|Rio Celeste, Guanacaste, Costa Rica|
Pura Vida is the motto of Costa Rica and every aspect of the country proudly embraces this idea. Pronounced "poo-rah vee-dah" (and not "pure-rah vee-dah"), this slogan embodies the easygoing and lighthearted nature of the people. Pura Vida means "full of life" or "good life."
I couldn't have picked a better place to go for my first international trip without mom and dad (I hardly travel, though that's definitely going to change!). Costa Rica is truly a rich coast of volcanoes, rainforests, jungles, rivers, beaches, hot springs, waterfalls, wildlife, characteristic towns and amazing people.
|Katy Geissert Library, Torrance, California|
Despite my anticipation for the trip, the months flew by and before I knew it, our trip was two months away. To plan out the itinerary, I went to the library and checked out every travel guide they had on Costa Rica and a few other books on Spanish. My roommate had also recently traveled to Costa Rica and her testimonials were a valuable resource.
Two days prior to our departure, we finally decided upon a rough route for our 9 day trip. On the day of our flight, I booked the hostel for our first night. We decided to wing the rest.
By the time our trip was over, I had fallen in love with the land and everything in it. Costa Rica is a wondrous place that should be on everyone's destination list. A vacation here could be enjoyed by families, couples and groups of friends alike. Furthermore, I would highly recommend Costa Rica if you want to travel on a budget. I have yet to do an official calculation but I would estimate that I spent about $1000 during our whole trip, including the flight (though I realize we had an incredible deal).
|Lake Arenal, Costa Rica|