Costa Rica Vacation Information: Explore Arenal
Arenal is one of the world's most active volcanoes, thundering and erupting daily since 1968. The volcano, located in the Tilaran Mountains about 3 hours from San José, dominates the landscape
of this National Park and of the region.
The lava flow comes from a horseshoe shaped crater, sending eruptions of clouds, ash and fiery materials into the mountain sky (making lava flows especially spectacular at night).
All area hotels boast spectacular views of the volcano and most travelers opt to visit this area either at the beginning or end of their trip as it serves as an excellent place to unwind. Local
activities include white water rafting, horseback riding, hiking, waterfalls, and much more.
- Fortuna Waterfall - This stunning attraction is located 5.5 kilometers from Fortuna. A steep trail allows visitors to view the 70-meter-tall waterfall. Funds from entry fees to the waterfall
are used by the Association to pay for various projects and activities for the good of the region. See this adventure tour >
- Tabacón Hot Springs - At the base of the volcano,
lies the highly visited Tabacón Hot Springs Resort; the Tabacón river flows from the base of the volcano and is heated naturally
by the underground activity of the volcano up to 104 degrees. The river flows through a series of lush, tropical gardens in the form of 12 natural "Jacuzzi" pools that are connected
by cascading waterfalls; can be quite busy at times, but it is worth it! Guests of the hotel enter for free; non guests pay $29 for a day pass. Must reserve in advance to guarantee space.
- Venado Caves - The outskirts of Venado are home to the largest and most accessible cavern system in the Northern Zone, enabling visitors to explore and learn about the stalactite and stalagmite
formations as well as various other geological features.
- White water rafting - The experience of rafting the Toro River is unforgettable. Class III-IV rapids will take you through a 16km jungle gorge, experiencing a combination of rapids, wildlife
and beautiful scenery.
- Hanging Bridges Arenal - the trails and bridges of this project will bring you as close as you could ever hope to get to the birds, the flowers and the lush vegetation of the primary rain
forest. You will be able to walk right into the forest, thanks to the imposing hanging bridges and the beautiful trails that are safe and easy to walk on.
- Horseback Riding to Monteverde - Take advantage of this unique method of transportation from Arenal to Monteverde. The ride is not for beginners due to the duration, but definitely a worthwhile
experience for those horse and nature lovers. If you have a rental car, arrangements can be made to have your car driven from one destination to the next.
- See ALL Arenal Adventure Tours >
Excellent wood oven pizzas, fresh pastas; well priced; located just before the town of La Fortuna coming from Volcano Arenal on the right side.
La Choza del Laural
Rotisserie chicken, local dishes, cheap but very good; located just before the town of La Fortuna coming from Arenal on the left side.
Montaña del Fuego
New, all glass, international restaurant with breathtaking views of the volcano; higher priced gourmet meals; located at the Hotel Montaña del Fuego.
Located just outside La Fortuna next door to the Pizzeria Vagabundo. This restaurant offers great typical Costa Rican dishes and meats and is known for its fresh fish that comes
out of nearby Lake Arenal called Guapote.
Local Costa Rican dishes and pastas. Located in La Fortuna. Ask one of the locals for directions.
International and local cuisine overlooking the volcano and hot springs resort; fairly expensive; located at the hot springs resort. If you are not staying at the
resort, packages can be purchased to include your entrance and one, or multiple meals so that you can make a day out of your visit.
Mexican inspired dishes, grilled steaks with moderate prices ranging from $5 - $15
Rancho La Cascada
serving Italian as well as local dishes and sandwiches at
very affordable prices
very central location, offering pasta, pizzas, steaks, local food including fish and seafood. Very reasonably priced
La Yucca Frita
new restaurant serving fast food including their specialty, fried yucca
Places to Avoid
Avoid driving around the lake at night, as the road is in bad condition and we recommend that you only do this drive during daylight hours.