Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rafting the Upper Pacuare River

On the subject of white-water rafting with some rain arriving in Costa Rica these days I wanted to fill everyone in on what I consider one of the best sections for rafting in Costa Rica. Unfortunately this section not open for tourist but if you make the right friends you might be able to catch a ride on the average of 5 trips we run to upper Pacuare each year. It is a section that is for experts with class V's and extremely technical. One of my favorite rapids is called the Hand-of-God which lives up to its name. I have to admit the last time I was on the upper Pacuare I went in a raft and I walked the "Hand-of-God" rapid.

This section takes around 2 hours of non-stop excitement and adrenaline pumping drops. The best part is that the river at this section drops so fast that you can never see what is coming next. For all serious rafters I would suggest the upper Pacuare and if you are a serious Kayaker than without question catch a ride to the upper Pacuare section. If you are a tourist or just recreational rafter then its better that you enjoy the commercially rafted section of Pacuare which happens to be a much more scenic ride that you will surely enjoy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

An Amazing Rescue from a Raft

I have been rafting for almost 7 years now and last night at 7pm on the local news I saw some rafting that I have never seen in Costa Rica. Anybody that has been to Costa Rica knows that it can start raining at anytime. We are in Feb. which usually is a dry month but this week the rain really started coming down. There is a particular area called the Chirripo River which is not a commercially rafted river but is filled with class V's from start to finish. The Chirripo river yesterday with all the rain that came down was filled to the max. The river was a dark chocolate color and just fast flowing, large amounts of water from bank to bank.

The problem with this immediate flooding of the river is that there was a man taking river rock in a back-hoe in the middle of the river because before the rains came you could walk across the river. It turns out after the river flooded the man did not have time to drive his bould-doser and was stuck in the middle of the river. Anybody that knows anything about rivers knows that they can have the force to move just about anything from large trees to bould-dosers. Fortunately a group of 4 rafters went into the river up-stream and made there way to the man among large rapids and fast moving water that put their lives in extreme danger. The day ended with the rafters making an amazing rescue and the man from the bould-doser getting out in time before becoming a victim of the river. To all my fellow rafters out there I think we owe a great applause to the four men who made the rescue yesterday as they took their skills to a whole new level. Just for the record rafting in the Chirripo river is not commercially rafted and other rivers of Costa Rica are considered much more safe for taking part in the sport of rafting.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Building a House in Costa Rica

My wife and rented a house in Costa Rica in 2006, after we both retired. We loved that rental house high up in a little mountain village. Every day was cool, and we had a view of three cities from our back porch. The daily pace of the village was slow and peaceful. We decided to stay.
We bought some land as close as possible to our rental house. Actually our new property was a hundred meters away from it. It took almost a year to get approval from the local government to build. They wanted to make sure that our building would not harm the precious water supply on the mountain.
Building went along without a hitch. Every day a crew of fourteen men busied themselves around our structure as the building rose out of the ground. The view in the new house was even better than the rental house. Not only is there a great view but on a clear day we can see the Pacific Ocean between a gap in the mountains.
It was a gamble, it seems to be paying off.

What it feels like to be a Millionaire

With just 21 years of age I arrived to Costa Rica and was quick to become my families first millionaire. I have to say life has been good and living in the tropical paradise running a tour company I cant complain. Being a millionaire came easier than I expected. I did not find myself with a big house or fancy cars. I noticed I was still eating rice and beans every meal and living off tips from being a river guide on the river.

Today is your lesson on Costa Rican currency. It turns out that Costa Rica uses the Colone which was named after a sailor who first arrived on the Limon side of Costa Rica named Christopher Columbus. His name in Spanish is Cristobal Colon for which the currency was named. Costa Rica has moved through the years from using everything from the Cacao fruit as currency to the many different size coins that they have today. The largest bill of the colone is 10,000 colones which is worth around $18.50 US Dollars. Today the exchange is around 550 colones to the US $1. This my friends is how I became my families first millionaire. To say it correctly I am really only a thousandaire and on some days probably just a hundrednaire. This was your lesson on the Costa Rican currency and to let everyone know that you dont need a fancy car and nice house to live the life of a millionaire. Just a few rice and beans, nice people, and natural beauties is what I consider living the high life.

