Posted tagged ‘fishing records in costa rica’

Sportfishing in Costa Rica…..Some Hints to Finding the Fish!

January 12, 2014

With well over 750 miles of coastline to explore, anglers coming to Costa Rica have a multitude of options to try their luck for both inshore and offshore sport fishing in this marine rich part of the world. It’s a big ocean out there, and if you don’t know what you are doing you can spend a whole day driving around burning expensive gas and finding absolutely nothing to put a bite on a hook! The main key to a successful day of offshore or inshore fishing is frankly knowing where and how to find the fish!

Naturally, there is no substitute for local expertise when it comes to finding fish, they live and breath the sport and no one

wants you to have a good fishing day more than your Captain and First Mate, so count on them for the best results! Every good captain knows where to find the fish, but if you are out for a day on your own, or if you are practicing to become the next best fishing captain for your next lifetime, you may find the following information helpful while exploring some new (or old) fishing grounds.
The first and foremost important tip for finding the fish is watch for Variation. Variation can come in several forms, some of them very obvious and others more subtle, so here are some helpful hints for you in case you are headed out for a day of great fishing action!

Los Corrientes (The currents)
The most tried and true method to finding gamefish in Costa Rica is fishing in “los corrientes”. These currents can be

spotted by a subtle change in color and in the temperature of the water. Baitfish and predators tend to be more plentiful in these currents, so an experienced captain will generally work the edges of “los corrientes” to see how the action is going before moving on to other options. When fishing from the areas of Quepos, Jaco, or Herradura, charters will find “los corrientes” about twenty-five to thirty miles offshore during peak billfish season and will generally head that direction to start their day. For that reason, it is almost always recommended to plan at least a 3/4 to Full Day of fishing to allow enough time to get into the really thick action!

Ocean Floor Geography
Invisible to the naked eye, the underwater geopgraphic structures such as canyons, reefs and other natural formations can increase

the flow of ocean currents, increasing the chance of good angling or even extreme angling in particular areas. The rapidly moving currents can trap bait fish allowing the large game fish to move in seeking an easy feeding session on the trapped bait. Similar to the seasonal currents, these fish rich currents are often found by looking for subtle changes in the water color or surface ocean temperatures. Professional and experienced Sport Fishing Charter Captains for the Costa Rican shores will always have one eye on the bottom (think GPS) and one eye on the surface looking for those subtle changes that are going to lead them to their prize.

Floating Debris
The rainy season in Costa Rica may not be the favored months for hooking the larger Gamefish (though they are prevelent year round,

so don’t let the rainy season scare you away!), but it is the hottest time of year for Dorado, including Bull Dorado which can often times come in weighing over fifty pounds! Since the heavy rains in the mountains of Costa Rica run out the local rivers located in the Quepos, Jaco and

Herradura areas, the experienced fisherman knows that fish love structure and obstacles, even temporary formations resulting from debris washing out to sea from the rain swollen rivers, so its always a good idea to head that way. Fishing deep around areas such as weed lines, floating pallets, or logs can yield a great Dorado hit, meaning a possible great dinner will be on the table that night! Other game fish can be found beneath the debris as well, so this is an area that is especially worth an anglers undivided attention!!

Underwater Structure
Wrecks and reefs provide structure or should we say a vacation home getaway for large bottom fish including Cubera Snapper and Grouper. This so called structure is also home to plankton and other small organisms that serve to attract baitfish which in turn attract the bigger game fish on the prowl for an easy meal. Keep in mind…..the main structure area may be overfished, while potential surrounding “satellite” sites around the structure can often be teaming with life as well, so keep your eyes and your fishing lines open. Larger Gamefish often hang out at these quieter satellite sites, so work that whole area for best results.

Slicks

Its a big ocean out there, but sometimes you can see obvious “slicks” on the surface, so keep your eye out for any and all oily slicks on the water’s surface since these can often be a good sign for hungry for action anglers. Big game fish such as Dorado, Tuna, Marlin and Sailfish when feeding are chasing bait fish to the surface which releases fish oils, resulting in the “slicks” that you may witness. If you are lucky, this very slick could hold the trophy catch you have been seeking!

