(Arenal Volcano)Getting to Arenal from Bajos del Toro is approximately 83 kilometers, in normal circumstances, it would take no more than 1 hour, here the maximum speed you will reach will be 60 kilometers per hour, take advantage and enjoy the landscape of the route, it is beautiful.
The town closest to the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, it is full of hotels, restaurants, and offices to hire multi-adventure excursions. If you have a couple of days to explore the area, it is mandatory to go to the volcano (the entrance costs $ 10, you can pay in dollars, it is 8 kilometers from the town and is open until 4:00 p.m.) and do the different routes that there are along its trails (it will be approximately two hours in total. During the tour of the Arenal Volcano National Park, you will be able to enjoy endless sounds of birds such as hummingbirds, quetzals, parrots or parakeets, a very colorful fauna (you will see a lot of laurels, medlar, ferns, orchids, or bromeliads) or the appearance of coatis making their hole, if you are lucky you can also see monkeys, sloths, Congos or red … what to see a jaguar, only You will see in the guides 😉 yes, you have to be attentive and avoid the groups, which tend to think that they are in El Rocío.
If you are lucky enough to see the volcano clear, it is a real wonder, on the route on the Las Coladas trail you will run into the Ceiba tree, it is 40 meters high and 400 years old (although they recognize that it costs them specify the years of this tree) is the star of the park. A good option after the National Park is to go to the Arenal Observatory Lodge, which is approximately 16 kilometers from the moment you leave the park (it costs $ 5).
Here you can make routes through the different trails that the area has (they are approximately 6 kilometers, very manageable). You can also get to the Arenal Lagoon, but it is not of special interest since you cannot bathe in it, and if you like to fish, you must first ask for permits, if you get here it would be to rest and appreciate its views.
If you do not dare to go to the Arenal Observatory Lodge, you can visit the town of El Castillo (the path is by unpaved road, you will not be able to exceed 20km / h, keep in calm ), it is not that this town has a special architectural interest, its Interest resides in the landscape and has a drink while you have views of the Arenal Lagoon. To the south of La Fortuna (5 km) is the Waterfall of La Fortuna (which has a jump of 70 meters), access to it is 10 $.
The Arenal Hot Springs
A good way to end the day at Arenal is to go to any of the hot springs there in the area and you’ll find along the road through the village of La Fortuna. The entrance prices to enjoy them are between $ 30 – $ 35 (not including lunch or dinner, then it can go up to $ 90 – $ 100). If I had to recommend any (although all the guides will tell you about the Tarancón hot springs, they are 7 minutes by car from EcoTermales on the road that crosses La Fortuna) it would be the Ecotermales hot springs.
They are small hot springs that work in shifts, the last entry time is at 5:00 p.m. (the rest of the hot springs can close at 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.). It has 4 pools, and 2 waterfalls with pools, each pool has different temperatures, being able to start at 34 degrees and end at 47 degrees, it has a cold water pool to be able to make the contrasts, try not to be more than 15 minutes. In any case, ask them to explain the operation and the route at the entrance.
After 1 hour and a half (which is what you can entertain yourself on the tour) you can take advantage of the sun loungers there to have a drink, read and/or do nothing, feel fetén 😉 when you go out, you find yourself idem.
Depending on the hotel where you are staying, many of them have a spa with a wide range of detox for the body, if you are a fan of being “kneed” take advantage, a well-given massage is priceless.
From Arenal, the next stop will be the Nicoya Peninsula, here we go!