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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – March 2023

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE START TO 2023! The INSANITY of the Rockstar tournament, to the incredible fun of the Rooster Rodeo, an Iconic Pescadora Tournament & the Super Bowl, have brought more energy and life to MPV than we have ever seen before and the year is JUST GETTING STARTED. March is keeping the pedal to the metal in terms of fun, activities and some more action-packed tournaments.


This one-day sailfish shootout is bringing both the new comers and the world best anglers together in some amazing fun formats that people just can’t get enough of. The event provides a team award to the boat which gets the most RELEASE points, which are awarded for each sailfish caught, and released in the event. It is a GREAT way for friends, family, coworkers or even random groups of individuals to come together to enjoy some amazing fishing and fight for the top boat. There are also awards for the Top Junior Angler, (16 years and under), Top Female Angler (some of the best in the world are from or frequent this area) and First Time Angler Award. This last prize is in recognition of just how many first-time fishermen and women we have joined in these events, and prizes go to the most releases by a first timer. Get your team, sign up and don’t miss this epic shootout.


This is the last month of our free movie nights under the stars. What began as a fun way to kick off the weekend has become part of our community culture here at Marina Pez Vela during the dry season. Whether you are here on vacation or a local looking for a unique way to spend the evening with a selection of dining options and a classic under the stars, this is a great option. Every Wednesday night at 6:30pm, you can pull up a seat, toss down a pad or lay out on the “lawn” and enjoy a free movie on Costa Rica’s largest outdoor screen. You can check out the Marina Pez Vela Facebook page to vote each week for your favorite movie! The one with most votes gets the screen time.

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – March 2023

Bienvenidos… Welcome to Quepolandia. We are here to make sure that you have an unforgettable adventure. The weather is perfect, so get out of those winter clothes and forget about those snow shovels and enjoy being away from the freezing temperatures. Whether you’re hiking one of our incredible National Parks, partaking in The Envision Festival in Playa Hermosa, February 27-March 6, or just chillin at the beach don’t forget to drink lots of water (not Cervases) and keep hydrated and sunblock, sunblock, and more SUNBLOCK.

In addition to the fleet of boats waiting to take you sportfishing or sightseeing. Marina Pez Vela offers air conditioned shopping, great restaurants, fantastic tours, and some of the best Italian Gelato Costa Rica has to offer to cool you down at Gelateria Amorosi. Movie Night Under the Stars continues in March on the big screen so come relax and enjoy the show every Wednesday night at 6:30. The fishing has been remarkable and so have the tournaments. MPV will be hosting the Sailfish Slam, March 4.

March Madness is upon us so all you NCAA fans can catch all the action at Quepoa Sport Bar (1a on the map) and watch your team on the their many TVs.

Our sunsets are beautiful this time of year so get to Ronnie’s Place in Manuel Antonio or Mira Olas at the Best Western in Quepos and enjoy great food, drinks , and the show.

Welcome to our new advertiser Top Notch.

We want to WELCOME back The Envision Festival and thank Jess Bernstein @helloatlasmedia for this month’s cover of the beautiful mermaid migration to Playa Hermosa.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here (we are almost at …AMAZING) or on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and Welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D

Envision Festival 2023, February 27 – March 6

How does it feel to be back and are there any changes to how the festival will put on?

During the pandemic, most of the festival site withered away and was devoured by the jungle. As a result around 80 to 90% of the structures, you see when you attend this year will be completely new. It also gave us a chance to move around a few things so even those who have been to the festival year after year, will have to take some time to get re-oriented. It’s a whole new jungle adventure.

Can you explain your Pillars and how they have grown over the years?

Every party should have a purpose beyond just the celebration. For us, we’re about making ourselves, the place where we party, and the relationship we have with Earth a whole lot better. Our pillars are how we communicate that both in the planning stages of our event and in everything we do during it.

Can you elaborate more on Somos el cambio?

From planting trees to cleaning up beaches, we do a lot each year to make positive impacts in the world, ourselves, and others. Somos el Cambio is the next evolution of that mission. With this evolved platform we’re unifying our goals, streamlining our efforts, and finding ways to go further faster, because—let’s face it—there’s still a lot to do to get this planet of ours back on track.

What are the “must do’s to have a magical Envision?

Drink water. Introduce yourself. And, whatever new experience you find: don’t be afraid to give it a try.

What can we expect from Envision 2023, 3 years in the making. Will anything be different other than 8 days?

