Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amphibians, Species Extinction, or Just hop to a New Planet

Planet exampleImage via WikipediaLast night Im sitting at the dinner table flipping through my Costa Rican wildlife book trying to figure out what interesting topic about amphibians I could share with you about this morning on the blog. After reading you get to notice that amphibians is a delicate topic, literally. It seems that in our lifetime we all know of one that has gone extint if not more, most famously here in Costa Rica the Golden Toad which has not been seen since 1988 in MonteVerde.

I got up this morning and I was all ready to write about the Red-Eyed Tree Frog. I wanted to talk about its "startle coloration" which is when it blends in perfectly to the leaf it sleeps on during the day but if you wake it up it has enormous bright red eyes almost half the size of a penny. This is a defense method used to scare away its predator or atleast startle  them in what is called "startle coloration". The frog then takes one giant leap out of harms way.

Well that is in a nutshell what I had inmind to write about this morning and then I opened up my Yahoo homepage and it sent the mind for a little galaxy spin. The article on the Yahoo homepage was about a planet that has just been found that is perfectly suitable for life (just like Earth). The article was about how excited scientist are to have found this planet and how they really believe that "we now might not be alone" or atleast if there is not life on this planet now in a few million years there might be the conditions for life to develop because it has living conditions. The name of the planet is Gliese 581g and if you are around for another couple billion years you might want to put this on your list for a family vacation. As of now they say it will only take a few generations to get there.

 I think it was because I was reading all the troubles amphibians have to survive on Earth and the drastic changes our climate will have to make (which our human race will probably not make the sacrifices in their daily lives to save a bunch of frogs and salimanders) to save this species that made me really relate to the ending of this article.

The scientist who discovered this planet are quoted by saying "The low-energy dwarf star will live on for billions of years, much longer than our sun, they say. And that just increases the likelihood of life developing on the planet, the discoverers said." After reading this I could not help but think maybe the Golden Toad is not extinct it is just taking a few billion years off.

They are then quoted by saying about the new planet that "It is pretty hard to stop life once you give it the right conditions."

Well that is my random blog post for the week. Would love to hear what you think? 
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Frog Reproduction in the Tropics

Orange-thighed Frogs (Litoria xanthomera) in a...Image via WikipediaI did mention last week that I was going to make this blog about Costa Rican history this week but I guess we will save that for next week. Today I have an interesting topic for you. When you think of rainforest and Costa Rica one of the things that comes to your mind is Toucans, Volcanoes, Jaguars, Waterfalls, & FROGS!!!

Todays topic I wanted to talk a little bit about the frogs of Costa Rica and most importantly about the difference in the reproduction habits of the Leaf frog and the poisonous dart frog.

In Costa Rica we think of the Leaf Frogs which are the frogs that come out at night and are not poisonous. When it is time for these frogs to reproduce they go through a process that is called amplexus which is actually done through the armpits (look at the picture above that is two leaf frogs in in the process of amplexus which is fertilizing the eggs through the armpits) which is quite interesting.

The poisonous dart frog is completely absent of the amplexus process meaning that there is no physical contact during the fertilization of the eggs. For the poisonous dart frog it can be considered quite the boring process of reproduction. He has to go find the eggs that are floating around in water somewhere and then fertilize them without any physical contact while he then gets to here his Leaf Frog buddy talk about how fun his night was.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

World Tourism Day 2010

World Tourism Day is celebrated everyday on Sept 27th by the United Nations and is to bring awareness of the importance and positive affect tourism can have on countries around the world. This year the theme is "Tourism and Biodiversity".

You cant pick a much better theme for Costa Rica to celebrate since the Tourism part seems to be picking up next year after a slow season and Biodiversity is Costa Rica's claim to fame. China will be hosting this years World Tourism Day.

Although for tourism in Costa Rica this is our slow season I do feel it is something that should be brought to the atttention and celebrated. It is an important day in the industry and many important things can be learned in advances in the industry in moving towards a more green economy and setting better Standards for Green Travel. Enjoy your Tourism & BioDiversity Day!!!

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tallest Mountain to the Deepest Ocean

Today is Sunday (which allows this blog a short break from Costa Rica info) and I wanted to share what I found on StumbleUpon today. Take the time to scroll down this site it will take you only 5 minutes and it is well worth the ride. We really do have an amazing planet.

