North America · 11 Days · 66 Moments · December 2018

Costa Rica Winter 2018

31 December 2018

The End This vacation was pretty amazing. It was such a nice way to take a break from junior year and overall it was nice to experience. I loved the food and loved how the people had such a priority to preserve nature. Overall Costa Rica was beautiful. ”I HAVEN’T BEEN EVERYWHERE, BUT ITS ONE MY LIST.” -Susan Sontag
Flight to Atlanta I got to see the mountain of Costa Rica one last time before going. On the flight, I got to watch one last movie before getting to Atlanta. It was a four hour ride. We finally left from Costa Rica to begin a new year. Happy Early New Year Day of 2019!🎉
Last Day in Costa Rica It’s over. The last day. After 12 days in Costa Rica, we have actually finished our tour of Costa Rica. It was a good and fun experience. I really liked The hike at Arenal Volcano and zip lining at Monteverde. Also I was able to start drinking coffee because of Costa Rica. I was able to try a lot of new food. Overall, the tour guides were super kind and I really liked going there. It was nice way to relax.😊 Before we left, we also got to walk in the street of San Jose as a way to finalize our trip to Costa Rica!

30 December 2018

Pops Icecream🍦 The ice cream was actually really good. It was very creamy. I got chocolate chip and brownie in a cup. My brother got a cone of some type of ice cream and my dad got a waffle bowl with dulce de ledge ice cream.
Dinner Near the Plaza, we had Taco Bell for dinner. Most everyone there were all local Costa Rica people there.
Walk to Plaza We went out the hotel to see if we could find any food. There was a small area where several people sold food and lights.
La Paz Waterfall Garden (waterfalls) There were 5 different waterfalls we were able to see. The second had an optical illusion if you stared long enough at the waterfall and shifted your eyes to a nearby cave. It looked as if the cave was moving. We then walked down more steps on the trail to see the rest of the three waterfalls. At one point, you could see all three waterfalls and one point. Then once we got to the bottom the the waterfalls, we had to climb back up the stairs. It was not that bad and it was pretty simple walk back up. After, we headed back to our hotels, but before we stopped at a souvenir and coffee shop to buy some coffee and some souvenirs for everyone. Since we didn’t get to buy the best coffee in the world, we had to buy this coffee. Sadly, this would be the last time for me to use my camera I got apparently. Also this was the last tour of Costa Rica for 2018 unfortunately. We eventually reached our hotel around 6 since we left late from the garden around 4:30.
La Paz Waterfall Garden (Animals) We made it to the garden. First we went to the aviary where we got see several toucans. The toucans were only couple of feet away from us. It was very close and we could see it very clearly. Then we saw some monkeys including the white face monkey and the spider monkey. Once we saw the monkeys, we had lunch soon. It was a buffet so we could get anything we wanted. Although, there wasn’t much vegetarian food other than pizza, pasta and fries. After, we looked at some snakes,frogs and any plants on the way.
Car Ride to La Paz Waterfall Garden We stopped by at a coffee plantation. It is actually considered the best coffee in the world for the past three years. We were able to taste test, but we didn’t get to buy any because we didn’t have any colones or dollars. We just had a credit card. On the way, we saw where Starbucks made their coffee too. The ride to the garden took around one and half hours.

29 December 2018

Dinner at Holiday Inn I had noodles and chocolate ice cream. Everyone else had chicken sandwich and chocolate cake. We just ordered room service for dinner.
Souvenir Shopping We went to get some souvenirs outside the hotel and walked around the local area. We also took pictures in front of the hotel.
Holiday Inn We were on the 14th floor and had a view of the city.
To San Jose We headed back to San Jose to stay for the next two days at Holiday Inn. We had lunch on the way there.
Arenal Hotel We took pictures in front of our hotel right before we left.

28 December 2018

Dinner at hotel As usual, I had a veggie quesadilla, my brother had rice with chicken, my mom had veggie fettuccini and my dad had chicken quesadilla.
Lunch As usual, we got casada again. This time they mixed the vegetables in the casada though so it was like fried rice. I also tried some coffee. It was really hot there.
After boat ride After the ride, I took pictures of the boats from the dock.
Cano Negro We went on a 2 and half hour boat ride. I was at first excited to take pictures of several types of animals, but later I got bored on the boat. We saw a two toed sloth but the pictures were not very good because it was hidden deep into the trees. Then we went to the Nicaragua Border and took pictures there. We were technically in Nicaragua for a couple of seconds. The weather was pretty hot throughout the whole boat ride, but in the middle it started raining for a couple of minutes.
Stop before going to Cano Negro Everyone stopped for restrooms and to see iguanas. After we headed for 2 hours to go to Cano Negro which was a boat ride.

