After arriving and spending the night in San Jose, our first stop in Costa Rica was the Arenal Volcano in Alajuela. As we approached and saw it from a distance, our excitement grew. I had looked at pictures of the volcano before our trip, but I never imagined how magnificent it would look in person.
The pictures (including my own) just do not do it justice. Waking up to a window looking out to this view was just surreal. It was so beautiful, and we couldn’t wait to get a closer look.
Aside from the beautiful view, we started our day with a the typical Costa Rican breakfast. This included rice and beans “gallopinto”, scrambled eggs, fried plantains, fresh pineapple and guava, and of course, some coffee. After visiting the town of La Fortuna (separate post), we headed to Arenal National Park, which if you’re going to be passing through, is not to be missed!
The initial hike into the park is a very easy one. It’s mostly flat so it’s not much of a hike at all; more of a scenic walk with plenty of birds (we saw toucans in the distance), lizards, and other interesting fauna and flora along the way.
The main path leads to a staircase, which brings you closer to the volcano. This part may be challenging for some, but it’s worth it. Just make sure you have supportive shoes for this part.
Lava rocks from past eruptions form a field that elevates slightly as it nears the foot of the volcano. We both had great hiking boots so walking from rock to rock creating our own path was a fun little hike.
Aside from a great photo op with the volcano, there is a wonderful view across Lake Arenal. For us the weather was a bit rainy, so my photos aren’t so clear, but I assure you it’s worth the hike. I didn’t want to come back down!