AJ
Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 12, 2013 08:19AM
COSTA RICA ~ IRIE REGGAE VIBES

We just spent 6 weeks in Costa Rica & we heard plenty of reggae. We planned the trip ourselves traveling to San Jose, Cahuita on the Caribbean coast, The Talamanca Mountains, Baru near Dominical on the Pacific coast, and Alajuela near San Jose. Hiking, bird watching, beaches, Poas Volcano, great people, wonderful food & reggae.

The Caribbean coast has a Jamaican background. The Jamaicans came to Costa Rica to work on the railroad & sugar plantations in the mid 1800’s. Many Costa Ricans with Jamaican heritage still speak patois, as well as the King’s English. We stayed in the town of Cahuita, where we saw plenty of dreads/Rastas riding bikes, driving taxis, walking about and working with Cahuita National Park, where they lead wildlife tours in the park. One rainy day in Cahuita at a “Soda” (small Costa Rican restaurant), a dread was sitting at the counter having his lunch and asked us if we had brought the rain. We said “We sure did” and he said “That’s good ~ water is life”. There’s some reasoning for you. Level vibes. You could hear reggae coming from cars, shops, local buses & restaurants. We heard Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Mutabaruka, Gyptian, Romain Virgo, Luciano (singing in Spanish), Gregory, Sizzla, and Spanish reggae tunes.

Just south of Cahuita is the tourist/surfer town of Puerto Viejo with reggae bars, Bob Marley bags, buttons, shirts, etc. We even heard Gregory coming from a speaker in a palm tree in the town park during a local basketball game. There is also a fairly large store called “Reggaeland” in a mall there ~ we did not have time to check it because we had to catch the last bus of the day back to Cahuita.

On the Pacific side in the tourist/surfer town of Dominical, again reggae is everywhere. Bob, Steel Pulse, UB40, Gregory, Spanish reggae tunes and Antidoping from Mexico. Also Gondwana from Chile played near Domincal, but we heard about it 6 days after it happened ~ we would have gone had we known about it.

I did pick up a cd called “Costa Rica ~ Reggae Night” on the Papayamusic/Pulperia label. It’s quite good. “Baby Rasta Band”, “Trinty Roots Band”, and “Bamaselo” are some of the artists on the cd.

I wore my 2007 SNWMF purple-pink tank-top t-shirt at least once a week and had many positive comments on it.

We saw Ticos (Costa Ricans) of all ages wearing Bob Marley t-shirts all over the country.

It’s nice to hear reggae wherever you go and in Costa Rica it is never far away.

Big up Costa Rica!
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 13, 2013 12:25AM
did you stay at Rockin J's ?
AJ
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 13, 2013 04:23AM
We did not stay in Puerto Viejo ~ so we were not at Rocky J's. We stayed at Alby Lodge in Cahuita about 1/2 hour bus ride north of Puerto Viejo. Alby Lodge is right next to Cahuita National Park with 4 cabins & a common kitchen for about $50 a night. I checked Rocky J's website and it looks like a happening place.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 14, 2013 11:52AM
Quote
AJ
The Caribbean coast has a Jamaican background. The Jamaicans came to Costa Rica to work on the railroad & sugar plantations in the mid 1800’s. Many Costa Ricans with Jamaican heritage still speak patois, as well as the King’s English.

I read that the Caribbean Rim of the Central American countries of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are like a trip back-in-time to the Caribbean some 50 years ago. The central government of those countries pretty much left those people of Jamaican heritage alone and isolated from rest of the government influence, control and Spanish culture which is why the Jamaican culture and language has prevailed to this day.

I was always interested in visiting those areas but have yet to make it down there. I also read that some of the places are pretty dangerous like Limon in CR and Colon in Panama so I guess its wise to stay clear of those bigger towns and cities.

That whole area on the Caribbean Coast of Central America sounds like a great area to visit for those looking for an adventurist travel experience...glad you guys had a great time.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 14, 2013 02:15PM
I love Costa Rica. My wife and I have been down there 2 times and had such great experiences. I heard more reggae each time in Costa Rica (resturant/bars/hotels/shops) than the week I spent in Jamaica.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 14, 2013 04:47PM
Quote
spliffp
I love Costa Rica. My wife and I have been down there 2 times and had such great experiences. I heard more reggae each time in Costa Rica (resturant/bars/hotels/shops) than the week I spent in Jamaica.

Hey, how about a few more details on your trips if you dont mind. I assume you stayed at Rockin J's in Puerto Viejo at least once.

Also, whats the "Spliff " situation in CR?

I just checked and I can get a non-stop flight out of LAX on LACSA, the CR National Airline, for about $600 if I leave Friday and return on a Thursday. Its only about a 6hr. flight. That sounds real good to me, fast and no changing planes and luggage transfer.

