Driving from Heredia to Monteverde, I saw a whole new part of Costa Rica today. The people we drove past, the places we saw, everything was very different from Heredia. It looked a lot more what like outsiders think of Costa Rica. The buildings were a little more beat up, and the houses were small, few, and far between
The first thing I noticed was the buildings. I saw a lot more sodas than in Heredia. When I came to Heredia, this is what I expected. They were very run down, and were the only restaurants I saw. Throughout our time in Heredia, I have still not been to a soda, and in the country, that was the only food option I saw.
The houses I saw were also very different from the houses in Heredia. When we were in Heredia, we were told that the people take full advantage of their property, so there aren’t many large yards. When driving through the country, I noticed not as many houses, and they were all spread out. Since there are less people and more land, people don’t worry too much about taking advantage of all of their land because they can have a big house and a big yard. Living in the United States, we encounter a similar effect, but it is amplified here in Costa Rica because such a large number of people live in the city compared to the country. A lot of people live in the city in the US as well, but it is not to the level of Costa Rican cities.
Finally, the nature was a lot prettier and easier to see. In Heredia, there is a beautiful view of mountains off in the distance, but because there are so many billboards and signs, the beautiful view isn’t always easily visible. Also, we were driving towards mountains in Monteverde, so the gorgeous view was even closer than usual. Even just looking out my window here at Hotel El Establo, I can see so much more landscape than I can in Heredia.
My initial views have changed slightly, but not to the point where I have a completely different outlook on Costa Rica as a country. I still stand by my original blog where I said it is a beautiful country, yet we also get to stay in a modernized city that can accommodate our needs easily. I don’t feel like I am out of the country in Heredia because it is so modern, and everything that I can do at home can also be done in Heredia. After traveling a little more outside of Heredia to the coffee tours as well as Monteverde, I would like to emphasize my point that Costa Rica is a beautiful country. I am usually not one for taking many pictures, especially of landscape because trees and plants don’t easily excite me. Here, I have taken more pictures than I ever have before. Saying the landscape is beautiful is an understatement. The only thing I would change about my original opinion is that Heredia feels more welcoming now. I’m sure this is because I have now been in Heredia for a while, so it feels more familiar walking around. I have gotten used to staying at my host family’s house and making the walk to Universidad Latina every morning. I don’t think any perception of the city has changed, I am just used to living in Heredia now and am more comfortable.
We are only about 5 days into the trip, and I am not quite sure how else this country will be able to wow me. I am very excited for the rest of our time here in Costa Rica.