The Arenal Volcano area of the rain forest in Costa Rica is definitely worth exploring. There are so many activities to enjoy. The Springs Resort and Spa had several on site activities, but Gabi wanted to explore the area a bit and chose to choose off site activities. The resort assisted in setting up all of our activities and were paid through our resort.
Apologies for the blurry photo. As we were in the rain forest, we had a satchel used to protect the phone from getting wet. Unfortunately, the humidity did a number and made our photos from this trek a little blurry. The day was more rainy than usual, with rain lasting all morning and throughout the afternoon in patches. The hike was through the Arenal Volcano National Park. We found it to be quite fun as we were the only two taking the excursion with our tour guide, Daniel. This made for a more detailed and intimate trek. Once we arrived to the open space to view the volcano, the clouds had lifted and provided us a full view.
The Hanging Bridges were definitely my favorite part of excursions we took. A walking trail of 3.2km (2 miles) allows you to take a moderate hike through the rain forest and there 16 bridges. The bridges shake as you walk , but the view is outstanding. There were many different animals to see along with very interesting plant life. The one thing that did make me crawl was the holes we would see in the hills. They just so happen to be homes for tarantulas. While we did not see many while walking, I did glance in one hole and see some quite large legs that made me feel that it was time to move immediately.
After the Hanging Bridges, we went to the La Fortuna Waterfall. Truly this is some beautiful scenery. The 70 meter waterfall crashes down to the rocks and the sound is powerful. The hike to the bottom is a bit of a hike, with 500 steps taking you down. While getting down is rather simple, going back up is not the same. Gabi is training for a full marathon so the walk back up was no big deal. That cannot be said the same for me. I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest. However, regardless of my health, this was truly worth the hike down as the water was fun to swim in and the view was truly incredible. Plus, once you go down you don’t much of a choice to go back up.
Wave Expeditions Balsa River Level 2 and 3 Rapids
There is a stock photo (courtesy of Wave Expeditions) showing a group enjoying the rapids. While we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, we didn’t dare take our phones for photos for fear of losing them in the rapids (its recommended not to bring them as well). They did take photos of us on the river but sadly none of them truly captured my “best side”. Gabi booked this as she wanted to do it and I was a bit hesitant. There is nothing like a large man being hoisted back in to a raft by much smaller people. We were paired with another couple and a guide and we had a blast. They have 2-3 level rapid trails and 3-4 level rapid trails. If you are new to white water rafting we recommend the level 2-3 rapids. You get a little excitement but not so much that you are exhausted at the end. The trip included lunch as well which of course was a casado.
We hoped you liked reading this as much as we liked experiencing it. Costa Rica is an amazing trip and from Orlando is only a 3 hour flight. The adventures you can have and the guides who share them are truly remarkable. I know for sure I will be back again in the future (with a little more cardio training ahead of time).