Live Volcanoes, Hot Springs, Partying + La Caribe

Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
Trip End Dec 13, 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Wednesday, December 8, 2004

We spent 8 days in Costa Rica, which felt like a bit of a rush but we still managed to do and see quite a lot. The first 2 days we spent in La Fortuna a town which is near Volcan Arenal in the north of Costa Rica. We took a tour ($20) that involved going into the forested area of the Volcano and hiking for an hour and half, saw a few birds, a tarantula and some monkeys. At the end of the hike we had an excellent view of the cone of the volcano which was covered in rocks and ash, every so often molten lava and rocks erupted out of the top and you could see them glowing red and hear them rumbling down the sides of the volcano. We have never seen anything like it and were impressed. After an hour of being mesmerised by the lava and eruptions we took the mini bus down to Baldi Hot Springs which is a four star resort and they have nine different pools you can bathe in ranging in temperature from a warm bath to one that you could only dip your toes into as it was so hot!! We got chatting to 2 other couples at the bar they have submerged in the centre of one of pools and enjoyed cocktails and beer with them - it was fab!! The next day we had a lazy day, relaxing by the brook outside our hotel, sunbathing and looking at the Volcano. We then headed straight to San Jose the capital city which is quite small as cities go and was easy to walk around. We went to the National Theatre to see a Dance Choreography competition where 4 choreographers compete against each other over 3 nights(so 12 choreographers in all) and you score their performances. There was only one that was outstanding and the other 3 were quite abstract - 1 of them was performed to ACDC music on a grass carpet with a light display!! After the theatre we went to El Pueblo which is a bar and club complex and you can hop from bar to bar and dance the night away. We ended up having free tequila shots and danced a lot, I (Mandy) even danced on stage with some of the profesional dancers. There was a guy who was taking pictures for the website of the club so we may end up on that - we had a really good night. It was nice to be in the capital with all the Christmas lights and Nativity displays although not seen a huge blow up Father Christmas like they have on the Town Hall in Manchester. We spent the next day looking round the National History Museum, the National Park and the Zoological Park where we saw monkeys, ocolets, panthers and other cool animals (more than you do in the jungle). The following day was a bus ride to Puerto Limon then another bus to Cahuita on the Carribbean coastline. Unfortunately it rained a lot although it was pretty and we had a lovely room with a balcony overlooking the sea and the crashing waves on the rocks below, you could also see the beaches to the right which we visited the next morning. The beach is part of the National Park and we wandered along the path running parallel to the beach and set in the jungle. The heavens opened again but it didn't deter us and we carried on; at one point we had to ford a river at the point where it met the sea, which was fun although we got even wetter than before. We then went to Puerto Viejo a bit further down the coast line and yet again it rained here practically all day and although the beach was nice and lined with Coconut Trees we decided that we would head on the next day to the Panamanian border to a town called Sixaola.
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