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 And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise.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)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Vicki’s Info Sites, Groups, Photo Sites and More

Vicki’s Info Sites, Groups, Photo Sites and More

Most of you know I’m an Information Junkie that LOVES to Share & Connect people (98% of the time there is NO financial gain from it – mainly doin’ it out of my hear)

Below is a list of my various Blogs/Info Sites/Message Boards (many of which are JUST starting so please add/share!!) featuring Resources for those living in or traveling around Costa Rica.  We are NOT experts & these are NOT complete lists by ANY means!!  This is about sharin' info we've found & I encourage YOU to share YOUR findings!!  You ARE REALLY IMPORTANT to each of us!!!!

Free Hugs Costa Rica
Self Empowerment Entrepreneur Networking Group
Science of Mind – Study Group
Costa Rica Resource Guide (aka Living Life In Costa Rica)
Vic’s Favorite Businesses
Gracias Costa Rica
House of Self Empowerment
Need Space to see YOUR Clients in Escazu?
Self Empowerment Lending Library
Things 4 Sale
Restaurant Guide
Costa Rica Conscious Community Yahoo Board
PHOTO SITES:  Escazu, Nicaragua, Bocas del Toro, Panama+


Vicki has started Free Hugs Club where we’ll be going around to different locations sharing HUGS (encouraging other groups to form independently & go out to spread the love!!)!!

Self Empowerment Entrepreneur Networking Group - ConsciousConnectionsNetworking
We're in the process of creating what it will look like but it's crucial people get the concept & commit to working together.
START DATE:   Wednesdays at 10am - May 11

Do you ALREADY know/understand Ernest Holmes Science of Mind / Religious Science (now known as Centers for Spiritual Living) (Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Neil Donald Walsh, Louise Hay are all/were ministers or practitioners)?   I’m starting a group of people that ALREADY get THESE beliefs but want extra support in LIVING it - check out:
START DATE:   Tuesdays at 10am - May 10.


Those that know me know I LOVE gathering and sharin' info and making Lists of info for those living in or traveling around Costa Rica!!  I've been compiling them for ease in finding them!!  Home to my lists of English-speaking taxi drivers, massage therapists, Bio-identicals & LOTS & LOTS MORE!!
For now, check out VICKI'S BLOG OF LISTS/INFO BLOG:  
LIST YOUR BLOG!!!  E- me the info at info@CostaRicaResourceGuide.com

My FAVS!!  A list of businesses I’ve gone to/supported/have had GREAT Experiences at: 

My home in Escazu is a Donation Drop-Off/Distribution Point for MANY Foundations/non-profits in CR!   I started this program to encourage tourists & non-nationals alike to gift back to the people of Costa Rica via donations (non-$), etc.  Call for directions to bring things you no longer need by.  For a list of suggestions, go to:

Workshop, Holistic Wellness (including some GREAT Massage Therapists!!!!) & Event Space, create your own Personal Retreat/Pampering Day, Retreat Property.  We have a few Therapists/Practitioners seeing their clients here)

NEED A SPACE TO TEMPORARILY SEE YOUR CLIENTS BUT DON’T WANT THE MONTHLY OVERHEAD?  Contact me as we have a few spaces that are perfect for just that (including a new one)!

With OVER 2,500 tools, books, tapes, cd's, movies++ on  Self Empowerment  /  Metaphysical /  Health/Healing  /  Relationship  /  Spiritual  /  Learn Spanish  /  Cook Book, Parenting, Relationship, Costa Rica Resources  / Games  


Check out my in-progress/VERY DETAILED Restaurant Guide that’s focused mainly on the Escazu area & ethnic/specialty restaurants in the Central Valley!!  LOTS of changes coming soon):



SAN RAFAEL de ESCAZU, Costa Rica area:


ISLA OMETEPE (I'm literally JUST fresh off the boat from there a few hours ago so MEGA enhancing this one with LOTS of new pics & details!) -


BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA RESOURCE GUIDE  -  http://BocasDelToroResourceGuide.com



