| Arenal Volcano
The La Fortuna Arenal Volcano area is a favorite destination for many visitors to Costa Rica . There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in Arenal in addition to the chance to view the Volcano in action.
The weather in Arenal is greatly affected by weather front activities off the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica . Due to this there are times when the volcano is shrouded in clouds from top to bottom. Arriving at Arenal and having the chance to view the Volcano totally unobstructed by clouds is certainly possible, however this possibility is really based on having good luck. Lesser views are more possible where you can view the lower half of the volcano and at night red hot lava cascading down. This of course on the side of the Volcano where Lava flow is active.
The weather also changes quickly and there are times when the volcano is obstructed by clouds and then in the space of a few minutes the clouds can dissipate and the view opens up. Or the situation where the cone is totally clear and then clouds move in quickly and then partially or fully obstruct the view.
Nighttime activity is the most awesome when luck is with you. Many people awake at 3:00AM to catch a view of the lava flow. The volcano has no set timetable either for visibility or for levels of lava activity.
As for the best location to view lava as of April 2007 the lava activity is centered on the northern slope, visible roughly between Arenal Lodge on the west and Baldi Hot Springs Resort on the east.
There is a paved highway connecting along this route with more than 20 hotels available offering Lava Views.
In the town of La Fortuna to the east there are many restaurants, supermarkets, banks, tour offices and pharmacies. In addition, in La Fortuna you can find a wide variety of hotels of varying price. For budget travelers La Fortuna is the place, with many options at economical prices from $5.00 shared bath and up. There are many other hotels as well, of a higher quality and price in the town of La Fortuna .
From La Fortuna of course you can view the Volcano, however viewing lava flow at this time is not possible from the town (unless you are extremely lucky and view a totally unobstructed cone and happen to experience a mini-lava explosion shooting straight up from the cone. Rare but possible. The volcano also occasionally belches and to hear this is a fantastic and moving experience.
We offer the following options and suggestions for your visit to Arenal:
For a very nice, small family run hotel with a fantastic lava view (volcano side of the road and in the center of the current lava flow area) we recommend Hotel Campo Verde. $65.00 double with tax included.
Click here for information and reservations:
Hotel Campo Verde Arenal
For a more economical hotel on the Volcano side of the town of La Fortuna , we recommend Hotel Sierra Arenal. Again, family run with new rooms in two buildings. An upper room with balcony is $45.00 per night double occupancy; the lower rooms are $35.00 (tax included). The rooms are very nice with two double beds, A/C, mini-fridge, and cable TV and of course private bath. No direct lava view but view of the volcano, particularly from the upper rooms.
For availability and reservations send us a mail:
Pictures of Hotel Sierra Arenal
- If you are traveling between Monteverde and La Fortuna/Arenal and have no rental vehicle then the fastest, most fun method of travel between Monteverde and Arenal/La Fortuna is the Jeep-Boat-Jeep transport. This involves two mini-van rides (Not Jeeps anymore but we like the nostalgia of the name) on either side of Lake Arenal and then a nice half hour boat ride across the lake. You can order this transport in advance with free pick-up at most hotels in La Fortuna or along the main route between the town of La Fortuna and Tabacon resort. Only $15.00 per person! (some hotels are outside of the main transport route and require an extra transport fee. Some examples are Arenal Lodge, Arenal Observatory lodge, Linda Vista, Lost Iguana, and a few others) For reservations and information go to the transportation reservation form here:
- Also we can provide quotes for private transport to or from Arenal/La Fortuna to any other Costa Rican destination. Send us a request here:
- Our favorite tour from Arenal is the Cano Negro (Rio Frio) tour. This tour starts at 7:00Am with pick-up at most Arenal/La Fortuna hotels in a nice large van with A/C and a cooler full of free chilled water and fruit drinks. The English speaking guide will point out items of interest during the one and a half hour ride to near the Nicaraguan border. Here you will board a modern, covered pontoon style boat with plenty of seating. Then the guide and boat captain will point out a wide variety of birds, caimans, lizards, and other wildlife including different types of monkeys. Of course, depending on the day and your luck what you see is varied. However you will be guaranteed to see many varieties of birds and in many cases very close up.
Halfway through the 4 hour boat trip you will enjoy a Costa Rican style shore lunch with beverages included.
Then on the trip back to your hotel in La Fortuna/Arenal you make stop at a refuge developed to protect large green Iguanas. This is another highlight of the tour as there are up to 100 Iguanas. Many sunning themselves in the trees which you can view from a small bridge, and then others who are tame and looking for food handouts. Many times they enter the restaurant located next to the bridge and you can actually pet them. Very interesting experience we assure you. You arrive back at your hotel around 3:00PM .
This trip is excellent and highly recommended for bird lovers and anyone desiring a chance to view birds and animals without any strenuous hiking. The list of possible birds that can be seen here is approximately 140 different species although not all on the same day due to migration patterns.
This tour can reserved for only $35.00 per person. This includes transportation, (from most hotels), drinks, boat tour and Iguana refuge. You will be with a responsible insured and licensed tour operator with a modern bus and very nice large and comfortable boat.
For reservations click here