Costa Rica's Best Kept Secret

Now with new highways all over the place we will see how long some of Costa Rica's best kept secrets actually stay a secret. After being in the country for almost 9 years there are still plenty of new sites to see each time you go somewhere. About 3 years ago I was in the Southern zone in the area between San Isidro and Dominical in a little town called Platanillo. It was here that I was invited in to an area that is called the cave. The Cave is basically about a 2 hour hike straight up a ridge (The second ridge behind the coastal ridge so relatively near the coast). I was joined by the owners of the property who deserve a blog entry just for them. The Chapman family is a gringo father and tica mom family with four amazing children from ages 17 - 22 all certified as adventure guides in Costa Rica and some of the most entertaining kids you will meet with a backround in circus training, music, art, and all around great atittudes towards everything. What the Chapmans have done is turn a cavern that is located in this ridge where two waterfalls fall over the cavern. It is an epic area and one of the best parts is that you can rappel the waterfalls to get yourself down into the cavern where you will find a large kitchen, bathrooms, and sleeping arrangements (sleeps up to 30 people). This is definately a spot of Costa Rica that will remain a best kept secret because with the hike you have to do to get there I dont expect heavy traffic passing by The Cave anytime soon. Note: The Chapman Family Company is Called Tree of Life Tours.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tourism drops 8% in 2009

According to an article written in La Nacion. The tourism sector of Costa Rica took a drop of 8% in the year of 2009. For obvious reasons everyone expected a drop with the world wide recession and even the Swine Flew playing a roll in less tourist. In my personal opinion it could have been a lot worse and I think many people in the tourism industry that was not in extremely deep going into this year probably survived and is ready for this next year.

The number of tourist that entered the country were down 167,000 from 2008. In 2009 1.9million foreigners entered the country as compared to over 2 million in 2008.

I happen to think this was great for the country. I have been working in tourism down here for 9 years and there are plenty of people who have many more years than I working in tourism. The changes I have seen in the last 9 years are amazing and at such a fast speed that I can only imagine what this country looked like 20 years ago. The point that Im trying to make is that the people and natural beauties is what made this place the tourist destination it is. If you take the economic growth of the tourist section really fast it affects both the people and the natural beauties. When people find out they can make money in tourism and big money they tend to do it. Anyone knows that making big money fast can change some of your dailing habits and how you live your life. Im not saying the Costa Rican has turned into a country full of greedy snobs. All Im saying is that this is an excellent situation for the people here and extremely fast growth would not benefit anyone.

The second is the obvious that has been talked about for years and that is the more tourist, the more foreigners developing land, the more the natural beauties take a risk of being affected. Yes, 25% of Costa Rica is protected but every piece of bio-diversity on this planet is connected and just marking off your boundries does not make you a protecter of the environment. It is important that this developement be built very conscience of how their project will affect the nearby areas and its surroundings (air, soil, where materials come from, ect.)

So with this said, I feel the 8% drop in tourism is a chance for the industry to keep its feet on the ground and recieve this excellent blessing of opportunity of economic and natural wealth with a solid plan and mindset for the best future possible for everyone.

Monday, February 22, 2010

United Nations to look at Stone Spheres

If you've been to southern Costa Rica you probably have heard of the stone spheres made by the ancestors of the Borunca Indians who live in the area. These spheres are from around 400 - 1400AD and are perfectly formed into spheres from what most experts believe was a heating and cooling process. When it comes to tourism I can say Costa Rica is lacking two things that would make this the complete tourism playground. Those two things are snow and pyramids. With the idea of making snow I dont see it happening I think there are a few other govt expenses that have to be attended to first. But with the pyramids we might not get the large temples of Tikal but it is possible to build on what we do have. What Costa Rica does have is the spheres that measure 8ft in Diameter and up to 20 tons in weight. A little less than a pyramid but still enough to get the attention of a very important group of archeologist.