Know someone that’s recently passed on/crossed over/died?  I’ve started a site with quotes/songs that may be of comfort for some:


Do you have a Costa Rica related blog or something to add/share on my blog?
I'd LOVE to SWAP LINKS & add you to my http://CostaRicaResourceGuide.com blog (currently pointed to http://LivingLifeInCostaRica.blogspot.com but changing soon)
My site comes up in the first 5 queriers on MANY topics which helps your ratings (& yours can help me!!).
NOTE:  I'm giving them 1 more month for ya'll to add me or I'll be removing those that don't as it's IMPORTANT to remember - we're ALL in this world TOGETHER!!  Let's help each other (note, I don't make any $ from the things I posted on mine!!!).


Have things to add/share/your experiences?  Do you have a blog?  Let me know so I can add you to our list plus PLEASE add us to yours!  Email me the details at    info@CostaRicaResourceGuide.com

Vicki in Escazu
8-378-6679  /  1-941-312-7569-from U.S.  /  Skype:  VallartaVicki

Vicki's FAVORITE BUSINESSES - April 2011

Vicki's FAVORITE BUSINESSES - April 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For Rent - V181 - Furnished 1-level 3+Office+Maid's Bedroom in ESCAZU - Vista del Oro

But if you're REALLY interested in it for the future, email me your information to:

NOTE:  These are outdated pictures as the kitchen has been overhauled and now has nice stainless steel appliances and more and the furniture is much nicer!

FURNISHED One-Story 3 + "Office" + Maid's Bedroom Home 
on a quiet cul-de-sac in ESCAZU's exclusive neighborhood of Vista del Oro - 
less than 2 minutes from the MOST PRESTIGIOUS elementary to high school in Costa Rica - Country Day School
and 15 minutes to the Forum and San Jose!

This home is totally furnished and MOVE-IN READY (down to the sheets and towels and dishes!!!) 

I've actually Pet • House Sat a few times in this home and I LOVE the unique feel of it!!

You enter the gate onto an Atrium (love plants?  You could go to down on fixing this up!!)?
Then when you open the door - another atrium that is bright and enclosed and all the rooms are off this!!!
The nice size Master is to your right and more private - with a big walk-in closet and bathroom and a big window opening looking out onto the outside atrium.
To your Left is a bathroom and after that is a unique room that has LOTS of closet space PLUS a nice size LOFT above with steps (not a ladder as many lofts have).  This room is GREAT for 2 siblings sharing a room but giving them separate sleeping areas - or the loft can be a more hidden play space!!!
On the South Side of the atrium is a bedroom with a big window looking out onto the inside atrium
and on the North side of the inside atrium is the "office" - also with a big window looking out onto the outside atrium - same size as the room across - but no closet (but you could put an armoire in the room if you're needing to use it as a bedroom).

*  3-1/2 Bedrooms  (or 4 bedroom if you put an armoire in the "office")
*  Office (this is a nice room but it has no closet)
*  2-1/2 Bathrooms 
*  Maid's room with full Bath  (using the office and maid's room as bedrooms could make it 5 bedrooms)
*  Spacious Livingroom
*  Your new home is built around a bright center Atrium with Skylights and High Roofing
*  Hand-crafted hardwood built-in Closets, Cabinets and Doors
*  Nice finishes
*  High Ceilings
*  Spacious Kitchen with Appliances including Dishwasher (basics)
*  Beds - currently - King, Double, Twins but changeable (bunkbeds available)
*  Laundry/Storage Room
*  Fine Ceramics and Plank Wood Flooring, Tile Roof, purple Heart Wood frame Windows
*  Tropical Front Garden  
*  Fully Fenced Property with BACKYARD
*  Dog allowed upon interview and additional Pet Deposit
*  Already Wired for 1 Phone Line
*  Already Wired for High-speed internet (if anyone says they don’t have internet access already, chances are GOOD it may not be do-able!! I’ve seen that happen a LOT in Costa Rica so if you NEED good/reliable internet [well, as good as it comes in CR], you might want to SERIOUSLY think twice!!)
*  Cellular connection is fairly good (but the house IS concrete so it varies with the room, walls, wind and ICE that day [it IS Costa Rica!! ICE is the phone company monopoly we currently have]!!)
*  Large 2 car Garage with Remote Control
*  Nice quiet lush neighborhood
*  Good neighbors, kid and pet friendly
*  Secure Neighborhood (guards)
*  GUARD/GARDENER - Shared (with next door home) - INCLUDED
*  Owners live in the neighborhood (no absentee landlords here!!) and the OWNERS come with references (Diane is one of the MOST HELPFUL/Giving people I know!! I’ve seen her go WAYYYYYYY above and beyond for her tenants in helping them get themselves established/connected in/around Costa Rica
*  (I’ll bet you can get them to give you a Super Special Rate on their beautiful Playa Grande, Guanacaste [JUST above Tamarindo] 3-bedroom Vacation Condo - http://SarongGoddess.com/gallery/12915374_ctKxQ
*  2 minute drive / 8 minute stroll to Country Day School
*  Available June 1st

