During the summer of 2009 I went on a trip to Costa Rica with my Spanish teacher and five other students. Granted, it was a small group we still had a blast! Interact was the name of the travel company, which is often used by high school students to travel abroad. We did not stay in resorts or hotels, but we had a home stay tour. Our group was in Costa Rica for eight days and seven nights. During that time we visited different regions of the country and enjoyed a variety of activities. This journey was full of adventure and beyond doubt was a learning experience for all.
The first site to see was before we even landed at the San Jose airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica. As we were flying across the big cities in Mexico one of the coolest things was seeing the city lights from overhead in the plane. It was not your ordinary United States skyline; there was something different about it. Imagine a little thing, such as city lights, showing the difference between two cultures. I knew our trip would be spectacular. That night we were taken from the airport to our home stays. On the first day we went to CafÃ© Britt Coffee Tour in Heredia Costa Rica. As we started the tour we all got a sample of iced mocha; might I add was delicious. The tour included walking through their organic coffee plantation and roastery. We got to experience the method of transforming a red coffee cherry into an immaculate cup of coffee. Also, there was a shop to sample and purchase chocolates, coffee, and gifts. I would highly recommend this tour; it was fascinating yet comical too. That night we had Costa Rican cooking classes at El Rancho. El Rancho was the gathering place; it was gorgeous. There was a pool surrounded by palm trees as well as beautiful paths with tropical flowers and green plants everywhere. We learned how to make homemade tortillas, empanadas, and gallo pinto.
Arenal hot springs and volcano was another great highlight of our trip. On the third day we drove to the city of Arenal. We went to Baldi Hot Springs. There were 25 different pools with 12 different temperatures. Baldi Hot Springs was the most tranquil place I have ever been to in my entire life. All the springs were unique, some with disco balls, some had bars in them, bridges over them, some had cold pools inside of the hot ones, waterfalls, and my favorite was the ones with water slides! All in all it was a fabulous time at Baldi Hot Springs in Arenal. I am dying to go back; this was definitely my favorite day of the trip. We enjoyed a buffet style dinner of Costa Rican cuisine as the day came to an end. As we were leaving we caught a glimpse of Arenal volcano.
On day six we drove to Puntarenas dock located on the Pacific Coast. We then boarded a Calypso Cruise Beach Party to Isla Tortuga. On the way to the island we witnessed turquoise waters, green mountains, and white beaches. Various activities available at Isla Tortuga were snorkeling, canoeing, swimming in the invigorating waters, sand volleyball, or relaxing in a hammock under swaying coconut palms. It was a day of luxury and relaxation.
This journey with my school group was an immersion into the Costa Rican culture and the Spanish language. I think all high school students should travel abroad to embark on an adventure. My adventure has opened up a new perspective on many things in my life.
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