Monday, September 6, 2010

Costa Rica

Firstly, I had a blast this weekend at the North Texas game. Our defense looked nothing short of awful so that has me worried for the Auburn game, but at least our running game doesn't appear to have too much of a falloff. Can't wait to play Presbyterian next week - let's see if they have any more trick plays like the one they ran against Wake!

But on to the more important story, my week long adventure in Costa Rica. There's too much to share on here so I will try to keep it as short as possible.

We landed in San Jose on the 21st and had private transportation to the Arenal Volcano - the third most active volcano. Our room had a private porch with rocking chairs so you could sit outside and enjoy the view. If there aren't clouds around the top of the volcano at night, you can even see magma come shooting out the top of it. While there we visited La Fortuna Falls (which you can go swimming in - although the water is quite cold), did a hike in the Arenal National Park, and went whitewater rafting. All along the way we saw wildlife, had great local food, and had amazing tour guides. If you ever plan on going to Costa Rica, a stop at Arenal and La Fortuna is an absolute must.

I was then transported from Arenal to Playa Flamingo on the Pacific coast. This is one of the many hotel resorts you can stay at in Costa Rica (we choose the Pacific because it seemed to be a little bit safer than the Caribbean). The resort we stayed at was gorgeous and had all drinks included. You know I loved that! But around the pool you could constantly see iguanas and many indigenous birds, which was a nice reminder that you weren't just at some resort in Florida. While at the beach we went zipling on a canopy tour (which is worth the trip to Costa Rica by itself) and had an ATV tour along the beach, which was incredibly fun.

We then went back to San Jose for a day to do a coffee plantation tour at the Doka Coffee Estate. It was actually quite interesting to see the process they use to pick which coffee beans meet their high quality standards. We sampled a lot of coffee, had a bunch of chocolate covered coffee beans and bought a bunch of bags of coffee to bring back for friends. We then stayed the night at a wonderful 5 star hotel (we had been slumming it in 4 star hotels until that point), and woke up the next day to fly back home.

All in all, it was probably the best trip I've ever been on. When you factor in the total cost of the trip, I don't know if I'm going to find a better "bang for your buck" trip than Costa Rica. I highly recommend you go find out for yourself! If you're interested, I've included links below to the companies we used on our trip.

All of my pictures are on Facebook (posted by my friend Kris), so make sure to take a look when you get a moment!

And finally, it appears that work may bring me to Rhode Island at the end of this month or the beginning of October. I'll make sure to post more details when I have them.

As always, safe travels!


Links from the trip:
The company who booked everything for us (I can't thank them enough!):
The resort we stayed at near Volcan Arenal:
The company that did all our tours/transportation around Arenal:
The resort we stayed at on the beach:
The hotel we stayed at in downtown San Jose: