The drive in from San Jose was 6+ hours so we booked a plane transfer to La Fortuna/Arenal as we did not fancy a long transfer again. So north west to La Fortuna and the hot springs. On the flight, which was on a tiny prop plane, we saw an inverted double rainbow which was pretty cool. We stayed at the Mountain Paradise Hotel, which we renamed the Mountain Murder Hotel – it turns out that the owner and his sons met a bit of a grisly end – click here to read the reports. Never a dull moment on our travels eh! The hotel sits just at the base of the volcano but as this area is rain forest – guess what it does – yes rain. We only ever got to see the base of the volcano!

La Fortuna is a cool place and sort of the adventure capital of Costa Rica where you can white water raft, zip line, hike, hot springs etc. We opted to take a walk through the rain forest canopy, hike to a water fall and around the Arenal volcano then enjoy our jacuzzi. The little town of La Fortuna is a relaxed place to have an evening or two and enjoyed a reggae evening with a few daquiries/beers and most importantly got our laundry done…

If you would like to see some videos please click here

From here we headed to Monteverde, our journey involving a very scenic trip across a lake. The surrounding area was very reminiscent of scenery you can see in New Zealand.  Amazingly on this trip we were sitting alongside a couple who lived in Gosforth and who knew all our neighbours.  We also shared our road journey with them and their extended family  so it was really nice to have such lovely travelling companions.  Once we disembarked it was another very bumpy ride to our destination.  The roads in Costa Rica are not for the faint-hearted that’s for sure.  We spent New Year’s Eve in the company of a lovely Spanish couple – thankfully both fluent in English – we met them first in Tortuguero and kept bumping into them as we travelled through Costa Rica.  As luck would have it they were staying in the same hotel as us in Monteverde.  We had a delicious New Year’s Eve meal and the following day we took off on a tour to the Cloud Forest.  Our guide, Alexander, was very informative and we saw lots of beautiful birds albeit through a telescope as the forest is so dense it’s very difficult to get photos of them. We also did a night walk through the rainforest and saw lots of bugs and smaller animals. You can see a good assortment of them below.

Tomorrow we head across the border to Nicaragua.