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Like most of Costa Rica’s tourist destinations and natural wonders Arenal volcano (Volcan Arenal) is a sight to behold. It is perhaps the country’s most well-know attraction.

Arenal is a very active cone shaped volcano in the northwest portion of Costa Rica, within an hour drive of San Jose, the capital. The volcano is located in the district of La Fortuna and included on Caravan’s all inclusive tour.

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.

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 the volcano’s lava flow is visible at night if the weather cooperates.

Major 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 volcano eruptions 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 the 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 the 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 the nearby volcano as a sight to see and a place to experience. The lake 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 these waters to take on the lake’s 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 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 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 its volcanic lake, you will love it. Many come here just to relax in one of the many great hot springs settings. This region of Costa Rica is definitely not to be missed.

Arenal – Part of Caravan Costa Rica Tour

Current escorted Costa Rica tours by Caravan include Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano and surrounding La Fortuna area. Enjoy Costa Rica’s famous volcano, the lake, and the volcanic hot springs while spending two nights at Magic Mountain, a popular Arenal Hotel.

Caravan’s 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.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to book your spot today.