La Fortuna, Aranel, Costa Rica – Cloud Forests, Sloths, Coffee, Chocolate and Wildlife

We stayed in the Arenal area for 5 days, during this time we went on walks in the cloud forest of Arenal, saw wildlife, had a coffee and chocolate tour, went on a hike along the Arenal volcano’s 1968 lava trail and relaxed!

Below are images over that time period.

We also visited a family run coffee and chocolate plantation where the entire growth to production process was explained to us.

We started with the chocolate tour and the Cocoa bean. The cocoa pod contained the cocoa beans wrapped in a lychee like flesh. This was allowed to ferment in a jar for a period of a couple of weeks before the cocoa beans were extracted.

Then they were dried out and then ground into cocoa powder.

The art of chocolate is what you mix the cocoa beans with and we were given a chocolate making lesson. It tasted bitter and horrible, but then we are not chocolatiers!

Then we were able to see the coffee plants and the process involved drying out the beans and then roasting them.

All in all we found the Arenal area to be interesting, full of diversity, wildlife, a volcano, spas, walks and much more.