Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal, La Fortuna de San Carlos: Address, Lake Arenal Reviews: 4.5/5

Lake Arenal
4.5
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Lake Arenal
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,905 reviews
Excellent
1,096
Very good
593
Average
177
Poor
31
Terrible
8

L H
San Antonio, TX2,353 contributions
Mar 2020
While touring Costa Rica we had the opportunity to travel around this lake and see it from different viewpoints and our guide gave us great information on it.
We were told it was completed in 1979 and created by evacuating and flooding the valley’s three villages and when the lake water level drops enough you can actually see some of the house tops and church top that were in the villages. A larger village was created further up river where these residents were relocated and when the lake is full they have lake front property.
The lake is beautiful and you can view it from several directions while traveling through the countryside of Costa Rica.
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John B
7 contributions
Feb 2020
Arenal or La Fortuna which is the main town in this area is a beautiful area with many many things to do, from visiting the lava fields of the volcano that dominates the skyline of the area, to the waterfall where you can swim in the rock pools and have hundreds of fish swimminh at your feet, to exploring rain forests, rafting down the river and doing Zip Wire and so many other things.
The lake which is manmade is stunning and as you cross it to go to Monteverde you see the vast aray of wild life and birds that inhabit the lake and islands.
All around is beauty, peace and it gave me the perfect opportunity to relax and start recharging my batteries whilst at the same time doing lots of different tours and exploring the area and doing things for the first tip like Zip Wire.
And the two things that made the whole holiday not just the part where i was in Arenal was the people and the food,
The people were very friendly and made you feel so welcome and feel as if nothing was too much to help you.
The food especially the fruit was so fresh and tasted so good it is difficult to explain, you just know the difference and how good it is from the first mouthful
To me this is an area country for everyone, the sole traveller (me) to families, to couples, to groups, to friends.
Overall amazing
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

James K
London, UK97 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
Pleasant trip on the lake but surprisingly short of wildlife to be spotted.
The lake is much bigger than you expect and we ended up driving round the top end on our way to the peninsula.
Kayaking across it was quite fun but my expectations were higher for bird and animal spotting which didn’t happen to any great degree.
We had a good explanation of the history of the volcano especially 1968 etc.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Janice H
2 contributions
Feb 2020
We toured the park and the hot springs with Santiago. He was a fantastic guide who was very knowledgeable and friendly. We saw lots of animals and learned a lot about the rainforest and Costa Rica in general. It howled rain for about 2 hours of our hike but as Santiago said “ it is a rain forest” and we all kept trudging alon in high spirits. We saw a beautiful waterfall and several in the group swam in it. We saw some of Arenal volcano but it was mostly covered in clouds.
The day ended with a swim in the hot springs with cocktails included. So much fun!!!
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joanna M
Kedzierzyn Kozle, Poland23 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
I needed to get to la Fortuna from Santa Elena. The most convient and fastes way is taking a boat trip. The weather wasn't nice- cloudy and dark sky but the crew of the Boat made it a pleasant experience. The guy with a good sense of humor told us a lot about the Arenal Volcano eruptions in 1968.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bryney
columbus10 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
A great view of the volcano. Lots of activities. Perfect spot in CR. Our food at La Mansion was the best. It was hard to find a good local restaurant so ask a local tour guide. We could not find any ATM to dispense dollars. They had two banks but neither could allow us access to cash.
Written January 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diane K
Venice, FL3,706 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
This is a pretty man made lake which was created to provide power to Costa Rica. Many families were relocated when the valley was flooded. We drove nearly around the whole lake on winding roads.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

D L G
Phoenix, AZ31 contributions
Feb 2020
Arenal is probably the best known volcano in Costa Rica and was our primary motivation for visiting the La Fortuna area. Unfortunately, we only saw the bottoms of the heavy cloud banks completely shrouding the volcano during our three days there.
One of our trips was to Arenal National Park, which took quite an effort to locate. Many of the Park entrances are commercial operations, and finding the National Park entrance was a real challenge because of the poor quality maps and road signs.
Once there, we paid a hefty entrance fee. The only facilities were a set of dilapidated restrooms and a couple of picnic pavilions. The roads were in poor repair, so the going was slow to the trailheads. The trails were dirt, winding under the jungle canopy with no views, but not a difficult hike. At the end of the trail, we found ourselves in a small clearing full of boulders. Were it not for the clouds, we should have had a nice view of the volcano. The highlight of the park visit was seeing a coati mundi and a small pit viper.
Check the weather forecasts carefully before making the journey to La Fortuna. Even if the weather permits, you cannot get close to the volcano, because of its safety perimeter zone. We suspect that the best trails to Arenal are the commercial ones closer to town and easier to access.

Written April 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rachel D
Quebec City, Canada74 contributions
Jan 2020
We took a morning tour and loved it. We came across many species of birds, owls and a rare grey hawk that was amazing. The views were beautiful. Bring water and layered clothing in case it rains or gets too muggy, and bug repellent. If you are not physically fit there is much walking.
Written August 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Curtis S
Calgary, Canada123 contributions
Jan 2020
Lake Arenal area is beautiful. Lots of wild life in the park and good trails. the lake area itself is also scenic. Be prepared however that this area often has very high winds and quite a bit of rain. Be prepared for rapidly changing weather off the volano.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,377
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Arenal

We recommend booking Lake Arenal tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 38 Lake Arenal tours on Tripadvisor