Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica's Most Famous Volcano and Travel Destination!

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Visiting the Arenal Volcano 

The Arenal Volcano is one of our top recommended destinations and one of the most visited places in Costa Rica. The iconic Arenal Volcano is located in the northwestern part of Costa Rica, towering beautifully over the town La Fortuna. The most well-known volcano in Costa Rica is surrounded by the Arenal Volcano National Park and Lake Arenal.

The Arenal Volcano is still considered active, but there hasn’t been an eruption since 2010. If you’re lucky, you might still get to see smoke spewing out of the top! People come from all over the world to admire and study the volcano, hoping to glimpse some volcanic activity. Only 3 hours from the capital city, San Jose, the Arenal Volcano is easily accessible and offers a variety of fun, adventure-packed activities for everyone. Don’t miss out on some great Arenal tours while you’re there! 

Highlights

Arenal Volcano National Park

The Arenal Volcano National Park spans across almost 30,000 acres and is a great place to see the volcano up close. Several hikes leave from the entrance of the park, some only taking 30 minutes, some taking a couple of hours. Solo hikes are permitted but you can also easily arrange hikes in La Fortuna.  

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna WaterfallSwim, take pictures and picnic at the bottom of this 200 ft mind-blowing waterfall. Get there by walking or arrive on horseback. The hike to the waterfall is a great opportunity to spot wildlife including monkeys, toucans and sloths. 

 

Hanging Bridge Tours

Arenal Hanging BridgesDiscover the rainforest from the sky and let an expert guide point out wildlife along the way. Don’t forget to bring your camera, not only for the amazing views of the rainforest, but to capture the hundreds of species of birds flying above the trees. Hanging bridges are ideal for families, couples and birders. 

Volcano Tours

Arenal Volcano Aerial ViewLeave from La Fortuna for a 1-3 hour moderate hike of the Arenal Volcano. See solidified lava and ask expert tour guides about the history of the Arenal Volcano and the local flora and fauna. On clear days you’ll be able to capture breathtaking photos of the Volcano and surrounding rainforest. 

Canopy Tours

Arenal Canopy FunSoar among the birds through the national park and see the rainforest from a thrilling perspective on world-class zip lines. Your tour will usually start with a short hike up to the cables, some of which are over 900 meters long! The views of the volcano and waterfalls as you fly across the national park are spectacular. Tarzan swings are also an option for the more adventurous traveler. 

Rafting

 Rafting in ArenalYou’ll find world-class white water rafting on the Toro or Balsa River! Spend a few hours or the whole day racing down the exciting waters with experienced professional guides by your side. Finish your tour with a refreshing swim, a traditional lunch and a cold Costa Rican beer!

Mountain Biking

Biking at Lake ArenalTour the area with local biking experts and get a unique view of Lake Arenal. You will get a chance to take a dip and refresh and also learn a bit about Costa Rican culture when you stop in surrounding towns.  

 

Hot Springs

Tabacon Resort & Spa Little WaterfallsThe best way end your day of adventuring in the national park is to relax in the geothermally heated hot springs, located in various spots in the area. The Hot Springs of La Fortuna offer 16 different hot pools. You can also visit the Tabacón Hot Springs and experience cascading thermal waterfalls. The restorative minerals and bicarbonates in the water are great for your health. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling refreshed! 

Lake Arenal 

Boat on Lake ArenalThe largest human-made lake in Costa Rica is Lake Arenal. It provides a perfect mirror for the volcano and sheer natural Costa Rican beauty. Lake Arenal was created in 1979 for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes. The lake actually covers two submerged towns, complete with buildings, roads, cemeteries, and farmland, under 50 meters of deep dark blue waters.

Fishing

Fishing Lake ArenalExperience some of the best fishing in Costa Rica in the largest man-made lake in the world. Visit in May for your best chance to catch some gorgeous Rainbow Bass (Guapotes) while you take in an amazing view of the Arenal Volcano. 

 

Windsurfing

Windsurfing in ArenalLearn how to windsurf from professional guides and experience warm waters and great winds. Windsurfing is available all year round and there are lessons available for people at every level. It is a challenging but unforgettable experience! 

 

Kayaking

Kayaking on Lake Arenal Let guides show you best spots to kayak on the lake and tell you about the history of the Arenal Volcano. Kayak with a partner and take a break to swim in the cool, refreshing waters while you admire the Arenal Volcano and surrounding rainforest. 

La Fortuna

La FortunaLa Fortuna sits at the bottom of the Arenal Volcano and is perfect starting point for all the activities offered in the area. You can also take advantage of more affordable hotel rates in La Fortuna. 

