GWCS Spring Break in Costa Rica: March 18 - 24, 2016
Over Spring Break, ten Students, four Parents, and two (super awesome) Teachers braved an early morning flight to San Jose, Costa Rica to embark on an epic seven day adventure.
The first day was spent eating delicious local cuisine at a Soda in San Jose, followed by a walking tour of the city. Afterwards, the tired group enjoyed dinner at the hotel before calling it a night. The next morning the group hopped on a bus and left San Jose to head onward to the beautiful Arenal region a few hours away. Here students learned about the sustainable growing of coffee, used elbow grease to push roasting beans around in the hot sun, and of course, sample coffee! Next up we visited the amazing Poas Volcano before retiring at our gorgeous hotel! The hotel was a highlight of the trip for many as it included little bungalow-style houses, pools, good food, hot springs, and amazing nightlife! The nightlife of choice for Coyotes? Hunting down cane toads, tree frogs, scarab beetles, and other creatures!
Day three found us all experiencing the La Fortuna Waterfall and having the opportunity to go for a swim! Afterwards, we took to the skies ziplining through the canopy layer of the forest. By the end of that experience we were all more than ready to hit the hot springs for some relaxation and fancy beach drinks before calling it a night.
The following day was equally jammed-packed with a trip down to Los Chilles, on the border of Nicaragua for a canal boat tour of the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. Here, we were able to have the opportunity to see Howler Monkeys, Jesus Christ Lizards (yes, the ones that run on top of the water), camions, and all sorts of amazing birds -- including Great Blue Herons, who must have overheard we were going to Costa Rica and agreed it was a great idea! The rest of the day found the group divided as half of us went on a Tour of a Sustainable Farm and the other half explored the city of La Fortuna.
Next, we said goodbye to La Fortuna and made our way on a long three-hour bus ride to Gunacaste, home of the Costa Rican Cowboys. Along the way we stopped at a local restaurant and participated in a cooking class. For some of us, it was a chance to chop vegetables for the first time! What a cool place to get your first lesson! Next on the agenda was a stop at Rincon de la Vieja National Park, where we hiked through an area known for its active volcanos. We experienced this first-hand through the dusty debris and hot, dry climate that was a huge contrast to where we had just been in La Fortuna.
The last day in Guanacaste brought us to the Buena Vista Lodge which was like being on a Ranch in Montana, just more sustainable and with a Costa Rican flair! Here we made soap out of used cooking oil from the Lodge’s restaurant which is one of many sustainable practices they participate in. We also learned how our own waste (or our “farts” as our guide liked to put it) can be converted into methane gas to fuel many activities on the farm. Since we were on a ranch, it was only fitting that we spend the afternoon on a horseback ride around the property. After a long bumpy ride on the rocks, we were given the exclusive opportunity to visit a nearby beach! We spent the remainder of the afternoon hanging out on the black sand beach with perhaps the most postcard-quality background you could imagine.
One would assume this is where the adventure ended but you would be wrong! The Airport Saga to follow brought us an unexpected layover in Houston, a stay in the Hilton, and a midnight arrival the night after we were due in at a completely different airport. GW Community School students can make the best out of every situation and managed to have fun playing cards, throwing a tennis ball, and enjoying the extra day away from home. They should all get A+s for being creative, having a positive attitude, and representing our school values internationally. This ensures there will be more adventures to come!