Intro: Costa Rica

Golden Coast(Costa Rica)

That is how the Spaniards named Costa Rica when they set foot ashore. This Central American country is really a jewel in the crown as far as natural beauty is concerned. Who would like to visit a true rainforest and want to see its inhabitants, Costa Rica is the country to go. In 1996 I travelled this beautiful country for the first time and visited some of its many national parks: Poaz, Tortuguero, Rincon de la Vieja, Santa Rosa, Monteverde and Corcovado. In this last park I even was sealed off from the outside world for a while because of a hurricane. After the evacuation unfortunately we did not have time left to visit Manuel Antonio NP. Costa Rica is all about nature; donā€˜t expect a rich culture here! Unlike other Central American countries you will hardly find any evidence of its former native inhabitants. But the impressive natural wonders are more than worth the visit.

In 2003 I returned to Costa Rica again during our world trip. Although the natural wonders were all still there, a lot of changes had taken place and unfortunately not for the better. Especially the number of American visitors seemed to have put their signature on Costa Rica. San Jose is booming with fast food restaurant, all member of the famous American chains. But worse are the plots bought by Americans to build private or commercial houses. Corcovado for instance is totally surrounded by private enterprises, most of them owned by Americans. In 1996 non of these existed... This time I had the chance to visit Manuel Antonio. The location is brilliant, but the number of visitors is just too much. Just keep on hiking to more remote areas of the park and you will enjoy it much more!

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