Arenal Volcano National Park

One of our stops while in La Fortuna was Arenal Volcano National Park also known as Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal.  The Parque Nacional was only a few minutes drive from where we were staying at Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa.

Arenal Volcano
Volcán Arenal

For this particular hike through the jungle we did not hire a guide, so I’m sure we walked past a ton of interesting plants and animals, but it made each creature that we spotted on our own a cause for celebration.  We walked slow and heard all kinds of eccentric noises but we sadly didn’t see a whole lot; mostly lizards.

White-Throated Magpie Jay Costa Rica
White-Throated Magpie Jay

We were super bummed that we didn’t see any monkeys while we were at the park, in fact, we didn’t see monkeys while we were in La Fortuna.  This surprised us because many people that we had met told us that it was one of the best places in Costa Rica for seeing monkeys.  I suppose it just wasn’t in the cards for us.

Squirrel Costa Rica
Some kind of Huge Squirrel

Arenal Volcano National Park is set up as a series of paths.  We got a late start and so we only veered off the path once and that was to see the old lava flows.  It didn’t look the way I expected.  I have seen documentaries that showed old lava flows and to me it looked more like rubbery concrete, but this just looked like piles and piles and piles of rocks.

Old Lava Flow Arenal Costa Rica
Old Lava Flow

Once we got to the top of the lava flow, the view was beautiful–overlooking Lake Arenal with mountains in the distance.  Costa Rica is a such a gorgeous place.

Arenal Volcano National Park
View from the Lava Flow

On the hike down we frequently passed signs that warned us of our possible death.  How nice.

Arenal Volcano National Park

After we left the lava flows we continued on the trail.  As we turned a bend there was a massive tree.  It is estimated to be 400 years old.  The jungle is full of surprises around every twist and turn.

Giant Tree Arenal Volcano National Park
Big Boy Tree

The entire time we were in Costa Rica I wanted to see a Common Basilisk–also known as the Jesus Christ Lizard because of it’s ability to run on the water.  It’s wasn’t until I was writing this post that I realized that we had seen not only one, but two of them!

Common Basilisk
Juvenille Common Basilisk

Of course, it would have been way cooler to see one actually running on the water but what can you do?

Common Basilisk
Common Basilisk

If you ever get the opportunity to go to Costa Rica, I would recommend checking this place out.  We never passed up an opportunity to go traipsing through the jungle.  It was one of our favorite things to do while in Costa Rica.

Ameiva Lizard
Ameiva Lizard

I would recommend hiring a guide, though.  You truly do get far more out of your sight seeing that way.

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