 

Venado Caves

venado cavernas1About an hour away from Arenal you can tour the eight caverns of the Venado Caves, formed 20 million years ago by tectonic movements. Enjoy stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls, coral and rock formations and bats. Make sure to dress appropriately as you will get wet and muddy! 

Tips

  • Visit between December and April: December through April is the best time to see the Arenal Volcano. The skies will be clearer, offering unforgettable views! 
  • Staying at the bottom of the volcano:  Staying closer to the volcano will give you incredible views of the volcano and rainforest, but will be more expensive.
  • Stay in La Fortuna: Staying in La Fortuna will give you easy access to all the activities offered in the area and it will be more affordable. 
  • Pack rain and swimming attire: Make sure to bring rainproof hiking attire for visiting the volcano and swimwear for visiting the hot springs
  • Treat yourself! If you’re looking for luxury and relaxation, stay at one of the best hotel and spas in the world: Nayara Springs.
  • Let us guide you: Talk with one of our Travel Experts today to learn more and help you customize your vacation to the Arenal Volcano! 

Getting There

Closest International Airport: Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR)

gray line busGetting to the Arenal Volcano is easier than ever. Choose Private Transfer for quick, convenient and worry-free travel. You can also take shared shuttles, which are more affordable but not as fast. For more freedom and flexibility, rent a car right from the airport upon your arrival. Finally, you can also take advantage of Costa Rica domestic flights, which are the fastest way to see as much of the country as possible during your stay. 

Dining

arenal volcano hotels are among the best in the world volcano restaurantEat at the bottom of a volcano! From traditional Costa Rican to Asian Latin fusion, dining around the Arenal Volcano offers something for everyone–and for every budget.

In La Fortuna stop by Don Rufino for Costa Rican and international cuisine, Pollo Fortuneño for amazing grilled chicken (and maybe a guaro sour!) or Chifa la Familia Feliz for Chinese Peruvian fusion. Many of the hotels close to the Volcano also have on-site restaurants and bars that you can enjoy with amazing views of the Volcano. 

History

Arenal Volcano Tour EruptionThe last major eruption happened on July 29, 1968, destroying three villages. One community east of the crater escaped the furious mountain unscathed. Grateful that they were left untouched, Its inhabitants decided to rename their small town to La Fortuna, meaning fortune in Spanish. 

The eruption resulted in a second cone forming next to the original one, after 40+ years of smaller eruptions. Thankfully none of the following eruptions caused as much damage. The last recorded eruption happened in October of 2010. Although the volcano has not shown any signs of eruption recently, it is still considered one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Travelers come from everywhere, including photographers, geologists and even locals to visit the famous volcano in hopes of witnessing yet another eruption.

Arenal Volcano - Get Info

Arenal Volcano Map

The Arenal Volcano is located 3 hours from San Jose in the northwestern part of Costa Rica, next to La Fortuna. It is easily accessible by rental car, shuttle or private transfer! 

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Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

Arenal is one of the most beautiful volcanoes on Earth. Known for its imposing height, lush flora, great weather, myriad activities and tours to entertainment and delight.

Arenal Volcano Vacation Packages

Get the best of what Arenal has to offer with any of our vacation packages. Let us help you plan the perfect vacation for you and your family. 

Caribbean Dream with Manuel Antonio

Caribbean Dream with Manuel Antonio

12
SJO
$1500-$2000 p.p.
Caribbean Dream Extended Stay

Caribbean Dream Extended Stay

16
SJO
Extended Costa Rica Highlights

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

20
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Extended Stay

Extended Stay

13
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Extended Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

Extended Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

8
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Best of Costa Rica – All Inclusive

Best of Costa Rica – All Inclusive

LIR
$1000-$1500 p.p.
Birding in Costa Rica’s Top Three Destinations

Birding in Costa Rica’s Top Three Destinations

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Best of Birding

Best of Birding

8
SJO
$1500-$2000 p.p.
Costa Rica Classic Birding Package

Costa Rica Classic Birding Package

8
LIR
More than $2000 p.p.
Active Family Adventure – Family Vacation to Costa Rica

Active Family Adventure – Family Vacation to Costa Rica

7
SJO
Less than $1000 p.p.
Best of Costa Rica

Best of Costa Rica

7
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Caribbean Dream

Caribbean Dream

SJO
Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast

SJO
Luxury Family Getaway

Luxury Family Getaway

7
SJO
Less than $1000 p.p.
Costa Rica’s Top Three Destinations

Costa Rica’s Top Three Destinations

SJO
$1500-$2000 p.p.
Two Oceans & A Volcano

Two Oceans & A Volcano

$1000-$1500 p.p.
Volcano & Beaches of Guanacaste

Volcano & Beaches of Guanacaste

LIR
Less than $1000 p.p.
Costa Rica Classic

Costa Rica Classic

7
LIR
$1000-$1500 p.p.
Caribbean Fusion – A Costa Rica Caribbean Vacation

Caribbean Fusion – A Costa Rica Caribbean Vacation

8
SJO
$1000-$1500 p.p.
Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

7
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Pacific & Caribbean Combo

Pacific & Caribbean Combo

10
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Perfect Combination with Corcovado

