Have questions? We're here.
Arenal Observatory Lodge

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Costa Rica trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert
Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Volcano on Costa Rica tour Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Arenal Observatory Lodge Bridge through the jungle on Costa Rica tour
A Costa Rican volcano lodge set high on a ridge a mere 1.7 miles from Arenal Volcano, Arenal Observatory Lodge offers the adventurous traveler front-row seating for one of the world's most thrilling fireworks displays - a volcanic eruption. And no Costa Rica lodge is so apt to view the roar and fume of the awe-inspiring Arenal Volcano as the Arenal Observatory Lodge!

Arenal Volcano, which lay dormant for centuries, erupted in 1968 and has been continuously active ever since, making it one of the world's most explosive cones. Arenal Observatory Lodge was originally built in 1987 as a Smithsonian Institute scientific research station. Unlike other La Fortuna hotels, this volcano lodge is the only Arenal Volcano observatory situated within Arenal National Park, protected from danger by the deep gorge of the Agua Caliente River.

The Lodge
The Arenal Volcano Observatory sits in a private nature reserve in the heart of one of Costa Rica's numerous natural areas. Rich volcanic soil supports primary and secondary rainforest. Waterfalls and crystalline rivers offer sparkling jungle refreshment for the soul. A well-marked, manicured trail system provides easy access to the property's breathtaking natural beauty.
A paved wheelchair-accessible trail extends 800 meters into the rainforest; in addition, some 5 miles of bicycle, horseback riding and hiking trails wind throughout the volcano lodge's property through rainforest and over a hanging bridge. Just around the bend on every trail is a magnificent new view of the impressive volcano. The volcano observatory lodge offers daily complimentary walks led by resident naturalist guides.

Lodge Features
The Arenal Observatory Lodge features 43 rooms in various buildings spread over the property. Five rooms are fully equipped for disabled travelers, with rooms, bathrooms, hallways, parking areas and even the new swimming pool designed accordingly. Most have a view of the volcano and all overlook verdant gardens. Everywhere you can feel the volcano's commanding presence.

The dining room overlooks the volcano southern slop with floor to ceiling windows and opens to a wide deck to enjoy a majestic panoramic view of the lake and Arenal volcano.

The gardens and landscaping are extravagant with color. Natural flowering plants and shrubs were carefully chosen to attract wildlife. Jewel-toned hummingbirds dart from heliconia to oleander and brilliant butterflies adorn the blooms.

Attractions
Other attractions include a waterfall, just a short hike away, which cascades into the cool forest depths. A well-maintained path leads guests to this magical spot.
The mysterious emerald lagoon at Cerro Chato Volcano fills the now extinct crater. A challenging hike from the Arenal volcano observatory lodge takes guests through primary forest to a waiting canoe for a dreamy paddle on the lake's mirror surface.

Birders will be particularly delighted, as the diverse habitats surrounding the volcano observatory lodge shelter nearly 370 species. Birds can be seen everywhere!
An infinity swimming pool was added for jungle refreshment. Tiled in cobalt blue, it melts into the rainforest beyond. A sunken bubbling Jacuzzi provides soothing relaxation beneath a glass gazebo framing the volcano's peak against a starry sky.

A host of activities await the spirited adventurer. Mountain biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, hanging bridges, butterfly gardens, canopy tours, fishing, horseback riding and more are all available. But you needn't go far to feel nature's magic. It's all around you!

The volcano lodge crowns a ridge overlooking Arenal Lake and the looming volcano only 1.7 miles away, all within the refreshing ambiance of a working 870 acres farm that includes 400 acres in reforestation and 270 acres of natural forest, all surrounded by the tropical splendor of the Arenal National Park. Arenal Lake is the largest in Costa Rica and offers excellent sport fishing.

Rooms
Arenal Observatory Lodge features 43 rooms in various buildings spread over the property. Most have a view of the volcano and its lava flow and all have verdant garden surroundings. Everywhere at the lodge one feels the volcano's commanding presence.

Junior Suites
The JUNIOR SUITES are rooms with a volcano view through large picture windows framing the often active side of the majestic Arenal; see the volcano from the room or enjoy the beauty of the Arenal Lake from the comfort of your private deck. The walls are decorated with original ceramic paintings done by a local artist illustrating the area's flora and fauna. For your comfort each of these suites is furnished with two king-size beds, a small living room, coffeemaker, mini refrigerator and room safe.

Smithsonian Rooms
The SMITHSONIAN rooms feature huge picture windows giving you a premiere majestic view of the volcano from the comfort of your bed. Each room has two double beds (queen-size), a private bathroom, coffee maker and room safe. Some SMITHSONIAN rooms have balconies commanding a magnificent view of the volcano.

