Costa Rica | Vol. 1 | Arenal


We arrived at San Jose Airport on Friday and picked up our rental car from Dollar and headed towards Arenal.  We missed our first two exits even though we had GPS and three co-drivers.  One reason why it took three hours to to only go ~100kms.  We drove through a lot of countrysides and a few cities including San Ramon which had a pretty impressive church. Once we gained some elevation the roads became more and more twisty, we went from sun to clouds.  I was shocked by the size of the trucks that drove these narrow roads including the one way bridges.  On the road towards La Fortuna  we saw a bunch of waterfalls and fast moving rivers.

We grabbed lunch in La Fortuna at Las Brisitas and were pumped to try the local cuisine.  The ‘mexican’ food here was good, nothing out of the ordinary other than nacho cheese was substituted.  The highlight of lunch was finally reaching our destination and of course a cold Imperial beer.

We paid for lunch and headed about fifteen minutes up the road to our hotel where we’d spend the next couple of nights.  At Tabacon resort we were greeted with a glass of delicious fruit juice and were pumped to see our room had a great view of the volcano. This place was NICE!  Alex and AC came over for a cocktail and we caught a shuttle across the road to the hot springs.

My expectations for the hot springs were not too high, I was expecting jacuzzi size pools and lots of crowds with a sulfur stench.  Well I was wrong, Tabacon has hot springs of a whole other kind. It is an adult paradise.  Rivers of jacuzzi water flow through the jungle and land in lava sand bottomed pools where steam rises into the romantic light. Above the steam and exotic trees we enjoyed a star filled sky.  Sitting in the jungle, while hot water rushed around me with a cold beer was a new experience.  It was only night one, we were HAPPY campers!

The next morning was early and we headed up the hill towards our next adventure, zip-lining with SkyTrek tours.  A couple of kilometers past Tabacon, we left the paved road and headed into the tropical forest.  The plan worked out and we were the first up and got to do the tour with only us four.  This afforded us time to take in each view and mess around with our video cameras, Gustavo and Andres (our tour guides) had lots to share about the wildlife and the parasitic jungle where vines, trees and all other plants fight for sunlight.

Finally, it was time to zip!

We all howled with excitement on each line and for good reason, some of them were hundreds of feet above the jungle over half a mile long and you travel over 50mph!  Such a blast!

To refuel for the hot springs, we had dinner at Que Rico in La Fortuna and shared great pizza and a couple of beers.  Then it was on the main course, another night in the hot springs!  To top it off, we ran into Brent and Suzi and relaxed till they finally kicked us out.  Hours melt away in the hot springs at Tabacon.

We weren’t ready to leave, but next up was Manual Antonio.  Please stay tuned.




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