La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Published: August 23rd 2013
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La Fortuna

Tortuguero to La Fortuna, Boat and bus transfer.

Two waterfallsTwo waterfallsTwo waterfalls

La Catarata La Fortuna
We had another lovely river journey leaving Tortuguero for about an hour and a half up a narrow river to Pavona where we met our mini bus for the journey to La Fortuna (about 3 hours). We passed some beautiful scenery a combination of jungle, valleys of green fields either with cattle or banana, sugar cane or coffee. The sky was black and moody but we didn´t have too much rain, just enough cloud to cover the volcanoes.

La Fortuna is a fairly small town (about 5000 people) close to Volcan Arenal which erupted violently in 1968 killing 88 people. Until this eruption local people living here didn´t know it was a volcano and thought it was a mountain, it was called mount Arenal at the time and had never been scientifically studied. The sides of the "mountain" were all plantations, coffee, banana, sugar cane etc. When the eruption started at about 3am the villagers heard what they thought was an aeroplane, a low rumbling sound that was actually the volcano. In the morning they all went to work as usual on the plantations but were sent home as the sky was so dark with ash from the night they couldn´t see to work. When they returned home the Volcano exploded with a pyroclastic blast. Boulders the size of coaches landed 5km away. There have been many smaller eruptions every decade since then but recorded activity has been decreasing since 2010. We were hoping to see some lava but they haven´t seen lava from this volcano for the past 4 years.

We went for a 5km walk to see a waterfall with a swimming hole in a small reserve. It was a lovely day and a beautiful spot for our picnic. The two waterfalls were very impressive and the water wasn´t that cold once we were in.

Next day we hiked the volcano with a guide to explain all about the flora and fauna and history of the volcano. Due to the eruption it is a hike through primary and secondary forest where the growth is only 45 years old, the density of the forest appears the same the only difference is the size of the tree trunks and vines hanging from them. We saw a wonderful lizard protecting her eggs, very well camouflaged the same colour as the leaf litter, known locally as a dog lizard because of the way they stand guard.

On the way back from the hike our driver dropped us off at a thermal river for a swim. Completely natural, heated by the volcano it was a little paradise that we had all to ourselves (for a short while anyway).

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Fan palmsFan palms
Fan palms

These palms are all over Costa Rica, I just love their shape
Not exotic but very sweetNot exotic but very sweet
Not exotic but very sweet

On the walk to the waterfall
Small flowerSmall flower
Small flower

We have seen these all over Costa Rica they are very pretty in their simplicity.

Enjoying the waterfall

This waterfall doesn´t have a swimming hole but it is prettier.
volcano forest hikevolcano forest hike
volcano forest hike

These shoots will eventually reach the forest floor and ground themselves, the ends are full of water and feel like jelly.
Leaf cutter antLeaf cutter ant
Leaf cutter ant

carrying the biggest leaf we´ve seen so far.
Volcan ArenalVolcan Arenal
Volcan Arenal

Cloud to the right, smoke to the left
Thermal riverThermal river
Thermal river

You can´t see any steam but the water is a lovely warm temperature

24th August 2013

We think Beautiful !!
Hello guys, seem\'s like your both having a ball, a couple of Bear Grillses in the jungle !! Love your swimming pool, were making do with the lagoon at La Rocque, your pic\'s and storys are interesting.We are off next week walking with the dogs in the Wye Valley, on into Wales, not quite Turtle & Tucans, never mind!! Take care & stay safe, love Rose&DaveXXXX

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