How to choose the right machete

How to choose the right machete

imacasa machete
An imacasa machete with scabbard
A machete is the ultimate tool for everything. You can use it to work in your garden, you can chop off some small trees, prepare fruits for your food and many things more.

Did you know where the name machete is from? 

A machete is a large cleaver-like knife. The blade is typically 32.5 to 45 centimetres (12.8 to 17.7 in) long and usually under 3 millimetres (0.12 in) thick. In the Spanish language, the word is a diminutive form of the word macho, which means male or strong and was used to refer to sledgehammers. In the English language, an equivalent term is matchet, though it is less commonly known. In the English-speaking Caribbean, such as Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada and in Trinidad and Tobago, the term "cutlass" is used for these agricultural tools. (read more on wikipedia)


machete costa rica
A machete from Costa Rica
There are some different kinds of machetes available. Some of them are big and heavy, some of them are rather small, light but much sharper. If you want to use this machete as a garden-tool, you should get one of the bigger and heavy ones and one of the smaller sharp ones. People usally have more then one machete. Check out this video of a guy chopping down some coconuts. For working on top of the coconut tree, he has a big, not so sharp machete. After the is finished with his work and climbed down, he choosed another smaller, but much sharper machete to open the coconuts. This video was created at Casa Valeria in Samara, Costa Rica.


Buy an imacasa Machete

Probably the best manufactor of machetes is imacasa. They are building all kinds of machetes and garden tools. If you want to buy a machete, buy an imacasa machete.

imacasa quality machete
Quality machete


An Imacasa Machete offers you:

  • Industrial grade tempered steel
  • Insuperable Edge
  • Indestructible
  • Life Time Warranty



Hotel Casa Valeria in Samara Costa Rica

casa valeria in samara
Me chilling in front of my beach cabin at Casa Valeria in Samara

Review

Casa Valeria in Samara is located directly at the famous Samara beach. It offers different cabins for backpackers or "normal" tourists. The cabins are clean and equiped with a fan (some of them even air condition) and a warm shower. There are multiple hammocks tied to the palms where you can hang, chill and watch the surfers on the beach. You can also get free coffee through the whole day. Valeria is a very relaxed person who will try everything to make you a pleasant visit. We drove to samara right after visiting hacienda guachipelin.

casa valeria samara view
My view from my hammock at samara beach
Casa Valeria is a place where you can chill after a few days travelling through costa rica and visiting all the national parks and volcanos. Here you can just relax, enjoy the sun and the beach. This is not a normal hotel in costa rica, cause it is mainly cabins build on the beach. From time to time you can go to the nearby shop and get some cold beer. Check the map on the bottom for the locations.

cowboy playing with a dog at samara
A guy plays with his horse and a dog
The rooms are equiped with basic furniture and everything you need. The "rooom-service" will clean your cabins daily. This is good, because there will always get some sand inside your cabin. That is the "bad" side living on the bach. On the picture you can see our cabin from the inside.
casa valeria cabin samara
Simple & Clean: Casa Valeria
The whole day at Casa Valeria you will see a guy walking around, cleaning, sweeping and tidying up the stuff that occurs on the beach. He cannot speak english but he is a very friendly guy. Check out the huge crab he has found at the back of our cabin.
huge crab at samara beach
A huge crab at samara beach
Sadly there is no included breakfast at Casa Valeria, only free coffee. But you can get to the supermarket neaby (1-2 minutes), buy your stuff and cook it in the kitchen at Casa Valeria.
I don't like cooking in the morning, so we went to the "Sheriff" a soda nearby to get some real costa rica breakfast Gallo Pinto. On the map of the bottom I tried to mark the sport where sheriff is located.

the best breakfast of the world gallo pinto
Gallo Pinto at the soda sheriff in Samara
The last picture is dedicated to these interesting costa rica showers you will often see around in costa rica. There is normally no hot water available in costa rica, so people are using this kind of boiler or flow-type heater shower. It looks a little bit dangerous with the wires hanging around, but after three weeks in costa rica and showering unter several of these showers I can say they are safe.

costa rica shower
A typical shower in costa rica

Fresh Coconuts on the beach

If you want to get some fresh coconut juice, you can buy some fresh harvested coconuts directly at the beach. Check out this video of us watching how a guy climbed up the coconut trees and chopped off some coconuts. If you want to buy an machete, follow my guide about machetes.


