Thursday, August 13, 2015

Guest Post: My Trip To Costa Rica

Hey everyone! I love having guest bloggers on here so I invited a really close friend of mine to write on here. She is a 15 year old from New York who loves to Travel, Write, and Surf. Recently, she went on a trip to Costa Rica for two weeks. Here is her trip to Costa Rica:

Hey, it's Yasmine! Christina asked me if I would be interested in doing a guest blog post and of course I was! I love to write and meet new people. Christina and I have been friends for as long as I can remember: 12 years to be exact. We grew up in NYC together, but unfortunately, I now live about an hour away. Anyways, I recently returned from my trip to Costa Rica with my family. I've been to many countries, but this one is by far the coolest. The Costa Rican people, wildlife and way of life is just simply amazing. Our 6 hour flight went from New York to Charlotte, NC and from there to San Jose, CR. I was sitting by the window and all I could think as we prepared for landing was, "Everything is so green!" Mountains, rainforests and valleys dotted the landscape. 

We spent the first night there in the heart of the country, capital San Jose. The people were so kind and welcoming. I was able to speak some Spanish, which made me realize what a good choice it was to pick it as a language in school. Children coming home from school were feeding pigeons and a little girl came up to me and gave me some corn so I could feed them with her and her friend. San Jose has lots of cobble-stoned streets lined with resteraunts, shops and stores. It's bustling with people, sort of like NYC. The next day, we got our rental car and were able to head to the mountains. We were on our way to Arenal volcano, the most active in the region for 43 years. We spent a lot of time driving on our trip, but it was so much fun. The landscape was always lush green meadows, mountains or small villages with dogs and people sitting outside their houses. As we drove upwards, the altitude caused a change in pressure and weather. Thick fog was all around us for about an hour. Once, we had to stop in the middle of the road to let a herd of cows continue walking around us.

 While we were in the volcano region, we visited La Fortuna waterfall, walked on suspended bridges in the rainfortest canopy, swam in natural hot spring created by geothermal activity and went whitewater rafting. I liked the food a lot, it contained a lot of rice and beans (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) so I tried to get different things every day. The fruit was really good, especially the mangos and pineapple. On the suspended bridges, a tourist spotted a Howler monkey and we heard it making noises. I copied its noises and it answered me! Soon enough, it came down on the wires beside us, followed by its entire family as they joined us in the crossing of the bridge. It was a magical moment. On our rafting trip, I made a friend from England. Rafting was scary and adrenaline-packed but so much fun! We ended up rowing 11 miles in the Sarapiqui river. At our resort, we saw hummingbirds and a snake. It was small and brightly colored, roaming the hallways of our resort. A bunch of girls and I touched the snake. The receptionist called the gardener to release it into the wild. He told us that it was a Coral snake, a very poisonous snake that when fully grown, can kill humans. Needless to say, I learned my lesson about touching animals I didn't know.

 Our next resort was on the Nicoya Penninsula, so we took the Puntarenas ferry. The Pacific ocean is so warm and the waves were so big. The water ranged from 85-90 degrees every day. Lizards and iguanas were constantly on our balcony and I went surfing twice at Playa Hermosa, "beautiful beach". It was lots of fun, but the waves weren't great. Everyone was just surfing the whitewash, which luckily was pretty powerful. There were a lot of friendly beach dogs running around and we played with them all the time. Our hotel was in Santa Teresa, a surfing town where everyone would go out to eat after a surf wearing boardshorts or shorts and a tanktop over a bikini. On our last day, we took a tour to visit Isla Tortuga, a paradise-like island with huge palm trees and crystal clear water. Our group saw dolphins and humpback whales on the boat ride and jumped off the boat to snorkel with loads of tropical fish and reef sharks. It was the coolest experience ever, which I was luckily able to capture with my GoPro. 

After our time at Santa Teresa, we headed to Dominical, another beach province. Our hotel had a wildlife sanctuary up the road, and had a beautiful view of the precious Pacific coastline. I saw toucans and Capuchin monkeys from the pool deck and our balcony! I met another friend, this time from France. We had lots of fun in the pool swimming untilit was pitch black out. My family and I visited Manuel Antonio, the national park and took a tour with a German family where we saw sloths, monkeys and other animals. It was so beautiful. Then I met up at Playa Jaco with my friend Aggie, an 8 year old from Florida who surfs like a little pro. We paddled out to the lineup, avoiding getting smashed by huge 5-6 foot sets. We met up with two other kids from Florida out there and had a great time surfing.  Our last day, I went fishing with my dad and my sister and after we caught some fish, the motor of the boat broke and we got stuck on the open ocean for about two hours. The two guides with us rowed until we saw a smaller boat and they towed us to shore.

I hope I'll return to Costa Rica soon, because I spent an amazing two weeks and didn't want to go home in the end. If you're searching for a place to travel to and Costa Rica is an option, it's definetly the best choice. You'll be sick of rice and beans in a few days, but never the animals and culture. The most important thing I learned on my trip is to enjoy life. The country's motto is "Pura Vida",  meaning pure life or good life, which I certainly experienced. 

Thanks for reading! If you want to see more pictures or videos, you can follow me on Instagram (@yasmine_hamdi) 
My video edit of my trip can be seen here

Thank you so much Yasmine for guest posting!
QOTD: Have you ever been to Costa Rica? What is the coolest place you have traveled too?
Let me know in the comments below.

                                                     Christina Madeleine 



  1. Wow that seems amazing, it looks like you had an amazing time!

    1. When she told me that she went to Costa Rica, I was so jealous! It looked so beautiful.

  2. Wow, Costa Rica looks absolutely amazing! I have always wanted to go there on a trip, but haven't been able to save the money. However, we are getting close to saving the right amount, so we might be able to go in the next few years! Where would you suggest visiting, when we go?



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