I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008



The 2 services below deliver in many areas within the Central Valley (San Jose, Escazu and more!!):

(http://CinExpress.cc / 2-290-7927)
FREE DELIVERY and Pick Up. You have them for 7 days. NO Late Fees.
Check for their Promotions: SAMPLE:
Rent 3 get 2 free = 5 movies for 3900 colones
Rent 5 get 3 free = 8 movies for 6500 colones
HOURS: 8am-8pm. San Jose
Create an account, order online and then they call you to confirm your order (thanx Kazzrie!)

(http://CRMovie.com / 2-234-9504 / 2-288-4837 / info@crmovie.com) (Carlos speaks English)
They deliver it within 45-60 min. if you live within their "area." I have heard they are not up on the latest flicks as much as some.
2 Types of Service:
Express – 1,200-c per video for newer release or 1,000-c for older ones
OR the
VIP Service (an AWESOME value!!) - $25/month for up to 45 dvd’s a month BUT you can only get 3 at a time (within a 24 hour period) & it doesn’t matter when you bring this back (I’m basing the “awesome value” statement on
Register - http://CRMovie.com/crmovie/renta/registrodatospersonales.aspx
Service Area: http://CRMovie.com/crmovie/renta/areasdeservicio.aspx
HOURS: Tues.-Sun. 10am-9pm

Escazu (San Rafael) - Paco Plaza (2-289-4790 / 2-289-4435) - Mauricio speaks English (all day - Mon., Wed, & Thurs, & Sat. & Sun. 6:30-10:30pm. Tell him Vicki sent ya!)
Escazu (San Rafael) - Centro Comercial Trejos Montealegre (next to KFC) (2-289-4435 / Escazu@rentale.com) - (Be careful at this location as no one speaks English & though I had someone help me translate – they charged me 5,000-colones for membership – even though I’d had a membership for over a year at the Paco location. They also charged me a few times late fees on all 4 of the dvds I’d checked out even though I already returned 2 of them on time)
Curridabat - 100 mts. East of Pinares, de la Bomba La Galera (2-271-4102 / Curridabat@rentale.com)
Belen (San Antonio de) - La Ribera – Centro Comerical La Ribera (2-289-4435 / belen@rentale.com)
Santa Ana - Centro Comercial Santa Ana (2-289-4435 / staana@rentale.com)
Parque de la Paz - 100 mts. South of the Rotonda – Centro Comercial La Paz – Local 5 (2-286-4423 / lapaz@rentale.com)
Aserri - Costado Noresete of the catholic church (2-230-2445 / aserri@rentale.com)
Desamparados - Centro Comercial San Miguel, locals 4-5 – catholic church (2-270-4329 / desamparados@rentale.com)

HOURS: DAILY - 10:30am-10:30pm .

PRICE – Rent for: 1 day -1,000 –c, 7 days -1,200–c, 10 days-1,500–c (looks like they've had to adjust/lower their prices!!!). A day means if you rent it any time on a Mon. – you MUST have it in BEFORE they open on Wed.

DELIVERY – 600-c. Rent 4 & get FREE Delivery (only – not return).

LATE FEES: 500-c/day (no matter what anyone tells you – it’s ONLY on the dvd’s that are late – NOT on your total ones including those that were returned on time).

TO JOIN/MEMBERSHIP: ID & 5,000 colones (no matter what anyone tells you - if you join at one it IS good at ALL of them!).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Smoking is ILLEGAL in public places/buildings now in Costa Rica
so ALL Casinos are SMOKE-FREE!!!

Visiting Costa Rica or live here and gotta blow off some steam/blow that wade? Here’s the start of a list of some of many of the CASINOS in the San Jose - Central Valley (with more outside of the Valley coming soon!).

NOTE: As in the States, casinos give free drinks as long as you are play. Minimum bid in most casinos for Blackjack are $5 on average. Most casinos stay open till around 3am.

