My wife and I have travelled far and wide since we retired, but have seen nothing as wonderful as the north-west region of Costa Rica, We recently returned from a week's vacation on the Gulf of Papagayo, not far west of Liberia, the second largest city in this exotic Central American country. It was our first visit, but will certainly not be our last. Using as a base of 'exploration' the luxurious Occidental Grand Papagayo Resort on Playa Bueno, we discovered some of the fabulous treasures of the area. Our day-long excursions include one to a dormant volcano, Rincon De La Vieja, in the Central Highlands. There we thrilled to a zip-line tour of the rain forest canopy on steel cables suspended from the treetops that gave us a fantastic view of the unbelievably lush and green vegetation below. Then, mounting gentle but intrepid horses, our group rode into the rainforest itself and followed often tortuously steep and narrow trails across and along mountain streams until we reached a fabulous hot springs complex of pools and mud baths. What an amazing experience!
Hi Curtie Joe: Sorry...I missed this post as to your activities in Northern Costa Rica. I know our place is offering a trip to the volcano. Did you enjoy it? We have been to different parts of Costa Rica but never this area. Thank you for your insights.
As our well-trained tourguide Civi was proud to tell us visitors in his group, "Costa Rica has over 250 volcanoes. Most are either extinct or dormant. Only one, Arenal, is now active."
We found our full-day excursion from our resort Occidental Grand Papagayo on the Pacific Coast not too far from Liberia to Arenal absolutely amazing. Neiher my wife nor I had ever even seen an active volcano in our lives let alone arrive up-close at the base of one that was erupting as we stood gaping open-mouthed in astonished wonder at this awesome phenomenon of nature. We could see puffs of grey-black smoke coming out of the conical top and heard a weird popping sound (bit like a pop corn machine) while lava flowed down the north slope!
At night, when we returned after a wonderful day at the nearby Hot Springs topped by a tasty Tico-style dinner at a local restaurant, we were treated to the spectacle of red-hot lava eruptions flowing threateningly down from the top towards us standing near the base! Wow! What an experience. I'm sure you'd be amazed too if you take the Arenal all-day excursion from your resort.