15 Arenal Volcano Facts for Travelers You Need to Know

Costa Rica is a country known around the world for all of its natural beauties, and what a great job they have done at preserving them. One of those gorgeous landmarks is the famous Arenal Volcano. This is the second most popular volcano in Costa Rica and only because it is not as close to San Jose as Poas Volcano is. Because it has nothing to envy from it. Here are some facts about Arenal Volcano you should know!

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

It is also among the top ten most active volcanoes in the world. Its beauty will blow your mind, especially during the afternoon as the sun goes down, and the Arenal volcano reflects on the lake. Plus, sometimes you will get to see the lava flowing show.

The best part is that you can enjoy this magical scene while soaking in natural hot springs warmed up by the volcano.

Aside from that, there are tons of things that you can learn about this gorgeous volcano from Costa Rica. Keep reading to find all sorts of Arenal Volcano Facts.

Arenal Volcano Facts

  1. This is one of the most popular attractions in Costa Rica. Enjoy the lava flowing show as you soak in the nearby natural hot spring resorts heated by the volcano.
  2. It is the 3rd most perfect conical-shaped volcano in the world.
  3. It is considered one of the top ten most active volcanoes in the world.
  4. There are 3 to 20 lava-flowing explosions daily, sending ash plumes one kilometer above the volcano and boulders down its sides the size of houses.
  5. Every six to eight months lava flows change direction, favoring the southwest and/or northwest slopes.
  6. Volcanologists have warned that a major eruption is coming in the future that could cause pyroclastic flows – a mixture of hot rocks and gases that travel up to 80 kilometers per hour, destroying everything in their path.
  7. For over 400 years, Arenal sat silent until July 29, 1968, when it exploded with such force that it blew up the entire western side of the mountain and created three craters. The three neighboring villages: Pueblo Nuevo, Tabacon, and San Luis were destroyed and 78 lives were lost.
  8. The Arenal Volcano National Park covers four different life zones, tons of animal species live in each. Nearly 75% of the total 850 species of birds known to live in Costa Rica are in this region.

Where Is Arenal Volcano?

The Arenal Volcano is located in Alajuela Province, San Carlos, Costa Rica, inside Arenal Volcano National Park, only is 17 kilometers away from the town of La Fortuna where you can find tons of hotels for all budgets and tastes.

Arenal Volcano Height

Arenal Volcano’s highest point is 1633 meters (5383 feet) above sea level.

What Kind of Volcano is Arenal?

Stratovolcano – This means that it looks like a typical conical volcano. It’s built up of many layers of cool lava. The shape happens because it hardens before spreading far, due to high viscosity.

Type of Activity

Strombolian – This means that its type of eruption is relatively mild blasts. Eruptions are medium in volume and they come with sporadic violence.

How Old Is Arenal Volcano?

Arenal Volcano is around 3,000 years old.

The Last Big Eruption of Arenal Volcano

Its last eruption ended in 2010.

Tourist Information About Arenal Volcano

Trails Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Entrance fee: $6

Close photo of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

How to Get to Arenal?

It’s fairly easy to get to Arenal Volcano and one of the most common ways to get there is by car, rented, shuttle or taxi. Will take you 3h to 4h to get to Arenal from San Jose. Many tourists prefer to stay at La Fortuna town, since it’s closer to the volcano.

Where to Stay?

Most people stay at or nearby La Fortuna town, that’s where most of the hotels are located. Many eco-lodge and small hotels are located outside La Fortuna, making it a great place to stay for nature lovers since they are in the middle of the forest. Offering, a relaxed and calm accommodation.

Best Places to Stay at Arenal:

  • Nayara Gardens
  • The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa and Resort

Frequently Asked Questions About Arenal Area

What is the best time of year to visit?

Really all year round with March and April being the driest months.

What is the weather like?

You can expect warm and humid weather in the area that surrounds Arenal Volcano. Temperatures are often around 75-80 F.

What should I wear?

I would advise you to wear cotton, bring a rain jacket, comfortable walking shoes, mosquito repellent, and your camera. For women, skirts and shorts sound fine but when you are actually there and go out on nature adventures, these can be a bad idea, you will get your legs scratched and bitten by bugs.

Things to pack for a trip to Arenal

  • Closed toed shoes (sneakers, hiking shoes running shoes)
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Medical Kit
  • Battery Pack
  • Water proof bags
  • Waterproof phone case

Pro Tip: When planning a trip to Arenal, make sure you reserve your tours and hotels. A lot of people come to the area and you might find yourself having to settle for a lesser hotel or to be put on the waitlist for some tour.

Take a look at this page to find more information about Things to do in Arenal.

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Fun Arenal Volcano Facts for Travelers - Costa Rica Travel

Last Updated on May 11, 2023

11 thoughts on “15 Arenal Volcano Facts for Travelers You Need to Know

  1. i love this volcano cause its like BOOM! when will it erupt next, ya know? it’s so rad dudes its got swag!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. No clue for the next one. But hope I’m not near it when it does go BOOM!

  2. this is a nice stories about the Arenal volcano but I would consider adding some facts a little longer it is a nice gesture that you tried your best and made it so everybody can know about the volcano it is very intresting thanks for listening 😀

  3. this is such a fun website my dad makes me to research every Friday to help me and my sisters learn about the world and animals and other interesting things it helps me a lot and I hope I will get smarter when I do it sometimes I think wouldn’t it be great if I could know everything about everything if I did I would write a book and it would be about the animals of Costa Rica me and my family in this summer will be going to Costa Rica and hopefully I will learn more about it when I’m older I want to write fairytails and other books for children and parents to read I hope it will inspire them but if it does it will all be because of this website you made I know you will be happy for me because I will have a great future your friend Gemma:D I hope this will inspire you to make more fun facts and I hope your future will be great keep up the good work and be happy no madder what we are here for you and will always be I wish you the best of life and the best of friends and family I now that you will be a great writer some day and know all about everything goodbye your friend Gemma kenidy wells:D

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