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“Very nice hike, very steep on established trail”

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
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Two Volcanoes Extreme Hike in Arenal
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Reviewed August 29, 2013

Very nice hike, very steep, it took us 2 hours up probably since we stopped so often to look for birds. Once you get to the top, you must hike down inside the crater to access the lake, it was completely socked in and we could not see anything. Very disappointing and also cool and eerie. The access is from the private property of the Arenal Observatory Lodge- you have to pay a small fee to access their property. We hiked in the property before and after the actual Cero hike and found it lovely and very quiet. The birdwatching was great and the views spectacular. We spotted a coati (which we followed for a good 10 minutes), an anteater, tons of parrots, parakeets, woodpeckers, swallow tailed kite, golden olive woodpecker, jacana, guan: really great spot!
Do not hire a guide for this activity, it's an established trail, you only need to pay for day use of the property.

1  Thank travellingsloths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 29, 2013

For all those folks complaining about the rain I hate to tell you this but I think you know what Im going to say... Its a rain forest. It rained off and on through our hike all day but that just added to the adventure. As we started up the dormant volcano we ran into several people coming back telling us it was too rainy and muddy so they turned around. We still went on to the the crater which was absolutely one if not the best hikes I have ever done. I wish we would have kept going past Cerro Chato to La Fortuna but it was getting dark so my wife made us turn back. Down into the Cerro Chato we came upon a tour. Lava Tours I think it was. Yes, I guess you could call us tour crashers. The guide asked us where our tour was and said we were a bit crazy for being out there at that time so we just went back with them. He showed us a video of a huge Fer lance or bushmaster they just came upon right on the trail about 20 feet from where we were. He trapped it with a stick he had so his people could walk by it. He looked a bit surprised about it which was alarming. Cant blame him - It was about 5" in diameter with a huge mouth...He said snakes are not supposed to be out this time of year but he thinks otherwise. I guess they are becoming a problem so be really carefully if you go. Prior to running into the tour we ran into some amazing creatures and snakes of our own . One of which looked like a green keel back viper that was pretty big I kept back and a poisonous dart frog that was about 1/2" in size. I would have gotten pics but they moved fast. I think due to the rain stopping and starting made them come out to the trail to get sun. They were all moving around. One recommendation. Wear tennis shoes (not sandles) and DO NOT drink a bunch of beer or eat a big lunch prior to this hike. Yes unfortunately I'm speaking from experience. If you are in shape and like to hike this is the trail for you! Also I thought going in the winter added to the experience and would rather go than when its not so busy. We made out!

2  Thank Jason P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

This trek was a lot more difficult than we expected. It was totally worth it, but just be prepared that it is a challenging trek. We were not prepared at all. The lagoon at the top is really refreshing and beautiful. If you're relatively fit, this is a must do in Costa Rica.

3  Thank Lizziebo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

I did the hike from the La Fortuna side of the mountain, i caught a taxi from town for $7 and paid my $10 entry fee (a bit expensive). I was told it was 3 hr hike to the top - it took me under 2 hrs but it was all uphill and tiring. There is a steep walk down to the lake (be careful) but you are rewarded by a place of beauty and a refreshing swim. There is a great lookout of Arenal Volcano if the clouds clear. I walked back to La Fortuna afterwards (approx another 5-6km) - enough exercise for one day!!

2  Thank teamflames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Wow, this hike is great....Both my wife and I are not experienced hikers but we managed to do it, and it is all worth it. It was hard, very hard, but the trek through the forest up endless steps is an awesome challenge, you just have to keep going and push yourself. And once to the top the view and the crater lake are wonderful. Make sure you go for a swim, the water is pleasant. Take lots of water and take your time, once done you will not be disappointed.

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

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