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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Influencers and Scoundrels; b. Blue Zone Documentary; c. We Have a New Miss Costa Rica.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Tourism Bouncing Back; b. Costa Rica Tops Investment Index; c. First El-Salvador-to- Costa-Rica Freight Ferry Arrives; d. Fuel Prices Head Upward Again.

3. Latin American Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. a. Ecuador: Six Arrested in Presidential Candidate Assassination; b. Nicaragua - Government Shuts Down More Universities; c. Venezuela: Emigration Running High.

4. Feature: Profiles in Quepos Series: Brian Ham - An Artisanal Chocolatier (Raising Costa Rican Cacao to New Heights)

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble: All Quiet Still (Yeah baby!); b. Weather: Rainy Season Relatively Light So Far.

6. ¿Que es Eso?: An Easter Lilly or Plastic Flower?

7. Health Stuff: a. Covid Cases Finally Petering Out; b. Ministry Says Microwave Not a Health Problem.

8. GGC Bookshelf and More: Books from GGC Publications, Golden Gringo T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs as Well as Suggested Books from Local Writers.

9. What's-in-a-Word: a. Answer to Que Es Eso.

10. ROMEO Corner: Mira Olas, Best Western Hotel, Quepos

Wisdom of the Ages

Leslie Townes (Bob) Hope · born May 29, 1903, died July 27, 2003 (aged 100)

'You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.'

'I don't feel old. In fact, I don't feel anything until noon.
Then it's time for my nap.'

Thanks to Jack C. for helping us remember a great comedian.

Holidays in Costa Rica in September

World Children´s Day
Some Happy Tico Kids

There are two holidays this month. First comes Dia del Niños or Children´s Day or Day of the Child (September 9), a celebration of kids inaugurated worldwide in 1946 and celebrated in many countries. Dia del Niños is not a legal public holiday in Costa Rica so adults won´t be paid for taking the day off but many neighborhoods and towns have their own festivities directed to the youngsters (that´s anyone under 18 years of age).

The second holiday is a public holiday, El Dia de Independencia or the celebration of Costa Rica´s Declaration of Independence from Spain which occurred 202 years ago on September 15, 1821. This is a paid holiday in Ticoland and occurs on a Friday this year (good luck on getting workers back on Saturday).

Independence Day in Costa Rica is another opportunity for Ticos to dress up their kids in the national colors of red, white and blue. Ticos are very patriotic and anything that can be used to display their colors, including the kids, is open for patriotic use.

To read more on El Dia de Independencia, including the meanings behind the national flag, go HERE.

Broken News
(All the News That's Fit to Reprint)

Influencers and Scoundrels

Costa Rica is very much like the United States in that it is organized along the tripartite type of government as Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It´s also not above the level of political squabbles that any two branches of government can get into.


This was demonstrated recently when The Fiscalía General de la República (FGR) or Costa Rican Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation on President Rodrigo Chaves and several other members of the government accusing them of “tráfico de influencias” (influence peddling). The charge is based on a complaint by a president of a Costa Rica private bank that the government gave his wife favorable treatment from the Government in her divorce after contributing to the creation of a video for social networks. The bank president also happens to be on the board of directors of a local electronic newspaper and he and the Prez have been at odds for some time.


President Rodrigo Chaves

The suit was attempted to be justified under the Law of Corruption and Illicit enrichment if it generates, directly or indirectly, an undue economic benefit or advantage, for himself or for another. Divorce settlement? How´s that for a stretch?


Meanwhile, in a visit to the Supreme Court of Justice, Chaves suggested that “It is time to stop the scoundrels who are filling the courts with absurd and frivolous lawsuits. The country must punish the abuse of judicial processes, and we must enact legislation that sanctions these actions with due balance of the rights of the people."


