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Red Curry Noodles with Shitake Mushrooms

If you are a fan of mushrooms, dried shiitakes should be a staple in your pantry. Fresh ones are always a delightful treat when available, but you can still unlock that earthy and meaty magic by reconstituting a handful of dried shiitakes in water overnight. Fry thick slices in 1 tablespoon of hot oil to create a little crunchy texture, and finish with salt or soy sauce. Save the soaking water for soups or sauces. 

Ingredients for 6 portions

  • Handful of shiitake mushrooms, following the instructions above, save water for this recipe should be approximately 1 cup of liquid
  • 400 grams of dried rice vermicelli
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon of grated ginger root
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, sliced in julienne strips
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, white part only and smashed to release aroma
  • 2 stalks of green onion finely sliced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste 
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and basil leaves for garnish
  • Lime wedges to serve


  1. In a shallow pan, preferably with a lid, fry the garlic, onion, green onion, ginger, lemongrass stalk, add sweet pepper strips and already prepared shiitakes.
  2. Stir well before adding curry paste and coconut milk.
  3. Place dried noodles on top of bubbling sauce, add mushroom water and 1/2 cup of plain water and cover with lid for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Uncover to break apart the noodles and stir them into the mixture.
  5. Lower heat and cover again for 2 minutes. When you uncover again, the noodles should have absorbed most of the liquid.
  6. Let simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes, season with soy sauce and 1/2 lime.
  7. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro and basil leaves.

Spanish Sucks – January 2023


5 Great Things About Being A Surfer In Costa Rica

Surf CR logoWhy do so many surfers make the journey to Costa Rica? These are the top reasons why over 200,000 come to this tropical country each year. 

1. It is uncrowded.

Some beach breaks, like to the south and north of Manuel Antonio are completely empty for kilometers. The popular surf spots may have 5 to 10 surfers on each peak, compared to the hundreds of surfers in the lineup in San Diego, or Santa Cruz, or South Florida (when it does break). And premier spots like Bali and Hawaii are overrun with surfers.

2. The water is tropical year-round.

You never have to put on a wetsuit. Just throw on some baggies or a bikini and some sunscreen and you are set. This gives you maximum flexibility when paddling out and blasting turns off the top. 

3. The local surfers are friendly.

Because the breaks are not that crowded, when you paddle out you often get a smile or a “Pura Vida” greeting from those already out. On the most crowded breaks like Pavones or Playa Negra there may be some aggressiveness, but if you respect the locals you will always get to catch your share of waves. 

4. There is excellent surf year-round.

You can always find some place breaking at least head high, and most often there are swells pushing in waves well overhead. For the beginners there are dozens of protected coves and bays that offer smaller waves and long rides. From December to March the Caribbean side has consistent swells, and from April to November the Pacific Coast lights up. 

5. The food options post surf are delicious.

After a dawn patrol where you have burned hundreds of calories, nothing beats gallo pinto con huevos, chorizo, y pan with a hot cafe con leche. Plus, there are fresh mangos, pineapple, and papaya growing year-round to make that perfect refreshing smoothie. 

I’m sure I could come up with many more reasons why being a surfer in Costa Rica is so awesome. However, I will let the reader find those out for themselves the next time they paddle out here. To get the best travel help advise, check out crsurf.com/travel-blog/trip-planning-help/ and sign up to get our free Costa Rica surf travel guide. 

Locally Extinct Little Red Deer

In Spanish they are called Cabros de Monte or simply Cabritos, meaning Jungle Goats or Little Goats respectively. Non forked antlers in the males resemble goat’s horns. Red Brocket Deer (Mazama americana) are locally extinct in much of their former range. During my 52 years of living in the country, I have seen one, and that was in the Corcovado National Park. I believe they are found in Carara National Park as well. The old timers from the south Pacific zone of Costa Rica remember the days when there were many of them.