MEASUREMENTS:  300+m2 - superior construction.  800+m2 - land

RENT:  $2300/month with 1 year Lease  (you pay utilities, internet, phone) 
(shorter term for a higher rate or unfurnished considered)

(Sorry no additional pictures right now as a tenant is currently in it)



Nestled about 3,500 sq'/1,200mts up in the hills of Escazu, in the exclusive neighborhood of VISTA DE ORO - you get the PERFECT WEATHER (usually in the 70's) - pretty much year-round (hence often nice fresh breezes so NO need for air-conditioning or fans), privacy, Tranquility, LOTS of trees surrounding you which means squirrels, humming birds, butterflies, doves, swallows and a plethora of flora and fauna on this very natural setting, INCREDIBLE Central Valley VIEWS in this upper class neighborhood with a broad range of international and Costa Rican residents and 24/7 Security at the Entrance!

Your new home is located about 20 minutes from San Jose in the Central Valley - up in the hills of Escazu (the "Beverly Hills of Costa Rica") - between Centro and San Antonio de Escazu (a photo tour http://SarongGoddess.com/Other/ESCAZU-Centro-Costa-Rica/11087765_5nGEg) - in Bario VISTA DE ORO!

The exclusive Country Day School is just a 2 minute drive or 8 minute walk away. Down the hill in San Rafael de Escazu (take a photo tour at http://SarongGoddess.com/Travel/ESCAZU-San-Rafael-COST-RICA/11087706_uEmta) you have many of Costa Rica's best restaurants (many even deliver!), the best markets (Auto Mercado, Sarretto's, Fresh Market and lots more), numerous Gyms (including a World Gym and Arena Trek), lots of Day Spas, Salons, 2 Ferias/Farmers Markets (both an Organic one on Wednesday and a mixed neighborhood one on Saturday), banks, Holistic Wellness Practitioners / Well-Being Spaces, Jazz and Dance clubs, Pilates, Tai Chi, QGong classes+, Massage Therapists (for a fraction of the price in the States), Pools, doctors, dentists and MORE! Further up the hill you have even more magnificent views and Magical Waterfalls to hike up to!!


About 10 minutes away you have the largest mall in Costa Rica - MultiPlaza-West which has 8 movie theatres. The new Avenida Escazu Mall has Costa Rica's only iMax/3-D movie theatre, the comfiest theatre seats and a VIP Lounge serving sushi, wraps, panninis, a full bar and 2 VIP theatres with PLUSH, electrical, Leather RECLINERS (single or loveseats) where waiters even SERVE YOU DURING THE MOVIE!! PriceSmart (the CostCo of Costa Rica), CIMA Hospital (the Texas-owned - most gringo-ized ultra modern medical facility/hospital in Costa Rica) and LOTS MORE are there to give your life more EASE!!!

The Forum (the largest business park in Costa Rica) is about 20 minutes NorthWest.

