Taylor High School Blog

Costa Rica

Posted on: June 13, 2017


Tonight San Josá has the feeling like that of Super Bowl Sunday in the states.  Just a couple of blocks from our hotel, Costa Rica is gearing up to play Panamá in the World Cup Qualifiers 5th Round.  The sounds of cars honking horns and vuvuzelas buzzing in the air can be heard for miles!  We are all looking forward to watching the game after dinner tonight.  ¡Vamos Ticos!

After our hike, we headed back to our hotel, where we will stay for 2 nights.  We enjoyed poolside views of beautiful Arenal and got to know our other travel companions better afterwards at dinner.

  We competed against once another dumping a large sack of coffee beans,  trying to find 4 beans that were colored purple and then had to refill the bag working as a team.  Both Taylor groups got smoked by a bunch of middle school kids from Houston Texas!  Oh well, it was fun none-the-less, and everyone won the chocolate covered coffee beans as a prize in the end.

Next we got on a bus and headed north to Arenal.  We stopped for lunch in a small town called Fortuna.

We left our hotel at 7:30 a.m. and headed to Doka Estate which is one of many coffee plantations in Costa Rica.  We took an hour and half tour and enjoyed a coffee tasting at the beginning and at the end. ¡Qué rico!

Today has been an extremely busy day.  We met for breakfast at 6:45 a.m.  We are so very lucky to have a group that is prompt and always on time when asked.  We enjoyed a delicious Costa Rican breakfast consisting of Gallo Pinto (a staple here; and is the rice and beans pictured below).

We could not have ended this exhausting day any better than with visiting Arenal Hot Springs.  We were able to explore over 16 spring fed hot springs, relaxing, and unwinding from all of today’s adventures.

Next we transferred over to La Fortuna water falls.  Our group went down (and then up!) over 500 stairs to access this natural wonder.  Some even decided to go for a swim in these frigid waters.

This elementary school in the outskirts of La Fortuna is called Juariil.  The children greeted us in traditional dance costumes and performed 3 traditional dances.  Later they introduced themselves, some practicing their English (Costa Ricans begin taking English in Kindergarten).  Then, they gave us an opportunity to practice our Spanish and allowed us to ask them questions.   At the end of our time with them, one Costa Rican girl asked our group if they had a dance from the U.S. that we could share/teach them.  The students proceeded to show and teach the Cuban shuffle.  It was a fun time for all.

After yet another delicious lunch we headed to a Costa Rican elementary school, where we received a very warm welcome from the students there.

After returning from our Chocolate tour, we headed to Lake Arenal. With professional, local guides, we went kayaking in doubles while some travelers following in a pontoon boat.

Today was a fun filled day starting with a chocolate tour, followed by a kayaking trip in Lake Arenal, later a hike to La Fortuna waterfall, and ending with a relaxing swim in natural hot springs.

Some students chose to attend an optional Chocolate tour early in the morning, while others hung back at the hotel. During this tour we learned the process of how chocolate is made, directly starting with the bean.  Later, we got to make our very own.