After the long day of hiking around the volcano and the wild zipline tour through the canopy of the rainforest, our whole group met up at The Springs Resort and Spa, a brand new, five-star luxury resort with eighteen natural hot springs and pools, breathtaking views, a radical water slide, and incredible food. Many people mentioned that this was the most extravagant place they’d ever been.

Jen & Anna, with the Arenal volcano in the background. Whitney

Tory, Shawnzy, and Nick at the bar. Whitney

Jen and Matt enjoying the sunset. Pesh N Anna

Katie at the bar. Andy

Mario, Rick, and Pesh at the bar.

http://www.thespringscostarica.com

View of Arenal Volcano. Whitney


The next day we drove from Arenal to Ocotal and stopped for lunch at La Pacifica Restaurante.
La Pacifica is a large property that is also an animal preserve, so we also got to see monkeys, butterflies, parrots, iguanas, swans and a deer, in addition to a tasty lunch on an outdoor patio.

“God-zirra!” Andy

A doe, giving us a wary glance. Whitney

“Mmm”you can really taste the stick!” Andy


A howler monkey. Andy

Andy, Chicken, and a very cool mystery tree. Lesley

Sighting a two-toed sloth on the power line caused an emergency stop of the bus. We all poured off, and were treated to a sloth sprint for 100 feet to the nearest tree, once he figured out that we weren’t going to go away and leave him alone.

Reba

Whitney

Whitney

Andy

The blue green color comes from algae that grows in their thick fur. We learned about many species in the rainforest that have a symbiotic relationship, and this is one of them. The algae get the benefit of the sloth’s shaggy mane, and the sloth is camouflaged by the color.

On the drive to Playa Ocotal, we passed over the Continental Divide! Going up we saw rainforest, coffee and plantain fields and coming down we saw grassy plains and cacti! The change in ecosystems was almost instantaneous!

Flying Pie-ers crowding a little souvenir hut at the continental divide. Whitney

Whitney and Angela at the continental divide. Whitney

Joe and Rachel at the divide. Alyne

“I’m not going to throw up. I’m not going to throw up. I’m not going to throw upÂ…” Alyne

http://www.ocotalresort.comWe pulled into the Ocotal Beach Resort in the late afternoon on Friday, with enough time to get acquainted with the beach and back to the hotel rooms to watch this spectacular sunset with a cold drink.

 

The first night at Ocotal Beach Resort. This was the view from our room! Lesley

 

Alyne
Over the next day and a half, we spent hours lounging on the beach, hiking around the area, snorkeling, collecting seashells, and enjoying each other’s company. Some of us took
a quick trip to Coco (a near by beach town) to check out the culture and purchase souvenirs.

Just before sunset. Roman

Roman, with the pottery artist on the beach. Celicia

Cassi

“The white one’s mine.” Amanda

 


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