What To Do Around Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

Arenal volcano is a 1.633 meter high mountain with a perfect conic shape and a crater of 140 meters. It was asleep for hundreds of years and had a single crater with minor fumaroles covered by dense vegetation. Then in 1968 it had an eruption that created three more craters. Only one exists today. This is where the name for the Arenal Volcano National Park came from.

It has many names given to it by the locals, some are: “Arenal Peak” , “Pan de Azcar”, “The Canaste Volcano”, “The Costa Rica”, “Rio Frio Volcano” or “The Guatusos Peak”. It is located in the northern region of the country. Arenal is considered to be Costa Rica’s most active volcano and almost every night it offers a spectacular show of lights with its explosive eruptions, creating the most amazing views.

What the Arenal area has to offer:

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano is actually part of this National park and the park is part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area. Here you will also find a second volcano called Cerro Chato, which has been inactive for around 3500 years but it is a lot of fun to take a tour to it.

Keep on reading about other National Parks of Costa Rica.

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal was originally a small lagoon, but in 1973 the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity built a dam and within three years, this became the biggest lake in Costa Rica with a surface of 88 square kilometers. It is a wonderful place to windsurf or do some sport fishing.

La Fortuna Waterfall

This is the most popular excursion in the area, after Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The waterfall is reached by a 5.5 kilometer gravel road. On foot it takes about an hour to get there, but you can also visit it by horse or by car. Bird watching is also very popular in this area. Once you have reached the waterfall, you can take a trail that will lead you to a natural pool where you can go for a swim.

The Arenal Hanging Bridges

From there you will have a great view of both the Arenal Volcano and the lake, plus you will get to see the amazing flora and fauna or the area. Here you will find 14 bridges measuring between 8 and 98 meters. Some of the most popular activities here are the natural history walk, early morning tour, bird watching and night walks.

Lee mas sobre los parques nacionales de Costa Rica.

The Venado Caves

These were formed by water throughout the years. In the present, the caves consist of limestone rocks, stalactites, stalagmites and corals. It has a total length of approximately 2.5 kilometers with 10 large quarters. During the rainy season the tunnels can get filled with water. This is the reason access by visitors is forbidden in this season.

Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

The 10,000-hectare reserve of Cano Negro has the most biological diversity in Costa Rica. There are trails and paths, but the easiest way to access it is by boat. The reserve is especially popular among birdwatchers and sport fishers.

The best place for you to stay at when you visit the area is in one of the many Hotels of the nearby La Fortuna Town. It is in the middle of all the fun.

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About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

5 Responses to What To Do Around Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

  1. cool post. I loved that area but to be honest I loved everything about costa rica. Spent there a month few years back!

  2. Gabriel says:

    There is so much beauty in the world. Great pictures, you can really feel how big it is from the landscape shot you took.
    Gabriel recently posted..10 life lessons learned from surfing – Episode 4 – Your SurroundingsMy Profile

  3. What a beautiful place with the waterfall and pool below. The volcano also looks unreal with very steep rising cone and a vent that seems to touch the skies. Nice travel story. What animals can be found in Arenal?

  4. Volcano watching and hiking. Cool!
    That’s what you can do in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and also in Panama!

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