One story I have heard about hunting brocket deer in the 1950s tells of a hunter who was driving from San Isidro to Dominical and saw a group of the little deer near the village of Barú. Stopping his jeep, the hunter retrieved his rifle from the back seat, leaned it across the hood, and shot every single one of the deer, about 20 as the story goes. Considering that the story is probably an exaggeration, I think there is enough truth in it that we can assume that 60 to 70 years ago there were a lot of brocket deer in the area around Hacienda Barú, and that large numbers of them were killed by hunters until the population dwindled down to nothing. I came to Hacienda Barú 50 years ago and only heard mention of brocket deer from older friends, employees, and neighbors. When they were mentioned, it was always in the past tense.
A visiting biologist saw a buck brocket deer in 1996, and one of the Hacienda Barú guides saw one that same year in the same area. It was possibly the same animal. I saw some scat and footprints about that same time and in the same part of the hacienda. No, brocket deer, scat, or footprints have been seen since.
I started working with trail cameras about 15 years ago and have never captured a photo of one. The environmental organization ASANA monitors wildlife with trail cameras throughout the area within the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor which comprises a strip of land about 80 km long and 15 km wide along the coastal ridge between the Savegre River and the Térraba river, and during the five years they have been monitoring with cameras, have never captured a photo of a brocket deer. I think it is a pretty good bet that the species is locally extinct.

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That’s Fishin’ – January 2023

That’s Fishin’- Benn Gilmour

Happy new year to you all, thank you for being with us here in Costa Rica and my best wishes for the year ahead, I hope it is filled with some great catches and more amazing memories made on the water.


Fishing Rockstars from all over North America and beyond will be descending on Quepos over the weekend of January 12-15th for the BIGGEST & COOLEST Tournament of the year, the 2023 PELAGIC ROCKSTAR! This event has literally exploded over the past few years with more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS in prize money paid out last year, making it Costa Rica’s richest Fishing Tournament. We cannot wait to get the party started at Marina Pez Vela and we hope to see you there for the Fishing or even just to come and join the fun at the nightly weigh in’s on Jan 13-14th and the non-stop Party over the weekend. Tournament Teams fish across various categories for the most Marlin and Sailfish released as well as the heaviest Tuna and Dorado over the weekend. This is the tournament that EVERYONE wants to WIN. It promises to be a total blast, wish us luck and we hope to see you there!!

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Exploring the Blue with Oceans Unlimited & Marine Conservation Costa Rica

Can you see it? The ocean is turning bluer as we creep further and further into the dry season. As scuba divers, we are monitoring the color of the ocean every day, because to us, it gives a good insight into what our conditions are going to be like and what we might find. We will scuba dive 11 months out of the year, yes, even when it is raining, as you are going to get wet anyway. Even when the visibility is low, there is still plenty of things to see here on our local coral reef in Manuel Antonio. Some of our favorite residents are octopus and nudibranchs which are amazingly beautiful, colored sea slugs. No matter what the conditions are doing, we will find them, sometimes you just need to get down and dirty. Every creature on our reef no matter how big or small is important, and everything has its role to play. They all ensure that the reef continues to thrive.

As part of our work at Marine Conservation Costa Rica we conduct surveys on many of the local reef inhabitants and want to monitor any changes in numbers or activity. This can be very tricky and time consuming so we work with volunteers and intern scuba divers to try and get as much information as we can. Any change that we see, could indicate something happening to the ocean locally that is affecting the reef. This holiday season, we will be running out first ever Marine conservation camps. These will be for both scuba divers and non-scuba divers, where we will be training our next generation of underwater ambassadors in survey techniques and reef life. They will then be able to come out and dive with us in the future, gathering all of this essential information and data. Plus, by being seeing everything first hand underwater, they can really understand the impacts we have on the ocean.

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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – January 2023

A new year is upon us, full of new beginnings, new hope, new opportunities and an undeniable sense of energy, optimism, and Pura Vida in every breath of air! The last month of 2022 truly set a tone for what is to come and after an amazing holiday season here at Marina Pez Vela, highlighted by the Iluminous nightly show and some amazing holiday celebrations, we are ready to celebrate all that 2023 has to offer. While for many places, after the Christmas and New Year holidays there is a bit of a lull, at MPV we move into the biggest events of the year to keep that energy and action moving with a super fun slate of news and events.


