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Rating 1.0 (155 votes)


Listed under Volcanoes in Costa Rica.

  • Photo of Arenal
  • Photo of Arenal
  • Photo of Arenal
  • Photo of Arenal
  • Glowing lavafalls from Arenal at night, viewed from the Observatory Lodge
  • Another nighttime view of Arenal from the Observatory Lodge, showing typical activity
Photo of Arenal
Photo by mikelyvers
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Arenal is at present one of the world's most active volcanoes, but it was not known to be an active volcano at all before 1968, when it started belching. Arenal hasn't stopped since.

Arenal is far too dangerous to be climbed, but it is possible to see its fiery eruptions from several vantage points, including the Arenal Observatory Lodge. There are beautiful hikes through the forested area all around Arenal and a popular resort, Tabacon, where you can swim in river waters heated by the volcano. The Arenal area is pleasant year round. The nearest town to Arenal is La Fortuna, but there are several places to stay near the volcano, the Arenal Observatory Lodge being my favourite.

While in Costa Rica, make sure to visit Poas and Irazu, two volcanoes easily accessible from the capital, San Jose. If you have extra time, go to the more remote volcanoes Turrialba and Rincon de la Vieja.

Written by  Rosaly Lopes.

Other expert and press reviews

“One of the world's most active volcanoes”

Arenal is another of the world’s most active volcanoes, though it has slowed down a bit lately. Arenal has been erupting daily since 1968, sometimes violently. The eruptions can be far more vigorous than Yasur or Stromboli, so DO NOT attempt to climb Ar… Read more...

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

“Active Arenal”

Arenal is a another good choice if you want to see an active volcano. It has Stromboli type eruptions which are fantastic to watch, especially at night because the lava lights up the surrounds and the rocks seem to glow and pulsate. You can also swim … Read more...

Written by  Hamish Holl.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

should we stay in arenal area, or near san jose?

should we stay in arenal area, or near san jose?

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