Mangoes grow almost wild in Costa Rica from April through June. The warm tropical climate and ample rainfall provide the perfect environment. And Costa Ricans love mangoes. They make a delicious drink of fresh mango mixed in the blender with water and sugar (shown here in Xinia’s photo) Also freezing fresh peeled and chopped mango and then blending it with water and sugar- Even Better!
Mangoes are used in bread and cake making (Mango Bread) Just peel and chop it and place in the bread or cake mixture before baking. Mangoes are popular in salads and served over ice cream. Click here to view a large collection of delicious recipes using mangoes. http://www.freshmangoes.com/mangorecipes/recipes.html
Also the fruit and leaves are used for floral decorations for weddings as well as religious ceremonies.
Mango trees grow very tall-up to 4 meters and can live for three hundred years.
The small fruit is called mango and is very sweet and the larger fruit is called manga and is less sweet and the pulp is much firmer (tastes like a peach) In the US we pay $1 or more for one large manga and here in Costa Rica they sell for around twenty five cents each.
Xinia has a large manga tree in her back yard and the fruit is falling all during the day and night, so if we sit under the Manga Tree–well we may get an unexpected bump on the head. Also be careful not to eat the peel, you will get a “sting on your lips and gums”
The large manga shown below which Xinia is holding is unusually large. Average size is much smaller.
Planning a vacation to Costa Rica is a time consuming task. You can surf the internet and become quickly confused with the dozens of choices of hotels in each location.
Rick and Anna wanted a stress free vacation of 10 days to Costa Rica and never having been there they knew that they needed some help to plan their time and pick the destinations to visit as well as deciding on the adventure tours to meet their time frame.
After consulting with Ann, “The Costa Rica Learn Travel Company” they choose to rent a small Suzuki Jimmy 4×4 with a GPS and drive thru the mountains to Arenal Volcano- a 3.5 hour scenic trip from Alajuela (home to the San Jose International Airport). They stayed the first night they arrived at “Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation Homestay” located 6 miles from the international airport. And the next day, after driving 30 minutes up the mountain to visit the Poas Volcano National park, they then drove to the Arenal Observatory Lodge-an eco lodge located in the Jungle area of Arenal where they experienced close up panoramic views of the Volcano and Arenal Lake. Zip Line tour (Sky Tram, Sky Trek) and Kayaking on Lake Arenal were the adventure tours Ann set up for them.
Continuing on to the NW Guanacaste Beach of Tamarindo (a small town located right on the beach) where they spent 4 nights at Villa Alegre-right in front of the beach (set up by Ann) basking in the sun, swimming in the pool and walking the beach, eating fresh seafood, and just simply chilling out.
Here is what Rick and Anna had to say:
We were extremely pleased having used Ann’s services for our 10 day vacation in Costa Rica. Sure, we could’ve winged it and spent many nights at the computer trying to put together our vacation, hoping we made good choices for our hotels, meals & activities. But Ann listened to what we wanted and honed right in on a great itinerary for us. Her communication was awesome, she was easy to get a hold of, she answered our questions quickly, made suggestions for us and definitely made our whole trip easy and comfortable.
Besides the great hotels and activities she set us up with, our best experience was staying with Xinia and her family in their home. We were picked up by Xinia at the airport, whisked away to her beautiful clean house where a home cooked meal was prepared for us. We had a blast spending the evening with her family talking and learning more about Costa Rica from a different perspective.
Thank You, Ann! We had a fantastic trip to Costa Rica.
Will my cell phone work in Costa Rica?
I am planning to travel to Costa Rica on vacation and would like to take my cell phone and use it there, but don’t know if it will work?
First, before you leave check with your cell phone company.
SIM cards are sold in the San Jose International Airport so ask your carrier if you can use a SIM card in your phone.
Also if you are renting a car, you can also rent a cell phone from the rental company and pay per day. Local calls are not expensive but calling outside Costa Rica is expensive. Ask the rental car company for information on this.
