Where I was living la (pura) vida loca (PART I)

First choice: Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Second choice: Savannah, GA and Nashville, TN. Third choice: Costa Rica. I chose the third one for #SB2K16, and I could not be any happier with my choice.

I went to Costa Rica with EF College Break and was so nervous to go solo. I felt like no one would like me, and I would regret my decision. I WAS SO WRONG. Everyone on the trip was really, really nice. They are just the cherry on top of the amazing experience I had in Costa Rica.

Without further ado, these are my Costa Rican highlights by city (part one because I have a crapload).

Volcán Poás and Doka Coffee

Okay, this part is not by city, but it was our first full day activities in Costa Rica on our way to La Fortuna. According to our (awesome and lovely) tour director Irene, 95% of the time people cannot see the crater of this volcano because of the fog. Fortunately enough, we were the lucky 5%! It was such a sunny and pretty day to take pictures there. Nonetheless, we still could not stay more than 20 minutes in this area because of the acid gas the volcano produces.

Before going to the coffee plantation, we stopped by to get a classic Costa Rican dessert: fresh strawberries with sweet condensed milk and chocolate syrup. I don't know how else could I describe it better than sweetly delicious.

 The traditional (and probably best) way of drying coffee beans.

The traditional (and probably best) way of drying coffee beans.

And we had a coffee tour at Doka Estate, one of the most prominent coffee plantations in Costa Rica. There we learned about the industry, which is one of Costa Rica's sources of income beside banana and pineapple, and we got a lot of coffee samples. Heaven.

La Fortuna

 [Insert TLC's "Waterfalls" lyric here.]

[Insert TLC's "Waterfalls" lyric here.]

 Squad picture courtesy of Joe Flasz.

Squad picture courtesy of Joe Flasz.

Obviously we couldn't not go to the famous La Fortuna waterfall. In order to get to the waterfall and get back up to the main area, we had to go down and up 500 steps EACH WAY. Leg day for real. However, really, really worth it.

 Photo by Jessica Laurendeau.

Photo by Jessica Laurendeau.

 Photo by Evan Reilly.

Photo by Evan Reilly.

I indeed have to say that my favorite thing to do when we were in this area was kayaking at Lake Arenal. The view was super Instagram-worthy, AND it was a great arm exercise. I must have lost a lot of weight from this trip. Until our next stop...

 He told us that he stays young because he eats a lot of chocolate. Let's prove this. For science.

He told us that he stays young because he eats a lot of chocolate. Let's prove this. For science.

We then stopped by the chocolate plantation, because why not. Jen and Julia broke the record of the most spoonfuls of liquid chocolate eaten at that plantation. I gave up after four because it was really rich, and they did 26...

We stopped by at the city center park to see what was up around town. Irene told us that there is always a park in front of a church around Costa Rica, just like the one pictured above. Also, notice the volcano (covered by the huge cloud) behind the church!

When the night came, I believe these two pictures summed it up:

 Common sight during our trip.

Common sight during our trip.

That is all for part I! Tune in for part II coming up later this mid-week!

Mucho amor,
Naras