Destination: Costa Rica

somewhere near Monteverde, featuring wild horses

June 2016 was the end of my second year of medical school and the beginning of a trip to a new place - Costa Rica! We rented a car (highly recommend getting 4x4) and hit the road for a weeklong tour of central and northern Costa Rica. 

Here is a rough map of where we went! 

Landing in Liberia, the second largest airport in the northern part of the country, we hit the road immediately for La Fortuna, home of the Arenal Volcano. It used to steam up daily but has been on a bit of a sabbatical since 2010. Nonetheless, it is an imposing part of the landscape and has led 

We next zoomed south and made an unplanned stop at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, an extensive hotel and wildlife preserve in the mountains near San Jose. It was a massive project that involved animal rehabilitation and release of local species back into their natural habitats.

That night, we stayed near the Poas Volcano and attempted to visit the next morning but the rolling fog said "no way, José," and with that we made a lunch stop on the beach at Punta Arenas before heading to Monteverde, home of the Cloud Forest. This was my favorite part of the trip for numerous reasons. 

1) our Airbnb was a cabin on a coffee farm, and our hosts were unbelievably welcoming. They made us breakfast and coffee each morning, gave us a tour of their huge farm, and we even worked one morning harvesting bananas and mysterious root plants
2) gorgeous scenery tucked away the mountains
4) night nature tours, featuring two-toed sloths
5) the best empanadas that I've ever had

Our last stop was at Playa Hermosa on the northwestern coast. We turned into beach bums for the final two days, as we lounged about on a black sand beach. We also saw Finding Dory in theaters (English with Spanish subtitles), but it was the end of a long week and it was interesting to meet and see how many expats were permanently living in Costa Rica. 

Los fotos!

Volcán Arenal

400 year old ceiba tree in Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal

Town square in La Fortuna

Sneaky waterfall in Monteverde

Sunset over the lake, El Castillo

Toucan Sam at La Paz

Red-eyed tree frog, La Paz

La Paz
La Paz

La Paz

Confused at Cloud Forest, Monteverde

Cloud Forest, Monteverde

Cloud Forest, Monteverde

Terrifying tarantula during our night jungle tour in Monteverde

Breakfast on the coffee farm with abuela Ermida, Monteverde

Beach at Punta Arenas

Playa Hermosa

Black sand beach from volcano ash in Playa Hermosa


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