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Economic Drumbeat

Latin America Update

Feature: GGU and Municipal Elections

Rumble and Weather Talk

¿Que Es Eso?

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In This Edition

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. Water Contaminant Found In San Jose Metro Area; b. New Laws to Toughen Anti-Crime Effort; c. Space Junk Over Costa Rica (Wow!); d. Another Unrecorded Withdrawal At Banco Nacional.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Latest Fuel Pricer; b. Big Mac Economics; c. Costa Rica Only OECD Country Registering Negative Inflation in 2023; d. US Dollar Versus CR Colon Continues Decline.

3. Latin American Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries):. a. Argentina - Reforms Begin With A General Strike; b. Chile - Forest Fire Kills 123; c. Cuba - Major Chicken Theft; d. El Salvador - Bukele Re-elected; e. Venezuela - Government Expels U.N. Human Rights Office.

4. Feature #1: Golden Gringo University - Municipal Elections In Costa Rica (GG Casts His Second Vote As A Tico Citizen).

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble:; b. Weather: a. No reports of tremors greater that 2.5R; b. Temperature Records Being Broken.

6. ¿Que es Eso?: It´s a Jungle Out There.

7. Health Stuff: 600 Cases Covid So Far This Year.

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: El Gan Escape, Quepos

Wisdom of the Ages

I’m not saying I’m old and worn out, but I make sure
I’m nowhere near the curb on trash day.


Holidays in Costa Rica in March

There is a big one occurring early this year, Easter, which is on Sunday, March 31st. Semana Santa (Holy Week) begins on Sunday, March 24th, and runs through Saturday, March 30th. This is a traditional vacation period for Costa Ricans as schools are closed for the week also and many target the beaches for their celebrations. There will also be many religious devotions and parades throughout the week.

¡¡Happy Easter to All!!

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

Water Contaminant Found In SJ Metro Area


Some weeks ago residents of the San José Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) and particularly in the cantons of Moravia, Tibás, and Goicochea began to notice a different smell in their tap water.



After the intervention of testing laboratories from the University of Costa Rica, the contaminant was determined to be Xylene, an organic, colorless, sweet-smelling liquid that in pure form is also flammable. Xylene is an industrial chemical used as a solvent in printing and in the rubber and leather industries. It is also used as a cleaning agent, paint thinner, and in paints and varnishes. Small amounts are found in jet fuel and gasoline, a natural result of the refining process.


In its pure form Xylene can cause serious health effects and upon skin contact it can be an irritant when permeating the eye. It is also an irritant when ingested or inhaled.


Officials Sampling Quebrada

Authorities have traced the contamination to a brook called Quebrada Honda 2, that is less than one kilometer from an AyA (Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados or the Water and Sewer Department) collection point in San Jerónimo de Moravia. Authorities pointed out that, if there are no more spills, the contaminant will naturally dissipate as it is not soluble in water and will eventually evaporate. After monitoring the water in the affected communities for several days authorities have stated that the contaminant level is now safe for washing of hands and bathing.


Authorities have instituted an investigation into the source and reason for the contamination. At the same time President Rodrigo Chaves announced the appointment of a new president of the AyA, Sr. Juan Manuel Quesada who previously headed the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo (RECOPE).


New Laws to Toughen Anti-Crime Effort


With a backdrop of increasing crime rates, including an all-time high for homicides in 2023, the Costa Rican Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches got together and have drafted a package of 10 proposals for new laws to combat the problem. Much of the new, tougher laws are directed towards "sicarios" (contract killers particularly associated with drug trafficking) and who they believe were the primary cause of the homicide rate reaching a historical record in 2023 (total of 900).


The proposed law(s) would prohibit offenders from the benefit of house arrest or use of electronic bracelets, especially if they are tied to organized crime and drug trafficking. Also prohibited would be the granting of naturalization, as well as the revoking of Costa Rican citizenship obtained through naturalization, when the foreigner has been convicted of a serious crime. The package would also create stiffer laws and more severe impediments and requirements to early release of criminals.


