Bright and early on Friday morning, myself and Audrey cooked breakfast for our group of 7 girls (two girls came to Uvita after the five of us).
On day one of our long weekend, our group decided to visit Nauyaca Waterfalls. Since there was not Uber or taxis, Benito had called some people the night before to arrange transportation for us for an unknown cost.
After picking up two other group members at their hostel, our group of nine settled into the vehicles for the 30-minute drive. The two drivers parked at the ticket office where we all paid $9 USD/Costa Rican colones equivalent admission price to receive our wristbands. With our wristbands fastened on, everyone hopped back into their respective vehicle and the drivers took us to the beginning of the trail head. There, the drivers told us the cost of the taxi ride…$160 USD. Eeeek!! Luckily, since there was 9 of us in total, each portion equated to $17 each. It was also at this time that I realized I did not have my SD card in my camera. Sigh.
Once everyone slathered on their sunscreen, we began the hike to the waterfalls. The 1.5 hour hike was difficult and easy all at the same time. There were steep portions, flat portions, muddy portions, and unrelenting heat. I was dripping sweat. What I loved most about the hike is that it provided great time to talk with other Sol students who I do not have class with every day. I felt like I got to know everyone a little better.
Eventually, part of our group made it to the first portion of Nayumaca. Immediately, the air temperature changed and I felt so much cooler! Some group members had fallen behind/encouraged the rest of us to walk ahead. This portion of the falls is the more dangerous of the two, which means you cannot swim only take photos and admire the scenery.
After snapping photos, myself and Hannah D. walked to the other portion of the falls where you can swim to snap photos and wait for the rest of the group. What I loved about this portion of the falls is that you can see the top portion (where we were previously) flow into the portion where you can swim. A simply breathtaking view!
Once everyone reapplied sunscreen, we made our way down the slippery rocks to swim! Luckily for us, Nayumaca had an employee who helped visitors in and out of the water. Without help, there is no way I would have been able to do so on my own.
Our entire group lounged in the refreshing cool water for a couple of hours taking in the view and chatting. There were other tourists present, but not so many that the area felt overcrowded.
Eventually, we all reluctantly exited. All 9 of us basked in the sun and enjoyed our packed lunches while the sound of the falls rushed in our ears. Before beginning the hike back, we took one last (almost whole) group picture.
The hike back seemed to go much faster. I think this is because I felt so much cooler. Our drivers arrived at 2:00 pm and drove us back to our AirBnb.
From there, some students decided to rest. Others, like me, decided to explore a bit and pick up some groceries and go in search of an SD card.
In the evening, we cooked dinner and afterwards chatted and played cards.
A wonderful first day!
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