Our Amazing Planet explores Earth from its peaks to it mysterious depths.
Source, Exploring the wonder and beauty of planet Earth through exclusive news, features and images.

7 Natural Wonders of Costa Rica

Elected in 2007 by Costa Ricans were 7 of their countries natural wonders. Six of these places happen to be popular tourist spots with the exception of Coco Island which is 550 km off the Pacific Coast. Take a look at what Costa Rican's considered their 7 natural wonders:

Costa Rica's Best Spots

1.  Coco Island

2.  Arenal Volcano

3.   Chirripo National Park

4.  Poas Volcano National Park

5.  Tortuguero Canals

6.  Monteverde Reserve

7.  Rio Celeste 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why No Hurricanes in Costa Rica?

A large extratropical low-pressure system swir...Image via Wikipedia I remember Alma in May of 2008 I was in San Isidro with some clients and there were some 70 landslides on Cerro de la Muerte. Almost all tourist ask about natural disasters such as Earthquakes, Tsunami's, and Hurricanes. With the climate change of today I will answer the question for today but it might be completely different to what the future might hold.

It turns out that 88% of hurricanes develope between 30 degrees and 10 degrees of the Equator and from the point they develop it is mostly of to tradewinds to where they end up which almost always is north of Central AmericaCosta Rica is located at 9.55 degrees above the equator which happens to be the perfect spot to escape the path of hurricanes. Why?

Hurricanes need warm water around 80 degrees and humid air to develope so around the equator during fall months makes for the perfect time. Also a hurricane is made up of monstor winds. Well it turns out between 10 and 30 degrees of the equator is where you find the strongest Coriolis Forces. These Coriolis Forces do exist below 10 degrees of the equator but they are very weak. This means that at 9.55 degrees from the equator where Costa Rica is located it has very weak Coriolis Force (winds) to maintain a hurricane. Along with the tradewinds that move hurricanes north it looks as of now Costa Rica still has very low chances of getting slammed by a hurricane and as you can see it is right on the border because Nicaragua and Hondurous have both had their share of big hurricanes.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pacific Ring of Fire

Pacific Ring of FireImage via WikipediaIn closing of Volcano Week since I decided I was going to give you a three day weekend I decided to give you a little information on the source of all the volcanoes of Costa Rica. Today we will talk a little bit about the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The Pacific Ring of Fire I will actually start out by saying is not a ring it is more of a horseshoe shape. The ring is opened from Australia to South America but who cares they call it a ring and that is that. Just imagine basically a ring of fire running along the coast of the Pacific ocean all 25,000 miles of it and there you have your Pacific Ring of Fire. This is volcanic trenches, plate movements, and lots of activity. It is home to 452 of the worlds volconoes. Which is a grand total of 75% of the worlds dormant and active volcanoes so you can see why the Ring of Fire is so important to celebrating our Volcano Appreciation Week. Because of all the activity here at "The Ring" 90% of the Earth's earthquakes happen here.

Costa Rica is the result of the Coco plate being subducted beneath the Caribbean plate which is actually how Costa Rica was formed with the friction of the two plates heating up and shooting volcanoes to the ocean floor through time and rising and rising of volcanic material connecting the southern part of Nicaragua and the Northern Part of Panama. Also through this subduction mountains were raised from under the sea floor along with the volcanoes and this is why in some of Costa Rica's highest points you can find sea fossils. Hope you enjoyed Volcano Week and stay tuned for Next week is Costa Rican History Week!!!!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

20,000 Colones Bill Good or Bad Idea?

CostaRica.ColonImage via WikipediaIt looks as if the 20,000 colones bill will be coming out shortly. It was scheduled to come out but was sent back for a small error found on the bill. I am no economics major but I two doubts in my mind why this might be a bad idea. Read and let me know what you think?

Yesterday I saw Laura Chinchilla plead to the United Nations for help with the invasion of the drug-trade in Costa Rica. I think everyone can agree there is more drugs and crime than before and nobody wants what is happening to Mexico to happen to Costa Rica. As far as I know Narcos deal mostly in cash and yes they probably deal a lot with dollars but Im sure the Colone makes for an easy transfer at times to not have so many cash dollars floating around. Would now be the time for the release of the larger Colone bill with the arrival of a Narco cash run business knocking at the doors of Costa Rica.

