The first place I want to cover is the first place I ever traveled to outside of the United States: Costa Rica! Now, technically I have been to Costa Rica twice. The first time was in high school where I spent a week volunteering in the Osa Peninsula, and the second time was during the summer of 2012 where I spent six weeks abroad in a town called San Juaquin de Flores taking classes for my Spanish major. The majority of the info and pictures in my posts about Costa Rica are taken from my second time in this magical country. I have lost the photos I took during my first visit ( aka I lost the SD card that had all the photos).
Costa Rica Quickly:
Population: 4.7 million (67 times smaller than US population)
Location: Central America (Between Panama and Nicaragua): about a 5 hour flight from USA
Average Temperature: 70-81 degrees (BUT WITH A TON OF HUMIDITY)
Size: 19,700 square miles (roughly the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined)
Languages spoken: Spanish is the official language
Costa Rica is an outdoor lover’s paraiso. With literally hundreds of mountains, volcanoes, and waterfalls to explore, Costa Rica has no shortage of sights to see and will leave you with an overflow of Instagram-worthy photos. Some must-see sights include the Arenal Volcano which you can access by visiting the Arenal National Park, and the Tortuguero National park,( a park only accessible by boats where you can see green sea turtles nesting their eggs!). Hint: “Turtle” in spanish is “Tortuga”.When I was at Tortuguero, I was so fortunate to see an actual green turtle nesting. These turtles come out at night to lay their eggs.
Costa Rica is a relatively cheap country to fly to ($400 round trip Boston-San Jose) and an even cheaper country to visit (some hostels are as cheap as $7 a night where you rent out hammocks! Or if you feel like pampering yourself there are plenty of hostels and hotels right in the heart of some of Costa Rica’s most infamous biological parks. Both times I visited Costa Rica I had the amazing opportunity to live with locals as a homestay opportunity! The people of Costa Rica are some of the kindest, and most welcoming people I’ve ever met.
Feeling adventurous? There are plenty of sites for ziplining and hiking! If you’re more into a laid back place, there are plenty of museos and tours to enjoy. When my friends and I had down time outside of classes, we took tours at coffee bean factories, took day trips to Costa Rica’s amazing beaches, or hung around at the local pool.
Next posts will discuss specifics: where to stay, what to do, and what to see.