Costa Rica: Volcanoes, Rainforests, Surfing and Adventure in the Land of Pura Vida
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Costa Rica: Volcanoes, Rainforests, Surfing and Adventure in the Land of Pura Vida

Informs the reader and potential first time visitor about unique aspects of Costa Rica that may not be widely known but would be of interest on a vacation.. The article describes what makes these locations special, and the general area that they can be found. The article also discusses activities that a tourist would enjoy and that may not even have been on their "radar".
   Over the last decade,Costa Ricahas gained a reputation as a great place for eco-tourism. Each year visitors from around the globe come to experience the wonderful tranquility of this magical land of Pura Vida. Yet there is so much more that awaits those who make the journey to this unique and diverse Central American country. 

     Volcanoes hold a special place in culture and mythology throughout the globe. Names Vesuvius, Krakatau, and Mauna Loa conjure images of massive eruptions, waves of lava, and ash, and a reminder of the raw, primal power contained within our precious blue planet. Although not well advertised,Costa Rica is part of the Pacific Rim of Fire and home to a number of these geological giants; seven of which are still active. 

     Perhaps the most visually stunning of the seven is Arenal. Located just outside of La Fortuna, Arenal is considered the most active of all Costa Rican volcanoes. Visitors to area can see the intermittent spurts of gray ash during the day and reddish gold lava explosions at night.  Near the city of Cartago, Irazú-the tallest of the Costa Rican volcanoes had the dubious distinction of causing the most destruction during its eruptions. It is said that from its heights, one can view both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on a clear day. 

     Turrialba is a close neighbor to Irazú both in location and in height. Believed to be active for thousands of years, it has been quiet in recent times and a great spot to visit since it has one of the few direct access points to a volcanic crater wordlwide. Poas Volcano, 23 miles north of Alajuela has what some say is the second widest crater in the world and the deepest volcanic lagoon on the planet.  When looking across its expanse, you can find yourself feeling as if you are looking at another time and, just maybe, another planet. 

     The remaining three active volcanoes, Miravailles, Orosi, and Ricón de la Vieja while less prominent are still compelling places to visit and explore. To the ancients, the primal forces that volcanoes unleashed were both a source of wonder and fear. To those of us who visit their realm today, these rock and earthen behemoths provide a connection to this orb we inhabit like little else.

     There are countless rainforests throughout Costa Rica which can provide a unique view of a complex and diverse ecosystem that can only be experienced in a few places on earth. Whether you are in the northern Pacific coast on the Nicoya Peninsula near Tamarindo, the Central Valley area, the beautiful region of the Diamante Valley (which has a stunning set of waterfalls, or the southern Pacific area near Uvita and Domincal, rainforest and zip line tours can be found for all ages and interests. 

You may even have a chance to meet the various simian inhabitants of this land. The white faced capuchin, the acrobatic spider, the elusive squirrel and the impressive (and loud) howler monkeys accompany both tourist and Tico (native Costa Ricans) alike as they explore the mysteries of these primal areas.  

  It may not be Maui, or Australia, but the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is fast gaining a reputation as one of the prime spots for surfing in the world. The beaches of the southern Pacific region near Jaco, Uvitas,  Manuel Antonio and Dominical have become a destination for the experienced surfer and the novice alike who seek the thrill of riding the waves. Other ocean-based activities include deep-sea fishing and whale watching during the spring months. 

So many adventures and so little time-that is the pleasant conundrum of Costa Rica. Truly, it is a place of pure adventure and experience that embodies the essence of its salutation: Pura Vida-the pure life.

    

    

   

     

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