Day 6 began with the earliest start yet as we loaded into the vans at 6:45 am to go to hike in one of Costa Rica’s many national parks. The ride was long but, as we quickly realized, quite worth it. Even from the car, the beauty of the park was unmatched. Our tour guide was an older man named Freddy, who gave plenty of fascinating information of the park’s history, as well as various birds, butterflies, frogs, and insects we encountered. The hike was long and difficult, and I doubt there was one person who didn’t curse at the muddy hills and treacherous roots that seemed to grab your ankles; yet, even in the midst of all the uncomfortable moments unknown to us first world teenagers, the forest was breathtaking. We hiked mostly through the rainforest until we reached a long clearing that separated it from the dry forest. Freddy explained that this clearing was actually an escape route in case of fires in the dry forest! Soon afterwards, we reached the hot springs which made their presence known with the typical smell of sulfur. Even though it may have made our skin smell like rotten eggs, we waded and sat in the pools, all of which were different temperatures. The hottest pool
reddened our skin and made us steam when we got out. We then redressed and retraced our hike nearly back to the start of the trail, where another path led downhill towards a waterfall. The water was cool and refreshing as we jumped into the small pool below the 10 meter waterfall. It was difficult to get out, but by now it was almost noon and we were fueled by the premade sandwiches that awaited us at the building where the vans were parked. After the long drive back to Finca La Anita, we continued working on our group research up until dinner at 6:00 pm. Dinner was delicious lasagna for which seconds were a must. Following dinner many of us returned to the classroom to continue our research during the optional working time between 7:00 and 9:00pm. After this, we returned to our cabins to end the night.