This weekend, our group got to enjoy the weekend at the most amazing sights in Costa Rica.
We departed from San Jose at 8 a.m. and arrived at Sarchi, Alajuela, Costa Rica at about 10 a.m. Here we visited the Joaquin Chaverri Oxcart Factory, and saw the largest oxcart in the world. This town is known for it’s colorful painting and artisan souvenirs.
As we approached La Fortuna, the volcano Arenal came closer into view. The sight was breathtaking. The volcano has not been active since 2010, but just being in its presence is intimidating, yet beautiful all at once.
We visited Finca Educative Don Juan, and organic farm in La Fortuna. Here we had a delicious buffet lunch and then got a tour of the farm. The farmers grow everything from pineapple to black pepper. We ended the tour with a sugar cane juice toast. PURA VIDA!
After the farm we checked into Montaña de Fuego Hotel where we had the perfect view of the volcano from out bedroom windows. My roommate Nina and I took some photos at night that we are proud of. We also got up at 5 a.m to catch the sunrise.
The highlight of the weekend, however, was going to the Baldi Hot Springs. They have 25 natural water springs at the foot of the volcano with water slides and a spa. Our group had the best time relaxing after a hard week of service and class. At night we had a buffet dinner at the resort and then headed back to our hotel.
Sunday morning we got up early to have breakfast at Acuarela Restaurant at our hotel, and then we toured La Fortuna Waterfall. The hike down the 500 steps was easy. Once at the bottom, we enjoyed the cool breeze of the waterfall and even dipped in the pools at the bottom. This sight of a rain forest was like no other. However, the climb back up was torture. After the first 300 steps, I was convinced my legs would collapse but thankfully I made it up the last 200 with the help from an unexpected spider bite on my right hand. That was distraction enough to make it to the top again.
Our last stop before returning to San Jose was at Restaurante Las Iguanas. This restaurant is across the road from an iguana sanctuary. The iguanas get to roam freely and sometimes even sunbathe outside the doors of the restaurant.
This weekend was unlike anything I have ever experienced. It was so busy but at the same time it was nice to relax after a hard school year and a tough first week of study abroad. I look forward to the rest of our stay.
You can find more photos of this entire trip in my website!