If you have never visited Costa Rica, do a little research about travel agencies and what they have to offer. Just by doing a general research, companies are talking about travel packages to Costa Rica, a great opportunity to visit this wonderful place.
Information regarding foreigners living in Costa Rica has revealed that more hundred thousand North Americans are currently enjoying their lives in this country, additionally thousands come yearly to visit, interested in sustainable tourism, its beautiful beaches, real estate in Costa Rica or research work.
Greg Lopez is a Midlander who has written a chronicle on the Daily News about his trip to Costa Rica. Today we want to share this commentary with you all who are thinking about visiting, living or investing in Costa Rica, few of the many great things that will make you fall in love with this country.
A remarkable piece about the Pura Vida lifestyle and a friendly welcoming from our people, embracing Costa Rican culture takes your experience to another level.
“A little over a year ago, I realized that I had air miles that were to expire at the end of the summer. Not wanting to waste the opportunity to use the miles, I began to investigate the list of possible destinations.
After some discussion with my wife, Susanne, we decided to travel with local friends on a family visit to Costa Rica. We had always heard so many wonderful things about the Central American nation – from the volcanoes to the lush, tropical vegetation to the fact that this is a peaceful country with very friendly people. We also understood that Costa Rica would be a place where children are welcome.
Early one morning in July of last summer, the Lopez and Brenes families, together with their triplets and our two boys, began our journey. After traveling all day long, we arrived at the international airport in San José and were met by relatives and friends of Jenn and Lenín Brenes and their children. Although it was late at night, these kind people followed us to our apartment hotel and quickly began warming up local dishes they had prepared for us so we would have something good to eat after a long day of travel. Although it was late, I especially remember the delicious rice and was amazed that they had gone to so much trouble to welcome us. They also had gifts for all the children! It was a kind and friendly gesture that we will never forget.
The next day, both families met at the breakfast buffet to begin our first full day together in Costa Rica. We had chosen to stay at an apartment hotel because we would have a kitchen and washing facilities in our rooms. But the property does offer a nice breakfast buffet included in the price of the room. So breakfast was always at the buffet, outdoors by the pool. I was curious to see what local foods would be offered. Each day, there was papaya, pineapple and melon. There were also pastries, fresh baguette, delicious juices such as blackberry juice, ‘gallo pinto’, a tasty Costa Rican dish made of rice and beans, fresh cream and omelets. There were all sorts of other dishes that changed each day but it was always good. When my wife, Susanne, tasted her first cup of coffee she had a somewhat startled reaction. I asked if something was wrong. She assured me that she was pleasantly surprised that the coffee was so good. Then again, we were in Cost Rica and they do have a good reputation for coffee.
During our stay in the country, we had plenty of opportunities to taste local fare. Both the Lopez and Brenes families had rented cars and so we had the ability to drive around the capital and other areas of the country to visit popular tourist attractions. Whether at a hotel or out on the road, eventually one has to stop to eat. One day, during a visit to an upscale mall in a suburb of San José, we stopped at a restaurant for coffee, cake and ice cream. The coffee there was great and it was neat to taste ice cream made of fruits we had never had before. One such fruit was ‘cas’ or Costa Rican guava. It’s creamy and refreshing! On another day, during a trip to Sarchí, where the famous painted oxcarts are made, we stopped at a restaurant next to the workshop. There was a huge buffet with all sorts of local specialties. I really enjoyed the ‘patacones’ or fried plantains and found the ‘picadillo de chayote’ particularly good. In countries in Latin America where I have lived, ‘picadillo’ refers to ground meat cooked with onions, garlic and spices. This ‘picadillo’ was a wonderful mixture of onion, corn, chayote, peppers, ground pork and fresh coriander (cilantro).
Although we did eat in many restaurants, it would be unforgivable to omit the many fantastic dishes that the relatives of our friends prepared for us during our stay in Costa Rica. On one of the first evenings, our friend Lenin’s father invited all of us over for ‘vigorón’, a dish made of chunks of fried pork and yucca. It was such a treat! The ‘micheladas’ prepared by Lenin’s brother-in-law, a mixture of beer and lime juice, went perfectly with the meal. During a stay at the country home of Lenin’s father, Lenin’s sister Karina offered us some of her own specialties one evening. Susanne and I will never forget her ‘ensalada de atún’ or tuna salad and the ‘frijoles molidos’ or mashed beans. The tuna came out of a can but already had peas and carrots in it. The mashed beans seemed so simple but were a welcome appetizer served with fried tortilla chips.
During our stay in Costa Rica, we discovered something new and exciting each day. Much of our time there was spent with our friends’ relatives. That, in and of itself, was such a great opportunity to get to know the country through the eyes of people who live there. We saw so much while we were there but we feel that we must return one day to discover yet other parts of the country and to see our Costa Rican friends again. Until then, we can prepare some of the dishes we enjoyed during our visit to the Central American nation and reminisce. Thanks Jenn, Lenín, and the kids for allowing us to tag along on your family visit!”