Spotlight Costa Rica: Canoe Trip Lake Arenal Costa Rica Rainforest
Just as the sun rose above the horizon, we set out on our early morning photo session on Lake Arenal, located near the little town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano. We are going in a wooden canoe. The sun cast a haunting shadow on the mighty Volcano- extending along the entire south face of the lake. Only the sounds of the cranes flying overhead interrupted this peace and serenity.
We paddle along the edges of the lake- the old red wooden canoe swaying back and forth in the morning breeze. Sounds of howler monkeys greet us from the tall rainforest canopy.
Our guide is a amiable middle age Costa Rican, speaking in broken English. “Yes, visitors come here to the mighty volcano to experience it’s special powers..it’s fields of positive energy. Uplifts one’s mood and raises the senses.”
Warm drops of summer rain begin to sprinkle the lake’s surface, and we try to focus on our goal: Photograph as well as film this unique adventure. A journey of sorts into the “Third Dimension”.
And photograph, we did…..birds sprinkled along the shoreline… cranes, wood storks, herons, and egrets while a flock of large green parrots swarmed overhead.
Coming close to the treeline we spotted a family of black howler monkeys, babies on their back, playfully swinging from branch to branch. A photographer’s dream.
The mountains to the west raised our interest. The current took us in that direction and we saw just over the hill, a giant Ceiba Tree…so tall and regal that Guatemala choose it to be their national tree and seems it was to the Mayans- “the sacred tree of life”, so tall that it connected earth to the heavens. Click, click- now captured by the camera lens, an image..stunning and mystical.
The shore line is dotted with small hotels, and happy tourists wave to us as we slowly paddle by.
Horses and cows graze in the verdant green pastures, a reminder of days gone by.
This was truly a great adventure; and I yearn to return once more… to experience that unique journey in Costa Rica.
Cost of canoe- we paid $40 for 2 hours. There are larger boats with covers which hold around 30 people. This is less expensive . To get the tour go north out of La Fortuna , approx 6 miles you will see Lake Arenal on your left, keep going a short distance until you see the boats docked. You can stop by and make arrangements for the following day or if the boat is vacant you can take the tour right then and there.
Best time of day to take tour: Early morning or late afternoon (Sunset tour)