Day 3 – Hiking and Hot Springs

December 23, 2012
Arenal
Arenal Backpackers

After our day of rafting you would think that relaxing would be the first thing on my mind, but nooooo I can’t sit still so we had a full day of hiking and hanging bridges ahead of us before we could relax in the hot springs after dinner. Canoa Aventura picked us up this morning and took us to the Arenal Hanging Bridges for a 3km hike to start our day. 

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We didn’t see a lot of animals (because of the rain), but the rainforest itself was beautiful, so lush and incredibly green. I’m amazed at how wet a country Costa Rica is, everything is slick with rain or covered in tiny water droplets.

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When we completed the hike we were taken to La Fortuna Waterfall with promises that we could swim in the pool at the bottom. What we weren’t told is that you have to hike down 480 steps to get to the waterfall…and then 480 steps to get back out. With all the rain it was a little slippery to get down and these were not regulated steps, sometimes there would be a 6″ step and sometimes it would be 2′. But it was worth it when we got to the bottom and saw this…

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All the extra rain had made the waterfall super powerful and you couldn’t hear much over the thundering water. Unfortunately, the extra rain had also made it too dangerous to swim in the pool, so we had to be content with the view. After catching our breath from the hike down we turned around and hiked back out, ready to get to our next hike and then (finally!) hot springs.

I was definitely disappointed with the last hike of the day and didn’t really feel it was worth it. We were supposed to be taken to a lava view point but due to the nature of lava it has moved and the new view point is on private property. So instead of seeing lava we hiked around in the mud for an hour and a half.

Finally, and I do mean finally, we were dropped off at Baldi Hot Springs Resort. Baldi has 25 thermal pools (and a couple water slides) that come directly from the Arenal  Volcano, about 300 ft deep. We got there around 4pm and it was packed, but after settling into one of the warmer pools we noticed people started drifting away and we were left all by ourselves to soak our sore muscles and just relax.

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Breakfast: pancakes with fruit salad, omelet with everything, coffee, tea
Lunch: vegetarian nachos with cauliflower, broccoli, cheese, black beans, salsa and guacamole
Dinner: rice, potatoes, beans, salad, lots of fresh fruit, fresh bread, coffee/tea, brownie

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