Tour Leader Report: Costa Rica and Pura Vida | Craig Travel

Tour Leader Report: Costa Rica and Pura Vida

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One of the popular expressions among the people in Costa Rica is PURA VIDA. The expression is used in a variety of ways, meaning "fantastic", "Hi", "See you", "Life is great", etc. Costa Rica is indeed an eco-tourist paradise.

Costa Rica is blessed with radically different eco-climates within a very short distance: rain forests, cloud forests, dry forests, Pacific beaches, volcanoes, etc. We enjoyed seeing the many colourful birds, monkeys and cruising a crocodile infested river.

One of our guides asked us at the outset of our tour whether we wanted to be treated as "tourists" or "travellers". Tourists only see what others want them to see. We wanted our guides to tell us, and show us, how things really are; to be treated as "travellers". And our guides shared very openly of their insights as well as some of their personal lives. The Costa Rican people are very proud of their country and its history. They are leaders in their concern for the environment. About 25 % of the land in Costa Rica is protected from the encroachment of people and industry. We hope that they can keep it that way.

Costa Rica has no military. They can therefore allocate those resources elsewhere, for instance to education, including free university. We enjoyed meeting the many beautiful children in their colourful costumes at a school in a very poor area. Their smiles and their friendliness were contagious. We enjoyed being asked to dance with them. Other children of various ages danced for us at our farewell dinner at an orchid garden. A marimba band entertained us.

One of the staple choices at almost every Costa Rican meal is rice and black beans. At breakfast, at lunch, at dinner. We really got accustom to it and quite like rice and black beans now. It is definitely something we will make at home.

The country is full of natural wonders. There are over 100 volcanoes in Costa Rica, but none erupted when we were there. Historically, one of the volcanoes near the capital city of San Jose erupted just as President John Kennedy was speaking there outdoors in 1963, covering him and his listeners with ash. What an experience that must have been!

Costa Rica is also an adventure tourist paradise: zip-lining, snorkeling, hiking, etc. Carol and I tried zip-lining high up among the trees through the dense cloud forest. We'll tell you all about it, once we stop shaking.

Everyone in our well-travelled group got along remarkably well. We saw a lot. We learned a great deal and we learned a great deal from each other. Our trip was fairly strenuous. Many early morning hours. Some long road and boat trips. At times, rain, mostly in the rain and the cloud forests. We are now back at home, trying to catch our breath, reliving some of the special wonderful memories.

Now it's back to our daily lives and reality.

For Craig Travel's next journeys to Costa Rica click here and contact a Craig Travel Tour Specialist for more information and to book your journey to Costa Rica.

,,,Peeter and Carol Vanker

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