Hola Everyone! Hope you are all doing fantastic! Welcome to another blog post on my website! Earlier this year, the Canadian team of my Toronto based property development firm KMD Design Group, got to visit the team at my Costa Rican Architecture firm KMA Design Group Inc. in Costa Rica! In my previous blog post our photographer Karimah showcased her trip to the La Paz Waterfalls. This week I am happy to share some more of the images from the trip here! This time our office team took a road trip (or shall I say mountain trip) to go see the Arenal Volcano. It is a dormant volcano about 90km Northwest of San Jose. We stopped by the city of Zarcero on our way there to take in some beautifully manicured topiary gardens and an awe inspiring catholic church known as the Iglesia Católica de Zarcero.
Below is a photo of the KMA and KMD Team. Missing is our photographer.
But here she is.
We started our day bright and early. We boarded the bus at 5:00 am in the morning and everyone was super sleepy. This photo below hilariously shows everyone sleeping (well everyone except David).
Here we are arriving in the city of Zarcero, Alajuela. Which was one of the stops on our way to the Arenal Volcano.
Here we saw the Iglesia de San Rafael which is a pink and blue church that was built in 1895. What a stunning church it is ! The topiary garden that is in front of the church (as seen below) is known as Parque Francisco Alvarado.
Ani, Marcela, Diego and myself.
The splendid topiary garden. It was so magical.
The team amidst the garden.
We were lucky enough to catch the man who has been taking care of these gardens for years, in action. His name is Don Evangelista Blanco and of course we all had to take a photo with him. He is a local legend full of passion for the gardens he takes care of.
Alberto was feeling cold, so here I am borrowing him my scarf.
The beautiful landscape in the city. You can see the topiary garden in the foreground.
Here is Fabio standing up on the ledge to take in the surrounding views of the city.
Another photo of the Iglesia Católica de Zarcero.
Ani, David and Viviana head towards the church.
Marcela in front of Iglesia Católica de Zarcero.
After taking a look at the exterior of the church. We had to go check out the Interior.
The ceiling with it’s arches and artwork was just remarkable.
We were all just in awe of the ceilings.
An impressive altar! In the Bible, altar’s are attributed to being "God's table". A sacred place.
Back outside. Ani and Marcela take a selfie!
When our photographer tells us to point to the left lol.
After checking out the grounds and church we headed back on the bus to head on to our next destination.
Arriving to a little restaurant to have breakfast
It was interesting to see our breakfast being made in the kitchen
Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans (famously known as “Gallo Pinto” in Spanish), eggs, and plantains. Yum!
We also had to try out the Costa Rican hot chocolate.
Here I am pouring some hot chocolate for Marcela.
Team conversations around the breakfast table.
After breakfast we went back on the bus for our trip to the volcanoes. The landscapes on the way were just absolutely spectacular.
It rained so much on the way to the volcano. Here one of my team members had written “Costa Rica” on the foggy windows.
After a long bus ride of about 4 hours (and a lot of hoping by everyone for the rain to stop) we finally arrived at Costa Rica Sky Adventures Park.
This is a neat idea for wayfinding. It made it easier for us to understand the layout of the park.
We took the red line to go get the team some ponchos and waterproof shoes since the rain kept on going strong. Here I am with Diego as we return with our bag full of rainproof gear for the team.
All ready with my poncho to explore the cloud forests.
After a rainy trek through the forest we happened upon a bridge and stopped to pose for some photos. You can tell from how wet our rain gear is that it was pouring.
and some more trekking later, we finally came across this beautiful waterfall. Here are the guys discussing how incredible it looks.
So incredible that the next thing we did was to walk towards the falls with the intent of having the “water fall” on us (pun was intended).
Here I am right under the waterfall! What a wonderful feeling.
Everyone else had to join. Well not everyone lol as some of our team members were not thrilled at the idea of being completely soaked by a waterfall when it was still raining. I mean how were their clothes supposed to dry with no sun. Common sense prevailed there, the rest of us just toughened it out the rest of the day.
After our hour long trek in the rain, we worked up a huge appetite and went to the famous Baldi Hot Springs to have a delicious lunch buffet.
Even though it was a foggy day you can see a bit of the once active Arenal volcano from the dining hall of the resort.
The Baldi Hot Springs resort was filled with amazing greenery.
Ani, Marcela and I as we head off to explore the rest of the resort.
The waterpark on site was amazing. There was a cool slide and some man made hot springs. The team had a fun time exploring the park and enjoying the facilities.
Another team photo at the end of the day as we get ready to board the bus back to San Jose.
and one more in front of the iconic Baldi Hot Springs sign.
The day after, we all went out to celebrate Kenneth’s graduation from University (Kenneth is one of KMA Costa Rica’s Architect ) . We had lunch at an amazing restaurant called La Hacienda. They had a neat menu which included a great selection of sandwiches and drinks.
Here is Alberto with a Tortilla de Queso (traditional cheese and corn tortilla)
and we presented Kenneth with his graduation gift from the office.
Kenneth wearing his new watch.
We never miss an opportunity for a Team Photo.
Alright everyone! Thank you for going through my latest blog post. It has been a lovely experience to spend time in my home country and with my lovely KMA and KMD Team. It was a nice change from the cold Canadian winter. Stay tuned for more posts from my trip! Until next time love and light always.
Photos by Karimah Gheddai