Birds

Offshore birds are always fishing in Costa Rica, so it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the sky as well! Searching for bait pods, tuna feeding, or trolling Billfish, pay particular attention to the many Frigate Birds who are great spotters, especially those that are circling in one particular location. The experienced fishing guide knows that even a lone Frigate Bird can lead you to a trophy Tuna, Marlin or Sailfish.

With prices high and time limited during a Costa Rica visit, when fishing offshore in our gamefish rich waters of Costa Rica, the

importance of local expertise cannot be overstated. Natural underwater geographic structures are consistent and well know and local Costa Rica Fishing Guides now have the ability to record the best fishing spots to GPS, giving them the edge when fishing for big game fish in these open waters…..something someone who does not live in the area is never going to know about. In addition, an experienced captain and mate will have developed keen eyes and experience, with some experienced Captains and First Mates able to spot schooling Tuna miles away just by looking for disturbed water and many of the other hints listed above.

So on your next Sportfish outing while fishing in Costa Rica (or wherever!), keep the above hints in mind for best results, and

be sure to find out more about Pacific fish species, fishing seasons, fishing reports, and the local weather conditions beforehand by checking out our link on fishing in the Quepos, Costa Rica area via your local Costa Rica Vacation House Rental or Costa Rica Hotel, where they are happy to steer you in the right direction for an unforgettable day of Game fishing in an area that still boasts some 17 IGFA World Records! You could be the next World Record Holder!! FISH ON!!!!

Author:
Kimberly Barron, originally from Malibu, California has lived in Parismina and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica for 20 years. Starting as a certified tour guide, she spent 15 years managing fishing lodges on the Caribbean Coast and later 4* & 5* Hotels on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Currently semi-retired, Kimberly still works as the Marketing Director for Byblos Resort & Casino and owns and operates her own Costa Rica Vacation Rental Home business at Manuel Antonio Rental Homes!

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New Quepos Costa Rica Marina Pez Vela Still Struggling to Catch a Wave

November 27, 2011

Quepos, Costa Rica’s Marina Pez Vela is approaching two years of operation in 2012, but where are the jobs and the growth we were promised? After a slow start, the marina’s supporters hope for a pick up in business, if only the economy would put some wind in it’s sails. Harold Lovelady, the Marina’s owner/designer originally planned this as his retirement project, but it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. For more information, read on……

The residents of the Costa Rican port “city” of Quepos, a sleepy little town located 4k North of the world famous Manuel Antonio National Park, have been eagerly awaiting the economic boom they had hoped to see when the building of the World Class Marina Pez Vela was first proposed. The dilapidated old pier, originally built by the United Fruit Company, had become an eyesore, so a new marina was not only badly needed, but was the new hope to generate tourism to our area. The original antiquated pier was designed to accommodate the exportation of bananas back in the 50’s and 60’s, with the remote Quepos town being used as a base camp for the administration of the extensive surrounding banana plantations (they have since been converted to African Palm Plantations). Unfortunately, most area residents are still waiting for the economic benefits that were promised when the Marina Pez Vela originally broke ground. Plagued by the continued slow economic climate and lower tourism numbers, the construction of the Marina has been no ride down easy street.

“Initially there was a lot of resistance, but now it’s clear sailing,” said Harry Bodaan, owner of the Mansion Inn Hotel in Manuel Antonio and president of the Quepos and Aguirre Chamber of Commerce. “Everybody recognizes the fact that a marina the size of Pez Vela is going to bring an enormous amount of business to Quepos. A lot of investors have come to Manuel Antonio because of it … The development of Pez Vela will change the face of this part of the central Pacific.”, expressed Mr. Bodaan last year.

While there has been general support of the on-going construction of the Marina by the local citizens and business owners, the expected financial and tourist boost, with the expected accompanying job opportunities it would create, have yet to be realized. At this time, only about 20 people work at the marina facility, mostly in sales and cleaning or security positions. Though not giving up all hope, the towns of Quepos and Manuel Antonio, with their many nearby Costa Rica hotels, dining establishments, souvenier shops and other small businesses lament that the project as yet to attract the added business so badly needed in this struggling tourist mecca.

