Costa Rica is a very clean beautiful country. The people are generous, helpful, and extremely friendly. We wanted to see the capitol San Jose on our first day before taking off for the northern beaches. We hired a guide to give us a walking tour of the downtown area. Instead of driving around on a bus, we like to walk the city to get a better flavor of the history, architecture, food, and people.
We learned that Costa Ria has a 95% literacy rate, universal healthcare, social networks for the needy, good infrastructure, and clean and well-maintained main roads. Yes there are many villages on dirt roads and some of the roads were questionable, everything seemed to work. The people complain about high taxes and governmental control of about everything, but are generally happy living there.
The main source of income for the country is tourism. There are well-maintained national parks and beaches that are all funded by high taxes on the tourist. Eco-tourism is the mantra where everything is recycled and reused over and over. So many of the items in tourist shops and even in our hotel rooms were made from 100% recycled materials.
The ox cart is the national symbol of Costa Rica.
This guy had his four-year-old son singing karaoke for tips. The kid was pretty good.
Crowded main street in San Jose.
These perfectly carved stone balls are found throughout Costa Rica. They were the territorial markers for the various tribes in the jungle. They are in various sizes. This one is one of the larger balls and is in a special museum location in one of the parks.
It was Christmas and they have multi-colored trees.
Walkway guarded by cork trees.
Our guide Marco and Janine.
Cops everywhere making sure everyone has a good time.
Political figures everywhere.