Tag: lir

View All Tags

/ / / / / / / /

Where To Go With Your Tax Refund: Costa Rica

Where: Costa Rica
April 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tax day is coming, and you're probably excited...but not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Whether you're into eco-travel, surfing, zip lining, hiking, swimming/snorkeling/Scuba, hanging out with exotic animals (like the Coati), learning Spanish or just lazing on a sandy beach, Costa Rica can make it happen. Regardless, you're in for sun and warm temperatures.

If you're interested in the Caribbean side with all its eco-tourism or you'd like to scratch a visit to Arenal volcano off your bucket list, fly into San Jose International Airport. For trips to the Pacific side's beaches, surf spots and giant national parks, Liberia International AIrport is the best bet (and it's got a brand-spanking-new terminal).

more ›

/ / / / / / /

The Most Improved Airport of 2012 is...

December 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2012 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready for 2013, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2012 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,—or as we fondly refer to them—The Jauntys.

Ever flown to Liberia, Costa Rica? If no, you should because now they've finally got an airport capable of handling the flood of tourists and international flights heading to this gateway city to the country's spectacular Pacific coast.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Budgets, Boards and Pura Vida

Where: Costa Rica
January 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Becoming a (surf) bum in Mal Pais

As you've probably guessed, Costa Rica is one of the most surf-friendly destinations on the planet. Surfers are welcomed here with open arms, and locals will go above and beyond to help you out. It is perfectly normal to see a massive board bag strapped to the roof of a taxi, to store your boards in your hotel room, and to set up a makeshift clothes line outside your door.

And just as friendly as it is, it's also easy. US Dollars are accepted just about everywhere and most people speak at least a little English, though no matter how bad your Spanish, an attempt to speak it will always go down well. ATMs are fairly easy to find, and most will have English as an option. The bigger bank ATMs even dispense dollars as well as the local currency, Colones, and any of the main hotels or stores will take credit cards.

Nonetheless, be careful of the foreign transaction fee charges that your US bank will tack on; look into a foreign transaction-free credit card if you travel abroad often. For myself, I tried to pay for most things in cash, only using plastic for purchases of $100 and up.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Making It to Mal Pais

Where: Costa Rica
January 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Playa Negra and the rush of hitting the waves.

Mal Pais is a sleepy little surf down at the bottom of the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s about five hours' drive from Tamarindo (taking the sensible road), or many more hours drive than that taking the silly, but very picturesque coastal road. I say silly because the above is what sometimes passes for a road in Costa Rica.

Note that the photo was taken during the dry season. In wet season (May to November), or any time it’s been raining, roads like this become impassable to all but the sturdiest SUVs. You'll find that towns in Costa Rica usually have an old man who magically knows the conditions of every river within 20 miles of his location, but as I was not in possession of one of these wrinkly oracles in my passenger seat and didn’t feel like getting my SUV stuck in a river, I elected to take the boring, safer route.

Once I arrived in Mal Pais, the first thing I noticed was, well, not a whole lot really. Not much happens here, and that’s exactly what’s so great about the place. There are a couple of bars (that’s a couple more than when I was first there ten years ago), plus other mild activities like yoga, zip-line tours and so on, but the truth is you come to Mal Pais for one reason: to surf.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Playa Negra and the Rush of a Single Wave

January 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Hitting the road to Tamarindo.

Standing on beautiful Tamarindo beach, with my board under my arm and looking out to sea, it occurred to me in a moment of mild panic that I was very out of practice. Was I making a terrible mistake? The ocean, for all its infinite beauty, is still a scary, powerful and potentially lethal thing.

You see, you can generally tell how good a surfer somebody is by watching them as they enter the water. Folks who know what they're doing look like they own it; they glide out on their boards and effortlessly get themselves beyond the break (to the calmer part of the water where you see surfers congregate). Surfers who maybe aren't so great will walk their boards out until the water comes up to their chests, then flail around every time a wave comes in, and they generally project an aura of terror.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: The Road to Tamarindo

January 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Making the decision to drop everything and go.

Touching down at Liberia Airport in northern Costa Rica was somewhat of an adventure in itself. The terminal itself is modest (OK, it’s a shack), and although there’s a shiny new terminal built and waiting to open, when I arrived they were still waiting for the paperwork to be complete [Ed note: the new terminal finally opens this Thursday!].

Within 30 minutes or so I’d gone through immigration (and some sort of weird security check where they scanned my bags as they came in to the country…why would they do that?), and was on the way to pick up my rental car. A word on this: driving in Costa Rica is not for the faint of heart. It’s not that drivers here are bad; certainly they’re no worse than you find in New York City. It’s just that the roads are—how to put it—somewhat unpredictable. You have to assume that there’s a horse in the road around every corner, because in many cases, there is in fact a horse in the road just around the corner.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Setting Off from the City

January 9, 2012 at 4:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

I used to surf a lot in my 20s. I even took a year out of my life to travel 'round the world on a combo surfing/snowboarding trip. At that time, I visited some of the world’s great destinations for these sports, taking in Central America, the Californian coastline, Hawaii’s legendary North Shore, and of course Bells & Bondi in Australia. I wasn't an expert per se, but I was reasonably competent on a board.

