Friday, January 12, 2007

Sweet, I mean cold home NJ "The after math"

All that begins has an end... and after 9 awesome days in Costa Rica we are now home. Some old, same old, cold January! Tuesday, 16 classes begin and hopefully we'll see each other again. Talk about Costa Rica, memories, share pictures, laugh etc.

I am definately going back there some day soon...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

San Jose...

Back to San Jose... we all know that tomorrow we're going home, some of us are sad, other are glad we're going back home. The trip back was mainly quite, some were passing around photo albums for people to sing it. On the way there we stopped at a few souvenirs stores, then in Sarchi for lunch.
Then back to "Gran Hotel Costa Rica" in San Jose. Some of us went for a walk around the city, then dinner... and yes we all know tomorrow we are heading back home!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Manuel Antonio National Park!

Today we went to Manuel Antonio National Park, to begin with it was a beautiful day! The sun was out and was hot out. We had breakfast and headed to the park, when we got there we had to walk a bit to get to the entrance. There was a baby deer by the entrance, we also saw squirrel and white face monkeys, also iguanas and a variety of plants. One of these plants was the Manzanillo, which caught my attention because from where I come from there are lots of them. (Its a poisonous tree by the way)

Well what can I say? Great day there, sand, sun, beach, what else can one ask for?
After we left, like 12 of us went for an ATV tour... from which I can only said I was liking it until I lost control of it and fell off; David had to drive me back to the hotel.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Jacó Beach...

Oh yes! If I was already liking Costa Rica this was what I needed to fall totally in love with it. Jacó (pronounced ha-cO) is located about 90 minutes from San José. On the way there we stopped a few times, first was a beautiful view of the pacific ocean... and then we got to see crocodiles! (for some reason some people kept on calling them alligators, but they weren't).
Then we finally got to Jaco and I honestly felt "at home", the hotel was right in front of the beach, we checked in, had lunch and Wilma, Magalie, Kim and I went straight to the water! Then some other people showed up, we had a great day! Then some of us went and relaxed in the pool... and watched and amazing sunset! After was dinner and ... party time!

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve...

On our second day at Monteverde, we went to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. It was an incredible experience, some of us had to wear water proof boots because it was really muddy! I'm not the type of person that enjoys this kind of thing, but I went anyway... we Explored the Monteverde Cloud Forest with a guide. He talked about the different types of plants and some of the fauna that lives there. After we were done with the walk, which was about an hour and a half, we had some refreshments at the small cafeteria. Then they showed us a video about the flora and fauna of Costa Rica and its diversity.

All done, we walked a short distance to the "Sky Trek Conopy Tour"... I've done this before and I wasn't interested on doing it again, so I stayed with Anna and Kathy and we did the hanging bridges. It was a very long walk, I thought we would never finish it, but we did!

After all of us were done, we went to a pizzeria which was right in front of the place were we where at. Then took off to a local school to plan a tree. I have to say that I didn't enjoyed this day as I've the past 2, but it was OK!

For more info on the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, log on to:

Sunday, January 7, 2007

It was Monte and it was verde!

Today we left early in the morning after a delicious breakfast at Lavas Tacotal Lodge and checked out. We went for a boat ride around the Arenal Volcano area. Before going on the boat ride, some of the guys went into the Arenal Volcano National Park to look for a GEO cache in the bushes. I stayed on the bus with some other people. For those who don't know what a is, you can log on to the official website When they came back we went for the boat ride, it was raining and for a moment the sun would come out and the rain again. It was a really beautiful view!

Since the weather wasn't helping much, Luz came up with some was FUN we enjoyed Jose doing the “chicken dance”, Wilma dancing and singing around the boat “Too Sexy for my Love” and a some more people just having fun.

When the boat ride was over, we continued our way to Monteverde. After driving on the narrow roads of Costa Rica (which I like to call the Costa Rican roller coaster Ride) we finally got there and checked in to our third hotel Los Cipreses.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Wet and Wild!

January 5, 2007
Well wet and wild and that's for sure... whitewater rafting at Sarapiqui River!
The day started out raining, I thought the river wasn't safe for whitewater rafting; so I asked our guide Jose Salazar, he said that it was OK because it was not raining on the mountains.
So off we were to Sarapiqui River, on the way some of us tried to find "ideal" sandals for the journey. Since we could not wear flip-flops, we went from supermarket to supermarket , until all of us found the sandals. I have to say mine were not my size but they did the job. After the whitewater rafting I had to trow them away!
When we got there, we met our instructor Brian who was the guy in charge of the whitewater rafting. He explained safety procedures, etc.
There were 3 boats, about 5-6 people on each plus the guide. This was my second time water rafting and it was a great experience, I had so much fun! On the way down the river we got to see different birds, and even got the chance to jump in the water and swim around for a while. Then we were done, we had lunch and left!
Just when we thought the fun was over, Jose said: "we are here"... Baldi Hot Springs!!!
These natural springs and geysers are the result of the volcanic activity of Mount Arenal, which the springs are located directly below and are fed by. It has different pools, all at slightly different temperatures surrounded of beautiful views of the mountain and jungle.
I've to say this was the first time I had experience something like this, I just have no words to describe how good it feels! You have to go and find out for yourself!

