Costa Rica is a beautiful country lying on the isthmus that connects two American continents. With the area less than 20,000 square miles, it gathers the symbolic sceneries of all terrains--island, volcano, jungle, and even highland. It is the most developed countries in Central America, with a GDP per capita of the world average.
One of the most satisfying moments of this trip was to view the New Year's celebration fireworks above, from the plane window. Our plane arrived at San Jose Juan Intl Airport at 00:05, Jan 1st, 2016. From there, we started the self-driving journey around the country. Our route started from San Jose, with stops in Poás, Monteverde, Arenal, Limón, and ended in San Jose. Our inbound flight transferred at Panama City, which left us a quick glimpse of Panama.
Costa Rican people has a natural love for mother Nature. The tours were solid and informative, and there was no promotion of travel products. We had some beer and played a few pool games with the warm and friendly local people. The only thing worth complaining is their traffic system. The road system is in the "fourth world". The roads are as narrow as the bridges, which only allow one vehicle passing from one side at a time. However, I believe this is what makes this country different: there is no endless exploitation of this land. Costa Rica is surely capable of building wider roads and bridges, but it leaves the infrastructure as it is to relieve the pressure on the eco-system. Furthermore, the arterial highway condition is much better than that in Houston, paved with super flat and clean asphalt. Under that careful protection, there is no surprise that a family of raccoons can joyfully wander alongside the road.