Here are the photos from my time in Costa Rica in 2014, as promised!
Where better to start than with where I started, my first view from the airport in San José:
And if the mountains wouldn’t have taken my breath away, the beautiful plants in full May bloom everywhere were certainly better than budding corn in Iowa:
Heredia instantly had a tropical feel for me too, with mountains in every direction and streets with colorful buildings but no lawns. My host mother, or Mamá Tica, Janet, was wonderfully helpful and generous…
…often giving me more food than I could possibly eat! But, as you might expect from a cooking instructor, her typical breakfasts and cenas were outstanding!
And while we’re on the subject, let’s not forget the fresh fruit and smoothies available almost everywhere for just a few thousand colones (about $1-2):
My first weekend out of Heredia was a great place for a smoothie after a day-long bus ride, the tropical beach in Puerto Viejo (but I became quite sick afterward, so I would be careful with what you eat or drink on the Caribbean coast):
My second adventure was to Monteverde Cloud Forest and Arenal Volcano, located a few hours to the northwest of Heredia. A ferry and bus ride offers a beautifully scenic route (and the only one) from the former to the latter, and it only costs about $40 from Heredia!
My final adventure was Cartago, the valley province hidden in the mountains to the east of Heredia. I wish I had spent more time here and made it all the way into the deep valley, but even the town of Cartago had some pretty sweet ruin-gardens:
After three weeks in beautiful Costa Rica, it was time to fly back over the mountains to my flush home state. I never understood the American pride associated with the Statue of Liberty until I saw it while flying into Newark. I had never been so happy to be home.