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 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.