Tonight, marks the end of our last full day in Costa Rica. We had the day off to relax and enjoy our last time in Costa Rica. We all slept in and woke for breakfast at the Airbnb. Half the group was leaving to go to Monte Verde for another week, so we all said goodbye. The rest of us, myself included, were leaving tomorrow so we had the whole day to catch up on work and get our bags ready for tomorrow’s departure. After we said our goodbyes and finished eating breakfast we rested and walked around the nearby neighborhoods in San Jose. We ended up walking over to a nearby sushi restaurant to grab lunch. Afterwards we came back to relax and finish our work. Once I finished up working, I started to pack my bags. Once I finished packing, I went out for one last stroll around San Jose. It was a quite Sunday evening that had a beautiful clear sky for sunset. I admired my last sunset and began walking back to the Airbnb to reconvene with the group. When I got there, everyone was getting hungry, so we figured out a dinner plan. We ended up ordering out food for dinner and enjoyed it at the Airbnb together. It was weird knowing that we would all be leaving tomorrow but we would be leaving smiling faces. After we ate, we enjoyed some wine and conversations before heading to bed. Overall, my time here, although short, was worth every minute. I plan to visit Costa Rica again in the near future, to make more memories and enjoy the beautiful country again.
Tonight, marks the end of a great adventure in Costa Rica. Today we hiked to waterfall in Cartago. Our day started early with a 6 AM wake up call. We stopped to get breakfast on our way to Cartago. Once we got there, we met up with a tour group called Cartuanis. We followed them up a gravel mountain road until we finally reached the trail hear. The drive there was beautiful and filled with farmlands, rolling hills, and views of distant mountains. We all hopped out the cars tied our shoes tight, stretched our legs, and then hit the trail. It was a strenuous trail that took us down to a river and waterfall and the bottom of a valley. It took us about an hour to make it down the valley. Once we reached the river, we had to trek across water to reach the waterfall. The views were surreal, and we all got to jump in and swim in the refreshing water! After swimming in the water, taking pictures, and having a snack, the group got ready to hike back up the valley. The hike back, although quicker, was much more exhaustive than the hike down. It was a great leg workout hiking up the valley! Finally, making it back to the cars the group enjoyed fresh fruits and conversations about the hike. We all got changed and loaded everything back into the car. We stopped at a local restaurant for lunch on our way back to San Jose. Here, we enjoyed local cuisine with a great view of Cartago. After we finished eating, we got back in the car to head to our Airbnb. Everyone was exhausted after the hike, so we all took a nap when we got to our Airbnb. Waking up just in time for dinner, the group got ready and headed out to a restaurant a few blocks away. We ate pizza, salads, soups, and enjoyed drinks. After dinner the group decided to go to a nightclub to socialize. We Ubered to a rooftop club to dance, drink, and celebrate the end to a great study abroad. Afterwards, we headed back to the Airbnb to get some sleep.
Tonight, marks the conclusion of another day filled with adventures and travels. It was our last morning in La Fortuna and the weather was beautiful, so the group decided to get up early and do a Volcano hike. We started with breakfast at the hotel and then the tour agency picked us up from there. We had to drive around town picking other hikers up along the way. After picking everyone up we headed towards the trail head. It was a relatively easy hike with some great views of Arenal Volcano. Not only did we get to see the volcan up close, but we also got to learn about the history of it. Arenal Volcano is currently dormant; however, it did erupt in the late 1960s and wiped out a large portion of the town. The last time the volcano was active was in 2010, since then it has been dormant. After the hike the tour agency dropped us back off at the hotel. We checked out of our rooms and hit the road. We were travelling back to San Jose today. Stopping for lunch in La Fortuna, the group enjoyed a meal with a last view of the beautiful town. After lunch we got back on the road and headed to the city. It was a 3+ hour drive so most of slept on the way. Traffic near the city slowed us down, making the drive a little longer. When we made it to San Jose, we drove the Dr. Quesada’s house to give our group presentations. We to give a sustainability report on a Costa Rican company. My group presented on the Sykes company, which was a service business located in Costa Rica. After presenting we left to go check into our hotel. Once there, we unpacked and laid low for a bit until dinner time. For dinner, the group walked over to the mall in San Jose. We ate a food court in the mall and afterwards walked back home for an early night.
