Costa Rica

Costa Rica: cocoa and Lake Arenal

Hello from La Fortuna again, today I would like to show our boat trip on Lake Arenal.

Here is the information about the area from our official itinerary:

La Fortuna – a small town situated just a few minutes away from Costa Rica’s famous Arenal Volcano. Besides its panoramic views, the town offers a range of other activities such as the 70-metre-high La Fortuna waterfall, stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and water-based activities on the lake. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has a number of thermal springs where lava-heated water gushes to the surface. These springs have been sculpted into a number of pools and waterfalls, making them the ideal place to relax. Spend the rest of the day as you please in this exciting town, perhaps getting active on a stand-up paddleboard or looking for monkeys and caimans during a boat tour of the Cano Negro area.

Our boat tour took us from one end of the lake to the other, just like the itinerary says:

Today you’ll take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total). Travel by shared minibus to Lake Arenal, then cross the water by boat. On the other side of the lake, re-board a minibus and continue on to our destination.

One more time our White-nosed Coatis:

An interesting picture from La Fortuna:

An interesting school bus. December and January are two months of vacation for children in Costa Rica. It’s the dry season here. After that they will have two more breaks from school: the Holy Week, and 15 days in July.

Lake Arenal:

Lake Arenal (Spanish: Lago Arenal) is a lake which is situated in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. It is currently the largest lake in Costa Rica at 85-square-kilometres. Its depth varies between 30 and 60 meters seasonally.

The town of Arenal was relocated to higher ground when the lake was expanded in 1979. The old towns of Arenal and Tronadora now lie abandoned at the bottom of the lake, with the new town of Arenal existing to the northeast on the lake. (Wikipedia)

We should remember that Costa Rica produces 90% of its electricity. Here is our group in action:

The region of La Fortuna offers excellent conditions to grow cocoa, in Spanish cacao. This plant needs a hot and humid climate with no strong winds. Wind breaks the plant very easily.

The cocoa plant:

Mature fruit can be of different colours:

Notice the tiny flowers growing directly from the branch.

Mature fruit and seeds:

 

Interesting fact: cocoa is contained inside the seed. The fat extracted from the cocoa fruit is white and is used to produce cocoa butter and white chocolate. Those who love white chocolate should know that they eat fat and sugar, there is no cocoa there. So it should not be called chocolate. But who would buy a product called: fat and sugar?

The beans are crushed and the shells removed, roasted, and finally ground. Here is one way to grind them, no need for electricity:

Before we finish this post let’s meet a fast moving Two-Fingered Sloth:

Guru sloth’s wisdom for today:

You don’t climb the mountain so everyone can see you, but to see the world yourself.

Thank you for visiting La Fortuna with me!

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5 Comments

  1. Angie
    January 9, 2020 at 5:48 pm — Reply

    Lovely! And Guru Sloth is very wise.
    Looking forward to following the rest of your Costa Rican travels.
    Love, Alda and Angie

  2. Zofia
    January 9, 2020 at 8:31 pm — Reply

    Hi Joanna,
    It’s so beautiful and interesting…
    And I’m quite happy that I don’t like the white chocolate….
    Enjoy it and be safe.
    Zofia

  3. Zofia
    January 9, 2020 at 8:43 pm — Reply

    Hi Joanna
    It’s so beautiful and interesting, thanks for the great stories and pictures!✍. Enjoy the trip and be safe!!!

    • January 10, 2020 at 7:44 am — Reply

      Hello my sweet Zosia, thank you for joining me! It’s always fun to travel with friends.

  4. Bozena Stoch
    January 9, 2020 at 10:06 pm — Reply

    Super zdjecia, Asia!!!

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