Arenal Volcano

Trip Start Apr 15, 2011
Trip End Apr 23, 2011

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Where I stayed
Arenal Volcano Inn La Fortuna
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today we departed Puerto Viejo. Our van ride on Interbus took us about 5.5 hours from the Caribbean side of the country to the north western mountains. Our next stop was the Arenal Volcano, the most active volcano in Costa Rica.

A bit about Arenal: it's summit, or crater, lies about 5,500 feet above sea level which makes seeing the top very difficult because it is almost always obstructed by clouds. Arenal is a stratovolcano, which is seen by it's tall, near perfect cone like shape which was formed in probably one large volcanic blast about 7,000 years ago. It's age also makes it a very young volcano. It sat dormant until around the late 1960's when it began erupting again. Since it erupts frequently, it has become a large tourist attraction.

Our hotel room faces the volcano, and as I write this I'm sitting on our porch enjoying the most beautiful weather I've ever felt. Just above my laptop screen is Arenal. It's a humbling view. Half of me just sits here in amazement, the other half is constantly reminded that we are at the whim of Mother Earth. Arenal proved this quite well when it blew it's top in 1968 and wiped a town off the map near it's base. 

Still, it's an incredible thing to view. Half of the volcano is devoid of any plant life, a friendly reminder that this is still an active volcano. 

Now we actually arrived last night here, and we had a tour bus take us to the Baldi Hot Springs. It's a resort that kind of reminded us of Las Vegas: a well sculpted garden of dozens of hot spring pools lining the side of the volcano. We spent time going in the various temperature pools ranging from about 100 degrees to over 115 degrees (way too hot for us!) and finally we got dinner at the buffet at the top of the resort. The whole place was really nice, though a bit overwhelming. We didn't have a camera since we were going in the water a lot, so I'm including the link to the place so you can see for yourself.

Today, we were supposed to go on a tour of the hanging bridges, but my back has been hurting since our van ride and in the interest of being pain free, we decided to skip it. 

We'll check out of the Volcano Inn around noon today, grab some lunch, and then it's time for our van ride back to San Jose. We'll spend the night there and check our flight back to the states in the morning. 

What a wonderful trip. 
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