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Location: Below Cosi across from Villas Lirio in Manuel Antonio 

Time: Starting at 12:00 noon


7 Things a Surfer Needs to Surf at Their Best

Surf CR logoHave you ever been watching the waves and see one girl or guy just shredding it? Or styling out on a longboard? They seem to be in the flow, focusing solely on what’s coming down the line and how perform the next maneuver flawlessly. The key for them is preparation and mindset. Now I am not the best surfer out there, or even close, but after 35 years of experience I’ve found these seven things crucial to help me surf my best.


Boards can be short and light for doing tricks, or long and heavy for bigger surf with thicker cloth, but they need to be constructed and maintained well. The board can’t have dings that could potentially cut my feet, or dents that could eventually buckle. Also, I surf best when I have the right board for the conditions. Too many times I’ve pulled up with a shortboard when I needed a longboard or vice versa. A great tip would be whenever possible bring two boards, or if you are traveling, stay at a beach town that has shops with quality board rentals.
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Reverence for Nature with the Winter Solstice Spiral Ceremony at Life Project Education (LPE)

By Harriet Goudard @harrietgoudard

Of all the annual festivals, the Winter Solstice is probably the most notable, as it is the moment we find ourselves at the center of the Solstice Spiral. 

The Solstice Spiral or Spiral of Life is part of the language of symbols that pre-dates the Celts, representing the constant ebb and flow of Life. 

Having passed through all the seasonal festivals of the year, on the 27th November 2022 we transition into Advent. In and of itself a sacred space, Advent is the anticipation of what is to come and, in this context, we are speaking of the return, or rebirth, of the Sun into the World (also known as the light of Christ, or Christendom).

At LPE, the Solstice Spiral is made manifest in physical form upon the Shala floor—adorned with foraged flowers, local leaves and greens, crystals and other elements to represent the four elements of Earth; Stones, Plants, Animals, and Man. As the children enter into this sacred space, animated with music and song from Mentors, they walk the spiral path with a beeswax candle set within an apple, or starfruit, in their hands. Ceremonially moving towards the center, under the steady gaze of parents and friends, they retrace the Sun’s journey throughout the year. Upon reaching the center, the Sun is reborn in the hands of each of them and in placing their candles along the spiral as they re-emerge, they aid the lighting of the path for those who follow.

Not only does the celebration of the Solstice Spiral in this way underline our reverence for the Natural world that exists outside of ourselves, but also reminds us to honor the ebb and flow of the seasons that occur within. A beautiful, intentional moment to pause, reflect and connect before leaving school for our familial holiday celebrations.

Would you like to know more about LPE?
Email [email protected] to find out more about enrolling your child, joining our team as a volunteer or long-term mentor.

Spanish Sucks – December 2022


Cunning Canids

Remember Wile E. Coyote who wasn’t quite as wily as Beep-Beep the roadrunner? Unlike Wile, real coyotes are indeed cunning. According to Mark Wainright’s excellent field guide The Mammals of Costa Rica, coyotes have even been known to play dead as a ruse to lure in scavengers whom they then kill and eat. I guess Wile didn’t know that trick or it didn’t work on the roadrunner. In Mexico the term muy coyote is used when referring to a shrewd or crafty person.

When I was a kid growing up in Colorado in the 1950s, I used to shoot every coyote I saw. I remember how pitiful it was seeing a flock of my dad’s sheep that had been maimed and killed by them. We would have all been very happy had they been completely exterminated. In fact, there was a government program to do exactly that. The agricultural department gave us traps, each of which, had a corn cob screwed onto to a short tube. When the coyote pulled on the corn cob the trap shot a pellet of cyanide into its mouth killing it instantly. When we set the traps, we painted the cobs with pheromone laced oil. Coyotes couldn’t resist the aroma, grabbed the corn cob with their teeth, and ended up dead. Either the government has given up the program to exterminate the coyotes, or the coyotes are wilier than the government. There are still as many coyotes as ever, and they have adapted to many different habitats, even including cities.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

Chef's corner headerThis is a perfect no-brainer for holiday entertaining. This scoopable creamy, cheesy, and much easier to eat version will be your next party’s favorite. Provide plenty of fun and crunchy dippers such as raw veggies, chips, pretzels, or pita wedges. Let the slow cooker do all of the work, or broil the top for a few minutes for that extra scrumptious crust.

