Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Adventure Traveler's Guide to La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Imagine waking up to the view of a steaming volcano followed by a day of Waterfall Repelling, Volcano Hiking, Hot Springs, and some molting hot lava picture taking (if your lucky).
Sounds like a lot to cram into one day? Not when you're in La Fortuna, CR. Most people wouldn't consider this a relaxing day of vacation, BUT not only will you have the opportunity to do all of this in a single day, YOU can do it without scrambling around like a mad person.
Get out around 8 am depending on the time you choose to waterfall repel, and get ready to travel on a rugged pickup truck trek up the mountain. Your tour guides will pick you up from the downtown and happily bring you to the starting place of your repel. The guides are very happy to be with you and are filled with great stories of growing up in Costa Rica so don't be shy (like how to decapitate a Fer de Lance snake). Once you get over the jitters of what you're about to do, you will really enjoy the entire repel trip and the humor of the guides. There are plenty of activities other than repelling along the way. Be sure to bring only waterproof cameras because you'll have plenty of opportunities to take pictures of all the cool spiders, lizards, and waterfalls you'll see. After the tour you'll get a typical homemade Costa Rican lunch on a deck overlooking the mountains.
Plan your Arenal Volcano Hike followed by Baldy Hot Springs for around 5 pm so you can rest after the repel. A tour guide will take you along the Arenal trail where you will hike the base of the volcano to see Toucans, Owl Eye Butterfly's, Howler Monkeys, and other cool things. Bring a raincoat with just in case and enjoy this hour or so long hike, as you will be engulfed by rain forest. After your hike, you can take a bus to Baldy Hot Springs for a serene few hours in what are basically enormous hot tubs. Be sure to ask your driver to stop along the way for an opportunity to get a shot of the Arenal Volcano with lava streaming down the side of it. DO NOT miss the 3 water slides located in the back of Baldy. These are the fastest slides I've ever experienced and even witnessed a few people get shaken up going down them. They are WELL worth the risk.

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