San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

With airplanes nearly as rare as polar bears at Lake Arenal, it was a huge surprise to receive through Google Alerts recently a video taken through the windshield of a single-engine four-seater zipping over the water and beach to land on a paved strip somewhere at the lake. In seven years here, I have known of no field other than El Tanque on the other side of Fortuna from the lake. A bit of Google research revealed that there is a heliport at La Mansión Inn, a small luxury hotel at La Unión, a village between the dam and Nuevo Arenal on the east side of the lake. If the video is of the La Mansión heliport, it shows that helicopters are provided a runway more than long enough for what was a pretty hefty light plane. It seems there must be a strip other than the La Mansión heliport. The video of the landing is at

Try as they may, Roberta and Daniel at La Reserva Forest Foundation are never going to run out of pasture to reclaim with their indigenous saplings. They recently finished a project called the Río Sol Bio Corridor in which 14,330 trees were planted in 10 days on 34 acres at the Maleku Indigenous Reserve. Some 113 native species were planted. The acreage was comprised of six properties along the Río Sol. In addition to providing trees from their own nursery, Roberta and Dan show landowners how to gather baby trees so that they may make their own nurseries of at least 1,000 trees per hectare to be planted. They then pay the landowner 50 cents per sapling when it’s time to plant. Etnies shoe company helped fund the project. Money was also raised through the Global Giving website at The La Reserva website, where more information and photos of the project may be seen, is at

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