No visit to Costa Rica would be complete without a visit to Arenal, a large volcano at 5,437 feet. Though the Arenal volcano is currently in a resting phase, meaning it is not going to erupt anytime soon, it is still a true sight to behold. Plus, the fact that the volcano is in the resting phase makes visiting the site completely safe. It’s important to note, however that Arenal hasn’t always been “resting”. In fact, at one time, it was the most active volcano in all of Costa Rica, and it remained that way for over forty years. As such, the volcano has a rich and fascinating history, and visitors to the site have the opportunity to learn all about it.
More Than Just a Volcano
When you visit Arenal, you’ll do more than just stare at a volcano. While simply seeing this majestic volcano is worth the trip to the area alone, there is much more to see and do. The Arenal Volcano is located in the aptly named Arenal Volcano National Park, which is a haven for all kinds of plant and animal life. Visitors to the park can find more bird species there than almost anywhere else in Costa Rica, and there are also sloths, monkeys, deer, snakes, and coati to take in. Aside from the animals, visitors to the park can view beautiful local plants, including palms, orchids, ferns and more. Any lover of nature is sure to have a blast going on a sightseeing tour through the park; just make sure you bring your camera and take advantage of the many great photo ops!
Not the Only Volcano Around
While the Arenal Volcano is certainly the largest and most impressive volcano in the area, it’s not the only one. Visitors to the Arenal Volcano are also invited to check out the nearby Chato Volcano. The Chato—at 3,740 feet—is much smaller than the Arenal, but it also has the distinction of being older. Like Arenal, though, the Chato Volcano is inactive and has been for over 3000 years, so there’s certainly no danger in checking it out.
Take a Hike
Not only can you see gorgeous animals, exotic plant life, and some of the world’s most amazing volcanoes, but you can also go on a nice hike through the beautiful park. The park boasts several different walking trails aimed toward hikers of all skill levels. The trails not only vary in general difficulty but also in length, so there truly is a trail for every hiker to enjoy. Guests are invited and encouraged to rest during their hikes, to set up picnics, and to spend as much time as they like touring and enjoying the hiking trails and everything else that the park has to offer.
If you happen to get a little bored or just need a change of pace while you’re checking out the Arenal Volcano, you’ll be glad to know that the town of La Fortuna is only about four miles away from Arena. While La Fortuna may not be true “big city,” it’s the closest you can find to one in the area, and there’s still plenty to see and do. Lodging accommodations abound for those who want to extend their tours of the Arenal Volcano, and there are also cozy restaurants, shopping opportunities, and even a few clubs and bars to check out. In addition to your standard city finds, there are also great chances for getting active and trying something different in La Fortuna! Horseback tours through the hills are offered daily, and there are companies that offer canoeing, whitewater rafting, fishing, kite surfing, waterfall repelling, hanging bridge tours, and all kinds of other exciting opportunities. Visitors to La Fortuna are strongly encouraged to explore the celebrated La Fortuna Waterfall as well; the waterfall area isn’t just for looking either. No, guests are invited to swim in the waterfall area, and it can easily provide an affordable and fun place to pass away the entire day.
Planning Your Trip
Now that you know all about the Arenal Volcano and the many fun options for visitors around and near the volcano, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today! Many tourist agents and travel companies offer special deals that can help you to try everything you want to in the area at a reduced cost, but these deals tend to go quickly so act now!