(Editor’s Note – This original post from December 2009 has been updated to reflect current Costa Rica vacation details.)
Like most of Costa Rica’s tourist destinations and natural wonders of Costa Rica, the sights of Arenal area have a little something for everyone.
Perhaps the most well-known attraction is Volcan Arenal, otherwise known as Arenal Volcano.
Arenal is a very active cone shaped volcano in the northwest portion of Costa Rica within an hour drive of San Jose and located in the district of La Fortuna. With a height of more than 5,000 feet above sea level, Arenal was formed a mere 7,000 years ago and is considered to be a relatively young volcano.
Arenal Volcano Eruptions
Although Arenal volcano remained silent for centuries, the volcano suddenly erupted in 1968 and remains by far the most active among several Costa Rican volcanos. The glowing soft light of Arenal’s lava flow is visible at night if the weather cooperates.
Major Arenal eruptions include the 1968 event, another eruption in 1975 that destroyed large areas of vegetation and a third major eruption in 1984 that featured mostly steam and super-heated water. Smaller eruptions of Arenal volcano also occurred in 1993, 1996 and 1998. Significant changes occurred in the crater walls during these latter eruptions. One event included 23 separate eruptions in one day.
Arenal Volcano National Park
The area around Arenal volcano is officially designated as Arenal Volcano National Park. The mountain and high ground of the area form a watershed with a reservoir nearby. The lake near Arenal volcano is used to produce electric power, much of which is devoted to agricultural irrigation. Some of the electricity is also sent on to the nation’s electrical grid.
Lake Arenal Costa Rica
Lake Arenal probably rivals Arenal volcano as a sight to see and a place to experience. Lake Arenal is bordered by both tropical forests and pasture land and is Costa Rica’s largest lake.
Lake Arenal is well-known for its sport fishing, especially for the Rainbow bass, a popular local food dish. Avid fishermen look forward to a trip to Lake Arenal to take on these aggressive fish. Many visitors take advantage of the organized fishing trips from local hotels in the area.
Bass fishing isn’t the only drawing card at Lake Arenal however. Visitors also enjoy windsurfing and escorted boat tours around the lake. Many visitors also enjoy horseback riding and hiking through this rugged yet incredibly beautiful landscape.
Arenal Volcano Hot Springs
Many Lake Arenal visitors come to the region for the Arenal Volcano hot springs.
Tourists enjoy taking in the beauty of surrounding rainforest while relaxing in the natural springs heated by the thermal activity of nearby Arenal Volcano. Several hot-springs locations are open to visitors, including;
- Eco Thermales – featuring privacy and beautiful surroundings
- Titoku Hot Springs – featuring eight pools that connect in a cascade of water
- Los Perdidos Hot Spring – offering a range of temperatures in the middle of lush vegetation
- Arenal Paraiso Resort & Spa – featuring a restaurant and many modern amenities
Travelers may also want to visit Baldi Hot Springs, Los Laures Hot Springs, Los Lagos Resort and Spa or Hotel Silencio del Campo.
Whether you travel to the Arenal Volcano National Park area to experience one of the country’s most active volcanoes or come to enjoy some great fishing on Lake Arenal or to relax in one of the many great hot springs settings, this region of Costa Rica is definitely not to be missed.
Arenal Volcano – Part of Costa Rica All Inclusive Tours
Current escorted Costa Rica tours by Caravan include Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano and surrounding La Fortuna area. Enjoy Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal, Arenal volcanic hot springs all while spending two nights at popular Arenal Hotels and Resorts including Lomas del Volcan, Arenal Springs, Arenal Manoa, and Magic Mountain.
These extremely affordable 9-day Costa Rica Natural Paradise vacations include all accommodations, meals, activities, ground transportation, gratuities, and more.
For more information check out what previous travelers have to say on the official Costa Rica tour reviews page or call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) book your spot.