Wow what a beautiful country! We are currently in a marina on the northern part of the country which tends to be more drier. So we headed out looking for those lush rain forests we’ve seen and heard about and the area around Arenal Volcano did not disappoint. We stayed at Lomas del Volcán, a hotel with individual cabins right at the base of the volcano.
At 5,480 feet, Arenal is a traditional cone shaped volcano and was quite impressive especially from our hotel. It was last active from 1968 until December 2010.
On the advice from the front desk, we hit a trail right from our hotel that took us part way up an extinct volcano next to Arenal. In minutes we were in the thick of the rain forest. It was beautiful. I admit I would have enjoyed it more wearing army boots and carrying a big stick as I’m very afraid of snakes, but we had a good time. Definitely was a challenging hike.
We have been in Costa Rica for almost two weeks and our first impressions:
1- CLEAN! The roads are not littered with garbage from the children and adults alike who throw garbage out of the buses in El Salvador and Guatemala. They also have recycle bins rarely found in the parts of Central America we have traveled.
2- No armed guards lurking in every store and corner leaving the impression that a gun battle will break out any second.
3- Public transportation is more civilized. Public buses are newer, adult sized buses. No school buses handed down from the USA filled to overflowing and I really mean overflowing.
Of course some of this comes at a price. There is an import tax on all goods coming into the country so food is more expensive here as are the marinas. But Tico’s are proud of their country and it is really nice to see that they treat it respectfully.