The package of initiatives is expected to be "fast-tracked" and is already on the legislative calendar due to the the emphasis agreed and placed upon it by the apparent agreement of all three branches of government.


Space Junk Over Costa Rica (Wow!)


The folks in the Central Valley, particularly in San José and Cartago on Monday, February 12 in the madrugada (small hours of the night or 1-3 AM) were treated to an exciting display of space junk burning its way through the atmosphere. NASA Officials quickly pronounced the startling light as space junk and a Harvard astronomer and astrophysicist assured the public that what was seen was a Chinese robot rocket that was launched in August 2022.


Others in the know reminded people that there are approximately 26,000 pieces of space junk currently circulating the globe and that, on average, one piece falls to earth every day, mostly into the ocean or distant desserts. Several would be astronomers recorded the event and posted videos on Tik-Tok. To see one of these go here: Link to Space Junk


Another Unrecorded Withdrawal At Banco Nacional


In November of 2023 a great deal of money was discovered as missing at the main vault of the country´s largest national bank, Banco Nacional. It was subsequently dubbed "the largest bank heist in Costa Rican history" and totaled some ₡3.3 billion or about US$6.4 million. Several employees were subsequently caught by hidden cameras stuffing currency into bags; they were fired and charges brought against them.


BN Branch Ciudad Quesada - San Carlos

In late January this year a surprise count at a BN branch in Ciudad Quesada, San Carlos turned up another shortage of ₡560,000 or about US$1,072. Officials, however, are not sure the total amount absconded has yet been determined. Two employees have been charged with embezzlement. More to be revealed.


Seems like surprise audits should be in order for all the branches; and while you´re at it maybe include the other major national bank, BCR (Banco de Costa Rica), GG´s bank.


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)


Gasoline Price Update


As the updated GGC Fuel Pricer below indicates there continued to be a slow decline in the price of regular gas (down 8 colones/liter or US6c/gal) and diesel (down 24 colones/liter or US18c/gal) while super grade gasoline continued its strong upswing (this month +26 colones/liter or US19c/gal).

Big Mac Economics


British Financial Magazine, The Economist, invented the Big Mac Index in 1986 as a "lighthearted guide and informal means of assessing whether a currency is overvalued or undervalued." The Big Mac Index works this way:


Currency Exchange Standard

According to The Economist: "A Big Mac costs £4.49 in Britain and $5.69 in the United States. The implied exchange rate is ¢518.45. The difference between this and the actual exchange rate, 516.46, suggests the Costa Rican colón is 0.39% overvalued”. (As we used to say in Calc class:

"The difference is obvious to the most casual observer).


This year´s Big Mac Index lead to Costa Rica being in the top 8 list of overvalued currencies, for the first time in over 10 years, taking #6 position:

  1. Swiss franc (43.5%).
  2. Norwegian crown (25.5%)
  3. Uruguayan peso (23.7%)
  4. Euro (3.1%)
  5. Swedish krona (3.1%)
  6. Costa Rican colón (0.39%)
  7. British Pound sterling (0.36%)
  8. Danish krone (0.03%)

Not a great surprise as the colón has strengthened considerably against the dollar this year. GG wonders how a Fish & Chips standard would work out (or maybe Gallo Pinto)?


Costa Rica Only OECD Country Registering Negative Inflation in 2023

OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) is a group of representatives from 38 countries that: "...engage with our experts, use our data and analysis to inform policy decisions, and play a key role in our country reviews, which are designed to encourage better performances". Costa Rica has been a member of OECD since 2021.

OECD recently reported that Costa Rica was the only member to experience "negative inflation" (a decline in the cost of a typical market basket of goods and services) from 2022 to 2023, a number that came in for Costa Rica at -1.8%.

The countries currently participating in OECD are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkiye, United Kingdom and the United States.


