San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Swimmer to Cross Lake Arenal for ‘Peace, Friendship and Clean Waters’

Slovenian long-distance swimmer Martin Strel will swim across Lake Arenal in north-central Costa Rica on Wednesday in an effort to raise awareness for the protection of water sources and biodiversity conservation. 

Strel, 56, will start his dip at 7 a.m. at Hotel Los Héroes in La Unión de Arenal, swim to the opposite side of the man-made lake and return, a distance of roughly six kilometers.

The swim is part of the Criterio Ambiental environmental film festival in La Fortuna de San Carlos, which is taking place this week. Organizers hope that Strel – whose motto is “swim for peace, friendship and clean waters” – will help echo the event’s pro-environment message.  

“Martin’s swim in the Arenal Lake … will have great symbolic value to accompany the spirit of our festival,” said Gustavo Solís-Moya, the festival’s director. Strel recently was featured in the documentary “The Big River Man,” a film that records his swim down the length of the Amazon River – 3,375 miles – an accomplishment that Guinness World Records recognizes as the longest swim to date.


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