After we arrived in Arenal we got ready for our afternoon hike in the Arenal National Volcano park () . We boarded a bus and headed towards the National Park, once there our tou guides graciously gave us water and we headed onto the trail!
Along the trail we learned about the history of the Volcano and the biodiversity of the surrounding forest. We learned that part of the forest is only around 50 years, as the Volcano erupted in 1968. This eruption destroyed and gave new life to parts of the forest as well as a local town.
Among the species that call Arenal home , the leaf cutter ants number in the millions with some colonies having up to 7 million members. Leaf cutter ants take circular bites out of leaves leaving a distinct pattern behind.
Our guides also pointed out interesting plants along our trail. With one being part of the pepper tree family , it is a natural insect repellant and a particular favorite of the local bat species. It smelled wonderfully spicy.
Another favorite along our trail was the one day orchid ! It is a large orchid that takes one day to bloom ! We observed them in white and lavender but they come in a variety of colors!
We also observed a South American Whiptail , with its beautiful torquise tail.
The view from atop of our trail gave us a beautful panoramic view of both Arenal and the Lake adjacent to it ! We were even able to see steam eminiating from the top crater of Arenal , a view that is usually obscured by cloud cover that is ever present in the area!