In a short, four hour drive from Heredia to Monteverde, I saw three different sides of Costa Rica. From Heredia to the beach, I felt the air get heavier with moisture and saw fewer people out and about on account of the heat. The buildings were more spaced out near the beaches compared to Heredia, and a rural lifestyle was more prevalent as the weather permitted. The closer we got to Monteverde the further apart the buildings were and the warmer the Ticos dresses to adjust to the colder weather. Travel no doubt got more difficult closer to Monteverde and a diminished sense of community was present.
In my time in Costa Rica since Saturday, I have been very surprised by the similarities among all the Ticos. In the US, people are quite different across borders and regions, but this is not the case in Costa Rica. In spite of passing through three completely different provinces today, the Ticos all share the same pride for their country. The spoke the same, ate the same food, and all had the same warm welcome to extend to foreigners. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the Tico way of life and now I see it as a much more forward thinking nation that has the right mindset in terms of openness to foreigners.