By Corey Sandler
Costa Rica is one of the most amazing places on the planet, a green nation with one-quarter-of-a-percent of Earth’s landmass and 5 percent of its biodiversity of species of flora and fauna.
And it also extends from sea to shining sea, with the port of Puntarenas on the Pacific where Viking Sun docked this morning and the port of Limón over on the Atlantic side. In between is the cordillera, the mountain range that is an extension of the Canadian and American Rockies to the North and the Andes to the South.
I went with guests up into that spine in the middle, to the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve. We left hot and sunny Puntarenas and spent the day in a cool and drizzly rainforest.
Here is some of what we saw:
Costa Rica, like Panama–and Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, the United States, and Canada–has ports on both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
There is only one canal, though.
The other countries have done the best they can with roads and railways to transfer products from one ocean to another.
Puntarenas here in Costa Rica was once the country’s principal port, but it was on the wrong side when it came to trade with the east coast of the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. Over the past century, a railroad and then highways were built to climb up and over the Continental Divide to bring bananas, other agriculture, minerals, and more from one side to the other.
Modern Costa Rica has devoted much of its economy to sustainable and green industries and ecotourism. And the country–not quite perfect in its government and social services, but far ahead of nearly all of its neighbors–is doing well,
In fact, they have their own all-purpose expression of contentment: Pura Vida. Think of it as “all is well” or hakuna matata. It is impossible to use it wrong: Pura Vida!
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