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The People Posts - Page 2 in Javi the Frog's Travel Blog

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In a splendid tradition, Costa Rica celebrates bull fighting as "Toros a la Tica". To be honest, I'm scared of bulls. I can match up against bull frogs, but the giant beasts with horns could crush me like a bug - or an amphibian! However, humans find great fascination in everything in and around the arena. Lucky for them, Costa Rica packs a awe-inspiring bullfighting - a tradition that few visitors realize this country has...[More]
In my lovely home town of Manzanillo, many humans and frogs flock to experience a unique facet of Tico culture. Here, medicinal plant tours unveil age-old secrets of herbal medicine. After fleeing from predators or if I'm in need of a stress-reliever, I come to soak in the natural beauty of Manzanillo beaches, catch up with old friends and explore the grassroots approach of plant healing. Local herbalists share ancient wisdom that will teach you how they've treated Ticos for centuries. There are several different programs and classes offered through Centro Ashe Costa Rica Grassroots Plant Healers Tour...[More]
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" said Mahatma Ghandi. Even the iconic Indian leader believed that volunteering is among the most rewarding things you can do! And what better place to do it than the tropical climate of Costa Rica? There are a variety of different ways to get involved, such as building schools in rural areas, teaching English in communities and helping save marine turtles, jaguars and tapirs.Let's get started! I'm doing my part by eating bugs that humans find gross...[More]
I'm a bit of a history nut, so whenever I have a chance to hop over to see some of my home country's oldest buildings, I grab it! While we don't have anything as famous as Machu Picchu, I believe Costa Rica's ruins are still among the most beautiful in the country. Humans have been living in Costa Rica for 10,000 years (and frogs probably longer), so there's so many years of architecture and structures to explore! There are far too many for me to talk about in one day, so I've tried to narrow down my favorites into a (somewhat) brief list:...[More]
Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places in the world, so why wouldn't you want to tie the knot here?! Whether you are having a small, private wedding, or large and luxurious gathering with friends and family, Costa Rica is the place to be. From white-sand beaches and lush forests to towering volcanoes and mountain ranges, you'll have virtually every backdrop to pick from here...[More]
San Jose is the capital and largest city in Costa Rica, so it should come as no surprise that this metro area features plenty of things to do. In fact, San Jose is one of my favorite places to go shopping in the entire country! Not only does the city have Costa Rica artifacts and goods, there are several places to buy imported items from other Central American countries like Panama, Ecuador and Guatemala. Whether you're in the market for handcrafted items, clothes, jewelry or Costa Rica's famous coffee, you'll find that you can shop 'til you drop without a problem in San Jose...[More]
You may think that Costa Rica is only for thrill-seekers and sun bathers, but it offers plenty of options to people of all ages! Throughout my travels across this great land, I've run into diverse crowds of people, and people in post-retirement - in my froggy opinion - are among the happiest. After your children have left the nest and your career has ended, what better way is there to celebrate than an adventure in the rainforest? Here are some of the most ideal things to do on your post-retirement trip to Costa Rica come and hop along with me!...[More]
Living in the rainforest of Costa Rica, I may not have immediate access to music like you imagine, but I get to hear some of the most beautiful natural harmonies in the world. From the birds chirping tunes to monkeys howling in unison, nature is one of the greatest places to find entertainment. Costa Rica has a long tradition of folklore music that is unparalleled, and modern music is similarly as unique. You'll find people dancing the night away to salsa, meringue or cumbia rhythms in discos every weekend. Sometimes you just can't help yourself but join in on the fun! As one of the most vibrant parts of Costa Rica culture, I'd like to share with you the history and background of all the sounds you hear looming across the country...[More]
Do you love chocolate? Of course you do what kind of question is that?! In Costa Rica, we have some of the most wonderful chocolate that is made by the country's indigenous Bribri tribe. You just have to try it! You can actually spend the entire day learning how food is grown by the Bribri, go on a hike through a cacao plantation and see a demonstration of the cacao paste process using tools that date back to pre-Columbian times. It's a sight to see can you already smell the chocolate in the air? Yum!...[More]
As the capital of the province of Guanacaste, Liberia boasts an interesting history and was home to many important events. While Liberia is a large part of Costa Rican culture today, the city wasn't technically a part of Costa Rica many years ago - it was a part of Nicaragua until 1812. When you're traveling around Liberia, you may hear locals refer to it as "la ciudad blanca" or the white city, due to Liberia's plethora of whitewashed colonial houses and the city roads that were once covered in white gravel. I wish I had some frog-sized sunglasses at times! While Liberia has become more modern, it's still considered a colonial town...[More]