Five of the SMITHSONIAN rooms are fully equipped for guests in wheelchairs; the halls, bathrooms, corridors, parking area, swimming pool and 2 kms of paths have all been designed for the handicapped.

Standard
The STANDARD rooms are another way to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Arenal volcano and/or contemplate the beauty of the lake from your balcony. Each of these rooms has two double beds (queen-size), a private bathroom, coffeemaker and room safe.

La Casona
LA CASONA offers ideal group or family accommodations and is set 500 meters off from the main building. Its 5 comfortable, value-priced rooms with a large terrace provide an impressive view of the volcano and Arenal Lake. Four rooms are furnished each with a queen-size bed and offer a beautiful volcano room view; the fifth room has 3 bunk beds with a view of the rainforest, and all have room safes. The two large, comfortable bathrooms are shared by all La Casona guests.

White Hawk Villa
With its peaceful surroundings and the ultimate spectacular view of the volcano and lake is about 800 meters from the rest of the hotel. It offers group or family accommodations and is recommended for guests with their own transportation or those who enjoy walking. The main level entrance takes you into a large, well-ventilated living room with satellite television, a dining room and a fully-equipped kitchen. The lower level can accommodate 8 people in its two bedrooms, "Trogon" and "Toucan", each with a queen-size bed, two twin beds, private bathroom and room safe.

Restaurant
When mealtime arrives, you can head for town and check out La Fortuna restaurants or, better yet, stick around and enjoy a delicious meal at our Arenal hotel restaurant. La Fortuna dining is never finer than in the comfort and beauty of our large main dining room , which features walls of windows opening onto views of the volcano and Lake Arenal, unique among La Fortuna restaurants. Our chefs prepare a variety of continental and Costa Rican dishes, with an emphasis on fresh local fruits and vegetables, as well as locally raised beef and poultry and fresh-caught Lake Arenal fish.

There is also a comfortable bar open from 12:00 m to 10:00 pm everyday. This is a wonderful spot to gather or meet other guests, and definitely an excellent place to be for any volcanic eruptions.
Day 8: rafting with Kenneth
$1,775
EXPLORE

Adventure Pacifica

9 Day Itinerary
  • Hike near Arenal Volcano
  • Zipline through the cloudforest
  • Raft the Rio Savegre
  • Explore Manuel Antonio's beaches
Spend 9 days in Costa Rica on this ultimate adventure vacation! Experience all that Costa Rica has to offer with opportunities to hike, raft, search for wildlife, zip line, and more. This is a great itinerary for travelers short on time but big on adventure!
Activities: Land, Trekking & Hiking, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Zip Line
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde Cloud Forest, San Jose
Tour Details
Cattleya hybrid at Monteverde Orchid Garden
$1,995
EXPLORE

Earth, Fire and Water

9 Day Itinerary
  • Learn about rainforest conservation
  • Horseback ride, fish, hike and surf
  • Watch for the Resplendant Quetzal
  • Hike the national park near Arenal
A naturalist's dream, this Costa Rica tour takes you into the rainforest, cloudforest, and to the foot of Costa Rica's most active volcano. The relaxed pace make it a perfect choice for those desiring to visit the Pacific Coast and enjoy Costa Rica travel at an easy tempo.
Activities: Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Land, Rainforest Exploration, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, Monteverde Cloud Forest, San Jose, Tiskita Jungle Lodge
Tour Details
White water rafting on the Pacaure River
$1,365
EXPLORE

Costa Rica Quest

8 Day Itinerary
  • Observe nesting sea turtles
  • Hike in the rain forest at night
  • Raft the Sarapiqui River
  • Explore nearby Arenal Volcano
Enjoy Costa Rica's incredible wildlife with an 8-day tour of Tortuguero National Park and visit one of the most important nesting sites for the green sea turtle in the western hemisphere. Then raft down the beautiful Sarapiqui River. Finish this Costa Rica vacation with a visit to Arenal, one of the world's most active volcanoes!
Activities: Land, Rainforest Exploration, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Zip Line
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, San Jose, Sarapiqui, Tortuguero
Tour Details
Arenal and flowers
$1,615
EXPLORE

Adventure Pacifica Express

9 Day Itinerary
  • Hike near Arenal Volcano
  • Zipline through cloud forest.
  • Raft the Rio Savegre
  • Explore Manuel Antonio's beaches
Enjoy this independent version of our classic Adventure Pacifica tour. Experience all that COsta Rica has to offer with opportunities to hike, raft, search for wildlife, zip line and more. This is a great itinerary for travelers short on time but big on adventure.
Activities: Land, Local Market, Rainforest Exploration, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Zip Line
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde Cloud Forest, San Jose, Savegre Valley
Tour Details
$1,250
EXPLORE

