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“Good but not easy hike”

Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens
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Arenal Volcano National Park Walk with Optional Hot Springs
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: GreenLagoon Arenal Nature Conservancy Park & Gardens is a private Park, Trails & Gardens Preserve within its 400 Acre-Property. It is the closest property to the Extinct Cerro Chato Volcano, its Crater's Green Lagoon and the Fortuna Waterfall. There is a $10 Fee charge at the GreenLagoon InfoCenter or at the GreenLagoon Lodge to take this Hiking Tour. Parking facilities at no cost are available at the lodge. The Trails also lead to the Wildlife and Rainforest Preserve within the 400-Acre private property. You will have magnificent Views to Mountains, Arenal Volcano and the Valley of San Carlos here. If you decide to hike to the summit of Cerro Chato, the Lagoon or to the view point of Arenal Volcano at the summit, you will do it under your own risk and responsibility.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good but not easy hike”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We did this hike the 2nd week in December. My wife and I are very use to doing the long hikes or hikes with 3,000 elevation gain and I can say that this hike definitely would count as “moderate to difficult”. This hike is very, very steep, though the hike is not very long. The beginning of the hike had a nice views of the La Fortuna area and the hike through the rainforest was also beautiful. We got to the top, saw the lake at the bottom of the lagoon, but the color was not as spectacular as shown on Google Image site. We then got all the way to the bottom of the lagoon and some people even took a swim there. It was a guided hike and some people had a very hard time climbing steep sections of the trail. After the hike we drove to La Fortuna waterfall, had a lunch there and then went all the way down to the small lake where the falls hit the bottom. My wife went swimming there, but the walk to the water is extremely rough, so have your water shoes if you want to take a deep there. Also water was windy and rough and quite chilly, I would say around 68F. The weather was OK the entire hike: it was not sunny, but it did not rain. Good hike if you want to hike in La Fortuna area.

Visited December 2012
Thank yk387
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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339 reviews from our community

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Sacramento, California
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Intense hike with amazing pictures to take”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Some very interesting jungle from start to finish on a way muddy hike. Loved ever bit of it except for the fog at the top which prevented any good views of anything except for the amazing trees near by. Still way worth it (just realize that it takes quite a bit of time like 4 - 6 hours to go up and down and take pictures). Oh, and we went from the east end near the waterfall.

Visited December 2012
Thank Toren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
201 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Beautiful hike!”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

This is a great hike through some amazing cloud forest terrain. I read a lot of incorrect information on here so I'll set of the "myths" straight. I should note that we hiked the trail from the waterfall side.

1. It's not near as difficult as people make it out to be. If you can do 30-45 minutes on a stair climber (actually climbing the stairs with your legs, not leaning half your body weight on the rails like you so often see) then you will have no problems.

2.There is a well marked path so you don't need a guide unless you hope to see hidden wildlife. You can not possibly get lost.

3. You don't need hiking shoes. My friend and I both wore every day sneakers.

4. It's not muddy. It rained non stop for two days before we did the hike and yes there were several large sections of deep mud. Simply walk around those

It was overcast most of the time we were in La Fortuna so visibility for this hike was very poor and the laguna at the top was grey and shrouded in mist but that was a fun experience too. It just different than seeing the nice green color in all the pictures. Hope this helped!

Visited November 2012
5 Thank TXtourst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Worth it! Bring your camera for great shots”
Reviewed December 22, 2012

I got a flat tire on the way, which made me get a late start- ended up doing the last part down in the dark. The laguna was so foggy when I finally got to the top, but it was still an erie, yet fantastic experience. I had the trail all to myself, which meant I could hear the birds and animals and really just enjoy the experience. Oh yeah, the water was SO cold, I still shiver when I think about it! Get an eary start so you can take your time and enjoy yourself.

Visited December 2012
Thank Cassie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Favorite Part of the Trip”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

This hike was super intense, but totally worth it. After a hard hike, we got to swim in a pretty amazing lagoon. Totally worth the time. A guide isn't needed, but hiking shoes are.

Visited November 2012
Thank WestPhillyKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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