Posted on

Fortaleza Bar and Club Nightlife Hot Spots

More and more people are discovering just how amazing Fortaleza Brazil’s nightlife can be. Although the destination has only recently become a popular tourist destination, the city is quickly becoming a haven for visitors from all over the world.

Although the beaches are what draws people to Fortaleza it is the nightlife that captivates them and has them coming back year after year for another taste. Someone visiting Fortaleza for the first time may be overwhelmed with the choices so I have taken the time to compile the very best of Fortaleza nightlife into one concise spot.

Every night in Fortaleza there is something fun and exciting to do. It all begin on Monday when 99% of the tourists and locals head to ‘Forró do Pirata’ The place is only opened Mondays but it will be filled to the brim with people with people dancing the forro, Brazil’s Northeast’s most popular dance. There is a R$15 entrance fee that more than pays for itself in atmosphere. The place rocks late into the night, and at 4am they serve their special “Survivor Soup” to all who remain.

On Tuesday nights a great place to hit up is Pagliuca Café a bar/pub location where the lights are turned out and bar fired up. You’ll usually a find more a local crowd there, but they are always warmed up to meeting foreigners.

Wednesday you might want to check out the Pontal de Iracema at no. 680 and the Cais Bar at no. 696, these are extremely trendy nightspots where you have to arrive early to get a seat. These places offer a great blend of eating drinking and live music.

If you get sick of the usual nightspots in Fortaleza head to Praia do Futuro on a Thursday night and you will think you are in Ibiza or the Greek Islands for a while. Beautiful spot and excellent house music once a week. For a different feel try to get there by day for an very different “barraca de praia” experience. Think Bora Bora in Brasil!

Maricupe is the place to be on Friday night. This place is absolutely huge with 5 or 6 different room, each with a distinct style of music blasting through the speakers. This place is usually filled with the upper class locals and you’re more likely to meet people that speak a little Engish.

If you’re in the mood to hear some great rock music that Orbito is the place to be Saturday night. The place is set up like a giant garage. The bands will most likely be playing lots of covers of your favorite songs. The crowd hear is usually a younger crowd looking to rock out.

Sunday night I would check out the bars and clubs at Draggo do Mar. These places are a little seedier and are filled with many “working girls” but the atmosphere is quite surreal and something you have to experience at least once in Fortaleza. This small strip of bars includes Cafe’ del Mar, Europa, Bikini Bar, Titanic, and Alo Brazil. These places don’t get good to well after 11pm.

There are many other bars and clubs in Fortaleza that are worth checking out, but this is a good guideline for your first week there. Don’t miss out on the amazing Fortaleza nightlife

Posted on

Costa Rica Hot Spot – Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna

Costa Rica is well known for its volcanoes and the most famous one is the most active one: Arenal Volcano.

Getting to La Fortuna

You can get to Arenal Volcano by bus they leave hourly from San Jose at the Atlantico Norte station on Calle 12 (12th Street). You want the bus headed to San Carlos. If you’ve rented a car it’s a beautiful drive from San José. And you will pass two excellent side hot spots: Zarcero and San Carlos.

If you’re driving, from San José take the Interamerican Highway towards Puntarenas. Take the Naranjo-Ciudad Quesada exit. Zarcero is about a 90 minute drive from San José. Zarcero is a quaint and beautiful little town nestled up in the mountains, 1,700 meters above sea level. You will find the best cheese in Zarcero so make sure to stop and pick up some queso blanco (white cheese) it’s my favorite cheese. Zarcero is very green with a lot vegetation and farms. A popular stop is a sculpted garden in town. This guy makes beautiful sculptures of gigantic bushes. So you’ll see rabbits, ox carts and more all sculpted from these huge bushes.

I recommend you eat at Doña Chila’s, they serve typical Costa Rican food and it delicious! It’s located right before you reach Zarcero. Here you will also see a lot of vendors selling fruits and cheeses from their little stands-don’t forget to buy some queso blanco.

Now head out of Zarcero towards San Carlos. Ciudiad Quesada is the commercial center in the San Carlos plain in the central Alajuela province. This is the hub of the Northern Zone. Depending on how much time you have they there is a nice Forrest reserve called Termales del Bosque. Admission is $8. Nice hiking and they have thermal pools which are fantastic hot spring pools. From Ciudiad Quesada you will see signs to La Fortuna and Volcano Aerenal. Just follow the signs. Total drive time from San Jose is about 3-1/2 hours.

Arenal Volvano, La Fortuna Travel Tips

Volcan Arenal has been active since 1968. It has a perfectly shaped cone that pops out of the hills of Alajuela. You can hear loud explosions and gray mushroom clouds billowing out of the volcano top. You can also see boulders being ejected by the volcano and being slammed down the slopes. At night you can see a good lava show. Now this doesn’t happened every time and a lot of times there is heavy fogs and clouds blocking your visibility. So, sometimes you can’t even see the volcano so I would call one of the hotels in the area and ask about the visibility.

Be aware there is a chance you won’t see anything because of the clouds. The chances are even worse during the rainy season. So even though even during the dry season the clouds can still block your view-it’s your best chance to see the lava flows and the red hot boulders being ejected. I’ve been there many times and only twice did I get the big show. But going to La Fortuna is still worth it even if your chances of seeing a lava show is 50/50.

In order to maximize your chances stay at one of the “observatory” lodges which were built to give you a the best views of the volcano. Late at night or in the early dawn hours is your best bet to catch a lava show.

By the observatory lodge there are many hiking trails in this area. From the ranger station at the park entrance you can choose two trails one leads to a You can hike the Chato volcano which is extinct. It has collapsed onto itself and now has a lake in the crater surrounded by a forrest. You can access it by a hiking trail near the Arenalmirador (obeservatory) where you can watch flowing lava. There is a beautiful waterfall where you can go swimming, called Catarata La Fortuna which is Spanish for La Fortuna Waterfall.

Other activities include horseback riding and canopy tours. The thermal pools are the best. These are hot springs. The Tabacon lodge is a great spot to go relax in the hot spring thermal waters. You can get a day pass to hit their pools which are built around the thermal waters. So you’re swimming in these naturally warm waters from the volcano. You can also get a view of the volcano cone from here. They have five natural mineral pools at different temperatures one with a swim up bar, a water slide, and a waterfall. They also have a Tico food restaurant and a couple bars. Cost is around $30 for a day pass.

The Cataratas Rio Fortuna are a must see. It’s a beautiful waterfall set in the rain-forest near the edge of the Arenal Volcano National Park. It’s $1.50 to enter. You have to hike down a canyon which can be challenging but the reward is views of the beautiful waterfall and taking a dip in the natural pool. Average temperature in this area is 75 degree Fahrenheit.

Another nice spot in this area is Lake Arenal which is a large reservoir man-made lake at the foot of the volcano along the hills of Guancaste. Many people enjoy boating and fishing on the lake. Windsurfing is very popular here-you can rent windsurfing equipment if you wish.

Underneath the lake is old Arenal a town that was submerged in the 1970’s after it was destroyed by a volcano eruption in the 1960’s. The worse recent eruption was in 1968. Two villages were destroyed and over 80 people died. There has been some recent activity the past few years but nothing like 1968. Prior to 1968 the volcano had been dormant for 400 years.

The area of La Fortuna is one of my favorite attractions in Costa Rica.