Costa Rica is a surprisingly beautiful country, where by surprising I mean that on every occasion, on every corner and most likely when one least expects it, nice things happen and beautiful places show their inner beauty too. I somehow think there is hardly a need to get a guide to enjoy the beauty of this country, as really it is available to all. One just needs to take the public boat to go to Tortuguero in order to spot monkeys, perezosos, crocodiles and baby crocodiles, tucans and what not. And a simple walk through the dirt roads in the village will reveal poisonous snakes, jaguar prints and sleepy frogs waiting to wake up at night.
However, what is most striking about this country is its people. It must mean something if the national saying is “pura vida“, which means “pure life” and is used as a greeting, and casually said even to tourists and people walking by in the street. People are friendly, helpful, polite. I just need to get in a local bar, have a cerveza (here it would have to be Imperial!), and within minutes I am chatting with a local girl who is curious to know about my travels and enthusiastic to tell me about her pregnancy. Or, if I get off the bus at the wrong stop, a guy who was also on the bus would warn me that the area is not too safe, and stop a taxi so that I get safely to my hostel. Costa Rica is definitely more expensive than the rest of Central America, but I can see why: it works efficiently; and the fact that it is so much more efficient makes it also way more pleasant for travellers, so that eventually I am somehow ok to be paying more, since I am also getting a much better service (I was starting to get tired of those crazy crowded chicken buses!).
Since things are so easy here, Costa Rica is a great place to meditate and look at your inner self. So… take the chance and PURA VIDA!