During a long and windy bus ride, I noticed how different Costa Rica is on the pacific coast and the mountain rainforest regions from the town of Heredia. Once we were far away from the city and driving along the coast, there was so much more natural greenery and much more rural areas than from the city.
Compared to the beautiful, colorful homes of Heredia the houses we saw on our drive were much smaller and in much more rural areas. The houses were much more spread out and there was not really a sense of community that you feel in Heredia where all of the houses are close together and in friendly neighborhoods. However, I really liked the secluded set up of these homes because many of them were right on the water and close to local shops and convenience stores. The street shops were very small and almost all in Spanish. This varies a lot from what we have seen because in Heredia there are many familiar American chain restaurants and local shops written in English. From this, I assume that the Ticos who live close to the beach speak only Spanish whereas in Heredia many of the Ticos I have met speak some English. Experiencing the communities of the coast from the drive taught me that these people are probably more poor and I got to see how diverse Costa Rica truly is.
After passing through the Pacific Ocean, we arrived to the mountain forest of Monte Verde. I am so excited to be in Monte Verde because it is filled with wildlife and cloud forests which is so exciting and nothing that I have ever seen before. The houses here are very secluded and surrounded by beautiful trees and plants. Because Monte Verde is a great destination for tourists and also a home to many local people, there is a combination of local markets and also more commercialized restaurants and souvenir shops. After settling in, we got to explore it for a little and visit both some local markets and souvenir shops!
Overall, since my time here my perception of Costa Rica has changed with each new location. Every area we visit is very different from the last and I am in awe of each new place! I can’t wait to further explore the rainforest of Monte Verde and see the diverse wildlife that is to come!