Nothing has ever felt as good as stepping into a post-hike hot tub. The warm water caressed my skin lovingly as the tension in my body melted away. I love spas. Anything involving hot water and sitting still is excellent in my book.
Six members of the Vida team went on a hike toward the Arenal Volcano this morning, then spent the afternoon soaking in hot springs. It was a day full of true Costa Rican nature, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
Beginning the hike felt like a journey to another world. Jungle trees seemed to touch both earth and sky, creating a canopy over our heads as we walked. Bird calls I had never heard before surrounded us. We saw a snake the color of a yellow autumn leaf and deadly poisonous. A sloth slept peacefully hanging on the branches of a tree. Monkeys jumped from tree to tree, a rare sight, we were told. A banana spider rested in a bush, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Every stop brought a new gasp of delight from the team.
When we arrived at our final stop at the top of a hill made of the solidified remnants of a long ago volcanic eruption, we were welcomed by a spectacular view of the volcano. Not a bad end to a hike.
The thing I love the most about the area around Arenal isn’t how beautiful it is, however. It’s how friendly the people are. I have yet to meet a person here who hasn’t gone out of their way to help us. Plus, it has wildlife and natural hot springs. What’s not to like?