Visit Costa Rica’s Most Dramatic Landmark & Stay at Famous Arenal Observatory Lodge
Day 1: Arenal
After breakfast, we depart Savegre Lodge, making our way down out of the Talamanca Mountains to San José, then on to Arenal. Late this afternoon we arrive at Arenal Observatory Lodge, where we'll spend the next two nights. The lodge is set high on a ridge facing the famous volcano, surrounded by thousands of acres of tropical rain forest. Seismologists from the Smithsonian Institute and the National University of Costa Rica intensively monitor the volcano from their research station at the lodge. Though Arenal Volcano is currently in a dormant phase, the juncture of the two tectonic plates that lie beneath it creates periodic friction, forcing molten rock up through fissures where it emerges as fiery magma.
Day 2: Arenal Hanging Bridges / Danaus Eco-Center / Hot Springs
After breakfast at the lodge, we take a natural history walk over the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a series of suspension bridges overlooking a dense canopy of primary rain forest
with views of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. One the most striking ecotourism projects in Costa Rica, the bridges range from 16 to 330 feet long and form part of a 2-mile trail that loops through the rain forest. Along the way. we'll see lush vegetation, colorful flowers and migratory birds that fly between North and South America.
Later, we travel to La Fortuna to visit Danaus Eco-Center, a private ecological reserve with programs focused on conservation, environmental education
and sustainable production. As we tour the premises with a local naturalist guide, we'll have a chance to see Costa Rica’s famous red poison dart frogs and other wildlife, walking on nature trails through the project’s 300 species of tropical plants. Where there is volcanic activity, there is usually geothermal activity, and this afternoon we'll get to relax and enjoy a soak in the nearby hot springs.
Day 3: Bird Walk / San Jose / Depart
After an optional early morning bird walk and a last
breakfast in the shadow of the volcano, we return to San Jose to connect with homeward flights. Please schedule flight departures no earlier than 2:30 pm today.