Wednesday, July 29, 2009

sizzle fizzle in arenal

Can you see it??!

Arenal Volcano. From our hotel room. Like a real, live, oozing, exploding, melting, torching, amazing volcano with lava and all. We had a great view from our balcony at Casa Luna Lodge in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Costa Rica in July is smack dab in the middle of rainy season, so we saw a whole bunch of just that... rain. Not to fret, it did manage to clear just enough to almost see the peak of the currently active and erupting volcano. It was quite the amazing sight from our very nice and reasonable hotel room.

The open air hotel lobby

Arenal was the very first stop in our 3 city tour of Costa Rica. It was hard to plan a vacation in a country I didn't know, with hotels I've never heard of, in towns that I had no clue as to where they were. I am lucky enough to work with a few people who all seemed to agree that a three city trip was best to see the country in a short amount of time. Arenal (volcano), Monteverde (cloud forest), and Manuel Antonio (beach and jungle). So I took their advice and cross referenced my Lonely Planet Guidebook with TripAdvisor reviews and took the plunge. Veni, Vini, Vici.

Casa Luna Lodge was not my first choice. The Arenal Observatory was my first choice but it was completely booked. Because of their view of the volcano, Bran and I decided to take the drive (probably 20km, but about an hour of driving on craptastic CR roads) to the Observatory to check out all the fuss. It was definitely worth it.

There were views of the lake:

Hikes through the jungle:

A nifty suspension bridge:

Cute critters:

It was definitely worth the drive. And then some.

The next day (and our 1 year anniversary!), we took a trip to La Fortuna Catarata (waterfall). It was too beautiful to even capture in a picture, but I'll do my best.

and this was the other one that only shows up with lots of rain:

So yes, Arenal! It was definitely worth a stay! As for the food - I'll save that for tomorrow.



Katy ~ said...

Exquisite. Breathtaking. Awesome.

the ungourmet said...

What an awesome place! Where there snakes on your jungle hike?

teresa said...

what a heavenly trip!