Pepitas in Costa Rica

In March 2017, Carlos (my partner), and my sister Kristi, and I visited Carlos' family for his 30th birthday in a rural, mountainous region south of San Isidro de General, the second largest city after San Jose with the intention to go to the beach, relax, and find some good fucking meals.

Initially we stayed in a popular, swanky, beach side town, Manuel Antonio. We bused down to the beach, and checked into in a private villa with a pool and a view of the ocean.

We treated ourselves to prawns, ceviche, pepitas (drinking coconuts) and jalapeño margaritas. We parasailed on the beach and took a midnight jungle tour to scope out insects and animals under moonlight. I have a particular knack, by the way, for finding the elusive red-eye jungle frogs that Costa Rica is famous for. We drank, laughed and relaxed.

Costa Rica keeps their organic, fancy, pesticide-free foods at home; everything dripped with flavor, like fruit from grandma's garden. Everything comes from grandma's majestic food garden.

I still often think of the rolled, shredded beef tacos from a tiny food stand near Carlos' family's home. The chef covered the freshly fried corn tortillas in shredded cabbage, aioli and a type of sweet/spicy chili sauce, like a Costa Rican sweet chili sauce. The combination was delectable.

If you ever need a place to stay on a sustainable farm near a bird sanctuary in the mountains of Southern Costa Rica, check out Finca David, Carlos' family farm.

Meals + Snacks

  • Emilio's Cafe in Manuel Antonio had cold brew coffee, seafood platters, and more Ahi tuna than a girl could ever dream about
  • Fresh fruit, including blood oranges, papaya, cacao fruit, and maracuja (passion fruit)
  • Rolled beef tacos in San Isidro de General
  • Carlos' birthday feast, hand-prepared by family friend Helga


  • Parasailing in Manuel Antonio
  • Traveling by bus through the mountains and countryside
  • Attending a flamenco dance performance at local Emilio's Cafe
  • Attending a nighttime jungle tour to spot sloths, spiders, scorpions, monkeys, tree frogs, snakes and butterflies
  • Celebrating Carlos' 30th birthday with family in San Isidro de General via a party and feast