“The bellowing of howler monkeys echoes across the tree tops. Magnificent frigate birds circle high overhead, while less-than-sonorous squawking uncovers a pair of scarlet macaws. Morning breaks in the coastal rainforest.
Similar scenes unfold across Costa Rica, from the dry tropical forest along the Pacific coast to the misty cloud forest at higher altitudes. One-third of this country’s area is protected, making it a wildlife wonderland.
The flora and fauna are only part of the appeal. Annually Costa Rica attracts more than one million visitors eager to catch a wave, climb a volcano or otherwise partake of paradise.
It’s never easy to maintain the delicate balance between preserving natural resources and cashing in on economic opportunity, but Ticos are tireless in their efforts. These peace loving people are eager to share the staggering scenery, bountiful biodiversity and complete contentment of pura vida, the ‘pure life’ of Costa Rica.”
Excerpt from the Lonely Planet guide to Central America.
Costa Rica (CR) proved to be the most expensive and most tourist saturated country I have so far visited in ALL of Latin America – an instant turn off for someone on a backpacker budget. If you have oodles of dollars then I am sure CR could be a ‘nice’ place to visit. As it happened I only spent 7 days in CR – 7 days too long!
San José, the capital, is an ugly city, with unremarkable concrete structures, clogged pedestrian arcades and fast food monstrosities dominating its cityscape. And how delightful can a city really be when you’re constantly dodging homicidal drivers, evading pickpockets and trying to tune out the cacophony of honking horns and ear splitting reggaetón?
I spent 3-nights in San José with most of that time spent within the confines of my hostel.
Next stage: The cloud forest at Monteverde.