Tropical Fruit for a Healthful Costa Rica Spring Break

While some travelers will spend their spring break filling themselves with toxins, the sweet, delicious and nutritious tropical fruits of Costa Rica offer a great alternative for a healthful break to rejuvenate your mind and body.

Tropical_Fruits_Costa_Rica_JCsJourneysEverywhere you look in Costa Rica this time of year, bountiful fruits decorate the trees and landscape. Consisting of colors and shapes you may never have seen before, seeing the abundance of fruit grown in the humid tropics of this country are reason enough to visit. Sampling them in local cuisine to get a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients is a far greater reason still to spend your break here.

Health Benefits of Tropical Fruit

Considered one of the properties that makes the Nicoya Peninsula one of the blue zones of the world, the fruit consumed here are highly nutritious. Many are still used for health and medicinal benefits by locals. Mangoes for example can be seen all around the country (Pictured: Right) and have been found to contain properties that protect against certain cancers, as well as provide high levels of vitamin C.*

Guanabana_TropicalFruit_JCsJourneysAnother fruit found growing in the area is the Guanabana or Soursop fruit (Pictured: Left). With a textured exterior that resembles a strangely shaped giant pickle, the tangy pulpy interior provides high doses of vitamins C and B, known to be useful to boost immunity and energy. Although yet to be proven, the leaves of this fruit are also believed to have cancer-fighting properties.*

For a more thorough list of all the varieties of fruit that can be found in Costa Rica see this blog.

Ways to Enjoy Tropical Fruit of Costa Rica

There are lots of ways to enjoy these fruits, whether it’s a fried plantain to accompany your pinto (black beans and rice) or a ‘batido’ (fruit smoothie) to cool you off in the hot humid weather. Like in other places, tropical fruits from mangoes to guavas and pineapple can also be used in marmalade to enhance your morning toast as well as salsas and salads for a light lunch.

Straight from the tree or in a dish, there’s no shortage of ways to have your daily fruit serving here, so get started! You can also sample fresh fruit on our Let’s Get Local tour on a visit to organic farm Finca Integral Didactica.

*For tips on how to pack light for your upcoming break, see this blog post: Packing Light for Your Costa Rica Nature Trip.

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.