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“Awesome Hike”

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
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$68.00*
and up
Two Volcano Extreme Hike in La Fortuna
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$85.00*
and up
Full-Day Rio Celeste Tour From La Fortuna
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$68.00*
and up
Two Volcanoes Extreme Hike in Arenal
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Reviewed June 14, 2013

My husband and I did the cerro chato hike while in Arenal. After reading the reviews, I was afraid it was going to be VERY strenuous, but I thought it was challenging but ok. We loved the hike, especially the trail and the lack of crowds (we were the only two for most of the hike). I would suggest starting at the Observatory Lodge and then go down the other side to la Fortuna, this way you get great views of Arenal Volcano on the way down. The most challenging section is definitely the 300 meters down to the Lagoon, but it's worth it! Most of the hike up is in the rain forest and it is beautiful! If you are fit and able to hike on VERY uneven terrain, do it, it's worth it!

1  Thank Camilla L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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377 - 381 of 605 reviews

Reviewed June 13, 2013

Okay...so this hike is not for the faint of heart. My husband and I entered through the Arenal Observatory Lodge, and set off for what we knew would be a fun challenge. We are both Very active individuals who work out six days a week. My husband found it easier than I, mostly because I have asthma. That being said, I would have done this every day if I could. If you are really unfit, this may not be the hike for you BUT, if you have loads of time you can take it slowly and enjoy the sounds and sights of the rain forest.
The rain forest was incredible, the threat of rain loomed with thunder echoing in the distance. Yet, only a few rain drops actually fell. The views once you got to the odd green lake were amazing and if you chose to hike down to the lagoon you could go for a swim. The hike down to the Lagoon can be a bit dangerous if you do not have proper footwear, so definitely exert caution. After relaxing by the lagoon, we headed back down the mountain and to the falls which were a stunning treat to see.

1  Thank cmartin09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We entered at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. For a $6 entry fee, you will have the most bang for your buck in the area. They have lovely paths through forests and around fields which is surreal. It's strange to find yourself walking past cows in a pine tree forest and then coming to an opening to see a gorgeous view of the volcano.

The hike up to Cerro Chato is rough. It is only 1,500 meters, but that's basically 1,450 meters of vertical hiking. Bring bug spray and plenty of water, maybe even an energy bar. The hike is tough but doable if you're able to step directly onto a chair. If you can't do that, just enjoy the other paths the Observatory has to offer.

It took us about 1.5 hours to reach the top, but then there was a difficult climb down to the water. There is a longer way to get down (meets up with the trail from the Green Lagoon place) that is less difficult but longer. When we got to the bottom, it was a surreal scene as you're standing in a volcano crater lake, how often does that happen? We went for a swim but it was chilly. We still sat around and watched the wildlife as we got our legs back. The descent goes much faster but take your time and you will notice lizards and other wildlife.

You can pay a guide to help but there is no reason. For $6 a person, bring bug spray, water and time and you will enjoy it fully.

1  Thank jkells_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We took the hike around 12 pm to go see the Green lagoon. If you are not in good shape, this excursion is not for you. It' s a hard hike, very steep, and if it' s raining, like it was most of the time, it' s even harder, and we couldn' t see almost anything because was foggy and raining. To make an idea about our fit condition, we are 42, and we go to boot camp twice a week, and we bike or walk/ jog another 2 days/ week, and the hike was hard for us. Fortuna fall is not bad, many steps, but if you have good knees to go up and down the stairs, is not a problem, and the fall it' s pretty nice.

Thank SimoSparky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

There are two ways to hike up to Cerro Chato. One on the side where Fortuna Falls are (not sure where) and the other from Arenal Observatory lodge. We did the Arenal Observatory Lodge hike which is supposed to be more difficult. The hike was pretty hard. I'm in pretty good shape but I work a desk job so that kind of impacts my physical ability. I've hiked in the Rockies and Andes but I'd definitely rank this up there with one of the more difficult hikes I've done. It's pretty much a straight up hike and I don't recommend it for people who have knee problems. About 2 hours up and 1 hour down so bring lots of water and a snack.

You're definitely rewarded with a beautiful, strange green lagoon you can swim in in a crater of a volcano. When you get to the lagoon there's a little look out point with an awesome view and the option to go either left or right down to the lagoon. We went left and I'm pretty sure that was more difficult way to get down. It was like rock climbing and I nearly couldn't make it back up with my short legs. So try going right since that might be easier.

3  Thank TyArroz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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