Dates visited: December 24, 2012 – December 27, 2012
We drove to La Fortuna (83 miles northwest of Alajuela), making a stop at Proyecto Asis—an organization dedicated to wildlife protection and environmental conservation. We volunteered for half-a-day, making food and feeding the rescued animals (peccary, spider monkeys, white-headed capuchins, kinkajous, toucans, macaws, parrots and more) and learning about the several ways humans are harming wild life. Some of the animal rescue stories were very heartbreaking and since this visit, we have started holding back on seeing animal shows or performances.
Before hiking in the Arenal Volcano National Park, we took one of the Sky Tram gondolas that soared through and over the trees, offering awesome views of the rain forest. We also loved walking on the never-ending hanging bridges through the rain forest totally mesmerized by the different species of plants. The slight drizzle made the hike mystical.
After hiking for a few hours, it just seemed obvious to spend the rest of the day soaking in thermal natural springs at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. These springs are 97% rain-based and 3% magma-based and range from 77 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degress Fahrenheit. It was a relaxing way to end the day.
We also visited the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Of all the nature trips we made in Costa Rica, we saw the most wildlife here— storks, white-headed capuchins, anhingas, cormorants, common basilisk (aka Jesus Christ lizard), two-toed and three-toed sloths, caimans, bats, iguanas, anteaters and more.
On the last day, we stopped by the stunning 246-feet high La Fortuna Waterfall.