Soaring high in a perfectly symmetrical shape over the green hills and pastures of Costa Rica’s northern lowlands, Arenal Volcano is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Until the past few years, Arenal was the most active volcano in Costa Rica, and it’s frequent, small explosions once provided incredible shows of spewing lava. However, in 2010, Arenal’s cycle entered into a resting phase, putting an indeterminate pause on the eruptions. Nevertheless, the area surrounding Arenal still offers plenty of outstanding sights and exciting activities.
The area surrounding Arenal Volcano, along with the dormant Chato volcano, is protected by the Arenal Volcano National Park. Within the national park are picturesque landscapes of lakes, rivers, mountains and rainforests all offering adventures like fishing, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, hiking, horseback riding, ziplining, canopy tours, caving and waterfall rappelling.
Nature and wildlife enthusiasts will find the Arenal Volcano area a paradise with its many species of exotic flowers, mammals like howler monkeys, deer and jaguar, and birds such as parrots and resplendent quetzals. What’s more, due to Arenal’s geothermal activity, tourists have the opportunity to luxuriate in a number of hot springs ranging in every style and budget, and all with beautiful views of the volcano. There are also several resorts in the area offering accommodation and tour operations.
The small town of La Fortuna de San Carlos is the gateway to the Arenal Volcano. It easily reached by bus from San Jose.