Spanish Phrases for the Restaurant

Salonero – waiter
¿Puedo ver el menú? – May I see the menu
¿Puede recomendarme algunos platos? – Can you recommend some dishes?
¿Cuál es la especialidad de la casa? – What’s the special?
El plato del día – The daily special in Costa Rica
¿Qué clase de… tiene? – What kind of …do you have?
Yo quisiera ver la lista de vinos – I’d like to see the wine list
¿Podría traerme …sin…? – Could you bring me…without…?
¿Con qué viene acompañado? or ¿Con qué viene? What comes with it?
¿Cuáles acompañamientos tiene? – What side dishes do you have?
¿Podría traerme…en vez de…? – Could you bring me…instead of …?
¿Tiene…? – Do you have?
Yo quisiera or me gustaría… – I would like. Don’t say “yo quiero” because it doesn’t sound as polite.
Soy vegetariano/a – I am a vegetarian
¿Podría traerme un plato limpio? Could you bring me a clean plate?
Yo quisiera un poco más de… – I’d like a little more…
Nada más. Gracias. – Nothing more. Thanks.
No puedo comer alimentos que tengan – I cannot eat food that contains…
¿Tiene porciones pequeñas para niños? – Do you have children’s portions?
Una porción pequeña, mediana, grande – A small, medium or large portion
Un pedazo de… – A piece of…
Es para llevar – It’s to go
Debe haber un error – There must be a mistake
Eso no es lo que pedí – That’s not what I ordered.
Yo pedí – I ordered…
Demasiado cocido – too well done, overcooked
Poco cocido – underdone, too rare
La comida está muy fría – The food is too cold.
Yo quisera hablar con el gerente or encargado – I’d like to speak with the manager.
Me puede empacar las sobras – Can you put the leftovers in a box?
La cuenta, por favor – The bill please
La cuenta tiene un error – The bill is incorrect.
La propina – tip
Quédese con el vuelto – Keep the change
Gracias por el excelente servicio – Thanks for the good service.

Tiquismos (Costa Rican Expressions) of the week:

maicero – a country person or a hick. Polo is another way to say the same thing in Costa Rica. These two words can be offensive if used in the wrong context.
mal parido or malparido – a bad or repugnant person. Mal nacido means the same thing. Both of these terms are extremely offensive and insulting. Be careful!

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Interesting facts about the Central Valley of Costa Rica

The Central Valley Region of Costa Rica is almost always forgotten by travelers but it is a lot more than a stopover. There are lots of fun activities to be done like active volcanoes (Poas and Irazu Volcanoes), day tours to coffee plantations, canopy tours, whitewater rafting adventures and so much more.

Plus if you are a culture and history lover? Well there are plenty of places where you can satiate your knowledge urge. You can visit churches, historical museums and national monuments. But to fully emerge yourself in Costa Rican culture, you have to visit the Central Market and the National Theater.

Where is it?

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Part of the Central Valley region and neighboring other main cities such as: Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela.


Almost perfect from December until April.
Rainy season begins in May until November.
Average temperature 75°F with 75% humidity.

Places to Visit


Here is where you will find the Santa Maria International Airport, this city is known as the mango capital of Costa Rica. This is the perfect place to stay in if you want to visit the Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall & Gardens, and coffee plantations.


• Coffee Plantation Tours
• Poas Volcano and its National Park
• La Paz Waterfall and Gardens


This used to be the capital of Costa Rica in 1823. This is a place where you can enjoy the rich pre-Colombian history in every corner. Plus it is home to the most important national religious shrine of Costa Rica, the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

san jose 300x225 Travel Expertas Interesting Facts   San Jose & Central Valley Region, Costa Rica


• Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
• Cartago’s Central Park
• Irazu Volcano
• Turrialba Volcano
• Whitewater Rafting & the Reventazon River


I like to call this place the “Beverly Hills of Costa Rica”. In it you will find lots of crowded and large shopping malls and a variety of famous restaurants along with a bug population of Expats.


• 5 Star restaurants
• Designer clothing stores


Compared to San Jose this is a small town known as the City of Flowers. But I like the fact that is has all the conveniences of big city such as bars, boutique shops, and restaurants to satiate the young students that congregate here after classes from the second largest university of Costa Rica.


• Central Park
• The National University
• INBioparque

San Jose

This is a metropolitan city that has all the amenities and conveniences of a large city: public transportation, shopping, movies, markets, malls, restaurants, museums, parks, and hospitals.


• Museums & Gardens
• National Theater
• Central Avenue Promenade
• Plazas, Parks & Churches
• Shopping at artisan markets & the Central Market

poas volcano natinonal park costa rica travel 300x199 Travel Expertas Interesting Facts   San Jose & Central Valley Region, Costa Rica

You have to see this:

Museums and Gardens

• Cartago’s Church, the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
• Churches in San Jose and surrounding area
• Doka Coffee Plantation
• INBioparque
• La Paz Waterfall and Gardens
• Lankester Botanical Gardens
• Museums (Jade, Gold and Art Museums)
• Plazas and Parks in San Jose

Popular Parks & Reserves

• Braulio Carrillo National Park
• Irazu National Park
• Juan Castro Blanco National Park
• Poas Volcano National Park
• Tapanti National Park


