My wife and I spent three nights at Cerra Azul and couldn't have been happier with our arrangement. The owner, Alvorro (sp?), was exceptionally hospitable. You could tell he takes a great deal of pride in his property....as well as his Trip Advisor rating. That goes a long way. He was quite concerned with our satisfaction, and as a result, we were quite satisfied!
There are four private cabinas on the well-maintained and nicely landscaped property, which is located just a minute or two outside La Fortuna, which was perfect. Our other option was a hotel in town, which looked nice, but we didn't have to contend with street noise at Cerra Azul. A big plus. Yet we were close enough to town to pop in and out of town as we wished (we had a car). The cabinas are located on the road that leads to the waterfall--a very worthwhile excursion. You can hike straight up from the cabin (maybe add 30-45 minutes), or drive up and hike from there (20 minutes?). Wear your swimsuit and take a dip in the pool under the falls.
If you're up for a more ambitious hike, be sure to head up the road, and when you get to entrance to the falls, take the road to the right to the Cerro Chato trailhead. It's a 2-hour hike straight up the side of the mountain (and then 1 to 1 1/2 down). No switchbacks--it's very intense, but the reward is worth it: a swim in a bright green lake that was once a volcano.
Those are two excursions readily accessible from Cerra Azul. Of course, the many, many adventures the Arenal area offers are well documented, so I won't go into those.
The cabinas were quite nice. Nothing fancy, but very nice. Satellite TV (satellite didn't always work), A/C, hot water, decent bed, nice back patio with hammock (and vegetation made it feel isolated, even though the next cabina wasn't far). The bathroom was surprisingly large.
Breakfast was included and served on the owner's front porch, directly across the street, each morning. Eating at their home made the experience feel that much more hospitable. I'll be honest, we grew tired of typico food by our vacation's end, but her typico breakfast was fantastic!
We'd stay at Cerra Azul again in a heartbeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul is located 1.5 km from the beautiful town of La Fortuna on the way to the waterfall. The great natural beauty of the area will entice you to live the forest's most wonderful experience. Enjoy the comfort, peace and harmony assured by lodging with us in our cabins, surrounded by exotic gardens, birds and wildlife typical of the region. Delight yourself strolling along our trails towards Fortuna River and appreciate the perfect sight of the Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chato ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park