We started off our first full day in Playa Hermosa with a classic breakfast at the hotel before hopping on the bus for a day trip to Playa Grande. Our first stop of the day was at the Leatherback Trust conservation center with an introduction to the turtles and what we can do to help them thrive. We continued to the beach where we cleaned up any trash that we found along the coast. When we returned to the center our guide, Cristian, explained that in order for the government to support the conservation efforts, they needed serious proof of the kinds of trash that end up along the beaches. To do this, we had checklists to log each type of plastic we collected. After our visit, we were all ready for an amazing treetop lunch at the Riptide Inn. We ate, soaked in the sun on hammocks, and attempted to solve a human knot in the pool. Along with the human knot, we played other games in order to learn more about each other. Next up were the surf lessons just down the street! We had four incredible instructors who were so skilled and patient. Almost everyone got to experience the joy of getting up onto the board and riding the wave through to the beach, as well as the unavoidable twists and turns from unpredictable waves. Afterwards we were all content yet exhausted, but of course we still spent the rest of our beach time working through an especially difficult human knot. After 20 minutes we claimed defeat, and retired to our bus for a short ride to the restaurant Coco Loco. Our table was directly on the beach, with the amazingly pink sunset as our backdrop. We ate great food and enjoyed each other’s company. Dinner was the perfect end to our first day in Costa Rica, and we can’t wait for the adventures ahead!