San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

Just in time for windsurfing season, well-known sports tourism resort Rock River Lodge, long featured in all the guidebooks, is open again after a couple of years’ vacation. The Christopher family – Kyle, Terri and son Bryson – leasing from owner Norm List, had their grand opening Nov. 13. Located high above the northern end of the lake in upper Río Piedras, the lodge, with massive rock fireplaces in the restaurant and bar, eight cottages and six rooms, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With terrific views down the lake to the volcano, the lodge is just a few minutes from Ticowind windsurfing and kite-surfing center. Its beautiful lake and mountain vantage point is across the lake highway from Café y Macadamia restaurant.

Longhorn Bar and Grill is offering a traditional Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 25 with turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, dessert and drink for $14 a person. Serving starts at 11 a.m. with the last seating at 7 p.m. Owners Cindy and Jason recommend making reservations at 2695-5663 or

La Carreta hotel and restaurant in Tilarán, across the street from the back of the cathedral, is specializing in pastries, which may be custom-ordered by calling Rita at 2695-6593. La Carreta is also the site of the monthly Arenal Computer Club meeting at 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, the next one falling on Dec. 8.

The two mammoth (for Lake Arenal) Arenal Maleku condo buildings on the upper west side of the lake, whose completion was adversely affected by a Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) ruling on Aug. 10 (TT, Sept. 14), are not only still under construction but also are being advertised for sale on the project’s website and touted in a travel article in the Edmonton Journal of Canada. Fuentes Verdes Ecological Association had filed protests about the water supply, waste disposal and hillside stability of the site, causing the Sala IV to give the National Technical Secretariat of the Environment Ministry (SETENA) four months to come up with a new environmental assessment, which supposedly will be due Dec. 10. The project’s website at says the condos are 90 percent complete and offers special pricing for a limited time.

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