Visiting the Arenal volcano and walking through the Rainforest was such a trip. Seeing a volcano up close has been on my bucket list for a long time. I always thought my first experience would be in Hawaii but turns out that Costa Rica has over 110 volcanoes so it’s a pretty good place to start. The five most active volcanoes are Arenal, Poás, Rincón de la Vieja, Irazú and Turrialba.  According to the Arenal official website: “Arenal’s most recent eruptive period bega in 1968 with an explosion that buried three small villages and left 87 people dead. Up until July 2010, the eruptions had been constant, though much less severe—there were effusions of smoke and lava on an almost daily basis.”

It was a 3 1/2 hour drive from Coco Beach to Arenal but luckily there were a lot of interesting sights to take in along the way.

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The Costa Rica Popo have a pretty sweet ride.
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The Guanacaste, Costa Rica’s national tree is everywhere along the highway. Its lush green colour doesn’t show here because we are visiting during the dry season.
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Can you spot the volcano in the distance?
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55 turbines supply clean wind power to the residents and businesses in the surrounding area.
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Amazing view and pretty butterfly!

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Macadamia shell covered ground.
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Banana & macadamia muffins?  Bring on the gluten.
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Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls.
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Never thought I would see a Swiss home in Costa Rica!
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Arenal volcano in all its beauty. Quite impressive!
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Mapache (Costa Rica raccoon) spotted along the road to the volcano.

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Walking through the rainforest
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Termite’s nest.  Eww!
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Magic mushrooms. Actually, more like deadly mushrooms as they are super toxic and can kill you if ingested.
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After a good trek in the rainforest, we made it to the best view of the volcano.
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Bright green algae filled lake at the foot of the Arenal volcano.
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Dried volcanic lava. Crazy!
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Our amazing tour guide, Pablo. Such a sweetheart.
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Gorgeous flowers on our way down the mountain. I think these are Ginger Lilies but don’t quote me on that…

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Are you sticking your tongue out at me?
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After all that walking, it was time for some R&R in hot springs at Baldi spa.
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Our view for lunch at the spa. Once in a lifetime moment.
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Our final stop before heading back: La Fortuna, a lovely town at the foot of Arenal volcano.

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Wow, what a day to remember… If you come to Costa Rica, it’s so worth spending a bit of money on a few tours like this because it’s what makes the most incredible experiences. It’s great to see the beaches but I find that it’s what requires a bit of work (ie. driving down bumpy dirt roads for 2 hours + walking to the top of a view point) that is the most rewarding and unforgettable.

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