How to get to Casa Valeria in Samara

The exact address is:  200 m Este Centro de Samara, de la Guardia Rural, S├ímara, Costa Rica


Traffic violations and fines in costa rica

costa rica arenal
Parked right in front of arenal
Driving your own vor rented car in costa rica can be great fun. You will see more of the country then while travelling by bus or even airplane.But you have to keep in mind that costa rica very strict traffic laws and quite high traffic fines for breaking these laws.

These are the best Tipps for driving your car in Costa Rica:

Always obey the speed limit:
Using a GPS navigation can give you a small advantage. The included maps mostly contain the allowed speed limit for your current road limit so your GPS can warn you in case you are to fast.

Drive friendly:
Most ticos are relaxed and chilled drivers. They will give you yield even if they could drive. Try to drive as friendly like them.

costa rica bad  road
On a road like this you should
keep your distance and drive slowly
Do not try to cross big rivers
Crossing Rivers with a 4wd can be great fun. But you should always double check the depth before crossing it. If you are unsure about it ask some locals nearby. When these locals tell you not to cross that river, dont do it. Most car insurances in Costa Rica do not cover costs for a failed river crossing.
costa rica safety belt
This driver is safe, cause he wears a safety belt
Always keep your eyes on the road
The main roads in costs rica are good to drive but the side roads are full of pot holes. Always watch the road cause these pot holes appear out of nowhere.
Take some double care of the dogs. Dogs in costa rica will sleep or play on the road no matter if a car is approaching or not. Always slow down when you see a dog on the road. Even if you are approaching a dog with your car they won't run away as you might think.

Current traffic laws and fines for costa rica
Here are the the current traffic laws and fines for costa rica. They might be outdated and even higher the time you read this. Please contact me if you have information that these information are outdated.
Traffic OffenseFine in ColonesLegal Basis
   
Making a "U" Turn280,000143 (f)
Driving Using Cell Phone94,000145 (n)
Speeding in Excess of 120 km / hr280,000143 (b)
Speeding 20 km / hr above the speed limit47,000146 (v)
Speeding 30 km / hr above the speed limit94,000145 (u)
Speeding 40 km / hr above the speed limit189,000144 (g)
Speeding in a school zone above 25 km / hr94,000145 (p)
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol 0.20 to .050280,000143 (a) (ii)
Running a Red Traffic Light189,000144 (e)
Failure to Buckle the seat belt94,000145 (q)
Not having the vehicle inspection up to date17,000147 (n)
Foreigners driving without a local license after 3 months47,000146 (q)
Driving with an expired vehicle registration47,000146 (x)
Illegal Parking
47,000146 (n)

Hotel El Encanto Cahuita

Hotel El Encanto in Cahuita

el encanto costa rica
El Encanto in Cahuita

Review

El encanto is a small hotel located in cahuita at the beautiful caribean coast of Costa Rica.. It is a two minute walk from cahuita city center to el encanto and another two minutes to the beach.
You can use free parking, wifi and even a little pool. The hotel is inside a very nice garden and contains of a few bungalows.
el encanto cahuita
Entrance to El Encanto

The owner of el encanto (Alex) is a very friendly guy who can bake great pizza. I recommend the hawaii pizza with fresh pineapples.

el encanto pizza
Super tasty pizza at el encanto

Next to el encanto is an area with are huge trees. During my visit there was a group oft howler monkeys. Every morning and throughout the whole day you can hear these monkeys howl.
If you want to see more monkeys like capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys and a lot of other animals you should visit cahuita national park. You can reach the free Park entrance by foot in 10-15 minutes.


El encanto bungalow
Chilling in front of by bungalow at El Encanto

Pros
  • Near the Beach
  • Free wifi + pool
  • Great pizza
  • Security at night

How to geht to el encanto

You should check the homepage of El Encanto for details how to reach cahuita by car or bus. It is quite easy, cause there are only very little roads in cahuita area.
The exact adress is:
300 mts. oeste de la Guardia Rural de Cahuita, Cahuita Limon

To drive from San Jose to Cahuita, you can use this map to plan your journey. You can also customize your route.


Map of Cahuita and places to see:

I marked the relevant spots and el Encanto Hotel in this map.