The beautiful region of Arenal serves as the perfect base for exploring Costa Rica’s highland country of volcanic peaks, ancient caves, hot water springs and national parks. The drive up towards the Arenal Volcano National Park is spectacular. Framed against a majestic backdrop of forest-covered volcanic mountains, this is perfect adventure country. The La Fortuna waterfalls with its natural lagoon, the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, and the Arenal National Park with its tumbling waterfalls, hiking trails and natural hot springs has been drawing nature travelers from around the globe. There are a range of activities for adventure seekers in this part of the country, ranging from sky trekking, canopy walks, kayaking and rafting to fishing, cultural tours, coffee and chocolate tours. The small highland town of La Fortuna forms the gateway to the Arenal Volcano National Park. With its relaxed atmosphere, the town has a pleasant nightlife, quirky art galleries and souvenir shops.

Themes

  • Adventure
  • Landscape

Highlights

  • Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Volcanic Peaks, Caves and Hot Springs
  • Hiking, Sky Trekking, Canopy Walks and Kayaking

Places to Stay

Enchanting Travels - Costa Rica Tours - Arenal Hotels - Arenal Kioro - Aerial view
Arenal Kioro

Style: Resort

Arenal Kioro is a charming little upmarket resort surrounded by streams and lush green gardens. Close to the Arenal Volcano, expect the most magnificent views from the common areas and all the rooms.

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Enchanting Travels - Costa Rica Tours - Arenal Hotels - Arenal Springs - Aerial view
Arenal Springs

Style: Resort

Arenal Springs is surrounded by tropical manicured gardens, with great views of the Arenal volcano from its rooms and common areas.

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Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens

Style: Resort

Nayara Resort & Spa Gardens, located about an hour’s drive from the airport, offers you a luxurious stay within the Arenal Volcano National Park.

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Enchanting Travels - Costa Rica Tours - Arenal Hotels - Nayara Springs - Aerial view
Nayara Springs

Style: Resort

Nayara Springs is an award-winning luxury resort set close to the famed Arenal volcano. Delve into an authentic rainforest experience at this unique Moroccan-style resort.

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Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Style: Resort

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is set amid the cool highlands of Arenal, just a short walk away from spectacular hiking trails of Mirador el Silencio.

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Activities in Arenal

"Rainforest Canopy hike at Arenal "

Experience a fascinating tour of the rainforest with a walk over the treetops along Arenal’s famed hanging bridges. After an early breakfast in your hotel, take a comfortable half hour ride to the hanging bridges in the company of your local guide. Enjoy a leisurely hike along the two mile-long trail of bridges that crisscross the dense forests spread out below. If you’re lucky, you could spot howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, flocks of colorful birds, butterflies, armadillos, and a host of other wildlife on your jungle canopy walk! (Half Day Trip; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 2 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable boots, insect repellent and sunscreen; Note: A bilingual guide will accompany you).

Sky Tram Ride and Sky Trek at Arenal

Here’s your chance to take wings and fly high above a rainforest canopy on this adventurous trip. Experience an adrenaline rush as you take a Sky Tram ride, followed by a Sky Trek over the dense cloud forest cover of the Arenal reserve below. Much like riding an open air gondola in the sky, watch out for the singular plant and animal life that thrive above the canopy. Stop at an observation platform perched on the highest point of the reserve for panoramic views and spectacular photo ops. As you return over the same thick forest cover, get ready for another exciting ride over the treetops. The Sky Trek at the Arenal reserve uses zip lines hung from mountain tops. Ride past thick forest canopies, between canyons, and over tropical treetops. Stop by multiple observation towers along the way to take in the grand views and more photographs. (Half Day Trip; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable boots, insect repellent and sunscreen; Note: A bilingual guide will accompany you).

Volcano Hike at Arenal

Ever been fascinated by the sight of molten lava forming its way out of the earth’s bubbling core? This may be an opportunity of a lifetime to watch an active volcano from a perfectly safe vantage point. After breakfast at your hotel, drive over to the north-western end of the Arenal volcano, which is less than a half hour drive away. Get off ahead of the Las Coladas Trail and enjoy a leisurely hike through tropical rainforests and an old lava flow formed nearly three decades ago. Note the interesting lava formations along this easy trail. Watch out for the region’s local plant and wildlife too. If you’re lucky, you may come across a variety of primates, sloth bears, and birds, including toucans and hawks on your hike. The walking trail ends at an observation area that offers spectacular views of the volcano. Weather permitting, one can spot the fiery lava trickling along the mountain side! (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 3 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable boots, insect repellent and sunscreen; Note: A bilingual guide will accompany you).