Ingredients for a 13 X 9 inch baking tray

  • 4 cups of shredded cooked chicken meat
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 full 8 oz brick of cream cheese at room tempurature
  • 1 cup of sour cream or ranch dressing
  • ½ cup of your favorite hot sauce or buffalo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella


  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced green onion tops
  • ¼ cup of shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup or more blue cheese


Melt butter in a large frying pan, add garlic till fragrant, then add cream cheese, sour cream or ranch dressing. Turn off heat, stir until well blended and then add chicken and cheeses. 

For slow cooker, place mixture in cooker withholding the topping ingredients until the mixture is warm and slightly bubbling. You should begin with the setting on high and then lower to warm while serving. 

For baking, pour mixture in a 9 X 13 inch pan, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (190 C) until slightly bubbling. Change oven setting to broil, add final toppings, and place on the lowest rack for 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to over broil. 

Exploring the Blue in Manuel Antonio

Oceans Unlimited Dive center has been a staple in the Manuel Antonio community for almost 17 years. As the new season begins, we are excited to share the news of a change of ownership at the center. Captain Robert McDaniel is stepping down and retiring after many years of great leadership and passing the reins to his right hand, and Director of Training Georgia King.

This is exciting news for us as we move forward into a new era of scuba diving and marine conservation in the Manuel Antonio /Quepos area. With Georgia’s close ties with the non-profit Marine Conservation Costa Rica, the partnership and work that both do, in the local area will only grow stronger.

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Marina Pez Vela – Mariana Grillo’s Christmas Concert Update

We’re sorry for any inconvenience but due to the Costa Rica FIFA game today Mariana Grillo’s Christmas Concert has been moved to Sunday December 3. Please join us and enjoy!

What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – December 2022

Everything is ready in Marina Pez Vela to start the Holiday Season, one of the most anticipated periods for many throughout the year. It is precisely this illusion and joy that led Marina Pez Vela to organize different activities to enjoy the festivities. We proudly want to invite you to our light show Iluminous: A Christmas Experience at the Marina, a daily show feature at 7pm, until January 8th. The entrance is free, and the show is around 25 minutes long.
Also, on Friday, December 2nd we´ll have a presentation of Folkloric Dance at the amphitheater. Later, on Saturday 3rd, there will be a Christmas concert by the singer Mariana Grillo, starting at 5 pm, while on Sunday 4th prepare your cheers and your patience, because the Triathlon is coming back stronger than ever to Quepos.
The week of Monday 19th to Friday 23rd we´ll be hosting a Christmas Cultural Week, so that visitors can enjoy folklore activities and musical band presentations.
Finally, Marina Pez Vela will say goodbye to the holidays with the Iluminous Closing Concert, which will be in the charge of the instrumental group Ignis. This presentation will be on Friday, January 6th at 5pm in the amphitheater.
Hope to see you all at the marina! We want to thank you for your support throughout this year and wish you happy holidays!

¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – December 2022

Bienvenidos… Welcome to paradise. We are glad you have arrived and we hope you are ready for an incredible adventure. The rain is slowing, the sun is shining, and the jungle is bursting with life just waiting for you to explore.

December is the kick off to high season and Marina Pez Vela is the place to be to get into that Holiday Spirit. Along with great shopping, restaurants, and tours, MPV will be hosting daily holiday festivities from November 24-January 8th. Don’t miss Mariana Grillo’s Christmas Concert on the 1st of December followed by a Traditional Dance Show on the 2nd (5-7pm).

Mira Olas Restaurant is holding their annual New Year’s Eve Celebration so make your dinner reservations now.

Our local shops are great for getting your holiday shopping done. Check out Mot Mot Gallery, Modern Primitive Living, or Tico Pod for unique gift ideas. Another great gift idea, how about a family portrait with Sarah Yunker Photography. Don’t forget the Toys for Tots boxes around the area and help brighten someone’s holiday.

We want to welcome our new advertisers Come Fish With Us, Spice Girls, and Tico Pod.

Thanks to John Williamson for this month’s cover shot of the festivities at Marina Pez Vela.

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.

We at Quepolandia would like to wish our advertisers, writers, staff, and readers a Wonderful Holiday Season and an Incredible 2023.

