Costa Rica has the privilege of being greeted by two different bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The location of Costa Rica provides a mesh of two different types of climates, culture, and natural beauties. And as small as Costa Rica seems, you don’t need to travel too far to see a crazy array of plants and animals. I had the luxury to enjoy a weekend on both sides of the country: Arenal/La Fortuna and Tamarindo on the Pacific side and Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean. Surprisingly both sides of the coast was way warmer than San Jose. So do not be surprised at all if you catch a cold from traveling. I also met a lot of people from all over the world (America, Australia, France, and Belgium to name a few) who fell in love with Costa Rica and moved to be with their love.
The Pacific side was hot, but the humidity was at a bearable level. It was here that I learned that a lot of tourists and locals participate heavily in the sport surfing. The two places I visited were very touristy (especially in the sense that most things were originally priced in American dollars instead of Costa Rican colones). The town was easily hidden by resorts and strips of small street shops and boutiques. The most interaction I had with Ticos on the Pacific were the people who worked in the hotel, unfortunately. None the less, the site is beautiful with white sand beaches with many opportunities to surf, go horseback riding, or ziplining.
Now being an African woman, my heart was naturally drawn to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo was full of fun and tranquility. I was in need of being in an environment where there was more Ticos than gringos. The people I met there were so friendly and constantly told and reminded me that “this is your home away from home.” Surprisingly for being a tourist area, this small town still preserved their local-feel to the environment. You could hear all kinds of reggae music from every other store on the strip. The people there not only spoke Spanish and English, but you could hear conversations in Patois (a Jamaican dialect) as well. The locals there were so relaxed, and trusting and just knew how to make someone feel automatically welcomed there.
Written By Lorraine Feury, Social Media Journalist