Favorite thing: The trip to La Fortuna/Volcán Arenal was an awesome experience. We got to live for a few days in the rainforest, meet wonderful people and see beautiful sights. The area is something that if you ever get the opportunity to visit, you should definitely go. Unfortunately for us, the weather was cloudy and rainy, but that didn't stop us from having fun and it didn't dampen our enthusiasm. Definitely a place we plan to visit again.
During our stay in Fortuna, we noticed the warmth, caring and hospitality of the people which we met. It made our time there a wonderful experience. Throw in the flora and fauna that surrounds you and this is truly a magical place.
Fondest memory: We noticed that many of the animals roam freely along the roads and they seem to be in very good health. One thing that I won't forget about our time here was when we were eating our meal at Soda Las Flores. As I mentioned in my write up about thie restaurant, a very good place with delicious traditional food and friendly owners. Well they went above and beyond what we ever expected...after finishing our meal, a pregnant dog walked by the entrance of the estabilshment. Instead of shooing the dog away, they welcomed her in and since we were still there, we purchased food for the dog. The owners cooked the food with love and care, boxed it up, gave it to us so that we can help one of God's creatures. That to me is one of my fondest memories.
Favorite thing: You may be doing a lot of your travel research online for your Costa Rica trip and feel it necessary to book activities (white water rafting, trips to Arenal and the hot springs and etc.), jeep-boat-jeeps to Monteverde online. Trust me, there is a ton of availability for these activites and you can book when you get there. There is a lot of competition for tourist agencies, and if you barter when you get there you can save a good 10$ or more on an activity.
Favorite thing: If you drive along teh main road with the view of the volcano ....remember that on the other side (behind hotels) is an amazing forest and a great possibilty to see teh wildlife (especially for bird watchers)!!
The Arenal National Park is the best way to explore Arenal and the Arenal environment. You can really spend hours walking around the trails. There is a lot to do. It is not very crowded, and the park is very large. It is rare to see huge groups of tourists, but you will have freedom and space to explore things at your own pace. I saw several people with binoculars: bird watching and looking at the volcano. There is a jungle area as well as some tranquil areas for just sitting by the lake. If you just sit and listen you can hear the rumbling from the volcano. It is a really nice place, and great for nature lovers, people who like history and the outdoors. It's an all around great trip!
Fondest memory: Sitting by the lake, with the volcano behind my, just listening to the rumbling of the volcano and looking at the birds fly by. At night make sure to look up at the rim of the volcano to see the bright red lava! You can still see the lava during the day, but not so vividly. During the day the lava doesn't appear red, but rather grayish and looks like smoke falling down the side of the volcano.