Costa Rica Recap!


By Em Shanblatt

Returning from Costa Rica after nearly two months of work and play, I found myself wanting to relive all the joy I experienced in the tropics.  I wanted to eat mangoes everyday, kayak in a shorty, and put Lizano sauce on everything I ate.  Sadly, these things proved to be unique my time in Costa Rica, and as I eventually admitted to myself, should not be recreated (especially paddling in a shorty in North Carolina in February…)

Costa Rica is a magical place, and anyone who joined us this winter to paddle knows what I’m talking about.  The rivers are fun and beautiful, the wildlife and scenery are insurmountable, and after warm days of nothing but sunshine, you can’t help but go to bed with a smile.


Photo by Shanna Hoge Gachen

Girls at Play held four trips this winter, including a Co-Ed trip (with special instructor Andrew Holcombe), a women’s Novice trip, and two Intermediate women’s trips.  Each trip proved to be uniquely different, as the various personalities of each group emerged and evolved throughout the week.  Each group offered plenty  of laughs, many learning opportunities on the river, and crazy antics off the river.

Photo: Sarah McEneany
Photo: Sarah McEneany

From morning yoga sessions, to rope swings, to salsa dancing at night, each day reminded me how special of a place I was in, and how amazing kayaking is.  It’s a sport that takes us across the world, and to places that no others can access besides fellow paddlers.  I feel grateful everyday knowing that kayaking has given me such an unforgettable winter in Costa Rica, and has introduced me to the countless amazing people I met down there.  From local guides, to world class bus and van drivers, to the amazing folks who came on our trips, I know some of the friendships I made in Costa Rica will last for years to come.

Hope you see you down there next year!