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Manu | 5 November 2012 | no comments

The vibrant and electrifying colours if a sunset on the northern Pacific coast in Guanacaste

Of all the places I’ve been, Costa Rica fills me with inspiration. This small country in Central America promises a unique and wonderful experience as soon as you arrive.
I first visited Costa Rica in 2007. I was invited along as a Safety Boater and Photographer for a Whitewater Kayak School from Canada that leads trips in the south for winter. We spent two weeks traveling around the country and chasing the best rivers, rapids and waterfalls. We stayed in different towns and villages, and got to meet the most laid-back and friendly people.


Heliconia flowers are everywhere in Costa Rica

“Pura Vida” is the phrase you’ll hear often in Costa Rica. Its literal translation is “Pure Life”, but in Costa Rica, it means so much more than that. People use the term to say “Hello!”, “Goodbye”, “Thank you”, or “You’re welcome”. Pura Vida” is more of a way of life, a reminder to not sweat the small stuff, an agreement between people that a simple, happy life is the mantra of the population. It was hard for me to not fall in love with this attitude as soon as I arrived!

The people I met in Costa Rica were so welcoming and friendly no matter where I was. Sometimes, when traveling, I feel as though people are bring superficially friendly to tourists only because they want something (like money, or other attractive items you may have). This has not been my experience in Costa Rica. Costa Ricans will open their doors to you because they are truly happy to share their country and lifestyle with whoever will appreciate it.

Sunset at Manuel Antonio Beach on the Pacific coast

And honestly, I can’t blame them. If you haven’t yet been, picture a fantasy land like Ferngully or Pandora (from the movie ‘Avatar’). There are so many different types of plants and animals in Costa Rica, you can’t avoid them. It puts your senses in overdrive. The smells of nature are everywhere, no matter what part of the country you’re in. Coming from Canada, I was in awe of the number of new plants and animals I came across. …And the food! It might just be because the

A sloth hanging upside down on power wires

food isn’t traveling thousands of kilometers to my local grocery store, but the fruit in Costa Rica is the sweetest, juiciest, most flavorful I had ever tasted. Every part of Costa Rica is a feast for all the senses!

My first impression of Costa Rica was so positive, that I returned two years later for my own wedding. There was no other place in the world I wanted to share with my closest family and friends. Some destinations are enjoyed for the traveling experience; something to write home about and to remember forever. But for me, Costa Rica has a place in my heart and is where I’ll want to return to again and again. Whenever I’m facing adversity, or dreaming of a fairy tale faraway land, it is Costa Rica that first comes to mind and I escape to.

(Jenny S.)

Jenny in Costarica


Jenny is a part-time traveller, lover of culture, geography, photography and music. She has checked 32 countries off her list and has plans for many more.

Her blog is updated infrequently at jennyrightside.blogspot.com