With the whole world held together in the grips of the Covid-19 virus, this pandemic has shaped each one of us in a different way, some found themselves; whereas there might be people like me, who just want to get lost, or maybe getting lost is a way of saying that we really want to be found.
Traveling has always worked that out for me, it makes us often realize who we really are, far from family and friends, it makes us clear what we desire in our life and how we want to shape ourselves. On the other hand sometimes traveling with loved ones, also makes us realize, the importance they hold in our life.
But due to world being held in lockdown, traveling suffered the most especially for people like me. As we all know things pass away, no matter how long it must seem, with time, before we can even realize it; it becomes a memory.
So, why not plan our first travel together, Costa Rica has always been in my bucket list due to many of its reasons. Let’s found out why.
It is considered to be the happiest country in the world; a place commonly known for its paradise alike peace and biodiversity. Being a small island Costa Rica’s history and culture spread out far beyond the people’s view. It is a home to mesmerizing biodiversity and aesthetic culture.
The thought of travel to Costa Rica stirs up a lot of inspiration, walking down the strips of sand; while the water washes away your feet, the wildlife to gaze at; reflecting upon the incredible creation of God’s hand on this island.
History of Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s history has many unfold tales, all started up with the movement of tribe’s southwards from North America, between the Ice Age period i.e., 13,000 and 17,000 years ago.
Human settlements came around 10,000 BC, according to the archaeological evidence. Although far older, around 12,000 years- old human settlements seemed to exist by the Reventazon River, that was the oldest evidence excavated of human life in Central America so far.
Between the time period of arrival of European in the 15th Century. Costa Rica became home to a large number of indigenous groups, where each group had their own specific traits in terms of their culture and traditions.
The estimated population was around 20,000, the time it was discovered by Christopher Columbus, who was an Italian explorer and navigator. He was the first European to set eyes on Costa Rica during his fourth and final voyage trip in 1502.
When it comes to the naming of the island Costa Rica i.e., ‘Rich Coast’ allegedly came from the Columbus itself.
Upon setting foot on the island, he observed people wearing gold ornaments around, and made an assumption that, this country has a rich source of gold
Unfortunately for another explorer and Columbus himself, there seem to be less of treasurer left. As Costa Rica was quite famous for its rich resources, it attracted lots of travelers across the globe, in hope to make their fortune. Out of which only few were able to achieve this, whereas others became victim to the inhospitable living conditions of the island and were choked to death, due to steaming jungles that they discovered.
When we throw some light on the independence struggle of Costa Rica, we come across voyage of events, this chain of episodes started from the first Spanish colony in Costa Rica, Villa Bruselas which was founded in 1524.
Throughout its colonial period, Costa Rica was the southernmost province of the Captaincy General of Guatemaia, which was nominally part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Costa Rica attracted very few inhabitants in its initial years due to lack of resources such as gold and silver and its distance from the capital in Guatemala. This island become isolated and ignored, hereby in 1719 the Spanish government described Costa Rica as the “the poorest and most miserable Spanish colony in all America”
Indeed, Costa Rica was the last to find out when Captaincy General of Guatemala became an independent Central America. Hence Costa Rica never realized that it was part of new country until later.
All the years of negligence and isolation, ignited the feeling of resentment on the settlers who lived in the Central Valley.
At the same time, clash of ideas and opinions started taking place, one where some people wanted to join the new country of Mexico, while others who desired to have their own independent country
These differences resulted into the Battle of Ochomogo in April 1823, which was won by the Republicans, the people who desired to have their own independence, as a result Costa Rica became an independent state within the Central American Federation.
Within a span of another 15 years, the Republic of Central America had collapsed in 1838, leading its way to Costa Rica finally becoming a fully independent country.
But it had seemed the problems hadn’t stopped there. In 1856, William Walker, An American filibuster, began its intrusions into Central America. After proclaiming himself as president of Nicaragua and re-instated slavery, which had earlier been abolished, he intended to expand its territory to Costa Rica.
Therefore, the country declared war against his forces. All the battles finally gave rise to most famous title and story that is “National Hero” wherein in the final battle against filibusters, Juan Santamaria, a drummer boy from Alajuela, lost his life torching the filibuster’s stronghold, giving birth to the legend of drummer boy.
