Changing the Face of Quepos
Anyone who was in Quepos before 2008 would agree that the town was the dirty armpit of Manuel Antonio–we all have them and need them, but certainly don’t flaunt them. Go to Quepos to do your shopping and banking, and then get the hell out–especially after dark, when the vampires come out.
But in the past few years there have been a number of changes that promise to alter this image forever: the replacement of two ‘Oh, My God!’ bridges that were bottlenecks to incoming traffic; a new highway from San Jose, cutting the driving time down by an hour; several new parks, including a pedestrian waterfront walkway; and also the unveiling of the new Marina Pez Vela.
Promising to be one of Central America’s largest full-service marinas, Pez Vela is slowly becoming a deep-sea fisherman’s dream. In 2011 it was bought out by PIMSA (Portafolio Inmobiliario)–a well-funded investment group which owns Banco Promerica and has done several high-end developments in the central valley, including parts of Avenida Escazu. After securing the 2013 Offshore World Championship in early 2013, the Pez Vela marina once again began to change its face. In a matter of weeks, the boardwalk and commercial areas of the marina sprouted up from the ground, preparing to accomodate the upcoming event.
To put it in perspective–to even be invited to the Offshore World Champrionship, competitors have to win one of the 120 qualifying tournaments around the world. The event took place in mid-May, and set new records for catch-and-release: 811 sailfish, 9 blue marlin, and one striped marlin! In celebration, a gala was held at the marina’s new commercial center, including awards, live music– even fireworks! With results like this, Pez Vela has attracted the attention of the deep sea fishing world.
Marinas are attractive places for fishermen (and fisherladies!), and landlubbers, alike: Walking down the boardwalk, checking out all of the boats and their creative names–like the ‘Spanish Fly’, the ‘Mad Marlin’, and the ‘Reel Deal’. It’s fun to have lunch in a breezy, open-air restaurant overlooking the ocean, and listen to live music at night. Oceans are heavenly bodies of water, and marinas are their gateways.
After the event, I found myself watching the sunset over the marina from what will soon be the new ‘Milagro’ restaurant & coffee shop, and realized that Quepos will never again be the same. For the better. Once the armpit of Manuel Antonio, it will now become its vizor-shaded, suntanned smile. I saw a vision of myself a few years from now: Sitting in the very same spot, watching the boats come in at sunset, the tourists milling around in the shops below, drinking a hot cup of Cafe Milagro and reminiscing about the ‘old’ Quepos. If they only knew.
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