When you think of Costa Rica, you might think about its beautiful beaches or luscious tropical forests. And while that is breathtaking, the La Fortuna area holds a magnificent and powerful sight: The Arenal Volcano. Recently, we had the chance to visit this marvelous place and we can’t believe it took us so long to make this trip!
One thing is for sure, La Fortuna is breathtaking. With clear skies and sunny afternoons, we were able to get the best weather and that meant getting the best views of the Arenal Volcano.
You see, the funny thing about volcanos is that if you have never seen one, you are almost shocked by how accurate they picture them in books. The Arenal Volcano’s almost perfect cone shape can be seen as soon as you get close to La Fortuna. Slowly, it becomes bigger and bigger as you drive closer and once you are in the area, it’s like the moon – following you everywhere you go. It’s like you have stepped into a postcard, from the comfort of your hotel room.
As spectacular as the far-distance picture is, it’s nothing compared to traveling to the Arenal Lake and seeing it almost from the base up. It was surely one of our favorite views. We were both surrounded by nature and the imminent feeling we were in the presence of a world wonder. With a little wisp of smoke coming off the top, the textured hardened lava and rocks were the only reminders of the power of this volcano. For a moment, we were just speechless, with frogs, birds, and crickets being our only reminder that the world had not fallen silent.
Even when we thought ‘That’s it. It can’t get better than this.’ We were proven wrong. Just as the sun started to set, both the lake and the horizon started to turn balmy shades of orange and pink. A painting would fail in comparison to what the real world was offering to us.
The true wonder was viewing the sunset on the lake. Usually, during sundown, you can be mesmerized by the sky but with water reflecting all the different hues, you are surrounded by a pool of watercolors and gold highlights. The Arenal Volcano’s color shifted as well, changing from its usual blue tint to purple that mixed harmoniously with the background. Out of all our years exploring Costa Rica, this was one of our favorite moments.
We wish we could say this view is a normal occurrence, however the Arenal Volcano often decides to hide behind clouds and rain is always a possibility in Costa Rica. However, don’t let this cloud your judgement (pun intended), just be mindful of the weather and enjoy the opportunities that arise in this paradise.
Even if the Arenal Volcano isn’t on full view, there are plenty of other activities you can do in La Fortuna. From delicious restaurants, hot springs, shops, and even bars and clubs, there is something for everyone. And if you are up for little adventures, considere signing up for different tours offered around town. We booked a sloth tour where we were able to see sloths in their natural habitat and a farm tour that was both fun and inspiring.
Since our time was short, we weren’t able to book another tour, but you will be able to find lots of options and we are sure you will enjoy all of them. Ziplining, horseback riding, and white water rafting are just a few of them. La Fortuna is truly one whole package of fun, beauty, and exciting adventures.
Our visit was made even more perfect by the staff in Casa Luna hotel. By the time we had to say goodbye, we felt like we were leaving long time friends instead of hosts. It was amazing how much we enjoyed our visit, even if it was a brief one but that is the Arenal area for you, a little piece of heaven among forests.