Every morning we awoke to a symphony of jungle sounds – the deep guttural boom of howler monkeys, the lighthearted laughter of toucans, the chatty scarlet macaws. Sure, I may have covered my head with the pillow a few times since it was 5:30am and I wasn’t quite as awake as every other living creature, but I appreciated it nonetheless. The Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is an unbelievable place. My family decided to skip Christmas this last year so we went to Costa Rica instead. It was the second time we’ve gone (the first time I was a senior in high school), and this time we went to a completely different part of the country. The seven of us rented a very large house a few kilometers outside of Puerto Jimenez, which is roughly a 7 or 8 hour drive south from the airport in San Jose, all way at the bottom of the country near Panama. Getting there and back in two rental cars was an adventure in itself, but once we arrived it felt like we had discovered paradise. We spent two full weeks lounging on an empty beach, swimming in impossibly warm water, birdwatching, reading, eating tons of beans and rice, and generally just having the most wonderful time ever. If you happen to be interested in wildlife at all, I would highly recommend a visit here. The peninsula is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and is home to 50% of all the species that live in Costa Rica. Honestly, I have done a lot of traveling and lot of bird watching in my life, but never have I experienced a place with an abundance of life like this one.