Today marks the end of day 10 in Costa Rica. Today we visited another company to learn about their business and observe their production process. The company we visited was Visa, a pineapple and agricultural farm and exporting business. Our day started off with breakfast at our hotel and then we hit the road immediately afterwards. It took us about 2 hours to get to Visa and we received a warm welcome once we arrived. We met with Joselyn, an executive worker, to first learn about the company. We used a conference room for the meeting. The meeting started off with an introductory video about the company and then a quick presentation about the entire organization and the production plant. It was my first time touring an agricultural plant, so I had tons of questions to ask about the business, processes, and competitors. After our Q&A, we got to tour the entire plant. We saw the whole process from the pineapple being dropped off from the farm to their final packaging for the end customer. It was an impressive process, and we got the chance to taste fresh pineapple too. After the we were given a thank you package consisting of their new dried pineapple product. Overall, it was a great time visiting Visa, and I am glad to have been given the opportunity to meet the talented workers there. We stopped for a late lunch on our way home and I enjoyed some sizzling fajitas. After another hour in the car, we finally arrived back at our hotel. I worked on some assignments while others napped or did the same. After I finished my assignments and rested, the group decided to go into town for dinner. We went to a nice steakhouse in La Fortuna. Here, I enjoyed steak, wine, and a salad. We talked about our day and plans for the rest of the trip over dinner. Once finished the group headed back home to pack up for tomorrow.
Tonight, marks the end of day 9 in Costa Rica. We spent our second day in La Fortuna hiking, socializing, swimming, and working. This morning we got up early to eat a quick breakfast before heading to the hanging bridges. The hanging bridges consisted of trails and hanging bridges through the rainforest in La Fortuna. Although we didn’t see any monkeys or sloths, we saw tons of cool insects and cool views! Overall, the hanging brides hike took about an hour, and we finished right before the rain started. We walked up an appetite, so we decided to eat lunch in town after we finished the trail. For lunch, I had shrimp risotto and a salad. After lunch the group headed back to the hotel to do some work and take a nap. Once everyone finished their work and their naps we reconvened and headed to Baldi hotel and hot springs. We enjoyed more hot pools and crazy water slides. Some of which were a little too crazy but overall were very fun. After the water slides closed, we went to a jacuzzi pool to relax and have a drink. After the jacuzzi pool we all got out, dried off, changed, and got ready for dinner. We ate dinner at Baldi, and I had arroz con pollo. Once we finished dinner we headed back to the hotel to hangout by the pool. I was exhausted from the day, so I went back to my room for bed, while others went back into town to grab a drink. Overall, it was a fun day and I look forward to another day in La Fortuna tomorrow.
Tonight, marks the conclusion of another adventurous day in La Fortuna. We woke early to eat breakfast before going ziplining. The group waited at the reception desk for the tour agency to arrive. After picking us up, we arrived at the zipline company. Here, we stowed our bags in lockers and geared up. Today’s gear consisted of a harness, carabiners, helmet, and gloves. After being given a safety lesson we took a wagon up the mountain. When we got to the end of the road we hopped out of the wagon and started walking up a small path to the first zipline platform. Going one by one, we all ziplined across an opening between the mountains. There were 12 total ziplines that we did and each one had amazing views of the mountains, valleys, rivers, and waterfalls of La Fortuna. It was a blast going ziplining and everyone finished with a smile on their faces. After the twelfth zipline, we took our gear off and rode horseback down the mountain. Once we got back to the building, we got our bags and drove to the hotel to change and shower up. We then drove into town to do laundry and eat lunch. I enjoyed steak and veggies for lunch. Afterwards we came back to the hotel to relax and do some work before going back to pick up our clothes. When our laundry was done, we headed back into town. On our way, we stopped at a local meat market to purchase a medley of meats for tonight’s cookout. With the meat purchased and our clothes picked up we drove back to our hotel to drop everything off. We had some time to kill before the cookout, so the group decided to go to a hot spring. While we were enjoying the hot waters and an evening drink, Dr. G was preparing for the cookout. After about an hour in the hot springs, we dried off and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the cookout. Dr. G was the grill master, and he did an impressive job. We enjoyed delicious pork, chicken, sausage, and steak with fresh avocado and salsa. It was an awesome dinner and afterwards we played billiards and had nice conversations. Overall, it was great to stay in for cookout instead of going out to eat. Cudos to the chef!
