Standing on the white sands of Flamingo Beach with my family, surrounded by hundreds of Ticos from San Jose enjoying the warm holiday sun this past December, I find myself pondering this question. It hits my why I come here repeatedly. Why others ask me ‘where should we go, what should we do, where do we fly into.’ I surmise that the reason people are flocking – or rather flying over Mexico – to adventure to Costa Rica is because this country is more than the sum of its parts. It's clear that Costa Rica's charm lies in its holistic experience – it's not just a single-attraction destination. The country invites you to immerse yourself in the lush rain-forests, exploring the rich interior, and then venture to either coast to bask on its breathtaking beaches. The journey is as safe as it is exhilarating, with getting lost part of the adventure. Ticos, with their warm hospitality and deep pride in their heritage, are among the friendliest people in Central America. They embrace their 'westernized' identity while still preserving their rich culture.
Costa Rica doesn’t need to work hard to sell itself. It’s truth and reality are evident once you get there and begin your journey. They welcome tourists, but not in a commercial way. An essence of making you welcome in their home is a feeling I sense every time I visit. Ticos go about their way and extend hospitality in a manner of pride, not with dollar signs in their eyes. Preservation and sustainability are paramount, and I feel they keep it in check. Miles of all-inclusive hotels is not their goal. The secret sauce in accommodations lies in the joy of small private boutique hotels. These are the properties begun by dreamers from Europe, Canada, and the USA, but mostly from the hard-working Tico families who merely wish to share their love with you of their food, wildlife, vegetation, and their incredible climate.
If I had to live everyday stopping in my tracks to step outside at 5:23pm to watch the sun drop over the Pacific Ocean, I would likely be living in Costa Rica. The reset it gives from reflecting on the day brings an element of appreciation for the ‘pura vida’ lifestyle. These sunsets, experienced on various beaches along the West Coast, foster a spontaneous sense of community among strangers, united in shared awe and happiness. It's an experience that resonates with profound joy. Costa Rica doesn't try hard to impress; its charm is inherent. They are happy to have us, but I think they are fine without us too. The country, devoid of an official army, epitomizes peace and self-assurance. Whether you're a first-time visitor or returning for the seventh time, Costa Rica retains a charming consistency. Not only have I lived in Costa Rica, but I’ve traveled extensively from the Nicaraguan border to Panama, and I am constantly drawn back by the diverse regions and experiences. It’s the ultimate expedition location, especially if being off the beaten path is one of your love languages. And if you're planning a trip, feel free to reach out. We're more than happy to share insights, assist with travel plans, and recommend activities for your Costa Rican adventure.