Volcano Hiking, Hot Springs & Dinner at Arenal

If you’re fascinated by volcanic landscapes, this day trip may be your opportunity to watch an active volcano from a perfectly safe vantage point. After lunch at your hotel, drive over to the northwestern end of the Arenal volcano, which is less than a half hour drive away. Get off ahead of the Las Coladas Trail and enjoy a leisurely hike through tropical rainforests and an old lava flow formed nearly three decades ago. Note the interesting lava formations along the trail, while your guide relates the region’s natural history. Watch out for local plant and wildlife too. If you’re lucky, you may come across a variety of primates, sloth bears, and birds, including toucans and hawks on your hike. The walking trail ends at an observation area that offers spectacular views of the volcano. Weather permitting, one can spot the fiery lava trickling down the mountain side. After the day’s hike, make your way to the Ecotermales Hot Springs. You could take a dip into the heated mineral waters of the spring to rejuvenate yourself. Explore the lush tropical gardens here, dotted with natural waterfalls and heated pools. Relish a delicious dinner before heading back to your hotel. (Full Day; Time of Day: Afternoon; Duration: 6 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Dinner; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable boots, insect repellent and sunscreen; Note: A bilingual guide will accompany you).

Meeting With the Indigenous Maleku Community in Arenal

Get to know the indigenous Maleku community of Costa Rica on this day excursion. Learn all about the nature inspired culture and philosophy of the local Maleku community during a visit to their forest settlement. Accompanied by your Maleku guide, take a leisurely walk through a forest trail to the local village. Learn to identify medicinal plants, and age-old survival techniques for life in the forests, while listening to Maleku legends along the way. Expect to come across local wildlife and exotic birds on your walk. On reaching the village, experience an ancient fire ceremony of the community. Make the most of the hospitality of your gracious hosts as they welcome you to their Maleku homestead and share their generous table. Enjoy a typical Costa Rican meal, along with fresh seasonal fruits from the forests. Following a satisfying lunch, get ready for an art lesson from a local artist. Create your own traditional Maleku art with jícaras or wood. (Full Day; Time of Day: Afternoon; Duration: 6 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Lunch; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable walking shoes, insect repellent and sunscreen; Note: A bilingual guide will accompany you).

Rafting Ride Down the Peñas Blancas River

If a leisurely rafting trip down calm waters is your kind of relaxed adventure, then this day tour is tailor made for you. Enjoy drifting down the still waters of the Peñas Blancas River in inflatable rafts, accompanied by your naturalist guide. Look out for exotic riverside animals and birds as you drift along the calm waters, noting the rich plant life as well. Expect to encounter sloth bears, a variety of monkeys, crocs, river turtles and colorful lizards. You’re sure to come across flocks of tropical birds, including rainbow colored toucans. Drop by the local farmstead of Don Pedro, enjoying the warm hospitality and observing the unhurried farm life of your hosts. Enjoy a hearty homemade snack prepared at the farm. (Half Day; Time of Day: Afternoon; Duration: 4.5 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Snacks; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable clothes, insect repellent, sunglasses and sunscreen; don’t forget your camera; Note: Water, equipment & a bilingual guide will be available on this trip).

White Water Rafting Down the Sarapiquí River

Get ready for an adventurous river rafting trip down the Class III/ IV rapids of the fascinating Sarapiquí River on this trip. Set off from your hotel on an hour’s drive through fragrant pineapple, papaya, and yucca fields, before reaching the river. At the rafting site, go through a safety training with your instructor and guide, before hitting the river waters. Enjoy an adrenalin-pumping joy ride through the fun rapids, framed by lush rainforests and waterfalls. Take a short snack break by the beautiful riverside, before setting off again. After about three hours of rafting down the rapids and floating by incredible riverscapes, refresh yourself with cool drinks and a change into dry clothes. Head off to a local restaurant for a leisurely and delicious Costa Rican lunch spread. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 6 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Snacks & Lunch; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring rubber sandals, bathing suit, towel & change of clothes; Note: Not for children below 16, pregnant women, people with recent surgeries, injuries, or heart problems. Equipment & a bilingual guide will be available on this trip).

A day at the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

Explore the ecological treasure trove of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge on this exciting day trip. This vast wetland region is lush with precious plant and animal life, forming a particularly rich biodiverse zone of Central America. After an early breakfast at your hotel, drive up to the charming little village of Los Chiles with your local guide. Admire the changing landscape during this approximately 1.75 hours’ drive towards the Nicaraguan border. Refresh yourself with some light snacks before setting off into the wetlands on a boat safari. Home to hundreds of species of birds, the Caño Negro is a paradise for bird lovers from around the world. Other native wildlife include the emerald basilisk, iguanas, river turtles, caimans and jaguars. As you drift along, look out for sloth bears, various primates, bats, colorful lizards, and a variety of interesting trees and flowers native to these wild wetlands. At the end of your boat safari, stop by a riverside restaurant for a delicious Costa Rican lunch. Drive back to Arenal after lunch. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 9 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Snacks & Lunch; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable clothes & shoes, insect repellent & sunscreen; don’t forget your camera; Note: Water & a bilingual guide are available for you).

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