Pura Vida

6 Day Itinerary
  • Raft down the Pacuare River
  • Find wildlife in the rain forest
  • Explore the Arenal Volcano area
  • Hike along the old lava flows
Live the Costa Rican way, with a "Pura Vida" mindset. Enjoy this thrilling itinerary jam-packed with adventure! Focusing on rainforest activities you can whitewater raft, zip line, explore Arenal Volcano, and more! Get the most out of your quick getaway and enjoy life's simple pleasures
Activities: Land, Rainforest Exploration, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Zip Line
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, Rios Tropicales Lodge, San Jose
Tour Details
The new swimming pool
$1,950
EXPLORE

Costa Rica Self-Drive Adventure

9 Day Itinerary
Embark on a 9 day adventure across Costa Rica, driving yourself from one beautiful destination to the next. From the roaring rivers of Rincon de la Vieja National Park, to the pristine jungle of Arenal Volcano National Park, and to the white sand beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, this tour allows you to experience the best of Costa Rica from the …
Activities: Land, Village Visit, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Zip Line
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, Liberia, Nicoya, Rincon de La Vieja, Tango Mar
Tour Details
Toucan relaxing in the tree
$10,680
Save $560
EXPLORE

Panama to Costa Rica: Monteverde, Arenal, and Tortuguero

15 Day Itinerary aboard Sea Lion
  • See Pacific & Caribbean Costa Rica
  • Transit the Panama Canal
  • Kayak, snorkel, swim, and hike
  • Hike in mist-shrouded Monteverde
  • Relax in hot springs near Arenal
  • Tour remote, car-less Tortuguero
An extraordinary, holistic expedition - experience all the wildness and beauty of Costa Rica and Panama on a sweeping 15-day adventure through the canal, along the coasts, and inland to a mist-shrouded cloud forest, volcano, lake, and a car-free, jungle village.
Activities: Expedition Cruises, Horseback Riding, Kayaking, Land & Sea, Snorkeling, Stand Up Paddle Board, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Arenal, Barro Colorado, Colon, Golfo Dulce, Isla Coiba, Los Suenos (Herradura), Manuel Antonio, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Osa Peninsula - Golfo Dulce, San Jose, Tortuguero
Cruise Details
Rafting the Pacaure River in Costa Rica
$1,395
EXPLORE

Holiday 2016 Pura Vida

6 Day Itinerary
  • Raft down the Pacuare River
  • Find wildlife in the rain forest
  • Explore the Arenal Volcano area
  • Hike along the old lava flows
Enjoy Costa Rica's incredible wildlife with a 6-day tour focusing on the rainforest activities that put Costa Rica on the map. Enjoy a two day rafting trip down the beautiful and challenging Pacuare River. Next explore the active Arenal Volcano and the surrounding rainforest!
Activities: Land, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Zip Line
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, Rios Tropicales Lodge, San Jose
Tour Details
Whitewater rafting the Sarapiqui
$2,025
EXPLORE

Holiday 2016 Adventure Pacifica

9 Day Itinerary
  • Hike near Arenal Volcano
  • Zipline through the cloudforest
  • Raft the Rio Savegre
  • Explore Manuel Antonio's beaches
This 9-day Costa Rica vacation is perfect for the traveler who is short on time, but big on adventure. Start your travels at Arenal Volcano, followed by the beautiful Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve for a high adrenaline adventure along the zip lines and rope traverse. Enjoy the whitewater of the Rio Savegre and explore Manuel Antonio National Park.
Activities: Land, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Zip Line
Places: Central America & Mexico, Costa Rica, Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde Cloud Forest, San Jose
Tour Details
Change & customize to make it yours.
Jessica L

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons
Us with our Maasai guide Dennis
Tailored to You
Tell us your travel interests, dreams and desires, then let our experts tailor the perfect trip for you!
Monks conversing in a Buddist temple
Peace of Mind
You can have confidence in our experts' dedication to traveler safety, comfort, & providing a seamless trip.
A pair of friendly sea lions
Responsible Travel
We are fully committed to low impact travel that not only preserves but gives back to the amazing places we visit.
A man photographs a King Penguin at only a few feet away.
Insider Access
Our personal expertise & experience, local partners in our destinations, & access to over 150 small ships are all invaluable to designing your unique journey.

Awards and Accolades

All News