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“Not your average day trip!!!”

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
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Arenal Volcano Hike Tour at the National Park
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Arenal Volcano National Park Walk with Optional Hot Springs
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Two Volcano Extreme Hike in La Fortuna
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Owner description: This 1,633 meter volcano has been rumbling and spewing since 1969.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Arenal Volcano National Park near San Jose, Costa Rica is a special treat! Truely remote, Arenal has spent a couple of years of relative quiet. Travel a gravel road of two or three miles to get to the lodge through dense rain forest. On one of our late night trips in we followed a coyote for a couple of hundred yards as he ran ahead of our vehicle staying in the headlights to light his way. Accomodations are very comfortable with a killer view of the volcano from your bed! Meals at the lodge are very good and the staff seemed to universally speak very good English. Highly recommended!!

Thank Horace_Hamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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588 - 592 of 1,044 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

This is the best volcano in CR where you can see its cone shape. Went here for 2 days. First day np itself. Did 3 hikes. 1 from 4km or so, round trip. You can see a lot of lava rocks, the volcano itself and lake arsenal. Nice trail, didn't see much wildlife. 1 trail of 1 km. ok trail, lots of lizards. And we walked up to a nice view point (also reachable by car) of the volcano in its full beauty.
Second day we went to the np, only then at the observatory lodge entrance (little bit further). Did a couple of hikes here as well. Again nice view points of arsenal volcano and chato volcano. Climb chato volcano to the top to see the lake in the crater. Difficult/hard climb! Also walked to the hanging bridge, waterfall and old lava stream. Saw a coral snake..!! Nice hiking day as well. Didn't see too much wildlife here as well, but nice views on the trails.

You can do some mountain biking in the area as well.

Thank Jacquelinevdhaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We took a tour with Desafio, an outdoor adventure company based in La Fortuna. The guide was helpful, in that we saw more plants and animals, and got more information about the volcano and the lake than we would have if we'd gone on our own. Not sure we would even have found it on our own.

We were lucky with the weather. It was clear and warm, and the views of the volcano were magnificent. It looks like a child's drawing of what a volcano should look like: perfect cone, green and forested on one side, and sandy on the other (hence the name "Arenal" which means "sandy" in Spanish). Steam could be seen coming from one of the vents.

At the end of the trail, which is easy to walk, we got to an area of lava rocks that must be climbed over to get a superb view of the volcano and the lake, which is artificial and was created to provide hydroelectric power. That last part of the hike is not for very young children or anyone who has mobility problems, but there are grand views of the volcano all the along the trail.

The park is clean, the trail seems well-maintained, and animals and birds can be spotted along the trail. Bring a camera. Sneakers or comfortable hiking boots are recommended. Be prepared to spend half a day if the weather is clear, since you will want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the gorgeous view.

Thank Christoo_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Even though we went after the rainy season,it rained every day. When the rain stopped ,the volcano was obscured by mist and clouds.
Also please note that the volcano is presently inactive. I agree with others that the park is very disappointing.
We went to Monteverde for 2 days after this and it was not much better-we hired a private guide in a private nature preserve and all we saw were a few brownish birds and one deer,and some strands of fur seen though a telescope that supposedly was a sloth.
It didn't help that when we picked up our prepaid rental car in San Jose,we were charged about 30 % more for "taxes and compulsory insurance" than we had pre-paid ,which supposedly had already included taxes and fees.
We have never had to pay a departure tax leaving a country,but it was worth it just to get out of there--we plan to never return to Costa Rica

Thank 123hilme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This was my second trip to Costa Rica in 15 years and I have my feelers out for a possible new place to live. Lake Arenal below Volcan Arenal has gotten lots of press as a premier ex pat new home area.
The mountain is alive and last wiped out an entire village in the 1980s.... Hiking here is only so-so....not as interesting as other places in Costa Rica. What it does excel in is places to eat and resort activities to take advantage of at a price. That is ok for a vacation but I didn't see it as a place for me to live.
Questions below do not reflect this attraction.... food, bathrooms, etc are all available somewhere nearby but there doesn't seem to be a featured entry point like say for Poas volcano. There is one viewpoint for picture taking accessed by a dirt road that has bathrooms and chopped wood walking sticks for the climb to the platform.... serviceable but not lovely.

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

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