We arrived at the airport before dawn. The ticket line was long, and SLOW, and the self-check kiosk wouldn't print Luke's ticket (traveling with a lap seat infant proved time after time after time to be a complete pain- even though we already had juni's ticket in hand). We "missed" our flight (not really, you see, we literally watched our plane sit on the tarmac due to delays, our seats empty beside my folks). Luckily, we found a new flight later that day, and the saint that helped us waived our re-booking fees (that would have cost TWICE as much as our original tickets). My parents ended up missing their next flight due to the delay, so we actually ended up on the final leg together, just later than planned, with many more hours spent in airports.
Juniper was an angel on the plane. ANGEL. He played with plastic bugs, ate snacks, watched airplanes take-off/ land and slept! Holding a sleeping toddler on a plane is a mental endurance challenge, but, there as no amount of sore butt/asleep legs/cramped arms that is worth an over-tired juni, on an over-packed night flight. We landed around 9pm, found our taxi, crammed ourselves in like clowns in a mini car and practiced our spanglish spanish with the driver. We arrived at the hotel and cannon-balled into the pool. We made it.
We awoke early to balmy air and chirping birds. Juni was mesmerized (birds! trees!). We played in the dirt, scavenged a very sour fruit off the ground, and watched troops of ants- all before breakfast. We packed into our rental suv, and raced the clouds to our first destination: Poas volcano.
Peering down into Poas volcano. The crater was filled with a smoldering milky-aqua water.
Our next stop was further down the road, a little off the beaten path: Catarata del Toro. The view from the top, peering down into the volcano crater- amazing, the perspective once down in the 'hole'- other worldly. We were enveloped by green and over-sized prehistoric-type jungle plants. Mist from the waterfall filled the air. We had the place to ourselves. It was by far, one of the coolest things I have ever done/seen.
Hummingbirds flitted about in the gardens.
We rolled into La Fortuna at sunset, ate casados tipicos at a local soda and chased a very overtired babe around the city park.
Where we stayed:
Trapp Family Country Inn - Alajuela
*very nice, close to the airport- a perfect start/end to a trip
Hotel Arenal Montechiari- La Fortuna
*clean, nice cabins overlooking Arenal, family friendly
Where we played:
Poas Volcano National Park
Catarata del Toro
Choose a car rental that delivers to your hotel! We went with Vamos rent-a-car and were very happy with the service.
Get to the volcanos early for the best chance of a cloud-free view into the crater.
Continue to days 3-5.