Costa Rica – Arenal

After two nights in Liberia we leave the heat behind and head to the mountains. Our destination is La Fortuna, at the foot of Volcan Arenal and surrounded by rain forest. It’s a popular tourist destination, full of hot springs, ziplines, rain forest, and ATV tours. When we arrive at the end of Lake Arenal we have a great view of the volcano while eating lunch.

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We’re staying three nights in a cabanita a few miles outside of town, with a good view of the volcano. It tends to be cloudy, so seeing the entire volcano is rare. Some people visit and never see it.

Lisa says this place has the best shower of her life. It’s all rainwater so the water is very soft, and the shower is huge with a gigantic waterfall head, great water pressure and endless hot water.

On the first night we are driving into La Fortuna for dinner when we see a large group of people standing on a bridge. I’m wondering what the big attraction is when Lisa suddenly yells out “SLOTH!!!”  I just pulled around the corner and threw my flashers on (in Central America pretty much anywhere on any road is fair game for a parking spot) and Lisa jumped out and scurried to the sloth bridge. After awhile I get myself parked a little less obnoxiously and join her; it turns out that there are actually two sloths in the tree just ten feet off the bridge, a mom and a baby. They don’t seem to notice the crowd, they’re just hanging there eating leaves verrry slowly.

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For our first adventure tour we go to Mistico Park for some canyoneering.

 

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On this trip you make your way down a deep narrow rain forest canyon towards the river, using ziplines, rappels, hanging bridges, wading, and jumping. It was a ton of fun, probably the best activity in Costa Rica.

 

Arenal is an active volcano, but dormant since 2000. It erupted many times from 1968 to 1998 and although dormant it still emits deadly gases, so people are not allowed anywhere near the volcano. The closest you can get is on the 1968 trail, which goes up into the lava fields from the first, and largest, eruption in 1968. It’s a good hike, passing through many different types of vegetation and of course the lava fields.

 

 

On the last day we go ziplining, I think it’s mandatory in Costa Rica.  The longer ones were incredible, speeding along for half a mile at 650 feet above the rain forest overlooking Lake Arenal and the volcano it really does feel like flying

Another video, getting good use of the GoPro

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