The United Nations is sending down a dream team of archeologist to study the spheres and to decide if the spheres should be considered World Heritage. During their stay this March if they decide that these spheres are worthy of being considered World Heritage this could be a boost in tourism for the particular section. They still dont know what the spheres were used for and most experts think they marked special buildings. My question to that is where the heck are the special buildings they were marking? So if they are right then maybe Costa Rica might have some digging left to do. If they are wrong then maybe a better guess would be that the spheres were created with the idea of beach volleyball (just a guess).

some of the information in this blg was taken from

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bruin Pride International Wide

This past week we operated a student travel trip from a school in Colorado who has the mascot of the Bruins. It was an educational trip that had months in the planning. They asked for a full week of adventure and said they were up for anything. They went with about as much adventure as we could give them in one week. They also wanted to spent time with the locals. After being with the members of the group for one day I was happy to hear that when I asked what their favorite part of the trip was, almost all responded with the homestays.

During the week here in the office we do our best to keep up with the guides on how things are going. There guide for the week was Erik and it was very good to hear that everytime we called Erik his response was "this group is GREAT". The group visited a village where we do homestays called Sitio de Mata and different members of the group stayed in homes of different members of the village. When the Bruins left the village I got calls from different members of the family saying how special the Bruins were. They mentioned that they felt they knew them their whole lives and they could not believe the relationship they developed in just two days.

I had the chance to meet the group on their final day when they were painting a rural school in a rural area of northern Costa Rica. I was curious to see this group because of all the positive things Ive heard about them. When I went to meet them it was raining buckets and it looked as if it would rain all day. My first thought was that they might be a little bummed that it is raining on their last day. But when I met the group it was the same laughing and smiles that Erik described. Nobody gave a hoot about the rain and they were just happy to be going to a school to spend time with the locals. When we arrived to the school we had half the group paint and the other half play duck duck goose with the kids. The kids put on an excellent show for us of dancing and then the Bruins gave some gifts and we made a complete morning out of it. Another interesting thing was that a member from the Bruin group brought letters from the 3rd grade class in Colorado to share with the 3rd graders here. The local kids loved it and they immediately wanted to respond to the letters and send them back to the Colorado 3rd graders.

With all the memories that were made on the adventures I can assure you that with the Bruin group the memories that will last the longest are the ones they left with others during their stay. The gifts they shared, the time they spent, and the smiles they gave will last a lifetime. With this said I just want to say you better be PROUD TO BE A BRUIN!!! Also a short note I know there was an English teacher on the trip and I usually dont proof-read my blog so sorry for the grammar errors, hehehe! PURA VIDA MAE!!!

Is Costa Rica a developed or developing Country?

Here is some information taken from the TicoTimes (I left the link at the bottom if you would like to read their full article) in what was an excellent article written answering many questions that people often have about Costa Rica. As a tour company we know that if a client needs to visit a brand new mall with all the top end stores of the world we can take them there. We also know that if a client wants to visit some of the most rural communities hours away from all the ameneties of the world we can also take them there. This brings up the question to many of wanting to know about this country that has been known for its solid middle class as being a country that is Developed? or still in the process of Developing?

Just to give you an idea 20% of the country makes $120 or less a month. If you decided to visit one of the fancy malls in the San Jose on a daily basis and pay the $2 toll to get there and the $2 for parking then in one month you would spend $120's. In the article of the TicoTimes they talk about the different organizations that label countries as developing and developed. On a worldwide scale Costa Rica is ranked as the upper middle section of all countries and the upper section being the developed countries. There are around 30 developed countries on the planet and Costa Rica is ranked around 54th 1 spot behind Mexico along with other countries of Brazil, Panama, and South Africa. In all of Latin America they say Chile is the most developed country.

