Pura vida – The pure life.  Traveling in Costa Rica is an adventure that provides some of the most amazing sights and experiences. Five years ago I had the amazing opportunity to help chaperone a group of 22 teens on an 11 day youth group trip.  I am SO excited to be planning another trip to this fabulous country so I thought I’d dig up some old photos to share some highlights of that trip.

After a 3 hour layover in Colombia, we arrived in the capital city San Jose.  We stayed one night in this populated city then took a coach to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.  We boarded canoes with small motors and were guided up river, against the current, to an indian village near the border of Panama.  We stayed for a few days with no electricity, open huts with mosquitos nets and ladies who cooked our food over fires.  Our service activity was to plant trees, and help with reforestation of the rain forest. We met some locals and our kids played a soccer game; the natives won even though some of them did not have any shoes.

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Our next stop was a beautiful beach on the Carribean Sea.  I had such fun watching these kids interact with each other.

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Caribbean Sea

We stopped one afternoon at Don Juan’s Organic Farm for a tour and a delicious lunch.

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pineapples

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We hiked to La Fortuna waterfalls and up a path to Arenal Volcano.  We all (even me) participated in 8 extremely long and scary legs of a ziplining course through the rainforest.

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Arenal Volcano
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Ziplining

Finally, our coach bus took us to the other side of Costa Rica and we spent a few days in the laid back surf town of Tamarindo.

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Pacific Ocean

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Howler monkeys

I had chaperoned this trip because my youngest son was only 14 years old at the time and I thought I should be there with him.  Really I just wanted to go! I am so glad that I did.  When I told Mike about the quiet little beach town, he was interested.  We looked into the idea of moving there after retiring and considered it quite seriously.  Well, things change and we don’t always have as much time in our lives as we think we do.  Due to the change in my life, I now try to live life more fully and I do not plan on waiting for that some day. As Buddha says “The trouble is, you think you have time”.