La Fortuna and Lake Arenal

Our Travel Vlog/Video

Our Travel Video

La Fortuna Waterfalls

La Fortuna Waterfalls is around 5 kms from the town of La Fortuna and at the base of dormant Chato Volcano. La Fortuna town is small and beautiful and is mainly known for its scenic view of Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Volcano was almost hidden during our stay due to heavy rains and high altitude clouds. The view of Arenal is heavily weather dependent. But there are a lot of other attractions near La Fortuna and Lake Arenal. Here we have listed all the attractions we visited during our 2 day stay in this area. We stayed at the Hotel Arenal Lodge. The Lodge was very scenic and had beautiful views of Arenal Volcano. The lodge is home to a lot of birds like tanagers of different colors, hummingbirds and Guans. We did find the national bird of CostaRica the clay colored thrush here.

The entrance fee to La Fortuna Waterfalls is 15$ per person. There are around 500 steps down to the base of the waterfall through the lush forest. The waterfall originates from Arenal River flowing through Arenal Mountain range before dropping off a cliff. The height is over 70ft. As it was rainy when we hiked down, the waterfalls was gushing and beautiful!

We initially had plans of visiting La Paz gardens, a 30 min drive from San Jose, but since it was raining heavily and chance of bird sightings were low, we decided to forgo this one. On the way to La Fortuna from La Paz Gardens, and very close to the latter, we stumbled upon this beautiful waterfall on the side of the road We did spend over an hour here admiring the heavy rain and pure nature of CostaRica.

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal sits at the base of beautiful Arenal Volcano. We could only get partial views of it due to heavy rains. There are a lot of activities one can do in this lake area. We just drove around it admiring its natural beauty. It is the largest lake in CostaRica.

Beautiful Hotel Arenal Lodge

The views of Arenal Lake

Fighting tanagers and other birds. One on the bottom left (grumpy looking yellow bird) is Great Kiskadee.

A roster of colorful Tanagers we captured: From Left (clockwise) : Bay Headed Tanager, Bush Tanager, Silver Throated Tanager, White shoulder Tanager, Blue Grey Tanager, Palm Tanager, Crimson Collared Tanager, Passerine's Tanager and Dusky Faced Tanager

Rainforest Chocolate tour

The Rainforest Chocolate tour as they term it was "the sweetest rainforest experience " we have had. The tour guide was very good and funny. We didn't realize how time passed that quickly. We toured the rainforest, saw the cocoa pods and cocoa flowers, learnt the process of making cocoa powder. Our daughter loved the traditional dance aspect of it, where one sings a dancing song while grinding the cocoa beans. You can check that out in our Videolog above. We tasted the yummy white fruit part of Cocoa, dried Cocoa, original Mayan chocolate drink and the freshly made chocolate. This is a must do in CostaRica.

Cocoa flower and Cocoa Pod.

Cocoa pods have a tasty white creamy section which harbor beans/seeds. These Cocoa beans are fermented for a week, dried, alkalized and roasted to get Chocolate powder

Fresh Chocolate: as delicious as it looks!

Xocolatl (which became chocolate) : Original Mayan Chocoloate Drink with Cacao powder, Corn flour, pepper and water. There was no sugar available to them back then. They called this the food of gods and it was highly prized!

Grinding roasted cocoa to prepare chocolate powder

Ecotermales Volcanic Hot Springs

Ecotermales Volcanic hot springs in La Fortuna was refreshing and rejuvenating. With a price of 40$ per person, you can spend the whole day relaxing in this spa. The spa had a very nice tropical feel to it adding to the PuraVida experience. It has several pools fed by natural hot volcanic water and each pool is at a slightly different temperature. One can choose and relax in any of the pools. This natural spring water has medicinal properties due to dissolved minerals and similar to our experience in iceland, it was very rejuvenating.

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