“Hemmed in between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans near the narrowest point of the Central American isthmus, the tiny republic of Costa Rica is often pictured as an oasis of political stability in the midst of a turbulent region. This democratic and prosperous nation is also one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, an ecological treasure-trove whose wide range of habitats – ranging from rainforests and beaches to volcanoes and mangrove swamps – support a fascinating variety of wildlife, much of it now protected by an enlightened national conservation system widely regarded as a model of its kind.”
Costa Rica is an assault on the senses; I really mean that in the most wonderful way. Never before have I seen such gorgeous sights, with its cascading jungles, roaring volcanoes, and glistening oceans; never have I heard such amazing sounds, from the Howler monkeys in the trees to the rustle in the jungle. It is in Costa Rica that I tasted the most amazing fish dinner in spicy Caribbean sauce; it is in Costa Rica that I felt the soft Caribbean sand for the first time. But, the thing that I remember the most clearly about Costa Rica, was the smell; when Lauren and I arrived at Puerto Viejo the air smelt so fresh and ridiculously clean.
When Lauren and I got off the bus at the coast after travelling from San Jose there had just been a light rain which had doused the warm jungle floor either side of the road. The scent was intoxicating, (okay this is going to sound ridiculously pretentious, but I’ve warned you about it and I’m aware of it so it doesn’t count, okay?!) But, when we got off the bus in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica smelt organic (*cringe* are you still there, phew, good, let’s move on and never mention it again), it was fricking delightful though, especially as the air was considerably cooler than that of it’s Nicaraguan neighbour; it’ll be once of those scents that’ll always take me back to that little beautiful hippy town on the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica. It seems that the whole country embraces its biodiversity, towns nestle into the jungle and upon the beaches, not seeming overpowering or commanding, but instead they appear to be built to survive and thrive in unison with nature.
Lauren and I took advantage of the beautiful Caribbean town which was nestled between jungle and ocean; we embraced the clean, cooler air and spent a vast majority of our time outside, exploring the town and the surrounding beaches (A blog post just on the beaches will be up later this week). We meandered through the town of Puerto Viejo, exploring its colourful shops and restaurants; it was simply beautiful, the town had nothing but good, laid back vibes to it. The road leading from Rocking J’s hostel where we were staying passed through the jungle on one side and the clear Caribbean ocean on the other; it was an absolute joy to explore.
We were only in the town for a total of two days, but it was enough to make me fall in love with it, we hired bikes and spent much of one day riding north to explore hidden beaches; this was the best way to explore the area, because we got so swept up in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, we had to fit as much as the Costa Rican experience into a very short amount of time. It’s such a shame that we didn’t get to explore the country further, but honestly, if there was a place in Costa Rica where we could spend our few days I wouldn’t have changed our destination.
Costa Rica truly embraces the phrase Pura Vida; it’s easy to get swept up in the pure beautiful way of life that is lived in that gorgeous country. I cannot wait to get back there eventually and explore it deeper.