Costa Rica: The Central American Paradise

Summer is a time of sunshine, beaches, relaxation, graduations, and, most importantly, vacations. After a long year of strenuous work and school, everybody is ready to enjoy a getaway in paradise.
Many spots are frequented every year during the summer months, and some provide visitors with a truly unique and wonderful experience. For those who are interested in vacationing in a location with gorgeous views, beautiful sandy beaches, lush jungle, and a rich cultural heritage, they should consider Costa Rica.

Photo Credit: Mark Kohlheim

This relatively small Central American gem, sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, allows tourists to not only unwind from the stresses of everyday life, but also to learn about the intriguing culture of the country. Costa Rica’s culture has its own unique native elements, but it also combines European and African factors. Many hints of African heritage can be found in Costa Rican culture today because individuals of African descent have had a long history in the nation. During the 1800s, African workers came from various Caribbean islands to work on banana plantations and build railroads. African influence is particularly prominent in Costa Rican music genres such as the rumba, calypso, and reggae.

Photo Credit: Mark Kohlheim

In addition to an interesting cultural history, this Latin American melting pot also contains countless natural wonders within its borders. From its flourishing jungles to its crystal-clear ocean, Costa Rica is definitely a sight for sore eyes. The journey to the pristine beaches brings tourists through winding jungle roads with nothing but dense trees, and the occasional iguana or monkey, surrounding them.
Then, when the beach finally comes into sight, vacationers can treat themselves to a walk on the sandy shore or a swim in the lukewarm turquoise tides. The ideal Costa Rican current allows for not only a calm dip, but also exciting surfing. For those who want something in between, admiring the view of the jungle from a paddleboard would be quite enjoyable.

Photo Credit: Teri Kohlheim

If tourists tire of looking at the jungle’s beautiful canopy from a distance, they can experience a close-up bird’s eye view while zip lining. Although this activity combines height and a little bit of speed, it is also extremely safe and easy. All one needs to do is get strapped in, push off from the raised platform, and enjoy the view of the leafy treetops as they soar overhead.
Costa Rica has many things to offer, ranging from relaxation to adventure. People of all interests enjoy Costa Rica because of its diverse activities and its relaxing atmosphere. The perfect combination of jungle, beach, and culture make this jewel of Central America a truly fabulous vacation destination.

By: Emily Kohlheim-Intern

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