I had a lot of fun. I could go on and on, so I'll break it down a bit.
All of nature. The weather was comfortable, and an amazing escape from a Minnesota winter. From the cloud forests to the beaches, to the breathtaking views resting casually in the background everywhere you looked, the land is beautiful. Even a few hot humid days were a welcome escape for me. We also saw some amazing local wild life, like anteaters, armadillos, sloths, and owls. I even saw a humming bird, and a couple of blue morpho butterflies.
The people were friendly and helpful in general. The women were gorgeous, and often wore clothing that showed off their curves. The nice weather helped with that too.
Fresh fruit and vegetables were everywhere we went. A lot of local dishes had a black bean hummus I liked. Fried plantains were popular as well. I'll probably work both into my diet, along with agua dulce, which I'll go into more detail on in another post.
There were definitely some smells. Their sewage system isn't as developed as we're used to, and toilet paper goes in the trash. This was a minor issue for someone with a minor sense of smell like me.
Prices are as high as they are in the US in a lot of cases. They have carefully crafted an economy with a low cost of living for the poorer locals while keeping prices up for the tourists. Essentially everything a non-tourist wouldn't want costs more, and then some of the things in the gray area have no prices listed so they can charge locals one price, and tourists another. I hoped to get a massage everyday of my trip, but it was hard to find good ones, and then they were often as expensive as there are back home.
We did have the SUV broken into. That meant we had to spend $15 a night parking the new SUV in secured parking. Then there was the police officer who wanted a bribe to get out of the ticket. To be fair, my cousin did deserve it, and the bribe wasn't more than I'd expect a ticket to be. All in all, there are safety concerns in this country.