Costa Rica Day 6 - Rincon de la Vieja

Published: January 15th 2022
Edit Blog Post

I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, but 9 hours sleep and a breakfast of rice and beans (I’m beginning to feel like a contestant on I’m a Celebrity) and I’m raring to go.

Today, we are going to Ricon de La Vieja volcano. It’s a 17 mile drive, which starts on Route before we have to turn off onto a smaller road. With 6 miles to go, we run out of paved road and the bouncing around in the gravel begins. A few miles later, there is a sign saying we are entering private land and must pay 700 colones each (about £1) to continue. Unexpected as we’re heading for a National Park, but the man has a gun, so we don’t argue.

Our first destination is Rio Negro Hot Springs; a series of 10 pools, situated along the river, heated by thermal springs from the volcano. The pools range in temperature from pleasantly warm to f*** me that’s hot. There’s also an opportunity to cover yourself in volcanic mud which, the attendant assures us, has therapeutic properties. After relaxing in the pools, covering ourselves in mud and a further pool dip, we take a walk along a trail past 4 small waterfalls which is included in our £19 each entry fee.

Next, we continue to the National Park and, after we’ve forked out another £25 in entry fees, we follow ‘3 km’ trail; Sendero las Pailas. This takes you past a number of volcanic features with viewpoints where you can view fumiroles and bubbling mud whilst inhaling vast amounts of sulphurous gas.

I’m fast coming to the conclusion that ‘kilometro’ in Costa Rica translates into English as ‘miles’. We have avoided the obvious order of attractions (hike first, followed by relaxing in thermal springs) in an attempt to avoid the majority of tour groups. The good news is – we achieve this objective. The bad news is – we reach the trail at midday ‘mad dogs and Englishmen’ style. It’s 32 degrees, the trail is longer than anticipated and we run out of water long before we reach the end. Just as I think things can’t get any worse, a snake slithers across our path! When we do finally do reach the end, we’re hot and dehydrated and the café is shut.

We return to town and stop at Walmart for supplies. I’m so hot and sweaty I worry I’m not going to make it past the man with the thermometer at the entrance. Luckily, I’m not hot enough to be deemed a covid risk and can buy water and empanadas to refuel after our hike.

Once I’ve digested my food, I have a lovely long, cool swim in the pool and a beer, before retiring for our final night in Liberia. Tomorrow it’s time to hit the Pacific coast.

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


Tot: 0.036s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 9; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0069s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb