Wednesday afternoon, we went to the Hanging Bridges in Arenal. We toured the 600 acre area of protected rainforest, taking in the impressive plants, trails of leaf-cutter ants, and much to our excitement, several howler and spider monkeys. Our 62 person group broke into smaller groups, each with a guide to lead them on the walk and point out the biodiversity of the rainforest. The trail went in a wide circle, and the entire trek took about 2 hours. There were 16 bridges, and 6 of those were suspension bridges.

James on a hanging bridge.
Cassi

James on a hanging bridge.

Whitney, Angela, Shawnzy

Funky action on the tree.
Lesley

Brett’s keen eye caught something the guide even missed: a golden eyelash pit viper! He pointed it out to the group and Whitney got this great photo.

Howler monkey. Whitney

Our guide showing us a giant seed pod that fell from a tree. Lesley

The group after the Hanging Bridges tour, with the Arenal Volcano in the background. Photo by Jeff, one of our guides. After the long hike through the rainforest, the busses went back to Arenal, to the Volcano Lodge. Each hotel check-in was masterfully organized by our guides and within 15 minutes, all 62 of us had our room keys and were marching off to find our rooms (and the luggage was conveniently delivered later by the hotel staff). The landscape of the hotel grounds was breathtaking and the night rains made everything even more lush when we set out the next day.

Fuzzy flower at the Volcano Lodge. Pesh n Anna


Papyrus at the Volcano Lodge. Pesh n Anna

Flower at the Volcano Lodge.Amanda

We spent two nights at the Arenal Volcano Lodge in La Fortuna. The first night, many folks spent at the poolside bar, some getting to know each other for the first time! The pool was lovely, the drinks were stiff, and the staff was extremely friendly. They were impressed with our group too¬ówe even picked up our own trash!


Part of our Motley Crew hanging out, poolside. Reba


Mario and Cassi at the poolside bar. Cassi


Funky spider. Whitney


Whitney, poolside. Pesh n Anna

Pretty flowers at The Volcano Lodge. Whitney


Pretty flowers at The Volcano Lodge. Whitney


http://www.volcanolodge.com

On Thursday (day two in La Fortuna), we split into two groups to accommodate the day’s activities. First one group went on the zip line canopy tour (Group 1)(Group 2) while the other went on a hike at the base of the Arenal Volcano. In the afternoon we swapped and then all met up at the Volcano Hot Springs.

Since it rained the night before, and the ziplines were still wet, the first group of folks got a little splattered with rusty mud; it doesn’t appear to have dampened their spirits one bit though!

Whitney on a zipline platform. Karl
Part of the group at the end of the tour. Whitney

Shawnzy coming in for a landing. Whitney

Mandy, Tory, and Dustin after the zipline. Whitney

Asa flying over the Arenal River. Whitneyhttp://www.anywherecostarica.com/arenal-costa-rica/tour/arenal-paraiso-canopy-tour.htm

The hike around the Arenal Volcano was lava-free but we did hear some lava rocks come tumbling down the mountain. We saw a toucan, a giant termite nest, a very friendly coatimundi, and a beautiful view of Lake Arenal.

Whitney

White one-day orchid at the volcano. Whitney

Coatimundi. Whitney

Starting the ascent. Andy

Tiny orchids. Pesh n Anna

Mark, Tina, and Amanda at the top of our hike, with the volcano in the background.

 

 


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