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Going to Costa Rica!

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I have been to Costa Rica twice now, for a total of about a month. I love it there! I never felt unsafe, though I am sure that some areas are; especialy in San Jose. San Jose is a pretty fun city, but it is definatly best to get out of town and explore the smaller towns and forested areas of the country. Driving can be an experience to say the least. Visit Arenal Volcano if possible, go to the "Arenal Observation Lodge" just to hike the trails to the base of the volcano and to see the view. While in Arenal pay the fee to go to the "Arenal Hot Springs." They are in a really nice resort (great buffet by the way) and are SOOOOO relaxing. There are many pools, all with different temperatures, that you can just sit back and relax in. If you are there at night, and it is clear, you can get an amazing view of the volcano and lava.

When it comes to food I would recomend the "typical" (that is the name) dish that is available at almost all small restaurants. It consists of a type of meat (fish, chicken, or beef), beans, rice, and sometimes a soda. It is always cheap, most meals can be found for less than $5 US for a typical meal with a soda.

If you are into pizza San Jose has a chain called "2 for 1" which has two pizzas for the price of one, it is pretty good and cheap. People say the water is safe...but I have gotten sick and have known several other people that did as well. If you buy bottled water I would not get the cheapest one at the store. It is OK, but always tastes like plastic for some reason, get the one that costs just a bit more. There is also a chain backery called Mus Annie, it is AMAZING and cheap, great for breakfast or a snack; they can be found across the country.

If you have time visit the pacific coast and the volcanic beaches, they are quite a site with the black sand and all.

If you do not speak spanish you will do OK in the larger towns and resorts, but if you get into the small towns try and learn some spanish to get around.


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It rains briefly every day in the morning, although that might be seasonal (I was there in early spring). Nothing to be alarmed about though. I was in a more ... rural setting. You see a line of fire the other way. The people are very friendly to Americans, and it is actually the only latin country where "gringo" is a term of endearment. So don't be offended. You will be treated fairly in the markets, but you will want to bargain.

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