Arenal Volcano

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Arenal Volcano: Our most recommended tours and activities

Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hot Springs Tour

1. Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna area. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Visit a Maluku Indian village and trek through a forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. At around 6:30 PM, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

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La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

2. La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the La Fortuna area, and travel to Arenal Volcano to hike the paths surrounding the mighty mountain. Get back to nature in Arenal Volcano National Park, where most of the 850 species of bird identified in Costa Rica can be found. Look out for other wildlife, such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, jaguar and deer. Marvel at the stunning landscapes of a secondary rainforest at the base of the park, and a primary rainforest with amazing biodiversity amongst the hanging bridges. Walk through the rainforest on a network of 15 suspension bridges of various levels of difficulty in Mistico Park. Then, cool down with a swim in a natural pool at La Fortuna waterfall.

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Half Day Rainforest Horseback Ride to the Arenal Volcano

3. Half Day Rainforest Horseback Ride to the Arenal Volcano

This is a great tour for horse and nature lovers who want to see the real Costa Rican rainforest! As you ride your horse at the base of the Arenal Volcano, you will ride through various types of terrain including small rivers and unforgettable scenery. You will eventually reach the look-out point which is as close as you can get to the Arenal volcano. In fact, many years ago when the volcano was active, people could see the red lava pouring down! On this trail, many people have seen tropical birds such as Kingfishers, Toucans, and Montezuma Oropendola, plus wildlife like monkeys and pizotes, and many interesting plants.

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San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

4. San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

Tour the best locations in Costa Rica and learn about local life and culture from those who live there. Visit a coffee plantation, zip line, and soak in the hot springs at the base of the Adrenal Volcano. Take the scenic route to the Arenal Volcano and visit a coffee plantation along the way. Gain an insight into the world of Costa Rican coffee and taste one of the best coffees in the world. Arrive at the "La Paz" and "San Fernando" waterfalls and admire the exotic tropical birds of Costa Rica, including many species of hummingbirds and rare emerald toucanets. Take in the views at the San Fernando Waterfall observation point before heading to the "Iguana Bridge", where you will have the chance to spot iguanas, sloths, monkeys, and toucans. Stop for an authentic Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located in "La Fortuna." Then, prepare for a zip-lining adventure in the local rainforest jungles with 9 canopy cables and a 50 meter (150 feet) rappel on the Arenal River. Learn about the culture while listening to a "Maleku" Indigenous tribe presentation from locals. Relax for a couple of hours in the Paradise Hot Springs at the base of Arenal Volcano, surrounded by tropical gardens followed by dinner.

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La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano Canopy Zipline Tour

5. La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano Canopy Zipline Tour

Take part in one of the most popular canopy zipline tours near the Arenal Volcano. Located near the Arenal and Cerro Chato volcanoes, this tour includes ziplines that give you the very best views of the colossal volcano and thick, green jungles.  You meet at the base camp for your zipline gear and safety instructions and then head up the hill to the first platform. From there it's on to the zipline ride itself! At times, the cables will be 40 meters above the rainforest treetops and between the enormous trees themselves. You will have time to relax, taking in the view of your surroundings, before reaching the top and beginning your thrilling descent on the rest of the cables. The way back down won’t be quite as relaxing. Attached with high-quality safety gear and pulley system, you will soar above the treetops as you zip down a series of 9 different lines and one thrilling rappel to the base of the tree. You won't want to miss out on this exciting Costa Rican adventure!

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La Fortuna: 6-Hour Arenal Volcano Observatory & Lake Tour

6. La Fortuna: 6-Hour Arenal Volcano Observatory & Lake Tour

Head to the Arenal Observatory on this 6-hour excursion from La Fortuna. Travel to the far side of the volcano and take in views of Arenal from different angles. Hike through gardens and forests with your guide, passing 2 hanging bridges. See the Danta River and waterfall, and learn about the ecosystem and the animals you encounter. Visit the Arenal Observatory and its museum and learn about the volcano and its history. Finish the hike at the observatory lodge and watch the sunset over Lake Arenal. End the tour in a relaxing way at a hot spring resort, where you can soak in the soothing hot springs. Enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail.