Every Wednesday night at 6:30pm the Marina welcomes back our community and visiting tourists to enjoy a free movie night under the stars. This is a great weekly tradition that brings together our local community and visitors to share in some magical sunsets and a weekly feature on Costa Rica’s largest projected outdoor screen. You can check out our social media profile on Facebook and Instagram for the weekly feature films. This is a great way to break up the week, enjoy a sunset and some food specials at any of our amazing restaurants, and spend an evening with family and friends, chilling under the stars at MPV.


The biggest, baddest, largest jackpot tournament in all of Costa Rica is BACK. The 2023 Rockstar is going to be the event EVERYONE will be talking about for the rest of the year. There are already a record number of boats and anglers signed up for this event at the time of publication and it promises to be the single largest tournament in the history of Costa Rica, both with number of participating teams and with the largest payout in history here.  If you are reading this before the 12th, get a team together and join the fun at MPV. If not, the daily weigh ins and energy around this event is something you will not want to miss!


While this event is not until February, we wanted to include here to encourage anyone interested to swing by or call the Marina Pez Vela Guest Center and get signed up. This one-day tournament focused on Roosterfish, one of the iconic inshore fish which is helping to make the local fishery famous all over the world. This catch and release tournament focused on conservation tagging Roosters for research and seeing which of our teams can land the largest Rooster of the day.  A super fun tournament for anglers of all skill levels and the inshore nature also makes it a great way for those who might be a bit nervous about heading offshore to experience a tournament all right off the coastline. Whether you are busy fighting this beautiful and fun species, or just marveling at the coast with a cold beer in hand, a day in the Rooster Rodeo is a day to remember!

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – January 2023

Bienvenidos… Welcome 2023 we hope you had a wonderful holiday and since you are here we know you off to an Awesome New Year. High season is upon us here in Costa Rica and we thank you for coming to be part of it with us. Green season has blessed us with a beautiful backdrop to begin your adventure. Our magazine is filled with the best that the south Pacific has to offer and hope it helps guide you to a great vacation and lasting memories that bring you back to the land of Pura Vida.

Try something new this year like sportfishing for a record Marlin. Marina Pez Vela can make that happen. Check out Jackpot Sportfishing or JP Sportfishing for a top notch experience and not to mention the freshest seafood dinner available.

MPV also kicks off tournament season with the Pelagic Rockstar Tournament (Jan 12-15). It is promising to be the biggest, baddest, and largest payouts in Costa Rica History. So register by the 12th for a shot at winning it or just enjoy checking out the competition and festivities at the marina. It will be epic. Next on the tournament calendar will be the Rooster Rodeo (Feb 4) this is another one you won’t want to miss.

January also marks the return of Movie Night Under the Stars. Every Wednesday starting at 6:30pm at MPV. Enjoy great sunsets, great food specials, and a feature film on the largest big screen in Costa Rica. Always a great time for the entire family and it is FREE.

I want to thank Claire Thomas @clarifly for her beautiful cover shot. We are always looking for great shots to use for our covers so please send us your best nature shot for consideration for future covers.

We hope that you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here or on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments. Let’s have an Awesome 2023.

Peace and Enjoy…D

The Sloth Institue – December 2022

It’s baby season for Manuel Antonio’s sloths so you might be wondering—What to do if you find a baby sloth alone on the ground?!

1. Check the area for the mom—usually momma sloth is nearby and looking for her baby. Remember, sloths are very good at hiding, so just because you can’t see her doesn’t mean she isn’t there!

2. If the baby isn’t in immediate danger leave it where you found it and let it cry. The crying call of the baby is what alerts mom to the baby’s location.

3. If you can see mom and the baby is crying then step back and get everyone around you to step back. Try to get out of sight of both mom and baby so mom feels comfortable enough to come to the ground to retrieve her baby.

4. Stay quiet! Strange noises are scary for sloths. They are always on alert for predators so when it is too noisy, they freeze and wait for the danger to pass. Also, if it is too noisy momma sloth won’t be able to hear where her baby is located.

5. You can take photos from far away but make sure not to use flash. The flash could scare mom and make her stop from retrieving her baby.