27 December 2018

Dinner We got our dinner from room service. I got Vegetable Fehttuchini which was pretty good. I also shared with my mom’s food which was just a vegetable sandwich. My brother and dad got fish sticks and chicken sandwich.
Back to Hotel When we came back, room service had come and decorated the beds. Then, we decided to get some food for dinner. We didn’t want to head out to the town so we decided to call the reception for the menu.
Arenal Volcano Hike🌋 The hike was 1.2km so around 0.8miles. It was a short hike up to see the view point of the volcano. The last time the volcano erupted was in 2010 and the biggest explosion was in 1968 which killed around 80 people. Apparently the volcano mostly erupts on the west side so all the people in La Fortuna were always miraculously saved from the eruption. When the eruption occurred in 1968, that was when Tobacon River became really hot and became a hot spring, but people didn’t take that as a sign that the volcano might erupt. In fact, people did not even know that it was an volcano. They just thought it was a big hill which vegetation over it. It is still considered a active volcano. There is a total of over 100 volcanoes in Costa Rica apparently. At the end, we got some watermelon and pineapple before we headed towards the hotel.
Three toed Sloths There was a baby sloth with its mom on the side of the road. It was literally only couple a feet away from us. Our tour guide stopped the bus to let us see the sloth. I never thought we would see a sloth so up close. They were so adorable and extremely slow. I mean I knew they were slow but seeing how slow they were was just so mesmerizing.
Lunch Our lunch was given by our tour. Like usual, it was a casada so basically arroz con pollo o arroz con vegetables. At the place, there were several birds including a parrot and a woodpecker. At the end of lunch, we got my favorite ice cream, chocolate chip ice cream. It was actually really good and had the right amount of chocolate chips in it. We were there probably for an hour. We left around 2:30 to go for our next hike.
La Fortuna Waterfall We had to walk 500 steps down to get to the waterfall. It was really easy to get down. We got down around 12:20 and we stayed till 1 at the waterfall. None of us swam in the waterfall but we stayed there and took pictures. At 1, we went back up the 500 stairs. It was pretty tiring to go back up especially in the heat.

26 December 2018

El Sabor Taco Soda We had dinner there. My brother and I were the only ones who ate the place since both my parents were not hungry. i got a quesadilla while my brother ordered arroz con pollo(rice with chicken). My dad started talking to an Indian whose wife that owned the soda store. The Indian had married a girl from Costa Rica and he moved here along with her. My dad was really surprised by how Indian were living here too.
Hotel Arenal Paraiso🌋 At the hotel our check in was at 2:00pm and we had gotten there around 12 so we didn’t have anything to do. We decided to go horseback riding but then they cancelled that tour so we didn’t do anything eventually. We simply just walked around in the resort while we waited. We walked to the Hot Springs at the hotel and just make a circle around the property. We could see the the volcano from the hotel too.
Car ride to Arenal Paraiso Resort We saw these animals on the road. I’m still not sure what they are called.
Boat ride to Arenal We had to go for another 40 minutes and our car ride to get to Arenal Volcano.The only thing that was frustrating was the fact that we had 8 luggages to carry.
Car ride to Arenal On the way, the car went through several valleys and it was incredibly beautiful. I believe it was the prettiest place I’ve seen so far in Costa Rica for me. We also saw a parrot on the way.
Breakfast before Arenal

25 December 2018

Walk in the back of hotel We decided to try walking on a path that the hotel had in the back of their hotel. I was scared that a snake would come out of nowhere since I was wearing my Birkenstock’s. As we kept going, we found a trial. It said,”entra al bosque” meaning enter the woods. We went in and noticed it just kept going so we turned because it was about to get dark. When we got back to the hotel, we asked about the trail and apparently it goes around the lake in backside of the hotel. Then my dad asked if we could fly the drone and she said sure. Then my dad started flying the drone from the porch of our room and then the wind was so strong that it took the drone away from our hotel. It eventually went 4,000km away from us and then it ran out of charge eventually and landed in the middle of the forest. We found the coordinates and apparently it was near the coffee tour area which was exactly 33minutes away. We gave a complaint to the police eventually about the drone.
Reading Jurassic Park🦖 This whole day I’ve read about 70 pages so I ended on page 218. After only reading 200 pages did I get to action of the dinosaurs actually escaping because all the pages before were about the technically and scientific things about the park.
Don Luis We ate at a restaurant for dinner. It was the most expensive at of all the places we have gone to. I got a quesadilla while my brother got a crepe and lastly my dad got a vegetarian casada. I liked the food even though it was expensive.
Coffee Tour☕️ on Christmas Day🎄 We went on the coffee tour. It was really pretty. The guide explained how it is made without pesticide and how they filled up about 24 baskets of coffee each day for only $4. He also let us pick coffee and with all three groups, we did not even make one basket in total sadly. At the end, we got to taste test 5 different coffees. I didn’t like it just drinking it normal. I wanted to try it with milk and sugar. There was also a lot of barn animals while on the tour.
Waiting for Coffee Tour and Breakfast

