Costa Rica: Paradise On Earth

beach

Breathtaking nature, incredible wildlife, untouched beaches and warmhearted locals – all of this made my trip to Costa Rica a memory that will never fade. The shift in perspective that Costa Rica triggers sometimes seems surreal. It is very different from any other traveling destination, but you won’t experience a culture shock. On the contrary: you will feel more connected to yourself and nature and experience a sudden urge to discover many other hidden pearls of the world. You’ll become more aware of just how precious life is as you’ll slowly adopt the “pura vida“ mindset. Here are the main things that make Costa Rica a true paradise on Earth.

The human-wildlife relationship

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Costa Rica is home to over 5 percent of the global biodiversity! There is an honorable mutual respect between humans and wildlife. You can see sloths, crocodiles, bats, turtles, monkeys (and many more!) in their natural habitats. This can be an amazing experience, especially if you’ve only seen wild animals in educational tv series or in the zoo. You’ll start contemplating about how all of these creatures are simply incredible. There are also wildlife sanctuary centers all over the country, with nonprofits working their best to provide the necessary food and veterinary care to injured animals or those in need.

Mesmerizing landscapes and nature

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Waterfalls, wild forests, volcanoes, beaches – it’s all there! Visiting the La Paz Waterfall Gardens was one of my favorite moments of the trip. Here, you can also stop by the butterfly observatory or watch about half of the total number of hummingbird species that Costa Rica is a home to. Volcanoes and hot springs are always crowded in the tourist season – Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna are incredibly beautiful, especially when visited in the late afternoon. There is an amazing bohemian-like town called Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula that has one of the most amazing relaxing beaches.

The “Pura Vida“ lifestyle

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Instead of saying the usual “hello“, Costa Ricans greet themselves with saying “pura vida“ – pure life. It means living your life to the fullest but in a healthy manner. This hedonism is not decadent or excessive as the one typical for the Western culture. It is a whole different set of values you can easily get used to. An impressively high life expectancy (79 years) and the fact that Costa Rica is rated as the happiest country in the world has to do something with this “pura vida“mindset.

It is an army-free country

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Honestly, when you set your foot on the endless white beaches and breathe in the fresh ocean air, you’ll feel like you’re on some other planet where the war doesn’t exist. Costa Rica is one of the 16 countries in the world that has no standing army. It has been forbidden since 1949. You can really feel the serenity in your heart, as Costa Ricans are a nation worth admiration that seemed to evolve beyond choosing violence as the means of solving problems. This fact made me love Costa Rica a bit more and added a certain freedom to my trip.

It is affordable

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Just like in every other country, you can find alternatives to expensive accommodation and fancy restaurants: eating at the family-owned local restaurants called sodas is always a pleasant experience; tap water is safe to drink, so that’s a plus; beverages are in the reasonable range of prices; public transport is actually pretty cheap. Many people fall in love with Costa Rica so they consider moving here. It’s actually not that complicated to buy property in Costa Rica as many presume. You don’t have to have a Costa Rican citizenship in order to become a property owner, but you do need to provide some proof (i.e. visa) that you are legally staying there. It isn’t as complex as you would think: there are some usual formalities and regulations, but if you hire a real estate agent to guide you through the process – it is totally doable.

This is not an exhaustive list of what makes Costa Rica a true paradise. It can steal your heart and make you remember it with a nostalgic smile. It sure was hard going back to reality!

Author bio:

Oliver Hyde is an experienced business consultant from the UK. His job allows him to travel, which also happens to be one of his greatest passions. You can follow his adventures on Twitter and Google+.

 

Filed under: Travel Experiences