Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Costa Rica ranks 31st in Legatum Prosperity Index 2013

Costa Rica ranks 31st out of 142 countries in the Legatum prosperity index.

This places Costa Rica as the top country in Central America and it trails Uruguay by one place out of all Central and Southern American Countries

Costa Rica ranks 11th in the personal freedom sub index and has a pupil to teacher ratio of 17.3/1

 Read the full report here!/country/CRI

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Yampee trellises in Permalife Farms, Naturewalk 3

Yampee (papas chino / yam) trellises completed and awaiting planting in Permalife Farms, Naturewalk 3

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Companies look to medical tourism to cut costs

With the high cost of medical procedures and care in the USA many companies are looking to medical tourism to provide a better standard of care at reduced costs:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hiking and Trekking Opportunities from Naturewalk

Located as it is between the high Talamanca Ridge, the central ridge of Costa Rica and the Pacific Coast. Naturewalk 3 offers a wide range of routes of various lengths and levels to suit everyone wishing to explore and find out more about the diversity of flora and fauna and the landforms of this beautiful Country.
From half- day bird watching tours, through to day hikes, overnighters in hammocks, and multi-day expeditions you can find it all.

Birdwatching: The site itself is home to a wide range of birdlife making bird watching here a delight. The location on the Tulin River and proximity of Carara National Park provide an ideal base where you can be accompanied by knowledgeable guides who can help you in looking for the best spots for great bird watching. We have hides sited in and around the area, and also carry equipment to set up hides in some remote spots for best viewing opportunities.
Overnighters: Experience the rainforest by night, hike before a campfire supper. Sleep out in the forest under cover of one of our jungle hammocks – accompanied by an experienced guide. Go deeper into the forest, looking for tracks and wildlife sightings. In the mornings you will have fantastic opportunities for dawn sightings before breakfast and hiking back with opportunity for more viewing on the return journey to the centre.
Day hikes: Hikes from the centre or from locations nearby can be arranged. Locations include the Carara National Park, Cangreja National Park, Cerro Pital, or Cerro Dragon. All of which can provide the most spectacular views above the forest down to the Pacific, as well as plenty of opportunity for spotting wildlife. As well as being mountain leading qualified and rainforest experienced Tim the Walking Leader is a qualified Biologist and enthusiastic about the range of environments and habitats the region has to offer
Multi-day trips: If you like the sound of carrying out 2 day trips from the centre, the Carara Park area or Cerro Pital . Depending on the route, accommodation can be in huts, homestay or camping with food provided.
Further afield, 3 or 4 day expeditions are possible all within easy reach of Naturewalk. These include Ruta Sukia a classic 3 day hike, Ruta el Rey from Cerro de la Muerte on the main Talamanca Ridge down to sea level over 4 days, plus a range of possibilities in the Rio Blanco, Chirrpo areas, where multi-day trips including camping up on the main ridge can be arranged. Multi-day trips give opportunity to trek through a whole range of bio-zones from high paramo or montane, down through, primary cloud forest and rainforest and eventually down to coastal secondary and mangrove forests.
Some trips will require camping or staying in basic huts, whilst others have accommodation provided in local Tico houses, where you can really enjoy local hospitality.
We use a combination of local guides who can provide insightful knowledge of their areas and English speaking qualified international mountain guides to ensure that your experience is a safe as well as an intensely enjoyable one.
Prices are dependent on number, we try to keep group numbers small for your enjoyment. Larger groups can be accommodated by arrangement.

From $30 half a day (3 hours) , $70 full day (lunch provided) , $90 overnighters, $140 for 2day hikes, multi-day from $75 per day, dependent upon level of accommodation up to $110 per day for homestays. Prices based on a minimum group number of 3, please enquire for individual or couple rates.
Trek in style: for those requiring a more relaxing evening after a day’s hike, routes can be organised using local hotels in the most beautiful and out of the way locations. Please contact us for a suggestion.

Please note that some of the treks such as Sukia and Ruta el Rey are demanding and a certain level of fitness and familiarity with steep and rugged terrain is required. Please advise us of your ability level and experience in order that we can provide you with a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Papas Chino in Naturewalk

Known as “Papas Chino” in Costa Rica or Yampee is a species of yam called Dioscorea Trifida.  It is a flowering tropical yam. Currently trellises are being installed on some lots in Permalife farms, Naturewalk 3 for planting Papas Chino.

