Hiking in Costa Rica: A Challenging Yet Rewarding Experience

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Me Hiking on the Trail

Hiking in Costa Rica is a series of me underestimating the level of endurance needed to do this. Last summer I went with a study group to Monteverde, Costa Rica. Monteverde means green mountain in Spanish so that gives you a hint of what it is like up there. It was a really rewarding experience but it was strenuous at times. There is nothing in New York that can prepare you for it, except maybe walking up 20 flights in an apartment building every day. Anyway, on one foggy day, we hiked through the Children’s Eternal Rainforest or in Spanish El Bosque Etenal del Los Niños (BEN). This rainforest in Costa Rica has a very unique story, which I will not talk about here, maybe in another post. We hiked to the San Gerardo field station which is in a valley. Downhill, you’d think “great,” but shortly after, I learned that walking downhill can be just as tiresome as uphill. Also, you remember the part when you have to walk back up the next day. Even though I was exhausted, it was very much worth it.

These are the two Guans. It tried to capture it on video but everything was happening so fast.

On our way, we saw many animals, particularly birds and frogs most of them pointed out by a guide. The most exciting moment was when we saw an Ornate Hawk-Eagle trying to eat two Guans (a large bird) and then two Capuchin monkeys tried to eat them too. Yes, you read that right. I felt like I was on the Discovery Channel. Our guide said it was the most actions he had seen on a hike in years.

Arenal Volcano in the Morning

After we got to the Field Station, we went for a short night hike. The following morning the fog had cleared and we saw the majestic Arenal Volcano. Ah-mazing!! This experience was challenging but very much worthwhile. The Costa Rican rainforests are amazing and the pictures don’t capture its beauty. It’s definitely a must-see. Have you ever had an experience that was difficult but worth it in the end? Let me know in the comments section.


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