An Afternoon in La Fortuna

We started our morning quite leisurely with coffee/tea, sweet bread (that we purchased at a little bakery in the Monterrey village last night), and granola with yogurt and bananas (yes, the food details are that important to me).

Then we drove to La Fortuna and took the road up to the waterfall park, Catarata Fortuna. I was relieved to find a parking lot, as the guy at the car rental place warned us not to park, “in the wrong spot”; even better was finding out it was free parking, and some spots were available.

We did have to pay admission ($18 USD each), but I don’t mind if it means they can take good care of the park, and it seems like they do. There were lots of signs warning that the walk to the falls was not for people in poor health, and we even had to sign a waiver. There are approximately 530 stairs to get down to the bottom of the waterfall with several little ‘take a breath’ recommended stops along the way for those making their way back up. The walk down was easy enough but I was a bit concerned as those coming back up seemed to be struggling, and I know I’m not in my best cardio shape right now, plus my friend’s still recovering from a bad cold.

At the bottom, we could take in the full view of the 70-metre high waterfall.

It’s impossible to appreciate how high it was from this picture

The mist blowing off the falls felt so refreshing. We took our socks and shoes off and waded into the cool, but comfortable, water. We just sat there for a while, taking in the falls and the surrounding beauty of the lush, green, jungly forest.

Eventually, we made our way back to the stairs. We set a comfortable pace, and before we knew it, we were back at the top. From there, we could wander the Orchid trail. Not many of the orchids were in bloom, but it was neat to see how they attached them to trees and other plants to grow.

After that, we took a peek at the butterfly garden. At first, we didn’t see any butterflies, and we almost left, but then we managed to spot a couple.

From there, we set our course for the La Fortuna Pub (a Lonely Planet recommendation), and it did not disappoint. They had an extensive beer list, and many (if not all) of them appeared to be from Costa Rica.

The La Fortuna Pub beer list

We tried the Golden Racoon per the server’s suggestion. I’ll admit that I am not a big fan of beer; perhaps it was the ambience from the tropical location and outdoor seating, but this one hit the spot in the refreshment department today. I also had a delicious veggie burger and salad.

My veggie burger and salad (with my beer in the background)

We made one more stop in La Fortuna (at a pharmacy) before making our way back to our country house.

Once ‘home’, we wandered the property checking out the beautiful gardens and trying to get a better look at our neighbours, the cows.

I think these cows enjoyed watching us as much as we watched them. I mooed at them (for Dad)

Then we sat out on the patio and enjoyed some snacks and drinks (beer for her and cider for me). The clouds were quite ominous, and because of them, we still haven’t been able to see the top of the volcano.

We watched the sun disappear and stayed out until it was utterly dark – enjoying the fresh evening air. I thought I saw a flash of light but dismissed it, and then my friend pointed out that there were fireflies in the fields below. I’d never see them before, so we stayed out a little longer to see how many we could spot before turning in.

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