San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

Capt. Ron Saunders’ new LakeArenalHistoricalMuseum, which had its grand opening Monday in Nuevo Arenal, has already proven a helpful source of information. Writer and Tico Times staff member Sophia Klempner, researching an article about the lake, was able to gain facts and insights from Capt. Ron and his historical records. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, the museum is 25 meters south of the gymnasium on the Venado road. Entry fees are ¢500 (about $1) for locals, ¢1,000 ($2) for tourists.

Pet owners who used to have to wind down out of the mountains to the heat of Cañas to find a small-animal veterinarian now have a choice of local vets who will actually make house calls if your mastiff refuses to get in your car. The latest is Dr. Mario Cruz, who has been associated for six months with the casa de ganadero known familiarly as Jenkins Veterinaria, across the street from the Palí in Tilarán. His fellow vet, good friend and former associate Dr. Ana Cristina Rojas, the vet at El Colono Veterinaria, persuaded him to relocate to Costa Rica’s finest town. A pet owner wanting a house call has to supply transportation at this early stage of his practice here, but he’ll soon have his own car. He can be reached at 2695-5083 or

At the Arenal Volcano end of the lake, wonderful improvements have been made to the road leading from the lake highway to Sky Tram, El Castillo, Rancho Margot and the all-but-impassable Río Caño Negro, where each year 4,000 wading bikers struggle against being swept away as they participate in March’s Vuelta al Lago. The powers that infrequently improve our roads have designated funding of ¢30 million (nearly $60,000) every three months to work on the heretofore painful El Castillo road. According to Juan Sostheim, owner of notable eco-resort Rancho Margot, which borders the river, the road is now excellent. He’s optimistic about the river being bridged within a couple of years. A bridge and further improvements on the road from Río Caño Negro to Río Chiquito would make the drive between Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest much shorter than the current route around the whole lake.

–Alex Murray

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