At the start of the Christmas holiday, the Geography department took a group of pupils on an exciting trip to Costa Rica. We were met at the airport by our lovely guide, Mario, who accompanied us for the whole trip.

On the first day we had an early 4.00am start, and drove to the Caribbean coast of the country were we fit in kayaking, walking and snorkelling. While kayaking we spotted our first sloths, iguanas and monkeys, which was amazing. At the end of the day we went to our hotel on a black sand beach. In the evening it rained heavily, and we woke on the second day to the sound of the howler monkeys.

In the morning we went on a tour down a river where we saw porcupine, iguanas, sloths and many different types of birds. After the boat tour we drove to an organic pineapple plantation to learn about pineapple farming. We had the sweetest pineapple that we had ever tasted, it was incredible.

After spending the second night at an amazing hotel with an infinity pool overlooking the rainforest, we drove to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens which also had some enclosures with many different types of Costa Rican animals including frogs, birds, big cats and butterflies. In the afternoon we walked under and around the big waterfalls of the park.

On the fourth day we went caving in the Venado Caves in the morning and went on a walk up an old volcanic lava flow in the foothills of Mt Arenal in the afternoon. In the evening we spent some time at the Ecotermales Baths, a thermal hot spring heated by the volcano.

On the fifth and penultimate day we crossed lake Arenal by boat and then drove to a coffee, cocoa and sugar cane plantation where they explained how coffee, chocolate and sugar is made, along with their diversification into ecotourism.

On the final day we went zip-lining through the Monteverde cloud forest with volcanoes on the horizon, including Mt Arenal. It was so much fun and a great way to end the trip that we’ll remember forever

Bella Blanchard (Sn)