My favourite place in Costa Rica was the Arenal area. It is breathtaking with so much biodiversity. I wish we'd stayed there longer. We did cram in a lot, though. On our first day, after exploring the wonderful hotel grounds and all the wildlife they have there, we headed to Arenal Ecological Center, which was just a few minutes away. They offer nighttime rain forest tours, but given the little ones with us we opted for a day time tour, which also took in the animals they rehabilitate or ones that would not otherwise survive in the wild. For example, this crocodile below had a broken jaw... he was an alpha male so still a little ferocious.
Here we are with out guide, Jonathan, who was just super: really engaging and friendly, and very knowledgable.
Unbelievably there was another alpha male crocodile named Charlie!
Here the boys are shining a light as they try to spot Charlie Croc from the bridge.
After visiting with the crocs for a long while we happened upon this specimen that apparently locals sometimes use to make shampoo. It did smell very nice.
Hatts sleeping through the rain forest adventures.
And then on to snakes... so many! We learned how to identify venomous versus non-venomous, though frankly I was glad we didn't get to touch them! Jonathan told us that we should seek out medical treatment very quickly were we to be accosted by one of them... !
And then on to see many different types of frogs. When these little frogs are at rest they simply look like little green frogs. It's not until they unfurl themselves that you see these phenomenal colours.
There's one just being a little green frog.
And here it is with its beautiful colours to uphold. And Hatts woke up!
We saw so much and learned so much. The boys bought stuffes (a sloth and a toucan) with their holiday spending money, and then we were off to find some lunch!
And Chaz slept... so we ended up getting some takeaway!
We were planning a very laid back afternoon but it seemed a shame not to try to see more of the area so we headed to Arenal National Park to get closer to the volcano... It was extraordinary. We manage to do the 4km hike with not too much whining (indeed Raf was a complete trooper).
Before we headed up, we stopped off at a very cool vantage point to get a good look of it. Even that was a bit of a climb...
But worth it.
And off we went.
Hatts is really the most laid back baby in the world.
Some parts were really quite steep for very little legs.
But Raf helped to encourage his brother...
We see it!
Finding some volcanic rocks to bring home for friends.
Luckily the boys had such bright hats... we could spy them anywhere.
Amazing vistas from up here. There's the Arenal reservoir, which is incredibly vast.
And then we headed down.
This hike was my favourite part of the trip. It was spectacular. To hike on an active volcano is pretty amazing!