Written By Emma
Emma here! We have safely landed and have been spending our first four days in Chilamate at the amazing Chilamate Ecolodge. On day one, we flew in to San José around 11am Mountain Time. We drove for one hour through the beautiful Costa Rican landscape, with cliffs of green, and lush mountains intertwined with clouds. We stopped at a remote local comedor where we started our journey with variations of a traditional casado; vegetable-rice-and-beans combo.
We were welcomed with a classic rainforest downpour as we made our way back to the van to drive another couple of hours until our destination at the Chilamate Ecolodge! After we briefly settled into our rooms around the compound, we trekked down to the river to end our night with a refreshing swim test, we rode the swift current under the jungle canopy. We went to bed with full bellies thanks to the wonderful kitchen staff and headed to bed for our first good nights sleep in Central America.
Day two we started the day early with a 7:30am breakfast; featuring local fresh fruits, and delicious scrambled eggs. We then jump started our adventure into Costa Rican culture with a fascinating nature walk with a local naturalist through the surrounding tropical rainforest.
Our guide William showed us bullet ants, poison dart and blue jean frogs, humming birds, toucans, lizards, and bats amongst various plants and wildlife. We then dove into our group Carpe Diem Orientation with Rachael and Ryan; featuring a dance party, funny skits, and ice breaker games. In our free time in the afternoon we revisited the river to ride the rapid current yet again and read amongst the general wildlife splendor (including howler monkeys and huge butterflies). We ended our first full day in Chilamate with a friendly (but competitive) game of spot it.
On day three in Chilamate we got to really introduce ourselves to the local culture with a fun scavenger hunt prepared by the amazing surrounding community. We interviewed a local woman named Digna about her life in Costa Rica and what it was like to live amongst her entire family. We also dabbled in cow milking, salsa dancing, tortilla making, and river paddling before we settled down for lunch. Later in the day some of us ventured into the local town to try some chocolate, and then the whole group ended the night with a fascinating night walk with knowledgable local naturalists, highlighting bioluminescent wood, banana spiders, and many cicadas.
Our last day in Chilamate, our host Meghan introduced us to the wonders and values of forest therapy, involving the benefits of mindfulness, the constant motion of our surroundings, getting in touch with our indigenous spirits by communing with nature, and creating mandalas and gratitude nature art. We then set off on a beautiful waterfall hike in a Costa Rican oasis (shown below), where we were able to swim behind the waterfall and appreciate the splendor of rainforest nature. We ended our last night by attempting to create our grocery list for our next venture in Turrialba where we will be cooking for ourselves!
We are now settled in Turrialba for the next ten days and can’t wait to keep you updated!