COLONIAL Casino, Restaurant and Hotel
GAMES: 100 Slot Machines (start at buy 2,000-c - 100-c/25 cents), Rummy / Blackjack / 21 ($5 min.), Roulette, Texas Hold 'em, Craps (1,000-c or $5 in dollars min.), Pai Gow Poker (2,000-c min.-$300), Caribbean Stud / Tute (1,000-min., 3-Card Stud (1,000-c-min.), Sports Betting (upstairs). Odds were x2 on 4, 5, 9,and 10, and I think x3 on the 6, 8). FREE Parking.
LOCATION: Avenida 1 between Calle 9 and 11 - next to the Del Rey in front of Juan Bombach Musical Instrument store.
HOURS:  11am-5am

Fiesta Casino in their NEW Downtown location in the Hotel Presidente
GAMES: 300 Slots, Rummy / Blackjack / 21, Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Stud / Tute. They’re the only casino in San Jose that has Player Tracking and the only one in Costa Rica that has it on the machines.
LOCATION: San Jose-Downtown - Avenida Central between Calle 7 and 9

Horseshoe Casino
(2-233-4383 / http://HSCasino.com)
Low minimums, not real noisy/crazy, not crowded.
GAMES: Slot Machines (50, Slot Club Comp), Rummy (500-c min.), Blackjack ($5 min.), Craps ($5 min.), Texas Hold’em Poker, Tute, 21, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Race and Sports Book, Sports Tournaments. No hookers per-say but I’ve heard of a few guys getting “hit up” by some of the “hostesses”. Much of their staff speaks English. BUFFET. Valet Parking, LIVE ENTERTAINMENT. Qualified players may get free air and hotel. Highest Limits in Latin America.
LOCATION: San Jose-Downtown - Avenida Uno between Calle 7 and 9 (caddy corner to the Del Rey)

Hotel Mona Lisa (former Paradisio Casino - Clarion Hotel)
http://facebook.com/MonaLisaHotelCostaRica    2-256-3833)
NEW – January 31, 2013.
LOCATION:  San Jose-Barrio Amon – Avenida 11 and Calle 3
in the Clarion Hotel
This is a nicer, quieter, classier place with underground parking (thanx Steve).
GAMES: Blackjack (1 table, $5 min.), Craps (though I hear it’s not often open but request it of the Pit Boss and I hear they will open! (500-c or $5 in dollars min.
LOCATION: San Jose - Bario Amon

Aurola Holiday Inn’s Casino
The NICEST as it’s on the top floor - 17 floors above the city with spectacular views!!
GAMES: Slots, Game Tables.
LOCATION: San Jose - Avenido Quinto and Calle Quinto

Casino Europa - Tropical Hotel - Morazan
GAMES: 25 Slot Machines, Gaming Tables, 3 Card Tute, Canasta, Pai Gow.
LOCATION: Calle 7 between Avenida 1 and 3 - in front of Parque Morazan. (owned Casinos Europa?)

Gran Hotel’s Casino
(2-221-4000 / 2-222-6126)
GAMES: Slots and 6 Gaming Tables.
LOCATION: San Jose - Calle 3 between Avenida Central and 2

Grand Hotel’s Casino

Del Rey’s Casino
The most famous casino in the because it’s THE "working girls" spot.
GAMES: Video Poker Machines mixed within the Slot Machines, Craps. Often the minimum bets are MUCH higher (OFTEN $25 min.). Most guys that go to here are looking for the “action” (fyi - I hear the girls here are around $80/hour [PLUS you HAVE to pay for a room there or somewhere else] and VERY “Give me your money - what do you want!!” = cold! VERY smokey.
LOCATION: San Jose-Downtown - Calle 9 and Avenida 1

Cheetahs Casino
LOCATION: Avenida Primero between Calle 7 and 9 San Jose.

Krystal Casino in the Sheraton Herradura Hotel
GAMES: 20 Slots, 4 Game Tables. Daily.

Confort Casino (232-8122)
LOCATION: San Jose - Sabana Norte

Hotel M Casino
(http://HotelMCostaRica.com / 2-253-8345)
They are a Priavte Club/Card Room featuring Texas Hold’em Poker in their courtyard. Daily games of no limit along with their Sunday tournaments. This is actually a Texas Hold’M Club that will benefit players. LOCATION: San Jose - Bario Dent

Casino Europa - Raddisson Hotel
GAMES: 30 Slots, 3 Card Poker, Baccarat, Canasta/Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Rommy Blackjack, Tute.
LOCATION: San Jose - Barrio Tournon, Goicoechea - Calle Central between Avenida 3-15

Jungle Casino/Casino Central
LOCATION: San Jose - San Jose - Avenida Central between Calle 7 and 9.

