Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Travel Tuesdays: Costa Rica Part II

So when I left you last week, the husband and I were on our way to Arenal from San Jose.  Arenal is an active volcano, and was Costa Rica's most active volcano at the time.  Many people tout Arenal as the highlight of their Costa Rica Vacation, so I was really excited to get there!  Our transfer picked us up in San Jose, we said one last goodbye to Finca Rosa Blanca, and headed off.  It wasn't long before we spotted Arenal in the distance:

When we made it to our hotel, we were blown away by the beautiful environment and peaceful surroundings.  We stayed at a fabulous hotel called Arenal Kioro.  When we arrived, we were welcomed by refreshing cocktails

and then taken to our room.

Check out the view from our balcony:

Not too shabby!

The grounds of the hotel were absolutely gorgeous.  We enjoyed a beautiful walk through the lush environment every time we stepped out of our room.

Arenal is known for it's natural hot springs.  The water is naturally warm and mineral-rich, providing bathers with ultimate stress-relief.  Kioro has it's own private hot springs that are exclusive to the hotel's guests.  The springs themselves are man-made, and the water is pumped through the pools.  However, the warm, mineral-rich water is natural Arenal hot springs water.  We loved sitting and relaxing in the hot springs every day and night!

Relaxing was key for our honeymoon, but Ronnie and I also loved exploring all that Arenal had to offer.  First on the list was ziplining!  We both wanted to go ziplining, and were really glad we waited for our trip to Arenal to do it.  We had an absolutely amazing ziplining experience on the Sky Trek Tour.  We took a gondola ride up above the canopy of the rainforest, and had a blast ziplining 10 cables back down.  The longest zipline cable was a full kilometer long, and the highest was over 200 meters above ground.  It was definitely a thrill and so much fun!
View of Arenal Volcano from the ziplining landing
Gondola ride with a view of Lake Arenal
The "practice" zipline
Next, we chose to explore Arenal's canyons, jungles, and waterfalls through an awesome canyoning excursion.  We rappelled down several waterfalls, which was such an incredible experience, and then hiked through the rain forest.  It was an awesome trip.  Unfortunately, the camera had to say behind for that excursion, so no pictures :(

The highlight of our stay in Arenal?  The monkeys we found playing on our roof on the last day!
Can you spot the tiny little monkey up there?

Arenal definitely lived up to my expectations.  The three days we spent there were incredible, and I can't wait to go back to Arenal someday.  But all good things must come to an end, and we had the next destination to look forward to!  Coming up next week: Recap of Monteverde!

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