Costa Rica bleg

Michael A. asks me:

As always, appreciate all your prodigious information output.  I am traveling to Costa Rica this summer and was wondering if you might be able to give me any info about Best of Costa Rica — specifically foods, wines, etc. to hit as well as music and books to check out beforehand, sights to see, the usual Tyler Cowen treatment.

I haven't been to Costa Rica in a long time, but here is what lodged in my memory:

Monkeys and birds, hanging sloth is hard to see, excellent dialect on Caribbean coast, eat palmitos [hearts of palm], like it or not beans and rice for breakfast, cross the country by taxi in a day, if you mispronounce the volcano it rhymes with the last name of David Boaz, Spanish paella in the capital, "Tica," music is mediocre, worst Chinese food anywhere, the least interesting locale in Central America but the best trip for most Americans.  Glad I went but won't return.

Comments

Micheal A. is now quietly sobbing at his computer...

To their credit, sometime eggs find their way into the rice and beans.

It is really a wonderful county. Women are particularly slutty and your chances of hooking up are extremely high. They are pretty good looking and don't look Indian or black.

"the least interesting locale in Central America but the best trip for most Americans."

I like this blog but the casually condescending tone is really too much at times.

"Small steps towards a much better world" might begin with actually knowing something about countries you talk about.

Perhaps some real observations. The Caribbean coast (Limon and south) is definitely a different subculture, including having "rice and beans", which are distinct from "aros con frijoles" (Spanish for "rice and beans", pardon my poor spanish "spelling") which the rest of the country has. (Authentic aros con frijoles has egg in it.) Monte Verde is a rare high tropical rainforest and quite interesting -- I'd recommend taking a 4x4 rental car if you go. Stay overnight and walk the suspension bridge trails, perhaps try a jungle canopy zipline tour. The Caribbean coast that I've been to seems much more treacherous, waves-and-undertow-wise, than the Pacific I've been to. If you like coffee, I'd recommend getting a few bags of Volio in a grocery store -- it's what many locals prefer and it's better, in my opinion, than the for-export coffees. I'd recommend visiting Chubascos restaurant in the mountains above San Jose. Also Soda Tapia is a great diner in San Jose.

The overall regions, in my mind: Northwest is cattle country, in many places it's actually Savannah-like, Southwest is some of the wildest, Southeast is Caribbean culture, mid-North Volcano country, and the capital, San Jose, in the "center". San Jose itself is rather rundown in the city itself, though there are signs of renewal. The airport is fairly nice and was recently renovated and enlarged.

by taxi in a day, if you mispronounce the volcano it rhymes with the last name of David Boaz, Spanish paella in the capital, "Tica," music is mediocre, worst Chinese food anywhere, the least interesting locale in Central America but the best trip for most Americans. Glad I went but won't return.

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