Post Number: 24
|Posted on Friday, June 05, 2009 - 9:53 pm: |
Plaza de la cultura
Special purchases include wood and leather rocking chairs (which dismantle for export) as well as a range of local crafts available in major cities and towns. Local markets are also well worth visiting. Prices are slightly higher than in other Latin American countries. Best buys are wooden items, ceramics, jewellery and leather handicrafts. Shopping hours: 0900-1800/1900 Monday to Saturday.
Places to Shop
Central Market in downtown San José.
Plaza del Sol - Curridabat
Plaza Mayor - Rohmoser
Plaza Colonial - Escazú
Multiplaza - Escazú
Take taxi’s late at night and verify the fare before you get in. Everything local to the downtown hotels should be no more that 500 colones ($2.50). Bandidos are not uncommon, stay away from walking around corners and watch for groups with one person having a stick. After midnight, be very cautious. Try not to appear to be an easy target by always looking alert (not
daydreaming or intoxicated). It is not like there are gobs of gangs, there is not, but exercise the same precaution you would in any big city walking the street late at night.
Although there are many car rental agencies in San José, we don’t recommend renting a car for travel within the city limits. Traffic is terrible. In many cases it’s faster to walk to places than to take a bus or taxi. If you need to go farther than you are willing to walk, taxis are inexpensive. You can travel almost anywhere in the city for less than $4. It’s common to have a $1 cab fare. If the meter is broken agree on a price before you set off on your destination, or find another cab. Tipping is not expected. Cabs running after 10:00pm charge a 20% premium.
Costa Rica has the best bus system in Central America. It is by far the cheapest and most efficient way to travel. Climb aboard, the buses will take you anyplace you care to go – and will not drain your wallet in the process. Long-distance bus fare from Peninsula de Osa to San Jose is only $10.
Your ticket will indicate the seat number and the date of the trip. If you are going to a popular spot, reserve your ticket in advance –and make sure the ticket is for the correct date. Bus tickets are not refundable.
Traveler's Tip: When you get to your destination, go into the station to buy your return ticket. That way you will assure yourself a seat for the ride home.
Some of the local buses do not have bells to signal the driver to stop. No problem. Do as the Costa Ricans do: let out a whistle or call out "Parada!" which, loosely translated, means "I have arrived at my destination, so please stop the bus so I can get off."
Most of the buses are in good conditions, but they are not air conditioned and do not offer a great deal of room for your luggage – or limbs. Long-legged visitors might be wise to cast about for an alternative way to travel.
Also, buses do not have toilets; however, on long distance rides, the driver will make stop often enough gas stations, at a soda stands and restaurants to satisfy the passengers.
Bicycles: There are lots of hills in Costa Rica. If you plan to see the country from the top of a bicycle, remember, it will make life easier for you if you peddle a good machine, one with at least a 21 gears. Be aware that you'll be outdoors at high altitudes so bring along a windbreaker and some warm clothes –and don't forget your emergency kit with water, tire patching gear and a few basic tools.
Costa Rican drivers seem to respect bicyclists more than pedestrians. However, truck and bus drivers will forget about the bicycle once they have passed it and have been known to for a bicyclist off the road.
Renting A Car: You must have a valid American or international driver's license, be twenty-five or older. Also you must have a Visa or MasterCard with enough credit to cover the total cost of the rental. Please check with your credit card company whether or not you can be insured if you pay with your credit card in Costa Rica.
Renting a car in Costa Rica is expensive, approximately $320 a week for a compact; perhaps double that for a four wheel drive. The price includes insurance. Warning: check with your credit card company to make sure your insurance covers you if you pay for the rental with a credit card. Fuel is not expensive, around $10 to fill a compact car; $20 to tank up a four wheel drive. By the way, most of the rental cars are stick-shift; so if you don't know how to work a clutch and gearshift lever, you'd best take a few lessons before you come.
