Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 4 June 16 Arenal- Arenal Paraiso

This morning was our last meal at Selva Verde so after breakfast we bid farewell to our friends at the lodge and headed off to Arenal National Park.  As we got closer we could see Arenal Volcano in the horizon.  The sky was clear and I was hoping it would stay that way so everyone would be able to see the full volcano.  When its cloudy you can’t even tell the volcano is there and I wanted everyone in the group to get a full view.  We arrived at the park and the sky was still clear so things were looking good.  As we hiked the trail to get closer to the base of the volcano near the most recent lava flow (the last major eruption was 1968) we were on the lookout for birds, insects and the elusive Golden Eyelash Viper.  We looked hard but had no luck.  Seeing one was on my wish list but you never know what you will get with mother nature.  We decided to continue on and hopefully have luck to see one on the way back.  Our hike took us over the volcanic rock trails higher and higher.  I decided that with my fear of heights I was better off staying at the halfway point that was high enough to get good photos of the volcano and Lake Arenal.  Some of the group, including Scott, hiked all the way up. After spending time enjoying the views we all headed back to the bus (some quicker then others, sorry mom we were snake hunting I swear).  Our next stop was to La Fortuna for a nice typical lunch at Lava Rocks.  After our delicious lunch we went to Arenal Paraiso Lodge to check in.  The views from Paraiso are great so it was nice that we still had clear skies.  Not everyone is as lucky so I was thankful.  After checking in we headed out to Baldi Hot Springs to enjoy soaking in the nice warm thermal waters coming from the volcano.  Paraiso also has their own private hot springs but the group likes to cover as many sites as possible to give variety so off we went.  After spending a few hours relaxing in the springs we returned to Paraiso for dinner.  After dinner most of us retired since it was a really long day.

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