Lava and hot springs
Arenal Travel Blog› entry 62 of 424 › view all entries
After a leisurely morning, we hopped on board a (very) cramped minibus and headed out along a road that skirted around the active-on-a-daily-basis Volcano Arenal. We chose a particularly misty day to visit the volcano on so we could only the lower third of the volcano, its distinctive cone hidden behind the thick cloud. We stopped by the roadside to watch some coatis at play (fluffy tailed mammal things - look at the pic!!).
As we turned into the national park of the volcano, we drove past a huge crater that a rather large rock had caused after it had been catapulted through the air by the volcano and landed plonk in the middle of a field. Wouldn't have wanted to be standing in that particular part of the field at the time.
Once we had all bundled off the cramped confines of the minibus and into a jungly place not far out of La Fortuna, we trekked for about 30 minutes through beautiful jungle stuff until the greenery opened up onto a more open area where the Volcan Arenal loomed very close by.
As nightfall, umm, fell, we pulled up on the roadside to view the volcano in the dark. With the cloud covering the top half of the cone, we didn't expect to see any lava but just when we were about to give up, we spotted some bright orange lava splurting down the side of the volcano. Very clear to see against the black of the night, despite the cloud. We saw quite a bit more, only little dribs and drabs but it was great to watch lava flowing from the volcano at such a close distance.
Once we were satisfied with lava viewing, we were then taken to the hot springs and spent a few hours soaking in the various hot pools that are (rather obviously) heated by the volcano. We also enjoyed a great buffet meal at the springs and then returned to town just about in time to enjoy more rounds of crds (we were getting competitive by now) and lots of Costa Rica's finest lager.