Malcolm Green Blog

Arenal – volcano, rainforest and hot springs

7 – 11 February

Hotels: Arenal Oasis, and then Rancho Margot

Friday 7 February
Drove from SJO to Arenal.
Humming bird walk around eco lodge.
Lodge places guava fruit in the area right by the restaurant. Within seconds there is a vigorous pecking order of brightly coloured birds and a sma─║l raccoon type animal nosing around.
Leaf cutter ants. An immense trail. They carry the leaves, huge for them like sails, for up to a mile. The food is to nourish a fungus. Then they eat the fungus. Once a year they grow wings and the males fly up impregnate the females. They then die. Some females will go on to form a new colony. The queens can be an inch long and live for 20 years. There are 3 types of ant. The males find leaves and clear the path. Females carry the leaves. Some ants are the tasters and cleaners. They are checking that nothing poisonous reaches the anthill.

Evening trip to eco thermal pools. 5 levels of Crystal clear volcanic water getting progressively hotter. They are the temperature of a hot bath and impossible to stay in them too long. All floodlit with the jungle backdrop. You can have a beer whilst wallowing. A large emerald lizard decided to join us having a dip.

Saturday 8 February
Howler monkeys in the trees outside our room
Hike around Arenal park . Landscape pitted with huge black volcanic rocks which had exploded from the volcano and travelled several kms at a velocity of some 1000 mph
Lush meadows with fat cows. A special type of tough grass
Ecosystem of trail in plants that self seed in crevices of trees. They capture small pools of water vital for their pollinating insects. These festoon almost every tree. Blue jays. Views of Arenal lake