The Experience of Living Abroad, in Just 1 Day

So you’re not a student anymore and you don’t have a semester to spend living abroad. Who really has the ability to do that anymore anyway? It’s challenging, even if you are a student, let alone an adult with family, career and other responsibilities. But let’s face it, living abroad for study or other reason has rewards and lessons that are hard to replicate by any other means. If you’re one of the many who wants to experience those things, but you’re short on time (and/or cash for that matter), don’t worry! You can still experience local living in Costa Rica, even if you have as little as one day.


Finca Integral Didactica

What you’re probably looking for are those experiences that make you feel like you’re in a different  place. You want to see what a typical home is like (one of my personal curiosities when I travel), taste real local food, and meet people from a different culture. Vacationing may not always feel like it allows for such experiences, with all the obligatory water sports and whatnot, but you can certainly change that. A ‘tour’ doesn’t have to be just transportation to the topmost attraction that showed up on your TripAdvisor search of things-to-do (don’t get me wrong, I use this method too ;)). With a little extra research, you can find the ones that offer a bit more perspective on aspects of regional and local culture, and allow you to engage in activities that make you feel like you’re a part of someone’s home or family for a day. Usually, the investment in a professionally guided tour will do just that. You’ll get someone who knows the area, knows the people in it, and has greater insight on the unique characteristics that may make it different from where you’re from, thus highlighting things that you’d likely find out from living there versus just taking a vacation there.

We’re trying to create that kind of opportunity for visitors here in Montezuma, perhaps like yourself, who want the experiences one would gain living abroad for a period of time. Offering a peek into local living is a way for visitors to better connect with the country and region they are visiting, even if they have very little time, or simply want to enhance their tropical vacation with something a little more educational and enriching. We keep adding more components to our Let’s Get Local tour too, such as a visit to Finca Integral Didáctica (a local organic farm) because the truth is we keep finding more interesting things in the area we never knew were there, and we live here! So we hope it will provide a few things you may not have gotten to see otherwise. It may not be a semester or summer abroad, but we’d like to think it can still be rewarding and offer valuable exchanges between visitors and residents, just like living here would be.

Should we go aaaaall the way to Montezuma?!

All_the_way_to_montezumaVisiting Costa Rica is exciting and different from neighboring countries for many reasons, including the sense of remoteness one gets as soon as they get just a few minutes outside busy San Jose. Almost any visitor can attest to the lush green countryside that still prevails over the asphalted urbanization perhaps more pronounced in other countries in the region. But if you’re aiming to really get away, away from the Taco Bells, KFCs and strip malls that seem to follow you wherever your vacation takes you, then I’d suggest going a little farther to the small town of Montezuma in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula.

Since Montezuma is relatively young in terms of modern developments such as electricity  (brought to the area only 20 years ago!), and paved roads (i.e. they are few and far between), it also provides a sense of genuine escape from those monotonous norms of fast food chains and GAP stores back home. You won’t find a McDonald’s lurking on any street corner here (ok… there’s only one real corner, but still). The fact that big chain restaurants haven’t yet taken over this tiny town attests to the genuine ‘Costa Rica’ feeling you’ll get when you’re here. Although ‘town’ can be quite busy with tourists during the high season (Dec through March), you’ll still find tranquility, wildlife for neighbors, and that tropical escape you were seeking, especially if you find accommodIMG_0033_2ations just a couple minutes up the main hill or in either direction away from town.

While scarcity of paved roads in the area and some other developmental needs are certainly not without some contention among residents, it’s hard to deny that they are characteristics that make going all the way to Montezuma a must on your Costa Rica vacation. If you don’t, I just don’t think you’ll be able to go back home with a good story about the crazy bumpy ride you took that was seemingly forever in what felt like the middle of nowhere to get to a beautiful beach, waterfall or wildlife reserve. Moreover, you will have missed one of the few areas in Costa Rica or anywhere else that really does feel ‘away from it all’. 🙂

For an even greater Costa Rica experience, consider our “Let’s Get Local” tour to meet some amazing and friendly locals and let them share their take on the best aspects of the area.