Perfect Combination with Corcovado

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Romantic Beach Getaway

Romantic Beach Getaway

LIR
$1000-$1500 p.p.
Luxury Romantic Heaven

Luxury Romantic Heaven

7
LIR
More than $2000 p.p.
Volcano & Beaches of Nicoya

Volcano & Beaches of Nicoya

SJO
Less than $1000 p.p.
Wellness, Yoga & Surf Vacation in Paradise!

Wellness, Yoga & Surf Vacation in Paradise!

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Complete Costa Rica Extended

Complete Costa Rica Extended

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Extended Coast to Coast

Extended Coast to Coast

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Extended Costa Rica Southern Package

Extended Costa Rica Southern Package

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Jungle Jaunt – Costa Rica Jungle Vacation

Jungle Jaunt – Costa Rica Jungle Vacation

8
SJO
$1000-$1500 p.p.
Costa Rica’s Seventh Heaven

Costa Rica’s Seventh Heaven

7
SJO
$1000-$1500 p.p.
Dancing with Quetzals

Dancing with Quetzals

11
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Tarpon Fishing on Costa Rica’s Caribbean

Tarpon Fishing on Costa Rica’s Caribbean

6
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
All Inclusive Fishing Adventure Package

All Inclusive Fishing Adventure Package

5
LIR
More than $2000 p.p.
Dream Fishing Trip at Los Sueños

Dream Fishing Trip at Los Sueños

7
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Costa Rica’s Top Birding Spots

Costa Rica’s Top Birding Spots

11
SJO
Birding in Costa Rica’s Northern Zone

Birding in Costa Rica’s Northern Zone

11
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Birding in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula

Birding in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula

11
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.

Arenal Volcano Hotels

Enjoy great service, delicious food and world-class service at Arenal Hotels. Stay close to the volcano or in La Fortuna for more affordable options. 

Hotel Kokoro Arenal

Hotel Kokoro Arenal

3
From: $125 - $200
Arenal Manoa

Arenal Manoa

4
From: $200 - $300
Arenal Nayara Spa & Gardens

Arenal Nayara Spa & Gardens

5
4
From: Over $300
Arenal Observatory Lodge

Arenal Observatory Lodge

3
4
From: Under $125
Arenal Paraiso Resort

Arenal Paraiso Resort

3
3
From: $125 - $200
Arenal Springs Resort

Arenal Springs Resort

4
5
From: $200 - $300
Baldi Resort

Baldi Resort

3
From: $200 - $300
Casa Luna

Casa Luna

3
3
From: $125 - $200
Hotel Arenal Kioro

Hotel Arenal Kioro

5
4
From: Over $300
Hotel El Silencio del Campo

Hotel El Silencio del Campo

4
From: $125 - $200
Hotel Magic Mountain

Hotel Magic Mountain

3
From: Under $125
La Mansion Inn

La Mansion Inn

4
2
From: $125 - $200
Los Lagos Resort

Los Lagos Resort

3
5
From: $125 - $200
Lost Iguana Resort

Lost Iguana Resort

4
3
From: $200 - $300
Montaña De Fuego Resort

Montaña De Fuego Resort

3
2
From: Under $125
Rancho Margot

Rancho Margot

4
5
From: $125 - $200
Tabacon Resort & Spa

Tabacon Resort & Spa

5
4
From: Over $300
The Royal Corin

The Royal Corin

4
1
From: $200 - $300
The Springs Resort & Spa

The Springs Resort & Spa

5
5
From: Over $300
Volcano Lodge

Volcano Lodge

4
3
From: $200 - $300
Hotel Arenal Lodge

Hotel Arenal Lodge

3
From: $125 - $200
Lomas del Volcan

Lomas del Volcan

3
From: Under $125
Arenal Oasis Ecolodge & Wildlife Refuge

Arenal Oasis Ecolodge & Wildlife Refuge

3
From: Under $125
Nayara Springs

Nayara Springs

4
From: Over $300

Arenal Volcano Tours

Embrace your adventurous side and explore Arenal National Park by zip line or on horseback. Or maybe discover Lake Arenal and windsurf next to the volcano. 

