Traveling in Costa Rica

Business Administration major Abby Henderson ’23 studied abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica during the fall of 2021.

Four girls pose in front of Salitral Waterfall in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The waterfall is surrounded by bright green greenery.
Salitral Waterfall in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Studying abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica was one of the best opportunities and experiences I have had while at Etown. I studied at Universidad Veritas through CIS Abroad for twelve weeks and had the chance to travel every weekend.

I made some of my best friends there and we planned trips to beaches such as Puerto Viejo, Jaco, and Puntarenas. I also got to explore Monteverde, Guanacaste, Curubande, and several other places I will never forget. After we finished classes on Fridays, we would take a bus to our destination and it would cost a maximum of $10, relatively cheap. The bus rides were pretty easy, although sometimes they could take up to five hours with a rest stop at the halfway mark. One of my favorite and most memorable trips I went on was with three of my friends to Buena Vista Del Rincon, an adventure park, resort and spa in Guanacaste.

The trip began on a Friday, and we took an Uber from the school to the bus station, another relatively cheap mode of transportation to travel to nearby places. When we arrived at the bus station, people were lined up to get on, so we had to quickly unload our belongings from the car and get in line for our randomized seat. It took us about five hours to travel from San Jose to Guanacaste. After the long bus ride, we had to call an Uber to take us to the resort about an hour away from where we arrived. That Uber ride only cost us $9 each and speaking with the driver the entirety of the trip helped us when we needed to get back to the bus on Sunday. 

When we arrived at the resort around 11 p.m., we were exhausted from traveling, but still decided to walk around the secluded eco-lodge. We decided to go for a swim in the pool nearby and then got ready for the following day.

A hanging bridge with green netting on either side overlooks green trees.
Los Higuerones Hanging Bridges in Rincón de la Vieja, Costa Rica

On Saturday, we woke up and went to the inclusive breakfast buffet. It was a traditional breakfast of gallo pinto, scrambled eggs, toast, and an assortment of fruits with coffee, juice, and water. After breakfast, we each paid $99 for two days of activities. The staff at this resort was extremely flexible and let us choose when we wanted to do each activity and how many times we could do them. It began with an hour of continuous zip lining followed by horseback riding through the jungle. The trail led us to the top of a mountain where we could see treetops for miles.

After this, we returned to the lodge for lunch and to rest. We continued our day and went down a natural water slide for the next hour. We wanted to take advantage of every activity they offered because we knew we had to leave earlier the next day. We then loaded into the back of a truck and they took us to a trail that led to a waterfall. We spent about thirty minutes at this waterfall and then went to the hot springs. We could also get a volcanic mud bath and sit in the sauna in the same area of the hot springs.

On the following day, we went back to the hot springs and walked on the hanging bridges through the jungle, hearing lots of birds and monkeys. The trip ended shortly after this, and was one of the most exciting weekends I had during my time in Costa Rica.

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