Here are some pictures! Enjoy...


January 5, 2007

Located a few hours north of San Jose, Arenal. We were staying at the Lavas Tacotal Lodge; from there you can see the Arenal Volcano you will likely see nighttime lava flows and smoke rising from nearby.

Personally it was the first time I was that close to a volcano and I was impressed, i thought it was kind of exciting. On the other hand Cinthia my roommate didn't think so!!! She was telling me that she was scared that the volcano could make an big eruption and that it could be dangerous! I just laughed...

Friday, January 5, 2007


January 4, 2007

After the INBioparque we hit the road to The Poas Volcano National Park, located in the province of Alajuela. Sadly we couldn't see it because of the foggy weather.
Poás is another of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, The 2,708 meter stratovolcano lies within two vast calderas. The southernmost of two summit crater lakes, Botos, is cold and clear, and last erupted about 7,500 years ago. The other is warm and acidic and has been the site of frequent eruptions since the first was reported in 1828. Eruptions often feature geyserlike ejections of lake water.

Some information about the Poas Volcano:

After we travel near three hours on the bus, while driving we were able to appreciate the natural beauty of Costa Rica! On the way to our hotel ( Lavas Tacotal Lodge) our guide surprised us with some unplanned stops at "La Paz Waterfall", "La Fortuna de San Carlos" and "San Fernando Waterfall".
Enjoy the pictures!

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INBioparque: An interactive experience with nature!

January 4, 2007
Our second day in Costa Rica, started out with some delicious Costa Rican breakfast, specially that "Gallo Pinto" which is rice and black beans.
Soon after we were on the road to "The National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio) " is a private, public interest, non-profit association, whose mission is to promote a greater awareness of the value of biodiversity, thereby ensuring its conservation and improving the quality of life of human beings.
Upon reaching its tenth anniversary, INBio decided to consolidate its effort to promote bio-literacy in society and created INBioparque in February of 2000 to teach people about Costa Rica’s biological diversity, its value and the importance of conserving it.

INBioparque is an amazing theme park that offers an interactive experience with Nature. Here you will see groupings of plants and trees from the tropical rainforest, Central Valley forest and species from the dry tropical forest and wetlands. On our campus, which covers an area of more than 5 hectares, visitors can observe many bird species and marvel at the colors of the orchids, heliconias and bromeliads. Around the lagoon you can enjoy the butterfly garden and the aquarium and learn about the Farm and its crops. As you hike along our trails you will get a close look at poisonous frogs, bullet ants, boas, caimans, turtles, iguanas and tarantulas, as well as sloths and other native species. " (Copyright © 2006 INBioparque)
We had a great time at the park, After a tour around the park, we were in our way to Arenal!

Here are some pictures, Enjoy!

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Costa Rica here we come!

January 3, 2007

Well I finished up packing and stayed up talking on the phone, 2:00 AM my alarm clock went off so I took a shower, got dressed and ready to go! Around 3:00 AM I went to pick Cinthia up and my dad drove us to Kean University, we were the first ones there!!!

The shuttle was LATE! yes, late... and honestly I was worried, finally it got there and we were in our way to NY La Guardia Airport, traffic was ok; soon after we were on a plane to Atlanta, GA. Then changed planes, and Costa Rica here we go!!!

Got to San Jose, everything went great. I exchanged some money at the Juan Santamaria Airport and all of a sudden I was rich!!! OMG I got around 48.000 colones for $110, hahaha it just sounded like a lot of money to me. Anyway we met or EF Tour guide Jose Salazar outside, he was waiting with Geovanny (that’s how his name is spell) our awesome bus driver, they took us to the hotel (Gran Hotel Costa Rica)
Cinthia and me changed rooms so we could be together, since we know each other for 5 years now, we get along pretty good. We went up to our room got a shower and went to see around San Jose. We walked into some shops, had ice cream and then came back to the hotel for dinner.
Before dinner we had a meting with Mike about splitting into groups, for the project. During dinner Jose talked about the next day activities, etc.
Some of us went to the "casino", had some drinks... others went out to party!
That was it for the day...