Costa Rica is considered to be moving forward at a fast pace up the scale. Two strong points given to Costa Rica is how educated the people are here and the healthcare that is provided allowing life expectancy to be high at 77.

The new elected President Laura Chinchilla brought up that her goal was to make Costa Rica a developed country and if she can do it in four years I dont know but atleast it looks that the country is already on its way. To see the full article on the TicoTimes you can visit

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rafting in Costa Rica

If there is one adventure we like to take pride in it is Costa Rica rafting. Most of our tours and adventures take part in the sport of white-water rafting during their stay in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is made up of mountains, rain, and no snow which make it a year long rafting paradise. When rafting is mentioned one of the first rivers that has to come into mind is the Pacuare River. This is an amazing river rated by National Geographic as one of the top 5 rivers in the world. The word "Pacuare" is an Indian name given by the nearby Cabecar tribe which live on the river banks. If a group is able and physically fit we always try and gear their trip around a Pacuare adventure. The commercially rafted part of Pacuare is spectacular but if you make the right contacts with some guides you might be able to run the upper section of Pacuare in the dry season which is usually operated only by experts and guides. There are many different rivers to raft in Costa Rica but Pacuare I must say is the best by a long shot. Some of the other popular rafting rivers are Savegre on the Pacific Coast, Rio Toro in the northern part of the country, and Sarapiqui River which unfortunately has taken a hit due to the earthquake a year ago.

The types of rivers you will see in Costa Rica are considered technical rivers. A technical river means that you can see many rocks on the surface and that the river is usually narrow (an example of a non-technical river would be the Nile in Africa. You can take the raft through the rapids straight down the middle and you will never feel a rock). The technical river is good and bad for a guide. It is excellent training for the guide because they are always making decisions of lines to take in a rapid and comand after comand of which way the group needs to paddle. On the other hand it can become difficult for a guide and it takes more time to train on such rivers than on non-technical rivers. Just for the record I have heard that Costa Rican river guides are some of the best you will find for two reasons. The first being that you can raft Costa Rican rivers 12 months a year and a lot of these guides are no the river 6 days a week all year. The second reason is that they are trained on these very technical rivers.

Family Vacation Costa Rica

If you happen to travel through Costa Rica looking to raft you might want to check out the Pacuare river. Do keep in mind that in Costa Rica there are many non-commercial rafting rivers that are absolutely amazing but just take knowing the right contacts to get to run them.

Family Vacation Specialist
Costa Rican Resource

Costa Rica Newspapers

This entry is to give you a quick look at what we consider some of the best sources for Costa Rica information through newspapers. We will start by saying give us an email and we will try and answer any question you have at but there are many other sources for information in Costa Rica. One interesting way of finding out news and current events is the TicoTimes Newspaper which is an English newspaper that is published once a week every Friday. You can also visit it online at There is also a daily newspaper online in English that you can find at The one thing with is that they do have a few interesting articles but the pages are loaded with ads so once you make it through the ads there should be some interesting articles in there.

Another source of information that I would suggest is There are a number of different newspapers in Costa Rica. This is by far what we believe to be the best newspaper. It is in Spanish and is a daily newspaper with a lot of information. It discuss topics of all types and often have very educational campaigns for people of all ages to get involved. This newspaper can be bought for around 50 cents or you can look at it online.

One other respectable Spanish newspaper is called Al Dia. I like to say it has the same information more or less like La Nacion but it is much smaller with in size and not as many articles. But it is very proffesional and has an excellent sports section.

Two newspapers that I dont find the best piece of information and news is La Teja and Extra. These papers are a bit cheaper and not as big as La Nacion but they are daily, in Spanish, and the covers always have a half-naked girl on the front. It is set up more like a comic book with exaggerated information on many topics. It often seems to be just a little much especially when kids of all ages are seeing this daily.

As you an see, yes, there is freedom of press in Costa Rica and just be careful what you read.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What does Costa Rica Measure on the Ultraviolet Scale?

According to an article written in La Nacion (Costa Rican National Newspaper) the Level of Utraviolet Rays are between 12 and 15 (on a scale of 1 - 20). The reason for Costa Rica having such high levels of Ultra Violet is Costa Rican position near the equator. A country that lies on the equator might have levels of 20 and countries like North America and England are around 6 or 7. Other countries that have week Ozone layers becaues are pollution are known to have higher levels also. Costa Rica just started measuring this last year so really does not have records to show on this scale if the rays are becoming stronger or weaker. Considering Costa Rica was rated number 3 on the planet for protecting their environment I guess we might be able to assume that the Ozone layer above Costa Rica could only play a positive affect on this scale. The interesting thing about this scale of 1 - 20 is that experts say that when rays are from 1 - 3 you dont have to have any protection. When rays are from 4 - 12 you should where protection during peak hours between 10am and 2pm. When rays are between 13 - 15 you should where protection always. This puts Costa Rica in a level that we should always have protection atleast on the Pacific Coast. The Central Valley is at a 10 which is a little less than the Pacific. Well I hope this information helps in planning for your vacation to Costa Rica and in getting prepared dont forget your SunBlock of minimum 30SPF!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Facebook Page

With the use of Social Media basically for anything and everything now the tourism industry is no exception. Our company here at Costa Rican Resource uses Facebook quite a bit as a way of letting former clients know how we are doing and also a chance for interested clients to get a chance to hear from groups we have worked with in the past. It is a great social interaction and a chance for us as a company to be vocal on some of the important issues we try to show as a company. Some of these issues might involve ways to protect the environment and community service work all around Costa Rica and ways you can help. With this said I invite everyone to visit our Facebook page and to become a fan of (Costa Rican Resource). We promise to keep you informed on many events of Costa Rica and be on a more personal level with our staff, guides, and former clients.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A nature guides advice

It was about a week ago that one of our nature guides Jheudy Carballo made the comment to me "Im so proud of what my kid did yesterday". I was expecting the response that his son scored 4 goals in a soccer game or he got straight A's on his report card. To my surprise these were not the childs accomplishments. What Jheudy was so proud of that his son did was walk into the grocery store, buy a few items, and tell the bag boy that he did not need a plastic bag. He got into the car holding all the things in his hand and was on his way. Jheudy noticed what his son did and instantly felt good and proud of what his son did.

Jhuedy was proud because he is a naturalist guide that works for our company and has a sincere love for nature and is always looking for ways to protect it. Jheudy looks at the beautiful natural surroundings of Costa Rica as his workplace, his office, and his home and he wants to do everything to make sure it stays that way. Jheudy starts his lessons by teaching at home to his son. Since his son was young Jheudy has taught to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and REJECT. The last "R" of Reject is exactly why Jheudy was so proud of his son. If you dont need the plastic bag then dont take it. Jhuedy was able to see first hand through his son that it is possible to educate the next generation and leave make this planet a much better place.

Americans use around 100 billion plastic shopping bag each year and less than 1% of these bags are recycled. To make these bags it uses around 12 million barrels of oil. It is important to reuse the plastic bags as many times as you can. It turns out that in places such as San Francisco plastic bags are not even an option as the government voted to ban the use of plastic shopping bags at supermarkets and pharmacies. Most people that would use a plastic bag at a pharmacy would use a plastic bag just to carry a few pills.

When you feel you need a bag or you just get tired of walking out of the store with your hands full there is a solution before using a plastic bag. You can get yourself a reusable bag of nylon, cotton, and other materials (one nylon grocery bag requires the same amount of energy as producing 50 plastic bags). Most places will not care if you arrive with your own bag. Also put the recycle logo on your bag and be a marketer for what you are doing.

