On Thursday we drove from Quepos to Arenal. Sue has a friend, Karl, who lives outside of a town called Tejona. It is around the other side Lake Arenal from Arenal National Park. The four-hour drive was uneventful. As I mentioned before, the roads in Costa Rica are quite good, just small and winding. We met Karl and his partner, Guiselle, in Cañas for a drink and then headed to their house for a relaxing evening. Plug for Karl: He’s a great writer, editor, and translator, so if you need any the above, especially related to Costa Rica, check out his Facebook page.
Friday we woke up and headed to the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park outside La Fortuna. It was only about 50km, but took us about an hour and 15 minutes. The road was very winding, steep, and in parts was only 1.5 cars wide—except for the bridges which are one-car wide. However, when we reached the park it was great. The walk is 3.2km of cobblestone paved trails and costs $26 for non-Costa Ricans. There are 15 bridges—six of them hanging—of various heights and lengths. The longest was 97m and the highest 25m above ground. It was gorgeous. We saw and heard lots of wildlife and strolled across the bridges and the tops of the forest canopy plus hiked down to a waterfall (and then back up to the trail). We had a grand time.
After the hanging bridges we continued to La Fortuna, the town near the Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is the tourist town we had not missed. If you’re looking for tacky souvenirs (which I love) or overpriced chocolate, this is your town. We grabbed a quickish lunch, walked around the town a bit. About 5 km outside of town in front of Tabacon Hot Springs, there is public access to the river that feeds all the resort hot springs. We changed into our bathing suits and headed over. The rushing water was relaxing and it didn’t feel completely touristy. The spring is about 2-3 feet deep and about 15 feet wide. We waded in and found a nice spot to sit and soak.
When we were all shriveled up and had our fill of soaking, we hopped back in the car and returned to Karl and Guiselle’s for another relaxing evening. They are great hosts!