A good 2-hour trek from the ranger station, through new-growth jungle, brought me up to the Arenal volcano to the closest point the warning signs allow you to get,  The authorities  don’t like the notion of tourists venturing further.
Every so often, some damn fool decides to go all the way. And some of those damn fools don’t make it back, more often than not overcome by noxious gases than by sparks and hot rocks. Arenal was quiet when I approached her (why are volcanos female?). Fortuna area is laid back, although developing quickly with new hotels, hot spring spas and the amenities tourists — even eco-tourists –like.
Roadside stand
New-growth jungle
Fellow hikers. Notice the lava rock.
And the sign says . . .
I found this growing right out of the lava rock crevices
The “Walking Tree” which actually moves by sending out new roots in one direction
Lava rock debris everywhere is testimony to past devastations. But through the crusted, brittle boulders, new, and truly exquisite life bursts out. I’ll let you find your own metaphors for this phenomenon.
A bit further down the road (an unpaved bone-shaker), the hillside town of El Castillo offered great views of the lake, provided lunch (cheese burritos and vegetable soup)  and an afternoon at a butterfly conservation site run by an American. The admission fee goes to further their research. They also have some native frogs there, but kept in dark surroundings.  No flash is allowed, so photo quality is somewhat compromised.
Lake and Volcano View from El Castillo
Add caption
Morpho Paleides
Glasswing: Notice the totally transparent wings on this species
A flower,or a Rolling Stones album cover?
Green poison dart frog
I’ll identify this later.
I found this little critter — a coatimundi — by the side of the road.
Quite tame: he was even begging for food
Because it was difficult to get a shot of the inside of the Morphos wings (they open and close their wings too quickly), I tried out the in-camera video facility to show the brilliant blue so often hidden.
I didn’t make it to the waterfall as plaanned.