Pura Vida: Costa Rican Volcano Adventures

One of the best parts of being a geology student is going on field trips. I much prefer being outside in the field to being cooped up in an office or classroom, and field trips provide an organized way to see some geology in a part of the world that I might not visit of my own accord. This past week I was in Costa Rica on a field trip for the geodynamics class I took this past spring. I traveled to Costa Rica with 22 other students and several professors. We spent a few days on the Nicoya Peninsula looking at some uplifted marine pillow basalts and turbidites then ventured westward to see the active Arenal and Poas volcanoes. The trip was fantastic. Among the highlights are:

-Watching bright orange lava flows effuse from Arenal at night
-Walking along the active crater rim at Poas volcano
-Wading along a bank of ocean turbidites at low tide to a beautiful island with hundreds of large white shells– whole shells and broken pieces– scattered over basalt boulders
-Hunting for monkeys and sloths in the jungle
-Hiking up rivers to several beautiful, tall waterfalls
-Nurturing a spider bite that swelled up to the size of a golf ball
-Drinking endless cans of Imperial, the field geologist’s beer of choice in Costa Rica
-Being introduced to some of the night life in San Jose and dancing until 3 in the morning


Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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  1. ….so, any of those barbed cockroaches that crawl in your ear and are impossible to get out? (I’m thinking that might be an urban legend)

  2. evelyn, as the first picture clearly demonstrates, you are one “smoking hot Skepchick!” :)

    The best (and only?) field trip I ever went on for science was to the bottom of the Soudan Mine, to look at their neutrino detector.

    Cool, but not active-volcano-cool.

    Very jealous.

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