US Dollar Versus CR Colon Continues Decline


In July of 2022 the exchange rate for US Dollars vs CR Colones peaked such that one dollar would purchase about 690 colones. Since then the dollar value against the colon has steadily declined so that the current conversion rate at the time of this writing is close to 515 colones per dollar. The graph to the right shows the decline just in 2023, from about 570/$ to 515/$.


During this recent period foreign Costa Rica´s exchange reserves (largely in dollars) have increased substantially which is one cause for the exchange rate to decline. If the trend continues economic sectors dependent on the global market are losing competitiveness, which will translate into a contraction in investment and fewer jobs. The government has been asked by these sectors calling on the government and the Central Bank to intervene in the exchange market and control the appreciation of the colon.


One question coming up often these days is "How much of this new world is related to the increasing drug problem?" The government is attacking the problem on two fronts: 1) the Central Bank shortly will require better identification of foreign money transfers which now are often classified as "miscellaneous" or "others" to better identify the source of the money and 2) increased penalties for drug trafficking money laundering which is thought to have penetrated the money exchange system to some degree.


¡Pura Vida!

Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)



Reforms Begin With A General Strike.  The new president of Argentina, Javier Mile, wasted no time after his inauguration on December 10, 2023 to implement new labor regulations (since put on hold by the courts) which he ordered by decree on December 20, as well as ordering massive layoffs at state-owned firms. The reaction to his efforts was a one-day general labor strike across the country.


Strikers at Central Plaza Buenos Aires

As a self-described "anarcho-capitalist", Milei says drastic changes are necessary to stabilize an economy that reported an inflation rate of 211% in 2023. Also, a quick check of the current dollar exchange rate results in 1 Argentine peso = 0.0012 dollars (833 pesos per dollar). When GG was there a some years ago (2015) the exchange rate was about 30 pesos/$. (So that´s what uncontrolled inflation does.)


The strikers included social groups, political opponents and a number from the Peronist Party that ruled in Argentina for decades.




Wildfire Kills 123 People. In February, the press was filled with stories about a state of emergency being declared in Colombia due to wildfires consuming tens of thousands of acres which in turn were a result of dry conditions blamed on the El Niño winter weather patterns the Americas are now experiencing. This month a disastrous repeat occurred in Chile only this time it took lives, last count being 123.


Near Vina del Mar, Chile

The government of President Gabriel Boric declared and began two days of national mourning Monday, February 5. The worse incidents occurred in Valparaiso on the central pacific coast in a section called Vina del Mar, a popular tourist spot known for its beaches and botanical gardens.


Said one resident of Vina del Mar: “The most important parts of my house were saved, but now we are without electricity, we can’t do anything or charge our cell phones. Traffic is complicated with burned cars, everything is devastated,”


El Niño is living up to its reputation this year.




Major Chicken Theft. Thirty Cuban government employees were recently charged with the theft of 130 tons (!) of chicken that was supposed to be part of the government´s “rationbook” system, that system being a legacy from the Castro era intended to provide subsidized staples to the populace.


The 1660 boxes of chicken were sold by the thieves and, according to a state TV broadcast, the proceeds provided the robbers enough funds to buy refrigerators, laptops, televisions and air conditioners. The chicken lost was estimated to be equal to that needed for a medium-sized province for a month.


The loss was particularly felt because the availability of chicken has fallen sharply in recent years because of the economic crisis in the island.


El Salvador


Bukele Re-Elected by Wide Margin. President Nayib Bukele has been re-elected to a second five year term as President of El Salvador. He announced the results himself claiming 85% of the vote although those facts have yet to be confirmed by the electoral commission. Bukele also claimed that his New Ideas Party took 58 of the 60 seats in the legislative assembly.


Bukele & Mrs. Celebrating Victory

Polls closed at 4 PM on Sunday, February 4 and Bukele announced the results within two hours of the closing. An exit poll by CID Gallup put Bukele’s support at 87%. Bukele now becomes the first Salvadoran president in almost a century to be re-elected.