Peace on Earth and Enjoy… D

Still the Best

I love Manuel Antonio. I sincerely do, with all my heart. In the past year I have been asked, more than ever before, about the validity of the community and its future. There are plenty of doubts, questioning, and sometimes negativity that gets filtered through me while I am massaging my clients, socializing with tourists, and sharing the many wonders of Manuel Antonio. Having lived in this little beach town for over two decades, my opinion on local happenings and the status of the past glory years are always in question. Typically, the questions revolve around construction worries, crowds, traffic, safety, and particularly the loss of freedom that once were focal points of the community. Three examples of change are the complete elimination of our once famed “gay beach,” the lack of night life up on the hill, and the new ultra-rich retirees that seem to think Manuel Antonio is an upgrade from Florida and not the beach getaway party town it once was. All of these concerns are valid and are things which I had to go through a personal mental process to stand where I do today, with absolute positivity. Change is important, natural, and fundamental to the point that if Manuel Antonio wasn´t experiencing growing pains, I would be alarmed. Evolution is occurring and has transpired everywhere on planet earth due to population gain and the internet. There is no running from it anymore, for better or for worse, till death do we part.

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Car Rentals in Costa Rica: Deciding on Insurance Options

Surf CR logoWhat does this have to do with surfing in Costa Rica? A lot, since when you are planning a vacation, it is one of the most important decisions to make. You have decided to rent a SUV with 4wd and now you have to decide which insurance option to take.
A. Full collision coverage with a $0 deductible and a very low deposit (usually $100).

B. Basic collision coverage with a $1000 deductible and a higher deposit (usually $500-1000).

C. Use the collision coverage on your credit card and just get the minimum insurance required, called third party liability, which covers the other person’s vehicle and injuries and has a $5000 deductible. Your deposit is the highest (from $500 to $2000+).
Option A costs the most and option C the least. The actual costs vary with each car rental company, but for this article I will choose Alamo for my explanation. Their rates when I book the reservation for you are $30/day for option A, $15/day for option B, and $10/day for option C for midsize and standard SUVs. The larger Fortuners, Prados, and vans are $40/day for option A and $25/day for option B.  
To determine which is best, it depends on your tolerance to risk and your budget. Driving in the city a lot or well off the paved roads in the countryside would have more risk for damages. If you are driving in the peak of rainy season, late September to early November, then the chance of muddy roads, bigger pot holes, and flooding are possible. One way to determine your risk is to confirm with your Airbnb hosts exactly what the road conditions are leading to their house. And even though the weather forecast is going to show rain every day on your trip, be sure to check that there is not a tropical storm or hurricane that will cause heavy rain fall.

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Bun Cha

Chef's corner header

This tasty meatball dish was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s 2016 episode with president Obama in Hanoi. For very good reason—super delicious when paired with cold beer.

Ingredients for 4 to 6 generous servings


  • 1 kilo of ground pork 
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small red onion 
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (nam pla)
  • Ground black pepper

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fish sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 5 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped or to taste


  • 1 package of rice vermicelli
  • Fresh greens such as lettuce, cilantro, basil, mint, bean sprouts


  1. Finely chop the lemongrass, garlic, and onions.
  2. Mix together with the meat, sugar, fish sauce, and pepper and allow to marinate for 1/2 hour. 
  3. Meanwhile prepare the dipping sauce and the plate with fresh greens. This sauce should be sweet, salty, tangy, and umami. Feel free to play with the proportions.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil and immerse the vermicelli for about 3-4 minutes until soft. Drain and set into individual bowls. It’s normal that these noodles become sticky and clumpy. They will loosen with the sauce.
  5. Form little meatballs and flatten slightly. They are wonderful grilled over charcoal but a shallow fry pan is also fine.
  6. This is served by layering the noodles, the meatballs, the greens, and sauce.

Slurping encouraged.

Spanish Sucks – November 2022




“Hey Eduardo! Look. Somebody cut this coconut husk open, and it is full of all these little crabs. Boy, do they stink”.

“It’s not the crabs that stink”, he laughed. “It’s the rotten coconut. They love it. When I need fish bait, I just look for a coconut husk that’s been cut open. If there’s still any rotting coconut meat left, it’s sure to be full of colonchos. See…” He stuck his hand through a hole in the coconut and pulled out one of the colonchos, which I later learned are called “hermit crabs” in English. Eduardo held tight to the shell, a little smaller than a ping pong ball, grabbed the crab’s head and pincher, and pulled steadily until the little invertebrate came free of its protective home, which Eduardo dropped on the ground. The head looked like a crab and the back part more like a fat worm. “Fish love them”, he said with a smile. Reaching into his bag, Eduardo pulled out a hand reel with some light fishing line and a small hook which he stuck through the crab and tossed it into the estuary. It didn’t take long before he had a nibble. After several tries, he hooked a fish he called a machaca. In half an hour he had four. They weren’t much bigger than his hand, but he took them home anyway. “My wife knows how to fry them up real tasty”.

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