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“Tough Hike”

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
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Two Volcanoes Extreme Hike in Arenal
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Yardley, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Tough Hike”
Reviewed June 5, 2012

I know, you will read this and say : it will be piece of pie for me. That is what I thought when I read the reviews hahahah
it is difficult.
I thought would be so easy... we parked at the observatory. I jogged until the bottom of the mountain and waited for my husband there (could not be hard, I run about 30 miles a week). I was mistaken. the 1300 m hike was steep and a tough workout even for us.
The good news: the way back is a piece of cake since it is all down hill :)
I would do it again, however, if you are not in good physical shape I would not recommend it

Visited May 2012
4 Thank betinalew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Long Beach, California
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Extreme awesome & challenging”
Reviewed May 30, 2012

Absolutely gorgeous hike - it's impossible for me to really believe it's only 1 mile up and 1 mile down though, it took us HOURS.

I'm an (active) amputee and had to work HARD to make it - even with a walking stick and a guide.

The 3 days of soreness after the hike were totally worth it. The views of the town and of the volcano are breathtaking, and if you're brave enough to swim in the crater with a few leeches, it's even more incredible. Bring water and lunch for your rest halfway through - don't miss it!

PS: We booked this hike through Costa Rica Descents, they are fantastic guides and can point out all kinds of birds and have an endless supply of info about the forest. You can do it on your own but you won't get as much out of it.

Visited May 2012
5 Thank Ariel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
91 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“Cerro Chato-Just do it!”
Reviewed May 12, 2012

Why repeat the obvious. It is not an easy walk. There is mud. There are a lot of exposed roots. It is steep. And finally it’s a tough downhill at the lagoon. But….
It is definitely worth it. Seeing Arenal Volcano was breathtaking. And it was not just the hike that was breathtaking. You get a whole new perspective of the volcano. The lagoon has an emerald color that gives it a magical appearance.
Our recommendation is to hire a guide. Not that you are going to get lost but our guide was very helpful in picking out a lot of the animals and plants. He paced us and provided us appropriate rest so that the hike even though intense was very doable. Take a lot of water. When we went the humidity was 100% so we needed to replace our lost fluids.
We would highly recommend this hike. Remember it is NOT a race.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Cozysdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playas del Coco
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Get in real touch with mother nature ;-D”
Reviewed May 3, 2012

If you don't mind mud and physical contact with nature, then you'll love the Cerro Chato hike, you can't get any closer to nature than here and will be surprised by it's beauty no matter what the weather conditions are!
Too bad you can't get there without passing private property (and therefore have to pay access right). The Arenal Observatory Lodge charges 6$, if you enter from the side of the Fortuna Waterfall, you'll be charged 10$ (but don't have to pay for transport to bring you all around the Volcano to the Observatory...). At least they both invest some of the money to maintain the tough trail (you'll hike up and down again about 800m/2500ft on a very short distance).
However, my recommendation is to start at the Observatory Lodge along the nice and easy trails on their property to hike up the Cerro Chato. Continue on the crater edge to join the trail from the other side (this part is very muddy and not really maintained...but because of this worth it!). Hike down to the Fortuna Waterfall on the other side. From where you should be able to find a ride to La Fortuna or call a taxi...
Be ready for this challenge and use good hiking shoes or rubber boots, forget about rain protection, you'll be wet anyway ;-D! Bring your swim-suit if you're not scared of the monster swimming in the crater-lake (don't worry, you'll be challenged by frogs and some fish only...). Have fun and stop once in a while to look for wildlife! Some rare birds (yellow eared toucanet for example) and dangerous snakes (Fer de Lance, Jumping Pit Viper and others) can be seen around here!

Visited May 2012
Thank CocoDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bring water and prepare for mud!”
Reviewed April 1, 2012

My husband and I did this hike mid-march. We do alot of hiking in the Rocky Mountains near where we live but this one was still challenging due to the different terrain and how steep it was. I enjoyed scrambling up tree branches and through mud to get to the top. And climbing almost straight down to the lake was intimidating but felt like a great accomplishment. The lake is cold but it is worth diving in to refresh yourself for the hike back.

This is a great hike if you like adventure and enjoy a good workout. I am sure glad we had hot springs back at our hotel to go back to

Bring at least one litre of water per person. And food!

Ps: Does anyone have photos from this hike they would be willing to share? In an unfortunate circumstance we lost alot of our photos from our trip so thought we would ask. If you do, our email is nathanandkayleigh@gmail.com. Thanks!

1 Thank NathanAndKayleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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