By John Roberts
The tiny nation of Costa Rica is a glorious tourist destination in Central America, located in an ideal spot touching both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. "Pura Vida," the country's rallying cry of the "pure life" beckons you to come discover an ecological wonderland.
I visited Costa Rica on a port stop in Limon during a cruise and quickly fell in love during my journey around the Caribbean side of the country. The trip was one of my greatest travel experiences.
I ziplined, swam at a beach, toured a banana plantation, savored local beers, got my fill of the freshest and most delicious fruits you'll ever find at a roadside fruit stand, mingled with howler monkeys and held a sloth.
The jungles and waters provide the backdrop of one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world. The nation's two coasts, jungle and mountains create a landscape for a multitude of microclimates, providing habitat for more than 500,000 plant and animal species. Costa Rica works to protect what it has, too. More than a quarter of the territory is under some kind of protected status.
For active travelers, it's ideal. You can zipline in rain forest canopy, ride the rapids, hike volcanoes and soak in hot springs. You'll also find the typical array of watersports like snorkeling and diving. The reef systems off shore are home to thousands of marine species.
If you have not yet been, go!
Costa Rica is a remarkable country worth exploring, and tourism supports a large part of the nation's economy. The greatest joy in my travels is knowing that my visit can benefit not only myself but the residents who live and work there, too.
Thanks for reading and happy travels,