Getting out of Dodge
02/25/2015 35 °C
February 25, 2015
Up with the mourning doves for a trip to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park. Rincón de la Vieja is an active volcano about 45 km from Playas del Coco. Its name means "The Old Woman's Corner", a reference to a local legend about a girl whose lover was thrown into the crater by her father; she became a recluse living on the mountain, and was credited with powers of healing.
Rincón de la Vieja stands 1,916 metres (6,286 ft) above sea level, and its summit is the highest point in Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park. It erupted most recently in September 2011. The volcano has a large number of fumaroles and hot springs on its slopes. The Rincón de la Vieja Volcano is set within the Parque Nacional Volcán Rincón de la Vieja, which spans over 34,000 acres (12,759 ha) and helps protect both montane forests and dwarf cloud forests.
But first we had to do the drive on very rough roads for 1.5 hours. Eventually we reached the trail head and off through the very dry forest. Our first glimpse of volcanic activity was steam rising and rumbling noises coming up through cracks in the earth. We carried on eventually getting to ponds of boiling grey mud. Very neat. From there we headed out of the forest and into dry shrub land where it was very hot and had views down to the ocean.
Our next destination was to a waterfall for a swim. The water felt very refreshing after all our walking. Back to the van and off to a ranch for a Costa Rican lunch of rice, beans, salad and some kind of protein.
Although a nap was starting to sound good instead we headed over to the local hot springs for a mud bath. We were instructed to sit in the hot pool for 2 minutes then paint ourselves with volcanic mud with house painting brushes and let it sit for 10 minutes. The next step was into the river to wash it all off. It was supposed to be good for us and it did feel very refreshing.
Back in the van for the ride back home. Tired but happy to have seen another side of Costa Rica.