Jump into your car and in about 15 minutes you're at the start of the new Autopista "Pista"/Highway Caldera del Sol - the new highway that now takes you more directly/faster to the Pacific coast!!! Because roads are as they are in Costa Rica, this highway saves you about 1 hour and ends up at Caldera Beach. From the beginning of this Pista - Jaco Beach and Puntarenas are just about 1-1/2 hours, Quepos-2-1/2 hours and the popular Manuel Antonio is about 3 hours (all depending on traffic of course!!). 

In other words, you can't get much more convenient than living in Escazu for all that you could need!! (all timing of course depends on traffic)


Email us with your questions, scenario, details to:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

APRIL BUSINESS SHOWCASE - doTerra AROMATHERAPY - PWN's - Professional Women's Network Costa Rica

Professional Women's Group - PWG http://WCCR.org/interestgroups/pwn.html

 (a division of WCCR – Women’s Club of Costa Rica  http://WCCR.org

Saturday April 9th, 2011 – 2-5pm

Adele Lurie’s

THIS event is OPEN to ANYONE that is Interested

Come and experience for yourself the powerful healing effects of doTerra’s Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. Learn how they can be used to calm stress, relieve pain, balance energy, support the immune system, digestive system, for natural skin care, weightloss, etc.

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. If you have ever enjoyed the gift of a rose, a walk by a field of lavender, or the smell of freshly cut mint, you have experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. Essential oils can lift the mood, calm the senses, and elicit powerful emotional responses. Yet the use of essential oils goes well beyond their fragrant appeal.

Aromatherapy is said to be the purest form of medicine since it treats both the emotional and physical without any harmful side effects.

NOTE:  I (Vicki) started using their Lemon Oil directly in my water!  It’s the closest taste I’ve found in Costa Rica to the Southern California lemons I’m used to - and now I’m drinking LOTS more water!!!!

There WILL be oils there for purchase!

The HOSE is  a Donation Drop-Off/Distribution Point for many charities - http://GraciasCostaRica.com - we welcome you to bring any old shoes, clothes, medications/medical equipment (unexpired), books (in English or Spanish) - whatever you're no longer needing - and we'll help pass it on!!!

House of Self Empowerment  -  ESCAZU (San Rafael


ADELE LURIE: 8-845-8369  /   AromaDoTerra@gmail.com  / http://MyDoTerra.com/alur


Sunday, April 3, 2011

NEWCOMERS Women's Group Monthly Meeting - April 5, 2011 - Costa Rica

NEWCOMERS Women's Group
(not just for newcomers)

Monthly Meeting  -  April 2011

DATE:  Tuesday, April 5th  -  10am Coffee and Chocolate

TOPIC:  Car Insurance in Costa Rica:
Presentation by Ana Lorena Detresno on the 3 different car insurances available in Costa Rica: INS, MAPFRE and ASSA.

LOCATION:  Il Panino Restaurant (2-228-8606 / http://IlPanino.net - in case you want to stay for lunch afterwards) - ESCAZU (San Rafael) in the back/Southern Side of Centro Comercial/PACO Plaza
DIRECTIONS:  The South-bound side street off Calle Vieja (the Old Escazu-Santa Ana Road) - The back/South side of Paco Plaza - behind INKA Grill and KaKau, next to the Sala Mia Restaurant, adjacent to ElMar Ferreteria 
Fresh Mart.  Across the street from Chez Christophe French Bakery. 



ITALIAN.  WIFI.  COFFEE, Paninos, Salads, FULL BAR.  ALFRESCO/OUTDOORS.  Special DESSERTS - TIRAMISU, Bomb of Chocolate or Passion of Chocolate, Panacotta.  
LOCATION: Escazu (San Rafael) -  The back/South side of Paco Plaza (2-228-3126 / 2-228-8606).  HOURS: Mon.-Thurs. 8am-mid., Fri. and Sat. 8am-1-2am.  Sun. 9am-mid. (closing hours depends on when no one is eating/drinking any longer!)  
Curridabat - (2-524-0335).  HOURS:  Daily 11am-mid. - Plaza Freses - 50 mts East of Pops #15.