Congrats to Jheudy not only for being a good naturalist guide and an excellent father but helping set an example on a simplier and greener way to live your life.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ideas for Traveling Green

When thinking of your family vacation to Costa Rica or a student travel trip to Costa Rica think of all the things that can be done so not only you can enjoy the trip but the beautiful natural beauties around you can enjoy also. First of all try and use the same towel and linens during your stay at a hotel. The average hotel room consumes more than two hundred gallons of water per day. Using the same water and towel can save up to 40% of the usage of water in the hotel.

It seems that on some vacations that you can't leave anything behind. Well if you are coming to Costa Rica it is a casual dress from start to finish and its never really cold so PACK LIGHT! Every additional ten pounds per traveler requires 350 million gallons a jet fuel per year. This is enough to keep in flight a 747 for ten years.

The idea that a disposable camera can be recycled is garbage. More than half the camera ends up as trash. Since we have the digital camera now and you can get them for almost around $100 bucks make the investment. There are over 686 million rolls of film still developed every year which have hazardous chemicals to them.

The luggage tag on your suitcase although seems like a very small piece paper is still a waste. If every American before their flight used the original luggage tag from the bag instead of taking the tag the airlines have on their counters we would save 60 million sheets of paper each year. Also when making the purchase of your airline ticket you dont have to print it out. They call them e-tickets for a reason and again if every American did not print out their e-tickets there would be a lot of paper saved.

Bring your own!!! What I mean by this is dont forget your toothpaste, shampoo, bodywash, ect. The hotels offer the little bottle samples but you dont need them unless you really forgot yours. A 300 room hotel in Las Vegas uses over 150,000 plastic bottles a year.

When you leave your home let it take a rest. Dont forget to unplug your appliances, stop newspaper and mail. This is energy that does not have to be used if nobody is home.

Bottled water. The water in Costa Rica is some of the cleanest water you will find on the planet. Check with your guide and dont be afraid to fill up a bottle water and not have 100 empty plastic bottles laying around the car.

I know if you do some of these small things it can make a big difference. You will surely still enjoy your trip and the natural surroundings that are putting on the spectacular show will thank you for it and your kids and their kids will have a chance to enjoy the same trip. Buen Viaje!!!!!!!!!!

information taken from "the green book"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why Student Travel in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country that first of all is close to the US. It is a two and a half hour flight from Miami which is closer to Miami than most parts of the US. Student travel in Costa Rica has grown over the last few years for and it is not only because of the natural beauties of volcanos, waterfalls, and beaches. Costa Rica student travel is supported very much by the locals of Costa Rica. It gives the rural Costa Rica a chance to take part in tourist activities. This works as an incredible income for the local families and allows for different parts of the tourist industry to get a cut of the pie and not just large hotels and larger tour operators. The people of Costa Rica are educated and extremely hospitable to tourist groups. With a little training almost any rural town in Costa Rica can become an incredible experience for any student group. The activities that the locals can offer can range from staying in homes in rural villages, cooking classes, dance classes, taking a few Spanish classes, or just an all out soccer game of locals vs tourist. There is one particular town that our company works with that is called Sitio de Mata and it is amazing how far they have come in making the rural experience truly an unforgettable event. Everytime a group shows up it seems that they have improved in some way. The attention to detail and service is at a 5-Star level in a rural setting which makes it truley a real Costa Rican experience. With a student travel trip to Costa Rica make sure you involve a local experience wether it be a few nights in a home or just stopping by for lunch and a coffee its surely worth hanging with the locals a bit.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Tico's Monkey

Squirrel Monkey looking at meImage by Daniel Greene via Flickr Quick Facts:

- Squirrel Monkeys live in the Tropical Forest in the Canopy

- Brain to Body mass is 1:17 which is the largest of all primates
humans have a ration of 1:35.

- They live in groups of up to 500.

