LAKE ARENAL COSTA RICA: Ok, lemme back up. I would say don't drive unless you have minimum 10 days and really at least two weeks to spend here. You will inevitably miss some cool things taking flights; it's just a question of what percentage of time you want to be in the car and whether it's worth the hassle. The most notable is the extremely remote cloud forest, which we did not have time to visit. Keep in mind we left Montezuma at 930 AM and at sunset we've now traveled about 100 miles! You inevitably start to find silly ways to pass the time on such a long and at times frustrating journey. One of the things that took on a life of its own on this trip was our play on words with the local currency. In plural, it's "Colones" and best believe you'll get jacked when exchanging for the good ol' US dollar until you learn how to count 'em! Change the "L" to an "H" and next thing you know, Elizabeth is at the gas station saying "Jimmy! Your cahones, por favor." "Seniorita, take your hands off my Cahones!" quickly followed, much to the amusement of the locals! Getting sunset pics on the Arenal highway can be a bit of an adventure. Generally considered the safest of the Latin American countries and certainly the most friendly to US tourists, petty theft is nonetheless ever present. Most places are fenced and the dense jungle blocks views of much of the rest. We had to park in someone's yard to get this one and another required climbing a rain soaked hill and standing on a barbed wire fence. This lovely sunset was shot on Lake Arenal, about 20 miles from the stunning Tabacon Resort, which we'll visit tomorrow!
— at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.