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find 72 individual hot springs throughout Costa Rica, with the largest concentration found in North Guanacaste, Central Valley, the Caribbean and Pérez Zeledón in the South. It’s been reported that the ancient healing powers of a soak in mineral-rich waters helps improve circulation, boosts the immune system and detoxifies. If you are looking to center your mind, Costa Rica is the perfect pick. Travelers in search of peace and tranquility can indulge and be pampered by the country’s natural beauty, nature preserves and spas. Visitors can find holistic wellness in yoga retreats set in rustic open-air

studios surrounded by organic community gardens. Guided meditations to the sound of waterfalls help participants practice mindfulness. Those interested in a relaxing massage can find the native Costa Rican’s, or Tico’s, gift of happiness at any one of the numerous luxury resorts and boutique hotels throughout the country. Visitors looking to replace stress with adrenaline will find their rush throughout Costa Rica’s volcanoes, rain forests, cloud forests, beaches and rivers primed for white-water rafting adventure, fish-

ing, surfing and diving. There is also a vast array of thrilling experiences such as taking sky tram tours and hiking along hanging bridges, biking around archeological sites and zip lining at speeds of up to 55 mph on some of the highest zip-lines in the hemisphere. Hailed as an adventure travelers’ haven, Costa Rica is the ideal playground for millions of thrill-seekers who visit the country annually. On the Caribbean coast, travelers will find stunning beaches and picturesque parks, complimented by Costa Rica’s inviting culture. The region features a unique blend of natural wonders and Afro-Caribbean traditions. A wide range of activities allow travelers to mix adventure with natural history, present-day culture, gastronomy and music. In Sarapiquí, for example, organic

pineapple farm tours provide visitors with an entertaining firsthand look at the growing process and production history. While down the Sarapiquí River, adventure lovers can take exciting whitewater rafting trips. If looking to nourish the soul, Costa Rican cuisine hits the spot. As firm believers of the farm-to-table movement, Costa Ricans are experts at creating delicious meals from fresh, local ingredients grown through sustainable farming methods. The National Plan for Healthy and Sustainable Gastronomy, Costa Rica’s latest effort to promote its competitiveness as a culinary destination, encourages the revival of highly nutritious and tasty traditional dishes such as gallo pinto. Nonetheless, Costa Rica’s culinary scene offers more than its staple rice and

bean dish. Tropical fruits and an abundance of fresh meat and seafood—from local pastures and the country’s two coasts—provide a delicious variety of culinary offerings to feed the soul. Great inexpensive meals, as well as more upscale dining experiences, are easily found throughout the country. Visitors will be charmed by a new generation of chefs providing a modern take on classic dishes. Pura Vida is a Costa Rican colloquial phrase that translates to “pure life,” but means so much more. It’s a lifestyle in which you choose to live to the fullest, while nurturing the mind, body and soul. The phrase can be heard echoed throughout Costa Rica as a greeting or expression of happiness, and it accurately describes the tranquility, wonder and adventure that await visitors. While there are many ways to enjoy Pura Vida, there is only one place where you can start: Costa Rica. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 59

Profile for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association

Travel & Cruise 1st Quarter 2019