Trip report Arenal, November 2012

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Dec 20th, 2012, 05:55 AM
  #1
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Trip report Arenal, November 2012

We stayed three nights at Hotel El Silencio del Campo in November 2012. The hotel grounds are beautiful and on our first morning, we had a great view of Arenal Volcano. On the other days, clouds covered the volcano. The cabins are spacious, clean and quiet. The hotel has its own hot springs. The food in general was really good and we very much enjoyed both, breakfast and dinner. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful. We would definitely stay there again.

On our first full day, we went on a private 3 in 1 tour: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall and volcano hike with Erick ( www.tarabatours.com ). It was amazing. Erick is a fabulous guide with a tremendous knowledge of the local flora and fauna and we really enjoyed being on a private tour. We saw lots of different birds, an agouti family, several coaties, peccaries, monkeys, a sloth, two snakes, a tarantula and all kinds of bugs. I highly recommend doing a tour with him.

In the evening, we drove into town and had dinner at Don Rufino. The service and the atmosphere were very good. My husband had Grandma’s chicken and I had pasta with veggies. Both were very tasty. Even though it’s a bit pricey, the restaurant is worth a visit.

On our second day we went ziplining with Sky Trek in the morning. It rained a little bit, but that wasn’t a problem. It's a great experience and really fun. The lines are fast and high. The guides were very professional and we felt safe at any time. We drove to La Fortuna and had lunch at Soda La Parada. The food was good and afterwards we walked around town and did some shopping. In the late afternoon it started raining harder and we went to Ecotermales. A lovely place and very relaxing. The rain felt good while soaking in the hot springs.

On our third day, we drove to the Venado Caves, about one hour from our hotel. We left early in order to be back around noon and move on to our next destination. We payed $ 20 per person, including guide and gear (helmet and headlamp). We spent about 1.5 hours in the cave. Saw lots of bats and also some cave crickets and spiders. We crawled through tunnels and waded through streams and had lots of fun. We got completely dirty and soaked and were glad we had brought a change of clothes and towels. The caves are fun and worth seeing if you are not claustrophobic.
Bretta07 is offline  
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Dec 20th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
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You did a lot of my favorite things! We have not done the Venado Caves yet. What company did you use for that? It sounds like fun.

Wow, you had great animal sightings. Where did you guys see the peccaries? We saw one out by the lake one day and thought it was amazing. I think a good guide makes all the difference.
volcanogirl is offline  
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Dec 21st, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Nice to hear another positive experience at El Silencio - we will be there in March! My husband and I did the Venado Caves the last time we were in Costa Rica - such a cool experience! Loved feeling like a kid - not afraid to get dirty, wet or muddy - just having fun!
coryandcarissa is offline  
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Dec 21st, 2012, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Thanks for the trip report. Definitely may need to add the Venado Caves on the to-do list for my May trip. As volcanogirl posted, would love to know the name of the company you used.
suzski is offline  
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Mar 19th, 2013, 05:39 AM
  #5
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We did go to the Venado Caves by our own, not through a company. They have guides there and we could just sign up for a guided tour right there.
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Mar 19th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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Thanks, B. I didn't know you could get the guides there.
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