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Recent Activity at Costa Rican Volcanoes

Officials say that the 3.2 magnitude earthquake that took place on Tuesday morning had nothing to do with volcanic activity.

Earlier this month, National Emergency Commission (CNE) officials warned tourists visiting volcanoes, as five Costa Rican volcanoes are currently in various states of activity.

According to the CNE, the active volcanoes are Rincón de la Vieja and Arenal (in the northwestern province of Guanacaste), Irazú and Turrialba (in Cartago province, east of San José) and Poás.

Last Friday the  Poás volcano released a vapor of about 300 meters, which deposited a large quantity of ashes and rocks in the southeastern sector of the volcano’s crater.



New laws in Costa Rica

A new bill that is looking to be passed in Congress this week comes with several new driving laws and fines.

Do you slow down when coming up on an accident to check out what’s going on? Well an amendment in the new highway bill will now be fining people  ¢20.000 as punishment.

While seemingly ridiculous, this isn’t the only amendment that comes with the new highway bill.

You will also be given a  ¢94.000 fine for going under the minimum speed limit. As well as given a ¢20.000 fine for using loudspeakers between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

Finally a ¢47.000 fine for blocking the intersection, even if approached on a green light.

Yet another example of Costa Rica tax dollars hard at work 🙂


Wildfire burns 100 hectares of Chirripó National Park

Early Monday morning a wildfire was detected in the Chirripó National Park. This area is home to the highest mountain in the country. It is said to have affected 100 hectors of La Amistad International Park, near the country’s border with Panama in the Southern Zone.

The park is currently still open for tourists seeing as they found that these areas were not in direct threat of a wildfire. Rónald Chang, regional director of the National System of Conservation Areas stated this, “Tourists are safe. At this point the area of the trails is not at risk. If anything happens, we will close the area immediately.”


Starbucks Finally Coming to Costa Rica

For all the coffee lovers the time has finally come. Starbucks has confirmed that they will be opening a store in the San Jose area in May. The exact opening date along with the location are still unknown.

Pablo Arizmendi-Kalb, vice president and CEO for Starbuck’s Latin America said this, “We are very excited to introduce our high-quality coffee and the Starbuck’s experience to our clients in Costa Rica.”

Starbucks will be managed in Costa Rica by Corporación de Franquicias Americanas(Corporation of American Franchises). This corporation also manages chains like Pizza Hut, KFC, and Wendy’s.




Monster in Costa Rica

New ‘Monster’ Invades Costa Rica

Posted: Thursday, January 12, 2012 – By Richard Abraham

Dear Tico Times:

There is a new monster loose in Costa Rica. This monster kills people, animals, children’s education, tourism, business, roads and peace and quiet. The monster’s name is “tractor trailer.”

On the new Pacific coastal highway (costanera), these monsters are traveling at great speeds, endangering everything in their path. You will know them by their very loud sound, known as frenos de motor, or Jake brakes. This very annoying sound keeps children awake at night and convinces tourists to check out of hotels after a one-night stay, never to return. Businesses are closing  down, and animals are leaving or have been killed.

Some 300 of these monsters use the costanera every day and all night, 24/7. They have no respect for anyone or anything. They buy nothing in Costa Rica because they come from Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. They leave nothing in their path but destruction, death and very tired and upset people.

The laws in Costa Rica prohibit these monsters from using the costanera, but despite all our efforts at contacting the authorities, we have received no response to the problem.  There are laws against speeding and excessive noise, so where are the authorities when we need them?

Let’s all get together and kill this monster before it’s too late, before the Costa Rica we have known is forever gone. If anyone has any ideas or would like to help us kill, tame or silence this monster, please contact any of the following authorities:

Costa Rican Tourism Board: 2299-5800; Health Ministry: 2255-2148; Education Ministry: 2256-7011; Public Works and Transport Ministry: 2253-2000; Casa Presidencial: 2207-9100; Environment Ministry: 2233-4533.


iPhone 4S

Costa Rica usually runs behind on getting the latest and greatest that comes out in the States and this time it is no different.  The lines and waiting lists have already started for the iPhone 4S that is to come out on Friday the 27th.

