Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lake Arenal Costa Rica

As we were heading to the famous Arenal Volcano yesterday, we would have taken the regular route trodden by most visitors from San Jose's capital in Costa Rica which puts you through the town of La Fortuna.  But on the advice of a friend, we took the alternate, and much longer, route that passes through the towns of Cañas and Tilaran instead.  Boy, were we glad we made this deviation!  This route introduced us to the amazingly beautiful Lake Arenal. My boyfriend has lived in Costa Rica all his life, but has not explored much.  So this area was actually new to him as well.  Lake Arenal is a huge, majestic, picture perfect lake.  Circling Lake Arenal on our way to the Arenal Volcano probably took about an hour, but this extra time was well worth it. I was reminded of the lake and mountain scenery that I've witnessed on my visit to the Swiss Alps.  It also reminded me of some of the landscape I saw when I drove around Lochness Lake in Scotland so many years ago.   The splendid Arenal Volcano can be seen looming over Lake Arenal to the east (see pics below).

View of Lake Arenal Costa Rica

Lake Arenal with Arenal Volcano Looming in the Background
The only town along the entire perimeter of the Lake Arenal is Nuevo Arenal.  But you will still find a variety of eateries and lodging along most areas of the lake, including an actual German Bakery (photo below).  You'll also notice a lot of signs trying to sell you lakeview properties.  Several prominent signs were offering a home on a lake lot starting at just $149,000 U.S. dollars.

Due to the windspeeds here, Lake Arenal Costa Rica has become one of the world's top windsurfing spots.  November - January are the best months for windsurfing.  Other recreational pursuits available on Lake Arenal include kayaking, boat tours, wakeboarding behind speedboats, and fishing.

The beauty of the Lake Arenal district included more than just the lake itself.  There were rolling hill pastures with cows grazing, beautiful Swiss-like homes and churches, and a variety of rivers feeding into the lake along the route.

Church and Home Along Lake Arenal
German Bakery in Nuevo Arenal

Cute River Criss-Crossing Into Lake Arenal
My boyfriend and I absolutely fell in love with the Lake Arenal district of Costa Rica yesterday.  We plan on making it a retreat for future romantic get-aways.  It's a true gem in this marvelous country of natural beauty.

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