Can You Handle the Heat? First Annual Papagayo Chiliguaro Fest

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Charity, Costa Rica Food, Costa Rica Living, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Newsletters, Playas del Coco

Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 127

Can you handle the heat of chiliguaro?

What is Cacique? It is Guaro. What is Guaro? We get asked this all the time. Costa Rica is not known for its world class rum, like Nicaragua, Guatemala or some of the Caribbean Islands. As a matter of fact, we drink more of theirs than ours. Don’t get me wrong: Centenario is a decent mix, but compared to Ron Zacapa, it doesn’t hold a candle; or a wooden pirate barrel. Guaro has a mixed reputation. It is known as the poor man’s rum, like moonshine or hooch; the traditional drink of the bums on the street. It is actually made with the left-over sugar cane juices: the stuff the rum guys threw away. By itself, it tastes horrible. You would not put this out on the table and offer to make your good friend a drink. But when properly mixed, with limes, sugar, hot sauce, or tomato juice, and rimmed with salt, it magically turns into one of the most enjoyable shots that has ever touched your lips. The chiliguaro. It was originally invented right here in Playas del Coco, as a local flame thrower to kick start a night of partying. It has since become a staple in our lives. Who invented it, is still in debate; but there is no argument that it was OUR town where it was created?

papagayo chiliguaro fest

Everyone remembers their first chiliguaro. Everyone has their favorite.

All the bars and restaurants in town, spin their own special mix, and I have to say, I pretty much love them all. Very rarely do I go out for a night on the town, and not slam back at least a couple of these bad boys while hanging out with friends. Living the good life baby. The taste is not like anything you ever had before, and it has a fabulous little punch, that warms your entire blood stream. “Two ChiliGuaros please.”

As you can imagine, there is a very large debate; arguments sometimes; over just who has the BEST concoction in town. So, the only way to solve the mystery, was with a contest. The Hotel Puerta del Sol to the rescue.

Wild Horses – Playas del Coco Tope 2019

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Guanacaste Tourism, Newsletters, Playas del Coco, Vacation in Costa Rica

Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 125

Wild Horses – Playas del Coco Tope (Horse Parade)

In this day and age, there is lot of anger going on, many different opinions on the state of the world, and it is hard for many people to see eye to eye. But there are two facts that are impossible to dispute and almost everyone agrees; The Rolling Stones are one of the greatest bands of all time and Costa Rica is the happiest place on the planet. One of my personal favorite songs is Wild Horses and we have our own version of that here as well too. It is called a TOPE.

Two or three times a year, our little community of Playas del Coco, celebrates life with one of the biggest parties known to mankind, the horse parade, and it is quite possibly the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Hundreds of people, come to our little pueblo, dressed in their best Cowboy outfits, and ride their prized possessions down the main road of town. You have to come early, to get yourself a spot on the side of the street, as the entire boulevard is blocked off to traffic. This bash lasts all day and into the night. Wild Horses couldn’t drag me away.

It starts about a mile from the beach, by the Luperon Grocery store; goes down through the center of town; turns around at the boardwalk; and heads over to the bull ring on the road to Ocotal. I have never missed one in 16 years. Every bar in town is packed to the gills, as thousands of spectators start drinking early, waiting for the excitement to pass. Believe it or not, this year it almost didn’t happen. Just like everywhere in the world, there are politics and petty arguments here in Costa Rica too.

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