From Monteverde we used a well-advertised method for getting to Arenal which is often called “Jeep-Boat-Jeep”, although no jeeps are actually involved. (The land portion uses vans and small buses.) Our van picked us up promptly at 8 am with one other couple already aboard. We drove the winding dirt roads through the farming country of the Tilaran range for a couple of hours, after which we stopped for about 20 minutes at a small restaurant. While waiting there we found that the other couple was from Geneva in Switzerland, but the wife spoke perfect Spanish because she was originally from Colombia. It didn’t take us long after that to arrive at the beach where the boats would meet us.
Lake Arenal is a reservoir which was created in the 1970’s by the Costa Rican electric company. Our transport across the reservoir was a motor launch which seated about 50 passengers, but it was less than half full today. It only took about 45 minutes to cross the lake, and fortunately it was not windy so it was a pleasant ride. By now the rain and mist had stopped, but it was still cloudy, though, so we didn’t get a good view of the volcano.
The boat landed at a dock which was right next to the dam. People were coming here to go fishing and so on, so what with our buses parked on the road the traffic was a bit of a mess. Anyway most of the travellers got onto a fairly large bus going towards La Fortuna, and we and the other couple from the first trip got into a van which took us directly up the unpaved road to Arenal Observatory Lodge.