Nuevo Arenal Costa Rica is one of the most gorgeous places I have seen in person.
Volcanoes in the distance.
Pristine green carpeting the horizon.
Crystal clear waters in a serene setting.
Kelli and I visited Nuevo Arenal for a week.
We enjoyed the sleepy, laid back nature of the town, quite unlike the hustle and bustle of traditional tourist cities.
This was the farthest place from being a tourist city.
Minus the Gringo restaurant or 2 you had an authentic Tico community. A slower than molasses, tiny center of town of a few shops and mesmerizing views all around. Like a little human breather surrounded by pure nature.
We decided to head down to the lake one day to soak up the stunning beauty of the region.
I mean down when I say down.
You walk down the hillside that is the town itself toward the lake, slowly allowing momentum to pull you…..down the bowl.
This man-made lake was expanded from its original size in 1979. The lake dam produce 12% of Costa Rica’s electricity, making Arenal critical to the nation’s infra structure.
We lived about 15 minutes from the lake.
You walk down, down and a little farther down out of the town – poet but did not know it – into the lake area. The slope grows steeper as you digest a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the distant Arenal Volcano, which may or may not be smoking a wee bit. Yep; this is an active volcano. Keep an eye out for belching.
Stuck in the Mud
One of the first times we visited the lake I stepped into a muddy tributary beside the huge body of water. Bad idea. Said muddy tributary was like quick sand, instantly sucking me in. I felt a wave of nervousness pulse through my body like electricity. Kelli could not pull me out. Nobody was in sight, within miles at least.
I tried to get out, digging myself in even deeper.
Eventually, after twisting and turning and contorting myself more than a yogi I eventually wormed my tootsies out of the mud.
Unfortunately, as has been the norm in more than a few places, I lost a flip flop about 2 feet deep in the mud and had to walk home partially barefoot. I went through a similar walking partially barefoot when one flip flop broke or vanished situation in Kathmandu, Nepal, when one Duck Dynasty flip flop broke and I had to walk home around broken glass and dog doody in an urban area of town (Not a Duck Dynasty fan; they were the only flop flops left at the store before we flew from the US to Nepal during the fall months).
This area reminded Kelli and I of Fiji.
We’re talking pristine, postcard worthy views in every direction.
Sitting down in the bowl of a lake affords you an afternoon of peace, quiet and tranquility. During the windy season you can do some kite surfing on the water. On this day we experienced a serene setting as gentle breezes lapped at our face.
The real benefit of chilling by the lake is being among the beauty, pristine nature and calming, stable vibration that pervades through Costa Rica.
Kelli and I sensed this stable vibe while we lived in the jungle for 6 weeks a few years after the Nuevo Arenal trip. People who live in harmony with nature rock, as the union creates peace. Toss in the fact that Costa Rica is a pacifist nation and you have a most pleasant experience waiting for you in this green, serene land.