ARENAL: THE COSTA RICA VOLCANO!

The Arenal Volcano is one of the main touristic destination in Costa Rica. It is in the North of the Country and around this area, you can do, lots of things! From the relaxing massage to the trekking to the top of the volcano…. there are several tours that take place in the area surrounding the volcano, and for good reason! You can have access to the rainforest, waterfalls, the country’s largest lake...

First, explore Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal, is without a doubt, the most popular and well-recognized of Costa Rica’s volcanoes. When you arrive there…. You will be impressed by the huge symmetrical cone that dominates the fertile landscape at his foot. From San Jose you can simply take a bus that will bring you to Arenal. For the accommodation, no worries! I arrived there and I searched for a place to stay. I found a nice woman that also had an activity to sell Tour, but she was very nice, as I was a girl alone, so she gave me some good discount. At first I didn’t know if I chose well, but the days after spoken with several other backpackers I understood I was right… good compromise between me and her to have both the best we could from the bargain! I slept for 7 euros, and I bought a tour for the afternoon to the Park and waterfalls plus the tour of the day after to the top of the volcano and last, the passage with the jeep to Monteverde to do the most amazing zip line all for 150 Euros….

Coming back to the national Park…until recently, Arenal was the country’s most active volcano with an average of 41 eruptions per day. The Arenal Volcano is currently in a resting phase, you cannot hike up the volcano itself, but I recommend hiking through Arenal Volcano National Park with a bilingual naturalist guide in search of old lava flow and wildlife.

Slight changes in altitude create unique micro-climates and ecosystems through this region, making it home to a variety of exotic species.

Rest yourself in Arenal Volcano All-Natural Hot Springs

Another amazing thing to do here is to soak your muscles in thermal pools of water! Arenal is also home to several hot springs. Formed when water is heated underground and bubbles to the surface, Costa Rica’s mineral waters have been used as therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. These natural wonders tempt even the most experienced traveler – for a good reason! What could be better than a relaxing warm bath, surrounded by jungle and shadowed by the beauty of the volcano after a day of adventure?

Neighborhood:

Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall

Close to Arenal, there is a little farming town of La Fortuna that is named for its beautiful neighbor, the La Fortuna Waterfall. As one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country and luckily enough, it can only be arrived at by foot (a 15-minute hike) or horseback, if you don’t like to walk. From the lush rainforest greenery, La Fortuna plummets 200 feet to fall into a pool of crystal clear water. Remember: the pool is delightfully cool on hot summer days!

Tenorio Volcano National Park

Tenorio has everything you could want in a tropical forest natural area.  Hiking to the sky blue Celeste waterfall is a highlight, but the hanging bridges in the rainforest and trail to Lago Danta through the cloud forest from the Heliconias entrance are equally amazing.

Celeste Waterfall: At a glance these are what puts the region around Bijagua on the list of the best places in Costa Rica.  From ranger station at the west entrance of Tenorio National Park (El Pilón) to the azure tinted cataract a couple of kilometers to the south.

Many hypotheses, conjectures and beliefs have been brought up about the rier color in a sunny day, intense blue, including that the color was due to the presence of a metal such as copper, the river’s proximity to the Tenorio Volcano or because of minerals such as calcium carbonate and sulfur. But all of those explanations are now known to be false,read more about this....

"To understand the enigma of this matter, one should know that two completely transparent rivers, Sour Creek (Quebrada Agria) and the Good View River (Río Buena Vista), converge to form the Río Celeste. It is precisely from the point of union of the two where the waters cease to be transparent and become light blue for the following 14 kilometers of river. For that reason, this point is known as The Dyer (El Teñidero)."

Hanging Bridges Hike

If you like to hike, another possibility is to hike through a private nature preserve along well-maintained trails and across a series of fixed and hanging bridges with views of Arenal Volcano. It is relaxing and it doesn’t take a long time if you don’t like long trails. A naturalist guide will point out the flora and fauna of the area like monkeys, sloths, tree frogs, and more. Don’t miss the waterfall extension trail at the end of the hike!

The Lake Arenal: the passage to Monteverde

The Arenal Volcano is also the base of Costa Rica’s largest lake, Lake Arenal. With the mighty volcano as its backdrop and the surrounding rolling hills and forests, Lake Arenal is truly a vision of peacefulness. Several activities are here possible: fishing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding are some of the most popular activities enjoyed from the lake. I pass from here with a cruise to reach my next stop… Monteverde. You can most certainly enjoy its added beauty to the scenery.

