International Writers Magazine: Costa Rica
Greatest Show on Earth
are few places in the world where you can get up and close to
an active volcano. So whats it like? During the day eruptions
occur so frequently theres a massive cloud of smoke protruding
across the sky. At nighttime, sparks fly as red lava gushes down
the side of the mountain in an irrepressible fury. The spectacle
is breathtaking and makes you wonder if its actually safe
to be this close to all the fireworks. To find such a place one
would have to visit Volcan Arenal.
The volcano stands
over 1600 meters in all its glory in a perfect conical shape. Arenal
was actually thought to be dormant for several hundred years until a
massive explosion in 1968 threw rocks and ash for miles, killing 84
people, and devastating the surrounding villages. Since then the volcano
has been very much awake and is considered one of the ten most active
volcanoes in the world.
Nestled in between Lake Arenal to the east and the town of La Fortuna
to the west, Volcan Arenal is one of the most sought after tourist destinations
in Costa Rica. The town of La Fortuna is small but has many shops, hotels,
and restaurants to accommodate visitors. Its incredible just to
walk down the main street in town with the volcano dominating the backdrop,
which is the scene on many postcards. The activities around Arenal are
plentiful ranging from horseback riding, to canopy tours, to visiting
a magnificent waterfall. If you want to get a closer view of the volcano,
Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal has several trails leading to great vistas
for capturing photos of the towering inferno. However, the most extraordinary
luxury that Arenal has to offer are the thermal hot springs where you
can relax in steaming pools while watching lava explode from the volcanos
mouth. There are several different hot springs to choose from, all with
different prices and amenities, and all worth the cost of admission.
A trip to Volcan Arenal is a must for anyone wishing to marvel over
the explosive power of nature. Volcan Arenal is certainly not off the
beaten path, which means theres a reason why so many people just
have to see it.
© Wes Weston
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