All About Costa Rica’s First Ladies-Only Billfish Tournament

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Lady anglers compete in Costa Rica for the first ladies-only billfish tourney; here’s what you need to know.

Los Sueños Resort & Marina, with Chantilly Air, have announced Costa Rica’s first Ladies Only Tournament, scheduled for January 15, 2019. The billfish tourney is a one-day contest with prizes totaling $27,500 for the top 3 teams: 1st place ($13,750), 2nd ($8,250), and 3rd ($5,500).

With no professionals allowed, 4-woman teams aboard individual boats will compete in a catch-and-release billfish contest. Sailfish net 100 points, while marlin are worth 500 and the highest point total wins. In addition, each lady angler’s individual points are added to individual points in the Triple Crown.

Team registrations must be submitted prior to the welcome cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 14th, and the competition begins at 6 a.m. on January 15, 2019 when boats may leave the marina once their observer is aboard. Lines in at 8 a.m.; lines out at 4 p.m.; and scorecards need to be turned in by 7 p.m. The awards ceremony is set for 5 p.m., Jan. 16.

Where to stay during the Women’s Only Los Sueños, Costa Rica Billfish Tournament

Closest to Los Sueños Marina, Villa Caletas is ideally situated atop a hill overlooking the rainforest, Playa Jacó and the Pacific Ocean beyond. From spectacular sunsets to a curtained gazebo on private Caletas Beach, this boutique hotel is known for top-notch facilities and services. The hotel’s neoclassical colonial architecture highlights Costa Rica’s past in comfort and elegance. Serenity Spa is the perfect way to ease tired muscles and restore sun-soaked complexions after a day on the water. A leisurely hike down the Friends of the Forest trail, or take the 4-wheel drive shuttle, to the beach is also an opportunity to spot local wildlife: iguanas, agoutis, macaws and monkeys. Villa Caletas’ location close to Jacó makes it easy to enjoy dinner and dancing at the local restaurants and clubs.

20 minutes south of the marina, Alma del Pacifico  sits right on the beach. With just 20 luxury villas, this pretty little resort is an eclectic mix of European and Costa Rican cultures. Each spacious villa takes advantage of the hotels beachfront setting or lush tropical gardens. Villas include large private terraces and showers that open onto private garden settings. Charlene Broudy’s original artworks add panache throughout the hotel. Alma’s spa offers massage and luxurious skin treatments to ease aches and stress. The hotel sits on stunning Playa Esterillos Este, one of the best on the Central Pacific.

After a day on the salt battling billfish, Villa Caletas and Alma del Pacifico each offer a luxurious haven to restore the most avid angler.

Spot This! Costa Rica’s Fiery Billed Aracari

Costa Rica is home to one of the most beautiful toucans in the world- the Fiery-billed Aracari.

Costa Rica is a bird watcher’s paradise with nearly 900 species, but even if you’re only a casual birder, you almost can’t help catching sight of the Fiery-billed Araçari (ARA-sah-ri) when you’re on vacation on the Pacific coast of this beautiful country.

Part of the toucan family, the Fiery-billed Araçari roosts socially year-round, in groups of up to 10 birds. You can easily identify its large, distinctively shaped bright orange-red upper beak. The massive beak’s hollow structure makes it lighter than it looks.

Adult males and females look alike, while juveniles are duller in color. An adult is about 20 inches long and weighs about 9 ounces. Look for a bright red band on a brilliant yellow chest with glossy black feathers of its back and neck. Its rump also sports yellow and red feathers, while its yellow eye stands out against its black-olive head. The Fiery-billed Araçari has a dark spot on a field of yellow, just above the red band across its breast that its close cousin, the collared araçari (which also has a thin rufous collar on the back of its neck), doesn’t have.

Although mostly tree-dwellers that eat fleshy fruits found in the canopy, the Fiery-billed Araçari will sometimes descend to the forest floor for berries. Because it passes the seeds undamaged, the Fiery-billed Araçari contributes to biodiversity. It will also eat insects and, sometimes, small pigeon or woodpecker nestlings.

Fiery-billed Araçaris will often evict woodpeckers and nest in their treetop cavities 20 feet and higher in the canopy, where they lay two white eggs that hatch after about 16 days. The parents share incubation and chick-rearing duties and often continue to feed young fledglings with occasional help from other araçaris. Fiery-billed and Collared Araçari interbreed occasionally.

You can find Fiery-billed Araçaris in humid lowland forests along the Pacific slopes of southern Costa Rica, to an elevation of about 6,000 feet. They’re pretty common from Herradura,  down the Costa Rica Pacific coast, and on into western Panama. Sadly, their numbers may be declining; formerly you could also find them in eastern Panama and on close, offshore islands.

If you ’re staying at the distinctive Hotel Villa Caletas, you’re bound to spot them aplenty in the surrounding trees, as you lounge on your jungle surrounded balcony, enjoy pool time, or sunset drinks and bocas the Anfitreato Bar Restaurant.

In flight, Fiery-billed Araçari makes a sharp, two-noted call that sounds similar to pseek or keeseek. Between the sound of their call and the brilliantly flashing plumage, you’ll have no trouble spotting a fiery-billed araçari in the forest while you’re on vacation in Costa Rica.      


4 Reasons to Choose a Small, Distinctive Hotel in Costa Rica

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A boutique luxury hotel in Costa Rica is the best way to sample “la pura vida.”

Travelers to Costa Rica who book a small and distinctive hotel are often less concerned about the luxury (though that helps) and more concerned about unique adventures-in-living. Large resorts and international chains often lack the flavor and authenticity of the local culture. The big chains also tend to cater to visitors who are more interested in familiar surroundings and amenities than in unique style and experience. Small boutique hotels are recognizable by high ethical standards and personalized, quality of service.

We have four good reasons to choose one, or several, unique luxury hotels for your stay in Costa Rica.

Local flair

Locally owned, you can count on management and staff to be experts in the history, culture, and attractions in their vicinity. Small distinctive hotels general employ locals who have a vested interest in your satisfaction. These hotels’ décor and ambiance reflect their unique perspective on their location and their dedication to give you the best experience possible during your stay.

Rare Experiences

Boutique hotels offer guests an insightful experience into the history and culture of their specific location. Whether it’s a night hike in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve or Piedras Blancas National Park, certified naturalist guides reveal the sights and sounds of Costa Rica’s wildlife. Couples seeking a romantic interlude can hardly go wrong with rooms overlooking the spectacular rainforest or clear waters of the Pacific.

Sustainable tourism

Today’s globally-minded traveler wants to see and experience different peoples, their culture, and their natural world without undue impact on the natural world. By balancing economic success with minimal impact on natural and cultural resources, sustainable tourism benefits local communities, as well as local and national economies. Frequently, small boutique hotels that have earned a certificate of sustainable tourism focus measures on the physical and biological impact of their operations, how they manage their services to benefit their clients and their socio-economic environment.

Top Quality

Staying at a small distinctive hotel typically means a more intimate, quieter experience characterized by

  • Fewer rooms, luxuriously appointed with an emphasis on light-filled and airy design
  • Top-flight amenities, including spa or massage services, a la carte restaurants, and personalized service
  • The absences of real estate development and gaming

Travelers who seek authenticity, immersion, and a unique experience choose properties that seek to embrace those qualities; properties like those proudly featured by Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica.

Find out more about our member hotels and what makes them distinctive; we believe a stay at one of our properties will make all the difference in your Costa Rica travel adventures.