My second thought is I often hear Costa Ricans say that there is cash in the streets but nobody wants to spend. If you put larger bills in peoples wallets it just means they will spend less. A larger bills is like having a savings account in your wallet. It almost hurts to break the bill and get all the small change. How often to you find yourself saying "I only got a $50 and I dont want to break it".

With this said I really dont know if either of them make sense since my Economics backround is level with my PHD in nuclear physics (neither really exist). If you have thoughts on the release of the new bill I would love to hear?
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Magma, Lava, & Tephra

Arching fountain of a Pahoehoe approximately 1...Image via WikipediaSince it is still Happy Volcano week I thought I would describe the different between three terms you might here during your visit to Costa Rica. First of all one that people always ask is what is the different between Magma and Lava?

They are both motlen rock but Magma is located in magma chambers below the Earth's surface and lava is molten rock that has reached the Earth's surface. The tempature of mamga is between 1300F - 2400F and lava is 1300F 2300F very similar. Lava probably comes from the Latin word "Labes" which means to fall or slide which best describes its action when it reaches the Earth's surface.

Now a third fragment you might not be too familiar with but you should know when visiting Costa Rica is Tephra. Tephra relates very much to magm and lava. Lets look at it like this. Lava is to magma in an extusive form what Tephra is to magma in an explosive form. What this means is that Tephra is fragment material produced by volcanos which becomes airborne. This is very common in history in Costa Rica. We always here have coffee crops were destroyed from acid rain and the present Turrialba volcano activity. Ash can travel for miles into the stratosphere and large amounts of Tephra can reflect light and heat from the sun and tempatures on the Earth can drop just from the eruption of a volcano. Now thinking for the last post I wrote at the start of volcano week the Tephra material is a result of what kind of eruption that is very common in Costa Rica? Pyroclastic Eruptions! Very good I can see your learning.  The picture in this blog is not of Costa Rica but I liked it so much I thought I would share...
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Next Vacation: A Cruise or Costa Rica Eco-Tourism?

A cruise ship in San Deigo Bay, August 15 2004Image via WikipediaBefore my days of working in eco-tourism I went on cruises and I have to say I enjoyed them when I was a kid but now from what Ive learned Im going to lay this one out there nice and simple. A cruise ship is a large floating piece of junk. One cruise ship generates EACH DAY:

  • 25,000 gallons of sewage from toilets each day
  • 143,000 gallons of sewage from sinks, galleys, and showers
  • 7 tons of garbage and solid waste
  • 15 gallons of toxic chemicals
  • 7,000 gallons of oily bildgewater
Not to mention the amount of over-eating, glutnous fest, artery clogging, health-care bill rising cost, (should I go on...?).

 Just go with Eco-Tourism its a No-Brainer

Source: NatGeo: GreenGuide

 Related articles by CRRTravel

  Costa Rica's Official Travel Facebook Page

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The Strongest Creature On Earth

8 cm long female Hercules beetle at Cahuita, C...Image via Wikipedia Five Facts About the Hercules Beetle:

  • Can carry 850 times it's body weight
  • reaches 6.75inches (Its a BEETLE!)
  • Has long horns used for fighting
  • Costa Rica's Largest beetle (Native to the Rainforest)
  • Larval stage is one to two years

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Turrialba Volcano Might Re-Open?

Turrialba VolcanoImage by Costa Rican Resource via FlickrI personally declared it volcano week since it seems to be the topic of this blog for the last couple of days it seems the local newspaper is lending itself to help me out. La Nacion the main news paper in Costa Rica which I consider the most formal and proffesional came out with the most unproffesional and informal article I could imagine. It was about the idea of re-opening the Turrialbal Volcano, you can read the article in Spanish here.

If it is time to reopen the Turrialba volcano than fine lets do it but if its not than lets wait. I find it interesting that the only way to get to the crater in the rainy season would be for the US not to send warships down but to send some tanks down. The roads are horrible and with these rains I can imagine not much better. The roads in the article were not so much an issue in the article in arriving but during an emergency evacuation. The article then talks about how the volcano is letting out a lot of gas and that it could be dangerous to the tourist, uh? Does this mean like going to Poas and you should only stay at the crater for 30 minutes because of the gases being released or does this mean dangerous from the moment you arrive.

