Costa Rica

This category contains 12 posts

Leaving the land of pura vida…

After several days of relaxing on Costa Rica’s west coast and enjoying both paddleboarding and body boarding, our final day has approached all too quickly. Pura vida: the pure life. In Costa Rica, you’ll see this saying everywhere. T-shirts, billboards, and everything from surf shops to coffee shops. Ticos will bid you “pura vida” in … Continue reading

The super-sensory internal GPS theory

With David’s travel illness combined with incessant rain showers, we were never able to hike Arenal. Instead, we continued with our plan to pick up a rental car and head to the Guanacaste region of the country, an area that is known to be both drier and hotter than other parts of Costa Rica. This … Continue reading

Coffee Rica

I would be remiss to write another word about Costa Rica without mentioning the country’s most delectable export: coffee. As both a constant traveler and coffee lover who enjoys trying a local brew, I’ve found that many countries’ offerings are mediocre, at best—even downright foul at times (can anyone say “Nescafe”?). In fact, in all … Continue reading

Rafting the Upper Sarapiqui

After the “jeep-boat-jeep” transport, we arrived in La Fortuna, which is most known for Volcano Arenal. Arenal had been dormant for 400 years until it erupted in 1968, and now it is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. According to my guidebook, it’s been spewing ash or lava almost every day since … Continue reading

Saying adios to Reserva Playa Tortuga

It seemed like every day at the Reserva Playa Tortuga was a new adventure, so we were sad when the time finally came to move on with the rest of our trip. We were there for just over a week and during that time, helped build cabanas for the sea turtle hatchery, went on a … Continue reading

Things that make discomfort bearable

I bet with all my talk of caimans and machetes, you’re thinking I’m really brave and adventurous by now. However, there are a few things that really push me outside of my comfort zone. If you read about my attempt at learning to kiteboard in Ecuador, then you know that one of those things is … Continue reading

A gringo’s guide to clearing rainforest with a machete

It isn’t all about caimans and sea turtles here. As I mentioned before, RPT has numerous projects and each day is broken up into work on one of those projects. One day hatchery work and caiman monitoring, another day reforestation. This morning, David and I had the opportunity to work on the latter as we … Continue reading

A day in the life of a volunteer…part 2

As dusk approaches later the same day, we ready some kayaks to paddle them up a short length of the Tortuga river where Oscar knows there are caiman. Caiman is a type of crocodile that is recognizable for its smaller size and the distinctive bony structure of its forehead. It has become endangered due to … Continue reading

A day in the life of a volunteer…part 1

After a muggy night of sleeping to the lullaby of the rainforest, we arise for the day’s work. We eat breakfast and then head over to the hatchery site at Playa Tortuga (“Turtle Beach”). The hatchery is a large square of sand that has been painstakingly cleaned and sifted to remove contaminants and debris, and … Continue reading

Making ourselves at home at the reserve

After three cloudy days in San Jose and one evening of rain, summer has arrived in time for us to head to the reserve. The days in San Jose were warm and humid even with the cloud cover, but as we traveled south on our first clear, gorgeous day, the weather seemed to get increasingly … Continue reading

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