Quepos Sailfishing and Sport Fishing
Our destination was Quepos, renowned for sport fishing.
We left the Caribbean and started for San Jose. The road we took out of Viejo was twice as fast as the road in, so we made it to San Jose just at dark, and not learning any lessons, decided to keep driving!
The road to take to and from Viejo is not the road through Cartago, Paraiso, etc. It’s windy and mountainous. The northern road is fast. 3 hours total.
Went down through Jaco, the resort place where the boats stop, passed Hermosa, the surfer beach that’s supposed to be much better than the other Hermosa (the north one where we went). The north is great for swimming; the south is for surfing.
We arrived around 9pm in Quepos.
It’s a port-ish town. Fishing and the recent tourism boom have helped it. It’s also the gateway to the Manuel Antonio National Park, which was the first big park in Costa Rica, the closest to San Jose, and the most visited. Word is that it’s getting a little over-run. We didn’t bother to check it out since we’ve already seen monkeys in trees.
Most of the places that were recommended and many that weren’t were already booked up. Found one flop house place, the Hotel Sirens, for 6000c, but it was hot hot hot and the truck wouldn’t fit in the parking area.
Finally stumbled upon the Hotel Something or Another, just down from the Good Day Fishing Charter place, near the Pali supermarket, and the Auto-Chicken Kumek. The auto-chicken serves ribs until at least 10pm. And they’re not bad!
The room was $36 a night, no AC, fridge, two beds, two huge fans, cable. Worked out well enough.
Next day we booked a charter with Good Day, looked around, and caught up on internet and what not with people. Saw the town, which doesn’t take long. Walked across the bridge that you take into town, over toward the commercial docks, into the seedy area.
We’d heard that the Costa Rican government has been changing the laws in regard to commercial fishing. The new laws are establishing 100km no-take zones off the coasts. And many of the commercial people are not happy about it. Just before we were in Playa del Coco, the fishermen marched from there to Liberia up the road to protest.
We found the commercial dock, and the long lining boats. We took photos of the boxes coming out of the packing area. Mahi-Mahi, all matter of snapper, etc. Went around to the dock side but were chased off.
It’s rather funny, but really sad, to see this government that makes noises that it is eco-conscious and saving its animals also allow these long liners to work so destructively off the coast.
Yes, the other countries may even be worse, but probably not by far. But that’s what we’ve heard from so many now. Costa Rica speaks from both sides of its mouth.
We set up a charter for the following day with Good Day Charters. They are a fleet of three – a 26, 30, and 36 foot boats.
We had looked around town and found that there were all kinds of operators selling trips – but most were just brokers. We weren’t completely uncomfortable with the brokers, it seemed that is the way they’re doing business down here (letting someone else handle the marketing) but ended up with the Good Day people.
$550 for a full day fishing, lunch, booze, cokes, etc. and a deck hand.
The boat was nice – far nicer than our boat in Guatemala, and the hand was a pro at rigging bait, and there were plenty rigged. That was nice, compared with the fellow in Guatemala.
Slow fishing overall. Landed two nice sails, hooked two more that came to the boat. One broke off (bad knot!) and the other threw it at the stern during a jump.
I learned some more Spanish on the boat. Europeas are European girls. It’s a lot harder to say than it looks. Ay-err-o-pay-ahs. You try it, and ask a Spanish speaker if you’re remotely close.
We ate quite a few times at a place that was the old Union hall. It was a big and cheap place across the street from the bus station. Sells pizza and a Pepsi for 1000 c out of the front.
Large sit-down menu: Chicken dishes (cordon bleu, cheesey yum yum, mushroom smothered) were around 2600 c. Breakfasts (tipico) with coffee, juice, eggs, bacon, fruit were 2500 c.
They’re building a new marina in the town – the Marina Pez Vela (imaginative—means sail fish). It started construction this month. They need it. The pics of their current marina will make you laugh.