Costa Rica

This is a small country, situated on the southern-most tip of North/Central America. It is surprisingly very modern -- I think this must be a relatively rich country in the region, it was quite pleasant visiting Costa Rica and many of its cities.
Costa Rica is very famous for its natural beauty -- "eco-tourism" is big nowadays, and Costa Rica has abundant ecological treasures to attract a large crowd of tourists. The tourist season is in full swing when it is winter to summer in the USA, so naturally, I only like to visit in fall or early winter, when I can have the run of the whole place without any other tourists crowding the place -) ! Yeah, it rains everyday in the off-season, but I like to watch the rain, and it still allows me my pastime -- watching people go by on the streets, since even it rains, the people of San Jose don't miss a single beat in their daily routine!

Costa Rica has the volcanoes (some active!), the cloud forests, the lush beaches on the Pacific Ocean side (in Jaco, the beach is surrounded by a ring of mountains!), and many other fascinating sites.

What endears Costa Rica to me is the friendliness of the people -- just as in Montreal! I tend to be a quiet tourist don't interact with people much, but of course, some interaction is unavoidable even for me, and when someone is friendly to a stranger like me, it immediately warms the heart and one feels at home and things look quite pleasant and interesting everywhere.

The one thing that totally surprised me about Costa Rica is its total lack of interesting cuisine! Such a well placed country, bounded by both the Atlantic and the Pacific, I was expecting to be able to feast on culinary delights, sample varied seafood, but there was... nada! Other than rice and beans, there is nothing of interest here, which seems such a tragedy, given what other Latin American countries have achieved in the world of cuisine!