GeoCaching for those of you not familiar is a great, affordable (free) way to really explore an area and get off the beaten track. The basic premise is that users plant “caches” (usually small containers with a log book) and put their GPS coordinates into the database on GeoCaching.com. Just download the app for your smart phone or use a GPS and off you go looking for the caches. It’s a great way to see some off the beaten track spots near where you live, and a great way to get out and explore a new area.
Costa Rica is both a country made for the activity, and a country that can be a challenge to do it in. The diverse scenery and abundant nature makes for a great basis for GeoCaching. However the elements (especially the rain) and tendency of locals to swipe anything that might be remotely useful can make keeping caches in good condition a challenge. Even still GeoCaching is becoming an increasingly popular activity both among Ticos and tourists.
In the La Fortuna/Arenal area one could easily spend a whole day or two driving and hiking around looking for the caches in the area, and the number of caches keeps growing. For example near Arenal Volcano there are GeoCaches along the hiking trails in the National Park, and others scattered along the roads to the park and in the nearby village of El Castillo.
Throughout the country there are caches hidden all over and it makes for a great diversion when you’re on a drive or checking out a new area. For example recently I was out at the beaches of Guanacaste and took a morning to drive up the coast to find a few caches. I ended up on a couple beaches I’d never been to before and saw some things I’d never noticed before as I was poking around looking for them. Why not give it a try? Create a free account on GeoCaching.com, download the app on your smart phone, and maybe even try to find the caches I (and others) have hidden in the La Fortuna area.