The suggestion from La Nacion is that you would have to hire a tourism proffesional company to take you to the top of the crater to be safe. I've got news for you I run a tourism proffesional company and I dont have a clue when the Turrialba volcano is safe or when it is not safe I just go by what the experts tell me. Well I hope they dont open the park today but if it is open for the next high season I will be looking forward to it it would be quite the plus to any costa rican family vacation with the activity it is displaying and quite the free back massage with the road to get there.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stratovolcano: Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Cutaway diagram of subduction zone and an asso...Image via WikipediaArenal Volcano is the youngest volcano in all of Costa Rica. It also happens to be one of the top 10 most active volcanos on the planet. This is also a place of extreme natural beauties that tourist from all over the world come and want to see and do some of the adventures in the area. For those of them who decide not to get a guide and if they get the chance to read this tweet from their Spa while looking at the volcano then I hope you find it useful and if not I hope there are some Science classes out there that will:


  • Stratovolcanos are common in subduction zones - a subduction zone is part of plate tectonics where oceanic crust is drawn under continental crust
  • Arenal is considered an Andesitic Stratovolcano which is given the name after the Ande mountains and describes the composition of minerals that are released from the Arenal Volcano
  • The tourist come to see the Pyroclastic flows which is solid to semi-solid fragments and hot, expanding gases that flows down the flank of the volcano make for a spectacular show. 
  • Arenal is a result of the Subduction of the Coco & Carib Tectonic plates.
  • The Pacific Ring of Fire is the most common place for Stratovolcano.
  • Stratovolcano make for some of the best booms on the planet and not just tourist booms...

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New National Stadium Smoke Free

No-Smoking LogoDuring the Asian Games in China people are fined $7's for smoking. They are also fined for smoking in public places such as elevators, office buildings, and other non-smoking areas. The least we do is not smoke in the stadium they built for us (although we did buy $120 million dollars worth of Chinese traffic STUFF for our cars when this project began). Can you imgine trying to charge "La Ultra" and "La Doce" Dos Rojos y Medio (these are two soccer team groups that rarely have the money to enter games and often smoking and drinking outside the stadium) for each cigarrete they smoked.

 This has been quite the week to celebrate no smoking. I have a close friend that said he was got into a fender bender in my car and he did not have the funds to pay for it because he licensed had expired the day before. I really felt bad for him but told him if he quit smoking (after 30 years) I would clear his debt with me. It has been two weeks and he is going great. Its obviously hard as hell but this is a close friend that has overcome everyother addiction there is so he has all the tools he needs to do this so I told him to just do it.
I just read in the front page of the Nacional Newspaper that the new National Stadium dontaed by China will be smoke free. I think this is funny considering the day before the Costa Rica national football team just signed a very large contract with a Mexican coach that smokes during games. I thought to myself what is this guy going to do. It wont work the bribe trick that I am doing with my friend because they already signed the contract and the money is on its way. It will be interesting to see.

But anyways I think its a great gesture to a beautiful new place Costa Ricans can call home to there national events seating over 35,000 in a smoke free environment. It's an excellent move for the younger generations also to see this. The construction is 90% complete and almost ready for a "rumble in the jungle" although  I dont think Ali is.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Excellent Education Books for All ages from one of the Most Bio-Diverse Places on the Planet

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas), ph...Image via WikipediaThere is so much information we can find on line. But if your in the jungle and it happens to be in the rainforest there just might be a good reason to still have your book of tree species or bird species handy (until apple comes out with the waterproof touch). But until then there are some great sources to look into. The Institute National of Bio-Diversity where I did some of my studies in Costa Rica has quite the collection of books that all go to a great cause. If your interested in these books they all come in English and Spanish and you can click here to take a look at the many different books they have.

Again these are amazing books from studies done in the field and proceeds going back into the field of study. I feel these would be great class room books and they have different books for all ages. If you are ever visiting Costa Rica Inbio Park is also a park worth visiting with a class. It is a small park in the town of Heredia and nothing like getting out into the jungles of Costa Rica but again if you have the time its money going to a good cause.
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Costa Rica on List of Top 20 Countries for Drug Trafficking

Crew Members from HMS Iron Duke Board a Drugs ...Image by Defence Images via FlickrWhen you first read this headline you get alarmed. Dont let it scare you from taking a Costa Rica Vacation. For most of you that are reading this you probably are living in  one of top consuming drug countries on the Planet and that is the USA. What would you rather have a few boats and trucks entering and leaving or drugs, staying in your country, people consuming, and every problem that follows with addictions. This is just to not scare the tourist off and let you know that you are still welcome into a beautiful eco-adventure but to also let you know that our blog is all about the truth of Costa Rica and we try to inform from all angles.

