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in the region goes a long way in making the northern
plains so special. Misty cloud forest environments,
verdant rolling hills and a fantastic lake make the
region a must on any visit to Costa Rica. The landscapes
as we drive along twisting roads make for incredible
photographs. The mild 70F weather you'll find here is
refreshing, especially when arriving from the coast.
characteristic of this area is the dramatic contrast
in topography. The Cordilleras, or ranges, of Tilarán
and Guanacaste set off the beauty of the Guatuso, San
Carlos and Tortuguero Plains. Several small and medium-sized
rivers that range throughout the plains make the region
very fertile. Fruit trees, rice paddies and cattle ranching
are practiced by the residents. Yet there are many expanses
of protected areas dotting the region.
850 bird species identified in Costa Rica, 600 are permanent
residents in this region. Don't forget the binoculars!
as you see shimmering waters being sliced through by
windsurfers, you'll know you're on the shores of Lake
is the man-made lake spectacular but the surroundings
just can't be beat. Photographic
opportunities are available ad infinitum. Emerald carpeted
sloping hills with dense copses of forest run throughout.
The mornings are dew laden and the days are perfect
for filling with adventure.
have been clocked at up to 40 miles per hour. These
gales account for the sleek, aerodynamic windmills you
may spot on slopes high above the lake. For a drier
approach to speed, hike the index with a ride through
the forest canopy.
1,633 meters above sea level and casts an almost flawless
silhouette on the land below it. Arenal's last explosion was in 1969
but this volcano is far from dormant. Its constant rumblings
are Arenal's most popular characteristics. Often spewing
ash and smoke, the volcano provides a striking backdrop
for photographs and video. There are several excellent
look out points along the highway.
nightfall the spectacle of Arenal's bright red lava
coursing its way down from the cone is an awesome sight
indeed. Many visitors to the area enjoy the show from
the luxurious surroundings.
a quaint picturesque town and is an ideal place to stop
when driving to Arenal Volcano. After taking your day
trip, take a few time to explore La Fortuna. The residents
are friendly and hospitable. The town square is an ideal
place to sit and practice your Spanish since many locals
gather here to exchange news of the day's events.
in the Alajuela province, Caño Negro is the perfect
place to enjoy natural sightseeing. Since the refuge
is found in the low-lying northern plains, water is
the key word. During the area's dry season, the refuge
can be accessed by a road, but during the wet season
- boats are the answer. Our guides will be quick to
point out a snake that is making its way through high
grasses as well as a crocodile as it retreats from the
bank into the depths of the river.
lake does a disappearing act during the dry season but
is quick to come back once the rains start. In the area
of the lowlands keep on the look out for sloths and
anteaters in the treed areas, while blinders will find
a variety of subjects for their binoculars. White cranes
and ducks abound in the shallows along the rivers.