Costa Rica is an unusual animal in Central America, being one of the few countries in that part of the world to boast a relatively conflict free history.
Certainly they were annexed by Spain and went through a civil war, but the government was declared a democracy in 1869 — at an earlier stage than many countries that still haven’t been declared as such.
I found modern Costa Rica to be a milieu of intense nature and laid back locals. I woke up to howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, large insects scaling my walls and frogs chortling.
When a Costa Rican utters ‘Pura Vida” it’s not a flippant term tossed at your feet. Pura Vida means “pure life” — and Costa Ricans really believe in this — encompassing the good life. One of family, love and a deep connection to their environment.
There’s a high number of farmers selling Costa Rican products like coffee, bananas and cacao (chocolate).
This philosophy explains the government’s unwavering stance on eco-preservation, which makes Costa Rica one of the big players in eco-tourism.