Waterski Costa Rica
Photo: Waterski Costa Rica

Written by Ria Bristol

Ever fancied a winter ski destination in a tropical climate? Waterski Costa Rica could be the perfect place to combine your passion of water skiing and experience some other fun activities.

You can fly direct, or transit from many cities, into Juan Santa Maria airport San Jose. After a few days of exploring the city, as a club skier, I started to feel my usual anxieties about skiing at a new lake with new people, especially as this was my first organised group ski holiday and I didn’t have to make any decisions!

Ski weeks tend to run from Saturday to Saturday on an all inclusive basis. This means transfers to and from the lake, ski sets, most activities, food (no alcohol) and accommodation are all included in the price you pay.

We were picked up from our San Jose hotel around midday on Saturday and made the 2-hour journey to our accommodation for the week, the Tilajari Resort, in Alajuela, 22 kms east of La Fortuna.

Our activity week ran from Sunday to Friday with skiing taking place in the morning and other activities in the afternoon. Expect early starts to get the best water, early nights after a full day of activities, and as it's tropical, some rain.

Waterski Costa Rica
Photo: Waterski Costa Rica

The site has two freshwater lakes both with slalom courses and whilst we were there we skied behind the Malibu, but they also have a Nautique. The early morning conditions were great and, even with some wind, the skiing was good. Wetsuits are not required as the water is warm. The lake is very pretty surrounded by palm trees, parrots and monkeys.

Waterski Costa Rica

The site has a great deck to spectate from with hammocks and sun-beds for relaxation and lots of fresh coconuts to drink.

Lunches are taken at the ski lake or at a neighbour’s house – these are fresh and really tasty. Costa Rica is lush and produces year round coconuts, pineapples, papaya, oranges, bananas and cacao.

The afternoons are reserved for other activities such as horse riding, hot springs, zip wire (extra) and waterfalls, followed by an early dinner at a restaurant that Jim chooses.

As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry about anything, Jim organised everything, he caters for all levels of skiing and offers great coaching, often with guest coaches such as Corey Vaughan, Seth Stisher and more. Our fellow skiers from Canada and USA were very friendly and like-minded.

If you like a welcoming and friendly host, boutique skiing where guest numbers are limited and meeting new people from around the world, then it’s a great place to try – you can even combine seeing the amazing beaches and wildlife in Costa Rica.

A small word of warning, don’t wear anything white - the lake is iron rich and it won’t be white for long!

Find out more at: http://www.waterskicostarica.com

#CostaRica #Waterski #Waterskicostarica #Tilajariresort

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From simple tapas places to more expensive restaurants, Aranjuez has a lot of different restaurants to choose from. However, because of the lack of international tourists, there are not many places where they have an English menu or where they speak any English so ordering a meal can be a challenge. You are never 100% sure you are getting what you ordered.

Another thing you have to consider is that the Spanish are used to eat late, around 9 pm or even later is pretty normal in Spain. This means that if you want to eat earlier, you have a problem. Some of the restaurants don’t even accept a reservation before 9 pm. What I normally do is, I have a drink at a terrace at around 8 pm and with that drink I always get some tapas, so I have something to tide me over until dinner.

Although there are many good restaurants in Aranjuez, I seem to be returning to these three restaurants that I can recommend:

El tomate de Aranjuez This is my favorite restaurant in Aranjuez. Every time I visit Aranjuez, I make sure I will eat there at least one evening. The restaurant is situated at the Plaza de Toros and has a nice terrace outside. The menu consists of meat and fish dishes but their signature dish is of course their starter of tomatoes. Does that sound a bit boring? Well, I can assure you their tomatoes are definitely not boring. Big meaty red tomatoes with just pepper, salt and olive oil. Just try it… Another dish I can recommend is the Rabo de toros, an oxtail stew traditionally only served at restaurants surrounding the bullfighting ring.

Address: Calle de Stuart, 183, 28300 Aranjuez www.eltomatedearanjuez.es

Aguatinta Situated in one of the main streets of the city center, this modern style restaurant is not only a restaurant but also a wine bar. You can start with trying the local wine and tapas and then move to the restaurant for dinner. The restaurant itself has an indoor patio, so you can sit outside in summer. They have an interesting menu that looks a bit overwhelming if you don’t speak Spanish. Unfortunately the waiters don’t speak English so ordering food is an adventure. Last time we visited this restaurant, we ordered tapas to start with and a main course, but we only got the main course. After the main course we tried to explain that we wanted something else to eat. And then suddenly we got a big plate with octopus tentacles (Pulpo). We were a bit confused, but I have to say… it was very good!

Address: Calle del Almíbar, 5, 28300 Aranjuez www.restauranteaguatinta.com

Seis reales This place is situated in the city center in a small street with many terraces. This street is very popular with the locals, they meet their friends or family here to have a drink and some tapas before going to dinner. One of the restaurants in the street is Seis Reales. Although I also can recommend the others, I like this one because they not only have very delicious food, but they have an English menu and the owner also speaks English. They have a tapas menu but there is also a notice board outside with more dishes and the owner can help you with your choice. I can recommend patatas bravas with aioli (potatoes with garlic mayo). And if you are not that hungry and just want a salad: the burrata is also very good.

Address: Calle de Postas, 3, 28300 Aranjuez https://www.facebook.com/seisreales/

And if you still have a little bit of space left, head over to Heladeria Isabelo at the Plaza de la Constitution for some delicious artisan ice cream.

Address: Calle de Abastos, 188, 28300 Aranjuez

Here are some things you will find on a Spanish menu:

Esparragos - Asparagus fresas /fresones - Strawberries Jamon iberico - Iberean ham Paella - Rice dish with meat and seafood Tortilla - Spanish omelette Pisto - Spanish ratatouille Pulpo - Octopus Caracoles - Snails Pato - Duck Oreja - Pigs ears Rabo de toros - Oxtail stew Merluza - Hake Rodaballo - Turbot

Buen apetito!

#Aranjuez #Eltomatedearanjuez #Aguatina #Seisreales #spanishcuisine #spanishfood #tapas #spanishrestaurants

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