Photo essay: la pura vida

As my plane landed in Liberia, I was greeted with joyous grins and open hospitality (no wonder Costa Rica has no army). And with each adventurous step I took, I realized the true beauty of Costa Rica, for its lush beauty was evident in every corner. Venturing through the humid rainforest of Monteverde, I hear the wild screams of the Capuchin monkey, and with every stride along the river, I witness Ticos (native Costa Ricans) going out for their quotidian fishing expeditions. The next day, I traverse the white-sand beaches of Guanacaste, regarding Costa Rica as it screams Pura Vida (Costa Rica’s equivalent of Hakuna Matata). On my final adventure, zip-lining through the lofty canopies, I truly grasp how Costa Rica is saturated with more than 10,000 species of plants and 230 kinds of mammals. When I enter this natural paradise, I have a natural inclination to guard this fragile ecosystem and its “rich coast” — as Christopher Columbus named the country in 1502.