Siri is very much in demand and the fact that she can speak in English or in Spanish only makes her that much more desirable to the public.  This not only makes her a neat gizmo phone but a terrific teaching tool for those that want to learn better their second language.

CR doesn’t yet have a plan for iPhone 4S so far as the service goes which seems rather illogical since the phone is coming out on Friday but then again that falls under the “why” category so we won’t go there.

Hope everyone wanting the precious Siri is lucky enough to get her this coming weekend!


Just ask Why?

When moving to Costa Rica so many things come up where the question of why will come to your lips. Why do motorcycles make their own lane when there is none between the buses? Why do buses not use their rear view mirrors? Why does it seem that no one can tell time in Costa Rica? What does Mañana really mean because it clearly does not mean tomorrow?

There are so many more questions that I could list here than what I mentioned above. Doesn’t a day go by when the question of why comes to mind at least once but please for your sanity take this advise…..

Remove the word WHY from your vocabulary when you move to Costa Rica!

IF you are able to find out the reasoning behind the question you are asking, you would be one up from the rest of us left to ponder the reasoning behind why Tico’s do what they do.

It will drive you crazy if you question things all of the time and it won’t change anything, they will still drive down the middle of the road. They will still run you off the road with no regard for the rear view mirror. You will never understand even if someone answers your question as to WHY they do what they do.

Remove the word WHY from your vocabulary and you will live a much more peaceful existence in Costa Rica.


Lost Internet?

Lost Internet? This is the question that often opens up conversation if you have anything to do with the internet or need internet service in Costa Rica on a daily basis. This is not a weekly or once a month occurrence like in the States but a daily question in Costa Rica. The wind blows, we lose internet. The power surges, we lose internet. ICE has a bad hair day, we lose internet. Many different reasons but all the same results, poor internet connectivity for long periods of time. Internet does not go down for minutes at a time but for hours. When it goes down, it REALLY goes down!

I am sure that some of the larger corporations have better results than those of us relying on ICE for a connection. Those with their own server surely have better service than those of us waiting on ICE to turn on the juice and boost up the power.

Meanwhile we keep asking, “Lost Internet?”


Pets to Costa Rica

There is MUCH confusion in the past couple of weeks on pets going into Costa Rica and worry that there is a new law in place because pets are being sent to the cargo warehouse rather than being cleared through the passenger terminal.

There is not a new law. This is an old law that the government is now enforcing on pets coming in on their own ticket or airway bill. The customs officials at the airport were not aware that Continental pets were not coming in as excess baggage until a very important woman (wife of someone high up in the government)threw her weight around on the 18th of April and flashed her airway bill at the customs officials demanding her pets.

This upset the customs officials and brought to their attention the fact that Continental was allowing pets to come through the passenger terminal with an airway bill when they should go directly to the cargo facility like all other pets arriving as manifest cargo with their own tickets.

Several meetings took place over the following days and the result of these meetings were that for now, only Continental would be affected by this ruling since all of the other airlines were already following this protocol. All pets arriving on Continental as quickpak on their own ticket (airway bill) will go directly to the cargo facility rather than be released in the passenger terminal as previously allowed.

Now you must acquire an import permit prior to arrival in order for your pet to be released when you arrive. This should be applied for at least 4 days prior to your arrival in Costa Rica through a broker so that your pet does not sit in the customs warehouse for many unnecessary hours unattended.

There will be taxes and customs duties charged as well as fees charged now that were never charged before as a result of the pets coming in through the cargo warehouse. The tax rate is 24.30% of the adjusted value. Pets are automatically insured at $50.00 above the amount shown on the AWB. Value is set at $50-$60 above the amount shown on the AWB and the taxes and costs are based on this amount.

You still must have a current rabies under one year and vaccinations (for a cat FVRCP, for a dog DHLPP) current within one year. Tick and tapeworm treatment prior to arrival as well. All of this must be documented on the APHIS 7001 International Health Certificate and it must be endorsed by the USDA within 10 days of arrival in Costa Rica.

I hope this information helps clear up some of the confusion that is out there about what is now necessary to bring your dog or cat into Costa Rica.