Underwater Explorers

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My destination trip to Underwater Explorers in Costa Rica and Panama was fantastic!

International Outdoors
Panama
Girl Scouts of Northeast New York, Inc.

We arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica and traveled to Panama. The ride was amazing. It's pretty weird that I loved the ride in the 15 passenger van, but it was so incredible. We got to see a lot of Costa Rica's landscape and get a feel for the country. We saw a smoking volcano in the distance, a lot of banana plants, and even stopped at a couple of fruit stands. There were all different kinds of things to eat that I had never seen before, including mini-bananas!

We stayed on Solarte Island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. The island is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been in my entire life. Scuba diving was great. We saw so many reefs and fish that looked just like those in Finding Nemo. I poked my dive buddy so many times to show her stuff, that I'm sure she was tired of me after that! One of the most amazing things that I saw was a school of 11 squid one day and a ship wreck a day later. We did community service by cleaning out the town's water source and performing skits promoting healthy living.

Our last Panamanian adventure was taking a daylong catamaran ride through the different islands. Our captain was a hilarious German man named Marcel. He took us to Dolphin Bay first where we saw a pod of dolphins. They had to stay close to the surface because they had a new baby who couldn't hold his breath that long. Then the dolphins began to jump! Two adults were jumping in circles in the air. It was one of the most beautiful things ever. Marcel was really happy that we could see them, and said they only jumped like that every two or three times a month. We were really excited that we were lucky enough to see them.

The next day we had to leave Panama to head back to Costa Rica. The coast line we followed was stunning and the sunshine was amazing. I couldn't stop smiling. The next morning was the famous canopy tour. It was a great course. We saw San Jose as we zipped along a cable and later hiked throughout Costa Rica.

I really didn't want to leave Costa Rica and Panama. I will visit again sometime in my lifetime. It was an amazing thing to be able to do and I'm very thankful that I could experience something like this. I really want to be able to share everything I've done with others and I want to convince more girls to apply to destinations in the upcoming years. I don't think that enough people take the time to look at the trips, which is a shame, because each trip is more amazing than anyone could ever imagine. With everything I learned, did, and all the people I met, I'm very grateful I was able to explore Costa Rica and Panama this summer.