Casino Europa - Hotel Royal Dutch
GAMES: 50 Slots, 6 Gaming Tables.
LOCATION: San Jose - Calle Central and Calle 4 and Avenida 2

Crowne Plaza Hotel - Corobici Casino

Club Triangulo Casino

Fiesta Casino Cacique
GAMES: 100 Slots (expanding soon to 200), Rummy / Blackjack / 21, Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Stud / Tute.
LOCATION: Heredia - Centro - southside of the park

Condesa Casino
LOCATION: Heredia (San Rafael)


I CONSISTENTLY hear this is the BEST Casino around and it’s BY FAR the BIGGEST in Central America (excluding Panama City)!!!  It’s nice, has high ceilings, GOOD Air flow, LIVE MUSIC and a dance floor (9pm-2am Mon, Tues., Wed., Fri., and Sat.) in their Pirates Bar and Grill!
GAMES: 400 Slot Machines, 21 Gaming Tables with limits from $1-$2,000 including Rummy / Blackjack / 21, Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Stud / Tute, 3-Card Stud. VIP Room with 5 tables. They’re the only casino in Alajuela that has Player Tracking.
LOCATION: Alajuela by the airport in the same compound as the Hampton Inn, Denny’s (fyi - prices are WAYYYY MORE than in the States!!!) and the Garden Court Hotel.

Ramada Hotel Herradura Fiesta Casino
GAMES: 60 Slots, 6 Texas Hold ‘em Tables, Rummy / Blackjack / 21, Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Poker (3 tournaments a week, $20 buy in, about 40-50 players. You have to get there at 7:30pm to sign up and it usually starts around 8:30pm. Fridays and 2 other nights - THANX Preston!), Caribbean Stud / Tute.
LOCATION: 6 km from the airport towards San Jose. Belen (San Antonio) off the Autopista General Canas

Doubletree (formerly the Melia) Cariari’s Casino and Hotel
GAMES: 25 Slots, Rummy / Blackjack, Caribbean Poker, Pai Gow Poker, 3-Card Stud, Roulette / Canasta with a wheel, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Let it Ride, Mini-Baccarat.
LOCATION: Belen (San Antonio) off the Autopista General Canas

Best Western Hotel Irazu and Balmoral  -  Dominio / Concorde Casino
(2-231-0664 / 2-232-7910)
GAMES: 83 Slots, Canasta/Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Rommy Blackjack (6 tables), Tute. Gaming chips in US$ and Colones.
LOCATION: La Uruca - 3km Autopista Calle General Canas.

Hotel/Spa Barcelo  -  Palacio Casino
(2-220-1310 / 2-220-2034 / http://Barcelo.com)
GAMES: Slot Machines (18 total); Table Games (15 total), Canasta (Roulette), Craps, Dice, Rommy Blackjack, Tute.
LOCATION: La Uruca off the Autopista General Canas, El Robledal

Martino’s Casino and Resort Spa
(2-433 8382 / http://HotelMartino.com)
LOCATION: Alajuela - La Garita - in front of ZooAve.

La Central Hotel and Casino
LOCATION: Alajuela - Ciudad Quesada - on Calle San Carlo

Tara  (formerly the White House)
(2-288-6365 / 2-228-6992 / http://CasinoJazz.com / http://WhiteHouseCostaRica.com)
VERY Upscale/High-end, GORGEOUS VIEWS, lots of more upscale "girls," Cigar Bar, Jazz Club, GOOD Restaurant with gringo quality meats/STEAKS (USDA Angus). GAMES: Vegas style gambling with they claim the best odds and highest limits in the Central Valley. Blackjack, Craps, Tute, Roulette Wheel, POKER ROOM and Slot Machines. Fri. is LADIES NIGHT with Ladies Texas Hold'em Tournament with only a $25 buy in.
LOCATION: Escazu - San Antonio - DIRECTIONS: WAYYYY up the hill - 600 mts. South of the cemetery. HOURS: 6pm-2am.

Intercontinental Hotel - Camino Real
LOCATION: off the Pista - across from the MultiPlaza West Mall - Escazu

Kamuk Casino at the Best Western
(2-777-0811 / http://kamuk.co.cr/casino)
GAMES: Tute, Roulette, Romy, Pay Gow Poker, Mini Bacara and of course, slot machines.
LOCATION: Manuel Antonio

Parador Casino
LOCATION: Manuel Antonio

Divisamar Casino
LOCATION: Manuel Antonio

LOCATION: Manuel Antonio

Cocal Casino and Hotel (2-643-3067)
LOCATION: Playa Jaco

Flamingo Casino at the Flamino Beach Resort
(2-654-4011 / 2-654-4350)
LOCATION: Flamingo Beach

Best Western Coco Verde’s Casino
LOCATION: Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco’s Casino
LOCATION: Playas del Coco

Los Suenos Mariott Casino and Hotel
LOCATION: Playa Herradura

Maribu Caribe

Also, here are a few GOOD websites that give more details about gambling in Costa Rica:

Association overseeing Casinos: Asociacion de Casinos