A word of caution: Costa Rica has one of the highest auto accident rates in the world. Drivers are very aggressive so be prepared to get out their way. The speed limit runs between 75 to 90 kph (45 to 55 mph). Speed limits are posted on signs or painted on the pavement. A speeding ticket can be expensive, $150 US. Do not try to bribe the officer; you could create further problems for yourself. Incidentally, drivers coming from the opposite direction will often warn you by blinking their headlights if there are police or a radar trap set up nearby.
Where is Costa Rica?
Map of Costa Rica
San Jose City Map
Costa Rica Political 1987
Shaded Relief Map Costa Rica
Smaller Political Map 1998
Large Reference Map Latin America
Large Political Map Latin America
Dollar Rent a Car
Hertz Costa Rica
Hola Rent A Car
National Car Rental
Prego Rent A Car Excellent Car Rental
Hertz Costa Rica
Hola Rent A Car
National Car Rental
Poas Rent a Car
Prego Rent A Car
Excellent Car Rental
Jaco Beach is the place to stay in Costa Rica. A sleepy small town nestled in a bay on the Pacific Coast, it has all the things to make your holiday complete: good restaurants, banks, and shops; nearby national parks Manuel Antonio (famous for its beaches and monkeys) and Carara (home to flocks of Scarlet Macaw and oversized American Crocodiles in the adjacent Tarcoles River). You can visit a volcano and a deserted beach, ride horseback in the jungle, go white water rafting, spend a night in the cool of the mountains, or just relax beside the ocean. And for the nighthawks, Jaco boasts both a disco and a casino.
Jaco Beach Hotel is the ideal starting point for those who want to enjoy an exciting and thrilling experience in the Pacific Coast, passing through the mountains planted with coffee, enjoying fascinating views and the warmth of our tropical weather; only one and a half hours from San José.
more on Jaco Beach and Jaco Beach Surf Report
Prostitution in Costa Rica is legal - though pimping and the prostitution of minors under 18 is not, even though it is primarily catholic country. In the U.S. mainly, sex workers (we prefer the use this term rather than prostitutes) have a negative connotation, whether it be street-walkers, massage girls or escorts. In Costa Rica, ladies are free to work and without harassment. And while many women in the U.S. and other countries become sex workers because of drug and alcohol addictions, rarely is that the case in Costa Rica (with the exception of the street-walkers). Most women in Costa Rica are there to better their economic situations and care for their families. Some will work only a few days per month, while others make it a career choice. Be sure not to just ask the age of the girl you just met, but to give you proof of age. In Costa Rica all Costa Ricans of age will carry a "cedula" with her picture and birth date. For foreigners ie. Nicaraguans, Panamanians, etc. ask to see her passport. Prostitution with a minor is illegal and the Costa Rican government has announced new policies to strictly and severely punish those that practice this form of behavior.
Inexpensive for the most part while they provide pleasure in a safe environment. Most are clean and well appointed, some with Jacuzzis, while some are sleazy. By the most part the ladies that work in the massage parlours are attentive and ready to please. Prices range from about $15 to $60, providing complete service.
Arte Sauna: Centrally located in San Jose on Calle 9 (Estudiantes) between Avenida 2 and Avenida 4 on the west side of the street. The front of the building is white tile. They have a comfortable steam room, a dry sauna, attentive female masseuses, and never rushed. Telephone 222-2881.
Centro de Masajes: A small place with showers and attentive female masseuses. Located on Calle 4 between Avenida 2 and Avenida 4 upstairs.
Club EROS: (also called Lucy’s) the rate is 10,000 Colones for an hour. An appropriate tip for good service is 2000-3000 Colones (rate of exchange 300+ Colones to the dollar). EROS has showers and girls will furnish the condom.
Krysis Health Club: There is a Jacuzzi in one of the rooms and questionable women for various activities. Located on Avenida 7 between Calle Central and Calle 2.
Lucy Massage: Although named massage, there aren't any massage tables, steam or sauna. There are questionable women for various activities. Located across the street from the bar "Idem" on calle11 between Avenida 8 and 10. Telephone 391-3011.
