We headed down the road from San Jose to the mountain town of La Fortuna, in search of Volcan Arenal. We were told the massive peak still spouted lava that could be seen at night.
As we approached the town, the mountain was straight in front of us. I saw the tip was ringed in clouds, and I hoped the next day the clouds would part so we could see the whole thing.
As we stopped for ice cream before checking in to our hotel, a man who offered jungle sight-seeing hikes and night volcano-viewing hikes told us that night would be a great night to see the volcano. Seeing that his business depended on tourists believing his “prediction,” we opted not to join him on that night’s hike.
Instead, we got comfy in our hotel, where each suite boasted a view of the famed peak.
The beds faced the windowed walls. As we settled in to sleep that evening, I thought we’d wake to a beautiful view directly in front of us.
It wasn’t to be.
The next morning, the clouds hovered even lower on the mountain’s slopes. Instead we spent the day hiking around in the rain forest and swimming. That evening, we got drinks in one of the lounge areas and decided to drive around the mountain to an area where someone had told us the glowing lava could be seen.
We bumped down dirt road for several miles in the dark.
And… we could see nothing. A security guard at the national park we stopped at told us we probably wouldn’t see any of the mountain at this time of year.
The next morning, there wasn’t much else to but explore the town, since the sought-after volcano still wasn’t making its appearance.
The grounds at the hotel were beautiful, full of tropical flowers and birds.
And of course, we hit the pool in the afternoon when it was hot. From the pool, we should have been able to see the volcano… if it weren’t for those darn clouds.
The next morning, it was time to head on, so I hoped that stubborn Arenal would show its face.
But yep, still no volcano spotted.
The day we got the best view of the thing was the day we drove in to town and were still clueless about that shy beast’s habits.