There are certain experiences that are everlasting; they leave us with an indelible impression of life that persists into the deepest parts of our memory. For me, this would have to be my trip to Puerto Viejo.

Although I had been to Puerto Viejo once before, the second time was even more profound. This time around I was able to absorb the warmth of the sun, the sound of the ocean hitting the shore and most importantly, the culture.

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The excursion tipped off with snorkeling in the Atlantic. We jumped on boat and rode out to the tip of the island, where the water was still shallow. Afterwards, our instructor gave us a brief review on ways to stay safe while in the water. Immediately, upon being submerged in the water, I began to panic because I was unable to breathe through my nose due to the apparatus that we had to wear. However, I was able to calm down after a few minutes. What came after was surreal. Through my snorkels, I was able to enter another world. The coral and abundance of sea animals seemed to form its own distinct society. In that moment, I was consumed by the immense beauty of the sea.

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When we finished snorkeling, we took a tour through a nearby park. The nature trails that we embarked on brought us up and close with the wildlife. Up above, we saw sloths hanging from trees as they extended their limbs to reach for food. In the same tree, we saw a family of monkeys zipping through the trees as they jumped from branch to branch.

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Later that day, we visited a restaurant called Maxis located about 15 minutes from our hotel. The food was excellent. I had “chuletas de cerdo”, or pork chops in the United States. The rest of my group had typical dishes from the area. Unfortunately, I was unable to record the names of these delicious plates, but trust me, they exist.

At the end of our trip, We had a little bit of free time. I decided to go to the beach. Personally, I like “La Playa Negrita”, but there are other beaches nearby that just as beautiful like Cocles for example. These beaches are literally a bike ride apart.

Overall, I have to say that Puerto Viejo felt like a home away from home. Besides the heat, it is hard to find fault in this tropical paradise.

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