The site is mostly all new (as we mentioned above) but there’s also a big emphasis on working more this year with Costa Rica’s top non-profits and eco-minded initiatives. We also will have more of the best international music acts along with many of the Latin music flavors tourist, Ticos, and everyone else has come to expect from Envision Festival.

What are the plans for the future?

You’ll see!

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Coral Restoration at Manuel Antonio & Quepos

Coral Restoration at Manuel Antonio & Quepos

It’s been a beautiful beginning of the year and we are enjoying the sunshine and exploring the oceans. One of our focuses as scuba divers here in Quepos, is to be ambassadors to the ocean, bringing awareness to our local community about the state of our oceans and what we can do to help. Our flagship project here in Manuel Antonio is our coral restoration project. This is a SINAC permitted and approved project that we have been working on. And since 2019 we have been growing and restoring our local coral reefs in an effort to improve the quality of our local ocean environment.

Did you know coral reefs account for less than 1% of the ocean’s floor, yet supports 25% of the ocean? So coral reefs are extremely important. However, they are also under threat. This comes from a number of things including, rising temperatures, ocean acidification, toxic runoff, invasive species, and unsustainable fishing. These are just some of their major threats. Did you know, that in the past 30 years alone, Costa Rica has lost 70% of its coral reefs!! That’s a crazy amount if you really think about it.

So, what does our coral restoration project do to help this?

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Happy Face

Happy Face – Todd Pequeen

I was leaving a client’s room last week and she looked at me with an intensity that was alarming at first. She was on her second day of vacation and we had just finished an amazing ninety-minute session. “Is everyone as happy and nice as they seem in this country?” It made me laugh at first, then I actually got a bit tongue tied, then I replied, “Why yes, I think it is genuine!” With a quick nutshell description, I explained to her that in my 22 years of living here I believe it to be one of the happiest places on planet earth. I have read rogue articles on these topics when a major network or magazine does poles and takes statistics and come up with ratings on what makes a country or society happy blah blah blah. Then I thought about what makes my wife and I happy and tried to do the mental math. We are now well into 2023 and the world continues to spin and these are just a few of the reasons why I believe Costa Rica to be one of the happiest places on the earth. As a life-long traveler and having spent over 25 years living in various countries around the world here are my thoughts on the happy train…

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Fresh Mango and Coconut Cobbler

Chef's corner headerFresh Mango and Coconut Cobbler – Desiree Brassert

An easy fruity dessert is always a good idea in times of abundance. Today we are using our luscious and exotic mangoes, but any fruit that combines sweetness with acidity such as berries, apples, pineapples or any combination thereof works beautifully.

For a 9 X 9 inch pan

  • 5 ripe but firm mangoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar, sugar or sweetner of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of chilled unsalted butter cut into small cold cubes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a shallow pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter or coconut oil and stew the mangoes with sweetener and the pinch of salt until soft for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and cinnamon, mix well before pouring into the bottom of baking pan. Combine the crumble ingredients with most of the butter saving a few cubes for the top. The mixture should feel like coarse beach sand.
  4. Spread evenly over mangoes and top with remaining butter cubes.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  6. Cobblers are often served with ice cream, sorbet, or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Spanish Sucks – February 2023


Kids Saving the Rainforest – February 2023

KSTR LogoKids Saving The Rainforest, is the only registered wildlife rescue center and Sanctuary in the area of Manuel Antonio. Therefore it has the very important mission of saving all the wild animals in need in the area. We help all kinds of wildlife—from sloths, monkeys and anteaters to macaws and toucans. Every animal that needs help will get it in our wildlife hospital.

The main reasons why these animals arrive to our Rescue Center is because of electrocutions, collisions with cars or windows, parasites, and dog and cat attacks. But even though we have a wildlife ambulance we can’t be everywhere, and we depend highly on the kindness of some human beings that take the time to help these animals in need and call us to inform about animals that needs to be rescued.

Would you like to be part of our rescue team? Here is a fast guide on how to know if an animal really needs help.

In the case of baby animals, it can get a bit tricky as it is difficult to know if these animals are really in need of help or just getting their first steps into the wild. That’s why we created a different guide exclusive for babies, but we always advise people that if they aren’t sure they can always contact us on our WhatsApp: +506 8568 5335

Do you know what happens to these animals once they reach our rescue center?

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5 Tips to Get Ready for Your First Surf Lesson

5 Tips to Get Ready for Your First Surf Lesson – Greg Gordon

Surf CR logoWhen you are visiting Costa Rica, one of the first things you notice when you head to the beach are all the good surfers. They paddle out so easily and catch almost any wave they choose, riding it effortlessly to the sand. It makes you want to learn and enjoy the feeling of riding a wave successfully. You sign up for a surf lesson and then want to know how to prepare for it. Here are five tips to help you make the experience fun and more rewarding.

