Terra: Versailles – Paris, France

The Hall of Mirrors, or La Galerie des Glaces in French – that’s what I am the most excited to see when my travel group visits the Palace of Versailles. I can barely contain myself as I step out of the bus. The Hall of Mirrors… the idea jabs me teasingly, as my group takes […]

Terra: The Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

When I first traveled to Paris, France in 2012 with a group of fellow students, my friend Kira asked our tour guide a question that both humored me and got me thinking. “How much would it cost to buy the Eiffel tower?” Anne Marie, our tour guide, paused for a moment, slightly caught off guard, […]

Terra: Goodlight Books, Alajuela Costa Rica

It’s purple, which in most places would make it stand out. However, this is Costa Rica, and forget about using a street address. It’s a few blocks north of the Cathedral. Greenery drapes over the walls and gates as a single sign hangs above the street. It’s unassuming, unpretentious. It’s a bookstore. Yet it’s more. […]

Terra: Alajuela, Costa Rica

I can’t think of a single, monolithic reason to visit Alajuela, yet every time I visit I find something worth the effort. … … Alajuela, like so many other Costa Rican cities, resides as an extension of San José, another arm of the urbanization of the Central Valley. In fact, by flying into Juan Santamaría […]

Terra: Bullfighting in San José, Costa Rica

Bullfighting evokes images of sequin-studded matadores in full regalia, sword in one hand and cape in the other. It is an intricate ballet, a dance with death. While recently conflicted with changing perspectives on animal cruelty, the sport lives on as a grisly testament to the triumph of man over beast. In Costa Rica, none […]

Terra: Sarchí, Costa Rica

Coffee pulses through the veins of every Tico, whether they choose to imbibe or not. It is the lifeblood of Costa Rica. Sarchí is a small town nestled among coffee plantations, a development center once focused on the singular task of processing and shipping red ripe beans to various mills along both coastlines. … … […]

Terra: Río Sucio – Parque Braulio Carrillo, Costa Rica

On our way through Braulio Carrillo, our bus driver asks if we can make a quick stop. He asks if we have ever been this way before, and when we reply that this is our first time through the national park he smiles and says that the stop will be worth it. Río Sucio runs […]

Terra: Doka Estate Coffee Plantation, Costa Rica

The roads to Doka Estate are lined with verdant curtains of coffee plants, with red ripe jewels dangling from the branches. Black shears diffuse the sunlight and shelters one of Costa Rica’s most vital exports. The plantation isn’t located too far off the beaten path, which makes it a large draw for tour groups. However, […]

Terra: Santa Elena, Costa Rica

Monteverde represents Costa Rica’s modern progressive paradox. The balance between preservation of the cloud forests and the willingness to share it with the rest of the world is the subject of no small debate. Monteverde is also far from a day trip, and the excursion to get there is worthy of its own narrative. The […]

Terra: Fútbol in Alajuela, Costa Rica

Soccer is not a sport, it’s an experience. The game pervades every aspect of daily life, making it less of a sport and more of a cultural phenomenon. It is a spectacle on par with weddings and festivals, an opportunity to participate should never be missed. Alajuela, Costa Rica is not a major city, more […]