First stop, La Fortuna
Trip Start Nov 22, 2010
2Trip End Dec 01, 2010
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Where I stayed
Tabacon Grand Thermal Resport
Along the we stopped for traditional Costa Rican afternoon snack of cafe con leche and a bean and chicken tamale wrapped in a banana leaf and topped with Lizano salsa. Yum! Aaron also had the first of many Imperials of our trip - the national beer of Costa Rica.
When we arrived at Tabacon, we were immediately greeted with tropical drinks. Even though it was late when we arrived, we had to check out the hot springs. Because of the rain and moisture we weren't able to get any pictures of the hot springs, but perhaps it is for the best. I don't really think words or pictures can do that place justice. Dozens of hot spring pools amid beautiful rain forest landscapes, connected by a series of rolling springs and gorgeous waterfalls all at perfect hot tub like temperatures. There are enough pools that it is easy to find your own private hideaway. If this is not paradise, I don't know what is.
The next morning we went on our guided hike of the Arenal volcano. After 400 years of dormancy, the volcano erupted in 1968, destroying two villages and killing approximately 80 people. In the years since it has been erupting continually...however, over the past few months the volcano has been relatively quiet. This has the local folks worried since the active volcano attracts a lot of tourists, and because the quiet activity may be a sign of something to come.
On the tour we got to see the first monkey of our trip, as well as colorful birds, beautiful flowers and tons of butterflies. There were also gorgeous views of Lake Arenal.
That afternoon we took a taxi into the nearby town of La Fortuna. We enjoyed a traditional Costa Rican lunch, explored central park, and had some of the most delicious coffee of my life.
When we returned to the resort, we visited the Grand Spa. I know that Arizona has some nice spas...but they don't even come close to touching this. We both had massages in an open air bungalow amidst the rain forest and next to a babbling hot spring brook. It was heaven.
The following day was Thanksgiving. We decided to celebrate the holiday by taking a zip line tour of the rain forest canopy. What an experience! For those of you not familiar with zip lining it involves being attached by a harness to a cable that runs between two platforms. The platforms are high above the rain forest floor. Then you basically "zip" along the cable from one platform to another. Some of the cables are nearly a kilometer long and you cannot see the other platform when you take off. There was also a "tarzan swing," which essentially involved being strapped in to a bungee cord high on a platform, falling straight down several meters, and then swinging out up to the tree tops!
That afternoon we enjoyed the hot springs some more and hung out at the poolside bar. It is a strange sensation to be eating and drinking with your ass in 100 degree water, but you get used to it.
We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at Los Tucanes Restaurant. After Thanksgiving in Costa Rica, I am not sure I can ever enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving again!