Sala de Massages "Si Bo Ny": A small place with showers and attentive female masseuses. Located on Calle 8 between Avienda 12 and Avenida 14 .NEW
The Green Door: (Sept. 2000) Rates are $85 for all day with pay-as-you-go drinks or $100 for the day including all drinks. Included in the rate is a one-hour massage plus use of the swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and just hanging out with the girls and other guys. A pair of Honduran sisters are best bet. Howard, the owner, will talk your arm off. They recently became licensed as a hotel and are in the process of fixing up rooms. The address is 3350 Avenida 2, on the way to the San Pedro Mall.
NIGHT CLUBS AND STRIP CLUBS
All the night clubs (strip bars) offer totally nude shows and table dances. The upper scale clubs like also have private rooms, shower stages and Jacuzzi suites. Prices tend to be a bit steep, but you will have good time in a safe and secure environment. The girls tend to be better looking and they can be taken out of the club for a price. Most clubs charge a door entrance and have a minimum consumption policy. Table dances, lap dances and private dances are done with taste and you can guarantee yourself a good time. Also, you can take the girl from the club but check with management as each club has a different policy. All major credit cards are accepted and English is widely spoken.
Elite Club: A show bar. Located on the Paso Colon (Avenida 2) between Calle 28 and 30.
The reports are coming in that this place is a rip off.
Hollywood Club: A strip club with a cover charge. Located in Sabana Sur, 250 meters west of the McDonalds on the old road to Escazu.
Josephine's: A strip club with a cover charge. Located on Avenida 9 between Calle 2 and Calle 4. The reports are coming in that this place is a rip off.
Olympus: A totally nude strip club; currently with no cover charge. Be prepared to pay considerably extra for drinks for the women dancing there you meet. Located on the corner of Calle Central and Avenida 7 across the street from the La Benny show bar.
Puro Platino: Located at Avenida 5 y Calle 4.
Please note: rates for the clubs below range from $33 to $59 for an hour with a good-looking girl. Some will arrange to meet you for overnight or a hotel visit, but you need to know a little Spanish. (But as always, Ticas are less than reliable at keeping appointments, usually arriving at least an hour late.)
(Bars list below in alphabetical order.)
Bar Tonny's: Here there are questionable women for various activities. Located on Avenida 9 between Calle 2 and Calle 4, next to Josephines strip club.
Blue Marlin Bar: Is located inside the Hotel Del Rey. One of the best things about the Hotel Del is that all you have to do is go down to the lobby and enter the Blue Marlin Bar around 5:00 p.m. and pick a girl you want to have sex with. You don't even have to leave your hotel to get laid. Nights here are usually very crowded, with patrons and women who are sometimes very aggressive to lure you into having sex with them. After all, Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica. The bouncers and management are careful when it comes to letting in women who are over the age of 18. I.D's are checked at the door in the bar and the girl's I.D's are copied and kept at the desk for safety reasons. They have 2 televisions constantly showing sports. You can order food in the bar, either full menu or appetizers. Located on Avenida 1 between Calle 9 and Calle 11. Girls will ask for $100 but usually go for $50-60. A lot of Dominican's, Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaraguan's, and Colombians. Prices for the '10's are a solid $100.00.
CAFE PARISIEN: Try having lunch or dinner there. It is the terrace restaurant at GRAN HOTEL COSTA RICA. At around 6:00 PM there are girls to be found sitting by themselves in the process of "gringo hunting". You will be able to tell by the way they look at you.
CAMELOT BAR (AUG.2000)(a bar to find Ticas) is located 100 MTs South and 50 Mts, across the street from the GRAN HOTEL ,COSTA RICA. This bar has clean rooms on the floors above, and the price is more than reasonable. This place is a local bar, quite basic but friendly enough. The price is set at 5000 Colones or approx. $16.00 for 40 minutes of sex. The price also includes the room. The place opens from 11AM until 12 MN. Look for a girl that works on the day shift named Magali, and during the night shift there is another girl called Alejandra. Both girls are 10s both in looks and in personality.
Club Bikini: Is two blocks from the glitzier but less colorful Hotel del Rey in downtown San Jose. It is a hooker bar known to locals as "The Land of the 1,000-colone Lap Dance." (A thousand Colones sounds like a lot of money, but it is only about $3.20 -- compare that to $10+ tables dances in the States, where the bouncer tosses you into the parking lot if you even look like you're thinking about touching the dancer. Costa Rica prostitutes are different, making it a great place for single travel sex tours.
