Hiking the Volcano…

We awoke the next morning with the Arenal Volcano as our daily wallpaper.

Arenal Volcano...
Arenal Volcano…

After breakfast, we checked out of our hotel, boarded our trusty bus and took the short drive to the trailhead up the side of the volcano to the lava flow.

We were there...
We were there…

Positioned within Costa Rica’s fertile northern lowlands, the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica’s best known volcano, is an unavoidable presence while traveling within this part of the country. It is tall and imposing and has a reputation that precedes itself. Arenal’s perfectly symmetrical shape makes it a sightseer’s dream. Until 2010, it was Costa Rica’s most active volcano. Much to the enjoyment of its visitors, Arenal spewed enormous amounts of lava, gas and ash on a regular basis. That eruptive cycle – which began with the infamous eruption of 1968 – ended recently. In October 2010, Arenal entered into an indeterminate resting phase. For the time being, visitors will be unable to watch the much-loved explosions, although that could easily change anytime.

The trail...
The trail…
Blueberries, NOT for eating...
Blueberries, NOT for eating…
Natural grasses...
Natural grasses…
Lizard...
Whip Tail Lizard…
Beautiful wildflowers...
Beautiful wildflowers…
Blue tail lizard...
Another Whip Tail lizard…
Tour friends walking the trail...
Tour friends walking the trail…
Stairway to lava...
Stairway to lava…
Lake Arenal...
Lake Arenal…
Still that far to the top...
Top of the trail, still that far to the top…

We then boarded our bus for the trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica, home to the Monteverde Cloud Forrest Reserve and one of Costa Rica’s major ecotourism destinations.

Just a short note here. On the way to Monteverde, our bus had a cooling issue.

Losing water...
Losing water…

Ricardo and our driver, Jose, tried everything they could think of to nurse the bus to the next stop. Finally, when it was to no avail, Ricardo called the Don Juan Coffee plantation

Don Juan Coffee...
Don Juan Coffee…

and they arrived shortly with vans to take us on into Monteverde. A big thumbs up to Ricardo and our driver for all their efforts and a “thanks” to Don Juan Coffee for providing rides for us, NOT in the ox cart.

Next, the tour continues…

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