Destination: Costa Rica

Leonardo DiCaprio Buys His Own ‘Beach’

In the travel film “The Beach,” Leonardo DiCaprio plays a young backpacker in Thailand who ditches Bangkok’s Khao San Road in search of an idyllic island. That, of course, turns out to be a big mistake. But it looks as though DiCaprio himself is still itching for the island good life. According to reports, he has purchased a private island off Belize for $1.75 million.


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On Bombs and Backpackers

Time magazine’s Michael Elliott has crystallized our thoughts perfectly. In an eloquent essay in the Dec. 16 issue, he laments the chilling effects the latest terrorist attacks in Kenya and Bali could have on global backpackers. “Few modern social developments are more significant and less appreciated than the rise of backpacker travel,” he writes. “The tens of thousands of young Australians, Germans, Britons, Americans and others who wander the globe, flitting from Goa to Costa Rica, from Thailand to Tasmania, are building what may be the only example of a truly global community.”

But the bombs targeting tourists threaten all that. Elliott himself discovered Europe 30 years ago by hitchhiking around each summer. “I learned more from those trips than from years in school, and I’d begun to look forward to the day when my daughters would light out on their own ventures—to go see their relatives in Australia or hike in Tibet or do things in Bali that they wouldn’t want to tell Dad about,” he writes. “So add one more reason to hate what the terrorists have done: they’ve stolen our dreams.”

Pura Vida

When life as a teacher at Escuela Otto Kopper takes yet another wild and embarrassing turn, Cara O'Flynn learns to deal with it Costa Rican-style

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