The consensus is that voters were out to reward Bukele for the sharp drop in violent crime that he managed by arresting and jailing some 75,000 Salvadorans that his government identified and targeted as the cause behind the crime rate. Some Bukele opponents now worry that, given this new power, he might be tempted to change the democratic core of their constitution such as eliminating the term limits statute on his own presidency and becoming a real dictator like his Nicaraguan neighbor to the east.


Vamos a ver (we shall see) amigos.




Nestlé To Close Plant. The Swiss food giant Nestlé (2023 sales US$78.4B) recently announced that they would close their plant in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, known as Compañía Centroamericana de Productos Lácteos S.A. (PROLACSA) and transfer production to some of their other Latin America plants.


Nestlé Plant in Matagalpa

Nestlé stated that “This decision is due exclusively to the current global dynamics for efficient and productive operations, and responds to the needs of our consumers." They also emphasized that they would maintain operations and commercial management in Nicaragua and noted that they have been operating there for over 60 years.


This decision comes on the heels of the announcement of the closure of two other operations in Nicaragua: 1) Cisa Exportadora, the largest coffee collector, processor, and exporter in Nicaragua, announced its closure only two months ago and 2) in November 2023, the Mexican Group Lala, which specialized in the innovation, production, marketing, and distribution of food and beverages, in a surprising move, left Nicaragua.




Government Expels U.N. Human Rights Office. Thursday, February 15 the Foreign Affairs Minister of Venezuela closed the U.N. human rights office in Caracas and ordered it to cease all operations claiming it had become the “private law firm of the coup plotters and terrorists who permanently conspire against the country.”


Rocio San Miguel

The action is thought to be in response to criticism of the Venezuelan government´s decision to detain human rights attorney Rocio San Miguel, an incident that has also drawn concern in international quarters. San Miguel has been accused by the government of being a conspirator in an alleged U.S.-backed plot to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro.


San Miguel has been detained in Caracas and is reportedly now in Helicoide Prison, which is known for detaining political prisoners. She was prevented from boarding a flight with her daughter to Miami and also prevented from seeing her attorney for consultations.

¡Pura Vida!



Feature: Municipal Elections in Costa Rica
(GG Votes for His Second Time)


Golden Gringo University topics are designed to provide information regarding resident or citizenship particulars, responsibilities, as well as regulation requirements and information regarding cultural differences that concern or should concern expats living in Costa Rica. Caution: Information in this article was valid at the time it was written so you may want to update it with the appropriate authorities as rules regarding elections and the election process change regularly.

Golden Gringo University
(Understanding the Costa Rican Electoral System - Municipal Elections)

GG obtained his Costa Rican Citizenship in 2020 and cast his first vote in the National Elections (Presidency, Legislature) in 2022 (my guy won). Municipal elections, though specific to the Cantons (cantons are similar to counties) are also conducted nation-wide on one day. They do, like the Presidential/Legislative nationals, occur every four years but the Municipals are interwoven between the nationals so the first chance I got to vote for regional offices occurred in 2024.


All elections in Costa Rica occur under the guidance and regulations of the TSE (Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones), essentially a high level court that regulates and certifies political parties and candidates for various elections including all presidential, legislative and municipal contests.


PLN Supporters
PUSC Supporters

Up until the turn of the millennium Costa Rica was essentially a two-party system dominated by the National Liberation Party (known by its Spanish call letters PLN) and the other as United Social Christian Party (PUSC).


In the decades before and after the turn of the millennium (2000) the governmental structure was changed significantly in two ways: 1) the responsibility for many local "projects" was shifted to the Mayors of the Cantons and their Municipal Councils and 2) the process for creating a new political party was liberalized. The current guidelines for forming a political party to meet TSE criteria are as follows (listed from TSE Guidelines):

Not surprisingly under these guidelines, the number of political parties has proliferated in the last 25 years such that, in this recent municipal election, 77 parties were cleared to participate and 68 actually had one or more votes. The results of the top ten parties in this election as a percent of total vote were:

Yup, your right, if you´re following the arithmetic, some 57 parties cumulatively accounted for slightly less than 19% of the total vote.


