I slept a good 7 hours, up around 5:30am. By the time Ash got up, I’d gotten about half of the blog written but was running into technical problems and had to stop. We went down for breakfast. I took my laptop with me but couldn’t figure things out so enlisted help. Oh well. It wasn’t as rainy as the day before and we hoped it stayed that way because we had stuff we wanted to do!
On our way to our first stop we met up with this guy: a coatimundi, Costa Rica’s racoon.
First stop was the Butterfly Conservatory, about a 30-minute drive from the hotel. This is a former cattle ranch, converted in 2001 into a conservatory for butterflies, frogs, insects and plants that are native to Costa Rica.
It was in the mountains so hilly inside, but beautifully paved.
There were 4 different butterfly houses. These little clips will give you an idea of the atmosphere – just flying around everywhere. They were beautiful.
And now for some closeups.
This was the first one we saw. It’s difficult to tell size from these photos but this was probably 4 inches high.
This one was about 3 inches wide.
A bunch of them feeding on a dish.
Rest stop for a selfie.
These were transparent!
Tiny red frogs. Maybe an inch big.
Cockroaches – 3.5 inches long, with a 5-6 inch wingspan.
Bright green and black frogs – maybe 2 inches long.
There was a gazebo on a hill that allowed for a view of Arenal, the volcano, but it is covered in clouds. But a pretty shot of the rainforest.
Ash calls these his “herbal essence moment.”
An interesting flower called bee hive ginger. Used in traditional medicine to treat inflammation and burns. These get about 12 inches high.
We took a wrong turn coming out of the conservatory that allowed for this shot of Lake Arenal. A friendly local got us back on the right track.
We decided to go to Hanging Bridges next. It wasn’t high on our list of things to do at first but it was in the same area-ish and we kept seeing signs for it so decided, why not? Turns out to be our favorite thing we’ve done so far. It was only 4.5 miles from where we were but with the wrong turn, backtracking, windy roads, etc, it took like an hour to get there.
Another coatmundi just hanging out, climbing around on the outside tables until a worker came out and shooed him away.
It was after 12:30 at this point and time for lunch. We didn’t have a reservation, but they seated us anyway, at a table that had a “reserved” sign on it. Hmm. But yay for us, it was the best table in the house there in middle by the windows – you can see Ash has his back to us.
We had a “Denali” experience all over again: will we see it or not? This was the view of the volcano Arenal when we sat down, 12:39pm.
We both got Azteca soup, which is a spicy tomato soup with avocado and tortilla strips. Yummy.
Ash had a beautiful salad with salmon.
I had a “tropical hamburger” which included a big slab of pineapple.
12:57pm. The moutain reveals itself.
And the whole restaurant clamored up for a photo shoot.
1:13pm and pretty much crystal clear. The last big eruption was in 1968, after being dormant over 400 years, where it covered 15 square miles over a couple of days, ruining 3 towns. They say things have been rebuilt at a safe distance, but this seems pretty close to me!
Ash of course has to put his fingers on the tip, although it’s a horrible picture of us.
Hanging Bridges is essentially a 2 mile walk through the rainforest. Theoretically you might see all kinds of wildlife – they made Ash sign a waiver for not wearing closed shoes (“in case a viper bites you!”) but we saw one bird the whole time and that was it. Still, it was beautiful and a nice change after staying in the room so much the day before.
There was one well-kept garden as soon as you entered – with these cute tables – and then the rest was pretty much in the wild. Although, again, very well paved. This country sinks a ton of money into its tourism, which is the number 1 industry, surpassing agriculture in the 90s. Its biggest exports are coffee, pineapples, and bananas.
The first hanging bridge. Think Mario Brothers: it’s super wobbly. There were a group of young Europeans in front of us (Dutch or German, we couldn’t tell) who were quite annoying. I have little tolerance for inconsiderate tourists who prioritize their photo time while making others wait. There was a limit to 15 people on a bridge at one time, so you had to wait for folks to get over. These guys took forever. Thankfully after this bridge we got in front of them.
There were 15 bridges in the park in total, 6 of them hanging – and each of those pretty long and pretty high up. My vertigo kicked in bad Every Time. Hence me holding on!
Only one time was I brave enough to try and take a photo while on the bridge, around the 4th one, I think. It was beautiful up there for sure.
Ash took a video of us the last few steps of the longest hanging bridge – 97 meters. Each bridge was 7-10 stories high.
The one bird we saw the whole time.
This is the volcano Arenal as seen from our hotel balcony at 3:35pm. Still pretty clear, this is literally the opposite side of the mountain from the last time you saw it.
My tech guy had fixed my problems on the backend of this thing, and I got Monday’s post up once back at the room. We watched more of The Sinner and made our way down to dinner at 6:30pm.
The clear, clean air brought the bugs out, so Ash was now covered up – long pants and long sleeves! He’d gone down for coffee while I was working on the blog and gotten bit pretty badly. We do have bug spray just hadn’t needed it up until this point because it had been so wet.
I had the carpaccio again just like I said I would!
Ash had a chicken salad with honey mustard dressing and lots of croutons.
I had another cut I hadn’t seen before: striploin. Better than last nights. Also buttered vegetables and mashed potatoes with baked cheese on top.
Ash had shrimp and mushroom risotto which was excellent.
Although I had reminded Ash when we first woke up that it was the 2nd anniversary of our first date, he did something about it. We’d decided the night before we were going to share this dessert the following evening, so he called ahead and had them write “happy anniversary” on the plate. There were also 6 chocolate covered strawberries on the side. What a sweetie.
We watched more of the The Sinner and lights out before 9:30pm.
We leave The Royal Corin today and make our way to our next stop in Jaco. It’s at least a 4-hour drive and we have some stops planned along the way so will see how long that actually takes. See you on the other side.
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I am so happy for you and Ash. You deserve this wonderful life. It looks like a great trip!
Thanks, Libby! It IS a great trip. Love having you along!
Loved the butterflies and raccoons, feeling you on the vertigo! lol *raise your hand!!!!* your ‘yay’ was hilarious :) So grateful to travel along. I love you both and good job Ash, you are always so thoughtful with the gifting.
He is, huh? Love having you along!
That steak looks delicious, the nature there is beautiful. I plants and don’t spray so I get some butterflies, but only in America do we kill off the beautiful nature of the world. Great pics and I love Ash touching the tip!
I love your food experiences. That was not mine but I was young, poor and traveling solo. Arenal is beautiful and I’m curious to hear how the roads to Jaco are. Kinda amazing to celebrate second anniversary of your first date on your honeymoon. Yay ❤️
We are grateful beyond belief on all those fronts!
You and vertigo I can only imagine! I pet sit for someone who included a lizard I had to feed those very giant cockroaches!! Never again!! The food looks amazing! Love the special dessert! The medicinal plant and frogs love!! Great pics! Love the blog!
Always love having you along!