Blue Zone Documentary


About 20 years ago, National Geographic began a worldwide study attempting to find places where there was an unusually high number of longer-than-usual lifespans measured as centenarians and then finding out what their lifestyle differences might be. This August 30 Netflix will release a streaming version of their report on this study and the "Blue Zones" as they´ve come to be known. The five Blue Zones worldwide identified so far found are, moving West to East: Loma Linda, California; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; Icaria, Greece and Okinawa, Japan.


Panchita and Some of Her Family

After studying the lifestyle in the Nicoya Blue Zone researchers noticed some obvious things: 1) the Nicoyans worked physically hard, often tending fields and crops and routinely going from sunup to sundown (that´s 12 hours here); 2) they ate three meals a day but the big one was at noon giving them the energy needed to work the rest of the day; dinner was more modest, 3) family relationships were strong with many generations living together in the same home.


The photo above is of a well-known lady of the Nicoya named María Francisca Isolina Castillo Carrillo but better known as "Panchita". Born in 1906 (yup, that´s right, she´s 117) Panchita can also lay claim to the fact that she is the only lady in Costa Rica that can say she is a Great Great Great Great Grandmother! She is still very active in the family (note the working apron she´s wearing) and says: “All I do now is eat and talk (laughing), I eat what they give me. Before I used to work hard in the yard and keeping house, she said (still laughing").


I dunno folks, I think it may be the Gallo Pinto that´s doing it.


We Have a New Miss Costa Rica


Lisbeth Valverde Brenes - Miss Costa Rica

At the annual Miss Costa Rica contest, held on Teletica Television recently, a special education teacher from San Ramón by the name of Lisbeth Valverde Brenes won the title and will represent Costa Rica at the Miss Universe contest. Miss Valverde (photo left) beat out the competition in several categories including musical choreography, bathing suit competition, boutique evening gown designs and personality. That latter category required facing a series of questions which gave her an opportunity to mention her ongoing favorite social project called "Manos Unidas Costa Rica" or United Costa Rica Hands, a branch of a Spanish NGO that operates a number of projects including helping educate children with disabilities.


As winner, Miss Valverde will receive: "A crown made by designer Jorge Bakkar, ¢3 million in cash (about $5,500), a new car, treatment at Kaver Dental Clinic, care at Fumero Medical & Skin Center, shoes by Daniel del Barco, wardrobe by Valesky Boutique, makeup by Kryolan, hair care products by Marzú, eyebrow and eyelash design by Joha Pérez Studio, manicure by Rosé, one year of Fit N’ Tasty diet, swimming classes at Crawl Swimming and classes with Nany Sevilla at Orange Theory Fitness".


Not a bad haul missy, and congratulations!


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Tourism Bouncing Back


Tourism being a significant part of the Costa Rican economy, recent news of progress in this area was well received, namely:

  1. In the first quarter of 2023, travel for tourism/business in Costa Rica reached US$1.19 billion for the first time since the pandemic.
  2. More than 1.3 million visitors arrived in the country during the first six months of 2023, slightly more than the same period in 2019.
  3. ICT’s (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo) or Costa Rican Tourist Institute says that their review indicates that tourists are staying longer and spending more.
  4. The effect would have been even more dramatic if it weren´t for the strengthening of the Colone against the dollar going from a peak of 700₡/US$ two years ago to roughly 540₡/$ currently.

We´re bouncing back amigos.


Costa Rica Tops Investment Index


Investment is bouncing back also. The results from the 1st quarter 2022 tracking at CINDE (the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency) noted that 60 multinational investment projects by companies such as Microsoft, Pfizer, Intel, Coca-Cola, and others were announced in the 1st quarter.


A long time indicator of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), published this year as the Greenfield FDI Performance Index, put Costa Rica at the top of it´s rating. In this world-wide index, the amount of FDI experienced in a country is normalized as a percent of it´s economy (GDP), and for that rating, Costa Rica attained a rating of 12.7 with North Macedonia (11.9) coming in second and the United Arab Emirates (11.1) coming in third.


A rating of 12.7 simple means that the country attracts 12.7 times more projects than the size of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would suggest.


