Rincón de la Vieja is an eco-adventure area known for its volcanoes and waterfalls. We missed the volcanoes but got first-hand experience with a variety of waterfalls, natural water slides, and hot springs.

The photo above is of a smoothed out water channel that winds its way throughout the rain forest. If not for the sudden waterfalls and periodic boulders, it’d be one hell of a fun way to travel through the rainforest.

The Río Pénjamo is one of a handful of blue rivers that traverse the Rincón de la Vieja. The water contains volcanic minerals (sulphur, calcium carbonate) that react with an *unknown* colouring agent to turn the water baby blue. Many think the water has healing powers and will traverse from far and wide to bathe. It’s lukewarm to the touch.

There’s more than volcanoes and water in the rainforest. Below is a sampling of the different fruit that we encountered on our walk.


The maranon is a common fruit in Costa Rica. The bottom is similar to an apple. However, the real food is the seed — the cashew nut, which sits on the top of the apple-like body.

Below is a better view of the cashew nut. The cashew must be roasted before it can be eaten. It’s poisonous when raw.


This is either a mandarin or an orange tree. Our guide called them mandarins but he wasn’t sure if this was the correct word in English.

Costa Rica isn’t exactly known for its mandarins and this was the only citrus type fruit we encountered. The next closest in appearance is the grenadilla, which is similar on the outside but completely different on the inside. Lemons are apparently very prevalent.

La Niña says to use extreme caution when eating this fruit in Costa Rica. It’s very very sour.

Musa (Bananas)

Fried, baked, and mashed, the musa (bananas and plantains) are a part of every meal in Costa Rica… like potatoes. In the photo below it is fried (at the top of the plate)…

…and here is musa in the wild.

They look small, but they are mighty and have way more taste then what we get in the supermarket. They come in different colours — here is the pink variety:


Not sure what these are… but they look fascinating.

This almost looks like coffee, but the plant part is all wrong.


I didn’t know that about cashews. You’d have to grow a lot of apple like fruit to get a can of cashews. No wonder they are so expensive.

I should add that copper minerals are bluish in color and are abundant in south and central America. That could explain the bluish tint in the streams.

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