Costa Rica Dolphin & Ecology 12-Day Adventure — Thursday, July 25, 2019

Waterfall Wonderland

Today we made our first grand journey to Las Tumbas to conquer Diamante Waterfalls! Our drive began in Alajuela, in the center of Costa Rica. As we made our way south we passed by a bridge that had crocodiles resting in the waters below! There were about 8 giant crocodiles floating just at the waters edge. The group got along great in the car as they all began to chat and sing along to car songs.
Once we arrived to Pacific Journey base camp we met our wonderful guides, Gretal and Abraham! They took us on another short car ride to the beginning of the mountain hike. Rory was very observant as she noticed the changes in the moss's colors depending on the angle of the light. Although the hike was long and up a giant mountain, we eventually arrived to an amazing garden where we ate the freshest mangoes off the trees! We tried lots of local herbs and learned about horticulture. Jon took the daring feat of taking a bite out of a spicy hot Chilly pepper.
We then continued up the mountain until we found our destination for the night, the cave of Las Tumbas! Everyone, especially Sophia, was in complete awe with the fact that a beautiful cave such as the one at Diamante falls existed and we had the opportunity to sleep there. All of the students were excited to get into the waterfalls. Anhwei, Sophia, Sarah, and Rory quickly decided to take a girl power photo to mark the moment! While we settled into our home for the night everyone gathered around the table to play some cards. Paulo got very lucky by sneaking in some last minute, high-stakes wins, and once she grasped the strategy, Anhwei climbed her way to the top of the score board! After dinner, we sat around a bonfire where both Sarah and Jon shared campfire stories. Just before bed, the team walked to the base of the waterfalls by the light of their headlamps. When they arrived, Carley told everyone to switch of their lights and we plunged into darkness for a few moments as our eyes adjusted. Then, the stars blossomed.. on the rock floors! Glow worms with tiny greenish lights sparkled everywhere! Paulo was especially struck by their captivating beauty. Then then crawled into our sleeping bags, worn out from the long day of adventures - but eager for even more tomorrow!

From central valley, down the coast road
straight up to Diamante falls we bravely strode
to sleep in a cave amid water cascading down
with campfires and glowworms and friends all around!

- Amanda and Carley, co-leaders