As Costa Rica’s adventure capital and home to the best known volcano in the country, it’s easy to see why Arenal is one of the most popular destinations to explore. Enclosed by verdant rainforest, filled with pristine waterfalls, bubbling hot springs and nature trails, Arenal National Park is an eco-wonderland bursting with activities for all ages and interests.
In 1968, the dormant Arenal volcano exploded and became Costa Rica’s most active volcano. For some time, on most evening’s, it was known to emit streams of glowing red lava which encouraged many visitors to flock in hope of witnessing this spectacular phenomenon first hand. In 2010, the volcano’s activity subsided and has since remained dormant. Despite losing its main draw, at 5,437 feet, the Arenal Volcano looms large and ominous over the pastured green hillsides that surround its base.
With a multitude of adventure activities on offer, Arenal remains a popular destination. The great wealth of biological and geological diversity of the area means you can hike through flourishing rainforests and old lava fields, trek to the emerald crater lagoon of the dormant Chato, or discover the magnificent La Fortuna waterfall on horse-back. Thrill-seekers can rappel through forest canopies, ride on rushing white-water rapids and soar through its valleys and treetops on the country’s longest zip line canopy tour. Costa Rica's largest lake, Arenal Lake is a popular place to try out kayaking and paddle-boarding and boasts some of the most spectacular views in the area. For wildlife-enthusiasts, a visit to Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is well worth a day trip, where two and three toed sloths can be found, as well as monkeys, caimans and more.
Arenal volcano powers numerous hot springs dotted around the area which serve as the perfect place to relax after a day’s exploring. The Tabacon hot springs are the top-rated, with views of Arenal Volcano. Another popular choice is EcoTermales hot springs which is made up of five romantic pools nestled in the rainforest offering a more intimate experience.
La Fortuna town is the main gateway to Arenal and is where many of the hotels, bars and restaurants are located. Just outside of town, our favorite properties can be found hidden in their own slices of rainforest and offer the best views of Arenal Volcano, privacy and more amenities than those in the centre of town.