prostitution particularly flourish.'

In Costa Rica, sex with girls, sex with gay boys, sex with trannies, even 'gay for pay' is VERY much LEGAL, and BELIEVE ME, the SEX trade industry in Costa Rica is as diverse as the country itself.

'Straight or GAY sex is easy to find in Costa Rica.'

Legal age of consent for BOTH straight sex and gay sex is 18. I would CAUTION you to be very careful, there's TONS of misinformation on the internet pertaining to the legal age of consent here, many sites will tell you it's as low as 15. We'll get back to 'age' later.

To most, Costa Rica is about active volcanoes, beautiful beaches, lush rain forest, abundant wildlife, raging rapids and an adventure LOVERS paradise... and it is. But many who come here could care less about seeing a sloth or rappelling down a waterfall, for them, Costa Rica means SEX.... and lets be truthful, Costa Rica does sell SEX just as well as it does a zipline tour.

Okay, so what, prostitution is legal in Costa Rica. Well, just because it's LEGAL doesn't mean it's not rife with problems. THINK about any issue you could have with illegal prostitution in the STATES or anywhere else prostitution is NOT legal and I can assure you, those problems EXIST here as well- with the exception of actually propositioning for sex.

Make NO mistake, drugs, crime, petty theft, STD's, AIDS, underage SEX, illegal prostitutes and sex slavery are ALL problems here. Of course these issues usually EXIST in varying degrees where ever prostitution is found- legal or NOT.

For years, Costa Rica had the dubious distinction of being one of the top destinations for partaking in underage SEX. Although they've taken steps to combat this problem, at least on the surface, it is STILL a concern here. If you get caught participating in sex with a minor, you're pretty much rightfully FUCKED... and rest assured, not in a GOOD way. But unfortunately, like most laws in Costa Rica the 'bark' is often worse than the 'bite' and enforcement is a problem, so how often some 'Chester the Molester' type is arrested and convicted for having sex with a minor is anyone's guess. Mine, is NOT very many... just sayin.

The other problem, most of the prostitutes (at least the girls) aren't even Tica's- most are Dominicans, Colombians, Nicaraguans and even Eastern Europeans. My question to you... how many of these illegal girls are actually going to register as a prostitute and keep their health card updated?

REMEMBER, just because prostitution is legal in Costa Rica- you're still responsible and PLAYING at your own RISK. Condoms are a GIVEN and speaking to your Doctor about Hepatitis is highly recommended.

So, you want to come to Costa Rica for SEX, but not sure where to find EXACTLY what you're LOOKING for. Let's pretend you don't know how to write in the GOOGLE search bar combinations of the following words, depending: 'Costa Rica, San Jose, sex, adult entertainment, escorts, prostitution, gay, girls, brothels, bit tits,....whatever' or you don't know Craigslist is valuable resource if you're looking for sex, ANYWHERE. Fine, all you need to know is get in any taxi and BELIEVE ME, they'll take you wherever it IS you want to GO, you might consider beginning with the Del Rey Hotel and Casino.

Here's our VIDEO about SEX and Prostitution in Costa Rica:

More INFO on Prostitution and Sex in Costa Rica

Hey Everyone, we got TONS of Costa Rica Travel Information in our Travel Guide at Travel Costa Rica NOW and don't FORGET all our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos, completely ORGANIZED so you can EASILY find what you're LOOKING for. ENjOY!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reserve rooms NOW for Christmas

Costa Rica TRAVEL- Hotel rooms in popular tourist destinations such as Arenal/La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo should be booked NOW if you're planning on spending the Christmas Holidays in Costa Rica.

Hey EVERYONE! Just a HEADS UP! When D'Angelo and myself travel around Costa Rica, we rarely book hotels rooms in advance and really, it's NEVER been a problem finding... 'something'. But we live here, and for us, it's an adventure to travel without a schedule or specific itinerary. Really, the only possible exception to this rule is during the Christmas Holidays, this year, around Dec. 18th thru Jan. 5th or so. Medium to HIGH End rooms can sell out QUICK, so it's best to book in advance. Even the more 'popular' hostels usually require a reservation during this time.

I realize we're talking Christmas here,,, but really, it's just around the corner and if Costa Rica is an option, you'll be glad you made arrangements in ADVANCE.

There's also another VERY good reason to book NOW. It's been a difficult year for the tourism industry in general and many Travel Agencies have been offering great discounts and specials throughout the year which are normally reserved for the low season (May thru November). So there are some good deals out there NOW. If consumer confidence grows and demand for rooms increases, you can be sure the PRICES will TOO especially as we get closer to the holidays.

For the backpacker or traveler on a budget, you normally can find a place to stay in popular destinations, even during the Christmas Holidays. Many small 'Mom and Pop' type places are NOT on the internet and you can find a 'room' for rent just about anywhere. But for those of you who expect to pay from $50. and UP for your room, you should start booking NOW. Those rooms tend to go FAST, and like I mentioned, especially in places like Arenal, Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo to name a few.

Just REMEMBER! When doing your Costa Rican travel homework on the internet, double and triple check the INFO. There is a LOT of misleading INFO.

And as you would expect, booking your flight in ADVANCE is usually a pretty good idea as well.

Hey Everyone, we got TONS of Costa Rica Travel Information in our Travel Guide at Travel Costa Rica NOW and don't FORGET all our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos, completely ORGANIZED so you can EASILY find what you're LOOKING for. ENjOY!

