According to the weather app today was going to rain all day long, and we actually ended up having this spectacular day. This is important in Costa Rica: do not trust the weather app, trust the locals.
Our tour guide picked us up at 9:00 (Volcano and thermal baths tour, 60$ per person). We booked this tour in our hotel the night before.
After picking more people for our tour, we stopped at a mini market to buy snacks and water. My recommendations for this tour are: wear hiking boots, hat, sunscreen, a bag to put some snacks and water, swimwear, towel and if you have, water shoes, I bought one pair of water shoes there and it was a pretty good idea. Also, because it gets really hot. Think about buying one drink with sugar in case your blood pressure goes down like it happened to me.
After reaching the park entrance, we walked for 10 minutes to get to a ranch where you can leave your swimwear, towel, etc., use the bathroom and refill your water bottles, before heading to the volcano viewpoint. It took us around 2 hours to get there but although I train everyday I felt we spend like 6 hours walking because of the humidity.
Being an active volcano, this viewpoint is the closest point you can get to the it.
On our way back, we stopped at the ranch to put on our swimwear and jump into the lake, which I really really enjoyed because it was so hot and humid outside… Meanwhile our lunch was waiting for us back at the ranch (of course beans, rice, etc., again, but I like it).
The tour then took us to the observatory where it started to rain, we crossed the spider hanging bridge, saw a few a frogs and went to the Arenal Museum.
Our tour finished the thermal baths, which was a little weird because it had graffiti walls and it was all dark, but we had a nice time there with some of the people we met at the tour. The tour offer the options to do only the volcano and I think it is better, because you can go by yourself to the thermal baths and the museum can be skipped.
We had pizza for dinner with a couple we met during the day. I love when this happens.
From La Fortuna to Monteverde
On the 5th day, we had breakfast again at our hotel in La Fortuna and after checking out from the hotel, the idea was to go directly to Monteverde to the ziplines, but we were honest to ourselves and agreed that we didn´t feel like going there. Instead, we went first to look for some hiking boots in La Fortuna because I broke mine yesterday (12 years with them, so I think they paid their price). Then, in our relaxed way to Monteverde, we saw the chocolate and coffee tours in the road and stopped by. It was actually pretty nice since there was only one guy beside us and the guide (Walter) spend a lot of time showing us all the process to produce coffee and chocolate, beside tasting all the fruits he had.
Walter also prepared sugar cane juice that took me back to my childhood when we were on our way to Higuerote (Venezuela). He also showed us some of the sloths that were around. This tour was 40$ per person plus tips.
Around midday we decided it was time to head to Monteverde, but after an hour and half of heavy tropical rain on the road we found a big fallen tree together with a lamp pole on the road making impossible to pass. The car in front of us reported it to the authorities, and meanwhile we decided to go back and look for some place to have lunch.
The place we found looked pretty nice, but it had a cat and they didn´t have light, so themenu options were limited. We ended up having a quick quesadilla and when we went back the tree and the pole were still there, but the locals saw our car and told us there is an alternative route just 20meters from where we were but only for 4WD, and this was one of the occasions we were glad we rented a 4WD.
We arrived around 17:00 to our hotel in Monteverde, which was really nice but I also think the 4WD is necessary to get to the hotel. We drove to downtown (5minutes) to have dinner at Tico y Rico.
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