Costa Rica 2006 Day Five: Tortuguero to Arenal

by Kara on October 24, 2006

Wading Roseate Spoonbills. Ajaia ajaja. Cano Blanco, Limon, Costa Rica.

Wading Roseate Spoonbills. Ajaia ajaja. Cano Blanco, Limon, Costa Rica.

We spent what little time we had left at Tortuga lodge lazing on our porch. We saw another chestnut-mandibled toucan and a Montezuma orependola. We also saw a huge praying mantis – it was about six inches long.

After breakfast, we headed off with our guide in a boat to Caño Blanco. On the journey, we saw black-necked stilts, sandpipers, little blue herons, snowy egrets, roseate spoonbills and a groove-billed ani. When we got to Caño Blanco, we met our new guide, Mauricio, who was to be with us for the remainder of our trip. We really liked Mauricio a lot – he was a good guy. From there, we began the long drive to Arenal. We passed MANY banana plantations on the way. Towns tend to form around these plantation because the companies (Del Monte, Chiquita, Hidalchi, etc.) often provide a place to live for the workers. Around 80% of the crops are for export. Bananas that are too small or two large are kept for local consumption or to feed to pigs.

Workers sorting bananas. Near Cano Blanco, Costa Rica.

Workers sorting bananas. Near Cano Blanco, Costa Rica.

Mauricio told us that the largest industry in Costa Rica is tourism. Second is technology (my notes say “Intel”, so maybe I meant they have a plant here). Third is agriculture, which includes bananas, coffee, melons, pineapple, flowers, ferns and teak wood.

When we got to Arenal, we checked into the hotel, then went to an Italian restaurant for dinner, which was kind of a funny choice. Costa Rica Expeditions is one of the tour companies that is more responsible about the volcano. People have been killed just by the hot gasses from getting too close. Mauricio told us a pretty horrific story about a guide and a tourist that were hit by the gasses. They were able to get to help, but they had to be airlifted to the United States, where they both eventually died. We never got anywhere near close enough to the volcano to be in danger.

Close-up of volcano rim. Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica.

Close-up of volcano rim. Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica.

It is very difficult to see the volcano because of the cloud cover, but we hoped to get a glimpse. For some reason, I woke up at about 3 in the morning. I looked out between the curtains and saw that lava flows on the volcano were quite visible. I woke Stephen up and we took a couple chairs out on the patio and sat there watching the volcano erupt for at least an hour. I am so glad I happened to wake up and we caught that. We never got to see it erupt again.

Check out more of Stephen’s pictures of Costa Rica.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: