Costa Ricans have been rated the happiest people in the world. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Costa Rican Society and Identity

Expert author Christopher P. Baker introduces travelers to the rhythms of Costa Rican society, from its demographics and collective values to the Costa Rican identity as a country and as individuals.

Colonial architecture as seen on a Havana street. Photo © Gareth Williams, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Cuban Colonial Architecture

Cuba boasts the New World’s finest assemblage of colonial buildings. Spanning four centuries, these palaces, mansions, churches, castles, and more simple structures catalog a progression of styles. Learn how to identify the earmarks of each style in your travels throughout Cuba.

Jazz cafe in Havana. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Havana’s Jazz Scene

Havana’s jazz scene is hopping with plenty of prime nightlife and supper club acts as well as matinee and afternoon performances. Here’s where to go for the local greats and young up-and-comers.

Glasswing butterfly, Monteverde Butterfly Garden. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Family Fun in Costa Rica

Combining educational options with fun keeps children (and parents) enthralled. From snakes and sloths and crocodiles to river safaris and air tram rides through the forest and above volcanoes, these ideas focus on outdoor adventure & learning while experiencing nature.

On a grassy bank, a jaguar stalks something in the water.

The Endangered Wild Cats of Costa Rica

Costa Rica boasts six endangered members of the cat family. Learn about their habitats, appearances, and more from the small jaguarundi, about the size of a house cat, to the large, shy jaguars of Central America.

Entrance gate to the United Hebrew Congregation Cemetery in Guanabacoa, Cuba.

Jewish History and Heritage Sites in Cuba

A brief look at Jewish history in Cuba from the arrival of Luis de Torres in 1492 as the first Jew in Cuba to the high point of the community mid-20th century to today. A handful of Jewish heritage sites remain open to the public, including Cuba’s oldest synagogue and a Holocaust museum.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Sights in Zulueta (Calle Agramonte)

Calle Agramonte, more commonly referred to by its colonial name of Zulueta, is home to several sights worth making time to see. Especially make time to see the museums in the area, one dedicated to the history of the revolution, one to antique firefighting memorabilia, and one to Cuban artwork of all kinds.

San Jose has a compact core, as seen from above Parque Morazan. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Discover San José, Costa Rica

San José’s central position makes it an ideal base for forays into the countryside, applying the hub-and-spoke system of travel—almost every part of the country is within a four-hour drive. Read on to learn more about the city and how to plan your time there.