Thank you to our guest blogger, Hal Amen. This blog originally posted on Matador Network.
HOW MANY OF YOUR VACATION DAYS did you use in the last year? If you live in the United States, chances are the answer to that question is somewhere around half of them. Which means you could be taking paid time off to hang out in Costa Rica right now.
And Costa Rica is a pretty sweet place to be, whether you go for its unrivaled ecotourism opportunities, from watching sea turtles nest to ziplining through the rain forest; its 1,000 miles of coastline on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, and the spectacular beaches and surf that go along with it; or its 50 national parks, representing the nation’s unprecedented commitment to preservation and protecting a full 5% of the world’s biodiversity.
Not that anyone really needs convincing, but here are 30 images of Costa Rica that will inspire you to take your vacation time and put it to better use in the months to come. Here’s to restoring our work-life balance, one epic trip at a time.
RED-EYED TREE FROG
Costa Rica is small, just under 20,000 square miles—about the size of two Vermonts. And yet, this country that accounts for just .1% of Earth’s land area harbors 5% of its biodiversity. Costa Rica’s tropical mountain chains, rain forests, and various islands are home to species both highly endangered and more common, such as the red-eyed tree frog seen above. Photo: Steve Corey
Continue reading “30 Photos That Will Make You Wish You Were In Costa Rica Right Now” »
It was June 1976 and my husband David and I had spent 6 months trekking through South America. We were longhaired, backpacking, bell-bottom wearing hippies back then.
We were in Goiania, Brazil staying with friends we’d made along the way when we found ourselves deeply regretting we’d skipped seeing the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. We were on a tight budget and our hosts advised us that heading up the Amazon River was the least expensive way to get there and so it became our logical choice.
My daughter Dawn had joined us a month earlier after spending just enough time with her grandparents in Los Angeles to enroll in kindergarten and not be left behind a grade in school. I didn’t subscribe to people’s warnings that you couldn’t travel with kids. It was a state of mind. Dawn turned out to be a great little traveler.
Continue reading “Hitching Cargo Boats up the Amazon” »
The Woman Who Redefined Man
Jane Goodall with Evelyn & David
“It gives me hope to come to places like this,” Dr. Jane Goodall said to the standing room only crowd at the recent grand opening of the Osa Field Institute. OFI is a field school where students, faculty, tourists and life long learners can team up to experience Costa Rica and conduct research together in the heart of a primary rain forest.
Dr. Goodall was greeted with a standing ovation. She stood on a step stool throughout her talk explaining that she wanted to see each of the 200 attendees.
Continue reading “Jane Goodall at the Osa Field Institute” »
In this video Vacation Home Rental Expert, Evelyn Gallardo, compares Costa Rica and Hawaii as vacation destinations. One example being that Costa Rica has four species of monkeys – three of which are regular visitors to the Discovery Beach House!
Originally published at mentalfloss.com/article/60631/16-things-you-might-not-know-about-costa-rica
Costa Rica is as well known for its beautiful natural landscape and bustling biodiversity as it is for its wonderful, happy residents. Here are 16 interesting facts about Costa Rica that help make the country a truly singular place.
1. Over a quarter of the land is dedicated to conservation.
Tourists and locals alike are drawn to Costa Rica’s natural beauty—and are committed to preserving it. With 20 national parks, 8 biological reserves, animal refuges, and protected areas, 26 percent of Costa Rica’s land is protected.
2. Tourism is the country’s leading foreign exchange earner.
All that natural beauty and the diverse landscape with two oceans and access to countless adventure activities have made Costa Rica a great vacation destination. In 1995, tourism overtook bananas to become Costa Rica’s leading foreign exchange earner. Tourism reached an all-time high for Costa Rica in 2013 with 2.4 million visitors.
Continue reading “16 Things You Might Not Know About Costa Rica” »
My daughter Dawn and I made the challenging climb to the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, Tiger’s Nest. This short video shows our ascent. We weren’t allowed to take in cameras or telephones, so stay tuned for Part 2 to read about what we saw and did inside. I highly recommend visiting this monastery built on a sheer cliff – it was an amazing experience!
Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Nov. 3-9, 2014
On our second night working as volunteers at ENP we attended a Thai Culture and Language class to help us assimilate into our unfamiliar surroundings. We learned basic Thai phrases and that Thais are uncomfortable with public displays of affection.
For fun we also learned the Banana Song, which was highly appropriate after having spent the day unloading, washing, peeling, mashing and squishing bananas mixed with grains into elephant balls. Some elephants at ENP are old and have trouble chewing their food.
After we got the Banana Song down, our coordinator “Bang” asked for a volunteer to do a dance interpretation.
Dawn takes one for the team and volunteers. I shot this video at ENP in Chiang Mai. It makes me laugh every time I see it.
Nang and Evelyn
…a massage with Nang at Numngeru Thai Massage in Khao Suk. I walk in at noon expecting to make an appointment for later but Nang, the massage therapist, insists on doing it now. I’m not a fan of deep tissue massages because frankly, they frikkin’ hurt! I decide to surrender because everything hurts after 23 1/2 hours in the air.
After 90 minutes of it-hurts-so-good pain (and a brief nap!) I ask her to do a reflexology massage. Embarrassingly, I didn’t make time to learn a little Thai, so I have to resort to hand gestures.
Continue reading “Heaven is…” »
Today was an amazing day beginning with unloading two tons of watermelons from one of the many produce trucks that come in every day. Each watermelon needs to be washed by hand. We also mashed bananas, cornmeal and other grains into elephant balls for the older elephants who can’t chew fresh fruit. Each elephant needs about 100 kilos per day. Their are 40 elephants here – that’s 4000 kilos of food prepped everyday!
Continue reading “Elephant Nature Park” »
Molly & Chad just had the Costa Rica beach wedding of their dreams. Watch this at your own risk because tears of happiness are guaranteed.
Our guest blogger, Randy Gritz from Celebrations Costa Rica blogs about a new destination wedding trend. When Whitney & Daniel Pace got married at the Discovery Beach House they asked their guests to bring donations for Kids Saving the Rainforest.
I’m often asked about what should we give our guests as a favor to remember our wedding. I have a list that usually includes things like Costa Rican coffee, personalized mugs with a tropical animal as the handle and sarongs for the beach. These are great gifts but I want to focus on another trend by donating something meaningful to the community. A card is left at each guest’s place setting letting them know that in lieu of favors a donation to the community has been made.
Continue reading “Donations to Costa Rican Non-Profits in Lieu of Wedding Favors” >>
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By Randy Gritz
When my phone rang the last thing I expected to hear was, “I’m bringing my wife Krista to Costa Rica on vacation. We’ve been married over 10 years and I’m going to surprise her by renewing our vows”
It’s not often a groom contacts me about a vow renewal. They were staying at the Discovery Beach House in Manuel Antonio on gorgeous Espadilla Beach with one of the prettiest tropical rain forests in all of Costa Rica as a backdrop. The setting was amazingly romantic.
To double their pleasure Guy’s friend Bill had decided to renew his vows with his wife Dawn as well. Both husbands managed to keep the secret until a day or so before the ceremony, just in case their wives wanted to shop or get their hair done. Smart grooms. Lucky brides.
Continue reading “Vow Renewal Manuel Antonio Beach Costa Rica” »