Another Beautiful week in Costa Rica
Today is August 16th, meaning we have 5 more days in this beautiful country and 4 more days until final exams. Since our last journal entry, we have experienced some wonderful views, gotten some relaxation time, spent time in an amazing waterpark and natural hot spring, visited an enormous waterfall, spent time with young orphans at the community service day, and gone paddle boarding. Below is a brief summary of all days since the last journal.
Monteverde is a mountainous town in central Costa Rica. It is known for its coffee, cloud forest, temperate rainforests, and abundance of fauna. One thing that often gets forgotten, is that the town is laid out in a clustered, random mess. Houses, buildings, and streets seem to be placed in almost random locations across the mountains. This, at a loss to those who do not have access to vehicles, makes getting around quite exhausting. A group of students learned this the hard way, having decided to make the long trek into town to get lunch. Many, choosing to cut their losses, chose to take cabs back up the hill to the hotel. August 10th was a rest day for students — a day to get caught up on class time and school work.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest offers a stark juxtaposition to the warm sun of Coco. It is not uncommon to wear sweaters, pants, and rain jackets while in the Cloud Forest. Students left for the brief hike in the wet and rain at about 8 am and were back in time for lunch and afternoon classes. A highlight of the Cloud Forest day was the suspended bridge. This bridge offers amazing photo opportunities and all the students loved it!
Arenal is situated about 3.5 hours from Monteverde. The drive is relatively long, by Costa Rican standards, however worthwhile. At the base of the Arenal volcano, one of many active volcanoes in Costa Rica, sits the Los Lagos resort, where we made a home for one night. Los Lagos is a good place for students to relax and get some much-needed fun time in. At the centre of the resort is a large waterpark including slides, cold pools, and natural hot pools. Students had an absolute blast jumping off the diving platforms and going down the slides.
After only one brief day in Los Lagos, it was time to transfer back to Coco for the second half of the trip. The AC for the trip, Devon, organized an optional excursion for any student that wanted to see the La Fortuna waterfall. About 25 students chose to attend. La Fortuna is situated at the base of the Arenal Volcano, amidst rain forests, fauna, and streams. The waterfall is about 90m high and falls into a circular pool, that when the conditions are right, offers good swimming opportunities.
Students that signed up for the optional Paddle Boarding excursion were able to spend the morning of August 14th paddle boarding around the bay adjacent to Coco beach. This adjacent beach is a beautiful black sand beach, with many picturesque natural tide pools. Students were on the boards for about 3 hours (a good workout if you ask us!).
August 15th was Mother’s Day in Costa Rica. This meant a few shops were closed, but otherwise things were running as normal. This day was filled with a nearly full day of class time for all students, something they needed as exams and final papers were fast approaching. In the evening almost the entire trip went down the to the beach for a big beach volleyball tournament. The game continued right until sunset when, unfortunately, we had to postpone until Saturday.
Until next time,