Highlights and main attractions of the Arenal Volcano

When the skies are clear and lava is in full flow, the magnificent Arenal Volcano provides one of Central America’s most exhilarating natural sights and wonders – a combination of blinding light and logic-defying rumbling that erupts in a spectacular show for onlookers. Since 2010, Arenal, the world’s most active volcano for the last 43 years, has been in a resting period; however it still remains a stunning sight. Beyond Arenal’s lava fields, the surrounding rainforest national park is a lush, prime spot for walking and hiking. 

Set within the 29,960-acre Arenal Volcano National Park, the volcano itself is 1633 metres above sea level and was formed some 7,000 years ago by the adjacent and now extinct Chato Volcano. The town of La Fortuna is the gateway to the national park and is situated just 4 kilometres from the volcano itself.

Soak and relax in volcanic hot springs, listen out for gas eruptions and, as darkness descends, watch Arenal come to life from the comfort of your lodge.

Where is the Arenal Volcano?

Wildlife, Hot Springs and places to stay

Comprised mostly of primary rainforest, Arenal Volcano National Park contains four different life zones, each with a terrific range of flora and fauna. Of the 850 bird species of birds that have been recorded in Costa Rica, almost three quarters can be found here, including the quetzal. Other wildlife you may see includes sloths, deer, capuchin monkeys, coati and various snakes. You may also wish to hike to the crater of Arenal’s older counterpart the Chato Volcano, which has remained extinct for around 3,500 years and whose crater is filled with azure water. Canopy walkways, horse-riding, white water rafting and canoeing may also be enjoyed, and the nearby Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is worth a visit.

Thanks to the geothermal activities from Arenal, there are a number of nearby hot springs that offer the chance to warm and soothe the body, perfect after a day of walking and hiking. Choose from Eco Termales, Titoku, Baldi, Los Perdidos, Arenal Paraiso and The Springs Resort, all of which offer differing networks of pools, slides and facilities.

Because of its close proximity to the cloud forest reserves of Monteverde or Santa Elena, Arenal is often combined with these areas as part of an itinerary exploring the natural highlights of Costa Rica. 

Set within the rainforest and amidst beautiful gardens, Arenal Nayara is a luxury boutique hotel with the Arenal as a backdrop, and a range of exciting activities may be organised from here.

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