Have questions? We're here.
Discover stunning waterfalls in the jungle

10 Best Things to Do and See Near Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Talk with an expert
Build your ideal trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip

Best Things to Do Near Arenal Volcano

Cradled in the northwestern part of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano stands tall, offering a breathtaking tapestry of attractions and activities that cater to a wide range of travelers. Whether you're an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, a family looking for an enriching vacation, or a couple seeking a romantic getaway, the Arenal Volcano region has something special for everyone. Let's explore the top attractions and activities to experience near this captivating natural wonder.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. From hiking through lush rainforests to witnessing the majestic Arenal Volcano up close, the park offers an array of mesmerizing experiences. Visitors can explore the park's well-maintained trails, with options ranging from easy walks to more challenging treks.
Who it appeals to: nature enthusiasts, hikers, bird watchers, and adventure seekers will be captivated by the diverse flora and fauna of the national park. This area is also suitable for families with children, as some trails are accessible to all ages.
Insider Tips: Start your hike early in the morning to catch glimpses of wildlife, and consider hiring a local guide to learn about the park's biodiversity and volcanic history.
Practicalities: The national park is open from 8 am to 4 pm. It's advisable to wear comfortable hiking shoes, bring water and snacks, and be prepared for changing weather conditions. The entrance fee is approximately $15 for adults and $5 for children.

La Fortuna Waterfall

Nestled in the heart of the rainforest, the La Fortuna Waterfall is a mesmerizing natural wonder with a 230-foot cascade plunging into a crystalline pool below. Visitors can hike down a steep but manageable trail to reach the base of the waterfall, where they can swim in the refreshing waters or simply admire the stunning surroundings.
Who it appeals to: nature lovers, photographers, and travelers seeking a tranquil escape will find this attraction especially rewarding. While the hike may be challenging for some elderly travelers, the allure of the waterfall is suitable for families with older children.
Insider Tips: Visit early in the morning to avoid crowds and make the most of the serene atmosphere. Wear sturdy water shoes for swimming and take waterproof casing for cameras and phones to capture the magic.
Practicalities: The waterfall is open from 7:30 am to 4 pm, and the entrance fee is approximately $18 for adults and $5 for children. The hike to and from the waterfall takes about 30-40 minutes each way.

Tabacon Hot Springs

Indulge in ultimate relaxation at the Tabacon Hot Springs, where natural thermal waters heated by the Arenal Volcano create a series of pools, waterfalls, and secluded nooks. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, this geothermal gift offers a peaceful oasis for unwinding and rejuvenating amidst the rainforest.
Who it appeals to: couples seeking a romantic escape, families in need of relaxation, and travelers looking for a soothing experience will be enchanted by the luxurious ambiance of the hot springs. The accessibility and serene environment also cater to visitors with disabilities or mobility challenges.
Insider Tips: Consider visiting Tabacon Hot Springs during the evening for a tranquil atmosphere with fewer visitors. Advance booking is recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your desired time slot.
Practicalities: The hot springs are open from 10 am to 10 pm, and the admission fee ranges from $70 to $90 per person, depending on the selected time and duration. Bookings for day passes or evening experiences in advance are advised.

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Embark on a captivating journey across suspension bridges and trails that take you deep into the heart of the Arenal rainforest. The Arenal Hanging Bridges offer a unique perspective, allowing visitors to observe the diverse flora and fauna from a bird's-eye view and ground level.
Who it appeals to: nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, and travelers seeking an immersive rainforest experience will find the hanging bridges an ideal adventure. families with children can also enjoy the educational aspect of exploring the rainforest canopy.
Insider Tips: Bring binoculars for bird watching and take your time to soak in the sights and sounds of the rainforest. Guided tours are available for those interested in learning more about the ecosystem from knowledgeable naturalist guides.
Practicalities: The hanging bridges are open from 7:30 am to 4 pm, and the entrance fee is approximately $26 for adults and $15 for children. The duration of the self-guided walk can vary, but most visitors spend 1.5 to 2 hours exploring the trails and bridges.

Rio Celeste

Hidden within the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the celestial blue waters of Rio Celeste captivate all who venture to witness its striking beauty. The river's enchanting hue is the result of a natural chemical reaction between volcanic minerals, creating a sight that seems almost magical.
Who it appeals to: nature lovers, photographers, and hikers with a sense of adventure will be entranced by the otherworldly beauty of Rio Celeste. While the main trail is challenging in parts, the allure of the river is suitable for more adventurous families and solo travelers.
Insider Tips: Plan your visit during the dry season (December to April) for the best visibility of the river's vivid color. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and consider bringing a waterproof camera to capture the unique landscapes.
Practicalities: The park is open from 8 am to 4 pm, and the entrance fee is approximately $12 for adults and $5 for children. The main trail is approximately 3 miles long and takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete at a leisurely pace.

