Journey to Costa Rica
Floating in crystal clear oceans, meditating in the middle of nature, taking nocturnal wilderness walks, and snorkeling with sharks – that is just a glimpse of what our alumni experienced during this eight-day, life changing trip to Costa Rica.
This journey brought us to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches, hot springs, and breathtaking mountain ranges. The trip was filled with fun and adventure, but it also challenged us to go beyond our perceived limitations. It was a journey of spiritual enlightenment that pushed us out of our comfort zone and encouraged us to embrace the idea of living a simple life.
“I learned so much about myself on this trip. It gave me a huge confidence boost, a new sense of empowerment, and confidence in my own judgments that I had lost for so long. It also brought out my inner child. I cannot wait to take more solo trips and more alumni trips with Mountainside!”
“Without question, this experience was one – if not the best – thing I’ve ever done for myself!”
“The trip was an amazing travel experience. It is so much easier to travel with sober friends. Our common bond, outlook, and background enhanced our experience and appreciation of the trip. And talk about incentive to remain on our paths of sobriety!”
“As one who has traveled extensively, I can honestly say that this was the best trip I have ever taken. Can’t wait for the next one!”
We arrived at the beautiful boutique hotel, Bosque del Mar Playa Hermosa. After settling in, we enjoyed a welcome dinner made up of traditional Costa Rican cuisine. The food was amazing!
This was an adventure filled day consisting of zip lining, horseback riding, mud baths, hot springs, bird watching, and tubing down Rio Negro. A lot of us conquered our fears while taking in the stunning scenery.
This was a day all about giving back. We volunteered at Las Pumas Rescue Center, where we got the opportunity to make toys for the animals, help build enclosures, and feed the jaguars.
This day was all about embracing nature. The founders of Misión Tiburón taught us all about endangered sharks and then took us snorkeling. We saw turtles, sting rays, puffer fish, and even a shark!
This day was all about immersing ourselves in the culture. We learned about organic farming, plantations, and medical gardens at La Casona, an elegant, turn-of-the-century country home of former Costa Rican president Rafael Iglesias. We enjoyed an authentic Costa Rican meal while we listened to live music. Some of us joined in on the dance, and one of us even played guitar with the locals.
This was the most relaxing day on the trip. During the daytime, we enjoyed free time to explore the town of La Fortuna. At night, we took a wildlife tour where we saw tarantulas, sloths, frogs, and vipers.
This was our last full day in Costa Rica. We visited the botanical gardens, took an art class, and made a stop at Poás Volcano National Park, the largest active crater in the world. We then returned to our hotel and enjoyed a delicious farewell dinner.
This was our departure day. As much as we wanted the trip to go on forever, we had to pack and head to the airport.