Club 40's Pension: Now there is no cover charge to enter. They have done some remodeling. The bar is downstairs and the rooms are upstairs along with pornographic movies and loud music. There is also questionable women for various activities. Located on Avenida 7 between Calle 1 and Calle Central.
Idem Bar: Avenida 8-10, Calle 11 is a bar with rooms. Price is 11,000 colones in the upstairs rooms for an hour or 14,000 colones in the nicer room downstairs. At Club IDEM, they charge 200 colones for a condom. They have remodeled the bar area and now there is much better ventilation.
Key Largo: Has 3 bar areas, and a dance floor. Located on the south side of Parque Morazan, around the corner from the Del Rey Hotel and across from the Holiday Inn. It's been described in most of the tourists books as the most popular place to find women who enjoy having sex with men for a monetary compensation. This is a well known meat rack and anyone can tell you where it is. It opens about 9:00 PM and has a large selection of nectar ranging from 3’s to 10’s. The higher ones are more expensive. Always verify all the services you want. Don't just say todo la noche (all night), say hasta nuevo en la manana or mediodia (until 9 in the morning or noon). Verify "Compania para sexo cuando yo quiero" verify "cuatro o cinco vez ok?" 4 or 5 times OK? She will giggle and go WOW but ultimately say yes.
The Key Largo has a 600 colones cover charge and did not use to allow re-entry but they have changed that policy and give you a hand stamp now. The place really picks up at 10:00 PM and if you see a 10 move quick because it may not last long. Get there early and view them as they come in.
La Bella Mansion: Here there are questionable women for various activities. Located on the corner of Avenida 9 and Calle 2.
Las Margaritas II: Located on Calle Central and Avenida 18.
Miss Caribe: Usually crowded, with 3 televisions (one big screen) playing pornographic movies. There is a cover charge to enter, but you can exchange the ticket for a drink. There are also women who come here to pleasure men. Located on call 2 and between Avenida 8 and 10.
Pension Anita Jet Set: They have been remodeling for the past several months. There are questionable women for various activities. Located on Avenida 11 between Calle 3 and Calle 1, right next door to VIPS.
Ricos: Across the street from the Del Rey, Rico's. . The girls here were quoting 10,000 colones-about $33 -- and were just as hot and well dressed as the $100 girls in the Del Rey and the Key Largo.
Tarzan La Casita: The Chinese restaurant moved out and a bar moved in with questionable women for various activities. Located on Calle 11 between Avenida 6 and 8.
Vips: There is a cover charge to enter, but you can exchange the ticket for a drink. There are a few seats at the bar and a few small tables and music. An of course you'll find women for various activities. Located on the corner of Calle 3 and Avenida 11.
VIPs Molino Rojo: Located on the corner of Avenida 10 and Calle 2. There are questionable women for various activities.
Beatle Bar: This is the one place you can go to hear old time rock and roll via cd's and see Beatle's memorabilia on the walls. On Wednesday and Saturday nights is hosted Karaoke Night with "John" surrounded by his lovely Costa Rican hostesses. On the last Saturday of the month is the live " Blind Pig's band " with "Dave the Dude" from radio Paladin. Boca's are available after about 9:00 pm. Located 25 mts south of the Hotel Del Rey on Calle 9 (Estudiantes) between Avenida Central and Avenida 1.
SECOND LOCATION : Salitral de Santa Ana Just follow the signs to the bar with the view.
