Back on the mainland, surrounded by Mango plantations is the Cien Fuegos Eco Ranch. This was my favorite day in Costa Rica…a cooking class and the chance to gallop across the hills on horseback. As we arrived we were given a Churchill, a mixture of crushed ice, cherry syrup, powdered milk and condensed milk….very refreshing! We each were taught how to make a tamale, traditionally made by families at Christmas. A mixture of cornmeal paste, vegetables, chicken are wrapped in banana leaves then boiled. We were also treated to fresh heart of palm and roasted corn. I had the chance to ride through the pasture of the Brahman cows to the ridge overlooking the ranch. Once back in San Jose, we were driven up a narrow road to a restaurant on the side of the mountain with expansive views overlooking the central valley. We were entertained with dancers performing traditional dances from different regions. Purda Vidal!