Dioscorea trifida is a species of flowering plant in the family Dioscoreaceae. It is a species of yam (genus Dioscorea). It is native to the Caribbean and Central and South America. Its many common names include Indian yam, cush-cush, and yampee. It is called mapuey in Venezuela, inhame in Brazil, tabena in Colombia, and sacha papa in Peru.

This plant is a vine that can exceed 3 meters in length. One plant produces up to 12 stems, which are lined with several membranous wings. They emerge from roots with tubers of various shape and size, generally up to 20 centimeters long by 8 wide. The leaves are up to 23 to 30 centimeters long with blades divided into pointed lobes and borne on long, winged petioles. Green flowers with six tiny tepals are borne in the axils. The fruit is a winged, lightly hairy capsule up to about 2.7 centimeters long.

This is a cultivated yam species used for food in parts of the Americas, especially South America and some Caribbean nations. The starchy tuber has a thin, smooth skin marked with some cracks. It takes different shapes but is commonly spherical or club-shaped, or shaped like a horse hoof, sometimes with a cleft. It comes in various colors, including white, purple, and black.The crop is cultivated like the potato, but the must be given a strong trellis for support. It is propaged by planting small tubers or tuber chunks. The crop can be harvested in 10 to 11 months.
Yampee trellises

The tuber is cooked for food. It can be baked or boiled. In Venezuela it is mashed or used in soups. In parts of the Caribbean "it is known as the best of the yams". It is a staple food for some indigenous peoples.

The tuber is about 38% starch. It is a waxy starch that lacks amylose and has potential uses as a binder and thickener in food processing.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Papas Chino planting in Permalife, Naturewalk 3

Preparing the trellis for Papas Chino planting in Permalife farms, Naturewalk 3.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Obamacare and Costa Rica

Many US citizens are concerned about the high costs and consequences of the health insurance they must purchase under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). For everyone paying expensive health insurance premiums worldwide the recent debate about Obamacare has brought the high costs of their medical care and insurance into sharp focus.

For those US citizens resident outside the USA the good news is that they are not required to purchase a mandated health plan in the USA as they are assumed to have “minimum essential coverage”. You can read more about that here:
The better news for those US Citizens and other Nationalities resident in Costa Rica is that they have access to an excellent health care system for a fraction of the cost of similar care elsewhere.
Hospitals are of a very high standard as is medical care. So much so that medical tourism is booming in Costa Rica.
If you live in Costa Rica you can buy private medical insurance through Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS). This costs from just US$550 to US$1300 per person per year depending on your age.
If you become a Costa Rica resident you must purchase Costa Rica Government medical insurance CCSS (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social commonly known as CAJA). This is social medical care and costs between just $40 and $60 per month for family coverage.
Excellent health care in paradise for a fraction of what you currently pay - just another reason to consider Costa Rica.
Don’t forget our bookstore,, is an excellent source of information on Costa Rica.
Blue Skies and Pura Vida

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kayaking in Punta Leona

Greg from the Naturewalk Adventure Center kayaking in Punta Leona.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Costa Rica 1947

Record levels of real estate acquisition and development in Costa Rica

La Nacion reported a sharp increase in real estate acquisition and development by foreign investors in Costa Rica in the first quarter of 2013

This contributed $377 million to the national economy.

These increases are confrmed by an increase of 13% in real estate purchases in the Central Valley during the the first quarter of 2013 (Q1). 

La Nacion reports that the Pacific Coast has experienced an increase in residential investment whilst San Jose and the Central Valley have seen  more commericial real estate investment. 

The Central Bank of Costa Rica reported that the $377 million enjoyed by the real estate sector represents 90 percent of revenue in 2012; in other words, the real property industry seems to be booming once again. 

Estimates by La Nacion indicate that the quarterly increase has been the highest since the year 2000.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ruta Del Rey, Costa Rica

Pictures from the Ruta del Rey trek with Tim Ryan.

Available through the Naturewalk Adventure Center - +1 866 990 1123 or on

Trip to the summit of Chirripo and Rio Blanco

Tim Ryan, will run hikes through the Naturewalk Adventure Centre. So if conquering the summit of Chirripo is for you just contact the Naturewalk adventure centre at +1 866 990 1123 or on