A note from TWS: It is important that our Wandering Scholars prepare for their journeys by researching their host country before they leave home. The below post is the product of an assignment in which we ask our Scholars to read and share something interesting they’ve learned about Costa Rica’s history, culture, or politics. 

Costa Rica at first glance is seemingly a tropical experience full of wildlife, exquisite culture, and amazing adventure. However there are also misconceptions, many of which I’ve learned aren’t close to reality.

These include believing that the drinking water is unsafe, lacking familiarity with the region’s currency, and thinking that it’s possible to travel there without proper Identification.

First off, you can drink Costa Rican water. Costa Rica is an established democratic society and has put much effort in to water purification systems and techniques. Much like any coastal area, it is important to simply be weary if water consumed is from the ocean or rivers, which present a higher risk of harmful bacteria. Secondly,  U.S currency is used everwhere! And sometimes even preferred, and since the cost of living is even equal, it seems we shouldn’t expect a huge price deal on everything we buy. Finally, even though Costa Rica is not an island, that doesn’t mean we can simply drive their or go without a passport!!! Its an international territory and requires proper identification! 

The lesson is: I’m glad I won’t let these misconceptions get in the way of my experience.