The beautiful views of the fairly vacant, yet handsomely designed crescent-shaped marina beckon to those boating, yachting and water enthusiasts that flock to the area to enjoy World Class Sport Fishing, Sailing and Snorkeling tours, as well as excellent Surfing, Jet Ski Excursions, Kayaking Trips and many other adventurous or relaxing water sports. It would seem that further growth would be in inevitable, though the stalled economies around the world are surely holding up the eventual plan. Only a handful of slips are currently rented or owned, but according to the owner Mr. Harold Lovelady, inquiries about owning a slip or investing in the project have remained steady.

Harold Lovelady, is the owner and mastermind behind the Marina Pez Vela. Lovelady, originally retired from the state of Texas after a career in telecommunications, arrived to the town of Quepos some 11+ years ago, with his boat and the ex-pat dream of spending his golden years fishing in what he considers to be “the best fishing location in the world.” After only a short time, he realized the growing need for a marina in the small, but busy tourist town of Quepos; and thus…. the idea of building Marina Pez Vela was born.

Not a man to think small, Lovelady’s original idea took some 11 years to come to fruition and resulted in the soon to be World Class facility of the Marina Pez Vela. A professionally planned 55+ acre state-of-the-art marina, it officially opened it’s first phase in 2010. Located just north of the old United Fruit Company pier in downtown Quepos, this beautiful Marina is not hard to spot, as it can be found just past the main sea wall when entering the famous town of Quepos. Watching on the right side of the road, visitors will spot the thousands of short, stout breakwater plugs based on technologies utilized for the very first time in Costa Rica, these plugs are called Cofferdams. Cofferdams are natural material-filled cellular steel structures, the largest of which measures 18.5 meters in diameter and the smallest 12 meters in diameter. These unique breakwater structures are specially designed to resist the strong ocean waves of the Pacific, enabling the marina’s inner slips and docking areas to remain safe from the dangerous seasonal storms that have been known to sink dozens of expensive charter fishing boats and yachts in this area in years past.

“It started as a small project, but as more people expressed interest in a marina, we had to redesign the original plan to accommodate the potential demand,” Lovelady said. “It was evident we needed to make a larger, world-class marina. So that’s how it turned out.”

The Marina Pez Vela, which officially opened its 97 docking slips in 2010, is still in the first phase of development. In coming years, the marina plans to build a total of 303 slips, a boatyard for maintenance and repairs, a retail shopping center, condominiums and a luxury hotel, all within the confines of the marina’s currently mostly empty lot. The marina’s initial slips are being rented or have been bought by travelers from around the world to include Russia, South Africa, Europe and the USA, to name a few.

Quepos, having suffered for decades with a dilapidated third world pier with unsafe, substandard facilities that were damaging the environment, Mr. Lovelady explained that when a large yacht comes in to fill up with gas, somewhere between 10,000-50,000gallons of diesel fuel is pumped into a single boat. Something that previously caused potential safety and environmental hazards, the marina now provides a formal fuel dock, charging an environmental fee on top of the cost of fuel which is deposited into a fund just in case there is ever a need for clean up of any potential accidents or spills. Another grand potential the facility will likely provide is in terms of the marina’s boatyard. Once finished, this one-of-a-kind facility, will service and repair boats of all types and sizes and will serve as the only facility of its kind on the Pacific coastline of Central and South America. “The boatyard will have 5-ton and 200-ton travel lifts. Between the two of them, it will allow us to pull a boat out of the water up to about the length of 135-feet.” Lovelady said. “We will be able to fix anything that’s broken on anybody’s boat that comes in.”

The majority of boats coming into the Marina Pez Vela are currently tourist yachts and sport fishing charters that work in the area year round. A study in 2008 by the non-profit Billfish Foundation found that fishing tourism generated some $600 million for the Costa Rican economy, accounting for approximately 2% of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product), employing directly and indirectly an estimated 63,000 people. With numbers like that, it is obvious that this project has a huge potential to change the face and reputation of the small town of Quepos.

