February 2019

Seven great things about Costa Rica.

Below you can read seven key points about Costa Rica that have been selected by our partner Camino Travel, to offer their unique perspective on magnificent Costa Rica.

1. First class hospitality
Costa Rica is a family friendly country and particularly welcoming to children. On arrival it is easy for any traveller to immediately notice how hospitable the Costa Rican people can be. They make a huge effort to go out of their way to make visitors feel comfortable during their stay.

2. Success story
Abolishing the army and strengthening many civil rights, gave Costa Rica the chance to offer a better lifestyle, relatively high education levels and a solid security system as well.

3. Preserving nature
Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse places on earth and retains 5% of the biodiversity of the planet in one country, which is 0.03% of the land in the world. Protected National Parks in Costa Rica make up 25% of the country. Costa Rica has unique eco-systems and gives visitors the chance to admire a portion of this plentiful natural world.

4. The natural world
Costa Rica is fantastic for nature lovers with over 615 wildlife species per 10,000 sq km. Its geographical location in the tropics forms a bridge between two continental masses. The mountainous system, with several diverse microclimates, offers so many shapes of life. Many visitors seek to observe some popular mammals in their natural environment. You may get the opportunity to stop by the road to help a sloth to get to the other side of the road, or experience a monkey waking you up early in the morning jumping on the tree next to your room. It’s the perfect place for people that are looking for natural beauty and would like a holiday where they can be immersed in the natural world.

5. The importance of sustainability
Everyone is included in sustainability in Costa Rica, from the elementary schools to the highest positions in business and politics. Sustainability is already part of our education and culture. We believe that it is our task to create awareness of how important it is, remembering that sustainability is about our children and our grandchildren, and the conditions of the world they will inherit.

6. “Pura Vida”
The expression “Pura Vida” meaning “Pure Life”, is the main way to express or to show the devotion of a modest nation, it can be used to ask “How are you?” and is equivalent to “very well” too, but for the inhabitants of Costa Rica there is a deeper interpretation, the simplicity of good living. The attachment to simplicity, exuberance, freedom, welfare, affection, and positivity associated with the art of appreciating the simple and natural way of life, the art of living.

7. The illusion of time
Have you ever felt that time flies when you are having fun? How often do you check the clocks time when you are receiving a class that you consider boring? When you visit Costa Rica, you will have an uncountable amount of opportunities to put this into practice, an unforgettable experience that will eventually push you to be alert, to make every second of your life high-quality time.

Popocatépetl Volcano – A symbol of love

The summit of the Popocatépetl volcano can be visited in the state of Puebla, the volcano is over 5400 metres high and rises 70 km south east from Mexico City.

The volcano almost always smokes, which can be observed on various webcams accessible to everyone around the clock. It is also possible to see the volcano glowing red and it can be seen to spit out lava at its tip. For the locals in Mexico City this is everyday life – there is no fear of an eruption or ash rain.

It’s geological history and that of its predecessors began some 430,000 years ago. Its mystical history goes back to the Aztecs when the beautiful daughter of a chief, Iztaccíhuatl, fell in love with Popocatépetl, the leader of another tribe. Iztaccíhuatl died of sorrow and grief when she received the news about the death of her lover during a military campaign. On the day of her funeral, Popocatépetl returned unexpectedly. He carried her in his arms far out of the city up to a mountain. There he had a tomb erected and watched with a burning torch next to her until he too died of grief. Out of her eternal love the two twin volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl were born here. Native Trails offers many individual tours from/to Mexico City on the way to Puebla.

Contact Olaf and the team at Native Trails for more information info@nativetrails.de

“Fortaleza” Special Walk in Panama City

Under the catch phrase “We used to rob tourists before, now we offer them tours”, a group of young former gangsters from the fearsome criminal group known as Ciudad de Dios (City of God) tell tourists their story during a walk around the streets of the historic center which were declared red-light districts years before. These young men participate in a program of Esperanza Social Venture Club, a non-profit private organization that is part of Fundación Calicanto, which has rehabilitated approximately forty criminals who belonged to the criminal groups named ‘Hot Boys’, La Terraza and Ciudad de Dios (The Terrance and City of God) and it has helped them re-join society.

The walk starts at Plaza Herrera, in front of the luxurious American Trade Hotel which worked previously as a base for the criminal group Ciudad de Dios and from where gangsters used to keep an eye on tourists in order to rob them. The hotels structure was known as Grayskull, the imaginary castle of the 80’s TV show He-Man. Next to the internal stairways, walls are decorated with graffiti images that used to cover the interior of the building at that time. During the walk, they will tell you episodes and anecdotes from those violent years while describing important buildings and going over forgotten footways that have not been restructured between Calle 9 (9th Street) and Calle 13 (13th Street). The walk ends in Calle 11 (11th Street), re-baptized under the name of Callejón Fortaleza (Fortaleza Alley), a little dead-end street where the criminal group used to escape from the police, it is nowadays a tourist reference with its local food places. Thus, you will have dinner there, seated on unsophisticated chairs and wooden tables; a menu of fried fish or chicken, slices of fried plantain, French fries and coconut rice served with the famous Fortaleza mojito, prepared by the former members of the criminal group Ciudad de Dios.

The smiles, commitment and kindness of these young men will make you doubt whether they had a dark past, still more, when they state: “This is the real life and not the other one”, a phrase showing their enormous will to change for the better.

DURATION: approximately 4 hours

TIME: 4:30 pm

GUIDE: Bilingual guide

For more information please contact marketing@panamajourneys.com today.

Celestino Boutique Hotel – A new 5* hotel in Meddelin

Celestino Boutique Hotel

Colombian Journeys are delighted to be working with Celestino Hotel Botanico, a brand-new five star boutique hotel with a unique design inspired by botany and with a focus on light and modern furnishings.

Celestino is located in the exclusive El Poblado neighborhood, 45 minutes by car from Jose Maria Cordoba International Airport. The hotel offers 22 rooms, equipped with desk, LCD TV with cable, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, safe and a broad range of amenities. All the rooms have an open bathroom with a wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom area and the shower enclosures are transparent. The hotel has a solarium, elevator, 24-hour front desk, laundry service and luggage storage. People under 18 years old are not allowed in the hotel, making it a quiet and relaxing place to stay. The restaurant is not managed by the hotel and currently does not offer breakfast, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants close by.

For more information on this unique hotel contact marketing@colombianjourneys.com or visit the Colombian Journeys website.