calling imperial..come in imperial

Old Apr 19th, 2007, 01:50 AM
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calling imperial..come in imperial

hi imperial
can't wait any longer for the next installment!!
great initial tips and recount of your experiences and then you PROMISED a follow up...
disappointment
despair
over-reaction??!!


walnutwhip is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2007, 12:56 AM
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BUMP!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:49 PM
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Sorry for the delay. So, this time we are looking at the ins and outs of Playa Grande and Tamarindo. We stayed at Casa Muy Grande, right across from Hotel Cantarana. Our first night in CR we ate at Cantarana since it was directly across the street and the food was good- not great. My main problem with the restaurant was the overall just lack of tasty food. Mind you, we did eat later in the night and we were the last people there except for a couple at the bar so it is possible they were out of the good fish or were just rushing to get us out of there. On top of that, the food was pricier than we anticipated. You hear about how cheap everything is in Costa Rica, and this place was not the case. But I guess this is because the place is also a hotel that is looking to make money at all possibilities. One night we drove down to the pizza joint that is near the Playa Grande entrance, across from Kike’s Bar. This experience was incredible. The drinks are strong, the atmosphere is very Costa Rican and the pizza was incredible. I think everyone got mediums for themelves because we wanted to bring back extras for the next day’s lunch. Well, we liked the pizza enough that nobody came back with extras. The pizzas are cooked in the ovens nearby and served to you on huge tree slices. There are a lot of dogs roaming around that the owners have and they are also a cute addition. Definitely recommend. On our last day we went to Hotel Bula Bula for lunch. It was a great lunch. It was the only time the entire trip that I considered not having fish- but I did with a spicy tuna sandwich. So, the atmosphere is very open and breezy with a huge bar. The drinks were very expensive ($8) but packed with alcohol and were very tasty. They also have a pretty cool parrot there that does tricks. Never went down to Rip Jack Inn, but we did walk by it on the beach. I definitely recommend walking the beach as much as you can. Going from the estuary to the large black rock at the end of the beach is close to 2.5 hours for a nice stroll. Tamarindo is, to say the least, different than PG. You will be asked if you want to buy a pot, Cuban cigars or necklace trinket. Taking all of this in stride, this is what you should look out for:
1. If you are looking to buy nice coffee, there is a great coffee shop on the Tamarindo main strip. If you are picky (or not), the store always has a pot of fresh made coffee made, and will gladly make a cup for you to test out. My friends bought some of the street necklaces. If you actually watch them make them (normally out of coconut) it is really impressive- and you can give them a design to make and they will do it. Great story: It was around 3pm on our last day and my friend wanted a particular design and he paid the street vendor in advance on the deal that he would hide the finished necklace in a coconut later that night for my friend to return to. When we went back that night, it was there. He could have easily taken that money but he did not and so if you establish a connection with one of them then they can make you some pretty cool stuff.
2. 2. If you are looking for Cuban cigars, there is only one place to go. Do not go to any of the stores where there are closed boxes. They are all years old and will give you a discounted price because they know how terrible they are. During the day, a man sells an enormous amount of cigars out of the back of his white van. (Between 10-4) He is normally about mid Tamarindo and when I talked to the locals everyone recommended him- including our houseworkers.
3. If you are going to go on trips, there is a company called Tamarindo adventures that is also about mid street. We used them for a canopy tour and a 4by4 ATVing tour. In all honesty, only do the canopy tour if you really want to. It is nothing spectacular as Tamarindo is simply nowhere near a good forest with good views- but if you just have to do it- then go for it. The ATV tour was sweet. We had 12 people go and with a personal tour we saw tons of howlers, had good fruit and just an overall exciting experience. It lasted about two hours and right near the end of the tour we came out on top of the hill above Tamarindo and it was an absolutely gorgeous view. ** My main suggestion here however is that if you go in groups above 4, you can negotiate great deals that are not on their sheets. They will give you one person free or up to 25% off for your group.
4. On our last night for dinner we went to this place called the crocodile inn. It is near the beginning of the street in Tamarindo and is known for good food and crocodiles near the beachfront area of the restaurant. We ate there and it was the best food I ate the entire time I was there. I had the pacific salmon. Also go for the desert- the chocolate cake literally melted in your mouth. This restaurant also had the Montecristo #2 cigar- the only place in all of Tamarindo that did and it made the end of the trip.

Thats all I can think of for now but I am sure more will come to me and promise to be more punctual with the next post.

Again, be careful of the water. It is very powerful and one should wear a life jacket for flotation and never enter the water without people watching you from shore.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Enjoyed reading about your impressions of Playa Grande and Tamarindo. The beach areas are always more expensive than the central part of the country and the less touristy areas. Unfortunately! So glad to hear about the restaurant options in Playa Grande. Thanks!
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Old Apr 24th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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many thanks imperial for the in-depth journal of your stay in playa grande. we enjoyed reading it immensely and it has really whet our appetites for our august trip.
we now have a series of restaurants to check out before we cold call!!
roll on august!!
CHEERS
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