Easter week in Costa Rica is one of the most important times for native Ticos, and nearly the entire country shuts down for a week! You know me, I love being in the rainforest, but during Easter Week, or Semana Santa, I always make my way to Cartago. The city has the biggest celebration in the country. It's a unique time in Costa Rica because deep-rooted traditions are alive and well. Until a few years ago, there was no vehicle traffic allowed on the streets, and although that isn't a strict law anymore, public transportation doesn't run and most people take this vacation to relax. If you're visiting Costa Rica during Semana Santa, the beaches will be jam-packed with Ticos. An estimated 1.5 million Costa Ricans visit the coast! I was lucky enough to spend Semana Santa last year with a family, so I've got the inside scoop on all the great traditions, foods and celebrations of this week-long holiday...[More]
I know, I know - a frog that loves soccer? You might think I'm crazy, but I do love a good match, and the upcoming game between the U.S. and Costa Rica is sure to be a heated one. The United States soccer team will host its first home game in the final round of World Cup qualifying matches on March 22 against Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. Maybe I can hop a ride on a soccer ball in someone's luggage? This will be the second World Cup qualifier held at the Colorado Rapids stadium, the last of which was a United States win against Guatemala in 2008...[More]
Costa Ricans are renowned as some of the friendliest people in the world. If you're planning to visit Costa Rica, it helps to know a little about how Ticos behave, interact with one another and what you can expect from the people you meet during your travels. Come with me to learn more about cultural and social etiquette in Costa Rica...[More]
You may not know this about tree frogs, but we're very smart! I love learning about history, and since I live in Costa Rica there is plenty to explore. One of my favorite places to learn about the past is Heredia. Both a province and a city, Heredia it steeped in rich culture. The city itself dates back to 1705. Nicknamed the “City of Flowers,” Heredia is home to a wonderful array of flora and fauna, and there are several vibrant gardens throughout town. But the real beauty here lies in the historical monuments and unmatched colonial architecture...[More]
Costa Rica is one of the world's leading destinations for eco-tourism and sustainability, which is why I love it so much! A lot of native Ticos use their hands to keep traditional arts alive, and let me tell you, the pottery they create is impressive. You may think that I just travel through the national parks and wildlife reserves in Costa Rica, but I'm a sucker for art as well. At the end of your visit, there's no true way to capture the friendly, vibrant and laid-back lifestyle and bring it home with you (unfortunately), but purchasing handmade souvenirs created by the locals may be the best solution...[More]
The National Museum of Costa Rica is one of my favorite tourist attractions in San Jose. Even the building itself has a fascinating history, as it used to be military barracks! The museum is home to a variety of permanent and temporary collections, and one of the most interesting is the "Human Remains" exhibition...[More]
When you're planning what to do in Costa Rica, Cartago should be on your list! As the first capital of Costa Rica, Cartago is one of the oldest communities in the country, and as you can imagine, there are some great sites to see. You may not realize it, but I am actually a huge history buff. It may be from my travels throughout Costa Rica, or all the stories that I've heard in the rainforest, but I love visiting historic areas. The ruins in Cartago, which date back to the 16th century, give you a glimpse into the rich history of Costa Rica. In 1723, an eruption of the Irazu Volcano nearly destroyed the entire town, but luckily there are still some ruins that stand today. Since the volcano sits a mere 24 miles away, there have been several eruptions that have damaged some of the ruins...[More]
After landing at the San Jose Costa Rica airport, you may want to quickly take a dip in the crystal clear waters. Playa Jaco is the closest beach to San Jose, so you can imagine it is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica. Stretching 2.5 miles, the beach allows visitors to experience one-of-a-kind swimming, boating and of course surfing in Jaco. Most people come here for the sandy retreat, but the town of Jaco is something that's surely worth the experience. Even I enjoy hanging out here once in a while, and I'm not even a beach-loving amphibian!. Considered a party town, Jaco has outstanding nightlife and long stretches of beach side restaurants. Whether you're on a family adventure or you're looking for a Latin-fused experience - Jaco's late night scene has a little something to offer everyone...[More]
Nested along the crystal waters of the Caribbean, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in Limon is notably a large tourist destination in Costa Rica. It's not surprising either. The laid-back, tropical lifestyle and diverse residents of this area make any trip one to remember. Even as a frog, I enjoy watching humans frolic along the shorelines - everyone just seems to let their worries fly away here! A lot of people seem to enjoy lying on the beach all afternoon, but when I visit I'm usually up in the trees or near small ponds where I see humans enjoying the plethora of flora and fauna of the area. Just like most areas in Costa Rica, there is almost too much to do, with local activities including horseback riding, jungle adventures, canyoning or zip lining, but most people come here just to kick back and let loose...[More]
Ticos love to play sports, and there's no more popular game in Costa Rica than soccer - although the locals call it football! Nothing rivals Ticos' passion for soccer, and the fans here are some of the most devoted in the world. When I'm hopping around the country, I never have to go far before I see people enjoying a spirited game. I wish I could play, but I'm a little on the small side. Come with me to learn more about two of Costa Rica's most popular teams - Liga and Saprissa...[More]