Sunkissed Smiles, Stunning Coastlines: An Anywhere Costa Rica Mini Film

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Anywhere Costa Rica captures the sights and sounds of coastal culture, reveals upcoming episodes.

The interaction with the copo vendor is a great example of the warm reception that visitors can expect. You don’t need great Spanish—the locals are patient and warm.

This spring, Anywhere Costa Rica, online destination guide and vacation planning experts, began releasing documentary-style episodes chronicling the Costa Rican travel experience.

With HD footage and an artistic bent, the pieces explore important cultural and ecological issues in this Central American country. Filmed and soundtracked by videographer/musician Roderick Peterson of Austin, TX, the videos introduce travelers to the lure of local culture and reveal how Costa Rica is quickly becoming a frontrunner of sustainable tourism.

One video in particular has received special attention since its release in the past two weeks. The short, 2-minute film titled “Sun and Smiles” explores the culture behind the country’s Guanacaste coastline – its surfers, aspiring yogis, and copo (shaved ice) vendors. The ending scene, which shows locals laughing and joking with travelers, has gathered considerable momentum.

Filmed within Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province, the video’s main scenes hail from Tamarindo and Nosara. Far from the all-inclusive, resort-style destinations, these beaches are singular, funky and fun. Surfers paddle into the Pacific, searching for the perfect wave, while beachcombers relax beneath palm trees and sip tropical drinks. Locals push carts with fresh coconuts and cold beverages.

When asked about his experience in Guanacaste, Peterson is quick to point out the friendliness and approachability of the local people. The landscape is undeniably nice, he says, with “skies that are bluer during the day and starrier at night than anywhere else in the world.” But the real gem, according to Peterson, is in the kindness of the local people. “Costa Ricans are perhaps the sweetest people on the planet. They have an infectious smile and are infinitely approachable.” This is a theme reiterated by Anywhere Costa Rica’s travel guru, Gema Cantillano. Cantillano, a native Costa Rican, has been with the company since its inception in 2006. Referring to the video, she said, “The interaction with the copo vendor is a great example of the warm reception that visitors can expect. You don’t need great Spanish—the locals are patient and warm. Just smile and be kind, and you’ll find that whoever you’re talking to – a waiter, a small child, or a fellow surfer – will respond in a friendly, easy-going manner.”

Watching the video, it’s easy to understand why the type of tourism that Anywhere Costa Rica advocates – eco-friendly, culturally engaging travel – is becoming the prefered mode of exploration for many people. Whether its cross-cultural connections or ecological activities, travelers are beginning to learn how accessible and rewarding this type of travel can be.

The upcoming episodes give potential travelers a first look – and some might say, a first smile – at the country they are thinking of visiting. Cantillano summed it up nicely when she said, “We hope these videos will help travelers learn about what it’s like to really visit Costa Rica. That way, you’ll feel comfortable enough to have spontaneous, meaningful connections with the locals. Just go with the flow!”

When asked how long the video series will run, Cantillano replied, “As long as people continue to seek out the experiences we are capturing. We are just getting started.”

Topics for upcoming episodes include: Artisans, Wildlife, Natural Highlights, Activities, Cuisine, Sustainability, and Community Projects.

Costa Rica’s Guanacaste beaches are easy to get to. The region’s largest town, Liberia, has an international airport with direct connections to U.S. cities like Houston, Dallas, New York City (JFK and EWR), and Miami. The Guanacaste coastline, including Tamarindo and Nosara, is a short 1-hour drive away.

The following U.S. destinations have direct flights to Liberia, Costa Rica:

New York (JFK) - 5-hour flight on Jetblue
New York/Newark, NJ (EWR) - 5.5-hour flight on United
Atlanta (ATL) - 4-hour flight on Delta
Miami (MIA) - 3-hour flight on American
Houston (IAH) - 4-hour flight on United

You can watch Anywhere Costa Rica’s beach video here.

Anywhere Costa Rica offers travel planning assistance and free online travel guides for all of Costa Rica, including Guanacaste and its many beaches. The company has online guides for both Tamarindo and Nosara.

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