Exploring Costa Rica: our stay at Arenal Lodge and things to do (lots of hiking)

If you’re traveling to Costa Rica, I highly recommend you add the stunning Arenal Volcano region in La Fortuna to your check list. Surrounded by lush rainforest mountains, you will get the ultimate Costa Rican jungle experience. If you love active vacations that involve hiking, swimming, climbing and exploring new lands by foot, the Arenal region of Costa Rica is one of the best things to do. I was enamored by all the remarkable wildlife I saw while staying at the Arenal Lodge. If you want to get an excellent deal, you should check out Jet Set Vacations or Travel By Jen. They always offer the best and most affordable vacation packages to Costa Rica. You can get some pretty great all-inclusive discount travel options from $599 – $899 dependent on how many nights you’re staying and where you’re flying out of.

The Arenal Lodge in Costa Rica is a cozy and rustic place to say. It’s a pretty far drive up a private paved and windy road, but once you’re at the top it’s like reaching jungle paradise. You fall asleep to the beautiful sounds of all the wildlife and you wake up to a whole new set of sounds from your surrounding neighbors that live in the trees.

The most adorable and colorful frogs that live in the vibrant gardens at the Arenal Lodge. 

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

 

Even if it was rainy or cloudy, I could not get enough of the Arenal Lodge’s infinite pool. Grab a cocktail and relax while you soak.

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

And if you want to go on a nature hike, the Arenal Lodge’s backyard is an explorer’s dream. Our guide took us through a gorgeous hike which started directly behind the lodge and took us through creeks, lively rain forest and more.

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

Yes! We saw snakes! Beautiful snakes. 

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

 

And these crazy big ants! 

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

 

Tea party anyone?

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

Lizards galore!

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

 

Romantic foot bridge over water.

Arenal Lodge Costa Rica

We also spent the day taking the most gorgeous horse back ride through the greenest hills and meadows. It was absolutely breathtaking.

Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Arenal Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

 

That’s the Arenal Volcano behind us, but the clouds were covering it. 

Arenal Costa Rica

 

Speaking of the majestic Arenal Volcano, we also took a group hike up the volcano. Of course weren’t allowed to go to the top (as the volcano is active), be we were pretty darn close. 

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

 

The best way to end a day full of hikes, is taking a nice soak and dinner at the Tabacon Hot Springs. If you’re headed to Arenal, you must must MUST, visit Tabacon.

tabacon hot springs costa rica

tabacon hot springs costa rica

 

While La Fortuna boasts so many hiking options—by far—one of the best hikes you must do, is the Rio Celeste hike. Never in my life had I ever seen a river and waterfall of such remarkable turquoise. Plan for a full day excursion because it takes time to get to-and-from there.

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

It’s not an easy hike…

rio celeste costa rica hike

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

But the waterfalls and seeing the insane turquoise blue of the river are totally worth it.

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

Where the two rivers merge…

 

rio celeste costa rica hike

And thus create a surreal turquoise blue.

rio celeste costa rica hike

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

 

You’re not supposed to swim in any part of the river—and rumor has it, if you do, the river will burn your skin—but our guide took us through a shortcut which involved crossing the river. Our skin didn’t burn. 😉

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

Our guide also took us to some secret hot springs where we put a special mud on our faces and just relaxed. 

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

Coming down the mountain, we hydrated via numerous drinkable springs, fresh off the mountain, running down a big leaf. 

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

We completed our hike drenched in sweat, but happy we didn’t fall off any slippery muddy cliffs. 😉

rio celeste costa rica hike

 

Have you traveled to Costa Rica? What areas of Costa Rica do you recommend? Let us know in a comment below!

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