2023 Galloway School Costa Rica Program

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Day 9: El sabor de Costa Rica 

Written by Karen Gómez (Program Leader)
Today was our traveling day back to Alajuela. We started the morning with breakfast at the hotel in Puerto Viejo at 8:00 a.m. and were ready to our five hour ride at 9:30. The group did it amazing been on time as almost always every day.
During our bus drive back we did a couple of stops. Our first stop was to buy snacks, go to the restroom, and stretch a little bit. Two hours later we stopped for lunch and to try a traditional ice cream of Costa Rica named “sorbetera ice cream” at Santa Barbara town in the Heredia province. Then, we continue our trip back to the hotel in Alajuela, La Rosa de América, that lasted one and half hour. Once at the hotel everyone received their rooms’ keys and had sometime to enjoy the water and chat around the pool area.
Later at night, we enjoyed our last dinner as a group in Costa Rica and  the students finished some assignments from school.

Day 8: El sabor de Costa Rica

Written by Olivia Williams
We began our day with a nutritious breakfast at our hotel, with the options of french toast or an omelette. After breakfast, we headed to the beach where we did some journaling, swimming, and played beach games. We returned to the hotel to freshen up for our next activities for the day. We were allowed to explore the area and did some souvenir shopping. After we finished shopping, we dined at an Afro-Caribbean restaurant. Then, we visited the Sloth Sanctuary. There, our guide gave us a lot of information about the lifestyles of sloths and the stories behind the sloths that were in the sanctuary. We returned to the city area and began our dance lessons. We learned how to do the basic steps and turns of bachata and salsa. We were all natural dancers and got the steps relatively quickly! After our lessons, we came back to the hotel to prepare for our special dinner. Our options were filet mignon, fish, stir fry-like chicken, and a vegetarian dish. Everything was exquisite and the scenery was gorgeous! After a long day, we returned to the hotel for the night to pack and prepare for our journey back to San Jose!

Day 7: El sabor de Costa Rica 

Written by Abby Feldstein, Ella Bohntinsky, and Lily Nelson
Today was a great day filled with sunshine, the beach, and nature! We started the day off with a breakfast consisting of either pancakes and fruit or a classic Costa Rican dish, pinto. Then we drove to Cahuita National Park and walked around as we saw many different animals and the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. Some of the animals we saw were monkeys, sloths, and turtles! We spent quite a while walking to the beach and had a great time swimming and tanning once we got there. It was a small area that was perfect with very rocky ocean floors. Everyone enjoyed a quick swim in the ocean and then we walked back on the beautiful trail where we saw even more animals. After our walk, we went to lunch in Puerto Viejo where everyone enjoyed different drinks like pineapple, mango, and papaya juice. After lunch, the group headed to another beach to enjoy the waves and some beach volleyball. We stayed until the sun set and headed back to La Costa De Papito where we had a late dinner from Hoy Quiero pizza to end our night!

Day 6: El Sabor de Costa Rica

Written by Ashaar Bashki & Shaheen Bagheri
Today, we had our final breakfast at La Fortuna, as we got ready to depart for Puerto Viejo de Limón. We loaded the buses and headed out to Limón, with a pit stop at white water rafting. There, we enjoyed an adventurous time in the water, full of splashes and fun, with only a few overboard. We saw several birds and even saw a few monkeys. After the long rafting trip, we settled down in a small restaurant called RustiTicos where we were severed delicious local food and dessert. As we finished up, we boarded the bus again for Limón, where we rode for 5 hours. We finally arrived at the hotel, where we enjoyed Indian food and rested up for more adventures.

Day 5: El sabor de Costa Rica

Written by Sariah Robbins & Kendall Jones

Today was a very eventful day! First we took a beautiful hike to a view point of El Volcán Arenal. Before our hike, we were given a small history lesson about the volcanic activity of Arenal. It erupted in 1968 and was active until 2010. Now the volcano is dormant, but it is still considered the countries most active volcano. After our lesson, we walked over 6 kilometers and on our way up, we saw a variety animals and species including a tree that is over 400 years old. At the peak of our hike we got an unforgettable view of the volcano and the city La Fortuna. After the hike, we had out last Spanish class with our instructors Dannie and Fabián, we learned about traditions of Costa rica and learned some traditional Costa Rican dances! Lastly, we ended our night with a nice meal and a some soccer.