In addition to jobs that cater to the sport fishing and tourism industry, the Marina is expected to eventually provide work for government positions as well, as members of the Public Works and Transport Ministry and Immigration will all work out of an office near the boat entrance to Pez Vela. Government officials will be responsible to check the boats and their passengers, using the marina to monitor for illegal activity, conduct safety inspections, and ensure that the vessels carry proper documentation and licensing. With the interest to also host offices for the Costa Rican Health and Finance Ministries, the marina slips are equipped with an industrial waste water pump that transports boat waste to a treatment plant, where the waste is broken down and the grey water reused. This is an important aspect of the Marina’s ecological goal to avoid potential health and environmental hazards that a large marina facility could create when in full operation.

As more boats make the Marina their home, anticipation continues to grow in the Quepos and Manuel Antonio areas. According to Marina operators, with the completion of phase three – the hotels, condos and shopping center – an estimated 3,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created by the Marina by the year 2014.

In the meantime, Costa Rica hotel owners in the popular tourist-dependent areas of Quepos and Manuel Antonio, can only bide their time and hope that the many potential marina visitors will help fill the area’s estimated 2,000 available rooms, as well as dine in the many restaurants available in the area. Unfortunately, for now……small businesses that line the 4k road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park will have to be content to limp along struggling with a stagnant economy that has been the root cause of some of the slowest years for the tourism industry in Costa Rica’s history, as well as slowing the final phases of construction on our beautiful new Marina Pez Vela.

How can you help? Send tourists to our area, as they are the biggest boost to our local economy we can hope for! Happy Sailing!!

Author:
Kimberly Barron, originally from Malibu, California has lived in Parismina and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica for 20 years. Starting as a certified tour guide, she spent 15 years managing fishing lodges on the Caribbean Coast and later 4* & 5* Hotels on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Currently semi-retired, Kimberly still works as the Marketing Director for Byblos Resort & Casino and Hotel Makanda by the Sea.

Costa Rica Classic International Billfish Tournament Returns to Quepos Costa Rica!

February 18, 2011

Quepos, Costa Rica, long considered one of the top sport fishing destinations in Costa Rica, plays host to the popular Costa Rica Classic International Billfish Tournament to be held March 10-12, 2011.

The Costa Rica Classic International Billfish Tournament which in years past was hosted in Quepos, had been held

Join us for the Costa Rica Classic!!

at the Los Suenos Marina in previous years, but once again returns to our popular area. This classic match up of some of the top International and Local Anglers will take the town by storm, with proceeds set to benefit the Boomer Esiason Foundation. This World renowned event is scheduled to be held at the brand new Marina Pez Vela, Quepos’ newest tourist attraction. Many nearby Manuel Antonio Hotels, as well as Hotels in Quepos will be offering special room rates for anglers, their crews and other fishing aficionados, but don’t wait too long, as space is limited for this popular fishing event!

The Event
The welcoming Cocktail Reception will be held March 10th at Hotel Mariposa in Manuel Antonio. Fishing teams will consist of a minimum two anglers per boat with

Offshore Fishing at it’s Best!!

up to six anglers per boat permitted. Individual anglers will be assigned to a team by tournament directors. This is a “Benefit Tournament” and modified IGFA rules apply. This is a Gentlemen’s tournament, and we are here to have fun, catch fish, make friends and help a great cause. THE HONOR SYSTEM APPLIES. Fishing on March 11 and 12 are lines in at 8:30am and out at 3:30pm, boats can depart the marina at 6:20am but no lines in the water until

8:30am. Boats must be back at the docks by 5:30pm. No electric reels are permitted, all rods, reels, line and leader must meet IGFA specifications. Any Billfish, Marlin, Stripe Marlin, Sailfish, Spearfish, Swordfish, regardless of size will be released in accordance with IGFA and tournament rules.

The Cause
The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and the quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis,

Help us help this great cause!

while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure. The Boomer Esiason Foundation’s staff is comprised of individuals with expertise in cystic fibrosis and program development, event planning and fundraising, marketing and communications, and management. The Board of Directors includes leaders in the business community who generously give of their time and resources in support of BEF’s critical mission. These dedicated people may come from all walks for life, but they all agree on one thing: they’ll do whatever it takes to beat cystic fibrosis. This is more than just a fishing tournament, this could help change people’s lives!

