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!
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