Expeditions in Costa Rica


Andrea Rivera, Sports Editor

It was three o’clock in the morning and I was still up with my brother, partly because of excitement and partly because I wanted to sleep on the flight. After all it was a whole day of on and off a plane. But soon after my brother and I fell asleep, my dad was shaking me to get up and get ready to drive to the airport. I said my goodbyes to my family at home and then I started the first part of my ten day trip.

As soon as we arrived at the airport, I thought I was the first to arrive, but soon I saw the familiar faces of Ms. Henriquez and Ms. McMillan. An hour went by and all the girls finally arrived and we were ready to wait for our plane to LA. As I walked around the airport the nerves of being away from my family started to hit me, but I knew I would have the best time of my life. “Flight #2779 San Francisco to Los Angeles is now boarding.” I would remember those words for the next 24 hours in shock that this was actually happening. When we arrived at approximately 9:30 pm in LA, my adrenaline kicked in and I could not fall asleep, but I knew I was hungry. Being the smart person my father was, he had packed me snacks including Cup of Noodles, which little did I know became my absolute favorite thing from home. By 12:30 am we were boarding the plane to San Jose, Costa Rica. Sadly I did not get as much sleep as I wanted, but the movies they offered on the plane and music kept me sane for the flight.

By seven o’clock (Costa Rican Time) we landed and the first obstacle of many struck, the humidity. The trip was during their rainy season, but the weather was still extremely beautiful, as well as all the plants that we saw on the way to the hotel. I learned quickly that the people there were all full of life and happiness no matter their background (it would be the most important lesson I learned). We reached the first hotel, set our rooms up, and changed out of our clothes for the more suitable clothes. Then we were off! Our tour began in San Jose walking around the town, in parks, and museums. My favorite part of the day was when we were able to go into a flea market and buy gifts for our friends and family. Soon we finished the day due to exhaustion and heavy rain. We got back to the hotel and ate our first meal together then went for a swim in the very chilly pool. Finally it was time for bed.

The next day, we traveled to Tortuguero National Park where we would stay for the next two nights. Little did we know when we arrived it would be like we were at a summer camp. The moment we got our rooms we were begging to go across the lagoon to shop in the stores and look around the town. Not only did we venture and shop but we also got to go to the beach (finally!). Afterwards we went back to the hotel and ate dinner then headed to the pool for some bonding time with the other groups. When we woke up the next morning, we were taken on a boat tour of the park where we saw monkeys, lizards, birds and caiman. Afterwards we begged to go back across the lake for more shopping and lounging at the beach.

The next morning we packed our bags, got on the bus, and dragged our tiresome selves to the first activity, kayaking! Jade Ou and I became kayaking buddies with funny moments like tipping the kayak and terrible, but funny, jokes. Finally after an hour we got back on the bus and headed to our hotel where more funny moments and bonding happened which was interrupted by more rain. Morning came and we began our trek to the next adventure: zip lining through a rainforest. When we arrived, the air filled with nerves from everyone but was soon relieved by the sudden rush of wind through everyone’s hair and sounds of the rain forest. Sounds of monkeys, screams of excitement and the drops of more rain made me remember those moments the rest of the trip.

The following day we traveled to the SarapiquÍ River to prepare for our whitewater rafting trip. The next moment we were paddling down the river screaming for joy and laughing to an extent of our stomachs hurting. My favorite part is when Hannah James was pulled out of our raft by one of the other rafting instructors and tossed into the water. Next we were off to a beautiful waterfall called La Fortuna. The hike down was the easiest part the hike back up is a whole different story. After we traveled to a resort that had hot springs flowing down from a nearby volcano.

Later on we traveled to our final hotel which meant the trip was coming to an end but not before we went on a gorgeous hike and scuba diving in the ocean. Early in the morning everyone piled onto the bus for our hike through the Rincon de la Vieja National Park where we saw more monkeys, insects, natural hot springs and stunning views. But the day came to a quick end, when again it was interrupted by more rain. Early the next morning everyone was enthusiastic to get to the boat and start our last adventure. When we arrived we could see the clouds rolling in but that didn’t bother us. We hopped on the boat and reached the place we would dive. However as soon as everyone got in the water we all felt little tiny shocks. Some thought it was the sand but we came to realize it was little baby jellyfish shocking everyone. Later on we leapt back on the boat and headed back to shore and then back to the hotel.

All of us ended up trying to stay awake so we could sleep on the plane but most fell asleep for the last hour. We woke up only to find out it was gushing rain, so I hesitated to bring the bags out before I found the bus and eventually found it. At 4:30 am we reached the Liberia airport and said our goodbyes to our new friends we made from the other groups then went through security and waited.

“Flight #691 to Los Angeles, California now boarding.” These words I would dread for the rest of summer because I didn’t want to give up the fun and part ways with the girls I had built a relationship with. But all good things come to an end. We landed back in San Francisco by 4:30 pm, our time, with memories we would remember forever. Not only did this trip teach me about the values of friendship but that people come from all different backgrounds and can come together to have a lively adventure.