The Peaceful Soul of Central America
As the eco- and adventure-tourism capital of Central America, Costa Rica has a worthy place in the cubicle daydreams of travelers around the world. With world-class infrastructure, visionary sustainability initiatives and no standing army since 1948 (when the country redirected its defense funds toward education, healthcare and the environment), Costa Rica is a peaceful green jewel of the region. Taking into account that more than a fourth of the land enjoys some form of environmental protection and there’s greater biodiversity here than in the USA and Europe combined, it’s a place that earns the superlatives.
Why I Love Costa Rica
By Ashley Harrell, Writer
The night I moved to Costa an expat in a bar congratulated me. ‘The best part,’ she said, ‘is you can do anything here.’ She wasn’t talking about traveling the entire country, undertaking extreme adventures, or attending a Christmas party in a bikini (but yeah, done all that). She meant that people here have the time, freedom and permission to truly live. Want to sleep in a shack and surf constantly? Do it. Want to rescue baby sloths? Somebody has to. I wanted to travel, study wildlife, write and feel alive. Now I do. Pura vida.
The Wild Life
Such wildlife abounds in Costa Rica as to seem almost cartoonish: keel-billed toucans ogle you from treetops and scarlet macaws raucously announce their flight paths. A keen eye will discern a sloth on a branch or the eyes and snout of a caiman breaking the surface of a mangrove swamp, while alert ears will catch rustling leaves signaling a troop of white-faced capuchins or the haunting call of a howler monkey. Blue morpho butterflies flit amid orchid-festooned trees, while colorful tropical fish, sharks, rays, dolphins and whales thrive offshore – all as if in a conservationist’s dream.