Quepos, Costa Rica
Boasting some 17 IGFA Records, Quepos, Costa Rica is considered one of the best locations in the world for big game sportfishing. A small town some 160 km from

The town of Quepos, Costa Rica

the capital city of San Jose, Quepos can be found on Costa Rica’s central Pacific Coast, only 2.5 hours driving or a quick 25 minute domestic flight from the Juan Santa Maria International Airport. Although wildly popular for it’s sport fishing, the town of Quepos is conveniently located only minutes from Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica’s most visited and popular Park. Tourists are not only afforded fantastic fishing opportunities, but a wide variety of other tours and activities are readily available only minutes from local Costa Rica Hotels, fine restaurants, spas and bars. The town

center is a 5 block square filled with many eateries, farmers markets, art galleries and souvenier shops, all situated near the new beach front sea wall. If you happen to visit here during festival times, the streets are filled with dancing, parades and local concerts.

The Marina Pez Vela
Located in one of the most spectacular fishing locations in the world, Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica when completed will offer all

the amenities and services you’d expect to find in a five-star marina resort. Touted to soon be the finest full service marina you will find in all of Central America, just one visit to the 55+ acres of land and water at Marina Pez Vela will exceed the expectations of even the most demanding sportfishing, boating and yachting enthusiasts. Presently under continuing construction, the 300 concrete floating dock slips will eventually accommodate boats up to 200 feet. The first 100 slips opened June 2010 and surround the perimeter of the basin which will offer complete amenities of a first class marina facility. The marina slips are available for sale (with revenue sharing when rented out) or available for short and long-term renting. From 35′ up to 200′, Marina Pez Vela has opened up a new opportunity for boaters to explore the finest waters in all of Central America. Once you arrive here, you will not want to leave!

How Can I Participate?
For further information about this fun and important fishing event, I invite you to check out the official Costa Rica Classic website at http://www.costaricaclassic.com or for further information about Cycstic Fibrosis and how you can support or donate to this worthy cause, please check out their website at http://www.esiason.org.

What Else??
The Quepos area will also play host to the upcoming Costa Rica Challenge,

another popular fishing tournament scheduled for March 17-20, 2011. So, if you’re busy in early March, you still have time to catch the “Big One” later that month! This will be the 3rd Annual CF & MS Fishing Tournament benefiting the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, both important causes that desperately need your support! Join us where the Rainforest Meets the Sea for one or better yet, both of these popular fishing tournaments!

Check out some of the great action from a past tournament:

Author:
Kimberly Barron, originally from Malibu, California has lived in Parismina and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica for 20 years. Starting as a certified tour guide, she spent 15 years managing fishing lodges on the Caribbean Coast and later 4* & 5* Hotels on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Currently semi-retired, Kimberly still works as the Marketing Director for Byblos Resort & Casino and Hotel Makanda by the Sea.

New Addition to Endangered list in Costa Rica…..Boutique Hotels?

April 28, 2010
Byblos Resort & Casino in Costa Rica

Boutique Adventure Resort - Byblos Resort & Casino

Walking down memory lane to the 1990’s, Costa Rica welcomed their first world class hotel chain, the Spanish firm known as Barceló.  Specializing in the “All Inclusive” style of lodging, this style of travel did not take much of a foothold in this country, and the Boutique Hotel market remained the most popular choice for tourist accommodations.  Now we fast forward some 20 years and Costa Rica hosts some 9 major hotel chains!  Everything from Marriott, to Best Western, Intercontinental, Hilton, Choice, Wyndham, Four Seasons and the most recent group….Riu, now serve as the main players, with more jumping in each year.  Does this mean the Boutique Hotel concept is ready for the endangered list in Costa Rica? 

History:

The “boutique” style is said to have been created in New York back in 1984, though there are valid arguments that in 1981 both London and San Francisco boasted the first boutique sized hotels.  Most likely, 1984 might be when the term “boutique hotel” actually was coined, with the term coming into more mainstream use. Entrepreneurs Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell opened the boutique Morgans New York on Madison Avenue in the heart of Manhattan, and the concept grew by leaps and bounds from there. Morgans was small, stylish and unique, unlike the big brand-name hotels that predominated the markets at that time. The actual term “boutique hotel” was said to be coined by Rubell himself, who described their new hotel venture as being like a boutique as opposed to a department store.  A very succinct analogy if you ask me!

