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14 August, 2013

In the Spotlight: Arenal Volcano National Park

View on the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano
As I make my way through the dense jungle, the diversity in fauna and flora keeps surprising me. The further I go, the louder I hear the sound of splashing water ... at the end of the trail, I see a beautiful waterfall nestled amidst the forest surrounded by a little pool of water. I take a well-deserved rest here on one of the rocks while birds are chirping around me in an incessant cacophony. On the way back, I just cannot take my eyes off the impressive Volcano looming up in the background. I'm in Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, Pura Vida

Towering at more than 1600 meters, the beautiful and majestic Arenal Volcano is a spectacular sight. Its last massive eruption was recorded in 1968 when it destroyed the popular hot-spring town of Tobacon. The closer I get to the volcano, the more excited I get and the more difficult it becomes to suppress my urge to witness nature's fury from an unbelievable close range. It's still light and so far I'm unable to discern any activity. In order to utilize my time fruitfully I visit this really interesting little Museum of Vulcanicity which is also located on the premises after which I wait for sunset.    

Once it starts getting dark, the air gets charged with contagious enthusiasm and nervous anticipation. Will it be a clear night or will the clouds once again play spoilsports? Luckily for us it turned out to be a very clear night and it was in total amazement that we watched - spellbound from the observatory platform - the volcano throwing out orange rocks of lava. Truly dramatic was the manner in which a small stream of lava rolled downs the slopes of the Volcano. I will never forget this sight, it was truly incredible and had me completely hypnotized. Till this date, this vision is clearly etched in my memory. To end this perfect day, we went for a relaxing soak in the Tobacon Hot Springs located in a beautiful garden.    

We visited Arenal Volcano National Park beginning 2010 as part of our Costa Rica Pura Vida Road Trip. We were incredibly lucky because Arenal's inactivity began in October 2010 and it's still dormant now in spite of almost three years having rolled by. Nevertheless this natural heaven is definitely worth a visit even without volcanic activity and Arenal Volcano remains one of the most photogenic volcanoes in the world. 


Freya - Holiday Nomad, a Travel and Photo Blog


30 comments:

  1. I LOVE Arenal! It's one of my favorite places in Costa Rica - I went there twice in the last two months. I just wish I got to see the volcano with the lava activity but it is still an impressive sight to see.

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    1. Hi Samantha it is indeed an impressive sight. I has been dormant for 3 years now but you never know ..

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  2. This is awesome. Costa Rica is on my list for surfing and ziplining, but damn...I want to go to the volcano and soak in a hot spring. Very cool. Thanks for introducing me to this cool site.

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    1. Costa Rica is so beautiful, definitely worth visiting

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  3. Fantastic - I'd love to see the volcano throwing out orange rocks of lava.

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    1. Hi Maria, it was an unforgettable sight

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  4. Hi Freya, I'm so jealous of your experience in Arenal and your beautiful photo of it. You see when I was there, the volcano was hiding in clouds and fogs and we didn't even hear the roar. It seemed like the volcano was sleeping:( But thanks for letting me live vicariously through your amazing experience.

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    1. Hi Marisol, when did you go there? It has been dormant for the last 3 years.
      We were very lucky with the activity and the weather.

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  5. That is absolutely amazing,Freya! I like how you built up...ala volcano-esqe for your view. That is so beautiful :)

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  6. I love this photo... the volcano is so majestic, rising up beyond the coconut palms and there's a wonderful painterly quality to the volcano. Wow!

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  7. Beautiful contrast in the photo. At first, on my little screen, I saw the tip and thought it might be a watercolor, and then I scrolled down and saw the bright foliage. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  8. Nice memories. We were at our hotel in the pool with a glass of wine watching the lava roll down the Arenal, which was clearly visible against the night sky. Loved it.

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    1. Hi Jaklien it's indeed an incredible experience. WoW and being able to watch it all from your hotel is even more incredible.

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  9. Lovely post and great photo - A place I wouldn't mind visiting

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  10. I am jealous of you. Not many people can claim to have seen a volcano erupt an the golden lava floing down.

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    1. It was indeed a unique experience.
      If you go to Volcano National Park on Big Island you will be able to see lots of activity as well.

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  11. I can only imagine the excitement! Must have been a great view.

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  12. I am so fascinated by volcanoes. I didn't make it to Arenal Volcano when I was in Costa Rica back in 1997. Part of me wants to go back, but the other wonders if I'll be disappointed. I keep hearing how touristy it has become.

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    1. Arenal is indeed quite touristy but so beautiful. The Arenal volcano is dormant now.

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  13. That's a pretty amazing peak!

    I still haven't made it down to Costa Rica, despite living just up the coast a bit in Mexico. Amazingly lucky you were able to see it live and flowing up close and personal...once in a lifetime event to be sure!~

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    1. once in a lifetime event indeed, thanks Tim

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  14. Beautiful! One of the reasons I'm dying to go to Costa Rica. Most pictures I've seen from friends have it hidden in fog and clouds so you got so lucky.

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  15. You wrote almost poetically. I agree that it is a hypnotizing sight. We climbed the Cerro Chato beside arenal and it was quite impressive.

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    1. Thank you so much, it is quite a poetic place ;-) We climbed the Cerro Chato as well, that was quite an adventure :)

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Freya - Holiday Nomad