Arenal Volcano National Park is a national park located in northern Costa Rica. It is named after the Arenal Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the country. The park covers an area of 12,016 hectares (29,692 acres) and is part of the Arenal Tilarán Conservation Area.
The park features a diverse range of ecosystems, including rainforests, cloud forests, and hot springs. It is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including over 500 species of birds, 120 species of mammals, and 120 species of reptiles and amphibians. Some of the most iconic animals in the park include howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, and jaguars.
The Arenal Volcano, which stands at 1,633 meters (5,358 feet) tall, is the park’s main attraction. Visitors can hike to the volcano’s crater and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The park also features several hiking trails that lead through the rainforest and offer the opportunity to observe wildlife and explore the park’s unique geological features.
Another popular activity in the park is soaking in the hot springs, which are heated by the volcano’s activity. There are several hot springs resorts located near the park that offer a variety of services and amenities.
Overall, Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal is a must-visit destination for nature and adventure enthusiasts, offering a unique combination of stunning landscapes, biodiversity, and volcanic activity.
It is important to know that the park has two sectors that can be visited, although the best known is the Volcano Sector, where you can walk 3 trails ranging from 500 meters to 3 kilometers. In addition to these trails, you can go by car or on foot to a viewpoint with unique views of the volcano.
Heliconias Trail: this trail passes through the lava flow that was formed in the 1968 eruption and is about 600 meters long.
Coladas Trail: with a length of 1.7 kilometers it ends in the lava flow that emerged from the volcano in 1993 with unique views of the volcano.
El Ceibo Trail: This trail is 2.3 kilometers long and halfway you can see a large ceiba (tree) that is over 400 years old. In addition to this sector, there is the Peninsula Sector, with a couple of trails that run very close to Lake Arenal. It is important to know that the entrance to the park is valid for one day and with it you can visit both sectors.
The visit to the Volcano sector, if you do the 3 trails and go to the viewpoint, will take you about 3 hours or so and if you want to also add the Peninsula Sector, we recommend you spend the whole morning since, in addition, on the way from one to another You can stop at a viewpoint.
In case you don’t want to go it alone, you can book this tour of the Arenal Observatory, with which you won’t miss anything of this impressive area.