 Description:

The most defining characteristics of boutique style hotels are that they are generally small properties, with less than 100 rooms and more often averaging between 3 and 50 rooms total.  They take great pride in offering a super chic atmosphere, unique design and décor, contemporary styling and quite popular these days, a rich historical value or background.  Most boutique hotels provide highly personalized service, with very hands-on staff, management and/or ownership, offering a genuine personality that just can’t be found in the large hotel chains.   Services can be limited depending on the size and luxury level of the property or you can often find some of the most dynamic local and gourmet restaurants, world class spas, and other unique features that make them stand out from the standard hotel offering.  The concept has been so successful, that most multi-national hotel corporations have begun to brand their own chains of boutique resorts in order to try to capture a share of this huge market.

 Locations:

Still a popular choice for hotels in Costa Rica, the concept of “boutique”, “design” or “lifestyle” hotels, as they are often referred, has spread throughout the world, to include European & East Asian countries, appearing in such places as Indonesia, mainland China, Japan, Iceland, Turkey, India & the Middle East, just to name a few.  They continue to remain popular options throughout Central and South America as well or basically anywhere that provides a desirable destination for travel.  I am fairly certain that you will find some sort of boutique hotel in almost any corner of the world these days!

 Target Market:

There are no longer cookie cutter molds for guests seeking the “Boutique experience”.  Travelers are constantly looking for something new and different, while definitely expecting more than the simple comforts once acceptable to the average vacationista.  Whether planning a business trip, destination wedding, honeymoon getaway, adults only escape, or just an overdue vacation, when planning travel, guests more often than not seek properties that are noticeably different in look and feel from the large branded hotels.  Boutique hotels now even present a certain level of social branding.  Those staying at these establishments are often considered as trendy, daring, fashionable, hip travelers that are quite often more ecologically minded.  Since boutique facilities and their pricing can vary dramatically, there are now boutique properties designed to suit every demographic, any price range or social class, always with the idea of creating an unforgettable “guest experience” that just cannot be found in the larger hotel properties.

 Competition:

Boutique hotels retain certain benefits when it comes to cost of operations and overall profitability.  They often have a large customer base to work with, as well as being favored by smaller travel agencies or tour operators that are looking to sell the “experiential” concept that the boutique hotel property has to offer.  Since boutique hotel owners do not have to pay a franchise fee to be part of a larger chain, the hotel can often operate with a lower overhead that adding costly amenities such as restaurants, spas and convention & meeting spaces would create.  However, these added amenities can generate significant profitability and appeal to the hotel’s bottom line, so more often than not you will find every sort of amenity imaginable in todays boutique hotel properties. Another benefit for boutique hotel owners is that well established small properties tend to have a higher rate of repeat and word of mouth business compared to normal industry standards, which can save on boutique sized marketing budgets rarely able to compete with the huge marketing budgets of large branded properties. Nevertheless, successful boutique hotels must continually adapt to the constantly changing trends, needs, tastes, preferences, and technology in order to remain competitive in this cut throat hotel market.

In the end, whether it’s the most isolated green hotel getaway, the most unique historical location, the most private white sand beach, impeccable five-star white glove service, or you are just looking for that travel environment that loans their son’s boogey board, gives you cookies from their kitchen, offers the most incredible personalized guest services, or located in the most super chic locale, boutique hotels in every instance cater to their guests every need and whim.  Who doesn’t want that kind of attention on their hard earned vacation? 

So for your next Costa Rica vacation, bypass that mega chain hotel and try one of the many Costa Rican Boutique Hotels, you will be personally helping keep these unique properties off Costa Rica’s endangered list!!

If you have a favorite boutique hotel you have visited, please feel free to share it with us in the comments section!!

Author:  Kimberly Barron, originally from Malibu, California has lived in Parismina and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica for 20 years.  Starting as a certified tour guide, she spent 15 years managing fishing lodges on the Caribbean Coast and later 4* & 5* Hotels on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.  Currently semi-retired, Kimberly still works as the  Marketing Director for Byblos Resort & Casino and Makanda by the Sea.

