Sunday, November 29, 2009
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
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
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
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
Sunday, November 15, 2009
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
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.
Kevin is the founder of the Eco-Preservation Society.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
By: Lisa Lubin
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.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
You can see the app here (cost US$0.99)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
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.