Sunday, March 18, 2012

Costa Rica: The Land of Pura Vida

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
It all started when I saw an unbelievable deal for a round trip ticket to Liberia, Costa Rica and before the day was over, our tickets were booked. With six months to plan, we figured there would be plenty of time to iron out the details.

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
Upon our return home, Costa Rica was immediately added to our "must visit again" list. Ironically, I had never considered traveling to Costa Rica prior to seeing the once-in-a-lifetime deal because I hear so much more about other popular travel destinations. Now a week after our trip, I still haven't stopped thinking about how beautiful and extraordinary this place is. I am so thankful that we graced the surface now because we will definitely be coming back, hopefully many times!

Pura Vida!


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