Sunday, November 29, 2009

10 Great Reasons to Take a Trip to Costa Rica now

10 GREAT Reasons to Visit Costa Rica Now by Victor Krumm

Tired of the humdrum? Need to get away and relax? I have just the place for you. Costa Rica. Here are 10 terrific reasons to take a Costa Rica vacation.

1. You’ll find great airfares and travel bargains to Costa Rica right now.

2. There are 780 miles of pristine coastline with hundreds of great Costa Rica beaches. Uncrowded beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

3. Like critters? Costa Rica has more species of butterflies than the entire African continent iincluding the only butterfly in the world that makes a sound. Not to mention almost as many different species of birds as on the entire continent of Europe or in all of the continental United States.

4. In a country about the same size as West Virginia, youll find nearly 5% of all the kinds of plants and animals on the face of the planet. Think about it. One of every five species of plants and animals in the world.

5. Visit mighty Irazu volcano that saluted John F. Kennedy by erupting on the day he visited Costa Rica. Or go to Arenal Volcano, another of the Seven Wonders, and luxuriate in magnificent hot springs, drink in hand while the monster spits out glowing lava far into the night sky.

6. Thousands of Americans travel to Costa Rica for cosmetic surgery, dental, or other medical care because the quality of care is world-class but often only about a one-third of the price in the States.

7. Some folks come to take Spanish lessons in schools that also teach them how to surf! Or yoga. Or sexy latin dancing. Or all of the above.

8. How about fantastic weather year-round? If you get too warm, drive a few miles into the lush mountains. Swim in warm waters every day of the year.

9. Like a good fish story? I do. This will not be the story about the one that got away. Bring your camera or video camera. You will have proof! You can fish every day of the year for an unimaginable variety of fish. The Caribbean is filled with huge tarpon. Sailfish and marlin (I hooked a 450 pound, 13 marlin recently) are common. Not to mention whales and sea turtles.

10. You will be just a short trip away from a place where there is a stable democracy. Costa Rica abolished its army more than 70 years ago and you will find lots of friendly, smiling courteous people who really like Americans and Europeans.

And, for being a good sport, I have your first Spanish lesson as a bonus. Remember the words Pura Vida! It means the great life and you will hear and use it every day.

About the Author:
Victor Krumm writes from Costa Rica. His popular website about Costa Rica Vacations. Ever imagined tropical surfing? Check out www.costarica-discCosta Rica Surfing for world-renowned beaches and incredible waves. See the original article here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Costa Rica and Turkey consider Free Trade Agreement

Oscar Arias, President of Costa Rica is currently on an official visit to Turkey, the first Costa Rican President to visit. Costa Rica plans to open an embassy in Turkey in 2011 and on Wednesday the Turkish and Costa Rican leaders announced that they intended to to sign a free trade agreement to boost bilateral economic relations and also enhance political ties.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul told a joint press conference with his Costa Rican counterpart Oscar Arias that Turkey wants to sign a free trade agreement soon with Costa Rica, which has a sound economy with increasing foreign investment, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a political consultation mechanism between their foreign ministries.

Read more on China View

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Costa Rica and Panama Strengthen Ties

Panama and Costa Rica further strengthen cooperation by signing a bilateral agreement on the 29th of October 2009.

The agreement signed by Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and his Costa Rican counterpart Oscar Arias pledges to expand and deepen political and social dialogue on bilateral and international issues of mutual interest, the commercial ties, and cultural exchanges and to achieve integration between the two countries.

Both countries share the same democratic and social freedom values and the agreement aims to expand the cooperation between the countries beyond just economic ties.

You can read more on this in the Panama Guide

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monthly Economic Activity for Costa Rica Improves

The Tico Times reports improvements in the Costa Rican Economic indices and further evidence that the Costa Rican Economy has begun to recover:

Over the past year the the monthly average decrease of the monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE) was 3.6%. During the month of September this improved to a 0.1% contraction.

The Manufacturing Sector, in particular, showed improvement mainly due to to increased exports by businesses located in free-trade zones.