Escort services advertise in the English written newspaper which is published every Thursday called “Costa Rica Today.” The escort service called Costa Rican Nights is run by an American guy named Richard who use to run the BBC. He has an internet site http://www.multicr.com/escort and his telephone number is (506)380-5389. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. He has some excellent women at a price of $250 per 24 hours. If you describe what you want he will do his best to get you the right girl. One shortfall is that some of his girls you might find in the local bars for a price quite a bit cheaper. Another service is
(506)222-8502 and is run by a guy named Tony from Louisiana. His girls are so so. He will bring girls over 3 at a time for you to view. Tell him what you want and tell him you have time for 1 meeting. If he doesn’t have what you want, tell him you will go to other sources. Otherwise he will bring the ones that have not been chosen for a while. He can be bartered quite a bit on price and he will originally tell you $300 per day (24 hours). There is a couple other services in Costa Rica Today which, by the way, can be picked up in the lobby of Hotel Del Rey at Avenida 5, Calle 5. If there is none sitting on the coffee tables ask the bellman (Botones). The other services are (506)380-0878 (no name), (506)381-8496 for G&G, (506)441-3878 for Zuberth. I don’t have any experience with these
Costa Rica Escorts
Costa Rica Escort
Girls In The Room: Almost all the hotels will charge you $10 -$12 each time you have an extra person in your room. They take down the girl’s identification which insures you will not be ripped off. If you have a minibar in your room it is best to hide the key or they may talk you into the chocolate bars and other stuff in there. The Costa Ricans are pretty honest people but always exercise precaution wherever you travel.
Getting The Girls To Your Room
IN A BAR: Make eye contact, lift your glass like, "cheers" when she smiles (and she will) walk over and buy her a drink. Its very laid back. If you are picky about the service verify oral sex without a condom and if you like 69, kissing etc., don’t be bashful about asking. Again a bit of Spanish is helpful.
DO'S AND DON'TS
Pirate Taxi Alert (July 2000)
A gringo was robbed by a pirate taxi driver and another Tico in July. Before entering a taxi, check to see that it has a meter, and always sit in the back seat.
Beware Taxi drivers recommending clubs or hotels, they get commissions for expensive places.
Bands of thieves have been stealing luggage, cameras, and whatever else from tourists returning from the beach towns on the local buses.
It is dark and everyone is tired, so the tourists are easy pickings. But the thieves are true professionals, going so far as to crawl under the seat in front of them to snatch a camera from an open bag, while another distracts the victim and a third blocks the view of other passengers.
Make sure that all of your US bills are perfect. Costa Rican banks won't accept torn or marked dollars, so most businesses won't either. Speaking of cash, bring extra. Many businesses don't accept credit cards and ATM machines are tough to find outside San Jose. If you plan to drive, pick up a Spanish phrase book to help you decipher the road signs. Of course, this will help everywhere. Bring along a copy or two of your passport I.D. page and carry it with you. Keep the actual passport somewhere safe. If you rent a car, leave it empty. Some folks also leave the car doors unlocked to prevent broken windows. Don't bring pre-paid calling cards with toll-free numbers. They don't work in Costa Rica. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Don't drive on the beach. It's bad for the environment and can put a serious hurt on your wallet.
Narcotics and dangerous drugs are prohibited entry. There are severe civil and/or criminal charges up to 20 years in prison if you bring illegal drugs through Customs. If you require medicines containing habit-forming drugs or narcotics (e.g., cough medicine, diuretics, heart drugs, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepressants, stimulants, etc.), you must: Have all drugs, medicines, and similar products properly identified; Carry only such quantity as would normally be used by an individual having the health problem requiring the drugs or medicines in your possession; Have either a prescription or written statement from your personal physician that the medicine is being used under a doctor's direction and that it is necessary for your physical well-being while traveling.
Declare such drugs or medications to the Customs officer.
If you also have email to take care of, try the CYBER CAFE, which is at the LOS ARCOS building adjacent to the GHCR. If you need any special kind of girl, talk to Victor B. (elegantly dressed with coat and tie, long black hair and mustache) he knows lots of girls, many of whom are great fun and "non-professional".
All telecommunications services (direct dial phones, fax, telex, cable) are available; but calls from Costa Rica are much higher than an equivalent call to Costa Rica. The country code for Costa Rica is (506) Remote jungle lodges usually have short wave radio communications linked to cellular service.
Underage Girls Means Big Trouble (The tourist board announced their semi-annual "attack on sex tourism" in June 2000, but underage prostitution remains the focus. They are serious, and even Ticos are going to jail for sex with underage girls, so don't even think about it in Costa Rica.)