We spent last night in San Juan del Sur, a popular beach town with many beautiful homes, much lodging for tourists seeking some beach time, and numerous surfing hostels. Luckily, the ambiance hasn’t been destroyed by too much investment yet and this little fishing town manages to retain its authentic Nicaraguan flavor.
Many of us awakened to a heavy rain falling, but the storm soon ended and the sun came out…hot and humid again! After a quick breakfast at our hotel of pancakes and fruit or typical gallo pinto and eggs, we loaded the bus to head to Playa Hermosa, a beach near San Juan that would be more appropriate for our beginner surfing lessons than the beach in front of the hotel. An episode of Survivor was even filmed on this beach.
Playa Hermosa was a beautiful spot with a well-maintained lodge for surfers, complete with a restaurant, but nothing else but a natural beach. The kids were able to get some surfing lessons for 90 minutes and then practice and swim for another hour before we enjoyed our lunch in the shade under a roof made of palm leaves. Many of them were standing up on their boards and all were having a great time.
Emma: “I was really scared first because I’m really scared of sharks but it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be…really, really fun!”
Lauren: “I was excited to surf again and after having some help from the instructor I was able to get it on my own and catch my own wave.”
Claire: “Surfing was really fun and I liked riding the big waves.”
Nile: “I really liked surfing although I wasn’t good at it.”
Matthew: “Surfing was very, very fun.”
Jayla: “The waves were really fun when they pushed you all the way to the shore.”
Jacqueline: “I’m not very good at it.”
Jon: “It was really fun.”
Dillon: “It was a lot easier than I expected and I got a wave on my first try.”
Austin: “Top 10 life experiences.”
Will: “I cut Beans off!”
Kate: “I want to teach my dog how to surf.”
After our surfing lessons and lunch at Playa Hermosa, we came back to our hotel where we had left our bags in two rooms. We had a chance for a quick shower and then it was off to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border to say goodbye to David and continue our journey with Leo and now Pika, a Costa Rican who works for EcoTeach.
The border crossing between Nicaragua and Costa Rica was interesting but went smoothly and in about an hour we were finished with formalities for both countries and finally in Costa Rica. Along the way we learned some information about Costa Rica’s protected natural areas. We had a drive of about 90 minutes up to our hotel in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in the province of Guanacaste where we were greeted with a welcome fruit punch and then had time to swim in the pool and explore the beautiful grounds, full of diverse plants, before dinner.