Not a surprise to anyone that Costa Rica, because of it´s location, talent and peaceful democratic structure is a great place to make an investment.


First El-Salvador-to-Costa-Rica Freight Ferry Arrives


First El Salvador Ferry Arrives In Port Caldera

The first of what is hoped to become regular and frequent shipping ferries from El Salvador arrived in Caldera Port near Puntarenas on Friday, August 11. The goal is to increase this route for shipping by carrying tractor-trailer trucks up to 400 trucks per month. The new service will take that many trucks off the highways between the two countries each month but more importantly, it will reduce the ship time from a typical 5 days to 18 hours by reducing the number of border crossings and inspections at El Salvador/Honduras/Nicaragua/Costa Rica down to just El Salvador and Costa Rica.


The current schedule calls for service to be provided Mondays and Thursdays from El Salvador and Tuesdays and Fridays from Costa Rica.


Fuel Prices Head Upward Again


RECOPE, or Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, our national refiner which does not refine anything yet retains pricing determination, has submitted another schedule of gasoline price increases to ARESEP, the government agency that approves same. There were some rather sigificant increases. Here´s a summary:




The word on the street was that these increases were likely to be approved by late August or early September.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)



Six Arrested in Presidential Candidate Assassination. Presidential candidate Fernando Alcibiades Villavicencio Valencia was assassinated Wednesday, August 9 while attending a campaign rally outside a school in Quito, Ecuador. Villavicencio had a reputation for "speaking out against drug cartels and had previously reported that he received death threats".

At least one Colombian national was also killed in the melee. The national police then arrested six other Colombian nationals. The national election process is expected to go forward and is scheduled for August 20. Current Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has requested help from the FBI in the Villavicencio investigation.




Government Shuts Down More Universities. The press reported that the Ministry of Interior of the Nicaraguan Government shut down two universities on July 28 and "ordered the confiscation of their movable and immovable property." This brings to 26 the number of private universities closed and confiscated and outlawed in Nicaragua since December 2021, including seven of foreign origin.


The first of the recent two was the Martín Luther King Jr. Nicaraguan Evangelical University Association (UENIC). The second was the Universidad de Occidente Association (UDO). Both were done at the request of the National Council of Universities (CNU) and the National Council for Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEA).


Both institutions were accused of issuing their own documents with unauthorized seals of the CNU and CNEA. Both institutions were also accused of establishing headquarters and satellite offices not approved by the ministry. Other charges included: lack of records on both students and teachers, teaching unauthorized courses, deficiencies in academic subjects, number of teachers and operating structure and UDO offering a Master’s Degree in Higher Education to students of another nationality without being authorized by the CNU.












Emigration Running High. Venezuela has been facing significant migration out of the country for several years now. Some emigrants from Venezuela have taken up residence in Costa Rica, some have gone on to northern Spanish speaking latin countries and some to attempt the border crossing into the United States.





One major emigration target for Venezuelans is Spain, to where some 21,500 achieved immigration in the first quarter of 2023. Venezuela was #3 behind only Colombia and Morocco in emigrants to Spain in that quarter.


A Venezuelan recently interviewed by a regional newspaper cited regaining his “mental stability that he says he has lost in Venezuela, given the difficulties in meeting household expenses, despite having four sources of income". He has plans for he and his family to move to Spain next year.


¡Pura Vida!


Profiles in Quepos Series
Brian Ham - An Artisanal Chocolatier
(Raising Costa Rican Cacao to New Heights)

The Profiles in Quepos Series brings you information about some of the movers and shakers in our Quepos/Manuel Antonio area,
especially successful business and professional people
who are making or have made their mark on the area.



Tinimaste Chocolate Tasting Party

A few weeks ago GG was invited to attend a chocolate tasting party (yeah, I know, it´s rough work but somebody´s gotta do it). The party was attended by a dozen or so singles or couples who, as a hobby or while searching to develop a fledgling business, are producing their own brands of artisanal chocolate. That is to say producing nearly pure dark chocolate that is enhanced flavor-wise or by texture. I was invited to this gathering by the man in the blue shirt-left in the photo (also below in his lab), one Brian Ham and his wife Janet (northeast corner in dark blue dress above).


