Finally Caught Up

So it has been a little more than one night since my last post, but that it Ok. This post is going to get you caught up on all the rest pf activities we have done to this day. Since the first weekend, we went Manual Antonio beach, Tortoguero and Limon, and Monteverde Cloud forest.

At the hotel in Manuel Antonio

The weekend after our first full week of school was extremely well deserved and was long awaited. That week had been a bit stressful as we were starting our new education rhythm, and we had to find and create our new routines to manage all the work we had to do. Although we had many fun excursions planned and were living in different country for three months to experience the culture, we are studying abroad and so there was work to be done. The majority of us are taking 14-16 credit hours, many of those (me not included) with teaching practicums and extra music classes and practice required. As such we needed to plan our routines so that we could balance our studies and take full advantage of our time here to explore and experience Costa Rican culture. Needless to say however that our first full length excursion to Manuel Antonio beach and National park was  more than welcome.

Manuel Antonio is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. It is on the Pacific Coast and it took us four hours to get their by bus. On the way we stopped on a bridge overlooking a river that was full of large crocodiles. It was cool, but one of the things we really were not expecting to see. Anyways we arrived at Manuel Antonio beach around 2pm so we spent the rest of the day enjoying the sun (I did not get sunburn believe it or not). The next morning however we went to the Manuel Antonio national park where we saw many exquisite animals like monkeys and sloths. We even saw (more like heard) two sloths fighting. It was like watching people argue in slow motion, with arms and from high up in a tree. The park tour and hike lasted about three hours then we were free to relax on the beach. Later that night we went to Latin dance club, where I whipped out my ballroom dance moves and impressed everyone on the trip.

Salsa dancing at the Latin Dance Club

The weekend after our Manuel Antonio beach excursion, we visited Tortuguero and Limon the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Tortuguero is a national natural park on the Caribbean coast that is only accessible by boat. They park specializes and does a lot of work with protecting sea turtles as the beaches along the park are popular nesting sites. The area’s main source of income is from eco-tourism which is when people pay to come see and appreciate the natural environment. As such we stayed in an Eco-resort which incorporates the natural environment into the resort experience. Over the weekend we took 4 boat tours on the rivers and saw exotic

Afternoon boat ride on the rivers in Tortuguero

animals such as crocodiles, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, sea otters and more. Unfortunately there weren’t any sea turtles because it was not turtle season but it was still pretty fun.  After we left Tortuguero, we went to Limon to visit the port city and also to visit a banana plantation. We are taking a class on foods in Costa Rica and the banana plantation was cool because we learned of the importance bananas to Costa Rican development, culturally and economically.

Chillen out by the port in Limon on the Caribbean

The following week was our Monteverde cloud forest Excursion. Monteverde is a town outside and built around the cloud forest in the mountains in Guanacaste.  The forest is a popular destination for hikers, bird watchers and nature folk in general.  We visited the forest national park which was beautiful and saw lots of exotic birds including the rare quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala and one of the most beautiful birds in the world. The highlight of the trip for me however was a zip-line adventure that we had in the canopy of the forest.  There were 13 lines in total, two of which were over a km in length and we had to cross them in pairs. The experience was  nerve wrecking and adrenaline filled the entire way as we were easily over 10oft off of the ground.

Ziplining through the Canopy in Monteverde

Group before an afternoon hike around the hotel

These were all the major weekend excursions that we went on since being in Costa Rica. If you are prospective student, remember that March 15th is when admissions results come out. Also if you have any questions about anything related to admissions, send them by email to interadm@elon.edu or to cborden2@elon.edu.

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