Land Adventures in Costa Rica
Know that it rains more in the central part of the country, in the regions near the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde Cloud Forest – 2 choice locations. We had wet weather in December around the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. You need a rain jacket. The fog will often restrict the view of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. We lucked out and had the volcano come into view while it was erupting at sunset – yeah!
While the coast is warm, 80s & 90s degrees F, the Arenal and Monteverde are cooler, from high 60s/low 70s to low 80s.
Many people fly into San Jose, Juan Santamaria International Airport, because they want to see the volcanoes and cloud forests, and we rented a car, drove there and stayed overnight. At sunset the clouds cleared so we could see Arenal erupt. Spectacular in person! We were able to see it from the front porch of our cabin on one of the hot springs properties.
Accommodations – We stayed at Arenal Paraiso Resort and Spa in a bungalow with a view of the Arenal Volcano from our front glassed-in porch. Our accommodations included a full breakfast, and the resort had thermal springs throughout heated by the volcano, as well as a swimming pool and beautiful gardens with gorgeous local birds. You can get nightly rates for under $90/night on some websites. It seems to get 3.5-4 stars on tripadvisor. It was perfect for us on our 2-night stay in Arenal. (See my other posts for more on Costa Rica Travel Agents and Accommodations and our other Costa Rica Adventures.)
Ziplines – There are many forests that offer ziplining. While we hoped to zipline in Monteverde, the rain kept us from visiting that cloud forest. Instead we took advantage of a zipline adventure in Guanacoste at Buena Vista in the canopy in the shadows of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
For me, it is exhilarating to be in the middle of a zipline at the treetop canopy with the monkeys looking at you. I slowed my zipline speed down so I could watch the monkeys. Our guide and Tom were at the other end yelling at me to come on, let the pressure off. I said, “Shh! Monkeys!” They seemed to be a bit exasperated with me, and my advice is to slow down, take it all in, and enjoy the rare moments in nature with the animals.
When hiking in the canopy on the high bridges, we saw snakes resting from a recent meal, a sloth resting in the treetops, and monkeys. When taking the ziplines, Tom had a wild Peccary follow him on a hike to the top of the ziplines. It laid down on his foot; it got attached to him quickly until he zipped away.
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