Tropical rain forest and a little bit of Canada

Trip Start Apr 21, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2010

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Saturday, April 24, 2010

We started off our second day in Fortuna with a trip to a 70 meter waterfall (Arenal Waterfall, or Cataratas). We decided to walk there to save some money and were very quickly drenched in sweat due to the extreme humidity and heat. Half way to the waterfall we were offered a ride by some park rangers in uniform. So we hopped in the bed of the truck and headed on up. 

As soon as you enter the very well maintained and structured park, you can see the waterfall far below. It was quite the sight. Incredibly lush and dense tropical rainforest surrounding this massive waterfall, with absolutely nothing but greenery in sight. We started down the steep rock path to reach the waterfall pool, which took about 35 minutes to walk down. When we reached the bottom we stopped off at a stream where we could see big fish swimming in about 6 inches of clear water! 

Hot and sweaty, we decided to take a dip in the waterfall swimming hole. The water was pretty cold and very refreshing. You couldnīt get too close to the actual waterfall because the force of the water coming down from 70 meters probably would have killed you. After a bit of swimming, we started back up the steep climb to the top. 

Later on, we decided to take a guided night tour of the active volcano (the most active volcano in Latin America that regularly spits out red lava), since the red lava is only visible at night. Our super cheesy English speaking guide took the tour group on a "hike" through the rainforest, which basically consisted of him showing us various plants and bugs...It was kind of interesting, but not rivetting. That is, until Jason and I lagged behind the group a bit and spotted a MASSIVE spider on the side of the trail, and then spent 15 minutes working up the courage to get close enough to get a good picture!! We finally did, and it was totally worth the effort! We then got in a bus and drove up the the lookout point.

We passed some Canadian pine trees that had been brought in from--you guessed it--Canada after the last erruption in the 60īs to kick-start the lumber resources. They were really really big, which is obviously unusual for 50 year old trees, and is a testament to the fertility of volcanic soil. It was neat to see the pine trees being taken over by the various jungly plants that grow off of trees, making them look like part of the rainforest.

We were waiting for it to get a bit darker, so we took another walk around, and it started POURING rain and lasted for about an hour, accompanied by thunder and lightning and compaining tourists (not us!!).

Anyways, the mist from the rain obscured the volcano and we never did get to see the red lava. Oh well, another active volcano under our belts!
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Christian Mayer on

Hey guys, Dad linked be too your blog pretty cool that you are in Costa Rica I hope all is well and you two have a terrific time down there. Can you bring me back a monkey? I would like a monkey momento from your trips!!

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