Today marks the end of an adventurous day in La Fortuna. Our morning started early with breakfast at 7 AM. We had to eat early because we were going rafting later in the morning. After breakfast we hurried back to our rooms to grab our day bags and put on our bathing suits. The rafting group picked everyone up from the hotel and bussed us out to a freshwater river. We discussed safety precautions for the river and got to meet our guides for the day. After arriving at the river, we split into two smaller groups and put our gear on. The gear consisted of a life jacket, helmet, paddle, and closed toe shoes. Once all geared up, we hoped into our raft and started the trip. We decided to raft class 2 and class 3 rapids today. Jack and I manned the front of the raft forcing us to be the main engine for the raft. Being in the front was exciting and enabled us to see the rapids before we hit them. At some points along the river, we got to jump out and swim in the freshwater. Our guide even let us float down one rapid which was fun; except for swallowing a bunch of water. Luckily, nobody unwillingly fell out of the raft, and we all ended the rapids with a smile on our face. After we got out, we changed and had lunch by the river. Here, I got to see a Sloth for the first time; it was such a unique experience. The sloth moved very slowly, almost as if it lived its life in slow motion. After lunch we got back on the bus and drove back to La Fortuna. When we made it back the hotel everyone, laid down for a long nap. Once we awoken, several guys and me walked into town to explore and stop at a supermarket for some food and drinks. After we got back to the hotel everyone got together to figure out our dinner plans. We decided on sushi, so we got changed and headed to a sushi bar in town. I enjoyed some fresh sashimi and a cucumber salad that was delicious. The table also ordered some sake for everyone to try. After dinner we walked back to the hotel to play some cards and relax by the pool. Shortly after, I got pretty tired so I headed to bed.
Tonight, marks the end of day 6, a trek into the rainforest! After sleeping in Tamarindo, the group ate breakfast at the hotel then packed our bags up and checked out of the hotel. After checking out we walked back into town to do some shopping and for Jack to get a message. We stayed in Tamarindo for lunch before leaving for our next destination. This time, we were leaving the coast and driving inland to the city of La Fortuna. This drive was arguably the most scenic because we passed fields of wind turbines, mountainous towns, volcanos, freshwater rivers, and a large lake just outside of La Fortuna. It was a windy drive that took us about 4 hours. Once we arrived in La Fortuna, we were treated to a nice dinner, right down the street from our hotel. Here, I ate beef enchiladas and enjoyed a house made cocktail. After dinner the group went back to the hotel to get our rooms and unpack. Some of us decided to go hangout by the pool and others were pretty worn out and they went to bed. We all knew we had some exciting adventures planned for the next two days, so we slept peacefully.
Tonight, marks the finish of another great day in Costa Rica. Our day was spent in the beach town of Tamarindo! We checked out of our hotel in Playa Hermosa and headed north to Tamarindo. It was a short drive and we arrived just in time for lunch. After lunch we went to our new hotel to change into our bathing suits. We wanted to go surfing but we had to wait a couple of hours for the tides and swells to be just right. To pass time, the crew went swimming at the hotel’s pool. When it was time, we got our surf boards and headed out to the beach. The waves were perfect for surfing, but the current was strong which made for a rigorous paddle out. I managed to surf a couple waves which was a big accomplishment for myself. We surfed up an appetite, so we walked back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Heading back into town we stopped at a nice restaurant on the beach. Here, I enjoyed fresh snapper, it was delicious! After dinner the group went out for a night on the town. We danced and partied and had a blast. After a while, the dancing tired everyone out so we went back to the hotel to get a night’s rest. Overall, Tamarindo was an amazing beach town that I hope to come back to in the future.
Tonight, marks the conclusion of one of my favorite days to date on this trip. My day started off with a typical Costa Rican breakfast and then a beautiful walk along the beach afterwards. Luckily it was low tide this morning, so we were able to explore areas of the beach that were usually unreachable. I was surprised how the quality of the water and sand changed when walking only a half mile up the beach. We saw tide pools filled with fish, crabs, and corals. I witnessed locals hunting octopus and drinking from freshwater streams pooling into the ocean. I wanted to go swimming, but I knew what was in store for the rest of our day. Instead, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our catamaran cruise. We drove to Playa Del Coco for the cruise and stopped for lunch before climbing aboard the boat. We first got on a small boat that took us from the beach out to the catamaran that was anchored offshore. We climbed aboard and began our cruise along the Pacific Ocean. Sailing for over an hour, we passed by island after island, enjoying drinks and jokes along the way, before making our first stop. Anchoring a hundred feet from the shore, we jumped into the water and swam ashore. While here we explored the island and found a cave cutting directly through the land and water. We were able to hike up a slope that overlooked a cliff above the ocean, it was truly surreal. After hiking back to the beach, we got in the water and swam back to the boat. Once everyone boarded, we pulled the anchors up and sailed off. Sailing for another two hours we had more drinks and were served dinner aboard. Stopping once more for a swim, the group watched the sun setting as we sailed back to Playa Del Coco. The sun had set as we got back to shore, and we made our way back to our hotel. Everyone had a great time on the catamaran, and we all wished we could go back tomorrow and do it all over again.