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.

5 OTHER Reasons to Visit Montezuma (& Surroundings)

If you’ve done a little Google research or quick TripAdvisor search, I’m sure you know by now some of the top things to do in Montezuma and obvious reasons to visit. You’ve probably learned that Montezuma is in one of the 7 ‘blue zones’ of the world, has a beautiful waterfall, beachfront horseback riding and yoga galore. And of course Montezuma is an easy distance to the white sand beaches and snorkeling around Tortuga Island. However, aside from these more popular and well-known reasons to make it out to Montezuma, whether as a stopping point or for your full stay in Costa Rica, there are a few other perhaps lesser-known reasons why we think it’s worth the trip.

Every Bike Ride is a Mountain Ride – If you’re a two-wheel enthusiast looking to get out on the open road while on vacation, you’ll find riding in Montezuma plenty adventurous. Renting a bike for a day will not only ease traffic in the small town and please the environment but also give you a lovely view of areas around Montezuma with the thrill of a mountain bike ride. Head south on the road toward Cabuya and in just 1km you’ll find the beautiful hidden beach of Las Manchas (use extreme caution if swimming here, there are some pretty strong riptides and yes even for strong swimmers). Keep going and you’ll make it all the way to Cabuya with lots of little sights along the way and a few restaurants to grab some grub before heading back. Keep in mind you’ll be sharing the road with cars and the road is quite narrow in some spots, so use common bicycle sense: be predictable, use lights if riding at night, and WEAR A HELMET!

DSC_0454Unique Micro-Cultures are Everywhere– In addition to the rich health culture* that you’ll definitely notice upon entering the Montezuma area, there still exist strong traditional and local cultures of Costa Rica. A little more challenging to identify, they are here alive and well. Found more so in the outskirts of Delicias, Cobano and Cabuya, the agricultural traditions of Costa Rica can be found on small farms as well as in fishing villages that line the coast. The many smaller traditional cultures in the area are interwoven with diverse influences such as Italian food, yoga and fire dancing to create a surprisingly diverse area with a culture all of its own.

Tranquility of Nature Day & Night – Tucked away in most hotels away from town or on the hill above it is the best part of a tropical vacation: tranquility and nature. The sounds of nature are what surround you wherever you go: howler monkeys in the trees overhead, songs of exotic birds, and coati scurrying on the ground. And when the busyness of daytime settles, the evening offers an even more stimulating experience of nocturnal wildlife. Listen to the sounds on your own while walking around your hotel or to town (carry a flashlight in the evening, it can get pretty dark quickly), or take Montezuma’s only night tour “Nocturno” to have a guide help you get a closer look at the nocturnal creatures in the area.

A Sunrise Worth Waking Up For – You won’t see the sun set over the horizon here, but you will get to see an equally, if not more, beautiful sunrise. Not much can top a stroll on the beach in the quiet of the morning to see the sky turn golden as the sun rises over the Nicoya Gulf. You’ll have to get up pretty early for this one, but you can always go back to bed for a siesta during the heat of the day.

turtleTurtle ConservationASVO is a local turtle conservation program where, if your timing is right, you’ll be able to witness the hatching and release of baby sea turtles back to the ocean. Although turtle hatching is seasonal, you can stop by any time and there are bound to be volunteers ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. It’s a great way to find out more about conservation efforts and a fun educational opportunity not to be missed.