Samples at the Tasting Party

The party was held in Tinimaste, a small town about 1-1/2 hours south of Quepos and half-way between Dominical and San Isidro de la General. The venue was a farm actively growing cacao trees, cacao beans being the base ingredient for making chocolate. The photo above shows our party with GG (orange shirt) voraciously eyeing the next batch of chocolate treats to be sampled. My estimate is that I tasted at least 10 samples of different flavors and textures that day and several of these are shown in the photo to the right.


I don´t know about you readers but I have been a fan of chocolate since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (don´t hear that one much anymore). Growing up I simply assumed that chocolate was produced in some kind of old factory, whereabouts unknown. But when I lived nearly two decades in Allentown, PA I came to believe that the secret factory was in Hershey, although I never visited there.


Godiva Easter Display

Then I lived in Brussels for two years and experienced the world famous chocolate products of companies like Godiva and Newhaus. Crack that huge Easter egg open (left) and you´ll find hundreds of chocolates of different types inside.


Oh the chocolate story is so much more involved than a old factory in PA amigos!


After being in Costa Rica awhile I tried some dark chocolate made from locally grown cacao (cah-cow) plants, the ultimate source of chocolate. I swore off milk chocolate on the spot. And I continued to come across articles that proffered both black coffee and pure chocolate as having healthy ingredients. That includes, for example, serotonin, which makes you feel better and calm, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories, ingredients that contribute to lower mental fatigue and give better memory (old GG could use that one).


So here´s the chocolate story (much given me by Brian):


Cacao Tree & Pods

First you have to produce the cacao. According to those in the know: "Cacao trees only prosper under specific conditions, including fairly uniform temperatures, high humidity, abundant rain, nitrogen-rich soil, and protection from wind. In short, cacao trees thrive in rainforests" - you know, like Costa Rica. The worldwide region of this climate for cacao runs from about 20 degrees north to about the same latitude south of the equator, a narrow band of tropicality.


Some historians put the earliest reports of cacao trees at about 5,000 years ago in the upper Amazon region of Brazil. By 3,000 years ago the Native American Olmecs had brought the cacao tree to MesoAmerica as far north as the Mexican Yucatan. Cacao was consumed by ancient cultures in spiritual ceremonies and its beans were often also used as a common currency in MesoAmerica.


Emperor Montezuma
No Revenge Here

In the early 1500´s, before the process for refining chocolate had been invented, the Spanish conquistadors (Hernán Cortés and company) noted that Aztec Emperor Montezuma had become fond of consuming as much as 100 cups per day of a bitter drink made from roughly ground cacao beans. Later they would learn to use sugar or honey, cinnamon and other spices to overcome the bitterness.


Monte enjoyed three wives, many more mistresses and lived into his 70´s when life expectancy at the time was typically in the 30´s. One might say that cacao was the first energy drink!


It´s still thought of as an aphrodisiac by many natives.


Cacao trees were eventually spread throughout the world within its limited longitudinal zone for good production. Today West Africa produces nearly 70% of the world's crop which reached 5.8 million tons in 2020 with the Ivory Coast accounting for 38% of that while Ghana and Indonesia ranked second and third place.


Cacao Beans
Drying the Beans

The cacao pods are picked only when ripe (bright yellow or red in the photos above and to the right). Now there are several steps to go through before any thought of chocolate can materialize, to wit:

  1. The cacao beans are removed from the pods and separated.
  2. A two stage fermentation process (anaerobic where yeasts breakdown the pulp sugars, then aerobic where churning the mix provides oxygen that further breaks down the pulp into carbon dioxide and water as well as oxidizes alcohols to acids that serve to compliment the taste later. Fermentation may require several days to complete.
  3. After fermentation the beans are spread out and dried (which also may require several days).

