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  • A Cruising Couple | May 14, 2015 1:00 AM ET

    10 Reasons Why We May Never Leave Costa Rica

    10 Reasons Why We May Never Leave Costa Rica

    Top image courtesy of Thinkstock

    We’ve been living and traveling abroad full-time for four years now. Throughout that time, we have inadvertently been on a bit of a quest to find a picture-perfect home base. We wanted a location that we could easily travel from for five to six months of the year, yet still return to and have a feeling of being “home.” 30-plus countries later, we think we have finally found that very special place we’ve been looking for: Costa Rica. We’re currently on our fourth visit to Costa Rica, and this time, we might just be here for good. Costa Rica may not be perfect (nowhere really is), but there are plenty of reasons to love this piece of paradise in Central America. Here are our top ten:

    1. Beautiful Beaches

    Let’s start with the most obvious — the beaches! Between the Pacific and the Caribbean coastlines, Costa Rica boasts countless sandy stretches to enjoy. Each beach has its own characteristics; our favorite ones are the secret and secluded spots where you can while away the afternoon without seeing a single soul!

    2. Friendly People

    We are grateful to have met some of the most wonderful people on our travels around the world, but we have to say it: Ticos (the word for local Costa Ricans) are some of the most fun, gracious, and kind-hearted people around.

    3. Countless Outdoor Adventures

    Ziplining, jungle trekking, scuba diving, hang gliding, cycling, climbing, white-water rafting … the list goes on and on. If you enjoy adrenaline-pumping adventures or just being in the great outdoors, then Costa Rica is the place for you.

    4. It’s Safe and Stable

    Safety was a huge consideration to us while searching for a perfect home base. While anything could happen anywhere, we find Costa Rica to be very safe. The country has also had no standing military since 1948. The military budget has since been allocated to education, culture, and security.

    5. A Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

    Costa Rica already gets around 94 percent of its energy from clean, renewable sources. But by 2021, the country plans to go 100 percent renewable. While being "eco-friendly" in Costa Rica has become trendy (and not all establishments and tour operators are as “green” as they claim) the country’s commitment to environmental sustainability is inspirational and impactful.

    6. Good Health Care

    Recently we had a bit of a slip-up on our motorcycle. Luckily we were fine, but the incident did leave us with a serious case of road rash. When we decided to have a doctor look at it just to ensure we were all cleaned up, we had our choice of countless private clinics, and three different hospitals in the region to choose from. Costa Rica provides universal health care to citizens and permanent residents. What’s more, the UN has ranked Costa Rica’s public health system as one of the top 20 worldwide and number 1 in Latin America.

    7. Awe-Inspiring Wildlife

    There are few places around the world where you can wake up to the sounds of howler monkeys calling out from the jungle, watch Scarlet Macaws fly in pairs across the sky, and witness three-toed sloths napping in the trees. The wildlife in Costa Rica is extensive and diverse, and leaves us in awe on a daily basis.

    8. Yoga and Surf Culture

    As yoga teachers and surf enthusiasts, we are always looking for destinations where we can enjoy the waves, and hop into our downward dog. Surf and yoga retreats are now popping up around the world, but Costa Rica was one of the first pioneers in the industry (where they remain an important part of both tourism and local culture).

    9. Available Amenities

    Largely due to the many foreigners who call Costa Rica home and the mammoth number of tourists who visit each year, you can now find almost any “thing” you want or need in Costa Rica. This goes for ethnic cuisine, cosmopolitan shopping, dining, theater, and more. Though we don’t want to move to Costa Rica to feel like we are still in the U.S., it’s nice to know that those amenities are there for us when we need them.

    10. Pura Vida!

    Of course, the best thing about Costa Rica is the country’s motto — Pura Vida! Pura Vida roughly translates into "pure life," but it means so much more than that. Pura Vida is a greeting used in passing. It’s an adjective for something excellent. More than anything, it’s a way of life that embodies the relaxed, happy and peaceful Ticos, and all those who visit the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

    These are just ten of the reasons why we may never leave Costa Rica. Have you visited the country before? What did you think?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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