Other increases in economic activity during the month of September included sales of electrical energy and hotel revenues which have improved with increased tourist spending.

Read the full story in the Tico Times here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cemetery dating from 300AD-800AD excavated in Costa Rica

A pre-columbian cemetery dating from 300-800Ad has been found in Guapiles during ground preparation works for building a new schoool.

The cemetery was constructed by the Huetares tribe and the design is not a standard Huetares cemetery construction which has puzzled archaeologists.

59 ancient artifacts have already been found during the excavation.

Read the full story on

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

Stone Balls or spheres have been discovered throughout the world. Those found in Costa Rica are the subject of many books and papers, with some authors identifying themselves as the discoverers.

However, they were actually found in 1940 during agricultural activities by the United Fruit Company. They were clearing land on the Diquis Delta to be used for banana plantations. An archaeological investigation was underway shortly afterward along with the first scholarly publication about them appearing in 1943.

Hundreds of these balls have been documented all over the country of Costa Rica. Although some have been destroyed, dynamited by treasure hunters or cracked and broken by agricultural activities. Only six are believed to be in their original locations. They range from a few centimeters to over two meters in diameter. Almost all of them are made of granodiorite, a hard, volcanic stone, possibly taken from a Talamanca mountain range about 50 miles from their location. Unlike the stone balls in Jalisco, Mexico, they are not natural in origins but monolithic sculptures made by human hands.

No one knows exactly how old they are. Costa Rica has no recorded history before 1502 when Columbus made his fourth transatlantic voyage. Archaeologists used pottery and other artifacts found near the balls to make their best educated guess. They believe the balls could have been made anywhere between A.D. 200 and 1500. Old but not as old as the pyramids or Stonehenge.

How or why they were created remains a mystery.

Thank you to the paranormal stories blog for this excellent article

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Does Pura Vida Mean to You?

I asked the question on our Facebook Page - What does Pura Vida Mean?

Kevin Peterson came back with the following response which I really enjoyed and I hope you enjoy it too…..

“Pura Vida in practice has many meanings and is used in many different contexts. It is as much an expression of a way of life as it is a commonly used phrase. Hawaiians use Aloha in a similar way, but Aloha has a different connotation. One of my favorite things is to see the huge grin on a Ticos face when you use the expression after there has been some sort of mistake or delay. It is like the Universal excuse. Anything that goes wrong can be absolved by the use of those two little words.

The other thing that I find interesting is that Pura Vida is the ultimate expression of "living in the moment". I remember in the 70s there was the whole "Be Here Now" philosophy that was going around the West. But for Westerners it really just an idea. We never really lived it. For Costa Ricans it is a way of life and Pura Vida is ... Read morethe ultimate expression of that.
Sometimes the "living in the moment" aspect of Costa Rican culture can be maddening for us westerners because we like to make plans and create a structure for our future events. But you have to give the Ticos credit. It may be difficult to make future plans with Ticos but they sure are a happy lot ........ Pura Vida.”

Kevin is the founder of the Eco-Preservation Society.
You can connect with Kevin on facebook here and on twitter at (over 80,000 followers follow Kevin’s Tweets!)

The Ecotinteractive website is

Thank you for the fantastic and enjoyable comments Kevin and Pura Vida

Monday, November 9, 2009

Costa Rica's 2020 Vision

Costa Rica's Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Pilar Saborio, talks about Costa Rica's 2020 vision, Costa Rica's environmental vision and how small countries can have a global impact:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pura Vida

Pura Vida – Costa Rica, Central America
By: Lisa Lubin

Pura Vida

In Costa Rica there’s a saying that permeates everyday life. Pura Vida literally translates to "pure life". It’s also used to mean "it’s all good". Here are a few examples.

“How are you?” “Pura Vida.”

“How’s the weather?” “Pura Vida.”

A pretty girl or cute muchacho is “Pura Vida".

Pura Vida is an attitude, a feeling. It’s all good. It’s relaxing, taking it easy. In the States we don’t have this outlook in everything we do.

