Costa Rica: an overview

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).

551261_10150829207558059_1208616042_n                             525160_10150846317218059_1252005184_n

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.

484179_10150846336768059_641668675_n                                                 306267_10150830548783059_1245866908_n

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.

600330_10150846323698059_1427445380_n                 542102_10150860609713059_42361263_n - Copy

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.

179583_10150846334053059_1113764736_n                          534256_10150830518583059_2144061179_n

Next posts will discuss specifics: where to stay, what to do, and what to see.

-Sarah

Advertisements

Get Lost.

Sight. [Sahyt]

Something seen or worth seeing

Mental perception or regard; judgement

It’s funny to me that a “sight” by definition can be both something physical (an object or place to be looked at) but also something abstract such as a perception or judgement.  In my short 22 years I have visited seven countries ( two of which I have visited twice now), spanning four continents as well as countless cities in my own country, The United States.

1932802_10152612915753059_8353807586712427231_o

I am not exactly sure where my love of travel stems from. My family never went on any sort of vacation minus a three day “excursion” to Washington D.C. When I was eight nor am I from a wealthy family that has funded my trips across the world. I did not even board my first plane until I was fourteen. The bulk of my travel costs have been funded by me, myself, and my savings account.

10622920_10152298815068059_7794729900580926299_n

I have tried to reflect on why I love to travel so much. Why is travel, the idea of visiting new places the one thing that seems to distract me from whichever anxiety or fear I am worry about today? Is it the idea of the pretty, Instagram-worthy photos of the Eiffel Tower or camel rides through the desert? Is it the food, as delicious as Spanish tapas or as fresh as Costa Rican fruit? Although both are fabulous results, neither are the source of my passion.

1800425_10151947704443059_629335118_n

Truly, travel is my escape. Travel is how I escape into new cultures, new languages, and most importantly into an ever-evolving, ‘updated’ version of myself. Travel is challenging. Travel is frightening Travel is expensive (unless you’re being paid for it or have someone helping you out).Yet I have learned that every challenge endured, tear shed, dime/colones/euro spent, and hour of sleep lost due to rowdy hostel mates adds up to a deeper, more understanding version of yourself.I heard once that in order to see a person for who he or she truly is, take a trip with them. The stress, excitement, sensory overload, etc. involved with travel leaves little to the imagination. So why not apply the same form of thought to yourself? You want to get to know yourself? Get lost. Let yourself observe your strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Just like with people, Each new place you get to know leaves a mark

1904270_10151935025478059_671053504_n

This page is aimed to document the sights of my life: both near and far.

-Sarah