Soon enough an era of peaceful democracy in Costa Rica began in 1869 with elections. Following a series of major transformations in 1978, people discovered that The Central Valley was an ideal spot for coffee, and thus Costa Rica began to live up to its name. With tourism growing at an accelerated pace and Costa Rica becoming a major Hub for technology- base operations like Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and other related firms.
Anthropology: Traditions and culture in Costa Rica
Costa Rica was quite known for its unique culture and tradition in various different spectrums. Their culture is highly influenced by Spanish traditions since the beginning of the Spanish colonisation. Whether it was literature, Graphic arts or performance art, this country has also stood on a different platform. There have been of course few exceptions who were able to secure their place higher than others, like the pottery of Nicoya, the ceramics of Santa Ana, and the most famous of all, the gaily painted oxcarts of Sarchi.
Let’s talk about food, who doesn’t love sea food along with shrimp cocktails while you are chilling along side the beach, Well Costa Rica is quite famous for its exotic fruits and sea food, it doesn’t matter whether you are having a local food or a in five-star hotel, their cuisine is something else.
Due to its unique blend of different cultures, one might find popular dishes in variety of cuisines, few must dish which you might in ever corner of the street is Gallo pinto (rice and beans), Chifrijo (fried pork with red beans) and all time Olla de carne (beef and vegetable stew) a special food which is eaten by everyone every weakened.
When it comes to drinking, only idea that popes up are of a coffee, Costa Rica is very famous for its amazing coffee beans and it is believed that just the smell of the coffee from freshly cultivated beans can make anyone addicted to it.
“Pura Vida” which means ‘pure life’, this motto has always been in the hearts of every citizen of Costa Rica. Due to its unique and vast culture, people really like to live according to this motto, and enjoy happiness and welfare one another. That is the reason Costa Rica is always on the top of “Happiest Country Index”.
By just taking a walk in the street, you shall notice even though you might be a stranger in a strange country, but the people shall treat you like their own family member. There has been a constant smile and joyous nature in everyone, as a result of which this country has people who live up to longest as compared to other countries.
Here we will be discussing about the must visit places in Costa Rica, which will truly enlighten your soul and will make you rethink about returning back to the monotonous routine.
In this fast running pace of our life, we often desire to just be still for a while, take long breaths and just spend some quality silence with the people we love.
One of the most exotic beaches found in this island, is Playa Conchal. This beach is all the around soaked in sunshine and amazing weather, an ideal place for relaxation and getting a tan.
Due to its amazing atmosphere, this place becomes a hotspot for the adventure lovers due to plenty of activities it has to offer.
Volcán Arenal from the name itself, it manifests its own beauty. Situated at an elevation of 1,670m is one of the famous volcanos on the island. Due to its mesmerizing history and also due to the fact that it is still an active one, people around the globe take their leap of faith and visit this place, hoping to encounter the power of nature, even though the scientist believe that it’s in it resting phase, but who knows when it would awake!
Well, if the travellers hoped to see an active volcano, they shall not be disappointed. Poas Volcano is an active stratovolcano situated at an elevation of 2,708m.
In fact, its journey is quite an interesting one, its full of hiking and walking trails which makes an ideal spot for all the mountain climbers. On reaching one may witness Lake Botos, which fills an extinct crater at the end of one trail, and is a dwelling place for variety of birds, hence it is considered to be Costa Rica’s most famous avian resident, the resplendent quetzal.
The National Parks
Cloud forest from the name itself it seems like a dreamy place for all green panthers out there. Even though Costa Rica consists many of it, but Monteverde is the most famous (perhaps in the word).
National Geographic, has described this place as “jewel in the crown of cloud forest” due to immense variety of flora and fauna which is witnessed, also the vast vegetation act like a home to heterogeneity species of animals and birds.
Costa Rica is really one of the places, which will leave a lasting imprint on your soul. The ideal time to visit is generally between December and April, even though this place is regarded as ‘go to place’ at anytime of the year. People who dislike rain might want to avoid visiting this place in the month of September and October.
“The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire” – Mama Indigo
“como lo que pasa en costa rica, se queda en costa rica.”