The next leg of our journey was spent near the town of La
Fortuna, and at the base of Arenal volcano. Now, you may question the judgment
of the person who decided to build a whole town right beneath an active volcano—I
certainly did. But when they’re not spewing molten rocks and drowning villagers
in burning hot magma, volcanos actually make pretty good neighbors. They’re
attractive, volcanic soil is great for agriculture and all of the geothermal
activity means that natural hot springs abound! Not to mention if you’re going
to make a virgin sacrifice, it’s way more convenient to have the volcano right
next door instead of trekking through the wilderness before you can appease the
While I really can’t pick a favorite part of our adventure,
our time in near Arenal was definitely the most “Costa Rica-y.” We went on
breathtaking hikes up mountains and through rainforests. We swam in lagoons and
relaxed in hot springs in the middle of the jungle. We saw color-changing
rivers, and poison dart frogs, and trees you could drive a bus under. It rained
every day, but we didn't mind at all.
I've been lucky enough to travel quite a bit in my life thus far, but up to this point I had only ever been to the "urban jungles" of Europe and the Middle East. I love wandering the streets that are pieces of my personal patrimony, but I felt rather appropriate there in the forest. And I have a feeling that this is going to be the first of many more wild adventures.
more pictures of our trip here!