Pura vida: The philosophy of life in Costa Rica; literally translates to “pure life”; used when greeting, saying good bye, or when things are going well.
On March 24th, 36 students and 6 teachers went on a trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica. I was lucky enough to be one of those students. For 9 days we traveled around Costa Rica staying in various cities and exploring the beautiful country.
Costa Rica is a small country located below Nicaragua and above Panama. It takes about a day to drive north/south or east/west. The people there were very kind. Driving down the road, on our
bus, it was hard to look out the window and not see someone smiling and waving at the cars/busses and enjoying life.
After a full day of flying, our first stop was the city, Tortuguero, which is only accessible by a two-hour boat ride or plane. The boat ride was long, but the scenery was beautiful. Animals were everywhere and if you looked closely, there might even be a sloth or two! In Tortuguero, we were able to look around the village and shop while practicing our Spanish with the locals. Also, we went on a canal tour where we saw all the wildlife living around the river. (Even while getting soaked in a downpour!)
After Tortuguero, our next stop was Sarapiqui. The first thing we did here was visited an eco-farm. The owner of this farm has been saving animals and then releasing them into government protected areas with the main project being a butterfly farm. We were able to see many (possibly new) animals and insects there. The next day, some of us zip lined through the forest and rafted down the Sarapiqui River.
After our adventure in Saraqiqui was done, we traveled to La Fortuna. This city was built as a result of the Arenal Volcano eruption in 1968 and caused the old city of Arenal to be buried. (That city is now under the artificial Lake Arenal.) This city presented many opportunities for us. We hiked around the volcano, went to an organic farm, visited a hot springs, kayaked around the lake, and took a hike down to a waterfall!
Our final destination was Liberia, in the Guanacaste region. We spent our last day relaxing on the beach. We were treated to a beautiful sunset in the evening.
From the canals of Tortuguero to the sunny beach on the last day, the students and teachers that went on this trip experienced the culture of a country that they might not have been to. The Costa Ricans showed us their way of life and how they live the “pura vida” lifestyle.
It was a great trip and hopefully you will have a chance to go visit this beautiful country one day!