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Arenal Travel Blog

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Volcán Arenal in all its magnificence

Smoking Cones
Rather than stay in La Fortuna (the town close to the volcano), my fellow travelers and I spent our three days in some quiet cabinas on the active side of Arenal.  And what a choice it proved to be.  Prior to our arrival, the volcano had been shrouded in cloud for 22 days straight. We got some real luck as the sun came out and we saw the beast in all its glory. 

There is something magical about being a mile away from an active volcano.  We were all entranced by watching molten rocks plummet down a mountainside, each one exploding into smaller and smaller fragments before reaching the lava fields on the lower slopes.

Next stop, the waterfall. All aboard! Ding ding!
  Nature is awe-inspiring at the best of times; when it is as spectacular as this, nothing can beat it. About 100 metres from the top of the peak, there was a fissure which expelled rocks at regular intervals. The volcano rumbled like thunder and every now and then, great plumes of gas and ash shot into the sky.  Tony´s binoculars proved to be an inspired piece of kit as we could track the rolling rocks all the way down the slope.

Ziplines and water
The La Fortuna area also boasts some great whitewater rafting.  I´ve been Canadian canoeing before, so was able to put some paddling skills to the test. Taking rapids in an inflatable is a little less scary than a canoe, but still generates enough adrenaline to feel alive. And watching my fellow paddlers float by me when they fell in was fun.  Thanks Rob.

Costa Rica or the Lake District?

And then there are the canopy tours.  Flying across the tops of the rainforest suspended on a metal cable is fabulous.  My experience of climbing was useful because I trusted the equipment.  Hence my fear of heights didn´t really kick in.  The tour took us across waterfalls where we could watch bathers enjoying themselves 200 metres below. One of the lines was nearly 1km long and took 1 minute 40 to traverse.  Unless of course you do it wrong, like I did, and stop about 10 metres from the platform.  Getting to safety felt like he cable traverse in Where Eagles Dare.

In the World of James Bond
Rob was excited.  He loves Bond and the hot springs at the pricey Tabacon resort were billed as like being from a spy caper film set.  They didn´t disappoint.  The hot springs are on a number of different levels all the way up a hillside.  Some are of different temperatures and are really hot.  I sat under a 3 metre waterfall with this hot water pummeling my back.  It was hot enough to make it difficult to breathe and made an excellent massage device. In with our trip was a buffet which we were slightly late for (given we were sipping cocktails for too long in the wet bar.  We made up for it in the volume of food we ate in 40 minutes.  Rob polished his meal off with 4 desserts.  Incredible consumption antics.

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Volcán Arenal in all its magnific…
Volcán Arenal in all its magnifi…
Next stop, the waterfall.  All abo…
Next stop, the waterfall. All ab…
Costa Rica or the Lake District?
Costa Rica or the Lake District?
You call this a lava field?
You call this a lava field?
Arenal Hotels & Accommodations review
Extremely quiet with fabulous views of the active side of the volcano. The room was pretty big and had a fridge with en suite bathroom.  … read entire review
photo by: anlis