It was starting to get dark when our tour bus approached the town of La Fortuna, in the northwestern lowlands of Costa Rica. Looming in the distance was the symmetric mass of the Arenal Volcano, which we first saw by silhouette. It was so impressive a view that we stopped the bus to take photos. If you look carefully (below), you can see smoke spewing from the top of the volcano.
The following morning, I took these photos from the balcony of our hotel room. A cloud had settled over the top of the volcano, almost covering its peak like a hat. I thought it an unusual sight.
The Arenal Volcano is 5,357 feet tall and is one of the most visited spot in Costa Rica. It had been dormant for more than 400 years when it erupted in dramatic fashion in 1968, with flying rocks, lava flows and toxic fumes spreading for miles. 87 people were killed in the eruption. The eruptions continued until 2010, when they ended. The volcano is still considered active although it hasn't erupted in more than a dozen years.