I miss my Air Jamaica non-stop flights to Jamaica from LAX and have only been back to Ja once since they stopped that flight. I took Delta on that last trip to Ja and it was not a good flight experience and took 12 hrs instead of the usual 5hr.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 14, 2013 05:08PM
RW,
K and I spent a week in Cahuita years ago and had a really nice time. New (then) cabina on black beach. Friendly locals. Good local veg. (ask for "la crema"winking smiley. Mediocre snorkelling due to banana farm runoff, but still good beaches. Went to a big late, local reggae dance in a roofless shell of a building on main street. It was a great place to land and vibe after a couple of months of Guatemalan chicken bus touring.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 14, 2013 09:14PM
Doing a little research on the area. Might be a bit primitive for our tastes but perhaps not.

One thing of concern for us would be the lack of A/C in most if not all the hotels. Been a very long time since I slept under a mosquito net and my wife never has. Don't like the idea of sleeping without A/C in a tropical jungle setting.

Anyway, re the Spiff situation, I guess this video at about 1:50 answers that question. Irie! LOL

video: [www.youtube.com]
AJ
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 15, 2013 05:15AM
A/C ~ Out of the 6 places we stayed in C.R. only 1 had a/c. The fans we had worked great, but it was not the hottest time of the year. Most days were in the upper 80's ~ 90's. Also the humidity was not too bad.

Mosquitoes ~ Depending on the time of year and location a mosquito net is a must. We were lucky as the mosquitoes were not out in full force.

Snorkeling ~Jahsprey is right ~ In Cahuita it is hit or miss because of the run off and waves. We did go out one day with about 85% visibly and no waves, it was ok. The nice thing is you always get a view of the mainland from the boat. Also we had 5-6 dolphins around the boat on the way back. smiling smiley

No lack of monkeys in the Cahuita/Puerto Viejo areas!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2013 05:38AM by AJ.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 15, 2013 12:12PM
I would love to pair a Costa Rica vacation with seeing Midnite perform at Envision on 3/2/13, but it doesn't seem like they sell individual day tickets yet, and I have no desire to go to the full Envision festival...
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 15, 2013 12:31PM
@ RW

The two times we went we stayed in Tamarindo (pretty high tourist area). We flew into Liberia (via LAX) and then only had a hour ride to our spot. It has a huge surfing beach, it was the first stop on the classic "Endless summer" movie. Swells of all sizes and great place to learn how to surf. The main road thru town was paved in 2008? in case that helps in terms of how primitive it is. 2 of the 3 hotels we stayed in had AC and the insects weren't a problem in Dec. We were just going to stay in one place and kick it on the beach all day. If your thing is adventure when you travel you may want to go further south closer to Volcanoes/cloud forests/heavy jungle. The NW is a lot dryer than the rest of the country. Spliff situation is normal, lots of cheap herb, and "cali" buds for $100 (never tested that one out). Weekly reggae night at Babylon Bar with local artists pon the mic at times, this party went off with the whole town there. Coke is pretty big in Costa Rica, but easy to stay away from. Locals were very cool, laid back and happy. Food was great, tons of fresh seafood and all kinds of price ranges, just have to search out the better deals. We saw giant leather back turtles nest, lots of monkeys, and snorkeled in a crazy spot with all kinds of fish although the water was rough that day. Hope this helps.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 15, 2013 01:47PM
Thanks for the report Spliff. Looks like a good potential travel spot for consideration.

With money tight these days, I'm financially limited on how many out-of-country trips I can make, so I try to be very careful and selective regarding the destination and where to stay; And do adequate research which has served me well in the past.

And then, you know, its the old classic travel question of should I visit a new place with the inherent associated unknowns and risks or visit a place that I've been too before where I know I will always have a good time, like Jamaica.

I've been to fifteen different Caribbean islands over the years in my travels but haven't been anywhere new in several years.

Maybe its time to get a little more adventurous and step out into the unknown...ha ha
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 17, 2013 09:46AM
a couple of good Reggae bars in San Jose 2 within walking distance of the others........in San Pedro (part of the city)....
But.......Here in Bocas Del Toro, Panama there is a lot of reggae played.. Popcaan "only man she want" seems to be the most popular song now..LOTS of private rooms with AC for cheap. Puerto Viejo is a little more Jamaican influenced, but the next island over a mile away Bacemientos is more Jamaican influenced....
AJ
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 18, 2013 04:34AM
Quote
randomguy2u
But.......Here in Bocas Del Toro, Panama there is a lot of reggae played..

Panama sounds good. I would like to make it down to some of the San Blas Islands and Bocas Del Toro.
I was in Panama in 1974 & loved it. Maybe next winter.
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 18, 2013 08:26AM
Lived in Playa Grande for bout a year. Great location, swell and bars. bout a 20 minute walk to Tanmarindo river mouth break and much more touristy draws.

Pura Vida!
AJ
Re: Costa Rica - Irie Reggae Vibes
January 18, 2013 11:44AM
Quote
Joshwa


Pura Vida!

Pure life! .... thumbs up
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