• Barva Volcano
• Poas Volcano
• Irazu Volcano
• Turrialba Volcano


• La Paz Waterfall & Gardens Park
• Bride’s Veil Waterfall in the Orosi Valley; It’s one of the tallest falls in Costa Rica

Things to do in the area:

• Bird and Wildlife Viewing
• Bungee Jumping
• Canopy Tours (zip lines & aerial trams)
• Coffee Plantation tours
• Casino Gambling
• Golfing
• Hiking
• Whitewater Rafting & Tubing
• Volcano Tours

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A great guide to fish related words in spanish-Something is Fishy

Costa Rica has two coasts, so there is plenty of seafood is available everywhere in the country. Corvina (sea bass) is the most commonly served fish and is prepared in a number of ways, including as ceviche (bits of fresh raw fish marinate in lime juice with onions, peppers and spices). Chucheca is a popular bivalve mollusc and dish from Costa Rica’s Puntarenas area. The people who live in Puntarenas are called puntarenenses or in slang, chuchequerosChucheca is also a vulgar term that refers to the vaginal part of a woman’s body in Costa Rica.

Fish related words:

Bass – Corvina
Biting – Los peces están picando – The fish are biting
Clams – Almejas
Cod – Bacalao
Crab – Cangrejo
Crayfish – Langostino (fresh water)
Eel – Anguila
Fin – Aletas
Fish – Pez (live), pescado (dead)
Fish store – Pescadería
Fishing line – Sedal
Fishing pole – Caña de pescar\Gills – Agallas
Haddock – Róbalo
Hook – Gancho, anzuelo
Lobster – Langosta
Mackerel – Macerela
Net – La red
Octopus – Pulpo
Oysters – Ostiones / Ostras
Rainbow bass – Guapote
Red snapper – Huachinango
Salmon – Salmón
Sardines – Sardinas
Scales – Escamas (skin)
Seafood restaurant – Marisquería
School of fish – Banco de mariscos
Shark – Tiburón
Shrimps Camarones
Sportsfishing – La pesca deportiva
Sole – Lenguado
Sword fish – Pez espada
Squid – Calamares
To cast – Tirar
To fish – Pescar or ir de pesca. Pescar can also mean to “catch a cold. José pescó un resfriado. Joe caught a cold. Pescar can also mean “to catch” in the following sense. Tengo que pescar a Juan antes de que salga. I have to catch John before he leaves.
Trout – Trucha
Tuna – Atún
Whole fish – Pescado entero which is served in many seafood restaurants

Fishy Tiquismos of the week:

  • Algo huele mal – Something smells fishy or there is more than meets the eye. Hay un gato encerrado is another way of saying the same thing.
  • Estar calmado como el pescado – to be calm or tranquil
  • Estar como una gallina en corral ajeno or estar como pez fuera del agua – to be like a fish out of water
  • Pescar en río revuelto – to fish in troubled waters
  • Para hablar y comer pescado, hay que tener mucho cuidado – Be careful what you say.
  • Pez gordo – literally a fat fish but used to mean an important person or “Big Shot”.

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Watch Cable TV from United States on Slingbox

This is a really good option for getting quality cable in Costa Rica. However, with the unreliable internet here (CR) it still can be frustrating. Check out the write up over on

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Buying bulk cereal in Costa Rica

Most things are cheaper in Costa Rica if, you stay away from items that are imported from the USA or Europe. Also, we recommend staying away from shopping in tourist areas.

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Remove Google Buzz from Your Gmail Inbox

Turn Off Buzz Completely

If, on the other hand, you want to turn off Buzz altogether, just find the tiny turn off buzz link at the very bottom of your Gmail window:

If you’ve recently logged in to you gmail account and found that Google has added a new product called Buzz, well you’re not alone. The problem is, not everyone wants this new product. So, if you decided it’s not for you and want to “uninstall” Buzz or even filter out the messages, just check out the instructions here at Lifehacker.

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Bulletproof clothing in Colombia

I’m not sure I would want to be a tester for theses clothes. Ouch.

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Update on the New Expressway-2.5 Hours to Jaco

The new San Jose to Caldera highway, which was opened to traffic on Wednesday, January 27, got its first real workout Saturday, when Ticos and visitors alike flocked to try out the new shortcut to the beach. Let’s start with the good news. The surface is good. Nice and smooth. It’s not as winding as before, either, much straighter. Some parts even have 4 lanes. Okay, now on to the rest of the story. 32 years of pent up demand may have caused the massive traffic jams. One reliable source said that there were massive, kilometer-long backups to get through the toll booths (he thought he counted four, but wasn’t sure). Al Dia, the Costa Rican newspaper, reported delays of an hour.

This new highway is suppose to be safer and save some time driving from San Jose to the beach. I’ll be curious to see if it actually does save time.

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Getting Directions in Costa Rica-Gringo Pinto

Produced by the Digital animation school, Universidad Veritas- graduation Project Guillermo Ramos-2009

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Shipping container homes in San Ramon

Looking for an inexpensive alternative to buying a home in Costa Rica? Well, I just stumbled across which converts shipping container into small houses. I can see this as being a perfect solution for someone who has purchased property in Costa Rica but only needs a place for a few months every year. Check out the demo video here.

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