Cano Negro, Baldi Hot Springs & Vocan Arenal

La Fortuna Travel Blog

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View of Arenal from Las Cabinatas

Wednesday was my FAVORITE day so far!  We had breakfast in the morning - yep, rice and beans!  Then we got on the bus for a one hour drive up to Los Chiles and took a river trip on El Rio Frio in El Cano Negro.  This was similar to our canal tours, but in a much larger boat, and apparently there are many more species of animals in far northern Costa Rica that are not in the rest of the country. 

 

We saw SO many birds, more caimans, crocodiles, lizards and a very rare albino howler monkey.  She was beautiful, but hard to see, because she did not come to the front of the trees like her cohorts did.  They liked "yelling" at the tourists, she hung in the back.

Green Basalik - soon to be sans tail
  She was more of a reddish howler monkey compared to the rest of the group being black. 

 

The two bird watchers were calling out birds that our guide didn't even see - merely from their calls!  It was pretty amazing!  We took the river north, and ventured into Nicauragua ... then turned around and went back into Costa Rica, because apparently the Sandinistas are not very friendly to the tourists crossing the border.  ;-)  

 

We saw a White Faced Capuchin Monkey chasing a green basilisk lizard ... and he ended up getting his tail, so the lizard dropped his tail and scooted out of there, running over the top of the water! Then we could see the monkey eating the lizard's tail! 

 

We ate lunch in town at a small local restaurant, then headed back to the hotel for a free afternoon.

Nicaragua anyone?
  We wandered into town again today and did some shopping.  We needed to be back to the hotel by 4pm for our afternoon adventure.  We headed up to Baldi Hot Springs and had a couple of free hours to spend at the natural hot springs.  This place was AWESOME!  They had great locker rooms for us to change clothes and lock up our belongings, and they had over 30 hot and cold pools to swim in.  As you move up the mountain, you get closer to the thermal center of Arenal Volcano and the pools get hotter.  The ones at the bottom are around 70 degrees, but as you get up to the top ones, they are upwards of 130 degrees! Each pool has the temperature posted on it, and some of the pools are large, some are small.
Baldi Hot Springs
  The lower pools have swim-up bars and serve some great mixers!  

 

The hot springs also had a GREAT view of the volanco.  Eldon told us that when we leave, we will take a drive up to a vista and if we cross our fingers, we might see the volcano erupting. 

 

After a couple of hours at the hot springs, it was getting to be dusk, so we got back on the bus and went to see the volcano.  Arenal is very different from the volcanoes I have seen in Hawaii.  Out there, the lava flows are very fluid and are a constant flow of red-hot magma.  Arenal is different because the magma is cooler, so it basically  builds up at the crater of the volcano, then when it builds up too much, then it all tumbles down the side of the mountain.

Arenal from Baldi Hot Springs
 

After this trip, I decided that I need to invest in a really good digital camera with interchangable zoom lenses and manual focus, f-stops, etc.  Larissa - one of the girls on the trip has a great Canon camera and she got some INCREDIBLE photos (I'm going to post a couple of her photos of the volcano, because hers actually turned out ... and mine are just black nothingness.   We stayed and watched the volcano for about 30 minutes and had a great view.   Just when we were getting ready to leave, the clouds rolled in and covered the mountain. 

We headed back to the hotel, had dinner and got packed up to get on the long trip tomorrow to the beautiful beaches of the West Coast.   

 

 

Day 6 • Caño Negro, Hot Springs, Arenal

Head north this morning, passing through sugar cane, teak and orange plantations.

Larissa's photo of the lava flow at Arenal!
Then, cruise on the Rio Frio which runs through the world famous Caño Negro wildlife refuge, home to many migratory birds found nowhere else in Costa Rica. Look for whistling ducks, roseate spoonbills, cormorants, anhingas, blue heron, and northern jacanas. Watch for caimans, crocodiles, spider monkeys and web-footed, water-walking lizards. Lunch. Return to Fortuna. Free time to explore this charming village. Then, enjoy a relaxing soak in the volcanic hot springs. Weather permitting, see nearby Arenal Volcano’s softly glowing lava flow. Enjoy dinner. BLD

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View of Arenal from Las Cabinatas
View of Arenal from Las Cabinatas
Green Basalik - soon to be sans ta…
Green Basalik - soon to be sans t…
Nicaragua anyone?
Nicaragua anyone?
Baldi Hot Springs
Baldi Hot Springs
Arenal from Baldi Hot Springs
Arenal from Baldi Hot Springs
Larissas photo of the lava flow a…
Larissa's photo of the lava flow …
The girls at the hot springs
The girls at the hot springs
La Fortuna
photo by: jeannajumps