COSTA RICA Day 3 (12/29) . . . After picking up our rental car at the San Jose airport, we drove through the mountains to Arenal Volcano near the town of La Fortuna, Costa Rica. We stayed within the national park (El Parque Nacional Arenal) at Arenal Observatory Lodge. This was the view from our room, once the clouds cleared--
That's smoke coming from the top of the volcano.
MORE PHOTOS FOLLOWING THE BREAK
This is the coati that hung around our porch. He was very friendly--
From the hotel's restaurant, there was a good view of Lake Arenal--
There's a seismograph and other monitoring instruments at the lodge. (At check-in, we received an emergency evacuation plan, although the scientists say the lodge is "relatively safe")--
No volcano-viewing lodge is complete without a pool and hot tub set in the rain forest. Austin is standing in front of the pool--
The drive from San Jose to Arenal Volcano took about four hours with a few stops. The mountain roads are very narrow with lots of sharp curves but the traffic was light, with few trucks and almost no sheer drop-offs.