Day 4: El sabor de Costa Rica

Written by Violet Kottke 
Today is our 4th day in Costa Rica and we started the day with a very fun Spanish lesson. We played a Costa Rican version of “Simon Says” where the commands were in Spanish rather than English. The lesson lasted until around 11 and we then walked to a restaurant to eat lunch.  Our waiter looked very similar to Señor Martínez’s son, GianCarlo! We then spent some time relaxing in the hammocks at our hotel and got ready to head to the hot springs. At the hot springs we got to go down some very fun water slides and relax in the lovely warm waters until 6. After everyone changed and dried off we had a buffet dinner at the same resort that had the hot springs, and we enjoyed a large variety of foods, from beef tenderloin to pineapple, every food was delicious. They even had cute teeny desserts for us to grab as we pleased! A group favorite was the chocolate cake. After dinner we headed back to our hotel for the night and had a group check in to talk about anything on our minds. To end the day we wrote in our journals about our experience and headed to bed to prepare for our big day tomorrow!

Day 3: El Sabor de Costa Rica

Written by Rachel Graves
Today was exciting,  we began our day with a delicious breakfast at our hotel, including waffles, eggs, ham, and more. After breakfast, we headed to La Fortuna waterfall for a morning of hiking, swimming, and sight-seeing. We walked down many stairs to get to the bottom of the waterfall, where we were able to take pictures and admire the beautiful view. We also swam in a stream of water, which was cold, but refreshing after our hike. After our walk back up the stairs, we went to lunch where we all enjoyed our meals; some of which were empanadas, chicken fajitas, and more. Then, we came back to the hotel where we had some time to relax and work on our final project. We then had our Spanish lesson of the day where we had competitions and played games learning new types of animals and fruits in Spanish. We split into two groups for dinner and went to separate restaurants for a filling meal before going back to our hotel and preparing for the next day.

Day 2: : ¡Pura Vida Day!

Written by Logan Smith
Today was a great day! In the morning, the group woke up and prepared to drive from Alajuela to La Fortuna where many of us ate pinto, a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans, and tried watermelon juice for the first time. We then drove on a three hour bus ride where we stopped and tried a variety of snacks. Upon arrival in La Fortuna, a town next to one of the countries many volcanos, we ate lunch before our tour of a coffee plantation. Once everyone was ready, the group drove to North Fields Cafe and split into two groups. Each group tried Costa Rican coffee, Star fruit, cocoa pods, 100% cocoa, melted milk and dark chocolate, and a variety of chocolate chips. We also tried freshly squeezed sugar cane juice and a Costa Rican sweet bread called Arepa. Besides the delicious samples, we also learned about the cultivation and processing of the different plants and how they impact the economy when it comes to exports. After the tour, we checked in to our hotel and had a short Spanish lesson before we ate dinner at a nearby restaurant where we also celebrated the birthday of one of our members. We ended the day with a journal reflection and are excited to visit a waterfall tomorrow.
¡Hasta Mañana y pura vida!

Day 1: El Sabor de Costa Rica 

Written by Riley MacDonald
We had such an exciting start to our excursion with Walking Tree Travel! We began our day early in the Atlanta airport before getting on a long flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. After a successful flight, we got our bags and met our Walking Tree leaders by our bus that took us towards our hotel. We stopped at Las Delicias del Maiz for lunch and had some delicious food. Some of our options were chicken fajitas, Casado, and arroz con pollo. Afterwards, we headed to La Rosa de America Hotel for a few hours of down time. We hung out and listened to music by the pool. In the early evening, we got together for a meeting. We talked about expectations and safety, and got to know each other a little bit more. We did some activities to tell each other our values and get closer as a community. After, we went to dinner at Restaurante Mirador del Valle, and ate delicious dishes such as chifrijo (a rice and bean bowl with pork), arroz con mariscos, and chicken fajitas. We went back to the hotel to shower and sleep and are so excited to head to La Fortuna tomorrow!