Interested in going?  Meet up with us to go together (it's just 5 blocks from my home)!  Call me at 8-378-6679


Friday, April 1, 2011

QUEEN's BIRTHDAY GARDEN PARTY - April 2, 2011 - Escazu, Costa Rica

For information on the 2012 QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 
Check out:

A FUN time was had by ALL and it wasn't as hot as in past years it seemed.  See my pics at  

The 2011
Queen’s Birthday Garden Party

THEME:  “A Right Royal Celebration – Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses

(many people come dressed up in their Garden Party best)

DATE:  Tomorrow/Saturday, April 2 - 9am-3pm

PRICE:  Adults - 2,500-c.  Children 5-12 - 1,000-c.  Under 5 - free.

WHERE:  at the British Ambassador’s Residence - Escazu (San Rafael) - ON Calle Vieja - across from Plaza Laureles (2 blocks East of the U.S. Ambassador’s house & 2 blocks West of Calle Country Club). 

PARKING:  There is parking on the side streets in the area.

CONTACT:  Kate at 2-258-2025 / Kate.Cruse@fco.gov.uk

There’s romance a-plenty in Britain’s sovereign circles this year with two royal weddings in the offing. Second-in-line to the throne Prince William is to marry his girlfriend Kate Middleton, and Princess Ann’s daughter Zara will wed her rugby-playing beau, Mike Tindall. What better way to bring some celebration into the calendar than use this as the theme for the annual Queen’s Birthday Garden Party in Costa Rica?

British Ambassador Tom Kennedy and wife Clare open up their spacious residence grounds in Escazu (Los Laureles), west of San José, to families and friends of all nationalities.

This is a not-to-miss family day with a dazzling array of staged events, live music and dancing, games for every age and a wide selection of British-themed food and drink.

Try a Pimms or Boddington’s best bitter at The Queen’s Head pub, scones and jam at the Queen of Hearts tea tent, and don’t forget the fish ‘n’ chips or bangers and mash in the Banqueting Hall. Young wannabe lords and ladies can be knighted by a ‘regal personality’ with a take-home photo to prove it, and the Court Jester will be painting funny faces for younger clients.

The British Goods stall will satisfy the cravings of any ex-pat Brit or Anglophile needing to stock up on Marmite, Branston pickle, lemon barley water and mint sauce, with home-made jams and chutneys on sale nearby.

Generous sponsorship is a major factor to ensuring the success of the QBP with cash donations and fabulous prizes that feature in the Silent Auction and two Grand Raffles.

Dress up in your shiny tiara and aristocratic regalia and you could win a prize for best costume.

Don Bosco Band

Educación Plus

Escuela Moravia

MUSIC  -  Chickenhead with Mela and Luciana

11:15-12/noon pm
MUSIC  -  Marimba Band - Ciudad de Los Ninos

MUSIC  -  Canciones  Populares - Mario Phillips

1st Grand Raffle on Front Stage

MUSIC  -  Latin/Jazz Fusion - Café Surá

2nd Grand Raffle - Front Stage
Sound Engineer: Edwin Barboza
Stage Assistants: Sebastian, Daniel and Pablo

British School Primary 2

British Ambassador Tom Kennedy

Scottish Country Dancing

MUSIC  -  Country Day School Wind Ensemble

MUSIC  -  Electro-Acoustic Guitar - Bruce Callow

MUSIC  -  The Resistance Rock Band

Fancy Dress Competition

MUSIC  -  Jim Riviera - Irish and English Folk

1st Grand Raffle Draw

MUSIC  -  Woodlands - Rock Band

2nd Grand Raffle

MUSIC  -  Cardamomo

Since the first garden party in 2002, the QBP as it’s become known, has raised more than $150,000 to support disadvantaged schools in Costa Rica, and helped rebuild the kindergarten at Vara Blanca destroyed by the 2009 earthquake.


Vicki (aka the “Sarong Goddess”)