Today I have invited George to help us get to know more about his amazing country, Costa Rica!
1. Let’s get to know you better: where are you from and what are you doing now in Costa Rica?
I am originally from San Jose Costa Rica, but I have been living outside my country for more than 20 years. I came back here around 10 months ago. I am a Medical doctor. I try to travel a lot in my free time. My first big trip happened when I was 15 years old. I escaped from my house and backpacked South America for around two months, it was a very different time with no internet, no bookings just travel without goals in mind. I got infected by the experience and decided I will travel my whole life. I have visited so far 90 countries and lived in seven. I am not a full time traveler it is just my main hobby. I have been blogging about travel for around 7 years and continue looking forward to explore the world just like the first day.
2. What do you like the most about Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a small country, being back here has been for me an opportunity to rediscover my roots and the beauty that has been enchanting visitors for decades. I love the mountains, the rivers, people. Everybody is friendly and open and they seem to be genuinely happy. Ticos (as Costa Ricans call themselves) love to call their country “The happiest place of the world”. I know I was born here but in some ways I can see now trough the eyes of the world. This is a mountainous country and locals here love the outdoors. This is a wonderful place for expats and people who love simple life.
3. Let’s suppose a very good friend of yours will come visit Costa Rica. Could you please make a program to include all the must see places?
San Jose is a nice city but maybe not the most tourist friendly capital, the beauty of Costa Rica is in the outdoors. I will recommend to see in San Jose the Central Market, the gold museum and the national Theater. No one has to miss Irazu volcano, Cartago, and Prusia. If someone loves coffee Tarrazu is the place to go, it is a beautiful town in the middle of amazing mountains where some of the best coffee of the world is produced. Another beautiful place is La Fortuna and Arenal volcano where thermal waters come from the volcano in an amazing natural setting. If people love the beach, there are many to go my favorites are Conchales Herradura in the Pacific coast and Puerto Viejo in the Caribbean.
4. What touristic attractions in X you think are a bit overrated?
I know that we have very beautiful beaches but Costa Rica is more than that. A lot of people come here and stay in all inclusive resorts and do not get a real experience of the country. This is a quite safe country, so I always advice people to come a experience Costa Rica, eat like the locals see the markets and the little towns and go all around, they will love it, Costa Ricans are very friendly.
5. Could you give us some advice to be able to know more about their preferences?
I was born here, but after so many years away from this country it has been great to rediscover Costa Rica. There are many places I enjoy, if one wants an upscale meal the Italian Restaurant Andiamo La is one of my favorites. For a very local and very affordable experience Central Market is the place to go. Another good one is Ventanita Meraki this is a wonderful street food place, it is a simple little window and one can seat in the steps of the train station across the street, they sell fusion local food.
Those who love to party will enjoy in the Capital “la calle de la amargura” this is the place where all university kids go to party. Puerto Viejo in the Caribbean cost has excellent restaurants and great nightlife. Wine is still a novelty in Costa Rica and it can be expensive Vinum is the best place to buy wine they have an excellent selection, one can buy any bottle and drink it there or take it away or order food to be deliver there. Prices are good for local standards.
When I am hungry I like to stop in any “soda” these are local eateries located on the roads and in the center of almost any little town, Gallo Pinto is the dish to eat (it is a mix of rice and beans).
El parquet Eolico del valle central has some of the most breathtaking views in the whole country, the road there is good but one has to go with an strong car since tit is really high but it is possible to see from there the whole capital and even the sea.
For a relaxed ambiance with another fantastic view Mirador Tiquicia in Ezcazu is wonderful, they have very good food, nice music and a wonderful setting.
I want to thank George for all of the info he provided to us. If you want to follow his travel, I suggest you to visit his website, www.traveladept.com!