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Posted by Rick Civelli | 08.01.2012 | Costa Rica Surf Camp, Teen Camps

2012 Teen Cost Rica Camp – Jessica Knowles

The minute you get out of customs in Liberia, Costa Rica, you know this is not an ordinary camp or vacation. It’s a 2 week non-stop adventure. Even riding to the first hotel is anything but ordinary; you are surrounded by green hills, stunning scenery and are dodging pot holes, napping dogs, and even a pig, horse, or cow. Our cabinas are a gorgeous introduction to the new environment with howler monkeys yelling, toads the size of cats, and iguanas everywhere instead of squirrels. Our first evening we walked across a wooden walkway through a mangrove forest to the beach at Playa Avellanas, to check out the surf, take a swim and see one of the most beautiful sunsets Costa Rica has to offer.

The week at Avellanas was filled with awesome waves. When we werenʼt in the water epic ping pong battles ensued and our first four legged friends found company. The dogs and cats of Costa Rica seem to belong to everybody. Which says something about the people; they are welcoming, friendly and genuine. Cairo, our Tico guide being the archetype for the Pura Vida lifestyle, showing us a more local way to do things.

Non surfing days were where the adventure dial was kicked up a notch. We milked cows, chased piglets around a pen, and rode in an ox cart at a working farm. During our whitewater adventure the rapids brought out some pretty funny expressions on everyone’s faces.

We filled one of our last days with a trip to Rincon de la Vieja, a dormant volcano near Liberia. We zip-lined, repelled, climbed, rode horses to a waterfall, swam in its pale blue pool, floated through a canyon on a tube and finished the day with a sauna, mud treatment, and thermal springs. Not a bad day at the office! We also found time for multiple beach and park cleanups and spanish lessons. We spent an afternoon beautifying a neighborhood school and joined a summer camp bridging the language gap through art, sports, and smiles.

As the days progressed so did the skills and knowledge of the campers. Our second week in Playa Grande saw the campers paddling into their own waves, reading the waves, and getting some great rides down the line. Exhaustion levels increased but the stoke never faltered. Even on the last full day, when a storm forced us off the beach, the campers left with huge smiles. That last night we all gave our highs and lows of an amazing adventure we did not want to end. The Pura Vida lifestyle had touched all of us.

-Jessica Knowles
2012 WB Surf Camp Teen Costa Rica Adventure