Before coming to Costa Rica, I envisioned the country as largely undeveloped with most of the nation being rural or forested areas with small towns. This idea became more cemented in my mind when I learned about the country’s sustainability efforts. When we arrived in Heredia my opinion began to change, I saw just how developed and urban Costa Rica can be. As we traveled to the coffee plantations, San Jose and around the central valley I saw cities and many small communities but no vast undeveloped areas. Many of our tour guides had told us that the central valley is the most populated area in the country and that at one time it was the only inhabited area with all surrounding lands being uncharted. Despite this I began to envision Costa Rica as a more developed and densely populated nation than I had originally.
Today we traveled to very remote area, Monteverde and along the way the communities of people we hd once seen began to diffuse. The bus ride took us over and around mountains and through more forested areas. Greater tracts of undeveloped land began to appear between houses and communities and the quality of living appeared to become more modest with the homes appearing to be build with less expensive materials and in a less durable manner.
The hotel we will be staying in the next two nights in the mountains and I’m beginning to see the image of Costa Rica that I originally envisioned. From the balcony outside my room I can see mountains covered in forests. I have already seen some uncommon wildlife (armadillo pictured below) and hope to see much more over the coming days. The town near the hotel is much smaller and less populated than Heredia or San Jose. The area we are in seems to be largely fueled by tourism with many of the shops advertising souvenirs.