Saturday, 27 November 2010

La Fortuna and Monteverde

After the relaxed time in Tortuguero beaches and wildlife, it was now time to hit the mountains.

Leaving lovely Tortuguero, we spent 8 hours on avoiding to go through San Jose bus hub and instead we made our way up through a more rural path passing by Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, San Carlos and finally La Fortuna.

This alternative way turned out to take the same time as going through San Jose, since we shared the last bus ride with a Spanish couple we met in Tortuguero and had left at the same time.

We arrived at La Fortuna just before the Sunset. This one street town boosted by tourism is famous for its next door neighbor Volcan Arenal.
Tired from our trip we chose an Hostel with a nice garden, hammocks and swimming pool, but in order to bring down the price we decided to stay in a tent.
Next morning we visited the Cataratas de La Fortuna, a 70 m waterfall with a nice natural pool, hot from the walk we had to go for a swim.
 
 
In the afternoon we went for a hike in the base of the volcano, as climbing the volcano is not permitted, since the volcano is still active, and although the lava eruptions are only visible at the top, the less visible gas releases can be quite deadly.
 

 
 
Our Spanish speaking guide had a good knowledge of plants, and showed us a big variety of medicinal plants, he used to say "preparen sus narices", before making us smell the perfume of the smashed leaves.

We then climbed a bit more out of the vegetation, where strange rock formations from past lava eruptions give a special character to the landscape.
And then, just after the Sunset big dark clouds charged with rain made their way down a lot faster than our feet looking for shelter.

We made it down a 'bit' soaked, and eager to see more we went searching for frogs. We spotted a red eyed tree frog. You can see why this colorful little animal is one of the most iconic animals of Costa Rica.
Next morning we left La Fortuna in direction to Monteverde, a cloud forest national park. The way there was made in a a "jeep-boat-jeep" ride. The views from the boat in Lago Arenal were quite stunning, where one could fully enjoy the beauty of the volcano.





 
 
 The 'jeep' ride climbing up to Monteverde was made in a mini van, not so well prepared for the roughness of the road, but it made his way up.

Monteverde is just forest, with plenty of of possible activities. Overwhelmed by the amount of choice on nature experiences we decided on something a bit more radical, what about a canopy tour?
 and there we where attached by cables making our ways slightly above the forest, playing Tarzan and Jane in the swinging cable, or flying like superman across the skies, it ended up by being a very enjoyable afternoon, a bit on the margin between sightseeing or transportation.
 

As the night sets in, Monteverde gets even more charm, as the clouds take over the place and lights become faded.

3 comments:

Anna said...

What an amazing tour and wonderful, wonderful pictures!!!
Lol/Anna

NoKas said...

Really cool pictures! Adorei a rã (defeito de profissão).

Enjoy your travel!

nuno said...

Hi, Thanks for your comments.
If you are into frogs in the post about the Tortuguero you can see a little red frog, that one is called Blue Jeans Frog (rã das calças de ganga azuis) also known as strawberry dart-poison frog (rã do dardo envenenado de morango).

I would say that the names are almost as cool as the frog itself :)

Keep on reading, soon we will post some reptiles.