Costa Rica Days 2 and 3: La Fortuna

Chilling by the pool

The trip to La Fortuna started off with a drive down the Panamerican Highway, the main road in Costa Rica, although it is only a single carriageway. The most common sight on the road is the large American style trucks thundering along, but you never know when you will find an ancient tractor chugging along around the next corner, which made for an interesting drive.

For the last 100km or so we turned off the highway onto small and sometimes unsurfaced roads which took us right around Lake Arenal, giving us great views of the turquoise lake, named after the local volcano.

When we got to La Fortuna we decided to have a quiet evening, almost 2 full days of travelling and jet lag had taken its toll, so we spent the rest of the day enjoying some great food in town and chilling at the hostel as the next day was going to be a busy one!

Day 3 started off with fresh fruit and pancakes, well it would have been rude not to on Shrove Tuesday! As we didn’t have anything planned for the morning, we got a taxi up to the waterfall (catarata in Spanish), about 5km from town. The waterfall falls 70m to the valley floor, which looks impressive from the viewing platform at the top, but even more so after you have descended the 480 steps to the valley floor 600m below! At the bottom I took a few pictures and we paddled in the river for a bit, before climbing back up the 480 steps and walking the 5km back to town, and all before lunch too!

Our efforts must have been recognised, as while we were walking into town for lunch the clouds which normally enshrouded the Arenal volcano which dominates the local skyline parted for 5 minutes, giving us a rare sight of the summit.

After lunch we went on a nature walk, starting of at the viewing area for the volcano (now in the clouds again), then descending through the jungle, with our guide Julio pointing out various flora and fauna. We didn’t manage to see a toucan, although we did hear one, this is the animal I’m really hoping to see, as part of my inspiration for coming to Costa Rica is from when I worked at Travelsphere Holidays, who always had a toucan as the main picture in their brochure for their Costa Rica tour. So fingers crossed we mange to see one in Monteverde, which is our next destination.

To end the day we went to the Baldi hot springs, to relax in their 25 hot pools ranging from 32 degrees to 67 degrees, although I found 40 to be about right for me. I also went on another type of catarata – a waterside!

This post and the next few are coming a bit late, as I’ve been without an Internet connection for a few days. I’ll also be swapping out the iPhone photos when I get back to the UK.