1 Stretch and do some pushups

Getting your body ready to surf is very important. When you see the pros, they often sit or stand on the beach preparing their body by stretching while watching the waves. I stretch first by spreading my legs wide and leaning towards each foot a few times. If you do yoga, it’s like Side Angle pose. I also do some Up and Down Dog poses for my back, and then sit and do some groin opening stretches and twist my lower back. Then I touch my toes with legs stretched.

The pushups help with the motion of ‘popping up’. Ideally you want to get to your feet in one motion, but many instructors teach you to come up one foot at a time. Then the key to keeping your balance is to stay low. Your stance is similar to a Warrior Two pose. The stronger your triceps and shoulders are, the easier it is to stand up.

2 Dress Appropriately

For both men and women, I recommend wearing a rash guard top. This helps prevent sun burn on your back and prevents your stomach and chest from getting a rash from the wax on the board. I prefer a short sleeve rash guard since it is more flexible and does not restrict arm movement as much. Wear a bathing suit that is comfortable and not too loose so it does not come off if you fall. Bathing suits should also stretch around the thighs for flexibility. If you have long hair, bring a hair tie so it stays out of your face.

3 Wear sunscreen

Be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 about 10-15 minutes before you get to the beach. That way you are not sweating in the sand while trying to apply it and it has time to soak in. Many surfers prefer sunscreen with zinc oxide since it is more reef friendly and you can see where you applied it your face. Others like a lotion since it does not burn their eyes and stays on even after rubbing your nose or neck. Whichever you choose, try it out before your lesson so you see which works better for you. You want one that does not make your eyes burn. Remember the sun is more powerful when it is cloudy and when it reflects off of the ocean.

4 Hydrate

It is surprising how much you sweat when you paddling for waves and riding them. So it is imperative that you drink a lot of water (I recommend at least 16 ounces) before paddling out. And after surfing be sure to drink more water as you will have lost of lot of fluids from your exercise.

5 Check the surfboard

Many surf schools have quality surfboards to learn on, but a few do not. You want to check that the board does not have cracks in them that could cut you. Look at the leash to see that does not have any knots, or is fraying where it attaches to the board. Check the fins to be sure they will not come out (they do at times and the school may charge you for it). And be sure it has enough wax on the top so you will not slip off. Slide your hand across the top to feel how grippy it is. Also, lift up to see that it is not way too heavy for you to control. If it is an old board, it may have water in it which makes it unstable. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, ask for a different board. You need the right board to help you catch and ride waves more easily.

Post lesson tips – Remember to stretch! This way your arm, shoulder, back, and leg muscles do not tighten up the next day. If you did get sunburn or a rash, remember to hydrate more and apply aloe. Coconut oil also helps with sunburns and rashes.

For tips on how to find the best surf instructor, read this article on my website –crsurf.com/travel-blog/what-makes-the-perfect-surf-instructor/

Feral Pigs

Feral Pigs – Why Aren’t There Any on Mainland Costa Rica? by Jack Ewing

In the mid-1980s I had the opportunity to visit Caño Island in a small and none too speedy boat. The trip from Drake Bay to the island took more than an hour. Capitan Felix, owner of the boat, was a talkative soul, and fortunately his chatter was not the least bit boring. We learned the story of the island which had, at one time, been plagued with feral pigs. In 1976 when the government created Caño Island Biological Reserve the wildlife department decided it was important to rid the reserve of the feral pigs. Capitan Felix was part of a group of four local hunters who had been contracted to hunt the pigs down and kill them. They assumed that hunting feral swine would be like hunting peccary on the mainland, but then they found out that the wildlife department wouldn’t let them bring their dogs into the reserve. Their only alternative was to walk the length and breadth of the island repeatedly and shoot every feral hog they saw until none remained.

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That’s Fishin’ – February 2023


At time of going to press we had literally just reeled in the last lines for this year’s 2023 PELAGIC ROCKSTAR TOURNAMENT, which took place January 14-16. 95 boats with some of the world’s Top Teams and Crews descended on MARINA PEZ VELA to kick off our 2023 tournaments with A BANG! There is too much to mention right here but let’s just say more than US$1.3 MILLION in prize money was paid out and the fishing was nothing short of epic! 1048 Sailfish, 78 Blue Marlin, 3 Black Marlin, & 2 Striped Marlin were released over the two tournament days. 114 Dorado and 35 Tuna were brought to the scales and a huge crowd gathered to enjoy the weigh in and daily tournament festivities.


