Poás Volcano National Park
Parque Nacional Volcán Poas, Provincia de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Taking A Step Back (Or Up) in Costa RicaI don't know if there's anywhere quite like Costa Rica, and if there is, then I intend on finding it. This nation is lush with raw beauty, and the spirit of the locals reflects such a profound appreciation for their land. From the side of Poás you can look out at the suburb towns to Alajuela, which is itself a suburb to San Jose, the capital city. There are some restaurants and little inns in the hills surrounding the mountain chain. You can actually tell how clear the air was by looking at the tone variation in sky color -- the further up you look, the darker the blue gets compared to the color on the horizon. More contrast means less stuff in the air (pollution, humidity, etc), which means better air for breathing. It's a relatively inexpensive plane ticket coming from the States, so if you live in the US and have a hankering for adventure, go spend a couple weeks in the land of Pura Vida.