Day Four: Exploring and Shopping in Santa Elena and Taking a Van, then Boat, then Van again from Monteverde to Arenal.

 

Instead of driving our “delicate” front wheel drive, Toyota Yaris sedan on the bumpy, dirt roads from Monteverde to Arenal, we opted to take a van to a river, than a boat down river, to a different van which took us all the way to our hotel. Meanwhile, a “professional” Tico driver drove our rental car for us! Our little sedan was completely alone amongst the many rented SUVs!

Our first van driver dropped us off here at this lovely village along a river to wait for the boat. The driver was the silent type, he didn't say a single word to us in English or Spanish!

We decided to take a little walk while we waited for the boat and this dog decided to join us.

We couldn't have waited for the bus in a more lovely place!

 

We watched these local Ticos on horseback crossing the river.

 

Chris gets on the boat that will take us downriver toward the base of Arenal Volcano.

Our first glimpse of the Arenal Volcano looming ahead in the distance.

Another view of Arenal...

Views of the lush green, hilly shoreline...

 

Islands similar to the one we kayaked to the following day on Lake Arenal.

 

A close up view of the jungle shoreline...

This narrow strip of land creates a bridge through the Rio Chicito to the town of La Fortuna at the base of the Arenal Volcano.

A close up view of the perfectly cone shaped Arenal volcano shrouded in clouds. The volcano's top remained hidden during our second stay at Arenal, however, during our first visit to Arenal, on our last day, the clouds parted and we saw lines of bright orange lava glowing in the dark.

Our boat docked at the edge of the river, alongside the earthen bridge and we continued our van ride to the town of La Fortuna.

Nina loved this flower arrangement in the reception area of our hotel Lomas del Volcan (the hills of the Volcano).

The hotel consists of little cabins dotting the hills along the base of the Arenal Volcano, on what is called the “green side.”

The little cabins were charming! We stayed at the luxurious Tabacon Resort for our honeymoon, but we both preferred the quaint cabins at Lomas del Volcan. Granted the hotel restaurants and the swim up bar at the Tabacon were awesome, not to mention the full access pass to the Tabacon Hot Springs!

This was the view from our row of cabins. Every morning and at dusk, we could hear howler monkeys in the trees, but could never see them.

Ahhhh.... here's the lovely little cabin we called home for four days, number 308. We absolutely loved it!  One evening, some renegade cows from a neighboring farm got on to the hotel property and ate many of the flowers and plants on the back side of our cabin.  The hotel staff used walkie-talkies to coordinate a round-up of the "vacas".

Nina loved this frog painting. Plus, the maids would make swans out of the towels and little toilet paper flowers.

This is the gorgeous view from our little covered patio.

On our first night in Arenal, we hung out in the hot tub with some very drunk, loud and slightly crazy Americans and Costa Ricans. As it turns out... the older Tica woman Solida's son was an exchange student in Washington and stayed with Rhonda. Now the two families are like one. Rhonda was there with her very drunk sister visiting Solida and her twin daughters (Victoria and Balida), one of which also has 10-year-old twin daughters (Lucia and ?). We called them the “Tica Twins.” They were a riot!!

 

 

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