A toddler, clad in only an orange cloth diaper, peers out over the sunny valley of Atenas, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a land of limitless photo ops.  Squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, there are miles of beaches bordering a flourishing land of intense ecological diversity.  There are volcanoes, mountains, waterfalls, and rivers to explore along with dazzling wildlife to admire.  These are twelve photos of our experience in 2013–the year we fell in love with mesmerizing Costa Rica.

January (above) marks our introduction to this vibrant land.  My two year old son takes in the view, reveling in the warm weather (we had just flown in from dreadfully cold Washington, DC).

Coffee beans drying in Costa Rica

February is a booming time for the coffee farmers of Costa Rica.  Harvested and de-cherried, these beans dry out in the sun for about six weeks, coming one step closer to my morning mug.

 

A windy lake nearly sinks a fishing boat.

March’s northeasterly trade winds whip over the mountains and can possibly capsize small fishermen’s boats.  This one was salvaged when my hero of a husband leapt to her aid and belted out commands to his crew of fellow do-gooders.

 

Beach cove in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica.

April is the last month of the dry season or “summer” in Costa Rica.  It is a good time to spend long days at the beach before the rains roll in.

 

Horse in a parked trailer, standing beneath the Central Valley, Costa Rican sunset.

May’s early afternoon showers clear up in time for a stunning sunset-stroll through the mountains of the charming Central Valley.

 

Los Chorros Waterall in Grecia Costa Rica, framed with lush green trees and a rocky stream.

June still has its sights to see, like this magnificent waterfall named Los Chorros.  An expansive canopy of jungle leaves protects the explorers below.  We even managed a dip in the rushing river, with just a sprinkle from the busy heavens above.

 

Little boy swinging in a colorful botanical garden in Sarchi, Costa Rica

July boasts some well-watered and strapping young blossoms.  Botanical gardens are lush and blooming–it is a great time to catch the natural colors of the country.

 

Surf lesson on Montezuma beach in Costa Rica.

August is a fine time to learn to surf.  The sky is bright in the mornings, and the coastal temperatures are less stifling in the rainy season.  When is it not a good time to learn to surf, though?

 

Boy looking out a a valley in Costa Rica

September sports some of the greenest views imaginable–Ireland, eat your heart out.

 

Cloudy evening in Grecia, Costa Rica.

October is the rainiest month of the year, which means big, misty clouds and the occasional double (or triple) rainbow!

 

Capuchin or White Faced monkey in a leafy green tree of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

November– a month when you could get a few uninvited guests to Thanksgiving dinner.

 

Red truck bed filled with freshly plucked coffee beans in Costa Rica.

December is nestled in the thick of the coffee harvest.  Well-loved 1970′s Land Cruisers, hefting their daily coffee bean loads, can be spotted chugging along the winding mountain roads.

A photo for each month–a dozen times Costa Rica has made me smile.  A year might suffice for some to uncover the secrets of this tropical oasis, but perhaps a lifetime for others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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