Doña Patricia Bolaños
Alcaldeza de Quepos

Another thing that GG found interesting was being presented with three ballots at the polling station. Fortunately I had been warned by a Tico friend that that would occur. The first ballot was for mayor and, for Quepos, there appeared four people on the paper alongside photos of their party´s logo. In this case the name of the candidate was given in each case (but in very small print); the key identification for the voter is the party logo.


The winner in the Quepos Mayoralty election was PUSC candidate Doña Patricia Mayela Bolaños Murillo (photo above and affectionately known as Doña Patricia) who has been the current Acaldeza (Mayor) since 2020 and who was re-elected by a large margin (42.1% vs the next at 27.5%). Doña Patricia originally came to the mayoralty with international awards having been named the winner of the International MAYA Award 2018, which recognizes outstanding public servants in Iberoamerica. Congratulations Doña Patricia on the award and the re-election.


I have yet to get a full understanding as to how the candidates are allowed or chosen to be on the second and third ballots but they include Aldermen (also know as "Regidores"), Syndics (District Council Presidents), District Councilors and Intendants (the latter overseeing autonomous regions).


My guess is the candidates are chosen by the Mayor´s Municipal Council that includes members in those same categories with some deference to other parties that may also be present on the council. (GG hopes to improve his knowledge of how those candidates are selected and will report later - there´s much more to be learned.) This is the system by which 6,212 municipal positions from mayor on down were filled across the country from the February 2, 2024 election.


One of the things that became apparent to GG in this process, now having experienced both national and municipal elections, is the great deal of pride that Costa Ricans take in their democracy. Like most democracies they have struggled to succeed, even going through a civil war in the mid-1900´s, and have done so in a part of the world (Latin America) that has a spotty record on democracies and appears prone to dictatorships.


The Economist (yes, the same magazine that originated the Big Mac Index above) also publishes a worldwide Democracy Index that rates each country in five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. For the Americas, Costa Rica´s democracy index comes in 4th highest of 35 countries, (includes the Caribbean) and their democracy rating is surpassed only by three others: Canada, Uruguay, and Chile. For Costa Rica the Economist points out these advantages:


Free and Fair Elections: The country conducts regular elections where citizens can freely cast their votes without interference.


Political Pluralism: Multiple political parties participate, ensuring a diverse range of choices for voters.


Independent Electoral Authorities: The electoral process is overseen by independent bodies that ensure fairness and integrity. (Think TSE mentioned above)


For GG personally, I have always been proud of being a U.S. American, now I can be proud of being a joint citizen of two democratic American countries.


To read more on topics under the Golden Gringo University section, including GG´s experience on first voting in a presidential election, go HERE.


¡Pura Vida!



Rumble and Weather Talk

(Shaky Happenings & Weather Observations About the Pacific Rim)




No significant tremors (+2.5R) in Costa Rica reported during the month of February. Ain´t dat nice.


Check Out Recent Earthquakes All Around the World Posted by the U.S.G.S. 
Recent Quakes


Weather - There´s No Doubt It´s Summer


GG is Ready With His Farmer´s Hat

But how about a record high temperature summer?


A few months ago the weathermen and women were predicting, because of the El Niño weather patterns virtually hitting all of the Americas, that we were probably in for a scorcher of a summer here (like mid-December to mid-April).


They were right on the money and in November the monthly average temperature exceeded the previous record of 1940 by 1ºC (1.8ºF). Forecasts are that for the next three months we may see as much as 1-2ºC above normal.


Get out the sunblock and don´t forget your farmer´s hat amigo.

¡Pura Vida!



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?)




It´s a jungle out there?







But where exactly is that?






And why is GG showing it here, wazzitallabout?






Answer in
Section Below








¡A Cachete!




