Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Costa Rica Travel Information
If you ever bump into anyone wearing a shirt that reads: ¡Pura Vida!, that person unmistakably has been to Costa Rica, or it is at least a gift from someone else who has actually enjoyed a trip to that charming Central American country. This is perhaps one of those travel souvenirs you would like to bring home from your own trip to Costa Rica, where people warmly greet one another and every word carries the energy to take you through the day and much more.
Just like the latter, many other peculiarities make Costa Ricans a race of their own in the world. Such expressions like 'diay' (their way to ask what´s up?), or their aborigines´ skill to manufacture perfectly round stone spheres (that up to our days, both their meaning and use remain a mystery); Or the fact that flats and houses are not numbered at all, which has created an unorthodox system of landmarks for directions: 'from the X building, 100 meters southbound and 3 blocks to the left', may be an answer to get while in search for a certain destination. The post office has been in action since 2008, working on the implementation of postal addresses. But don´t get it wrong!, literacy in Costa Rica ranks over 90%.
Ticos, as Costa Ricans are commonly known, also display a long list of national symbols. Just to mention a few: the red 'guaria' (common orchid-like vine) and the giant mimosa tree (its leaves close at nighttime), which represent the national flower and tree respectively; the 'yigüirro', national bird and the typical wheelbarrow, a work symbol.
Costa Rican history sets off in 1502 when Christopher Columbus lands in Cariay, City of Limón nowadays. Upon arrival, the Spanish did not encounter great civilazations as the ones occupying the nearby territory of present Guatemala, but they did find some aboriginals: Huetars, Chorotegas and Borucas, who featured a rather simple and peaceful living standard. After dreadful years of colonialism and restructuring, the country took its final shape. Today, Costa Rica treasures great touristry attractions like the Chirripó Mountain, at 3 819 m the highest point in the country; the Irazú volcano, the highest of its kind in Costa Rica and Poás volcano´s crater, the widest of the territory with 1 320 m in diameter.
Looking for what is unmistakably local will make you have a wonderful time: strolling the streets in cities and towns while in search for the divine coffee, comfortable hammocks, finely-made wooden boxes, ceramic replicas of precolumbian objects, masks and, of course, the well-known wheelbarrows. As far as nature is concerned, there is plenty of choices: forests, jungle and mountains teeming with thounsands of orchid species, plus Caribbean and Pacific beaches. Opportunities for ecotourism pop up in parks like: Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio or in Monteverde; Don´t miss the cities though: San José, the capital city, Puerto Viejo and Guanacaste; go into the Arenal volcano? Wow! It is all worthy!