Volcán Arenal is one of 5 active volcanoes in Costa Rica. After 400 years of being dormant the volcano made its first and ferocious eruption in 1968 and still remains active; having small eruptions everyday. Little puffs of smoke come up and lava falls on one side of the volcano making it an exciting show at night..
The town of La Fortuna is a beautifully maintained town at the bottom of the volcano. From there you can take exciting tours; canopying in the rain forest, hiking the volcano, rappelling the waterfall, horse back riding, kayaking the Arenal Lake, hot springs, ATV riding, “butterflying” (i.e. watch butterflies), etc, etc. As much as I would like to do it all with the exception of rappelling I promised myself I will be back when the kids are old enough to do all that with me and when I have a job to pay for them.
We started the day with a nice typical Costa Rican breakfast; gallo pinto, orange juice, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit. Overlooking the volcano (well its hard not to have a view of it wherever you are in the area). We left the hotel and drove to El Castillo located closer to the crater. From here one can see the deforestation cause by the flowing lava. We stopped at the Butterfly Conservatory, well worth the drive. We were educated in the life cycle of a butterfly, we touched, we hunt, we photographed even those most intimate moments of this colorful creatures. Such a master piece of nature! After exploring their habitat we were shown other typical species of Costa Rica wild life such as: the Red-Eye Tree frog, the blue frog, the chameleon and turtles. We finish the visit with a nice walk in the rain forest that looped us around to the volcano observatory. We were done by lunch time so we found a fast food type restaurant with a professionally dressed and friendly chef. Not much to say about the food… or yes, it was awful.
At about 3 o clock the sun was completely cover; the grey clouds and rumbling sound in the sky were obvious indications of… the wonderful time we would have soaking in the hot springs; a free SPA, located by the side of the hotel with the $35 entrance fee. The same river and at the same temperature… I wonder if I missed something.
By 6 o’clock we were back in La Fortuna, playing a game of backgammon, comfortably lying in bed, making plans for dinner. It was at that moment when I got a reminder that it was Sunday; the bells of that beautiful church across the street rang three times. It crossed my mind that the call may be for me, but I managed to put it behind and continue my fun evening, 6:30, the bells rang again, it was a little harder to let that call go, but I manage to do it once again. 6:45… Holy.. I can’t I can’t I must go!! Trinidad went with me. It felt so good! My day could not have been complete without this visit to praise and thank God for our good fortune… and yes to ask for forgiveness and wisdom.