Arenal Volcano Area, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano Area Map

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Towering high above the town of La Fortuna de San Carlos (or simply, La Fortuna), Arenal Volcano and its surrounding attractions are accessible with a 3.5 hour drive or a one-hour hour domestic flight from San Jose. The town itself connects the volcano to the cloud forests of Monteverde and Santa Elenma.

The giant active volcano is just 6 miles from La Fortuna, and spectacular views of the volcano spewing ash and smoke can easily be seen from the town and neighboring hotels.

History & Culture

The breathtaking Arenal Volcano is ranked as one of the world's most active volcanoes, and is surrounded by an enchanting rainforest. Seismic activity is a daily occurrence, so during your stay you will likely hear explosions and see the volcano spewing steam, rocks, and hot lava.

One of the best places to take in the majesty of the volcano is from La Fortuna where you can kick back and enjoy the area's beauty while soaking in authentic Tico charm. The town features a number of quaint shops, delicious authentic restaurants, and luxurious resorts and hot springs.

Lodging & Dining

All of the following resorts offer breathtaking views of Arenal Volcano.

For luxurious amenities and hot springs on site, try Tabacon Resort and Spa, The Springs Resort and Spa, Hotel Royal Corin, or Arenal Kioro.

Lost Iguana Resort, Hotel Arenal Nayara, and Hotel Mountain Paradise, offer deluxe accommodations and lush surroundings.

Featuring comfortable rooms, friendly service, and family-friendly amenities, Arenal Springs and Montaña de Fuego are great options in this region as well.

If you find yourself in La Fortuna with an empty stomach and are looking for a quick meal, try La Choza de Laurel or El Jardín, featuring good casados (rice and black beans with your choice of meat) and fruit drinks, or Rancho la Cascada, a popular local stop featuring tasty Costa Rican dishes.

All of the above hotels also feature their own restaurants serving up delicious cuisine, but if you are looking for a change, head into La Fortuna for dinner and try El Novillo, a steakhouse with an excellent view of Arenal from a few of the tables.


This lush region has a lot of activities to keep even the most adventurous entertained - but if you're looking to be relaxed and pampered, the region is a great choice. The fantastic Tabacon Hot Springs is a great place to unwind as you soak in beautifully landscaped natural hot springs. The resort also features a full service spa where you can indulge in any number of treatments to soothe your body and soul.

The volcano is a stunning sight at any time of the day, but it comes alive at night when you are treated to an amazing show of red lava rocks tumbling down the side of the volcano.

Other exciting options abound, including hiking through natural rainforests, zipping between the trees high above the forest floor on a thrilling canopy tour, and guided tours through the rainforest along trails and over suspension bridges. Canyoning and caving are exciting adventures, as well as mountain biking and horseback riding. White water rafting and safari boat tours along local rivers are unique ways to see even more of this fascinating area. Finally, don't miss a fishing or windsurfing expedition on the sparkling Arenal Lake.

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