- Authors: Avery & Meghan
Arenal is how we pictured Costa Rica with the misty, humid rainforest. When we look out from our deck window, we see the Arenal Volcano. It looks like a soft upside down ice cream cone. There are trees and plants surrounding the base but not at the top because it is SO HOT (400 degrees Celius). The first day we got here we couldn't even see the volcano because it was lost in the clouds! Most days we can see the bottom of the volcano but not the top because it is usually covered in clouds. It usually clears up a couple of times a day but only for a few minutes. Then we see steam. The steam is formed when the heat hits the air. The last explosion was in 1968 and 87 people died. The last eruption was in 2010. Volcanologists predict that the next eruption will be in 300 - 400 years, or tomorrow. Nature is unpredictable. The chamber is filling up with magma as we speak.
Yesterday we went on 2 nature hikes. One was in the early morning and one was in late afternoon. For both of these hikes we went in a group with a guide named Christian. We saw tonnes of birds. One of them was an umbrella bird which is a rare species found only in Costa Rica and Panama. It looked like it was wearing a red dangly necklace. It's called an umbrella bird because its feathers on top of its head look like an umbrella covering its head. We also went to a waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. On the walk we found euculyptus trees. Their bark's natural colours look like they have been painted by someone playing in paint.
We learned a lot about the rainforest on the guided tour. There are 3 different parts of the rainforest: the floor, the upper story and the canopy. We also learned about why the rainforest is important to us all and how we should protect it; by not cutting down trees, don't contaminate the water, and don't feed the animals. When we go home we will help the rainforest by conserving water and teaching other people that the rainforests need our help.
The second hike was amazing! So many different animals and wildlife come out at night! The first thing our guide saw in the parking lot were 2 snakes. Both were venomous but very small! One of them was a vibrant yellow, the other one camouflaged on the tree. We had a hard time seeing them. Then when we were driving to the base of the volcano, the guide stopped us again to see toucans up in the trees! The type of toucans we saw were chestnut-mandibled toucans! We hiked up to the lava field and saw some amazing types of birds like parrots, more toucans, and some woodpeckers but that was definitely not all! We saw an orchid that blooms only 24 hours before it dies! We hiked up the lava field more and stopped at the 'volcano classroom' where we learned about the volcano. We watched the sunset and walked back down. While we were walking down we saw spiders, spiders and more BIG spiders! They were hiding in the middle of the plants or under the leaves and they were MASSIVE!
Our favourite thing was the frogs. The frog that we saw was a red eyed tree frog. The frog was so beautiful and its bright colours pop out on the green leaf, the colours are green for its body red for its eyes and orange for its feet. When they are sleeping they are camouflaged to the green leaves. When a predator goes to eat it, the frog gets startled and opens up its eyes. The predator is surprised because the frog's eyes are red. Then the frogs kick their legs out to the side and the predator gets so confused about all the different colours, the frog has a second to get away. Our dad was so focused on taking a picture that he didn't notice the bat behind him. While he was taking a photo the bat swooped down and almost hit him on the back of his head!
We really enjoyed the hike at Arenal and the beautiful wildlife here.
We're the Danchuks - follow our explorations and family adventures in a wide world (2018).