Costa Rica is becoming a victim of some more than usually passing by of these drugs because they are a country with no army. What better place to try and pass by your load of cocaine knowing there is no army to stop you. Also the position Costa Rica is in surrounded by countries like Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia. The time to take measures is now.

This info came up at an interest time because these last couple of months many Costa Rican's have been upset at the fact with the idea of the US sending their Navy ships down to the Coast of Costa Rica. I will be the first to admitt I was against the idea of all these ships in the start of these talks.  Ive heard so many stories to why they are being sent down. It turns out one boat showed up with some medical supplies for the port of Limon which was probably a good idea to calm some of the nerves of the local people.

The Costa Rican's are proud to not have an army and they should be (I am proud to live in a country that does not have an army). When it comes to small home invasions in Costa Rica I feel my 2 rotweillers will do me just fine. But when you start looking at the past history of Colombia and present history of Guatemala and Mexica you begin to ask yourself I will have to invest in a whole lot of rotweilers if I want to take on these cartels.

I know the US military has gone through some rough times lately but if just a presence might make a difference on where cartels make their next set up we all know Costa Rica for the last 50 years is underfunded in security to take on these guys and just having 50 US ships sitting out in your oceans might not be what you had in mind while sitting in third grade sitting your national anthem. But I have to ask you do you really think Don Pepe would risk giving up everything this beautiful country has to be taken over by a bunch of animal like cartels and go through the same tragedy as Columbia and Mexico. So my opinion would be to work with the US. There are still good people in the US military many that are not so good (thats why you always see people getting fired) and others that are trying to get things working correctly. Try and figure out a plan so that Costa Rica pays practicially nothing. This is very beneficial for the US to have Costa Rica not be affected by the Cartels.

Lets hope it works together and that there are people complaining for a system that works and not complaing for a system to not even try. The idea that US could not help Mexico or Colombia is ridiculous because they were two countries well advance in the drug trade. They were also two countries much larger in size (they also did help quite a bit in Colombia).
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poas & Turrialba Volcano Ready to Erupt

Scheme of a phreatic eruption.Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday on September 15th 2010 I was driving to Pacuare River enjoying the view of the smoke of the Turrialba Volcano. I was remembering a few years back when we had a group scheduled to hike to the Turrialba volcano and we had to cancel because the volcano began some activity. The group was pretty bummed and we brought them to Irazu and they just didnt understand why they couldnt go to Turrialba. First of all for an adventure company like us, safety first. Having a group on the side of an active volcano while it erupts, yes, it is exciting and quite the adrenaline rush but once it hits the headlines it really isnt good for business. As a guide you explain what can happen and some just go on to think it can ever happen to them.

After seeing the Turrialba Volcano yesterday and seeing how the activity has grown over the last 18 months and now the Poas volcano has picked up quite a bit of activity I thought I would explain why we as a company dont hike up the side of the Turrialba volcano with clients these days and how Poas volcano might soon be closed more days than open.

The Turrialba volcano continues to release certain gases through its crater which indicate that there is a body of magma below releasing these gases. The danger at the moment is not that the magma is going to come up all at once and do what you would imagine your average volanic eruption to be with lava shooting up and pouring down it's side like Arenal volcano. The danger is what is called a Phreatic eruption.

A Phreatic eruption (PICTURE EXPLAINS PERFECT) is when the area of magma makes instant contact with surface or ground water causing instant evaportation and explosion of steam, ash, rock, and a volcano bomb. This is what we saw happen to Mt. St. Helen in 1980. To say the least this would be nothing pretty to be standing anywhere near taking a picture with your "I love CR t-shirt". These eruptions can vary in size and most result in acid rains that affect nearby agriculture.
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Costa Rica: Two Independence Days?

