Before I even got off the plane, the first thing I noticed about Costa Rica, and San Jose specifically, was the use of color in architecture. Every other building is a shade or tint of a prime color, yet you would be hard pressed to find the same color house on the same block. With the absence of accurate addresses for each house here, it must make giving directions to your home a little easier when you’re able to give such a unique color description.

Coming from a city like New York, where everything is gray or black with small hints of browns, the colors in the city not only make it much more visually appealing, but give the whole city an uplifting mood. These colors are not in a specific family, or even only hot or cold colors, but it’s the mix of bright hues that make even a rainy day (which is almost every day here from May until October) continue to glow through the fog.

It’s also impressive to me that what I view as beautiful, which is the saturation in color of houses, is not only for the rich, or left solely for the poor, it’s simply a mix of how you would like your home to appear and what will feel most comfortable to you. While there are still some neautral color houses, these homes are still decorated with plenty of plants or other colorful ornaments.

The tropical colors only heighten the impression of a country known for its fauna, animals, and architecture all with high intensity chroma. Looking around and seeing not only businesses trying to build their brand with color, but homes both standing out and standing together in a rainbow of architecture, truly is a sight that makes you happy to walk down the street. When you see an advertisement for Costa Rica, commonly shown are the beautiful beaches, playful wildlife, and blossoming plants. After experiencing much more color in the barrios, I’m now slightly disappointed that these buildings are never exhibited to entice visitors. For the next Visit Costa Rica video, someone should inform the producers of all the beautiful pigmentation within the city.

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