This completes the cacao farmer´s responsibilities. At this stage the farmer can offer the fermented, dried beans to the customer, usually a company or independent chocolatier. Having been treated by natural fermentation and dried, the beans are in the best state for shipping and this is where the chocolate company or artisanal chocolatier continues the process:

  1. The dried beans are roasted (and this is when you start to smell the chocolate hidden inside). The roasting time depends on the bean size, moisture content, desired flavor profile and the roasting method. Typical cacao roasting temperatures range from 250°F to 350°F and last from 30 to 90 minutes. I´m told that when the shells begin to crack the roasting is nearing completion.
  2. The roasted beans are sent through a machine that grinds the beans, separating the shell from the internals (the latter called the "nibs"). The nibs are later ground during the process and are what is available for conversion to chocolate.

Now this is where the artisanal chocolatier steps in. My friend Brian Ham (the gent in blue on the left in party photo at the top), who invited me to the tasting party, has become one. Having retired from his construction and renovation business and moved to Costa Rica a few years ago he encountered others who were experimenting in the artisanal trade. He was intrigued and hooked.


Natalie at Work

So Brian began researching how chocolate was made and became a devotee, so much so that he began helping and advising his daughter-in-law Natalie on how to approach it as a business (now marketed under the trade name "Nata Craft Cacao"). Once he understood that this business is both science and art Brian set up a laboratory in his home to test and experiment with different formulations and which also helped Natalie in her business.



It´s hard to see the detail of the map of Costa Rica in his laboratory from the photo (below, left) but Brian has identified about 10 cacao farms in the country from which he tests and uses their product to make creative chocolate samples. He´s also come to know what cacao source can be used to create specific and interesting flavors.


Brian in His Lab

Also note, if you can, that the bags on his shelf contain unroasted, dried cacao beans which allows him to keep the chocolate inside fresher. He has his own machine that grinds the cacao and separates the nibs from the shell. With the nibs he can produce formula variations, samples and even sales quantities of chocolate.


The process of grinding the nibs is exothermic and results in a dark layer called the chocolate liquor which can be and often is, cast into molds for later use in samples or product preparations. Chocolate contains hundreds of chemical compounds, some better than others that act as a diuretic, have a stimulating or uplifting effect (theobromine, phenylethylamine, caffeine) or a bodily or hormonal stimulant such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron salts.


This is where the creative "artisan" comes in - what can you add to the chocolate to change its flavor into something even more interesting? The first thing is sugar because all these natural chemicals tend to leave the taste bitter (just ask Montezuma). The addition of cane sugar overcomes that and is typically done in the range of 20-28% for dark products. After that, additions to the chocolate, both internal to the liquor or externally decorative (photo) are only limited by the imagination and capability of the chocolatier.


7-Province Chocolate Sampler

When I asked Brian what his business philosophy is I got an interesting and somewhat surprising answer. Basically, as a chocolate producer, Brian sees himself as just another artisanal chocolatier. But he also is encouraged by his experience here to promote and bring the richness of Costa Rican agriculture to the world, particularly cacao. He strives to help his family business but he also feels strongly about doing what he can to encourage the development of cacao/chocolate in Costa Rica because he truly believes that Costa Rican cacao is some of the finest in the world.


To support this philosophy he has developed close relationships with both cacao farms and artisanal chocolatiers. To get the word out he also developed a sampler (photo right) that has basic chocolate blends based on 28% sugar, and that represent cacao farms from all seven provinces of Costa Rica. The sampler also has instructions on how to go about tasting the morsels, suggestions that seemed reminiscent to me of wine tasting.


So the emphasis is on promoting the excellence of Costa Rica grown cacao. An admirable business mission amigo and good for the country. We wish you the best of success.


¡Pura Chocolate!



Rumble and Weather Talk
(Shaky Happenings & Weather Observations About the Pacific Rim)

Rumbling -


No complaints or adventures to report, quiet on all fronts.