Every since Ive moved to Central America my first years being in Belize and Guatemala and the rest of my years being in Costa Rica I have found it very interesting the stories on independence. I happen to like the one on Costa Rica because I feel it relates best to Latin  Time. Yesterday Costa Rica celebrated its 189th Independence day from Spain. Take a look at what happened and see if I have maybe proven an extra day off for the Ticos to enjoy your beautiful country. If not we will just stay with Sept. 15th.

Costa Rica IndependenceImage by Costa Rican Resource via FlickrWell as most of us know a bunch of leaders in Guantemala got together and said "Lets give Cental America their Independence from Spain" (This happened on Sept. 15, 1821). The leaders signed the documents and sent them out to each Central American Country. Well it turns out that Costa Rica must have got the slow donkey mailing service because the document did not arrive until October 13th 1821. Now we all know how documents are in Costa Rica they usually just sit under other documents for awhile.

Take a look at the picture you can see the document was not opened and stamped in this building which we found in the old Capital City of Cartago until October 29 1821 (The picture says: "In this place was signed and stamped the act of our Independence").  This building can be found directly on the corner infront of a building of the ruins of Cartago. I always found this interesting because I have shown this to a number of National & foreign tourist and many of them had never seen it. It was a Costa Rican of course who showed it to me but if you have the time and you are in the area it is worth taking a look at.

Who knows maybe October 29th can be a second Independece day in Costa Rica. We spent our day with the some of the staff members of Hospital Catolica in the Pacuare River and I know they would love a second day on the river. Hope everyone enjoyed their Independence day!
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scarlet Macaws Costa Rica

Ara macao relâchéImage by alisofff via FlickrWhen making the drive down the Pacific coast with clients now I usually act like I'm looking for something like all good guides do (I happen to "not" be one of those "Eagle Eyes"  guides but when you get in the looking position your clients think you are and it adds a moment of excitement to the bus ride). Well as of late the Central Pacific is one of the best spots for a guide or anyone to give this little trick a try. If you are around Carara or just past Jaco before arriving to Hermosa beach keep an eye out for the Macaws in the trees or flying around in pairs.

They are making a comeback which is good to see but we cant forget that this species is still endangered. The last study showed that there are around 430 Scarlet Macaws in the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. Which is the countries second largest population. The Central Pacific hopes by 2020 to have a population of 1000 which would be amazing and quite the site the way these birds like to make themselvese seen and heard.

If you are on a Costa Rica vacation and want to see the largest population of Scarlet Macaws then the Osa Peninsula is still where you will find between 700 - 900 of these birds. Its a sure bet upon arrival to the Osa you will see and hear the Macaws. If your interested in planning a family vacation to Costa Rica contact us and we promise we will find some scarlet macaws during your stay or
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Monday, September 13, 2010

VSP Eye Care

spec espaceImage by airthru.takashi via FlickrI could easily spend this blog telling you how important it is to get your kids eyes checked because when they come to Costa Rica I want them to be able to enjoy all the beautiful colors of nature, erupting volcanos, and monkeys & sloths in the jungle. But I'm not. I'm actually going to take a break today from Costa Rica and write about the importance of why kids should be getting their eyes check regularly.

First of all from a personal opinion with the services that are available with VSP VisionCare how could you not take advantage of these benefits. We have traveled into some of the most remote Indigenous places in the mountains of Costa Rica and many of these kids will never see an eye doctor nor ever know they ever had an eye problem. To have a service like VSP VisionCare is a true blessing and one that should not be overlooked. Im doing this blog a little different. I was on the VSP Vision Care site and I saw there history dating from 1955 - 2009.  After looking at the dates they have you should have seen 17 different years from 1955 when VSP started until 2009. Now look at the list I made of the same 17 different years that VSP uses on their site to describe their history. Now, instead of VSP VisionCare facts I will use facts that make it worth for all kids to get their eyes checked because these were some dates you did not want to miss. Check it out and enjoy:

