Costa Rica has always compelled and confounded, the small Central American country alive amidst a vibrant canopy of rainforest green and tropical sapphire.
But for one day last year it literally exploded with color.
Reds, yellows, purples, blues: a whole rainbow of flowers reigned down on the area near Irazu Volcano, an astonishing 8 million petals cascading down from the sky.
Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica
The area around Irazu Volcano has always been one for stealing the limelight. Thanks to its fondness for catastrophe, its local nickname is “El Coloso,” (The Colossus), although that doesn’t prevent a weekly bus service heading right to the summit. It last erupted in 1963, timing its eruption to the exact day former US President John F. Kennedy arrived in the country. Columbia University volcanologists reckoned it took 570,000 years of underground magma bubbling on the Highway from Hell for Irazu to explode. JFK wasn’t too impressed as ash reigned down on his state speech and scattered his hair with shocks of gray.
However, last year’s color explosion wasn’t geothermal in origin. It was organized by McCann, the international advertising agency.
Why 8 Million Flower Petals?
McCann’s concept was to cover the area with a flower petal for every pixel of in Sony’s new ultra high definition 4k television. Local employment figures soared as residents were paid to tour the surrounding area and collecting the most dramatic colored petals that could be found. Costa Rica has always been a country of vivid tropical blooms and it took just two weeks to pick the flowers that would downpour over the town. In total, they picked 3.5 tons of petals, a remarkable figure given that if you use rounding techniques, flowers don’t actually weight anything.
It’s Raining Flowers in Town
The Weather Girls sang “it’s raining men.” Thankfully that was a fictional prophecy. Instead, this tiny town in Costa Rica was flooded with millions of petals as it literally rained flower petals. Those getting rum drunk in taverns were bewildered and couldn’t leave their havens of debauchery. You can imagine the response when one returned home to explained his lateness on millions of flowers falling from the sky. The children were equally bewildered and took the opportunity to skateboard through streets of rosy tints.
What Else Can You Find in Costa Rica
Thankfully, McCann didn’t leave the rivers red and the forests yellow. A huge clean up operation plucked the petals from the streets and restored the area to its former state. While it was a huge publicity stunt for Sony, it’s helped to further promote Costa Rica as one of the world’s most colorful destinations. Different parts of the country have featured on a number of Random Vacay articles:
Mal Pais and Santa Teresa were in Random Vacay’s top 11 waves to surf before you die.
Try jumping off a tram that’s suspended in midair at Extremo Park, one of the scariest bungee jumps from around the world.
And for your own Costa Rican explosion, go trekking on the active Arenal Volcano, one of the most dangerous volcanic destinations on the planet.