Wallet, say hello to Costa Rica’s National Parks

La Fortuna was our third destination in Costa Rica. The well-known site there is the Arenal Volcano National Park. And I was introduced to just how pricey it is to visit Costa Rica.

To get there, you need to ride a big bus located next to or near the supermarket. It appears to be the main bus terminal, though it doesn’t look like one. The buses leave at a certain time, so be sure to ask around for bus times so you don’t miss it. Then the bus drops you off some 2km from the park entrance.

ARENAL NATIONAL PARK

For the chance to “hike” here you need to pay US$15.00. And I hate to be critical, but there were better places to hike for the price. It’s also just walking around the volcano. A real letdown for someone who has hiked and seen the craters of Mt. Bromo and Mt. Ijen.

There is a good viewing point to just enjoy the volcano. If you don’t wanna walk, just go straight from the entrance and have the time of your life enjoying the US$15.00 view

NATURAL HOT SPRINGS


La Fortuna, Costa Rica - Natural Hot SpringsAfter the park, we wanted to check out the Natural Hot Springs (this is really how they call it), so we went back to the main road and hitchhiked. Considering everything in Costa Rica was turning out to be expensive, I liked that this one is free. I also appreciated that the water was hot, but it wasn’t so special for me; travel buddy however, has never experienced it. So at least someone had a good time.

Of course, the bus back to the center also had a fixed time. If I remember correctly, the earliest bus arrives at around 4pm; but we were done at the springs by around 2pm. We decided to try and hitch hike again. And ended up walking more than an 1hr before we managed to get a ride with an elderly couple. They drove us for about 2km and ultimately we had to catch a cab back for the last 4km because my feet cannot take it anymore (yes, I’m a wimp). We still reached the hostel earlier than 4, so I’d say it was a good decision.

Of course, the bus back to the center also had a fixed time. If I remember correctly, the earliest bus arrives at around 4pm; but we were done at the springs by around 2pm. We decided to try and hitch hike again. And ended up walking more than an 1hr before we managed to get a ride with an elderly couple. They drove us for about 2km and ultimately we had to catch a cab back for the last 4km because my feet cannot take it anymore (yes, I’m a wimp). We still reached the hostel earlier than 4, so I’d say it was a good decision.

Overall it seemed that we were only staying in places in Costa Rica because we liked the hostel. There was no motivation to explore and do something other than the tourist spots. The weather contributed to it. It reminded me too much of home; it was rainy season indeed, but when it was not rainy, it was sunny and humid. (I did not leave home and spend my money for this.)

TRAVEL DETAILS
Travel Dates: 2016.10.19
Destination: La Fortuna
Arenal National Park Entrance Fee: US$15.00/CRC8,400
Bus to Park: CRC1,100
Cab to Center (4km): CRC2,000

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