I arrived in Costa Rica at the end of February 2016 and if I had to describe the country in one word I would say “Surprise”, because it has been a constant adventure of unexpected moments, places, situations and people. This land has welcomed me with open embraces and has shown me in a very authentic way the “Pura Vida (pure life)” that you listen everywhere. It is not only is the emblem of the country, but each one of the Ticos transmits that idea to you to enjoy life second by second.
“Chepe”, as local call it, the Costa Rican capital that rises between the mountains of the Central Valley, with an unconventional mix of the typical agitation of a Latin American capital but with the touch of its relaxed people. Full of traffic and concrete between the green of the mountains and the imposing landscapes that appear from the top of any of its slopes. It has been my home for almost a year and despite the lack of habit of returning to a chaotic city, it has become an oasis, a limbo where the weekends compensate that chaos with its many cultural, musical activities, its party and its “pura vida” people
Jacó and Playa Hermosa
The first beach I visited in Costa Rica, Jacó was a WOW the first time and an OK, the second after seeing other beaches in the country. The closest beach in San Jose is therefore an escape to an hour and a half from the city to be on a Pacific beach and where important festivals such as the Jungle Jam and surf tournaments like the ISA World Surfing Tour take place. Beautiful landscapes, with the touch of Babylon of a “gringa” beach (no offense please!), who understands the concept beyond something pejorative will know what I mean, in short a nice place, but full of excesses. Surfing reigns on these sides and just 20 minutes from Jacó is Playa Hermosa, practically the Jacó patio where you can go to relax without pop music at high volume or prostitutes at night. Every 15 days there is a surf tournament in the Backyard, a good beach club with rasonable prices and a good atmosphere. This is the real Jacó, outside of Jaco. Warm landscapes, stunning sunsets, wild waves that embrace you, fresh air, peace.
Guanacaste (Piratas Bay and Playa del Coco)
Simply a jewel, Guanacaste is the arid needle in the country’s tropical haystack. Hot, dry, but with vegetation. Pure green becomes green with a touch of brown here, but still with that touch of the valley and the pampa. Soft black sand, celestial water and the sun that seems to come from a fantasy story. To the north of the country, it has a well developed tourist area and at the same time it has those hidden and cornered beaches that upon discovering them will practically be your private beach for the day.
I would say the tourist capital of the province of Limón. It was in this province where the Jamaicans began to arrive in the country. A lot of reggae, a lot of rasta, a lot of green. At the foot of the Talamanca mountain chain its vegetation and vibe is impressive. Once arriving taking a walk around, a bicycle and travel its roads visiting each beach is impressive.
In the photographs we can see corners of Puerto Viejo, Playa Grande and finally Punta Manzanillo with its spectacular viewpoint and its green so full of water and freshness.
The most popular national park. I had my doubts, I do not like to get to places so crowded with tourists, but in this case it is a park so beautiful that tourists does not matter. When we were just arriving a Toucan greeted us in the village and announced that the place is full of wildlife, full of life and unique places.
Capital of the province of the same name and where the most important carnival in the country takes place. A strange place where the main activity is the ferry that crosses to get to the Nicoya Peninsula and that in low season becomes practically a ghost town.
I had never heard the name of a place that was so precise, just and explicit to describe that place. At almost 1800 meters high, this town of almost 700 inhabitants is one of the most sought after by travelers. Cool, cold, humid and full of fog is not the typical forest, it is the tall tropical trees that dominate the mountain and not the typical pines you would expect.