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San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

7. San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

Start your tour in the morning when you are picked up from your hotel in the San Jose area in an air-conditioned vehicle. Travel to Arenal on an alternative route that is more scenic than the regular highway to this popular destination. On the way, stop at a plantation where you will learn about the coffee of Costa Rica. Observe the coffee plants and see the workers picking the ripe cherries during the harvest season. Learn about this important product to the local economy and taste a freshly brewed cup of some of the best coffee in the world accompanied by traditional snacks. Continue the tour at the famous La Paz Waterfall. Stop at the San Fernando Waterfall look-out point and observe many exotic birds including toucans, hummingbirds, and many other colorful tropical species. Visit the iguana’s center, a place where you will see lots of iguanas at eye level resting on the top of numerous trees. Following this, arrive at the Town of La Fortuna, and enjoy a delicious Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located at the base of the impressive Arenal Volcano. After lunch, visit various points around the volcano to take pictures of this amazing mountain on clear days. Next, participate in an indigenous presentation performed by native people from the Maleku Tribe, and learn about the native culture of Costa Ricans. Later, travel to the beautiful Paradise Hot Springs Resort and relax for a few hours in the multiple hot springs pools surrounded by lush tropical gardens. This hot springs facility is one of the best in the Arenal area and provides the perfect environment to relax in thermal mineral water pools, jacuzzis and cascading waterfalls. After this, go to a local typical restaurant to have a delicious Costa Rican dinner before you are taken back to your hotel in the San Jose area.

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Arenal Volcano: Waterfall Jumping & Extreme Canyoning

8. Arenal Volcano: Waterfall Jumping & Extreme Canyoning

Deep down in the Costa Rican jungle lies Costa Rica's most extreme tour. Gravity Falls is considered one of the best things to do in Costa Rica and it is up to you to find out why. Go beyond the canyoning that you already know and love and join this intense Costa Rican tour. Be picked up from your hotel in the La Fortuna Arenal Volcano area and head deep into the Costa Rican countryside to begin your adventure. Get started with a heart-pumping rappel down an impressive 150-ft tropical waterfall. Drop into a deep crystalline pool before swimming your way to shore and continuing through the canyon.  Jump from a continuous series of 10 to 40ft waterfalls and cliffs into deep canyon pools with the help of your professional and experienced guides. Rain or shine, you are going to have plenty of wild water fun. Finish the day with a delicious Costa Rican meal before hading back to your hotel.

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La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

9. La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Visit a cocoa farm in the rainforest with majestic views of Arenal Volcano. See where cocoa is grown, processed and produced and unearth the hidden secrets of local chocolate production. This interactive experience lets travelers eat as much chocolate as they want while learning about the history, culture, and traditions of this popular Costa Rican sweet. In this 2-hour hands-on program, have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about cocoa and chocolate, its origin and history. Participate in all aspects of the production process, from the harvesting of the fruit, drying, and grinding of the seeds.  Discover why the cacao tree was very important to ancient cultures. Find out how cacao was not only used as a ceremonial drink, but its seeds were also used as currency because of its economic value, in many regions of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica.

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Costa Rica: Río Balsa Half-Day Rafting Adventure

10. Costa Rica: Río Balsa Half-Day Rafting Adventure

See amazing wildlife and enjoy plenty of whitewater fun on this half-day rafting adventure, right near the base of the Arenal Volcano! Perfect for families and first-timers! Challenge yourself as you paddle through fun and safe rolling rapids with names like "Congo Loco" and "Rock around the Croc", plus the challenging “Las Dragas” section. Then play around in tranquil river pools in an isolated rainforest river canyon. Your professional, experienced bilingual guides will give you a safety talk and paddling instruction, lifejackets and helmets before you begin. You'll spot wildlife including monkeys, sloths and tropical birds such as ospreys, Oropendolas and toucans. This unique river trip is the perfect combination of adventure and nature. We call this our “Whitewater & Wildlife” tour. Enjoyable for kids and adults alike! After nearly 30, fun, easy-rolling rapids, you’ll have some delicious fresh fruit and end at our private take-out to change into your dry clothes in our dressing rooms. We then take you to have a delicious, home-cooked, traditional Costa Rican meal, which is guaranteed to please!

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Other Sightseeing Options in Arenal Volcano

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What people are saying about Arenal Volcano

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 671 reviews

Carlos was an excellent tour guide. He was very attentive and was very fun and polite. We loved the waterfalls! The hike was great exercise. It isn’t bad but I wouldn’t go on this if you have bad knees or severely out of shape. The lunch was delicious. The Hot Spring were very private and really cute. They are much less crowded than the big establishments like Baldi. Carlos also helped all our kids with the hikes and interacted with them in an endearing way. Thanks so much Carlos for being a great guide!

We only had 1 full day in La Fortuna and this was a Very well organized tour. We got to see everything we wanted in one day! Our guide was amazing. She made it educational in a fun and funny way The lunch included was typical Costa Rican style food and it was delicious Highly recommend this tour!!

This was definitely worth every penny! Lots of uphill climbing but once at the top, the views were incredible. Carlos was amazing. Caring, knowledgeable, and punctual. I enjoyed this very very much and would do it all over again.

This was so fun! The guides were fun and friendly, it was lovely to see Arenal up close, to swim, and then the hot springs were a perfect ending.

Learnt a lot and had a lot of fun! What more to ask