Right about mid-January René and I jetted off to Costa Rica for 11 days of fun and relaxation. Always the photographer, René carried his camera everywhere we went to document our trip.
Below you will find part 1 of the vacation photos and little snippets about each. If you’ve never been to Costa Rica, I suggest you get planning!
This photo was taken at the gorgeous outdoor spa at our first hotel in Arenal, Costa Rica. The grounds were covered in lush greenery and unusual flowers. It was one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been:
An up-close view of one of the plants. Although it’s very hard to get perspective from a photograph, this leaf (and many, many of the others in the vicinity) was HUGE! It measured, probably, 4 feet wide by 5 feet tall:
On the second full day of our trip we rafted down one of the many rivers in the area, taking in wild howler monkeys, a sloth, iguanas, birds, and more. After the rafting trip we were taken to a small farm to taste some local delicacies. This cheese, below, was made onsite by the woman of the house and was amazing! It was a little squeaky when chewed, but had a smooth, subtle flavor. Unfortunately, due to agricultural laws, she can’t sell it…so we couldn’t bring any home:
One of the many pretty, pretty flowers on the grounds of the hotel:
Arenal volcano. It is active (though not overly so) and on a clear day (rare, from what I hear, though we had blue skies on each day of our visit) you can see some smoke billowing from the top (that white dot is the smoke. The volcano is not high enough for a snow cap). The last time the volcano erupted was in 1991; it wiped out an entire section of land on the other side, which you will see in a bit:
The red-eyed tree frog. This little guy is amazing! When he feels threatened, his colors come out in full force:
When he is more relaxed, he camouflages himself by blending in to the greenery. You can see his colors already starting to fade:
Lake Arenal is the largest lake in Costa Rica. It is a man-made lake, dug to provide hydroelectric power to towns in northern Costa Rica.
During one of our treks we climbed a small portion of the way up Arenal volcano. The vibrant orange of this lone flower was a stunning contrast to the black lava rocks that surrounded us everywhere. As you can see, some vegetation is just beginning to grow back after the last eruption:
The “death side” of the volcano. Beyond the trees in the foreground, the rest of this side of the volcano is completely barren:
I hope you enjoyed this virtual escape. More vacation pictures to follow soon!