Last week was fantastic for the Chill Expeditions team! After a busy week in the San Jose office, the entire team set off for Guanacaste for our annual staff retreat. First stop: Milkshakes. A mandatory component of our retreats has become a visit to a local ice cream/pizza restaurant, where the famous dairy products of Monteverde are showcased. Daring combinations range from Pistachio/Coffee to Chocolate Coconut. With milkshakes in hand, we continued on up toward the Nicaragua border into the Rio Celeste reserve area. We settled into our lovely eco-lodge, ready to hike in the national park the next day.
The next morning, we woke to torrential rains and heavy fog- on Expedition, even the best laid plans can change. The Chill Expeditions team is nothing if not resourceful, so after a few heated games of charades while waiting for the weather to change, we decided to go for plan “B”- as in Beach. We piled back into our bus and headed out of the mountains and mist and down to the sunny beaches of Guanacaste. We caught the sunset and enjoyed a delicious dinner in the beautiful playa Panama.
The next morning, the weather decided to cooperate, so we headed into the Rio Celeste National Park. On a fantastic hike of four hours, we wandered through the park, marveling at the beauty of Rio Celeste- a stunning sky blue river cutting through the verdant green of the rainforest. The park is a geologic wonderland- with natural hotsprings, a towering waterfall, and the river water colored an unbelievable blue by the mix of minerals coming from the nearby Volcan Tenorio.
After exploring the park, we headed back to the city (of course, stopping for milkshakes on the way!), refreshed, renewed, and with added respect for the charade, Frisbee, and hiking skills of our Chill Expeditions colleagues. What we experienced on this retreat was what we seek to provide for each and every one of our Educational Travel clients- the opportunity to step back, pause, and be inspired. This retreat was a fantastic opportunity to explore one of the natural wonders of Costa Rica, to connect with nature and each other, and to unplug and refresh during such a busy time of year- can’t wait to see what next year’s retreat will bring! Pura Vida!