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Vitality, May 2003 - Vitality Magazine Cape Cod

Vitality, May 2003 - Vitality Magazine Cape Cod

Vitality, May 2003 - Vitality Magazine Cape

Costa Rica is a place every American should visit. Not only is this country-- which is slightly smaller than New Hampshire-- a model of democracy, but it also shows what a country can do when it decides not to sustain a militaryindustrial complex. Costa Rica, with a population of 3.8 million, has no full-time military. It was abolished in 1948. The money that would have been spent on a fulltime military, goes into education (resulting in a 96% literacy rate), medicine (free medical care for all), and public works (the drinking water is delicious and healthy throughout the country, and is retested every two months). The result is a country that has the highest standard of living, education and health care in Central America. Add to this, Costa Rica is magnificent. Fully 25% of the country is national park. It has mountains, beaches, 900 varieties of birds, lush rain forests and cloud forests, and a people that are as peaceloving, friendly and helpful, as they are handsome. The climate in Costa Rica is remarkable. Those that populate the central plateau of Costa Rica literally live in perpetual spring; the climate is as perfect as you can find on planet earth. The average low is in the high 60’s and the average high is in the high 70’s. There’s a “rainy Page 2, Vitality, May 2003 The beautiful Orisi Vallehy is one of the largest coffee-producing areas in Costa Rica. season” from May to November, but rains only last a couple of hours a day, at the most. To say that there’s a corresponding “dry season” is a The pool area at the Marriott Costa Rica misnomer, as during the rest of the year spiradic rains that keep the countryside lush. If you’d like more summery weather, you can venture from the central plateau to either coast, where it is hot and humid year around. It’s truly remarkable how the weather changes as you drive out of the mountains. It also changes by degrees as you go; they call these “micro-climates.” Medical tourism is a big deal these days in Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s inexpensive medical care is among the best anywhere in the world, and the cost is half or less. (Business in cosmetic surgery alone is booming.) If you’re caught without health insurance in the States, you’ll find health full-coverage care insurance a BARGAIN in Costa Rica (under $100 monthly). The Social Security public health care system is even more affordable and covers 100% of everything including pre-existing conditions. Both programs are open to foreigners. Resorts: The most comfortable way to see Costa Rica for Americans who are traveling on their own is to stay a few days at two or three resorts, and The hot and cold waerfall at the Tabacon Resort optionally, to take short day trips to neighboring attractions from each one. “Attractions” in Costa Rica are all celebrations of the country’s natural beauty. Hiking trails abound through rain or cloud forests. Many discover bird watching for the first time in their lives here (over 900 species and many with spectacular beauty). Very popular as well are canopy rides. The canopy is the covering that trees lend to the rain and cloud forests. These canopy rides along the treetops lend a spectacular view of the profusion of flora and fauna in the forests. Each tree, for example is home for at least 300 species of plants that grow on their trunks and branches. Other attractions include volcano viewing and swimming in streams, lakes and hot springs. For those planning to go off the beaten path during the rainy season, a 4wheel drive vehicle is recommended. Marriott Costa Rica hotel: Located just a few minutes

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