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Top 10 Best Things to do at Arenal Volcano - Costa Rica

What to do in Costa Rica ? The Arenal volcano is a great experience for travelers, The view of the colossus is evident everywhere in the area. During the day or at night, the volcano offers a majestic spectacle with its incandescent lava descending on its flanks. You can even enjoy it while immersed in the thermal waters surrounding it. The adventure is worth the trip, discover all the activities of the area.

Discover Arenal Volcano National Park


Credit : @nick_mge

Created in 1995, the Arenal National Park is open every day from 8 am to 4 pm and is located 16 km from La Fortuna. It covers a total area of 12,000 hectares and allows its visitors to take short trails in the heart of the secondary forest. The first trail is 2 km long and the second trail is 3.4 km long. Along these trails, in addition to admiring the ancient lava flows, you can admire the silhouette of the volcano, Lake Arenal and the surrounding landscapes from some great viewpoints. The park is also home to many animal species that you may be lucky enough to see during your tour. One of the best hikes to do in Costa Rica.

Soak in Arenal Volcano All-Natural Hot Springs


There is no shortage of natural hot springs of volcanic origin in the Arenal region! If you only have one day in Arenal, this is a must-see adventure because it is a specificity of the region and an experience that you cannot live anywhere else.  Small budgets, you will have the possibility of going directly in the hot rio (river).  If you like luxury, go to one of the resorts in the area that offer facilities, restaurants, bars and comfort.

Visit the Forest Canopy by Aerial Tram or Zipline

Visit the Forest Canopy

Different circuits propose you to descend the sides of the volcano in zip line and at high speed. A great adventure !  A great  tour ! You will be as high as the treetops and can reach up to 100km/h, can you imagine? The adrenaline and the strong sensations will be there for sure.

But that's not all, around the volcano there are also suspension bridges and other cable cars to discover the local fauna and flora from another angle. These high suspension bridges allow you to enjoy the canopy and observe nature from up there, at your own pace. 

Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall


From the parking lot located on the heights, you will have to take a trail that goes down to the foot of the Fortuna waterfall! It winds through the rainforest and offers breathtaking views. This jungle of incredible dimensions gives the impression of entering a vegetal cathedral where streaks of light filter through and strings of mist evaporate.
Sixty meters of falls, it is impressive. You don't realize the power of the water until you're right next to it. The meeting of the fall with the natural swimming pool, causes a wet mist thick as a cloud. We can hardly hear ourselves speak! It is forbidden to bathe in this place because the force of the current would press us against the rock of the bottom. On the other hand, lower down, one can perfectly bathe in the fresh water.
Visit of Fortuna

Arenal hanging Bridges Hike

Arenal hanging Bridges HikeWith a route of about 3.5km, you can enjoy the 15 suspension bridges in the volcanic area of Arenal while admiring the majestic beauty of nature and the canopy, as well as the wildlife and sometimes even the famous spider monkeys. All this in 2 to 3 hours.

Discover Lake Arenal

Discover Lake Arenal18km from the town of Fortuna lies this beautiful 88km² lake. Lake Arenal was expanded in 1974 when a dam was built to meet the growing need for water and electricity. Today it is the largest lake in Costa Rica, supplying the entire region with hydroelectricity. However, Lake Arenal is also a natural paradise, offering a rich variety of birds and breathtaking scenery at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Take a tour also in a boat.

Visit the town of La Fortuna

Visit the town of La FortunaLocated only 6 km from the Arenal volcano, La Fortuna offers shops, hotels, restaurants and other tourist agencies. It is a good starting point for the visit of the national park, and it is especially the local capital of the thermalism, a smart plan for the tired hikers who wish to bask a few hours before leaving, a delight not to be missed! La Fortuna does not really have an old-fashioned charm and its buildings are relatively recent and without major interest. Only the church is worth a few pictures. You will have to take advantage of your car to visit the surroundings, which are really worth a tour.

Go Spelunking at Venado Caves.

 Go Spelunking at Venado Caves

An hour from the city of La Fortuna, you can visit the Venado Caves. You can book for tours to this great adventure and it is worth the trip. A perfect opportunity to live an exciting experience, following your tour guide through the caves to discover stalactites and stalagmites, in addition to underground rivers and bat habitats.

Visit Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge.

 Visit Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge
Located on the border with Nicaragua, the Cano Negro Refuge is considered the largest swamp in Costa Rica. A natural reserve that attracts many migratory birds every year, which makes it one of the privileged places for the observation of the birds.

White Water Raft Near Arenal.

 White Water Raft Near Arenal
The Balsas river is ideal for a great rafting adventure. You will be able to make an interesting descent while having more quiet moments to enjoy the view of the surroundings or the different natural pools formed by the rio Balsas. 

Arenal Volcano Travel FAQ:

 Arenal Volcano travel cost ricais arenal volcano active ?


From July 29, 1968 to December 29, 2010, Arenal was erupting, after 300 years of inactivity. During this period, it was the most active volcano in Costa Rica. The day of its first eruption, the explosion destroyed the villages of Pueblo Nuevo and Tabacón, causing the death of 90 people. Since then, it has fortunately gone back to sleep.

where is arenal volcano ?

Arenal is located in the northwest of Costa Rica, in the western part of the province of Alajuela, not far from the border with the province of Guanacaste and 90 kilometers northwest of the capital San Jose.

how to visit arenal volcano ?

Arenal is open every day from 8am to 4pm. When you pay your ticket, you can ask for the services of a local guide tours, but this is not mandatory. Especially since the national park is perfectly well marked: once you have passed the entrance, it is enough to drive another 2 km to the parking lot.

when was the last time the arenal volcano erupted ?

December 29, 2010

how far is arenal volcano from san jose airport ?

The driving distance between San Jose Airport (SJO) to Arenal Volcano is 134 km. It takes approximately 2h 32m to drive from San Jose Airport (SJO) to Arenal Volcano. It is a nice trip to the nature.

how tall is arenal volcano in costa rica ?

5,358 ft


where to stay near arenal volcano ?

  1. Hotel Los Lagos Spa & Resort. …
  2. Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa. …
  3. Volcano Lodge Hotel & Thermal Experience. …
  4. Tifakara Boutique Hotel & Birding Oasis. …
  5. Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. …
  6. Paradise Hot Springs Thermal Resort. …
  7. Arenal Paraíso Resort & Thermo Mineral Hot Springs. …
  8. Hotel Lomas del Volcán.

Do you need a car in Arenal Volcano ?

The best and easiest way to get around the area is by car since the points of interests all spread out.