1955 ---- Mickey Mouse Club began, The 1st McDonalds opened, and Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.
1960 ---- The Flinstones began (come on can you imagine not seeing the Flinstones?!)
1968 ---- 60 Minutes went on the air & the First Big Mac was sold
1970 ---- Ghandi was President of India
1980 ---- Pac Man was released (THIS WAS BIG!!!)
1990 ---- First webpage is written and Homealone was the best movie. Look at how much we use our eyes now on the web.
1992 ---- Microsoft Works was released by Microsoft
1993 ---- www. was born at CERN and Jurassic Park
1997 ---- Mars Pathfinder Lands on Mars and "Spicegirls" were big
2000 ---- Planets in solar system align
2003 ---- Bruce Almighty, Finding Nemo, & Lord of the Rings
2004 ---- Tallest Skyscraper in the world opens "Taipei" at 1,676ft
2005 ---- XBOX and Madagascar
2006 ---- Wii
2007 ---- IPhone & Final Harry Potter
2010 ---- Call VSP and get the families eyes checked

In closing I would like to metion that to take a look at this page of their site it happened to be my favorite click here
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Costa Rica Bailouts: Arenal Hotels in La Fortuna...

Live SimpleDon't even get me started on bailouts. I did not think my Costa Rican Travel blog would take me here but apparently it has. Just last week hotel owners in La Fortuna area (I will not mention Hotel names I would rather not get in a fist fight next time Im in the Arenal area) went to the government asking for bailout money to payback their loans. I thought this was hilarious and if the Costa Rican government thinks for a second to bail these hotels out I think its ridiculous. Not only because I've seen a few of these owners hanging out in the Disco and scooting around in their Jetskis on weekends (I can say this about some of the hotel owners not all)  but we are talking about hotels people. These are big business's but my gosh they are not that big where the government and tax payers money needs to step in. There are also some simple living hotel owners I'm sure that just decided to take a gamble and they lost and thats life. But others just dont want to let go of the lifestyle of luxury they have started living.

It turns out that a number of hotels in Arenal got GREEDY. There is no other way to put it. Things were going good and they wanted more. What happened is they over extended themselves, started living lifestyles they shouldnt, and got dealt a bad card (which the whole world gets everyonce in awhile).  Do I feel bad for them? Honestly? Yes,  I do. It sucks to lose money. I dont want to throw my sob story out there but I lost all my money in my first business which I did very well for myself and what had to happen as a result of losing it all: A LIFESTYLE CHANGE!

I feel like the Dali Llama's next book should be the secret to the recovery of a world recession which apparently nobody is getting it: A LIFESTYEL CHANGE! The USA didnt get it because they went ahead and bailed most of those companies out that showed up in their private jets to ask for their bailout money. Its funny from what I heard the hotel owners in La Fortuna are still driving around in their fancy SUV's which is no private jet but you get the picture.

Drawing sessionEven after President Obama fired the CEO Wagoner of GM he still made out with millions. Thats what bailouts are. Put government money where it should be and not in the haImage by Jean-Sien Kin via Flickrnds of risk takers that have lost. Put the money into education, healthcare (we are going to need the money in healthcare with all the new fast food chains in Costa Rica in about 15 years, 29 new fast food chains in 2010), and whatever else you want but paying a hotel so a tourist can enjoy their hot-tub and massage and not paying a school so kids can not be crowded in a classroom and learn under adequate conditions is just craziness (keep inmind the tourist in hot tubs is what pays my bills so  I want the best for them but lets think level headed on this).  

Somebody asked me if the banks take the hotels what are they going to do with it. Our reservations office just spent 3 days last week trying to find space in Fortuna for two different groups next March and April. This is a good indication that things will be improving next year an estimated 2 million or more tourist will be arriving in Costa Rica. My advice for the bank would be to flip it or even better work something out with INA where they operate the hotel (the government educates locals in tourism) and they pay back the loan. Just a thought.

As for the hotel owners, shit happens and sometimes you have to walk right through it before you smell it. Maybe its time for a little lifestyle change in La Fortuna. There is a freakin Burger King in La Fortuna you cant tell me you didnt see this coming. If you have thoughts on this we would love to hear?

The gap between rich and poor in Costa Rica is spreading FAST. I dont want to talk negative but I do feel there needs to be some voices. Just drive through San Jose: Its RICH or POOR for now where in years to come it could be SUPER RICH or SUPER POOR. Again, I feel bad for these hotel owners but I dont think bailouts for society as a whole is going to fix the big picture which is learning a lesson and living a little bit more simply. Let me be clear. If you have the money and you want to live it up a little its fine. But understand if you dont have the money it is also fine to not have to live it up. I just feel if people gamble and they lose they lose. Thats why you shouldnt gamble with money that isnt yours.

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