Pura vida, a characteristic Costa Rican phrase, literally means ‘pure life’, with other connotations suggesting translations such as ‘full of life’, ‘this is living!’, ‘going great’, or ‘real living’. It is something you will hear at every waking second if amongst local Costa Ricans and is somewhat uplifting to experience such a lighthearted and kind culture.
Costa Rica is a very interesting country — it has everything from mountains and volcanoes to rain forests and white water rapids (not to mention the extensive beauty of its landscapes). The country has a strong emphasis on education and anyone who visits the country can immediately tell. They have one of the highest literacy rates in all of central and south America and consider it mandatory for children to attend school until the 12th grade. Pretty interesting aspect for any country let alone one in the middle of central America.
Anyways, the story of our travels to Costa Rica centers around a birthday celebration for my closest friend, Ryan. This year he wanted to do something a bit different for his birthday celebration so we headed down to central America for a very outdoor-intensive weekend. The second we got off the plane in San Jose we chose to experience the famous Costa Rican coffee beans by visiting a local coffee farm where we learned some pretty incredible facts about some of these family businesses.
The coffee produced by this country accounts for about 1% of global coffee distribution; the atmosphere makes you think that the country thrives on it, but the opposite is actually what is at play — local coffee farmers, with the advent of technology and increasing global competition, make little to no money by selling their crops that they spend years cultivating! Pretty fascinating stuff.
The next day we drove a few hours to a beach town situated on the Pacific Ocean where we ventured through jungles via zip line and climbed a waterfall … Yes, I climbed a waterfall. It may have taken a while, but I did it! 🙂
After flying through the jungle we went to check into our house, which was called (oddly enough) Casa Exotica. Just when I thought I had some time to catch up on my rest, I had all of 20 minutes before our next expedition of horseback riding through the jungle and onto the pristine beaches.
Our last adventure was white water rafting through the jungles of Costa Rica, and this was my favorite activity we did the entire time. I have been able to white water raft in a few other places, but this was by far my favorite experience. We were literally rafting through the rain forests as it was raining. Let me correct that — it was a down pour, so much so that flash floods were forming which created makeshift waterfalls into the river. It was incredible. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of this adventure, but stay tuned for the video!