I recommend that you read the following: The Real Costa Rica author Tim- writes extensively on this subject and here is the link. Go to his section on traveling in Costa Rica and then click on cell phones. www.therealcostarica.com
ART GALLERY IN ALAJUELA
Xinia and I visited an art gallery in Alajuela Sr Y Sra Ese Here you can see works of art made of exotic woods, such as jewelry, vases, boxes, and many other gift items. The most famous is the beautiful hand crafted wooden jewelry. The gallery offers a factory tour
which takes around 45 minutes and we learned how these unique works of art are made from 6 different kinds of exotic wood, all grown in Costa Rica. Examples of the wood include Cocobolo-Rosewood and Nazarene-Purple heart
The rich colors of these woods are amazing, ranging from dark browns to deep purples and yellows.
The gift shop is located on the grounds and is open to the public. Displayed here are the hundreds of varieties of objects made from these tropical woods, and the prices are very reasonable.
Our guide explained that this factory employs one hundred and ten people and the wood art work is sold all over Costa Rica and also exported abroad.
Next door is another art gallery called The Root Gallery, a gallery displaying the work of Arturo Solano. From the roots of fallen trees he creates the most beautiful vases in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Mr. Solano’s work has been sold in Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
The gift shop and gallery Sr Y SRA Ese is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 5:30 pm
and The Root Gallery is open Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm
If you would like to visit these two galleries please contact email@example.com
Ann and Xinia (Xinia’s Costa Rica Vacation HomeStay) can make the arrangements for you.
From Ann: I highly recommend this tour. The prices are very reasonable and the variety of art work made from exotic wood is the most extensive I have seen in Costa Rica
click here to read more: http://www.srysraese.com/
COSTA BALLENA -on Costa Rica’ Southern Pacific, stretches thirty miles along the Pacific ocean from Dominical and south to Ojochal.
Ballena in Spanish means whale. This is the area of Costa Rica to see whales in certain months of the year. August and September are good month as well as January and February to take a boat out and you have a very chance of seeing them.
The access to the area by road is good..so if you are renting a car getting there is pretty easy.
There are mountains, unspoiled rivers, dense jungle and the Pacific Ocean. You will see monkeys, sloths, so many species of tropical birds, hundreds of varieties of flowering plants and hugh old growth trees.
You will not see high rise hotels and hoards of tourists. The beaches offer great surfing
with waves for beginners as well as advanced. For beginners go just south of Dominical to Dominicalito . There you can get lessons and also rent a surf board.
There are hotels and eco lodges for all price ranges.
SWIM UNDER A WATERFALL The mountain range seems to drop right into the ocean and there are many gorgeous waterfalls in the region.
FISHING-Outdoor activities offered are deep sea fishing and fishing close to shore.
SURFING for all levels.
HORSEBACK RIDING in the jungle or on the beach
HIKING into the jungle and rain forest to see monkeys, sloths, tropical birds, and of course the rain forest trees, many of which are old growth with meter wide buttresses and seem to reach the sky.
SNORKELING- take a boat out to Cano Island where snorkeling is fantastic.
SCUBA- Cano Island and its off shore waters offer superb Scuba diving opportunities.
MANGROVE SWAMPS–most dense mangroves found in the world.
MILES OF OPEN STRETCH BEACHES AND gorgeous sunsets.
EAT FRESH SEAFOOD
What months can I see Whales? Certain months of the year whales can be spotted from your boat. August and September and January and February.
OR SIMPLY HANG OUT AND ENJOY THE NATURE!
Ballena Marine National Park is located here. Miles and miles of beige sandy beaches, mangrove swamps, and the largest coral reef on the Pacific Coastline of Costa Rica. You will need to hire a guide with a boat to take you snorkeling or scuba. They are familiar with the best locations.
Dolphins can be seen and in season the humpback whales (August) which migrate from the cold water of the north to mate here in these warm waters. Also the green Marine Iguanas perched on the rocks. They come out of the water to bask in the sun.
From May thru November you may see the Oliver Ridley and Hawksbill turtles lay their eggs on the beaches at night. September is best month is see them. Go when the moon is waning and the night is dark.
Vacationing to Costa Ballena? Contact “The Costa Rica Learn Travel Company