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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Fascinating Costa Rica - Day 563

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

Our next destination was Monteverde. To get there, we could drive the shorter distance of 48 miles going south of Lake Arenal, but the many exclamation marks on gave us an indication that much of the journey would be on dirt tracks. Instead, we drove 72 miles around the north lakeside, which still took a good 3.5 hours drive.

We were glad to hire our 4x4 as many roads were unsealed with potholes to avoid. Mind you; we saw quite a bit of maintenance and even new roads being laid to improve the drive for the future.

The journey was marvellous with beautiful scenery along the twisting, steep roads. We even went through a village, Los Heroes, with wooden chalet style buildings more typically seen on the side of the Swiss Alps.

Along the way we saw a number of wind farms. In fact, Costa Rica generates more than 99% of its electricity using renewable energy. As well as wind power, it also uses hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass, and solar. Impressive eh?

Costa Rica really is a fascinating country. Not just because of the beauty of its diverse landscape from glorious beach destinations to thick tropical rainforests.

Half of the 5m people live on just 2% of its land that has about 200 volcanic formations, five of which are still active: Arenal, which we saw yesterday, Poás, Irazú, Rincón de la Vieja, and Turrialba.

Incredibly, over 25% of the land is protected, including 28 national parks. They take their natural resource seriously.

Not only is the landscape lovely, so are the people. Costa Ricans are known to be one of the happiest nations in the world. According to "happiness" factors this is due to their laid-back and unstressed nature, strong and supportive families, affordable and exceptional health care, good healthy diets with minimal processed food, and their economy is sustainable and stable.

And most remarkably, after a 44-day civil war in 1948, they abolished the military. The former budget for this was then used to create an “army of teachers”. How brilliant is that!

The more we are learning about fascinating Costa Rica, the more we are like, like, liking it. (Shame it's a bit pricey though.)

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