Cerro Chato Hike

For a challenging yet rewarding adventure, the Cerro Chato hike offers a chance to conquer the dormant volcano's dense forests and reach its emerald green crater lake. The steep and rugged trail provides an invigorating experience for those seeking a physical and mental challenge.
Who it appeals to: adventure seekers, experienced hikers, and travelers looking for a physically demanding excursion will be drawn to the sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering Cerro Chato. This hike is not recommended for young children or those with mobility limitations.
Insider Tips: Start the hike early in the morning and pack plenty of water and snacks. Be prepared for muddy and steep sections, and consider hiring a local guide for navigation and safety.
Practicalities: The trailhead is located near the Arenal Observatory Lodge, and the hike typically takes 4 to 5 hours to complete round trip, including time to rest and soak in the stunning views from the crater lake.

Kayaking on Lake Arenal

Discover the beauty of Arenal from a different perspective by embarking on a kayaking adventure on the expansive Lake Arenal. Paddling through the calm waters while surrounded by panoramic views of the volcano and the lush countryside creates a serene and memorable experience.
Who it appeals to: nature enthusiasts, water sports enthusiasts, and travelers seeking a peaceful yet active way to enjoy the natural surroundings will appreciate the tranquility and scenic beauty of kayaking on Lake Arenal. families with older children can also partake in this leisurely activity.
Insider Tips: Set out for your kayaking expedition in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid strong winds, and keep an eye out for diverse bird species along the shoreline. Renting a waterproof action camera is a great way to capture your journey.
Practicalities: Several local operators offer kayak rentals and guided tours, with prices ranging from $40 to $60 for a half-day excursion. The ideal time to allocate for this experience is 2 to 3 hours to allow for exploration and relaxation on the waters.

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of the rainforest as you traverse the hanging bridges at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. Discover a world of natural wonders, including diverse wildlife and breathtaking views of Arenal Volcano, as you journey through the treetops.
Who it appeals to: nature enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and travelers intrigued by the allure of the rainforest will find the hanging bridges at Mistico Park a captivating and educational experience. Elderly travelers and families with children can also enjoy the easy to moderate trails.
Insider Tips: Opt for a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the flora and fauna of the rainforest, and bring a pair of binoculars for bird watching. Consider visiting early in the morning for enhanced wildlife sightings and cooler weather.
Practicalities: The park is open from 7 am to 2:30 pm, and the entrance fee is approximately $26 for adults and $13 for children. Allow about 2 to 3 hours to enjoy the hanging bridges and explore the park's trails at a leisurely pace.

Baldi Hot Springs

Indulge in a delightful blend of relaxation and adventure at the Baldi Hot Springs, a luxurious complex of thermal pools and water features nestled in the heart of Arenal. With pools of varying temperatures, water slides, and lush surroundings, Baldi offers an alluring retreat for visitors of all ages.
Who it appeals to: families, couples, and travelers seeking a fun and rejuvenating experience will relish the variety of pools and activities available at Baldi Hot Springs. The atmosphere is lively, making it an ideal spot for socializing and unwinding under the stars.
Insider Tips: Consider visiting during the evening to enjoy the pools in a magical, illuminated setting, and be mindful that some areas may be more suitable for adult guests. Advance booking is recommended during peak seasons.
Practicalities: Baldi Hot Springs is open from 10 am to 10 pm, and the admission fee ranges from $35 to $70 per person, depending on the chosen day pass or evening experience. Booking in advance is advisable to secure preferred admission times.

Ecocentro Danaus

For a peaceful and educational nature experience, Ecocentro Danaus offers a biodiverse refuge where visitors can explore protected habitats, gardens, and wildlife-rich trails. The center aims to foster conservation and sustainability while providing an enriching experience for all who wish to partake in nature-based tourism.
Who it appeals to: nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, and eco-conscious travelers seeking an immersive nature experience will appreciate the center's dedication to preserving local ecosystems. families with children can also enjoy the educational aspects of exploring the gardens and learning about sustainable practices.
Insider Tips: Take a guided nature walk to learn about the diverse plant and animal species found within the center, and consider participating in the tree planting activities to contribute to the conservation efforts.
Practicalities: The center is open from 7 am to 4 pm, and the entrance fee is approximately $10 for adults and $5 for children. Visitors should allocate about 1.5 to 2 hours to explore the trails and gardens at a relaxed pace.

Let's Plan Your Trip to Arenal Volcano

Embark on an extraordinary journey to Arenal Volcano with Adventure Life, where every step of your adventure is meticulously curated to provide an unforgettable travel experience. Our expert trip planners specialize in matching you with the perfect trip, customizing it to your preferences, and ensuring a seamless, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
Whether you're planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or an adventure-filled expedition, Adventure Life's dedicated team is committed to creating a tailor-made itinerary that suits your travel style. On the ground, you will be accompanied by local guides who speak English, enriching your journey with their insightful knowledge of the region.
Reserving your trip with Adventure Life guarantees a seamless and unforgettable travel experience, filled with captivating encounters and enriching discoveries. It's time to embark on your next great adventure near Arenal Volcano. Contact us today to start planning your unforgettable journey.
More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By