More often than not what makes a place special and memorable are the ‘je ne sais quoi’ qualities that you won’t find in the guidebooks. For instance, everyone knows that Costa Rica is renowned for its pristine beaches and relaxed ‘Pura vida’ lifestyle, but you can’t really appreciate it until the local ‘mercado’ (market) tells you to come back tomorrow to pay for your groceries because their credit card machine isn’t working today.
Here are a few more reasons why Costa Rica is not only one of the most beautiful places on the planet, but will also give you a good laugh as well.
1. There’s dance music everywhere. There ain’t no party like a Tico party, and the Tico party never stops. In fact, you can hear loud catchy bachata music just about everywhere, including places like the supermarket, SJO international airport, and while getting gas…especially while getting gasoline, get in line!
2. Hammocks are perfectly acceptable guest beds. For the incredibly low price of around $30, you can quickly double or triple the number of people sleeping at your house for an overnighter. Careful though, more than four hammocks, and you’re officially a hostel.
3. Caterpillars are more terrifying than snakes. Sounds crazy right? Why should you be scared of a tiny adorable little fuzzy caterpillar, about an inch long, that’s going to bloom into a majestic butterfly one day? After your limb is on fire from brushing up against one laying in wait, in cognito under a leaf, or you’ve unknowingly slipped on your caterpillar booby trapped pants, you’ll quickly learn that these sneaky, fuzzy, yet no so friendly, creatures are much sneakier and ninja-like than the most common serpent.
4. You pay $8 for a small block of cheddar cheese. And we’re not talking about cheddar that’s been aged for 10 years. Rather that’s the price for cheddar around these parts, and it’s about a notch above Velveeta cheese.
5. You can shock people with your vast knowledge of how pineapples are grown. Think about it. We’ve all admired the pineapple rings on the sides of our fruity happy hour drinks, but have you ever actually seen what a pineapple plant looks like? Fun fact: You can plant the top of the pineapple in the ground to make ANOTHER free pineapple. You’re welcome.
6. It’s a good day when your water, electricity, and Internet are all working. Sometimes it’s easy to take modern conveniences like running water and overhead lighting for granted, but Costa Rica has a magical way of renewing that appreciation, especially when the water is out and you’ve just been ambushed by a ninja caterpillar, with no way to wash the burning fuzzy-ness away.
7. “Suicide showers” are actually a luxury item. Most homes in Costa Rica don’t have a large, energy-sucking hot water tank. Instead, if you want the luxury of a hot shower, in Costa Rica you would install a shower head that heats water on contact using electricity…right above your head, you’re now thinking, it must be safe if everyone has one, right? To add to the thrill of surviving each hot shower, exposed wiring seems to be part of the installation directions.
8. You are not the first owner of that Imperial bottle. You have to get comfortable with the fact that your beer or soda bottle has probably been sucked by hundreds of other mouths. Costa Rica takes it’s sustainability very seriously – right down to the beer holders. Returnable bottles save ridiculous amounts of waste and energy, while giving beer drinkers a sense of national pride.
About the Writer Lindsey Vast
Lindsey is a travel writer and entrepreneur known for her humorous twist on life. Additionally, she is the Founder of Pura Events Costa Rica (www.PuraEventsCostaRica.com), the best online events calendar in Costa Rica.