10 Things I Love about Costa Rica

On my walk this morning I was pondering to myself all the reasons I chose to live in Costa Rica. Having been away for several months, I can see with a new perspective the natural beauty around me as they say “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

1. Connection with Nature – I can step out of my house in Manuel Antonio and go for a walk in the Costa Rican rainforest, being close to nature is so good for the soul. And not having to get into a car to do exercise is better for the environment and plus it’s easier!

2. Abundant Wildlife – As I am writing this on my balcony, I have a troop of White Face monkeys passing by. Yesterday morning there were 4 toucans in the tree outside my house, being able to share these impromptu experiences with my daughter is priceless.

3. Fresh Fruit at great prices – The day after we got back from travelling we went to our local market and stocked up on tropical fruits and vegetables. We had tons of stuff for smoothies and stirfries for the whole week and did not break the bank.

4. Diversity – Costa Rica is the most incredibly diverse country: geographically  you can find beaches, rivers, valleys mountains, volcanoes, within a couple of hours drive? There are so many different habitats, such as  cloud forest, tropical rainforest, tropical dry forest, mangroves. This give so many wild and wonderful creatures…sloths, monkeys, toucans, iguanas, leaf cutter ants…incredible.

5. Good Honest Slow  Food – Food here in Costa Rica is cooked from scratch, go to a “soda” or a local cafe and the food might take a while but there is no processed food full of additives and hidden preservatives. In our first week back we went to one of our favorites in Quepos “Esquina de Sabor” and my love for the humble casado (typical plate of chicken, meat of fish with rice, beans and a veg) is BACK!

6. Value – The day after we got back one of my cats cuts himself and I had to take him to the vets to get fixed up.  Anaestisa, stitches,  antibiotics, iodine and a cat of cat food was $25… you can’t beat that.

7. Freedom – Being able to trek to waterfalls and pools in the forest without having to sign a waiver is so refreshing! I love the fact that is Costa Rica you can explore and discover. Even though there Costa Rica is becoming a popular destination you can still easily get of the beaten track.

8. Friends – I love the mix of people here, I have good friends from Costa Rica and from all over that have settled here –  We are, as the ticos would say, an Ensalda (Salad) and it makes an interesting mix.

9. The Beach – Costa Rica has over 800 miles of beach, all of them different and beautiful. My local beach, Manuel Antonio is stunning. We were they yesterday afternoon, in the shade under some almond trees, my daughter was running about getting excited making sand castles and jumping waves…good natural fun. And so beautiful, that’s why so many people choose Costa Rica for their weddings.

10. A Healthy “Pura Vida” Life Style – It is easy to be healthy here, food choices are healthy, activities are energetic (in my first week back I have been snorkeling, walking on the beach and in the jungle, swimming and lots of playing with my little girl) Admittedly I have been to a couple of sunset happy hours, but drinking an ice-cold beer with good friends in a bamboo rancho surrounded by plants with an ocean view has got to be good for you somehow..right?!

Anyway I hope you enjoy my ponderings on this lazy Sunday, a little rest before the crazy summer photography season starts here in Costa Rica.

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