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?)



Health Authorities Still Vigilant Concerning COVID-19


There has been a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Costa Rica in the early weeks of 2024 with about 600 new cases reported. Authorities suggest that this can be explained by an increase in family and social activities at the end and beginning of the years as well as falling off of recommended hygiene practices. Add to that a low vaccination rate.


The latest variant, called the JN.1 variant is the one that is now being confronted and the Health Ministry has obtained and begun distributing 22,000 doses of bivalent vaccines to counter the case surge.


¡Solo Bueno!



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
There's Room for
More on the GGC Bookshelf

Keep Writing Amigos!
Costa Rica´s Capital The Veteran Traveler    
#17 Read More #18 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


The creek shown is not in the heart of the jungle but instead in the heart of Quepos. This creek runs from Manuel Antonio under and across the main boulevard from the Catholic Church, through downtown Quepos near the Municipalidad Office and eventually empties into the small stream called the estero Boca Vieja which in turn shortly runs into the Pacific Ocean.


American White Ibis

GG, on his way to downtown to do mandatos (errands) or to catch a bus at the station, often stops briefly at the bridge that spans this creek to inventory the birds.


Unfortunately you can´t see from the creek photos here as I don´t have a telescopic option on my gear, but there were four American white Ibises (stock photo right) about 20 meters up the creek. Fighting along side them for small crustaceans under the rocks were three large buzzards.


¡Pura Vida!



ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

El Gran Escape, Quepos

Location: Avenue 1 (Front Street) across from the Malecón (Bay-Walk or Esplanade).

Parking: Street Parking - Usually Ample

Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM, Monday threw Sunday

Contacts: Tel.: +506 2777 7850; N/A; Website: https://www.facebook.com/elescapecr


Reviewing ROMEOS: Annie C., Barry S., Bob N., Gale C., Glen N., Julia S., Kathy P., Lawrence L..


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


ROMEOs Once Again Hard at Work

El Gran Escape has been on our list for review for years but, because of changes (more than one ownership and management change) we had not done a ROMEO Review for almost five years.


The restaurant is situated in the heart of Quepos across the street from the Malecón (bay-walk or esplanade). The restaurant takes up a large corner of Quepos and is open on two sides to fair breezes from the ocean. The tables are typical-area hardwood and simply decorated; the restaurant was almost completely filled with customers shortly after we sat down.


The composite score by the ROMEOs for ambiance came in 3.9 out of a max 5.0 sloths.


We were offered a rather extensive menu that had everything from large burgers to a number of selections of fish and seafood as well as a series of creative plates. GG found it difficult to read past something called "Love Chicken", which was described as breaded chicken pieces combined with avocado and other vegetables and flavored with gentle spices that I could only assume were Asian, all served over sushi rice. It was delicious and the ample amount served allowed me to take half home in a monkey bag.


Other ROMEOs selected barbecued ribs, chicken fingers, a burger, tuna poke bowl, tuna steak and mahi-mahi fillet dishes.


The composite score for food quality came in at 4.6/5.0 max.


Value Index= 119


As mentioned before, the restaurant was nearly at full capacity and we waited accordingly for our meals. We also learned that one of the cooks had called in sick which compounded the wait even more. We were served by a gentleman who was patient, helpful, friendly and attentive as much as he could be considering the extenuating circumstances. The composite score for service came in at 4.4/5.0 and that gave an overall rating for Ambiance, Food Quality and Service of (3.9+4.6+4.4)/3=4.27.


The cost of GG´s Love Chicken and a Michelada came in at 10,200 colones including the normal 13% tax and 10% legally required tip. The composite score for cost came in at 3.6/5.0 giving a Value Index of 4.27/3.6=118. Coincidentally this is almost the same rating review we gave El Gran Escape 5 years ago.


Welcome back El Gan Escape, it´s nice to have you in our options again for a good meal at a reasonable price!


¡Solo Bueno!




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Pura Vida!

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