PRAGUE: MY FIRST DAY!

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic is a perfect mix of architecture and culture. This beautiful city is called the “City of a Hundred Spires” and “Mother of All Cities” and has so much to offer its many visitors.

The name of the city means “Rapids” (as in a river). Old Bohemia meets the modern world, here beauty is never lacking. I hope you will get appetite after reading my article!

Let’s start: the castle and the upper city (Petrin Hill)

I love to walk when the city is quite and not full of tourists, so at 7 am I started my day from the Prague Castle, where from 10 am is almost impossible to take a picture without unknown people included….. It is the official residence and office of the President of the Czech Republic and it is located in the Hradčany district of Prague. The castle has been a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia.

A curiosity: it is also the largest ancient castle in the world still alive!

It's open to the public between 6am and 11pm, and you can see the changing of the guard every hour. The gardens are open to the public as well and are a sight to see! If you arrive from the center you will have to do some stairs to arrive to the top…stop there and look the panorama on the city, because it will be one of the best in Prague!

 

Closed to the castle there is also the upper part of the city Petrin Hill…. I stopped in a bench there for one hour just reading a book under the sun in front of the park you will find there… I have also to say that Petrin Hill has the best views of Prague as well as several more attractions: the 14th century Hunger Wall, the Strahov Monastery, Stefanik Observatory, and a memorial for the victims of the Communist regime. It rises some 130 meters above the left bank of the Valtava River and is almost entirely covered with parks.

Remember to drink an original monastery beer when you go down…. To chill a bit in the ancient city!

Charles Bridge

If you are walking a perfect place to go is the “Charles Bridge”: full of people but also of artists…. Really nice also the view from the most famous historical bridge in Prague. Below it you can see the “ Valtava” river and lots of small “pedalo” of all types…

Furthermore, the ancient bridge is not the only one in the city… Spanning both banks of the Valtava River, Prague is home to many bridges – some old, some new, most built in the beautiful Bohemian style that is so characteristic of the city.

Remember also that from there you can see, 2 small islands, where you can go by walking and pass a nice break or have a coffee or beer!

Going down to the city center you can stop also to the “Dancing House” (Nicknamed “Fred and Ginger”), houses a Dutch insurance company. This non-traditional design (to say the least) was controversial at the time because it contrasts with the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings of Prague. The shape is supported by 99 concrete panels, each a different shape and dimension and at the top of the building is a large twisted structure nicknamed “Medusa”

Explore the Old Town Square

Prague lived a history of invasions, but the Old Town Square has remained relatively untouched since the 10th Century. Take in your mind that swarms of tourists’ crowd the historical streets, packing out the restaurants every day. Of course, the square itself is the perfect place to admire the wonderful architecture Prague has to offer and if that isn’t your thing then the various street performers, musicians and merchants that line the streets here will certainly keep you entertained.

CLAVIERE: THE LONGEST TIBETAN BRIDGE, A DAY OUT OF THE CITY

If you are in Turin and you want to pass a nice day out of the city, an hour far from the city you can walk on the longest Tibetan Bridge in the world. There are 3 bridges in total and one of them is suspended over the San Gervasio Gorge (Val di Susa) for almost 470 meters (1,540 feet). In some points, the gorges arrive at almost 100 meters (330 feet) deep.

Furthermore, the walkway has four ropes, 1440 steps and it is suspended at average, at 30 meters (100 feet) above the ground. The bridges go between the towns of Claviere and Cesana Torinese. From Cesana Torinese, you can see the Piccola Dora valley narrows that form a spectacular walk between the slopes of Sagnalong and Chamberton. You do not have to worry too much since you will be using a safety harness.

The bridges are open every weekend from in May and September ad every day from the first Saturday of July to the first Sunday of September. The minimum required height is 1m 20cm (3 feet 1 inch).

For more information website go to http://www.pontetibetanocesanaclaviere.com/

If you are a group of 10 people or more, you can book online or contact them via email or phone to book the passage (all in the footer).

Crossing the bridge may seem a little risky but the experience is surely worth! You don’t need to be afraid, the bridge is guaranteed to be safe and they will provide you secure harness. Are you looking for an adventure of a lifetime, something that will get your adrenaline pumping? Just go and try it!

After that you can pass the rest of the day in the grass all around the small town of Clavier relaxing and take a deep breath of fresh air. From there if you want, you can start with several walks of different length and difficulty. It is a perfect day out of the smog and sultriness of the big city!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO SO FAR.. TO FIND SOME PIECE FOR YOUR HEART!!