 Sources:

www.independent.co.uk

www.travelandleisure.com

www.bizymoms.com

www.travels.com

www.wikipedia.org

www.ehow.com

www.wisegeek.com

www.hospitalitynet.org

Quepos, Costa Rica…once home to the Fierce Quepoa Indians!

January 30, 2010


Quepos acquired its name from the Quepoa Indians, which derived from the Boruca tribes that migrated northward from Columbia towards the end of the first millinium. The great conquistador, Juan Vasquez de Coronado, declared the Quepoa Indians as the ¨most beautiful people seen in these indies¨.
The Quepoa Indians were well respected as fierce fighters, and are said to have pilaged great quantities of gold from the Caribbean tribes of this country in their reign as relentless warriors. It is said that these tribes lived the majority of the year near the foothills of the Naranjo and Savegre Rivers for the purpose of more productive farming, while in the rainiest months they inhabited the coastal hills of Manuel Antonio, concentrating around Quepos Point.
The earliest recorded European presence in Manuel Antonio dates back to around 5 years after the famous Spanish explorer Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean in the early 1500´s. Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who would later be credited with discovering Florida in his quest to find the fountain of youth, arrived to the shores of Costa Rica, and more specifically the Manuel Antonio area in the year 1519. Upon his arrival to our shores, his flotella encountered a large presence of fearsome taunting Quepoa Indian Warriors lining the beach, and wisely declined to make landfall.
To this day, there continues a legend that a hidden treasure of some seven hundred tons of gold, silver, pearls, emeralds and other jewels exists somewhere in the territories that the Quepoa Indians occupied. Though this has never been confirmed, and obviously the treasure has never been discovered, infamous English privateer John Clipperton spent a good part of the late 1600´s exploring the area and befriending the Quepoa Tribes in his attempts to claim this immense fortune. Upon his death in 1722, Clipperton still believed the largest world treasure existed in our area, but was unsuccessful in his quest to claim it.
In the year 1746, after many years of Spanish rebellions, disease brought on by the European settlers, and warfare between rivaling Indian Groups, the Quepoa tribe was forced into extinction. The whereabouts of the legendary treasure, estimated to be worth billions of dollars at today’s currency still remains a mystery!

The actual town of Quepos first came to modern prominence as a busy shipping port for exporting bananas for the United Fruit Company. After years of devastating disease devastating the banana industry, this crop was scrapped and the agriculture fields were converted to the 40,000 plus hectares of African Palm trees that you see today. Prized for the diverse properties the oil produces, African Palm oil is now used as bio-fuel, in creams & cosmetics, soaps, margarines, as well as cooking and industrial oils. Although this crop continues to be a major economic force in our area, it helped fuel the decline of Quepos as a major shipping port, as the smaller fruit is much easier to transport and refine locally.

Surprisingly, even as late as the 1950´s basic communication between Quepos and the rest of the country was a challenge. Roads were almost non-existent, and passage by mule, donkey, horse or oxen cart was for many years the norm for the locals that lived in the area. In the 1940´s the president of Costa Rica, Rafael Angel Calderon declared Quepos and Parrita districts of Puntarenas, and it was at that time that they started work on a major road to San Jose, but that took many years to complete. There was a small railroad between Quepos and Parrita, but it was not widely used for the public and more often at low tide airplanes would land on the beach in front of the main street in front of what now stands as our sea wall. This is how they accommodated the first tourists, which arrived mostly during the dry months of January, February and March, and whom at that time were almost exclusively Costa Rican. It was not until the 70´s that the African Palm industry prospered enough that highways became an absolute necessity, and the first telephone arrived to the Quepos area.

Quepos, home to numerous hotels, restaurants and other tourist operations, it serves as the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park and it’s even wider variety of hotels, is now better known for it´s World Class Sportfishing, claiming some 17 IGFA records!

Author: Kimberly Barron, originally from Malibu, California has lived in Parismina and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica for 20 years. Starting as a certified tour guide, she spent 15 years managing fishing lodges on the Caribbean Coast and later 4* & 5* Hotels on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Currently semi-retired, Kimberly still works as the Marketing Director for Byblos Resort & Casino and Hotel Makanda by the Sea.