My plans for Costa Rica were to see wildlife - as much as possible - and to go ziplining. I also wanted to stretch my legs with some cloud forest hiking to prepare for the volcano trek on Ometepe Island.
After driving for about 4 hours via a quick photo stop at La Paz waterfall, we were in La Fortuna. Now, being back home and looking into some of the places I spotted along the way, I know I would like to head back to Costa Rica some day (soon!) and spend a lot more time in La Paz. I came across this website and it really whet my appetite: http://www.waterfallgardens.com/la_paz_waterfall_gardens.php
After a rather simple but tasty lunch at a "Truckers stop" across the road from our hotel, whilst some of the group decided to chill out, or go paddleboarding, or canyoneering and rappeling, Olivia and I chose the Arenal volcano base hike and wildlife tour. It was brilliant and our guide Hanzel, from Desafio Adventure Company, was very fun loving and warm. He knew his stuff and presented it in an enthusiastic manner. The best spot - catching the back end of a wild cat as it disappeared amongst the trees. Hanzel reckoned it could have been a Jaguarundi!
After taking us through the rainforest and spotting wildlife along the way, we climbed out of the trees to the base of Arenal volcano, which hasn't been active since 2010, but there is a clear evacuation route - just in case. Now we were standing where the molton lava had solidified and Hanzel had timed it perfectly so that we could watch the sun as it set and he also knew a certain bird would be flying by. Setting up his telescope, we were able to catch a glimpse of a pair of Toucans.
This hike was with another group - randomly mixed people from different hotels - because you pick your activities and split off from the main group thus meeting even more new faces. It gets really hard remembering everybody's names, but it's a lot of fun. On the way back in the minibus, we were given complimentary beer or juice, a nice little touch.
That evening, it was time to meet up with the rest of our G Adventures group and get to put some more names to faces over dinner at the Lava Lounge. I had this amazing fried sea bass and salad tortilla washed down with the beer of Costa Rica, Imperial. Being in the rainforest means it does rain hard and heavy for 5 minutes and soaks you through, as we found walking back from the Lava Lounge that evening. We got drenched!
For the next two nights we were staying at Hotel Cabanitas in cabins like the one you see in my photo below. Surprisingly big and roomy inside with a nice size bathroom on the back. Free WiFi. Communal pool area amongst the huts and a large dining area next to Reception. From our porch, we had a great view of Arenal volcano. I did pick up a colony of ants running up and down my ruck sack, so watch out for that. Ants in your pants takes on a whole new meaning! This hotel was about a 20 minute walk into the town of La Fortuna.
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Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.