Pura Vida – Eleven days in Costa Rica

Pura vida – The pure life.  Traveling in Costa Rica is an adventure that provides some of the most amazing sights and experiences. Five years ago I had the amazing opportunity to help chaperone a group of 22 teens on an 11 day youth group trip.  I am SO excited to be planning another trip to this fabulous country so I thought I’d dig up some old photos to share some highlights of that trip.

After a 3 hour layover in Colombia, we arrived in the capital city San Jose.  We stayed one night in this populated city then took a coach to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.  We boarded canoes with small motors and were guided up river, against the current, to an indian village near the border of Panama.  We stayed for a few days with no electricity, open huts with mosquitos nets and ladies who cooked our food over fires.  Our service activity was to plant trees, and help with reforestation of the rain forest. We met some locals and our kids played a soccer game; the natives won even though some of them did not have any shoes.


Our next stop was a beautiful beach on the Carribean Sea.  I had such fun watching these kids interact with each other.

Caribbean Sea

We stopped one afternoon at Don Juan’s Organic Farm for a tour and a delicious lunch.



We hiked to La Fortuna waterfalls and up a path to Arenal Volcano.  We all (even me) participated in 8 extremely long and scary legs of a ziplining course through the rainforest.


Arenal Volcano

Finally, our coach bus took us to the other side of Costa Rica and we spent a few days in the laid back surf town of Tamarindo.


Pacific Ocean


Howler monkeys

I had chaperoned this trip because my youngest son was only 14 years old at the time and I thought I should be there with him.  Really I just wanted to go! I am so glad that I did.  When I told Mike about the quiet little beach town, he was interested.  We looked into the idea of moving there after retiring and considered it quite seriously.  Well, things change and we don’t always have as much time in our lives as we think we do.  Due to the change in my life, I now try to live life more fully and I do not plan on waiting for that some day. As Buddha says “The trouble is, you think you have time”.



59 Responses

  1. Interesting adventure with your young son, a lifetime memory with awesome photos. You keep on exploring…good for you.

  2. Grief is hard, but its great that you are doing amazing things and embracing life with your son!

  3. Costa Rica has been one of my favorite destinations. The zip-lining was incredible! I’ve never done anything like that before I went to CR. What a thrill! Loved your photos and your story…brought back great memories.

  4. That looks amazing! What an experience to have with your son! I am so sorry for loss, and I hope your 2nd trip is just as amazing!

  5. what a wonderful trip. I am sure it is something you and your son will remember forever. I have heard that this is a lovely place to live as well. My uncle had looked into moving there at one point.

  6. Always wanted to go to Costa Rica, now I wanted even more! I love the idea of cutting yourself from your phone and all electronics and just truly enjoy the time!

  7. The pictures are amazing! Looks like you had a great time. I’ve never been to Costa Rica, but hear it’s a wonderful place. Will have to add it to my list!

  8. I’ve heard so many WONDERFUL things about Costa Rica. It’s definitely on my bucket list of places to travel and your pictures look so breathtaking!

  9. I can see why you jumped at the opportunity to chaperone this trip as it looks like it was awesome. I’m sure all the kids had the time of their lives. What kind of animals are those after the zip lining?

  10. I LOVE Costa Rica! My Hubby and I went over there for our late Honeymoon back in 2014 and absolutely fell in love. I cannot wait to go back!

  11. Great place! if you want to know what living a peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family and friends, just come to Costa Rica and experience it yourself! ¡PURA VIDA!

  12. Traveling is good for the soul. These pictures are beautiful and take me to Costa Rica even though I’m so far away! I hope you enjoy your trip this time even more! 😊

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Runaway Widow
Join me, Kristin, on my journey to adjust to the sudden death of my husband and learn to live as a young, middle-aged, remarried widow.

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