Some of us packed in the dark, due to an entire COUNTRY blackout; others didn’t have to worry about packing in the dark because they were already in Arenal with their parents, while others waited till the last minute to grab snacks at the nearby Mas X Menos or Mega Super. With all this behind us we only left a half hour late! We arrived in Arenal to discover what would be a dream come true to some, and a once in a lifetime opportunity for others.
Friday night we drove into the darkness, some more hesitant than others, as to whether or not we would see why a number of the places along the way were called El Fuego Montaña. Yet, right before our eyes the fire trickled out of the picturesque volcano in the distance. We all watched in disbelief, and a wave of frantic “sshhhhh’s” came over us as some were desperate to hear the rumble of the rocks. For the duration of the weekend our eyes were glued to Volcán Arenal for one last puff of smoke to ruffle down the barren side of the mountain.
One of the main attractions in the Arenal area is the Cataratas de la Fortuna (The Fortuna waterfall). The strenuous walk down the ¼ mile of step stairs is well worth it. This 177ft waterfall and its stunning green surroundings is one of the most amazing sights in Costa Rica. At the bottom of the falls there is a small pool of crisp clean blue water that visitors are able to swim in if they venture over the slippery rocks. The water is shockingly cold with strong currents from the waterfall. You have to be careful while swimming in the pool because it is dangerous to get too close to the powerful waterfall. Behind the waterfall there is a rock wall covered with green vegetation crawling all over it. You can see the birds flying in and out of little hiding places on the wall while avoiding the pressure from the waterfall. To the left of the waterfall there is a little stream that provides for much safer wadding areas. Some of us took this opportunity to find the perfect rock to sit back, relax, and reflect on our dazzling surroundings. With less than 20 days left, we are all starting to realize these past three remarkable months are coming to an end and before we know it, we will be packing up and saying goodbye to Costa Rica. This past weekend, with the exceptional environment and weather, was a perfect last trip all together.