We flew into the Arenal National Park area of Costa Rica from Bocas Del Toro, Panama via Nature Air. The travel time was a little over 5 hours, partly because our flight out of Bocas was over an hour late. We thought the plane we boarded in Bocas was small, but after a brief stopover in San Jose, we boarded an even smaller plane for the final lag of the journey! It was a shakey flight but we made it safe and sound. From the Arenal airport we took a taxi ($15US) to our hostel- Arenal Backpackers Resort.
It was late in the afternoon by the time we checked into the hostel ($15/p.p for a bed in a shared dorm). Luckily we were close enough to the downtown area that we could walk into the center and stroll around. We settled in for supper at Lava Lounge Bar and Grill where we enjoyed a Santa Fe Wrap and a pasta dish, as well as a pitcher of Sangria.
When we got back to the hostel we booked our tours for the next day ($300 US) through the reception and hung out in the lobby which had a very comfortable atmosphere, complete with bar tables and couch-style loungers. Arenal Backpackers Resort has a restaurant and bar which offers up tasty treats and delicious drinks.
The next morning we were up early to get the shuttle from our hotel to join our Pure Trek Canyoning tour.
The shuttles dropped us off so we could board the back of the trucks pictured above. It was a bumpy but fun ride up the volcano. Once we got to the top we were outfitted with the safety equipment we required and taught everything we needed to know in order to have a safe morning on canyoning. And before we knew it- we were doing it! The tour took us down 3 waterfalls and one rock wall. There was also one point where we had to do a Monkey Drop, which was a zip-line through the air followed by a quick, yet controlled, drop to the ground.
Once we had made our way through the rainforest we were transported back into Arenal where we enjoyed a lunch prepared by Pure Trek staff. At that time we were able to purchase a CD with all of the pictures from the morning ($25US). Then we were dropped off back at our Hostel.
We had just enough time to enjoy a relaxing few moments in the hammocks at Arenal Backpackers before being picked up for our second adventure of the day.
This time, we were off for a zip-lining adventure with a tour company I cannot remember the name of. We did 12 zip-lines, with one of them being almost 1000 m long, and very high up over a waterfall. It was terrifying, yet exhilarating, like all good adventure is.
After just one full day of adventure we had to get ready to move on the next morning. We were heading to Nicaragua, and unfortunately were unable to book transportation due to their requirement of having at least 4 people booked. We were ready for an early morning adventure trying to find our way into Nicaragua using Public Transit!