Hot springs, rappelling, horseback riding, ziplining, butterfly/frog habitats

La Fortuna Travel Blog

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A ceramic Volcan Arenal in the town of La Fortuna.
    From Monteverde, we headed to the town of La Fortuna near Volcan Arenal. La Fortuna consists of a bunch of souvenir stores (all selling much of the same things), a decent amount of places where you can book activities, and a handful of restaurants. The hotel we stayed in was probably the worst yet, but wasn't really terrible (it's called Louigi's Lodge...and I would recommend staying at a different lodging in La Fortuna).
    After a day of ziplining and horseback riding, we were all ready to relax and our hotel had a pool that was perfect for that.
The Baldi Thermae hot springs with Volcan Arenal in the background. You can sit in the springs and watch lava flow down the side of the volcano.
..however, the best part of the first day there came when we got to the Baldi Thermal Springs.
    The Baldi Thermal Springs are definitely a must if you're in that area. For us, it was amazing, since we were all sore and exhausted from the activities the day before (and a bunch of people stayed out late that night, too). Anyway, the hot springs were amazing. I found it kind of strange that they consisted of natural water in manmade pools. I had never been to hot springs before, and I guess I assumed it would be more natural. Doesn't really matter, though, because it was very enjoyable. There are a lot of pools there, many of which are connected. You can see Volcan Arenal not too far off in the distance, and the volcano is actually a great way to figure out the temperature of the springs.
The 80m waterfall we later rappelled down.
The closer the pool to Arenal, the hotter it is. There are a few pools that have bars attached to them, which is pretty sweet. Brittney, Aimee and I managed to find a whole bunch of pools that were in the middle of a garden and had a better view of the volcano. We pretty much stayed there the whole time, watching the lava flow down one side of Arenal every few minutes. It was awesome...there are even stone "recliners" in one of the pools in that area to you can really relax while gazing at Volcan Arenal. It was a great experience.

    The next day, it was time for more zip lining, horseback riding, and some rappelling. Half of us went rappelling (down an 80m waterfall) in the morning, and half went in the afternoon. I was in the first group to go rappelling, and it was pretty much amazing.
Rappelling down next to an 80m waterfall.
A few friends and I had gone rappelling down frozen waterfalls near school the winter before, but it was not even close to as high as this was. We did a free fall for about 30m and then bounced off the rocks for the next 50m. The best part, was that at the bottom, where the waterfall hit the rocks, there was a DOUBLE FULL CIRCLE RAINBOW. It was beautiful! (Unfortunately, I had left my camera at the top platform so one of the guys there could take some pictures of me.) The ladder on the way back up to the start platform was a bit insane, since it was right next to the waterfall and was pretty slippery (and it basically consisted of metal rungs on some rope). It wasn't terrible, but I ended up scraping my hand pretty badly on the rocks behind the ladder at one point. After everyone went, we were given fruit and some water, which was nice.
Another view of Volcan Arenal.

    From there, we hopped on some horses (that weren't in the best condition) and headed to this presentation by some of the Maleku tribe that are native to the area. I found the presentation to be kind of weird because the Maleku were trying to put on a show as the natives would have worshipped way back when, but you could see their common clothes under their costumes...and the woman was wearing nail polish! Coming from spending 2 weeks with the indigenous Bri Bri tribe, I knew this presentation was not realistic to how the Maleku people are today. It really was a show...one they had probably rehearsed over and over to get it right, instead of just knowing it because it is part of their lives. They did, however, have some very nice carved and painted gourds for sale, and I ended up getting two of them (probably should have only bought one, but oh well.
Liza, our tour leader, coming in for a landing.
) The one I really liked has a beautifully painted tucan on it. I love it.
    After the presentation, we had lunch, and then it was time for my group to go zip lining. The harness was a bit different than at Monteverde (no handles and you wore a leather guard on your dominant hand), and there was a different technique to slowing down (it was a little harder here than there). The actual zip lining, however, was like 100x more fun. The staff was hysterical and kept joking around with us and having fun. At Monteverde, it seemed almost like they were just putting up with us (but what would you expect when a group of 45 college kids show up for the afternoon). Although I got stuck on one of the lines (6 others did, too) it was way more fun than the zip lining 2 days earlier.
A small blue jeans frog.
(The guide had to come out and get me because someone else was coming right behind me and we almost collided...haha.)
    Right before we left, we took a tour of the butterfly and frog garden. It was really cool. My favorite thing was being able to see to blue jeans frog (yes, that's its actual name) because we didn't get to see any of those at Kekoldi. I also really liked one of the butterflies that was a bright blue with some black markings...absolutely beautiful.

    When we got back to the Luigi's Lodge, I lay down on the bed and apparently just fell asleep, shoes and everything. My roommates for La Fortuna had to wake me up 5 hours later to go to dinner...pretty funny.
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A ceramic Volcan Arenal in the tow…
A ceramic Volcan Arenal in the to…
The Baldi Thermae hot springs with…
The Baldi Thermae hot springs wit…
The 80m waterfall we later rappell…
The 80m waterfall we later rappel…
Rappelling down next to an 80m wat…
Rappelling down next to an 80m wa…
Another view of Volcan Arenal.
Another view of Volcan Arenal.
Liza, our tour leader, coming in f…
Liza, our tour leader, coming in …
A small blue jeans frog.
A small blue jeans frog.
La Fortuna
photo by: jeannajumps