Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica – Arenal Volcano

So following an extended period of time in Tamarindo, I was quite glad to get on the road. I left Tamarindo on a Saturday morning, and the beginning of the journey was fun, a warm breeze coming in and the traffic flowing quite well.. Unfortunately I was not supposed to go to Orosi Volcano, as somewhere along a dirt road in the middle of the jungle the GPS battery died, as the charging cable turned out to be broken. Without a clue where to turn to when the next crossroads came up as street signs are relatively rare as well, and very limited water and food supplies, I decided it would be more reasonable to backtrack to the next large town, Liberia to get a new cable, and spend the night.. The frustration did however not stop there, as it turned out, Liberia was fully booked, and as I was making my way from hotel to hostel and on could not find a room or a bed for the night. Finally I decided to just drive back to Tamarindo for the night, and then start again on Sunday. Somewhere lost in the jungle... at least some nice views ;)

Somewhere lost in the jungle... at least some nice views ;)

This time around I actually planned a little bit ahead, and booked a room at the Linda Vista Hotel next to the Arenal Volcano. I got back on the road, picked up a new cable at the car rental, and as the maps on the GPS dated back to 2011, asked if they had something more recent, which it turns out does not exist, so in addition to your GPS, if you plan driving around a little consider buying a paper map as well, and in any case be sure to rent a 4x4!!!! The drive to Arenal was beautiful, and the views of the country side and Lake Arenal were simply stunning! When you are driving around Costa Rica, and have a place you want to go to, be sure to look up the exact coordinates, as even though some roads have names, the GPS might not know these etc.. So the better you prepare your trip the easier you’ll get there. I am not one for loads of planning so usually end up taking a bit longer to get from A to B, having to occasionally throw in a U-Turn, but that is the way I like to go about as I enjoy occasionally getting lost a little.  (Since the first day I now always have a large stock of water, and at least some food in the car, just in case.) The closer I got to Arenal, the more it looked like rain, and as I checked in to the Linda Vista the clouds started to fully cover Arenal, but for a short moment I saw a bit of it, and I very much enjoyed going to the hot whirlpool with a cool shower from above, looking out at the lake.

Pool View

Arenal in a Cloud

clouded, but stunning view of Lake Arenal

View from the whirlpool

As it started to really poor, and the dirt road to and from the hotel was quite long, I had dinner there, and went to sleep early in hopes that all the rain would have come down by morning.

Well as the saying goes, there is no bad weather, only poor clothing, I set out to go on a Skywalk and Canopy tour at Arenal in the morning! The hike turned out relatively short, but thanks to the guide quite informative! The sky bridges make for stunning views, and should you visit Costa Rica, be sure to take at least one of these hikes as seeing the rain or cloud forests from above makes for a stunning change of scenery! And standing in front of a 500 year old tree is fascinating, and to feel its serenity is mind-blowing! The hike took about 2.5 hours, and around 1 the canopy tour started with about a 10 minute gondola ride up the mountain to about 1000m height.  From there it took about an hour and a half to get back down the mountain zip-lining down back and forth over the canyon with the highest line being about 200m above ground. Quite a fun experience! Unfortunately I only have a poncho against the rain, which was not suitable for the canopy tour, so I ended up quite wet, and a bit cold, but I had prepared a fresh change of clothes for as soon as I got back down.

View from one of the sky bridges

Go with the flow

Waterfall at Arenal, too cold to try, but beautiful!


On the Sky bridge in the rain.

about 500 year old tree

Arenal Forest

one of the sky bridges

Heart Leaf, natural.

From here on it was on to Monte Verde, which will be addressed in a later post.