Thursday, April 21, 2011

Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Our visit to the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica couldn't have been more perfect.  Although we are almost in May, rainy season hasn't kicked in yet, and so we had picture perfect views of the cylindrical cone of the Arenal Volcano while experiencing little to no cloud coverage.  Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica's most active volcano.  It frequently experiences explosions of incandescent rocks, ashes and lava flows which can be seen from far away.  The last major eruption was in 1968.  It was an eruption that killed 78 people and which could be felt as far away as Boulder, Colorado!

We did visit Arenal Volcano National Park and walked on some of its trails (see pics below).  There are five separate trails in the park, but the one that would put you the closest to the volcano was closed off on the day that we arrived.  There are many signs throughout the park warning visitors not to trespass.  It was not surprising to see tourists crossing these barriers to get as close to the volcano as possible, despite the possible risks to their lives.  We decided not to take any unnecessary risks, but I dont think we missed much since, in my opinion, the best views of the Arenal Volcano were experienced from other locations around the vicinity of the park, just driving along the main highway in the area (see pics below as well).

Heliconias Hiking Trail in Arenal Volcano National Park

On the Trail

More on the Trail

Arenal Volcano as seen from main highway

Arenal Volcano as seen from another vantage point on the highway

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