Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Costa Rica Adventures:: La Fortuna// Arenal:: Cerro Chato

On our first full day in La Fortuna/ Arenal we decided to head out for a hike.  There are plenty of package tours you can choose from, but we decided to go our own way and hike Cerro Chato. While this volcano is significantly smaller than it's neighbor Arenal, it has a lagoon/lake on the top in the crater. We grabbed a cab and headed to the trail head.  The cab from our hostel (Backpackers Resort)  was roughly 5,000 colones (10 dollars)  we then paid our 10 dollars to the enter the property, although no one ever stopped us to check.  

Every review on trip advisor said that this was a very challenging, steep, "One of the most arduous and tiring hikes ever", they all also said it was only 4 miles round trip.  After 17 peaks this year, 4 miles is very manageable no matter how steep it may seem.  I'm not saying this hike was easy, but the length of time we spent working for the reward, was minimal compared to ANY of the ADK hikes I had done.

this path is made by leaf-cutter ants.

ifyou look closely on the left you can see a dinosaur, jurassic park is real folks.
Unfortunately when we reached the top, we were still in a cloud.  Initially there were about 16 people on a tiny beach and no visibility past 15 feet.  Jessie and I decided to leave the beach and walk around the lake in hopes of finding another clearing.  After about 20 minutes we admitted defeat and turned back.  By then it had thinned out a bit on the beach so we decided to hang out for a bit in hopes of the clouds burning off.  

semi bushwacking through the jungle

I took the opportunity to go for a swim. The water wasn't particularly warm nor was the air, but really when will I ever get a chance to swim inside a volcano crater again? 

We hung out for 30 minutes before venturing back down the trail.  Downhill was definitely easier and not so steep that I wish I had poles.  I was glad that we took the time to hang out and enjoyed the hike, otherwise it would have broken my streak of hiking for 6 months.  

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