If I had to pick a monkey that best represents to people of Costa Rica I would have to go with the Squirrel Monkey. First of all they happen to be the smallest monkey in Costa Rica. Most Ticos happen to be not extremely large although with the arrival of Wendy's and other fast food chains this could change. When on a family vacation or traveling with your students I suggest taking the extra effort to try and see these monkeys. One sure bet is that they will make their way to the park of Manuel Antonio at 4pm everyday jumping ridiculous lengths and free falling to and grabbing onto branches the size of an eyelash. Another reason why I like to call this the Tico's monkey is that it is the most passive monkeys. I feel this is quite fitting for a country that doesnt have an army and for a country that has a reputation of the people being very peaceful and kind. Probably the most interesting fact about this monkey is that is that it is endangered. There are an estimated 1500 monkeys left in Costa Rica and this is the only area where these monkeys can be found making it endemic to Costa Rica. So if you have the chance to pass by Manuel Antonio make sure you pass by and visit a species that might not be along too much longer. We can hope that it is and their are associations doing much to help and if you want more information you can visit
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

The New Highway from San Jose to the Pacific

With over 34 years of waiting it seems that the famous Caldera highway is now open. If we do the math the highway stretches 77km and if it took 34 years that would make the average of almost every 2 km took a year. They followed all the proper standards for road construction with 1 guy working and 4 guys watching. It took 34 years for the first week to have people still complaining when it was open. The main complaints I have heard so far is that the extra emergency lane for ambulance and fire rescue is only usable if you plan on rescueing somebody in a vehicle no bigger than a Harely. Another complaint was that the steep cliffs that have been cut through the mountains had softball size rocks fall into the road becuase of heavy winds. This could make it very interesting for the rainy season and lets hope it does not turn into a nightmare of landslides like Cerro de La Muerte highway. All in all the highway is still much much nicer than the other option of getting to the coast. The highway measures 77km and literally cuts your time in half of driving to the Pacific Coast. The cost with all the tolls comes to a total of $3.47 which most people are happy to pay to get to the beach before sunset after a long day of work. There are still some people that are not that happy to pay. The local communities where this highway blasted through has some of the locals not too happy. They are asking for stop lights which might not happen but they are also upset that they have to pay the tolls of which a lot of them might have to travel to San Jose daily for work and spend 20% of their daily salary on tolls. With all of this said the highway will open up amazing opportunities for this country and it seems that mostly everyone thinks it was worth the 34 year wait.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Costa Rica ranked number 3 on the Planet

Institute of Geosciences of the Universidade F...Image via Wikipedia Just this last week the news came out that Costa Rica was ranked number three on the planet for protecting their land and environment awareness. The ranking was based on Environmental Performance Index (EPI). This is the third report of this biannual study that measures how a country is addressing pollution control and natural resource management challenges. The EPI is split up into 10 different categories of which each country is studied on which are: environmental health, air
quality, water resource management, biodiversity and habitat, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and climate change. This was a study done by Yale University including over 160 countries. The two countries that were ahead of Costa Rica were Switzerland and Iceland. This is a great accomplishment for Costa Rica ranking third compared to the US ranking 61. The US was ranked very well for safe drinking water and forest preservation but really fell with emissions of gases. Costa Rica can be very proud of being so close to the top in a decade in when the country has gone through so much development. The new and up coming countries of China and India are ranked 121 and 123. This study was concluded at the end of 2009 and does not reflect any action that has gone into affect for 2010. Much of the study is based on the amount of money a country is willing to invest in the the environmental concerns of the nation. Not to say that money will fix everything but when money is managed correctly and invested into the environment of a nation it seems that their scores became higher. Chile invest a lot of money into their environment and was ranked a solid 16th while Argentina does close to nothing for the environment and was ranked 70th. One interesting fact in the Press Release of this study is that the countries known to have less corruption in the govt were also seen to have better scores on the EPI. So I leave you with saying dont be afraid to invest a little in your environment it makes for a great gift to anyone.
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