Getting used to being in a different country is exciting, but if you get too comfortable in one place, you might regret not seeing more of the country outside of your city. For the first two weekends of my program, we had two included excursions, the first to Tamarindo Beach, and the second to the Arenal Volcano. During the Arenal excursion, nearly everyone made plans to see other places during our free time. It was pretty easy to figure out transportation and any extra costs. I went to the town of La Fortuna and to La Fortuna waterfall with some friends. I was exhausted by the end of the weekend because I had to wake up before sunrise in order to do everything I wanted to do, but it was all worth it. Sometimes you have to wake up early enough to create your free time.
For my first weekend free of any group excursions, I planned a trip to Puerto Viejo, Limon, on the Caribbean Coast with some friends. I took charge of finding a hostel that would satisfy everyone’s budgets and was able to find a place not too far outside of town. It is better to plan these weekends at least a week in advance because many hostels will have very limited vacancy if you wait too long. It definitely wasn’t a 5 star resort, but we made some good memories throughout the weekend.