It makes me think about how we say we want to live life to the fullest. It's so hard to do when we are preoccupied with working, making more money to buy more things, commuting, running on the treadmill, falling into bed exhausted. How do we have time to really "live life", pura vida?
We say “stop and smell the roses”, “work to live, don’t live to work.” It takes five seconds to say these words, five seconds to think about the meaning before our own daily thoughts, responsibilities and to-do lists crash into our brain.

I'm no expert. If I figure how to make "life" better, I'll let you know. Do the same for me.

Pura vida!

Thank you to Lisa Lubin for this excellent article and to read more about Lisa Lubin's travels, go here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

There's an i-phone App for that (a tour of Costa Rica)

There seems to be an i-phone app for everything nowadays and here is one for visitors to Costa Rica, an i-phone tour guide to Costa Rica App.

It promises:

General information about the Costa Rica: Etimology, History, Geography, Climate,Architecture, Monuments and landmarks, Culture, Economy, Demographics, Administration, Transportation;

Travel tips on: How to get in there, how to Get around and local traffic, major language and habit, what to see there, major attractions, what you can do, event in the year and time frame, local special to buy and where, local food, price level and where to try, tips for learning or working there, where to drink and how to get there, how to choose hotel, how to stay safe, rules to follow for being polite, who to come to when in emergency, way to get out.

Photos slide of Costa Rica provide a virtual view to you to feel and smell, besides text, what you are heading to.

Shake to know:Shake your iPhone/iTouch will present topics randomly, it is designed to make your reading as a fun, and help you to know in topic by topic way when you do not have time to read a long section.

You can see the app here (cost US$0.99)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Costa Rica is the most Prosperous Nation in Latin America

Costa Rica has emerged as the number one amongst Latin American countires in the world’s only global assessment of wealth and well being: The Legatum Prosperity Index.

Other studies rank countries by actual levels of wealth or development, but the Prosperity Index produces rankings based upon the foundations of prosperity: those factors that drive economic growth and produce happy citizens over the long term. As the Index indicates: prosperity is security.

The Legatum Prosperity Index asseses countries in 9 Costa Rica surpassed regional heavyweights Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia in 9 key areas:

Economic Fundamentals: a growing, sound economy that provides opportunities for wealth creation. (rank 55th)

Entrepreneurship and Innovation: an environment friendly to new enterprises and the commercialization of new ideas. (Rank 33rd)

Democratic Institutions: Transparent and accountable governing institutions that promote economic growth. (ranked 28th)

Education: An accessible, high-quality educational system that fosters human development. (ranked 61st)

Health: The physical well being of the populace. (ranked 37th)

Safety and Security: A safe environment in which people can pursue opportunity. (ranked 44th)

Governance: An honest an effective government that preserves order and encourages productive citizenship. (Ranked 38th)

Personal Freedom: The degree to which individuals can choose the course of their lives. (ranked 12th)

Social Capital: Trustworthiness in relationships and strong communities. (ranked 47th)

Costa Rica surpassed regional heavyweights Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia and all other Latin American Countries to rank highest in the region at 32 of 104 countries included in the survey.

Costa Rica scored highest in Personal Freedom, surpassing countries like Japan, Austria, Germany, Italy, and Belgium at the international level. "Costa Ricans enjoy excellent freedom of movement, religion, and speech, and 91% of respondents were satisfied with the freedom to choose in their daily lives.* Tolerance of ethnic minorities and immigrants is above the international average, with 72% of people believing Costa Rica to be a good place for both immigrants and minorities.*"

Whilst ranking highest amongst its neighbouring Latin American Countries is an impressive achievement, Costa Rica has work to do in other areas (particularly education). The Costa Rican Govenrnment is making efforts to address these areas already with almost 25% of the entire National Budget to be spent on education in 2009.

Click on the link to read the full The Legatum Prosperity Index

Related Stories: Costa Rica Ranks Number 1 in the Happy Planet Index.