Driving over from Nicaragua you could see right away the difference between the countries and how differently they handle their environments. Costa Rica was greener right away and much less ranching on the land. Once we went shopping we also noticed how expensive everything is here. The prices are like California prices and maybe a bit higher. Gas is about $5 a gallon, beer $9 a six pack and L'oreal hair color, number 7.3 golden blonde, for my wife is $11 :) We spent $200 in 24 hours just on groceries which would have cost less than a hundred in Nicaragua.
There still appears to be a hangover of real estate from the recession and good deals are everywhere. Rents are relatively cheap at between $1000 to $1500 a month for a very nice 3 bedroom place. Costa Rica feels a bit too modern for us and Elise said, a few times, that we could be anywhere from Florida to Hawaii that it does not feel unique here. Still, we think the two most travel friendly countries we encountered so far are Belize and Costa Rica and for a week or two vacation we would still choose Costa Rica over Belize. Additionally we both agree if you are flying to Costa Rica, fly through Liberia airport, as it is way more easy to access than San Jose airport like we did last year.
|Tamarindo is a much more popular spot for visitors|
|Budget cutbacks are affecting the sanitation facilities in Tamarindo :)|
|The girls are playing with 4 kitties that our neighbor has in her condo.|
|It is amazing how flat the waters are here compared to San Juan del Sur just up the coast|
|Costa Rica is a haven for sailors|
|Even though the Costa Rica has more visitors the beaches are still very tranquil.|
|Finding shells is our kids' passion|
|Drinking from a coconut is a healthy treat. The best part is Costa Rica recycles plastic and these straws won't end up in a turtle's belly.|
|Driving on the beach is still my favorite. One other vehicle was on the beach while we were there.|
|The midday tropical clouds are amazing|