Mixed feelings on Coco’s growing up

Bird of ParadiseEvery time I go back to my old hometown of Coco, Costa Rica, I can’t help but run around and take notice of everything that’s changed. What a difference a year makes! This time, I had even more mixed feelings than usual. As I strolled the “boulevard” (the town’s main street), I noticed for the first time that two businesses had written their hours and basic information in English first and then Spanish. I know they’re trying to appeal to the Americans and Canadians who flock there on vacation, but we never used to be one of “those” Costa Rican pueblos, the surf towns that are awesome but that cater to tourists and expats, for better or for worse. But with the stomach churning, comes great changes.

Anyway, one of my favorite former haunts shows exactly what I mean…

Costa Rica is filled with palm trees, lush foliage, heavy humidity, and so much more. I love walking the dirt roads, soaking in the sun, and listening to the waves crash while on the untouched beaches.

Palm Trees


But sometimes, a girl needs to grab a beer with her friends. One of my favorite spots? Coconutz, which I still hit every time I come into town. It is a charming place on the end of the boulevard closest to my former barrio. Movie nights, happy hour, a direct view of the only-in-Coco craziness… None of that had changed! But to my utmost surprise, now there were flat-screened TVs. Tons of them! It fit, it was great, and I was glad things were going so well for them. But…

Coconutz Coco Costa Rica



Any mixed feelings were quickly forgotten as we walked farther into the bar. There were swings! Darling swings where we could drink our Imperials and watch all of the action from the street. We were in love!

Coconutz Swings


Just as I was about to judge the addition of flat-screen TVs to a place I associate with completely tuning out (I never had a TV while I lived there), I discovered something as simple as swings.

Coco — always full of surprises!

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. Melissa Christensen says:

    Ohhhhh the swings… What a great find! Can’t wait to read a blog about San Jaun Del Sur next!

  2. The TVs would bother me too, but it sounds like enough has stayed the same that it’s still a great place to visit.

  3. They will come in handy during soccer season for sure… But the swings made up for them anyway — especially since they were out of the line of vision, so I wasn’t tempted to stare at the TV!

  4. The TVs drive me crazy – they are popping up everywhere. BUT at least they are still showing soccer, Costa Rica news, and telenovelas as opposed to American football.

  5. Swings in a bar! This is amazing.

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