Costa Rica's most active volcano looms over the area like an ancient king on his throne. Centrally located in the northern region of Costa Rica, Volcán Arenal is nestled in between Lake Arenal to the northeast and the town of La Fortuna to the west.
During the day eruptions occur so frequently there’s always a massive trail of smoke floating across the sky, and rock trailing ribbons of dust belching from the volcano as the eruptions cascade down the sides. The spectacle is spectacular on a clear evening as molten rocks and lava spew skyward, then fall to decorate the top third of the volcano like raspberry sauce drizzled heavily over a sundae.
Due to the volcano's volatile activity and the capricious weather, however, the top of the cone is often shrouded in clouds. It is highly possible you could spend several days in the area and never catch a glimpse of the volcano.
Leaves and Lizards, a resort built in 2006 by transplanted Floridians, Steve and Debbie Legg, is located about five miles northeast of Arenal. Situated on a mountain ridge with an unbelievable view of the volcano, this 26-acre resort has three cabins, two barns and a main lodge. The Legg’s philosophy is to create a perfect blend of adventure, discovery and tranquility resulting in a custom-tailored visit for every guest.
The themed cabins, built with nine different tropical hardwoods, have hammocks and chairs on large decks overlooking the valley. At night, the view of the volcano from the queen-size bed is unforgettable. There is even a mini-fridge in each room stocked with several surprises to enjoy after a day of adventure.
The main lodge is comfortable and homey with a pleasant, friendly dining room. If the canopy tour, zip lines, hiking and horseback riding are not enough for you, the Leggs recently added a tour to the private, family-owned Eco-Termales Hot Springs.
While staying at Leaves and Lizards, visit nearby La Fortuna. It’s incredible to stroll down the main street, with its many quaint shops and restaurants, then look up and see the volcano dominating the backdrop. In fact, it’s the scene on many local postcards.
Grab your camera, get away from the crush of people and buses in the more "touristy" areas, and book at least a couple of nights at Leaves and Lizards. Your friends will love your pictures and you will love the experience.
For more information, go to the Legg's homepage. Call toll free from the USA, 1-888-828-9245. In Costa Rica, the phone numbers are 506-478-0023 or 506-333-6863.