DESCRIPTION: Arenal Volcano is an active stratovolcano located in the district of La Fortuna, measuring to be 1.633m (5,358ft) high. It’s cone-shaped and has a crater of about 140m(460ft) in diameter. Geologically considered a “YOUNG” volcano only about 7,500 years old, Arenal’s last eruption was in 2010.
Then we take you to the base of the volcano to relax in the hot-tempered waters of Arenal resort. There you will have lunch with a view of the volcano in the background.
WHAT TO BRING: Cameras, light jacket, swimwear, change of clothes, towels, hiking shoes.
SCHEDULE: Departures vary due to clarity or volcanic activity. The average pick-up time is 7.00 AM
The most characteristic feature of this national park is the impressive and majestic Arenal Volcano, an almost perfect active cone 1,633 meters high, whose regular eruptions offer one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring natural sights in Costa Rica.
Thirty-five species of fish, 135 species of reptiles that include tortoises, snakes, and lizards, and 131 known species of mammals can be found here. An amazing 53% of the species that make up the national bird population are also found here making this park and the surrounding area a birdwatcher’s paradise.
The four most important types of vegetation in the park are the perennial wet and very wet forests that cover about 47% of the area. There’s also cloud forest and riverine woodlands, where several endemic species can be found, like the brunelia costaricensis and the epiphytic pineapple
Arenal is an active volcano located in the Guanacaste Volcanic Range. Previously called “Mount Arenal” by locals in 1968, Arenal erupted and destroyed the cities of Tronadora and Pueblo Nuevo. After the eruption, there was relative calm until 1981 when it began to show regular activity and has been active ever since. This colossal wonder of nature rises 1,700 meters above sea level. An area of 9,884 acres (4,000 hectares) around the volcano has been protected under national park status since 1994. In this area, you will find different types of snakes, jaguars, peccaries, and pacas. The temperature ranges from 72 to 84ºF. At night, depending on weather conditions, you may be able to see molten lava flowing from the cone. A camera or video camera should be first on the list of items to take with you. Adventurers consider the Arenal Volcano region their first destination in the world. Walking in Arenal National Park can be a risky but exciting experience. Surrounding this majestic volcano, the resort of La Fortuna offers observation cabins, where you might want to get a room with a view of the volcano.
Near Arenal Volcano is the man-made Arenal Lake. A successful hydroelectric project led by the Institute of Electricity of Costa Rica (ICE) was completed in 1978 by expanding the existing lagoon. It is an 87 km long peaceful lake with the Arenal Volcano as a backdrop. In Lake Arenal, you can practice windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Tilapia, a species native to African waters, is the main fish you will catch in the waters of the lake. Tilapia meat is considered a delicacy not only in Costa Rica but around the world. The lake is windiest from December to April for windsurfers. A boat ride on the lake will show you various scenic scenes of the volcano. Enjoy a boat ride at night to admire the pyrotechnics atop the volcano. During the day try your hand at catching tilapia, someone might even cook it for you.
In the Arenal region, you can visit Cerro Chato; an extinct volcanic crater that features a turquoise lagoon and is covered in thick primary forest. This ancient crater is part of the Arenal Volcano complex. Very close to Monte Chato is the misty 230-foot (70-meter) high Catarata Fortuna. This waterfall will surprise you with its refreshing flow of water. The Tabacón River which flows near the volcano is a source of hot springs in both private and public spaces. National and international tourists visit this region eager to immerse themselves in the warm and relaxing waters. Many hostels in La Fortuna and San Carlos offer hot springs and volcanic mud massages. You can enjoy the hot springs at night under a moonlit sky. The phenomenon of steam in the water under the pale moonlight is worth seeing. End your evening with a relaxing massage while listening to the bubbling hot springs.
The National Park
The Arenal Volcano National Park presents varied topographic systems such as mountain ranges, passes, mountain channels, and depressions that mostly have developed from volcanic ash. In this part, at least three types of soils have been identified. Additionally, soils of the low zones, with an abundance of dense thickets and pastures are to be found.
The Arenal Volcano National Park belongs to the Arenal Conservation Area that consists of three life zones: premontane humid forest, premontane rainforest, and lower montane rainforest. The combination of these life zones makes the moist and wet evergreen spectacular. In these zones, you can find 2,987 species of plants, including at least 20 species of medicinal plants, 884 ornamental ones, 90 species of timber trees, 63 edible species, at least 15 toxic ones, 17 of great importance for the wildlife, and more than 100 species classified as undergrowth and grow lands.
The National Park is part of a biologic corridor between the Caribbean and Pacific sectors. The combination of forests and life zones provides habitat for many different animals, including endangered ones which makes this a unique place. More than 15 species of amphibians have been identified, including the green and black frog (Atelopus varius) and the glass frog. There are also different species of snakes, as well poisonous, like the Fer-De-Lance, and non-poisonous, like the Boa Constrictor.
A park is a place where it is still possible to see great curassows, great anteaters, jaguarondis, pacas, tapirs, coatis, sloths, jaguars, deer, and pumas. Large groups of howler monkeys, kinkajous, and margays are also present. At least 200 species of birds can be found, such as the crimson-fronted parakeet, the white-bellied mountain gem, and the black-faced solitaire.
La Fortuna Town
The community of La Fortuna, also known as Villa Fortuna or Villa Burio, is located in the valley of the volcano Arenal, bordering to Rio Burio. It is the closest town to the Arenal volcano. The town belongs to the district of La Fortuna of San Carlos, in the Province of Alajuela, and is situated at an altitude of 300 meters above sea level.
The climate is mostly warm and humid and the temperature is usually between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, supported by a pleasuring moderate breeze. During the months of November to January, it is a little cooler and the temperature varies between 23 and 25 degrees.
The region of La Fortuna is very fertile and allows nature to appear in lush green. This makes it possible to grow a variety of crops, such as papaya, ginger root, oranges, pineapples, sugar cane, beans, and cassava root that are being exported to the United States and Europe. Agriculture, milk, and meat production are important sources of income besides the growing tourism industry.
Something very special and unique about La Fortuna is that the Arenal Volcano is visible everywhere in the village. You can see lava and gases coming out without being in danger of a La Fortunaeruption since the volcano is constantly observed by the Smithsonian Institute. The spectacle is especially interesting at night when you can see the lava explosions.
In La Fortuna, you will find all kinds of facilities such as post offices, banks, ATMs,s and Internet services.
The area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica and has a wide selection of good hotels as well as a great number of restaurants serving both traditional and international food.
Arenal Volcano Hiking Tour
The Arenal Volcano tour transports guests to the active northwest side of the volcano. The tour begins with a hike and depending upon which side of the volcano the lava is flowing, we go either to the trail “Los Tucanes” at the National Park or Mirador El Silencio.
It is possible to observe a great variety of plants, wildlife, magnificent lava rock formations, and Arenal Lake just in time for sunset! During the tour, our experienced guides will provide interesting and educational information regarding the history of the majestic mountain and the Arenal Volcano National Park.
The tour concludes with a relaxing stop at the mineral hot springs (optional). Note: Entrance to hot springs is not included
The Company is a run by Estalin Cano, former Tour Manager at Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort. With experienced tour guides and bus drivers, Estalin and his team are committed to providing the best spirit to service.