La Fortuna

Trip Start Jan 30, 2010
Trip End Jun 19, 2010

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Where I stayed
Cataracas Eco-Lodge

Flag of Costa Rica  , Alajuela,
Saturday, May 15, 2010

So about a little over a week ago I took an awesome trip to the La Fortuna/Arenal region. The big draw is the Arenal Volcano which is active and lava can be easily viewed at night, well easily viewed about 5% of the time year round. Unfortunately, my visit did not fall during that 5% of the time. We did not do a nighttime volcano tour and due to the rain did not hike inside the park.

The great news is a beautiful, quiet hotel, a visit to Baldi Hotsprings and some time spent at Eco Centro Danaus, a small farm turned nature reserve. We went to Baldi Hot Springs at night which was just beautiful. There was a light rain for part of the night and a thunderstorm in the distance so the sky kept turning this beautiful purple. The hot springs were a lot of fun with their trails and various pools. The coolest pool was one which had a small pool of cool water embedded within a larger considerably hotter pool. We also got a deal with a tour company that included dinner plus the hot springs entrance fee at a price slightly cheaper than the entrance fee charged at the hot springs. For folks visiting La Fortuna, talk to tour companies to strike a better deal on the entrance fee.

Eco Centro Danaus (  was one of my favorite things about this trip and about my travels in Costa Rica. As long as you can perform mild walking in humid weather (it was definitely humid) this eco center is a great way to see a ton of nature in a short period of time. It had both a frog house (ranario) and a butterfly house (mariposario) along with a marked medicinal plant garden and a lagoon area. During our trip we saw a sloth, two caimans, four poisonous dart frogs, various butterflys, multiple species of birds, including hummingbirds, numerous interesting bugs and lots of beautiful tropical flowers. I felt that not only was this a good deal ($8 per person) but it was accessible and because it was the "green season" and there were less tourists we got a FREE tour which included help finding frogs and getting to taste a variety of the medicinal plants. I definitely recommend it.

Finally, our hotel was awesome! While the accommodations did not include air conditioning, just a ceiling fan (a drawback in the heat), they were very comfortable and the surroundings were beautiful. There was a beautiful tropical plant garden and a pool with a hammock outside of each room. Breakfast was a complete Costa Rican or American breakfast and delicious! Also, the service was very attentive and there was a nightime security guard, though it seemed unnecessary as we never felt unsafe despite being the only guests on our last night there. For folks looking to have complete tranquility and get away from the craziness of the city, I give it a thumbs up. NOTE: While it is an eco-lodge it only received two leaves on the ratign scale which I believe operates on a five leaf scale.

I really enjoyed the trip and it was a great getaway from school. Hope you enjoy the pictures below!

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Aunt Sue on

It looks like it was a nice trip. We are looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.

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