Volcano Arenal, Monte Verde

La Fortuna Travel Blog

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Volcan Arenal (Active)

It's a long drive from Puerto Viejo to Arenal. We took the northern route and enjoyed scenery. The first of four police stops we experienced on this route. Tico's love blonds and I suspect they observed D's blond hair as we approached the checkpoint and they promptly waved us over and came to D's side of the car to 'chat'. Jaja, no problem, so after much discussion and laughing and smiling, we were on our way.

Lunch we took at a roadside stand with many Tico truck drivers. They would stare at D, then chatter amongst themselves not realizing that we speak spanish, me a little and D fluently. Jajaja, good for the ego I guess. The food was awesome and cheap. Before leaving we bought bags of Tico snacks.

Natural Hot Springs (Tabacon)
I love plantain crisps with chile lime flavor.

La Fortuna is too commercial for our taste, but we wanted to see the volcano and experience the hot springs and zip lines. So we stayed at the hot springs (Tabacon Resort), for which we had the pleasure of overpaying, and surround by complaining gringoes (sigh). That said, we were determined to enjoy this experience, so we decided to eat late and enjoy the springs first. The best part was the tourist disappear from the hot springs around 6pm. I think they go look for food. This was good for us as we were arriving at that moment. The resort shuttle was us (in street clothes), and a bunch of tourists wearing these ridiculous pink or blue resort robes. Funny story, as we exit the shuttle one middle age lady realized she needed to go back and get her bathing suit.

Zip Lines
WTF!?!?!?! I didn't even want to know what she was wearing under the robe. Ok, so the springs are 40+, very relaxing and heated by the volcano, the setting is absolutely lovely at this time of day as the steam hangs in the air and is back-lit by the lights coming on. We enjoyed pool after pool, and kept changing locations to enjoy this wonderful place. After this we went back into the town of La Fortuna and enjoyed a quiet dinner.

Ok, my adrenaline levels were operating at too low a level so the next day we arranged for zip lines. Oh yeah baby! Three couples from our resort join us for this, and we leave the hotel for a tram to take us to the top of the mountain. I didn't realize, but this arrangment requires zero phyical conditioning.

D Zippin'
No ropes to climb, no struggle to get to the platform, nope the tram does all the work. The setting is beautiful above virgin rainforest, howls ring out. We are almost to the top of the mountain. No, it's not monkey's, it's zip-liners screaming their heads off as they hit speeds exceeding 60kph! So we do a short test zips to make sure no one is too scared. Wow, amazing fun, our longest run was 2000 meters and on this one I was 60kph! Now that is fun.

So we met a nice couple from Houston on the zip lines, but they had been confined to the resort as they did not have a 4x4. So we all piled into my 4x4 and headed into town for dinner at Lava Lounges (jaja cheesy, maybe a little). After a nice dinner we headed for a disco full of Tico's. I'm over 1.9m and Rich is over 2m so as Rich headed for the bar, some Tico's nod to him and me and ask 'NBA??'.

Lava Lounge
He wouldn't tell us his response, but we sure got a lot of attention after that! Anyway we didn't stay long, cuz the music as very strange. No hip-hop, no techno, no house, no Latin...... no my friends we heard Elton John, John Denver, Barry Manalo, ugh, just when we leave around 0100 they started to play Latin, but it was too late, the mood was dead.

The road to Monte Verde is good for the first half the way, but pavement yields to dirt and the pace slows considerably. Scenery...Amazing!!! We drove 4 hours to this beautiful lush rain forest, and toured a butterfly garden, humming bird garden, and of course did the cloud forest tour on hanging bridges. Sadly we didn't have time to wait for a spot on the zip lines. Another 3-4 hours driving we arrived on the Pacific coast at Tamrindo.

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Volcan Arenal (Active)
Volcan Arenal (Active)
Natural Hot Springs (Tabacon)
Natural Hot Springs (Tabacon)
Zip Lines
Zip Lines
D Zippin
D Zippin'
Lava Lounge
Lava Lounge
Easy way up
Easy way up
Road to Monte Verde
Road to Monte Verde
Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal
Espresso break
Espresso break
Hot Springs
Hot Springs
Road to Monte Verde
Road to Monte Verde
Richard & Natalie
Richard & Natalie
Rain Forest at Monte Verde
Rain Forest at Monte Verde
Cloud Forest
Cloud Forest
Humming Birds
Humming Birds
Cloud Forest Suspension Bridge
Cloud Forest Suspension Bridge
Fern
Fern
La Fortuna
photo by: jeannajumps