Day 5: Waterfall, Volcano and Hot Springs
When we arrived at La Fortuna last night, it was totally dark outside (6:30pm), so we had no idea where Arenal Volcano was. Getting up this morning and looking around, we still had no idea where the volcano was. The cloud was so heavy.
1. View from our balcony.
Flavio told us we could go to La Fortuna Waterfall (by taxi 5,000 colones from our hotel) this morning before our afternoon tours which began at 1pm.
2. La Fortuna Waterfall from observation point.
3. Hiking down was not easy, especially we were wearing sandals so we could swim under the waterfall.
5. La Fortuna Waterfall.
6. You could swim there. Just make sure you change into swimwear before hiking down. There was no bathroom by the waterfall.
Even though I kind of wanted to swim under the waterfall, I chickened out in the last minute. The water was so cold, it looked like torture to me to swim in there. I had to admit later when we climbed back up the stairs, I felt a bit regret. Sometimes you push yourselves (like the snorkeling tour we did two days ago), you regret of doing it later. Other times you don't push yourself, you regret of not doing it. Ah!
7. Got back to La Fortuna town center. There is a nice park there. We were told later it used to be a soccer field. But because of all the tourism they got, they relocated the soccer field somewhere else, and built a park here.
8. An old picture (12/2001) I found online that shows the soccer field.
Image from Internet
9. Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna main street. It last erupted in 2010.
10. Modern day ox cart display in La Fortuna.
11. Modern day ox cart wheel display in La Fortuna.
12. Arenal Volcano from our balcony again.
13. By the time Dave ran downstairs to take more pictures, the tip of the volcano was covered by the cloud again.
As part of our tour package, we got to do Arenal Hanging Bridges and Baldi Hot Springs this afternoon. We were picked up at 1pm at our hotel to do the Hanging Bridges tour first. This was done by a sister company of GO! Tours. The guy showed up on time and spoke descent English. (Both Andrey and Flavio lived in the states for years so their English is really good.) His experiences and knowledge of the forest helped to find us many wildlife on the tour that we couldn't find on our own. And the spotting scope he carried really helped to see the details of birds, the face of the howler monkeys up on a tree etc.
14. Arenal Volcano just before our Hanging Bridges tour started.
15. 4 stages of palm fruit all on one tree.
16. It was really cool to walk on the hanging bridges. They do bounce when you walk on them, but not terribly. Even though I am afraid of height and have motion sickness, I didn't feel bad at all.
17. There were 6(?) hanging bridges in this tour, and they vary in length from 48 to 98 meters. Unknown to us at the time, we would be walking on a super long hanging bridge the next day.
18. Another tour guide (not ours) tricked the tarantula to come out of its cave.
19. Saw a blue and yellow macaw at the end of the tour.
21. Arenal Volcano after our Hanging Bridges Tour.
By the time the tour guide dropped us off at Baldi Hot Springs, it was already getting dark, so we didn't get to see the beautiful tropical gardens they have, but we thoroughly enjoyed the pools. They have 25 pools with different temperature that ranges from 92F (lukewarm) to 152F (burning hot). We tried almost all of them. The pools we liked the most were:
1. The one way in the back, with 3 giant water slides. One of them was so fast, people shot out of that slide like a cannonball. I had to do the other (relatively) slower slides first before I had the nerve to do the fastest one.
2. The Jacuzzi pool. It got jets coming out at different locations, in different depth, shooting at different angles, so you could get a full body massage just by moving from one place to another. It was like heaven. I had a hard time leaving that pool.
(To be continued)