Costa Rica – Pearl of Central America

    Central America does not have a good reputation worldwide. Countries such as Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala are often pejoratively referred to as “banana republics.” This is primarily due to their utter economic incompetence and the fact that their main export is bananas.

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    Why is this so? The answer is simple, but one needs to understand the cultural and historical background of the region. During the colonial period, the entire region (except Belize) was under Spanish rule. Conquistadors plundered the region\’s resources and enslaved its inhabitants. After the collapse of the colonial system and the return of power to local governments, a power struggle ensued that escalated into a civil war that continues to this day in many provinces. Everything from crops to industry to government administrative power has been devastated. The rugged terrain of the mountain ranges covered by dense rainforest makes it virtually impossible to eradicate the various groups vying for power. Over time, these have evolved into drug cartels, which do not hesitate to use citizens as shields for their business.

    Two nations have emerged from this dire situation. One is Costa Rica. Costa Rica dismantled its military and invested the money in projects that improved the lives of the local people. And tourism brings in a lot of money. It is used to restore beautiful monuments, churches and cathedrals, historic city centers,snow-white
    beaches, resorts,
    and even the interior is worth seeing. The interior is also worth a visit, with local guides leading trailsthrough the treetops of the rainforest. Visit the hydroelectric power plantsthat provide clean electricity to half the country.
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    Popular tourist destinations include ports. Visit Limon, Carthage, and Punteras and have a good time with the locals. The locals are very friendly. As a travel tip, don\’t be afraid to knock on doors if you are traveling independently and can\’t find a hotel in time.