Check Out Recent Earthquakes All Around the
World Posted by the
  Recent Quakes


Weather - Green Alert Issued


By August 11 the national weather service (Instituto Meteorológico Nacional or IMN) was forecasting the arrival of tropical waves 21 & 22 for the long Mother´s Day weekend ending on Tuesday, August 15. Kicking it off on Thursday, August 10 the National Emergency Commission (Comisión Nacional de Emergencias or CNE) reported three incidents of home damage in Heredia which unroofed houses and snapped power lines. No injuries were reported.


Other than the above there were only two strong rain events here in the Quepos area and only one that resulted in the streets being temporarily flooded as the storm occurred right at high tide when the storm sewers couldn´t keep up with the volume.


¡A Cachete!



Search the GGC Archives for Topics That Interest You


You can use our Archives to search for anything that has been written in more than 320 feature articles of the Golden Gringo Chronicles plus find Broken News items and ROMEO restaurant reviews. Enter your topic or item to search in the Google Search Routine below and follow the links offered from the search results.


Suggestion: Enter only a simple, precise and unique as possible key word or two in order to narrow the number of references retrieved:


Golden Gringo Chronicles - Enter Search Here

Readers: Our publication is open to suggestions regarding future articles and will accept pieces written by others but we reserve the right to decline anything that the editorial staff (that's GG) thinks is inappropriate for this format. Send proposals, comments, suggestions, ideas, meaningless statements and jocular observations concerning the Chronicles to GG here: gg@goldengringo.com.

¿Que es Eso? Department (¿What is That?)




An Easter Lilly?


A plastic reconstruction of a flower?


A photographic trick?


Answer In
Section Below




¡Pura Vida!



Health Stuff



Note: The information given in this section is offered as news information only and does not indicate GGC confirmation or denial of the accuracy of the treatment or a recommendation to pursue it, nor can we or do we guarantee the efficacy of the results nor validity of the conclusions proffered. (How's that for a disclaimer amigos?)



a. Covid Cases Finally Petering Out


The graph to the left is from the World Health Organization database for Costa Rica. You can see (or can you, it´s pretty small) that the number of new daily covid cases has dropped to low single digits (the far right strip of dots). Good riddance Big C!


The numbers at the height of the pandemic, in beginning of 2022, for a while were several thousand daily.



b. Ministry Says Microwave Not a Problem


The Costa Rica Ministry of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) is, in cooperation with other government entities and industry-related business chambers of commerce, beginning a pubic campaign this month to "to ensure citizens that the installation of telecommunications towers/antennas for mobile telephony, television or radio will not have a negative impact on their health."


The conclusion is based on "research from the World Health Organization (WHO) that demonstrates that Non-Ionizing Radiation such as wireless telecom transmissions, do not cause any harm to human health. This radiation spreads in the environment similarly to the way sunlight does". (You mean, like a sun burn?)


Let´s hope the boys and girls at WHO got it right (this time). Vamos a ver amigos (we´ll see).


¡Pura Vida!



Travel Quote of the Month


¡A Cachete!


GGC Bookshelf

drfGGC Publications Group is the parent organization that publishes the Golden Gringo Chronicles as well as a number of books and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and Costa Rica. The GGC Bookshelf also includes works from a number of other authors that belong to the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group in which GGC has been a founding member.


Here are the books currently on our bookshelf:


lop uio cvb jio
Costa Rica`s Mystery Spheres Mariposa - English

Mariposa - Español The Chronicles as a Narrative

#1 Read More #2 Read More #3 Leer más aquí #4 Read More
gty ikl dft drt
Small Business Guide Making Time Count Overcoming Drinking Murder or Suicide?
#5 Read More #6 Read More #7 Read More #8 Read More
ser kio fty
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica Avoiding the Pitfalls What's the Sleuth Up To?
#9 Read More #10 Read More #11 Read More #12 Read More


awe drt
Spiritual Love Connection World War II True Story Wildfire and the Tribune World´s First Crypto Caper
#13 Read More #14 Read More #15 Read More #16 Read More
Costa Rica´s Capital      
#17 Read More      


All of the above books are available on Amazon.com and the "Read More" links above will lead you to them. You can find more detail on all of them on our GGC Publications Page.

