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Journal of Costa Rica Trip – Winter Term 2013


Enjoy junior Claudia Benson’s journal about her Winter Term 2013 trip to Costa Rica. Claudia is a Criminal Justice and Spanish major from Newburgh, Indiana.

January 9, 2013- As we are in the sky and seeing all the beauty from above, I keep wondering if it’s really me on that plane almost landing in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Arrival

This is a dream come true.  This is place is an amazing place with its beauty, its people, and its culture, “Pura Vida.”

January 10, 2013- Today we went to Inbio Park. It was an amazing park where you are able to see the different flora and fauna Costa Rica has. We met a tour guide who was very specific in explaining all the information we needed to know about the place. The most amazing part was when we walked through where the butterflies where and after chasing them for a few minutes, one came up to me and stood on my right arm. The tour guide said to me, “you are going to have good luck for a year.” That was really good to hear!

Costa Rica Inbio ParkCosta Rica Inbio Park2Costa Rica Inbio Park 3
Also the food in Costa Rica is amazing. In the mornings at the hotel where we are staying (Christina Suites), they serve a buffet, all you can eat. They have gallo pinto (rice and black beans), fresh fruits (papaya, pineapple, watermelon and others), eggs, vegetables, homemade bread, yogurt, different kind of fruit juices, coffee, tea, and other delicious food.

Costa Rica BreakfastCosta Rica Lunch
January 11, 2013- Today we went to El Volcan Poas – a main crater, active and beautiful in Costa Rica. It is very well-known for its beauty and excitement. Next to it was the Botos Lagoon. It is an extinct volcanic crater filled by rainforest. Only a few microorganisms and algae can live in it. Then we went to La Paz Waterfalls with over 70 acres of wildlife and forest to explore. You are able to walk around and see the animals and watch the waterfalls sprinkle on your face. You also walk through long trails wind along the La Paz River through both cloud and rainforest, showing the diversity of the plant and wildlife, while not disturbing the natural surroundings.

After walking for so many acres, we decided it was time to find a coffee shop to try the delicious Costa Rican coffee. We drove to San Jose and found a coffee shop called Café Don Mayo. Don Mayo comes from the best coffee-growing zone in Costa Rica, the highlands of Tarrazu, by a small family business dedicated to cultivation, processing and exportation of their own coffee farms, for the most demanding markets worldwide. It has been recognized as the best coffee in Costa Rica, winning the First Place in the Cup of Excellence Costa Rica 2009.


Costa Rica People walking in downtown San Jose
January 12, 2013- Today we went to the National Park Braulio Carrillo. The park was established on April 15, 1978. It is the most extensive area in central Costa Rica with 117,842 acres and is managed by the Central Volcano Range Conservation Area administration. The park’s name, Braulio Carrillo, is in honor of the third Chief of State to govern Costa Rica from 1837 to 1842. The National Park has a magnificent flora and fauna that is protected by thick evergreen forests and lush vegetation, mainly made up of primary forests, where some 6000 species of plants and large trees exist, like Manu, oak and others. It was a great experience to be able to walk on trails that were surrounded by wildlife and other beauties of Mother Nature.

January 13, 2013- Today we went to the Golden Museum, three museums in one. We were able to see where the money in Costa Rica (Colones) started and how its appearance has changed throughout the years. Then we went to see all the different types of coins in Costa Rica, since before and after Christ. The exhibition for the coins belongs to a man named Pacheco. He is a very rich individual in Costa Rica, and he owns the collection of coins. He is leasing the space at the Museum so everyone who walks by has the privilege to see the different kind of coins in Costa Rica. Each coin at the museum is worth more than $10,000. This was a great experience to learn how the money in Costa Rica has changed through the years.
We then went to see another exhibition. This time is was of Lola Fernandez, a Colombian-born painter who moved with her family to Costa Rica in the late ’20s. She traveled all around the work and has worked mostly with abstract. She is still alive and lives in Costa Rica.
Lastly, we went to see the Pre-Colombian Museum. I learned that a lot of animals like the jaguar, puma, and the felines in general had so much to do with beliefs, traditions, and culture.

January 14, 2013- Today we went to Tarcoles River, Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio National Park. At the Tarcoles River, we saw from a bridge a family of crocodiles. There were more than 40 at the time. They were sun bathing and relaxing while everyone watched them from above. All I can say about this tour is that it was amazing. I can’t believe I came so close to nature and found out how beautiful it really is. We were able to go into the mangles and see a family of Capuchins, a type of monkey in Costa Rica. They all came at once to be fed and of course it was the male boss that came first, then the rest of the family. It was amazing; they are like little people fighting to get food. We also got to see a crocodile; she was about seven feet long, just lying in the water and relaxing. Out of the entire day, that was the most interesting part of it, seeing the monkeys in the mangles. One monkey followed us all the way out to the beach. He thought the whole time we had food for him.










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