Arenal Volcano


The volcano is not the only active thing in this park.

The Arenal Volcano National Park is mostly a rain forest complete with four different life zones and more flora and fauna than the average person could identify. We are told that of the 850 species of birds in Costa Rica, about 75% of them can be found in this region. However birds are not all that you will find … snakes, sloths, deer and monkeys also call this rain forest home.

Arenal is also not the only volcano in this park. The older and now dormant, Chato also resides here. Chato is said to have last erupted 3,500 years ago so instead of fireworks, Chato offers the opposite. A blown off cone filled with beautiful aqua blue waters. There are several walking trails within the park, which is open from 8AM to 6PM.

As we said earlier, this park is loaded with activities. For instance, horseback rides can be made through the nearby hills and whitewater rafting can be done on the Peñas Blancas, Toro and Balsa rivers. Each river is different in both intensity and scenery and you can choose between leisurely safari floats or adrenaline pumping class 4 rapids.

All kinds of water sports can be enjoyed on Lake Arenal, including canoeing, fishing and kite surfing. Inland activities include hiking and waterfall repelling, as well as canopy and hanging bridge tours. The La Fortuna Waterfall, an awesome 230 ft (70 m) cascade that drops into a misty pool, is just 3 miles (5 km) south of La Fortuna, the nearby town. A short hike, or horseback ride if you are so inclined, drops visitors into the base of the pool, where you can swim, take photos and enjoy the habitat.

Do you consider yourself a botanist? Well, whether you are a professional or amateur, the Arenal Botanical Gardens, house 2,500 species of tropical plants. Many are rare, including several types of bromeliads, orchids, ferns and roses. Butterflies and birds take your breath away as the flutter through the gardens, pausing to perch in a tree or rest on a flower.

Not too far from Arenal are the Venado Caves. There are 1.5-miles of caves featuring stalagmites, stalactites and subterranean streams. You may see bats hanging from the ceiling, sightless fish swimming in the streams, and colorless frogs clinging to the rocks.

Arenal’s geothermal activity heats dozens of underground water flumes and smart local landowners have tapped into this natural resource and created sumptuous hot springs. These springs are a perfect way to end a day in this impressive park.

So yes, Arenal is very active indeed.

You can learn more about the park at