South America is on the menu today, starting with Costa Rica. This strip of land between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans only came to exists after some tectonic plates smashed into each other and some volcanic eruptions. The result? A very Rich Coast.
Central America sits right along the volcanic line. The most active is Arenal, located right on Costa Rica. The last time it erupted was 1968 resulting in 87 deaths and considerable damage to the country. The smell of sulphur in the air around the crater means this baby is still brewing.
Costa Rica has a ticking time bomb on its hands but the city of La Fortuna has become a popular tourist attraction for that exact reason. Visitors come from around the world to see the glowing lava flow down the sides of the volcano, an impressive view at night.
From Atlantic to Pacific
- Red route: 1 – Monte Verde, 2 – La Fortuna, 3 – Chiles, 4 – San Carlos, 5 – Ometepe
- Yellow route: 1 – Rivas, 2 – Nicaragua Lake, 3 – San Juan River
The 77km-long Panama Canal connects the Panama Gulf in the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea in the Atlantic. Since it first opened in 1914, the canal has been travelled by nearly one million ships, approximately 14,000 use it per year to transport more than 200 million tonnes of goods to date. Even as far back as the 16th century, there were plans to built such a system but it took until the 20th century for the technology to catch up with the vision. More than 25,000 workers died during its construction from malaria and yellow fever, among other illnesses.
La Fortuna – Costa Rica
La Fortuna is located right at the foot of Arenal Volcano. In the streets you’ll find endless shops selling postcards, t-shirts, shot glasses… all printed with Arenal’s profile. Looking for a thrill? Take a walk along the paths that run up the sides of the volcano and over the cooled lava streams.
Because of heavy rainfall in this part of the world paired with a tropical climate, the rain forests are lush. Waterfalls, lakes, forests create the most spectacular landscape. We recommend travelling by boat, up the many rivers instead of by road.
We’re stopping here until next week, when we’ll continue on to Nicaragua. Thinking about a trip to Costa Rica? You wouldn’t be the first. More than 35,000 Brits booked flights to Costa Rica last year. Have you ever been?