Monday, October 12, 2009

San Jose Costa Rica NOT so BAD

'San Jose Costa Rica DOES have CHARACTER'

San José Costa Rica often gets a BAD rap. I should know, I used to talk major SHIT about San José myself. I would often use, 'San José', 'armpit', 'the Detroit of Central America' and 'cesspool' in the same sentence, that is, until I spent some 'quality' time there. As a result, I ended up writing this post 6 months ago: San José Costa Rica- I'm SORRY.

Here's a little taste of the San José we discovered, in VIDEO. A little montage of the sites and sounds of the city.

Hey Everyone, we got TONS of Costa Rica Travel Information in our Travel Guide at Travel Costa Rica NOW and don't FORGET all our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos, completely ORGANIZED so you can EASILY find what you're LOOKING for. ENjOY!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

La Fortuna Waterhole- the SECRET is REVEALED

The La Fortuna Arenal Volcano area in Costa Rica has a little secret place... well they did ANYWAY *wink*

There's already PLENTY to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica, such as zip-lining, canyoning, volcano hikes (don't forget to explore Cerro Chato, the extinct volcano next to the Arenal Volcano) and numerous other activities, too many to mention. La Fortuna, which sits in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, also serves as the 'base camp' for many day tours like, Rio Celeste (video), Cano Negro (video) and numerous rafting excursions.

That said, this post is ALL about a semi-secret place in La Fortuna called 'Salto', which means 'jump' in Spanish. I say semi-secret, because that's exactly what it is, SOME know about it, while still MANY don't. It's a waterhole about a mile or so from the center of La Fortuna and an EXTREMELY fun place to hang out for a few hours. Salto is picturesque to say the least (you could spend an hour or so just snapping pics). A RAINFOREST picture puzzle with each piece perfectly complementing the next to form the ultimate PICTURE PARADISE. Here's the puzzle pieces, I'll let you piece them together: lush jungle complete with surround sound-running rapids-shades of green-rock formations-2 waterfalls-bridge-bowl shape... NOW, add a rope so you can Tarzan your way into the water below. and it's all FREE.

Hopefully when you put your pieces together, it looked something like this.

FREE means you're responsible for yourself and your belongings. Just know, if you decide to hang-out, explore, swim, dive or use the rope swing at Salto- you do so at your own RISK. Okay, I had to say that, you know, since 'US' Americans don't always like to take responsibility for our own actions. *DO NOT leave your 'things' unattended at Salto. Even when the local boys you're talking to seem SO nice.

Salto should not be missed. Don't believe me.. Here's our VIDEO showing you how to get there, what to bring and what to DO. EnJOy!

Hey Everyone, we got TONS of Costa Rica Travel Information in our Travel Guide at Travel Costa Rica NOW and don't FORGET all our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos, completely ORGANIZED so you can EASILY find what you're LOOKING for. ENjOY!

Monday, October 5, 2009

David Gimelfarb MISSING in Costa Rica or NOT?

UPDATE: David Gimelfarb, 28, has been missing from Rincon de la Vieja National Park since August 11th. If you don't know the story, you may want to START here: David Gimelfarb MISSING in Costa Rica. *this pic of David is SO much better than the other GEEKY/NERD pics first used when he went missing.

First, here's what AM Costa Rica reported not too long ago:

"Investigators are working on the assumption that a missing 28-year-old doctoral student is living as a hermit just outside Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja.

That is why his parents have posted a $10,000 reward for anyone who provides verifiable information leading to the son's return.

A resident of the area picked out a picture of the missing man from a photo lineup and said that he had seen him twice, on Sept. 9 and Sept.12, said Derish. The man told investigators that the individual he saw was sleeping in the grass and got up, appeared to be startled and walked into the nearby forest."

The story goes on, but I won't even provide the link for such 'sensational' journalism.

AM Costa Rica is often VERY subjective in their news reporting and I would take this INFO as a 'grain of salt'. My BEEF with AM Costa Rica started here: AM Costa Rica if FUGLY let me count the WAYS.

For instance, David could have incurred head trauma and may be confused and dis-oriented appearing 'hermit' like. Truthfully, he could be dead... or AM Costa Rica may have it right this time- David's fell off the grid on his own accord and become the hermit of Rincon de la Vieja. This 'resident' who reported seeing David, well again, the siting could be accurate or maybe NOT. Maybe the resident merely wants to read their name in the paper, or NOT.... just sayin. I learned a LONG time ago, you never REALLY know why people say and do the things they do. More to the point, EVERYTHING is being taken seriously with cautious optimism by family and friends of David Gimelfarb.

The family is utilizing tracking dogs in hopes of picking up David's scent in case he is alive and dis-oriented and/or confused...or yes, living life as a hermit.

*Here's an UPDATE of the UPDATE reported just minutes ago, but still its Oct 5th: The dog handler (Sara) and her tracking dog (Jack) have completed their time in Costa Rica and have now left. They are currently looking for other tracking dogs and handlers with these specifics:
"Most importantly the dog must be able to work a specific scent. Additionally, they must be able to work off lead and also be able to follow older trails. The handler must also be very fit as the terrain is very demanding. We are not asking for an open call of dog handlers this time and only need information if you personally know a team that fits this description. We also have professionals in the field checking an individual’s certifications and qualifications before they can go to Costa Rica."
The bottom line- the search CONTINUES for David Gimelfarb. Let's wait and see... and of course, HOPE for the BEST.

REALLY, they just want to FIND their son.

Hey Everyone, we got TONS of Costa Rica Travel Information in our Travel Guide at Travel Costa Rica NOW and don't FORGET all our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos, completely ORGANIZED so you can EASILY find what you're LOOKING for. ENjOY!