One never knows what adventure and discovery awaits the hiker at ApoyoResort. Yesterday I began a hike from the Resort to the town of Catarina which sits at the high point of the crater rim, directly above the Resort. The trail map identifies it as the Catarina Trail, trail #2.
This trail is accessed by traveling counterclockwise from the Resort along a gravel road for about 400 meters until on passes the San Simian hostel. Just past it, on the right, is a clearly marked trail which initially gradually ascends through the forest. It becomes steeper in its upper third until the hiker reaches the rim on the outskirts of Catarina.
I have hiked this trail many times in both directions. This time, I was astonished, nay, flabbergasted to discover something I had never seen before: Enormous pre-Columbain petroglyphs carved by the Chorutega natives.
Along either side of the trail for a distance of 300 meters are twenty or twenty five of the finest petroglyphs I have ever seen. They are vastly superior to those stone giants originally on Zapatera Island and now on display in the San Francisco Museum in Granada.
I can only assume that in all my previous hikes, these had been covered with soil and vegetation, concealing what was underneath.
For those disinclined to hike up from the Laguna, one can go to Catarina and access the trail from its upper end. A Marena guard station charges $1 for foreigners to down the trail.
The petroglyphs are located in the top 20% of the trail. One can only assume that this trail is ancient and must have led to something very special to warrant all the effort to produce these stone images.
See these and let the Indiana Jones in you run wild.
Approaching from below, the first petroglyph we encountered on the right was one of the most spectacular and is included in this post.
It depicts a warrior or priest plunging his sword into his hapless victim.
Next is a scorpion ten feet long. Do not miss the opportunity to see these: You’ll never see finer in your life.