Costa Rica "Pura Vida"

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"Pura Vida" meaning pure life or pure living, the people of Costa Rica really changed the way I think about day to day life

Viking River Cruises
Adventures & Tours Costa Rica Blog

The people of Costa Rica are naturally laid back and have a “be happy & enjoy the day” kind of attitude - "Pura Vida" meaning pure life or pure living. This mentality simply runs through their blood. We could all do with adapting to this lifestyle a little no matter how busy or stressed. First off I need to say how fantastic Intrepid Travel are in everything they do! Big thumbs up from A&T!!

Costa Rica loves Rice & Beans! Rice & Beans for breakfast, rice & beans for lunch then rice & beans with anything else for dinner! You dont have to include rice & beans with everything you eat but I recommend eating as much as you possibly can handle ha its a great source of energy if you plan to explore but also it makes you feel a little more involved in the Costa Rica lifestyle..

Eat at a “Soda” you won't regret it! These a local street food kind of vendors but also some are like small informal restaurants to sit and chat while enjoying some local delights. They rarely serve alcohol and will always be full of locals (best way to identify a great Soda!) the most popular meals include a choice of: chicken, steak or pork with salad rice & beans + other garnishes. 

My highlight! Travel should change the way you think about day to day life, you should learn something about yourself or the world no matter where you go or what you are doing. Travel, learn & grow. The highlight of this trip for me was on the first day/night. I had the most amazing experience staying with a local community in a remote village around three hours from San Jose. We were greeted with a warm welcome & introductions. The local people made us lunch which was simply incredible!! we then split up and went off to see where we would be staying that night. Staying with a family like this was really very humbling and many in the group were quite emotional when leaving. In the evening the community school did a small dance performance and we had a little party before heading back to our beds for the night.
La Fortuna! Home to a giant waterfall & the Arenal volcano. La Fortuna the home town of our guide had a great atmosphere and more shops, bars and activities than you will have time for. The lovely things about La Fortuna is whereever you are you can always see the volcano watching over the entire town. We made the trek down the steps to a super impressive waterfall and even enjoyed a dip in the water. A nice evening activity is to visit a selection of hot springs. It was a real treat to relax in the natural heat of the volcano, we all fully enjoyed the experience.
Monteverde! On the journey from la Fortuna to Monteverde we crossed the lake and enjoyed some majestic views. We continued our jouney via minibus and everyone was excited to arrive in the cloud forest. The hotel Hostorias was superb! Very comfortable and clean, perfect in its surroundings. We all had some time to explore and plan our activities over the next few days. I could not resist the zip lines and tarzan swing, it did not dissapoint! If you are afraid or nervous around heights I would still recommend giving this a go, one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. The small town of Monteverde has some fantastic places to eat and a great bar called 'Amigos' which becomes quite lively in the evenings. One place that really impressed me was 'Restorante D' Thomas' truly superb food! The wife is the chef, the husband runs the floor & their lovely 4 year old son is Thomas. I had the best peice of Tuna EVER! Also beers from a local brewery located at the foot of the volcano.
This is why you travel with a local tour leader... before i left for Costa Rica I was chatting with a friend and he said "you have to get a photo of a Red Eyed Tree Frog, always loved them"
Red Eyed Tree Frog

I spent the first four days with no luck until that evening... our guide Edson, who joined us most evenings for a lovely meal and a few drinks returned from the bar with a large leaf folded over, it was the infamous Red Eyed Tree Frog. I was blown away and this would not of happened if it wasnt for traveling with our amazing Intredpid Travel guide Edson. He then began to tell us all about the frog and how he recognised the mating call from a overhanging tree... the video below briefly shows how excited we were haha

While in Manuel Antonio! This town is situated on one long beach and includes more bars/restraunts than you can visit in a few days. Its also home to the national park where you can experience a beautiful private beach and an abundance of wildlife including the infamous Sloth!! The views are just breath taking and there is so much to do and see. One tip I have for you when visiting Manuel Antonio is make sure you get the cash needed before arriving as the nearest atm is a challenging 45min walk uphill from the centre. 
Amazing sunset! Another highlight curtesy of our local tour leader Edson was a walk up to a great spot where you see the entire Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The photo below was the epic sunset we enjoyed with a few cold beers. Amazing evening!




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