24 December 2018

Dinner at Montaña We ate at our hotel. I ordered a veggie pizza while my mom made Chicken Biryani for my dad and my brother.
Sleeping😴 Once we got back from zip lining and after walking all the way from downtown uphill, my parents went to sleep while I had to read Jurassic Park for language arts.
Monteverde Suspension Bridges After zip lining, we walked on the 8 suspension bridges they had. We took a lot of pictures and had to walk a long way to get back. We took so much time trying to take pictures that we forgot we had to be back by 1 to catch our bus. We had to speed walk back in about 20 minutes to get back to our bus. We got there exactly on time to see that the bus was filled. Although, in the next five minutes, another bus was supposed to come.
Zip lining We went zip lining at 8 in the morning. Once we got the place, we got into the gear and got ready to go. We were heading out group. The views were amazing a beautiful. We were up so high in altitude and so windy. It was even hard to breath while zip lining because of the combination of wind and altitude.

23 December 2018

Crocodiles🐊 On the way to Monteverde, we stopped on a bridge to see crocodiles. There were so many there. We saw one that was chewing a hat.
Iguana in hotel We found a baby iguana inside our hotel when we were checking out.
Manuel Antonio National Park Today we left at 8 to go to the national park. We saw several animals including a sloth which I could not take a clear picture of it. Also I saw monkeys, lizards, and crabs. We first walked with a guide in the park and when we got to the beach, the tour was over. We found a hiking trail that was 0.7 miles so we thought we would get back really fast, although, the weather was super humid and hot so walking up several stairs was just intolerable. We walked around a total of 3 and half miles in park so far. Once we made it out of the park, everyone drank coconut water except me.

22 December 2018

It was a beautiful full moon today!🌕
Dinner We found another random restaurant to eat. I actually like what I got which was an enchilada and burrito. We was really good to me, but for my dad, he did not like the restaurant because he wanted rice. Once again at this time, it was pitch dark like it was 9:00pm or something.
Nearby Beach We walked to the beach and just watched the sunset. It was kind of cloudy so the sunset was not as pretty as it could have been but it was still pretty. We took several pictures and even found a cave nearby.
Tucan Finding and Photos We found several tucans in the backyard of our hotel. I was able to get some nice shots with my new camera! We also took some pictures outside our hotel!🙂
White water rafting It was really pretty. I felt like I was in Jurassic Park. We rafted for a good 2 hours and in between we even stopped to walk to a waterfall which was like five minutes away from the river. No one fell into the water this time. We also had lunch there too.
White water rafting transportation On the way, we went on a open too vehicle for about 1 hour and as we went dirt kept getting into our eyes. I was basically covered in dirt by the time I got there. Literally, I could whip my face on something and you would see dirt.
Breakfast We had to wake up around 5:30 in order for us to ready for our white water rafting tour at 8. This meant we ate breakfast first thing in the morning at the hotel.

21 December 2018

Dinner We went to get some dinner and some restaurant. We just walked on the street and found a random place. On the way, someone came up asking for money and I felt really bad and wanted to give him something. Eventually we found a restaurant and I had a frijole fajita and shared it with my mom.
Made it to Hotel We got there around 5:45 and it was already getting pitch dark. We went to our room eventually and freshened up to go get some dinner.
Car ride to Manuel Antonio National Hotel🌵 We left the airport around 2:45.We had to go in the car for the next three hours to reach the national park. It was really beautiful throughout the ride but we had to go without an air conditioner. One the way, there was a beautiful sunset. The sun was literally bright red. To add, if you turned the other way, you could see a beautiful full moon on the other side too.
🦎Made it to Costa Rica🐒 I got to sit in the front in first class and apparently “Santa” drove our plane to Costa Rica. On the way, I only watched Star War Han Solo movie and read part of my Language Arts book, Jurassic Park which ironically is set in Costa Rica. Once we got there, my brother and I had to wait for my parents and eventually left the airport.
Brother’s Apartment We woke up and 4:00 to get ready for our flight at 9:45. This time I really did not want to miss our flight so I kept rushing everyone to get ready. Once we all got ready, we left at 5:30 for the airport and went in a Uber to the airport. Once we got to the airport, we quickly made it through security and had about another 3 hours left. In the meantime, we had breakfast and McDonald’s and I had a ice mocha to drink. After we went to the gate and sat there for another two hours until the plane’s arrival.

20 December 2018

Transport to Atlanta Airport We started at 2:45 from our house and assumed we would get there at 3:45 but the traffic was super bad that we got there at 4:25. Once we got there, the check in line took more than an hour. By the time we got the security, we were getting late. As we went through security, it took another 30 minutes. Then on top of this, my dad and I got on the early train while my mom and brother got stuck behind. After we ran to the gate, but we did not make it in time. The flight had apparently started to leave. I started to panic because we had a tour booked in Costa Rica. We had to go to the service center where they told us there were no more tickets till Saturday which would mean we would miss two days of our tour. Although, eventually, the supervisor somehow managed to get us tickets on a plan with no seats and two of them were first class. Once we got our tickets, we went to my brothers apartment to stay for the night.