The Arenal volcano is the main reason people come to this part of Costa Rica. Although it is a very fascinating part of visting Arenal, it is just one of the many things to do at Arenal Costa Rica.
In this post I will over each one of these places in detail so that you can see which of these you will want to add to your Arenal itinerary, so lets gets started!
Best Things to Do in Arenal Costa Rica
The list of incredible things to do in Arenal includes waterfalls, botanical gardens, caves, wildlife and zip lining. Arenal is a incredible place that has an adventure waiting for everyone.
Costa Rica’s largest lake and several noteworthy tourist attractions. Volcán Arenal which rises 5,436 feet above sea level is the most active and no doubt the most studied of all Costa Rica’s volcanoes.
It booms and rumbles with an unnerving consistency and its nocturnal pyrotechnics have struck awe in the hearts of thousands of observers. With its perfectly conical shape and its continuing activity,
Arenal is a picture book image of a volcano. Daily ash columns, underground rumbling, glowing red lava flows and sudden explosions make Arenal a must-see on any tourist’s itinerary.
Seeing a great night time eruption like shown in the posters is a matter of luck due to cloud cover. However, even when the summit of the volcano is covered you can often see the lava flows farther down the side.
Occasionally the activity quiets down for a few weeks, but generally it puts on several eruptive displays a day. This is a beautiful part of Costa Rica and there is plenty to do besides volcano watching.
1. Visit Cascada La Fortuna
A visit to this 230 foot tall, beautiful waterfall is one of the Arenal area’s most popular trips. You can hike to the waterfall from La Fortuna, it’s about 3 ½ miles. Start at the south side of the church and there is a road with a sign for the waterfall.
If you have a 4 wheel drive you can drive as far as the overlook. There is a small fee to hike down a very steep trail to the bottom of the fall where you can take a swim (use extreme caution as the river can be wild).
2. Walk Around Arenal Botanical Gardens
These lovingly designed gardens are about 25 km (15 miles) north of the Arenal Lake dam. Well laid-out trails lead past hundreds of varieties of tropical plants from Costa Rica and all over the world. Lots of butterflies and birds are attracted to the gardens.
There are self-guide booklets in English, German and Spanish. Michael, the owner, is usually on hand to answer questions. Open 9 am to 5 pm except Sunday afternoons
3. Explore Venado Caverns
The caverns, a 1.5 mile system of limestone chambers replete with stalctites, stalagmites and underground streams, are not for the faint-hearted. To explore them, you must wade through the ankle to knee deep underground stream.
At some points it is necessary to crawl. Bats and tiny colorless frogs inhabit the caves, which also contain seashell fossils, and a “shrine” that glows luminously. You clothes will get wet and dirty, so take a change. There are changing rooms available.
You can rent rubber boots, flashlights and helmets. If you wish you can take a guided tour from La Fortuna and some hotels in the area or guides are available at the caverns.
4. Tour Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
The Caño Negro National Wild Life Refuge is the best ecological site with the emerald basilisc, iguanas, river turtles and caimans and is considered one of the best sites in America to see wild animals concentrations. Also are common on this area jaguars, ocelots. Giant Ant Bears and others.
Cano Negro is one of the first areas in giving special emphasis on the handle of biological sources according with the human life development, combining tourist activities with the protection of the natural resources.
5. Extreme Zip Lining
It doesn’t get much more fun then zip lining across the tree tops in Arenal. These lines run anywhere between 40ft up to the longest run of 1400ft.
When your riding over the top of the rainforest you will also get great views of the Arenal Volcano and it surrounding areas which include open pasture land with livestock from local farmers as well great views of all the streams and pastures that surround the Arenal and La Fortuna area.
If you like a adrenaline rush combined with spectacular views, this is a ride you don’t want to miss.
Getting To Arenal
You can travel to Arenal by car or on regularly scheduled flights. It is about a two and a half hour, scenic drive by car from San Jose.