Our trip from the Monteverde area to Volcan de Arenal had two options. A 5 hour winding bus ride around Lago de Arenal or a 4 hour trip by horse and boat. Of course we chose the horse ride, and we are glad we did. It was an amazing adventure as we started early on Friday morning at around 5000ft in Monteverde and descended along the ridges and through the valleys leading down to the lakeside. We forded two rivers and took in numerous beautiful vistas on our journey to meet our boat ride across the lake.
We spent two great days hanging out at Cerro Chato Eco Lodge run my Miguel Zamora and his family. He was awesome and treated us like his own family even hosting a birthday celebration for he and Dave since they shared the same b-day. One of the first things Miquel suggested was to visit a hot springs since we had spent four hours in the saddle. Each evening we winded down the day with a long soak and a couple of cervezas at the hot pools. Our favorite was the fancy Tabacon Hot Springs where we enjoyed an afternoon of soaking followed by a great buffet dinner.
Aside from the hot springs, the big attraction around the Arenal area is the volcano which is constantly erupting. At night you can view the liquid hot magma spurting from the cone at the top. We hiked through the national park around the volcano (the best way to see the mountain) offering us great views of the eruptions (puffs of smoke and gas) and sounds of the tumbling rocks. The last day a few of us hike to the local waterfall for a refreshing swim before heading back to San Jose (Marisa and Maria did some yoga and went shopping?).
Miguel and son Miguelito drove us back to San Jose where Lisa and Maria had to catch a flight home the next morning. We continued along with Jerry to our final adventure in Costa Rica!