Arenal and La Fortuna

 

Our last group trip of the semester really sent us out in style this past weekend in the Arenal area. I think from the moment we first viewed the impressive (and active!) volcano, we could unanimously agree that the best was saved for last (not that our trips to Volcanes Poas or Irazú were anything to complain about)! After a long bus ride, with our favorite driver, Mauricio, and a short lunch break at Switzerland…well, a Swiss restaurant chosen by—guess who—the infamous Brigitte, our secretary/tour guide, we FINALLY arrived in Arenal Friday night. We enjoyed dinner in La Fortuna; afterward it was unfortunately a little too cloudy to see the flowing lava from Volcan Arenal. However, we weren’t ready to give up and call it a night just yet. Some students hung out at our luxurious Los Lagos Hotel while Mauricio escorted a few ladies to the local discotec for a night of dancing!

The next day was filled with a number of activities, but of course I first have to mention the amazing breakfast we all ate, including the second best pancakes you’ll ever eat in your life (if you are curious about the first, you would have to visit Oriental, North Carolina). Some adventurers, even fearless Professor Richardson, headed out to a nearby swimming hole complete with a rope swing and waterfalls to frolic in. Others chose to lounge by the many pools of Los Lagos, though I don’t know if you could really call “Water Slide Tour 2008” (wreak havoc!) “lounging.” For those of you that want to know more about Water Slide Tour 2008, it involved groups of college students running from water slide to water slide as though we were back in elementary school. If it sounds simple, clearly you had to be there to understand. A few lucky students even pampered themselves with a massage in the hotel spa. Kristin and her mom (visiting from SOUTH AFRICA!) spent a great day at the hot springs of Tabacon. All tired out from our long days, we dined together and headed out to go catch a glimpse of the lava flow at night or relax in the hot springs of Los Lagos.

On Sunday morning, a group of early risers headed out to Lago Arenal for some kayaking and came back pretty damp, but satisfied. Others took the last opportunity to play in the pool although some students—one more than the rest—definitely learned that water slides can hurt you.  All in all, we had a great trip and Arenal is one place that I would sincerely recommend to anyone traveling in Costa Rica.

 

Posted by Shannon Boone

 

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