The next day we were a little more adventurous and decided to try a hike through the jungle. The hike up the Volcán Concepción is currently closed due to activity; either way the trail up Volcán Maderas is said to have considerably more wildlife, making it a much more attractive option to an avowed animal lover like myself. Since this is still our vacation and we didn’t want to completely exhaust ourselves we chose to go only halfway up the volcano (2.5km. about 2.5 hours) to a mirador (viewpoint). On this hike one can see one of the many local petroglyphs (an underwhelming but interesting carved stone from the pre-columbian era, see pic below), as well as fields of coffee, cacao (see pic below), and banana.
From hotel Villa Paraiso in Playa Santo Domingo we first contracted a truck to drive us over to the Finca Magdalena (one of the starting points for treks up the Volcán) for 10$ (not too bad considering the state that the road is in). At the Finca, an organic farming cooperative, we indulged in a breakfast of cinnamon french toast and a fruit plate that actually included mango! It’s still a great mystery to us why we haven’t been served mango at any of the establishments we’ve eaten at, since the mangos are literally falling from the sky! Everyone on the street seems to be eating them, including the birds and monkeys. The coffee which is grown and roasted right there at the cooperative was delicious. It’s a pity that we didn’t have time to buy any after our hike.
After breakfast we contracted a guía at the Finca for 15$ for the group who asked us to purchase more water for the trip which was very wise of him considering that we came down with completely empty bottles.