A Historic Sight
When you think of volcanoes in Costa Rica, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the Arenal Volcano, probably the most famous and stunning volcano of all Costa Rica. Although not many of us know about the Arenal Volcanoes little brother, Cerro Chato or Chato Volcano. Many pictures of Arenal include Chato but it certainly isn’t obvious that it is actually a volcano. This is because it’s more of a hill, it isn’t tall at all compared to its big brother.
History and Attributes of Chato
According to the history books, the Chato Volcanoes very first eruption was some 38000 years ago, and then again 3500 years ago. This was the most significant eruption of the little volcano because it formed the now well known La Fortuna Waterfall. The falls is a stunning attribute of the volcano and adds that much more for you to see in the area.
The Chato Volcano stands at 1140 meters or (3740 feet) tall and its lagoon is roughly 500 meters wide full of the turquoise volcanic waters.
Hiking the Chato Trails
Hiking up to the Chato Volcano isn’t recommended for everyone. It is a rough hiking experience and the trails are steep without handrails or ropes to help. Although if you love adventure this is perfect for you. Trails stem either from the Arenal Observatory lodge, or the Greenlagoon Lodge. The hike takes about 1-2 hours to complete either way you go, so make sure you pack a snack and some sun protection. Each trail is mostly full of roots, rocks, and has a steep incline. The whole way up you will be stunned by the scenery, it gives you some great views. Once you get to the peak you will see the lagoon of the Chato Volcano.
The hike is rather hard to complete so if you are wanting to bring small children or ones in bad health it is best to view the volcano from a different vantage point.
Activities in the area
Luckily hiking is far from the only thing to do in the area. Actually, if you want some true adventure you should go on the Arenal canopy tour. Zip lining is a cool way to view the region of the two volcanos. After zip lining, you can then try your hand at horseback riding. This is the perfect way to navigate through the trails, as you can let the horse do all the work. While riding along you can view all the plants and wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer.
One of the most relaxing and refreshing experiences of Arenal is the amazing hot springs. You can enjoy the hot springs at places like The Springs, Tabacon, and Baldi Resort. These are also some of the best places to stay if you want a luxury trip to Costa Rica.
Why visit the Chato Volcano?
Well for a starter, not only is the Chato Volcano absolutely amazing, it is also one of the most convenient places to visit in Costa Rica. The Volcano is only 2-3 hours from the airport. All the other destinations can be up to a five or even seven-hour drive away. Also, it is right beside one of the best volcanos in Costa Rica, Arenal, so you get not only one volcano but two. Not many can say they have visited two volcanoes on the same trip to Costa Rica.
So now it’s up to you, when will you come visit Costs Rica?