2nd VAQUERO 33 Sailfish, 2 Blue Marlin
3rd GAME PLAN 32 Sailfish, 2 Blue Marlin

Heaviest Tuna 149lbs TEAM WINE TIME
Heaviest Dorado 48lbs TEAM PURA VIDA
Top Angler & Top Lady Angler Adriana Finkelstein
Top Junior Angler Jonah Smith aboard SOUTHERN PRIDE

Special mentions to Quepos teams, TEAM BUCHANEERS aboard GAUEX FLY & TEAM FULL NELSON who brought home the Daily wins in the non-sonar Billfish divisions with some great catches of Sailfish & Marlin.

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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – February 2023

AMOR, GALLOS, SUPERBOWL, PESCADORAS y PELICULAS…….That is right, 2023 is here and after an epic January here at MPV, we are extremely excited to share with you an action-packed schedule for February 2023.

ROOSTER RODEO – February 4

February starts with a huge bang with our annual ROOSTER RODEO Tournament. This one-day shootout targeting one of the most amazing species in our inshore waters—the Rooster Fish or Pez Gallo—is an event not to be missed. This is a catch and release tournament which is an incredibly fun event for anglers of any skill level and is one of the only tournaments here in Costa Rica which focuses on and celebrates the amazing inshore coastal fishery that we are blessed with in the area. There are prizes for the most release points and largest rooster fish, but more than anything this is another inexpensive and fun one day tournament which brings together friends, family, coworkers, and some of the top inshore fishermen and women in the area for a great time! There is still space so reserve your charter boat and join the RODEO! marinapezvela.com/events/rooster-rodeo-2023/ Read More…

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – February 2023

Bienvenidos…Welcome to an Amazing 2023 and what a better place to keep it going than in paradise. January was an amazing month and we are guaranteeing February to be the same.

Marina Pez Vela has many exciting events planned for February. The Pelagic Rockstar opened up tournament season in January with the largest pay out in CR history, over 1 million dollars and they are not slowing down. The Rooster Rodeo (Feb 4) is a one-day catch and release event for anglers of all skill levels which focuses on our amazing inshore fishing. MPV will also host the now FAMOUS Pescadora Fishing Tournament with the Top Women in the world competing for the title of Champion Female Angler, truly a first class event that should not be missed. (Feb.16-18)

Movie Nights under the Stars happens every Wednesday 6:30pm on the biggest outdoor screen in Costa Rica. So bring the family and enjoy a great night, great food, and a great movie.

February is also the month for Love. So don’t forget to make your dinner reservations at one of our many fine restaurants—Aqua Azul, Casa Lamia, Mira Olas or Ronnie’s Place—to mention a few. Book your massages early with Day Spa or Massage Todd you will be glad you did.

The Envision Festival is BACK and we can’t wait. February 27-March 6 at Playa Hermosa. This Festival will be filled with music, yoga, art, and educational workshops to help open our minds to making this a better planet for all. Spreading peace, Love, and knowledge not footprints of waste. Envision is 100% plastic free event. Envisionfestival.com

For all of you sports fans, you can watch the Super Bowl (Feb 12) at Marina Pez Vela on the big screen in Quepos. On the hill you can catch it at the new Quepoa Sport Bar (1a on the map) or YOLO (at the old Jolly Roger location). Fly Eagles Fly I hope.

We want to thank Chris Ryba @savannahaerials for this month’s amazing cover. We also want to welcome our new advertisers, Casa Lamia, En Todas (Magic Bus), Palmex, Quepoa Sport Bar, Tentacíon, and Varuna.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here (we are almost at …AMAZING) or on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and Welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy an Amazing 2023…D


Germinate by Todd Pequeen

Welcome back to the Quepolandia. What a breath of fresh air! In 22 years of writing for this publication I have never been edited or advised on a topic. My writing meanderings have been, some would say, all over the road. My original Health is Wealth column, followed by the current Memoirs scribbles in which you are now reading, have always been opinions, observations, and desires for our awesome jungle living, beach going, sunset watching community. However, we now live in a peculiar new world that has taken everyone by surprise and YES, we have finally reached 2023. My editor and chief Mr. Dave Bolger finally interjected in my writing process and had one simple direction for me to run with this month. “Please make it positive,” was all he said. Even last year our community, and a large part of the world, was wrung up with a collective noose which cinched our reality. It is time to reignite the best part of being human which is simply living in the gift of life which is today. LIFE is back to normal and it is time to GO OFF!

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The Sloth Institute – January 2023