Arenal Mundo Aventura Canopy Adventure Combo Adrenaline

Arenal Mundo Aventura Canopy Adventure Combo Adrenaline

3
Mistico Hanging Bridges Natural History Walk

Mistico Hanging Bridges Natural History Walk

From: Under $50
Baldi Hot Springs with Meal

Baldi Hot Springs with Meal

3
From: $75 - $100
Arenal Sky Tram Up & Down

Arenal Sky Tram Up & Down

From: $50 - $75
Arenal Sky Trek & Tram Ultimate Zip Lines

Arenal Sky Trek & Tram Ultimate Zip Lines

From: $75 - $100
Arenal Volcano Observation Hike and Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano Observation Hike and Hot Springs

From: $50 - $75
ATV La Pradera Adventure at Arenal

ATV La Pradera Adventure at Arenal

From: $75 - $100
Lost Canyon Canyoning Adventure

Lost Canyon Canyoning Adventure

From: $75 - $100
Club Rio Adventure

Club Rio Adventure

From: $75 - $100
White Water Rafting Rio Balsa Arenal

White Water Rafting Rio Balsa Arenal

From: $50 - $75
Round Trip Kalambu Hot Springs Water Park

Round Trip Kalambu Hot Springs Water Park

3
From: Under $50
Gravity Falls – The Best of Arenal

Gravity Falls – The Best of Arenal

From: Over $100
Canopy Combination AMA and Adventure Tour

Canopy Combination AMA and Adventure Tour

From: $50 - $75
Jeep Boat Jeep Arenal To Monteverde

Jeep Boat Jeep Arenal To Monteverde

Fishing Tour at Lake Arenal

Fishing Tour at Lake Arenal

From: Over $100
Mountain Biking Arenal

Mountain Biking Arenal

From: Under $50
Tabacon Hot Springs

Tabacon Hot Springs

From: $75 - $100
Venado Caves Costa Rica

Venado Caves Costa Rica

From: $50 - $75
Arenal Sky Walk

Arenal Sky Walk

From: Under $50
Rain Forest River Float and Safari Peñas Blancas Arenal

Rain Forest River Float and Safari Peñas Blancas Arenal

From: $50 - $75
Arenal Volcano & Tabacon Hot Springs Tour with Expediciones Tropicales

Arenal Volcano & Tabacon Hot Springs Tour with Expediciones Tropicales

Day Pass to The Springs Resort

Day Pass to The Springs Resort

Lost Canyon Canyoning Adventure with Desafio

Lost Canyon Canyoning Adventure with Desafio

Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal with Desafio

Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal with Desafio

Hanging Bridges – Natural History Walk with Mistico

Hanging Bridges – Natural History Walk with Mistico

Horseback Ride and Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall and Visit to Indigenous Village with Arenal Mundo Aventura

Horseback Ride and Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall and Visit to Indigenous Village with Arenal Mundo Aventura

Rainforest River Float and Safari with Aventuras Arenal

Rainforest River Float and Safari with Aventuras Arenal

Pure Trek Canyoning

Pure Trek Canyoning

Adrenaline Combo with Jacamar

Adrenaline Combo with Jacamar

Sportfishing at Lake Arenal with Jacamar

Sportfishing at Lake Arenal with Jacamar

Balsa River

Balsa River

Guided Sky Walk with Sky Adventures

Guided Sky Walk with Sky Adventures

Sky Tram with Sky Adventures

Sky Tram with Sky Adventures

Sky Walk & Sky Tram with Sky Adventures

Sky Walk & Sky Tram with Sky Adventures

Sky Tram & Trek with Sky Adventures

Sky Tram & Trek with Sky Adventures

Sky Walk, Sky Tram & Sky Trek with Sky Adventures

Sky Walk, Sky Tram & Sky Trek with Sky Adventures

Horseback Riding Tour with Don Tobias

Horseback Riding Tour with Don Tobias

Arenal Volcano National Park with Desafio

Arenal Volcano National Park with Desafio

Arenal Combo Safari Float & La Fortuna Waterfall with Desafio

Arenal Combo Safari Float & La Fortuna Waterfall with Desafio

Arenal Combo Chocolate Tour & La Fortuna Waterfall with Desafio

Arenal Combo Chocolate Tour & La Fortuna Waterfall with Desafio

Arenal Mambo Combo Adventure with Desafio

Arenal Mambo Combo Adventure with Desafio

Costa Rican Cooking Class with Desafio

Costa Rican Cooking Class with Desafio

Rainforest Chocolate Tour with Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Rainforest Chocolate Tour with Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Proyecto Asis Tour & Volunteering

Proyecto Asis Tour & Volunteering

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