If you only have a limited amount of time to vacation in Costa Rica, I would highly suggest spending it in La Fortuna. This area has one of the highest concentration of all type of activities that are purely Costa Rica. You might not get the sun and beaches, but you get hot springs and volcanoes! Just about any sort of activity you want to partake in can easily be found in the area. And with a wide variety of accommodations, you can easily find one that fits your budget! There is even a super nice backpacking hostel that puts some area hotels to shame. It is called Arenal Backpackers.
The Volcano Arenal
Arenal in Costa Rica is a certain ‘must see’ on your list of travels around the world. One of the most famous sights in Arenal is its spectacular volcano. People flock from all over the world to see one of the most active volcanoes on Earth.
Almost everyday you can see hot lava flowing from the volcano as it rumbles into action sending columns of ash spewing into the atmosphere. Amazingly you can view these events in total safety from one of the many locations around the volcano itself.
Arenal Volcano is actually surrounded with many geological features and activities to entice your appetite for adventure and sightseeing with magnificent views.
The Hot Springs
There are many hot springs around the volcano including Baldi Springs which is 10 miles into the safety zone around the Arenal Volcano. There are ten hot pools which are serviced by a network of springs; these pools offer different temperatures ranging from warm to hot. You will also find two swim bars, a restaurant and changing facilities so you can change into your bathing attire before going for a warm swim in the pools. The Baldi springs are conveniently situated near the small town of La Fortuna making them easily accessible to travelers.
Baldi Springs is located nearer the inactive crater of Arenal Volcano and well situated so you are not to far from other activities that are available to the area such as; the more private Eco Thermales which has four hot pools a nearby waterfall, some amazing scenery and what better way to top it all off than have a delicious meal at the restaurant close by. Here is a complete list of hot springs in La Fortuna.
Town of La Fortuna
The nearby town of La Fortuna is itself a hive of activity and places to see. The town also has many hotels, banks, services, supermarkets and stores; so your every need is well catered for in the locality. The majority of which are nicely located within one or two blocks of each other in the town center.
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La Fortuna offers some spectacular views and is only 4 miles away from Arenal Volcano. This is a picturesque town full of history and friendly people. You will find easy access to all activities in the region from horse riding, hikes and tours.
Famed as one of Costa Rica’s adventure centers you will definitely need to spend some time in the locality as there is just so much on offer to the region. It is actually quite difficult to put a time frame on your visit to La Fortuna as you will always find something that is new and exciting to experience.
Things to Do
Among the other experiences and adventures you will find situated in or around La Fortuna are; cave exploration, whitewater rafting, climbing, and various waterfall activities, plenty of hot springs and canopy expeditions around the volcano.
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Also local to the area is Costa Rica’s largest body of water inland. Lake Arenal is full of activities; again with so much to experience you will need more than a couple of days stay in the area. The lake was increased in size by three times in 1968, and hosts Arenal Dam a hydroelectric facility that services 9% of Costa Rica’s electrical energy; a sight that is a must see on your visit to the Lake.
The lakes activities include many water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking and boating, fishing and excursions. You will experience beautiful scenery and views of the more active side of Arenal Volcano, especially night time displays from the lava flows and minor eruptions of hot ash from the summit.
Rainbow Bass sport fishing is one of the big attractions for the fishermen and women who visit the Lake, which is usually best experienced at sunset of sunrise for the best catches.
The main activities are centered around El Castillo which is on the southern most tip of the lake and nearer to the Arenal Volcano. There you will find hotels and inns, places to eat and Arenal Observatory Lodge where you can safely experience the views of Arenal Volcano and the amazing surroundings of Lake Arenal.
Why not try ‘Guapote’ a fish that is caught locally with a tasty white meat. These fish are known for there fighting characteristics and sharp teeth, so if you do go out and catch them before eating the fish be sure to expect to put up a fun fight with these members of the Cichlid family.
One thing is for certain that when you visit the area surrounding Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica you will have a world of experiences that are unique to the region, even the world. Once campaigned to be included in the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, Arenal Volcano is definitely a place that will never leave you. Often people return again and again to take in more of what they didn’t get round to see on their previous visits as there is that much to experience.
Arenal, Costa Rica is a place memories are made of, and a place for the whole family to enjoy. Only one thing is left to do; pack your cases and get yourself out here as words to describe this magnificent land are hard to find.