Costa Rica is known for its breath taking landscape, with beautiful mountains and streams. We hiked many, many miles on this trip to witness these beautiful landscapes. There was one hike, that really tested all of us though, especially myself. This hike was a 3-4 mile hike uphill to Karen Mogensen Reserve. This is called a pack in hike, meaning we had to pack a small backpack and that is all we would have for the 2 days up in the mountain. There was no access to your suitcase, so hopefully you didn’t forget anything important!

I started the hike with a lightly packed backpack, with only two changes of clothes and minor toiletries, and a full hydration pack of water. It was mid-morning and HOT! We had a wonderful tour guide, a young girl about our age that hikes this hike everyday 3-4 times! Nothing like some motivation right there. It was a beautiful, long, and difficult hike. This hike really pushed me, but was so satisfying when I finished it. About an hour in, we got to the stairs. The over 600 stairs we would have to climb, and oh did it burn. These were small, concrete stairs that were very close together. Upon seeing these stairs, all I could think of was how someone had to climb this hike and lay all these stairs so tourists like me could climb this mountain to a beautiful reserve. From then on, I couldn’t quit.

Along the way, a few people fell behind, but we had multiple guides with us that were also in the back. The young girl guide I was telling you about was in the front with me and a few other students. We just kept going. It felt as if we were sprinting, but the faster you go the easier it is. There was a slight break around half way up, after the stairs, that was a cut out in the trees and it was so beautiful. We were incredibly high up, and it was amazing to think of how I just hiked from the ground to here!

A hour or two later, a few more stairs, a lot more water and sweat, I saw the opening up ahead. At this point, it was only about 5 of us left up front, and we just sprinted to the end! What an amazing feeling to complete a hard hike and make it! This was only day 5/6 in the trip, and I know from this point I could easily finish the rest of the hikes ahead.