Eventually I settled in Southern California, with world class breaks on my doorstep, before making the move to NYC. In recent years though, my dearly loved 7' 6" funboard (hand shaped in San Diego, lovingly transported to New York City by your truly) has been more of an ornament than anything else. It's a beautiful '70s-style blue and white, and it's propped up against my living room wall, making me look all sporty and Californian to visitors that don’t know any better, but definitely not serving the purpose for which it was designed. The truth is, I had stopped being a surfer.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / /

First Look: Inside and All Around Liberia, Costa Rica's Snazzy New $40 Million Terminal

November 22, 2011 at 10:39 AM | by | Comment (1)


The departure hall

Riddle us this: What has four jetways, five security lanes, 484 seats, but no one yet in them or on them? The answer is simple: an airport terminal that hasn't opened yet, and in this case we're talking about Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica, where a $40 million terminal is ready to cut the ribbon as soon as authorities give the thumbs up.

Late last week we had the awesome opportunity to snoop around the place before most anyone else, and what we saw, we liked. We liked very much. Travelers who typically head down to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica for vacation or to visit family will be knocked off their butts next time they fly in and, instead of pulling up to the open-to-the-elements corrugated metal tents that are the old terminal, arrive instead to a jetway, air-conditioned immigration and a baggage claim so clean and spacious that it almost puts a tear in your eye.

Oh, and did we mention that they've managed to break ground on this terminal and complete it in just one year and one month? It's been "Extreme Home Makeover: Airport Edition" for Liberia Airport (LIR), a description straight from the mouth of Wogbe Ofori, the Senior Vice President of Global Operations for ADC & HAS, the good people charged with making the place a reality (though not a reality show, ha).

more ›

/ / / / / /

Mmm, New Airport Smell.

November 21, 2011 at 5:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Only twice before in the entire history of Jaunted have we specifically focused on airport food items as being too awesome to believe (for to-go airport food). First, it was the fried rice and sushi at JFK Terminal 5's Deep Blue restaurant. Then it was the dessert cups of Amsterdam-Schiphol. Now we have another, and frankly it surprised the hell out of us: the dessert selection at Liberia, Costa Rica's new airport terminal.

Above is just a small sampling, but we'll show you more tomorrow when we reveal the entire interior of the snazzy, fresh terminal space. Walking in, we were hit with the scent of newly painted walls, just-laid carpeting, and—yum yum—pastries fresh out of the oven. Mmmm new airport smell.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

From Central Park to Jurassic Park: JetBlue Flies from NYC to Liberia, Costa Rica

November 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM | by | Comments (0)


On the ground at LIR. Yep, that's actually the name of the plane.

So you want to go to somewhere warm this winter but you're not sure where? Get out a map right now and put your finger on the city of Liberia, Costa Rica because it just happens to be JetBlue's newest route and also is on special at $119 each way if you book before December 1 and travel before February 16, 2012. Not bad...not bad at all.

To understand why this town near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is so hot, we tagged along on the inaugural flight last week. As usual, JetBlue likes to make a big deal out of their new routes, and so the whole flight was one big party; passengers heading down for birthdays, bachelorette parties or just for a relaxing weekend were treated to breakfast and cupcakes at the gate at JFK, complimentary Costa Rican Imperial beer onboard, in-flight trivia with entire vacation packages as prizes, and—perhaps the best perk of flying on an inaugural—plenty of space to stretch out.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / / / / /

Live from T5: JetBlue Launches Direct Flights to Liberia, Costa Rica

November 17, 2011 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Good morning from New York's JFK Airport! It's not the prettiest day here—46 degrees and gloomy/rainy as it is—but we'll soon be trading it for sun and 76 degrees down south...way down south. You see, today JetBlue celebrates the inaugural direct flight to their 70th destination: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica, and we're hitching a ride.

Why Liberia, Costa Rica? Why the heck not?! JetBlue already serves the country's capital, San Jose, via direct flights from Orlando, but Liberia is closer to the surfing, tubing, beaches and volcanoes of the Pacific coast. Flying into Liberia instead of San Jose means cutting out a 4-5 hour drive to reach these, not to mention that JetBlue will have the only flights from New York-JFK to here. Oh, and today those flights are on sale for $119 each way.

One more thing: Liberia's Airport is having a celebration of its own with the opening of a brand spanking new terminal.

more ›