San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

Growth of indigenous trees from saplings at Lake Arenal is really phenomenal as shown on the La Reserva Forest Foundation website by a series of photos taken over the past five years. Hundreds of saplings were planted around the home of Sandy Shaw, one of La Reserva’s founding members. The two-story home stood tall over the surrounding pasture at that time. Now, from the same vantage point, the house cannot be seen. What’s more, as Sandy describes on the La Reserva website,, animals are reveling in the luxuriant new habitat full of the leaves, native fruits and seeds they feed on. Howler monkey groups are frequent visitors, and more than 100 bird nests have been found in the trees. The swift restoration of habitat has been amazing, thoroughly justifying the signature refrain of La Reserva’s Roberta Ward: “Let’s get planting.”

A special feeding of domestic creatures is coming up this weekend. La Rana de Arenal hotel is hosting its annual Oktoberfest Oct. 9, starting at noon. The primary German favorite will be pork pot roast with sauce, red cabbage, semmelknoedel and salad, Bavarian-style. There will also be a variety of different sausages and salads in a buffet. Some types of sausage will be for sale for home consumption. The cost of ₡5,000 ($10) per person includes food and tax but not drinks. 

–Alex Murray

Comments are closed.