Tour de San Jose
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We spent our last night in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and woke up to a delicious buffet breakfast provided by the lovely service team members of the hotel. We were then transported to downtown San Jose by our fantastic bus driver, Fernando (gracias Fernando!). Mario, our tour guide, escorted us throughout the town, pointing out many interesting monuments and portions of history that help to tell the story of Costa Rican history. He also told us interesting facts and explanations about the plants and wildlife, as well as any other things we had questions about. One statue in particular that caught my interest stood at the highest point in San Jose. Originally it had been the highest structure in the city and was visible from virtually every point elsewhere throughout the city. Since then many more recent buildings tower over it, obstructing the view it once had. This statue had very detailed portions, each representing something important to the foundation of Costa Rica, such as the dead soldier representing all those lost within the civil war. Another structure that caught my attention was the domelike structure that echoed sound when you spoke underneath it. This area is famous for being a very prominent meeting place within the city of different groups and organizations. There was a very fascinating place in town square that is popular. When approaching it, it seems to be some sort of festival, which in a way it was. People from all over the city came here to watch the world cup. It was a very interesting and informing experience that greatly contributed to our immersion into the Costa Rican culture, specifically that of San Jose and helped us to develop more of an understanding and appreciation for the history and structure of Costa Rica.
Long Ride to a Water Slide
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After exploring the wonderful city of San Jose we boarded the bus and started our journey to the Tilajari Hotel in San Carlos. The long ride was broken up by some planned as well as some unplanned stops. During our trek up the mountains Mario spotted a sloth hanging in a tree and the bus driver (Fernando) was nice enough to stop so we could take some pictures. Our next stop was for ice cream and iguanas, which was awesome there were so many iguanas munching on lettuce and hanging out enjoying the sun. The hotel was our next stop, before even bringing all the bags to our rooms we headed for lunch (which was awesome). During our lunch we saw a crocodile and after lunch on our way to our rooms we ran into a cute little armadillo! We quickly changed into our swim suites and took a brief walk around the resort grounds. We walked through a butterfly garden and then saw some horses on the way to the pool! The pool was just what we all needed after a morning of traveling, and to make the day even better we got to watch the US beat Ghana. The final stop of the day was at the Baldi Hot Springs, this place was phenomenal there were over 20 different pools. The best part of the springs were the water slides, despite some past horror stories everyone had a blast and made it out in one piece.