Depending on your budget and your enthusiasm, Costa Rica can either be known as “Pura Vida,” as the countries tourism marketing team would prefer, or Costa Lotta as we initially found it to be. At first we thought Costa Rica might have been a mistake to take on, as there were problems with the meat in the freezer and costly agents fees, and the national parks seemed very expensive and the marinas unfriendly. No wonder there were almost no other cruisers on this coast. But once we adjusted to the tourist activity and found out how to fall into making the most of our tourist holiday, we enjoyed the pura vida without it having to costa lotta. We travelled the length of the west coast, enjoying the parks, the bays, the surf and the activity. Before we head out to the quiet of the Pacific islands, a final burst of Central American action was perfect.