If you follow these steps carefully, usually mom will get her baby within 10-30 minutes.

If you can’t find mom or if baby is in danger, is injured, or if you are unsure of what to do CALL our RESCUE number: 87-SLOTHS and we will come within minutes to help!

Rap-ping up 2022

Rap-ping up 2022
A #wingpeopleunite production 
We will fly in 2023.

Brisa Elegante: The Luxurious Sailing Experience in Quepos & Manuel Antonio

Have you seen a classical two-masted sailship cruising along the coast of Manuel Antonio, the sails spread in the wind? Or have you visited Marina Pez Vela, where a wooden sail cruiser dominates the view of the marina?

This is Brisa Elegante, the new landmark of Quepos and Manuel Antonio.

What kind of sailship is this?

Brisa Elegante was built in 2010 by the Fethiye Shipyard in Turkey. She is a Gulet, a type of sail cruiser known for its spacious and robust design. Shipbuilding in the south of Turkey has a long tradition. More than 2000 years ago, even the Phoenicians had their ships built in this region.

Gulet became popular in the 1930s in the Eastern Mediterranean, with growing popularity during the following decades. Today, Gulets are popular for day cruises and week charters in the Med, especially in Turkey, Greece, and Croatia.

But Brisa Elegante is special! Her hull is built from solid 3-inch mahogany planks, giving her a unique look and strength. She boasts a spacious foredeck, providing room for functions, weddings, and parties, and for your family and friends to enjoy a cruise on the Pacific Ocean.

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Happy Holidays!

Keep On Moving Don’t Stop

We are born into this world from a liquid state.  Then gravity takes hold. Although our bodies are 75% water, the earths gravitational pull toward it’s center gives us our body mass. It is our friend, it keeps us grounded. From the moment of birth this pull is the weight of our body which also gives us a sense of direction. Anytime we move and position ourselves, we expose different parts of our body to gravity’s force. Our inner ear and ability to balance can also thank gravity to help in its functioning. Since the 1950’s however, gravity has been given a bad name. Modern “conveniences” started to deprive us from playing with our friend gravity. When was the last time you got up out of your seat to change the station on the television? When was the last time you walked to work or the store instead of driving? My point being, inactivity is not a human’s friend.

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Quepos is in a giving mood BUT police are collecting license plates, so make sure you are legally parked. Let’s have an amazing 2023!

That’s Fishin’ – December 2022

Welcome to the December edition of That’s Fishin, the official start of the dry season here on the Costa Rican Pacific Coast and our peak tourism period from now through April. I am so pleased that you are here to join us, wish you an amazing, life changing visit and hope that you get to experience some of our incredible fishing.


The Fishing in November was completely world class and safe to say, got the season started with a bang! Allen & Kristy who were visiting from the NJ/NY area, fishing aboard MUY CALIENTE & BUCKETLIST, were ready for a day off to give their arms a rest after fishing 4 days and catching no less than 58 fish! Now we are not talking about minnows here, we are talking 200lb plus Blue Marlin, beautiful Striped Marlin, Sailfish, Dorados up to 40lbs and some non-stop Yellow Fin Tuna action. The fishing that Allen and Kristy experienced is exactly why November is most Quepos Captain’s favorite month of the year. Yes, November will always rain a little or sometimes a lot but when the Fishing is this good, who cares!

The Dorado bite has been nothing short of phenomenal. Seasonal rains in October and November cause huge debris lines of logs, tree trunks and the likes to gather typically around 8-15 miles Offshore which create the ideal feeding grounds for hungry Dorado. Most of the Dorado are in the 12-20lb range but there have already been some huge Bull Dorado in the 40-65lb class landed. Expect Dorado numbers to reduce through December as water temps increase and the debris lines disappear once the rain has stopped. Whilst numbers will likely be lower, the chances of a Big Bull Dorado are at their peak from December through February. November and December are some of the best months of the year for Blue Marlin and this November was no exception with some sensational Marlin fishing experienced by the Quepos fleet. Anglers should book a full day Offshore trip if you would like to target Marlin.

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