Arenal Volcano National Park : Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano National Park : Costa Rica

Today we visited the Arenal Volcano National Park . There are a few other places imitating the national park but this the official government run one. There are five routes to choose from varying in distance. We did route’s 3, 4, and 5. The paths are easy to walk as they are comprised of crushed volcanic lava. As we had arrived by taxi, we came to a halt at the back of the queue of cars to get in. So we got out of the taxi and took the short walk to the entrance. A wise move as we just walked up the kiosk and paid our money. Cost of entry is $15 plus tax, totalling $33.90 for the two of us. Rather than walking up the road and following the cars to the car park, we took route 3 to start with. Which according to the sign is 600m. This route takes you through some dense jungle on a muddy path, although thankfully it was not that muddy on this day. Although we didn’t see much in the way of wildlife life on this trail, it was great to walk along, through some very tall and dense bamboo “ it’s such a lovely plant”. We then reached route 4 which we followed until the end, to the viewpoint overlooking the Arenal Volcano. The path is quite easy to walk along as it’s mainly crushed lava rock. But there are some small to medium rocks to catch you out, which I came the victim of along the way. When you reach the viewpoint, you have to first climb a steel staircase, then a small walk along a steel walkway. You then reach the lava flow from the 1992 eruption. Climbing over the boulders I really struggled. What with my unsteady legs, my weak knees, the heat, and the fact then we had been walking about an hour already. But I made it. It was worth it as the volcano was in full view. Normally the top section is shrouded by cloud. Also a great view of Largo Arenal “ which we will be crossing. More on that in my next post”. I stumbled my way back down, with the help of Jackie and some other kind people, and I was back on the nice flat path. We walked back on ourselves until we got to path 5 to view the enormous Ceibo tree. It’s 400 years old and climbs to a height of 30m or 98 feet. It’s an amazing sight. Also the root structure at the bottom is a sight to see.

We finally got back to where we started, thoroughly exhausted but with a good sense of achievement, especially me. Unfortunately we did not see much in the way wildlife, just the odd bird and plenty of lizards and leaf cutter ants going about their day, but it was great all the same. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Tomorrow we are off to Monteverde high up in the cloud forest.

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