One word to describe Costa Rica – AMAZING!!!
Costa Rica is largely known in the budget backpacking world as being an over-priced, tourist trap. Sadly this means that many budget backpackers, hot-tail-it through the country, missing out on one of the biggest biodiverse hot spots in the worlds (the South West of Western Australia being another).
It’s true – Costa Rica is expensive!! However it is also more ‘developed’ with stronger liberal views, than most ‘developed’ countries I’ve been to. Though not something I would boost about, many people refer to Costa Rica as the next Florida – I believe this is more to do with the number of gringos, than the country itself.
Overall is probably one of my favorite countries in Latin America… Here are a few reasons why;
– There is no army – the army was abolished in 1948, and so, unlikely almost every other Latin American country, there was no military dictatorship. The government also agreed to put the money that would have been spent on the military into education. In Costa Rica all education is free, including university education. There is also a large move to ‘environmental education’… which leads to my next point;
– Local people have an understanding about the importance of sustainability and the environment. Unlike a lot of other places in Latin America, the majority of people don’t only use bins for their rubbish, they also recycle (I recall attempting to explain to an guy in the Colombian Amazon why he shouldnt throw rubbish into the Amazon river – he looked at me like I was crazy!!) Costa Ricans (or Ticos) also understand the importance of sustainable ecotourism – like really understand it, and don’t just ‘pretend’ to care.
– Chirripo Cerro – though not that high in altitude compared to other mountains/ volcanos in the Americas, it does have one of the biggest altitude inclines. Ascending over 2000m in 12 hours. Once you reach the submit, the sunrise views are amazing.
– sloths, turtles, toucans, monkeys, lizards, frogs, raccoons… as well as some amazing national parks and awesome hikes
I could give you a hundred more reasons, but I want to try and keep this blog short(ish) and sweet!
So, what did we get up to…
Driving in Costa Rica was an great way to see the country. It allowed us to do things independently, and stay in places we couldn’t otherwise stay – though it did take my Dad some convincing to actually take over driving for a bit.
We rode the rapids in rafts in La Fortuna, and flew through the cloudforests on zip lines in Monteverde (shout out to my Mum who overcame her fear of heights and gracefully flew through the canopies like a toucan or spider monkey). We went wildlife spotting in Manuel Antonio; completed many challenging hikes in sun, rain, wind and hail… My parents even climbed their first volcano 🙂 We also saved some baby turtles from being eaten by vultures and cycled along the Caribbean coast in Talamanca… Before making our way overland across the border into panama.
Overall an amazing experience!! I am extremely blessed to be able to spend 3 weeks exploring Costa Rica, with some incredible people (my beautiful parents and my boyfriend). Thank you guys, the trip wouldn’t have been the same without you.
If you are considering visiting Costa Rica (particularly if you are a budget traveler), but you are unsure because of the expensive… I say go for it!! It will be worth every penny… and it is only money at the end of the day… Money comes and goes, but the experiences you have, will stay with you forever!
Chao y escribe pronto mis chicos! Xx