GGC Products Store

GGC Publications also offers some accessories and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and with Costa Rican themes, to wit:






a. Golden Gringo Chronicles with Logo
b. Official Golden Gringo with Monkey on Banana Hammock
c. ¡Quepo en Quepos! ("I Fit In Quepos!") with Photo of Quepos
d. Wanna Monkey Around? - Come on Down! (shown) with Photo of White Faced Monkey, e. It's OK to be Slothful with photo of Three-Toed Sloth.


The t-shirts are available in several themes, colors, styles and sizes. See them all HERE.


Coffee Mugs:


a. Golden Gringo, b. Wanna Monkey Around?, c. It's OK to be Slothfulgty

See them all HERE:

What's life without a great cup of Costa Rican coffee? And it tastes even better in a Golden Gringo Chronicles mug!

To see ALL the products available in the Golden Gringo Store go here: GGC Store.


¡Solo Bueno!


"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I remember; involve me and I learn"

Benjamin Franklin

Answer to Que Es Eso



No, it´s real and is one of the flowers that signals a cacao tree is blooming.


A healthy cacao pod will be produced from this flower like shown on the right.


Viva Chocolate!




¡Pura Vida!




ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Mira Olas, Best Western Hotel, Quepos

Location: Third Floor, Best Western Hotel, Quepos.

Central Avenue, Kamuk, Quepos.
Currently 12-10 PM (Lunch & Dinner), Monday through Sunday.

Parking: Street only, around the building and Malecón.
Contacts: Telephone: 8787-1600.

Website: https://miraolas-quepos.com/en/miraolas-restaurant


Reviewing ROMEOS: Alma L., Ana B., Bob N., Harry R., Lawrence L., Mark W., Michael D., Olga C., Ruth R., Skip B.

To Review Our Rating System Go Here: R.O.M.E.O. Rating System.


This restaurant was last reviewed in September of 2020; to read that review go HERE:


The restaurant at the Best Western is located on the third floor of the hotel property on front street (they call it "Central Avenue", yuk,yuk) and faces the Malecón dyke and the Pacific beyond. The best seats for viewing the Pacific are at three or four tables near the front wall of the hotel. The dining room is simple but also has a wall display of 20th century photographs of Quepos that are of interest historically. The composite score for ambiance came in at 3.6 out of 5.0 max.


The menu is fairly broad including a good selection of appetizers and some rather creative dishes from several seafood groups from fresh fish to octopus and shrimp as well. Steaks, chicken and even hamburgeusas are also represented.


GG chose a chicken teriyaki dish and what arrived was a generous helping of green vegetables including pea-pods, thin green beans, sweet red peppers and onions. Mounted on the vegetables were pieces of chicken, deep fried with a coating that was crunchy and gently spicy; the whole thing being quite tasty.


Other ROMEOs selected tuna plates, ceviche, fish fingers, trout and one cheeseburger. The composite score for food quality came it at 3.4/5.0.

Value Index= 105


We were served by a young lady who was basic and efficient but maybe hindered a bit by a slow kitchen, my dish came last and took the better part of an hour to produce. I wrote that off as being caused by us being at the restaurant at opening hour when, as one ROMEO put it, "the kitchen had not yet been fired up". The composite score for service came in at 2.9/5.0 making the average score for ambiance, food quality and service 3.2.9/5.0.


My chicken teriyaki and a ginger ale michelada totaled 10,600 colones (about $20) including required 13% sales tax and 10% service. The composite score for cost came in at 3.1/5.0 resulting in a Value Index of 3.29/3.1 = 105 and putting Mira Olas dead square in the center of our value ratings for restaurants in this area.


Mira Olas continues to be a viable option for a pleasant meal in a nice atmosphere at a reasonable price.




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Pura Vida!

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