Costa Rica Review Part I - The Embodiment of Pura Vida

The View From The Barcelo Hotel. Photo Credit: Meagan Sargent

Costa Rica is a place known for its luscious green backdrops providing perfect picturesque moments and it's vibrant way of life. A place that boasts on its traditions, Costa Rica is a country that prides itself on its education, democracy, and sustainability, that keeps it's culture alive.


Thanks to the newly announced non stop flight from Los Angeles to Costa Rica by Alaska Airlines,  getting to Costa Rica seemed effortless. From the impeccable service from its employees to their knowledgeable facts about the aircraft, flying with Alaska Airlines was the way to go!


Touching down in Costa Rica, we were able to visit the northern pacific area of Costa Rica and get a glimpse of why Costa Rica truly is 'Pura Vida'!


"With an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and climates the country proudly shelters approximately 5 percent of the world’s known  biodiversity," states Alejandro Castro, marketing director of the Internal Costa Rica tourism. "Protected areas comprise 26 percent of its land mass including 28 national parks and eight biological reserves."


Stunning Views From Hotel Barcelo! Courtesy Photo


Our first stop was in the city of Tamarindo, located in the central west coast of Costa Rica. While in Tamarindo which we stayed at hotel Barcelo Langosta Beach


Being at the Barcelo Langosta Hotel painted the scene that described Costa Rica. With the beach as it's backdrop and in the center of nature guests could expect to see or hear plenty of wildlife (such as the Holler Monkeys) while lounging at Barcelo.


Hotel Barcelo had many amenities and facilities  such as: a snack bar, bar tortuga, amphitheater,  discotheque, gym, spa, and much more. The hotel also served a full buffet style meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


In addition to this the venue also held daily activities for guests to be a part of such as: ping pong,  zumba, croquet, aerobics, and many more activities.



While in Taramindo we were able to get a glimpse of the importance of pre-Columbian culture, the history of Costa Rica, while learning the and its vibrant way of life.

Teaching Us How its Done! Photo Credit: Meagan Sargent

Our first stop was visiting the Ecomuseo Del a Ceramica Chorotega by Sr. Maribel Sanchez Grijalba. The museum showcases a beautiful museum of clay pottery and also a history lesson of just how this fine art has been done in the past.


Sra. Maribel Sanchez Grijalba makes each piece manually, hand by hand, which is an art that has slowly discenerated over time. Doing so, she strives to make it a point to educate guests while spreading awareness of the art form Making pottery is an art form that requires dedication, as each piece can take up to a week to complete. Ranging form $8.00-$50.00 the museum strives to make 25 pieces each day. 


Hand Made Clay Pottery! Photo Credit: Meagan Sargent


"(We) Want to make sure to preserve the technique from the ancient times," states Sra. Maribel Sanchez Grijalba. "The designs are inspired from our ancestors. One famous design is the 'spiral' (which) represents long life, circle of life, and when you get abundance and drive." 


Following a very hands on tutorial we were treated to a brief showcase of actual marimba. The marimba is a xylophone style instrument that is played in Costa Rica and amongst other districts in the Caribbean. 


In between excursions we were able to view the local art while driving through Santa Cruz to shed light on how Costa Rica truly supports each other with their drive and passion in order to keep a sustainable lifestyle.


Learning About the History of the El Viejo Wetlands. Photo Credit: Meagan Sargent

Since 1870, the historic venue at El Viejo Wetlands has been standing since it's initial inception.  Telling the story of the sabaneros, El Viejo takes you through the golden era of the Grand Haciendas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.


Another important product in Costa Rica is sugarcane! Spread over 12,000 acres of land was the El Viejo wetalnds. Here we were able to see exactly how sugar cane becomes into the product we all know and love today.


Ox's Such as This One Assist With the Sugar Cane Process! Photo Credit: Meagan Sargent


Completing the tour we hopped aboard a catamaran in search for wildlife. On the Palo Verde boat expedition,  we were able to see multiple crocodiles as well as various species of birds.


Don't Be Surprised When You See Iguana's While in Costa Rica! Photo Credit: Meagan Sargent

Tamarindo is full of young energy and nightlife however it has also served as a great introduction to Costa Rican culture. Driving through Costa Rica was breathtaking. Creating the canvas where you can paint your own adventure, the country provided nothing less than sheer beauty while spreading a contagious sense of peace yet such effervescence.


A Beautiful Sunset in Tamarindo! Photo Credit: Meagan Sargent


Next stop Papagayo! Click HERE to view: Costa Rica Review Part II - Becoming Immersed With Wildlife


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