When you arrive in Central America there is a feeling that comes as soon as you step off the plane. You are always greeted with a whoosh of humidity and loud chatter in Spanish. To some people, this may be overwhelming, but to me it feels like I am coming home. I have been lucky enough to visit Central America five times, spending almost two years in total wandering around this amazing corner of the world and I can’t wait to go back and share some unforgettable experiences with my fellow travellers. Between the views, the food, and the culture – what’s not to love?
There are so many things that I am excited to revisit! There’s this amazing little coffee shop in the highlands in Boquete, Panama called Café Ruiz that actually does guided tours of their “Coffee Lab”. I am a coffee fiend and I can’t wait to sit on their little patio and enjoy some café con leche in the morning and enjoy the incredible views of the greener than green mountains!
I remember after a month of travelling in India that I just wanted a pizza or a cheeseburger. After four months of travelling in Asia, I never wanted to see rice or noodles ever again. And yet, somehow I have never grown tired of Central American food and now I miss it when I am at home. A typical meal consists of rice, beans, fried plantains, tortilla, avocado and chicken, beef, fish, or eggs and is called a ‘casado’ in Costa Rica and ‘comida’ in Panama. I can’t wait to dig in to some local food, covered in some amazing local chili sauce.
One of the most memorable things about Central America is the people. There is a famous expression in Costa Rica that I feel really sums up the attitude and culture. “Pura Vida” translates to “Pure Life” and you will hear it everywhere you go. I don’t think that I have ever found a situation where you can’t use this expression.
“Which way to the bank?”
“It’s that way, pura vida”
“My dog died”
“Sorry to hear that, pura vida”
This catchall phrase really sums up the attitude of Central Americans; open, friendly and ridiculously laid back. I truly miss these incredible and spirited folks and am excited to go back and introduce my fellow travelers to the Pura Vida!
Your Host for this Epic Journey: Sasha Ritchie
I am the best person to host this trip because when I travel to Central America, I feel like I am going home. I have spent almost two years travelling extensively through this region, always going off the beaten p ath to explore. I am excited to share the hidden gems of Costa Rica & Panama with fellow adventure travellers.