Arenal Volcano National Park

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Arenal Volcano National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna on a guided hike. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Have a delicious lunch at a Maluku Indian village and trek through forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort with a drink. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano, Lunch, & Hotsprings Morning Tour

2. La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano, Lunch, & Hotsprings Morning Tour

On this 6hour nature adventure, you will see all the stunning beauty of the Arenal area. It doesn't come easy though. Narrow jungle trails and huge lava rocks need to be conquered. The reward is definitely worth the effort. Getting out of the jungle you reach the lava rocks right at the foot of the volcano. With the impressive Arenal looming over you, you really get an idea of the immensity of this now silent giant. Making our way down your bilingual guide tells about the ecosystem and the wildlife we may encounter. Reaching the bottom part of the trek an emerald green clean water lake awaits us. You can jump in with a Tarzan swing and take time for a refreshing swim in this magnificently beautiful place. After this break we have a typical style lunch. To finish our experience we go to a small resort where we relax in natural hot water pools for about an hour.

La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

3. La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the La Fortuna area, and travel to Arenal Volcano to hike the paths surrounding the mighty mountain. Get back to nature in Arenal Volcano National Park, where most of the 850 species of bird identified in Costa Rica can be found. Look out for other wildlife, such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, jaguars and deer. Marvel at the stunning landscapes of a secondary rainforest at the base of the park, and a primary rainforest with amazing biodiversity amongst the hanging bridges. Walk through the rainforest on a network of 15 suspension bridges of various levels of difficulty in Mistico Park. Then, cool down with a swim in a natural pool at La Fortuna waterfall.

La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

4. La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Visit a cocoa farm in the rainforest with majestic views of Arenal Volcano. See where cocoa is grown, processed and produced and unearth the hidden secrets of local chocolate production. This interactive experience lets travelers eat as much chocolate as they want while learning about the history, culture, and traditions of this popular Costa Rican sweet. In this 2-hour hands-on program, have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about cocoa and chocolate, its origin and history. Participate in all aspects of the production process, from the harvesting of the fruit, drying, and grinding of the seeds.  Discover why the cacao tree was very important to ancient cultures. Find out how cacao was not only used as a ceremonial drink, but its seeds were also used as currency because of its economic value, in many regions of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano: Lost Canyon Canyoneering Adventure

5. Arenal Volcano: Lost Canyon Canyoneering Adventure

The rugged, mountainous terrain near the Arenal Volcano is ideal for canyoneering. Combine rappelling, down-climbing, river tracing and the huge and breathtaking waterfalls hidden in the Lost Canyon. Start off by doing a fun 4x4 off-road adventure on the “Jungle Limos” as you head about 15 minutes into a quiet mountainside community. Your guides will give you a thorough safety talk about important rappelling and down-climbing techniques. You’ll get high-quality technical climbing gear such as a harness, helmet and gloves, and you’ll get to practice your first descent on a small, 150-foot (45 meter) waterfall. There you are, on a sturdy platform looking down into the depths of a massive tropical waterfall. You’ll rappel down for the thrill of a lifetime! Make your way along the river by down-climbing and rappelling a series of 6 waterfalls that get gradually bigger and bigger. You’ll finish with an exhilarating 200-foot (60 meter) guided rappel! The hike back up takes about 10 minutes, but take your time to enjoy the intense rainforest that surrounds you. At the top, you’ll arrive to the Canyon Café where you can change into your dry clothes and then sit down to your best meal in Costa Rica!

San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

6. San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

Tour the best locations in Costa Rica and learn about local life and culture from those who live there. Visit a coffee plantation, zip line, and soak in the hot springs at the base of the Adrenal Volcano. Take the scenic route to the Arenal Volcano and visit a coffee plantation along the way. Gain an insight into the world of Costa Rican coffee and taste one of the best coffees in the world. Arrive at the "La Paz" and "San Fernando" waterfalls and admire the exotic tropical birds of Costa Rica, including many species of hummingbirds and rare emerald toucanets. Take in the views at the San Fernando Waterfall observation point before heading to the "Iguana Bridge", where you will have the chance to spot iguanas, sloths, monkeys, and toucans. Stop for an authentic Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located in "La Fortuna." Then, prepare for a zip-lining adventure in the local rainforest jungles with 9 canopy cables and a 50 meter (150 feet) rappel on the Arenal River. Learn about the culture while listening to a "Maleku" Indigenous tribe presentation from locals. Relax for a couple of hours in the Paradise Hot Springs at the base of Arenal Volcano, surrounded by tropical gardens followed by dinner.

Arenal: 4 Activities Tour with Optional Hot Springs

7. Arenal: 4 Activities Tour with Optional Hot Springs

Visit the most important attractions of Arenal Volcano National Park and hike along a mountain trail to get magnificent views of the mighty mountain in safety. Hope for clear skies to see as far as Arenal Lake, the secondary forest, and the area devastated by previous eruptions.  Continue to the impressive waterfall of La Fortuna, where you can go for a refreshing swim in the cool waters or take pictures of its natural beauty. Stop at a restaurant near downtown La Fortuna for a delicious a la carte lunch. Then, head to the Arenal Hanging Bridges to hike the trail high above the tree canopy. Cross 15 hanging and stationary bridges and look for the local wildlife along the way. End the day at the hot springs of your choice, with or without dinner. Get picked up after your meal for the drive back to your hotel. 

Arenal Volcano: Waterfall Jumping & Extreme Canyoning

8. Arenal Volcano: Waterfall Jumping & Extreme Canyoning

Deep down in the Costa Rican jungle lies Costa Rica's most extreme tour. Gravity Falls is considered one of the best things to do in Costa Rica and it is up to you to find out why. Go beyond the canyoning that you already know and love and join this intense Costa Rican tour. Be picked up from your hotel in the La Fortuna Arenal Volcano area and head deep into the Costa Rican countryside to begin your adventure. Get started with a heart-pumping rappel down an impressive 150-ft tropical waterfall. Drop into a deep crystalline pool before swimming your way to shore and continuing through the canyon.  Jump from a continuous series of 10 to 40ft waterfalls and cliffs into deep canyon pools with the help of your professional and experienced guides. Rain or shine, you are going to have plenty of wild water fun. Finish the day with a delicious Costa Rican meal before hading back to your hotel.

Arenal Hanging Bridges Half-Day Tour from La Fortuna

9. Arenal Hanging Bridges Half-Day Tour from La Fortuna

Discover a natural paradise of walking trails and 6 hanging bridges on the interpretative nature paths of Mistico Park. Get closer to nature and see the flora and fauna from a more intimate perspective as you get the chance to walk on the forest floor, swing from the branches or soar over the tree canopies like an eagle! Take in the amazing views at Waterfall Bridge, and learn more about the rainforest from a naturalist guide. Hear about the animal life, geography and history of the region, and get some breathtaking views of the volcano, depending on the weather.

San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

10. San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

Start your tour in the morning when you are picked up from your hotel in the San Jose area in an air-conditioned vehicle. Travel to Arenal on an alternative route that is more scenic than the regular highway to this popular destination. On the way, stop at a plantation where you will learn about the coffee of Costa Rica. Observe the coffee plants and see the workers picking the ripe cherries during the harvest season. Learn about this important product to the local economy and taste a freshly brewed cup of some of the best coffee in the world accompanied by traditional snacks. Continue the tour at the famous La Paz Waterfall. Stop at the San Fernando Waterfall look-out point and observe many exotic birds including toucans, hummingbirds, and many other colorful tropical species. Visit the iguana’s center, a place where you will see lots of iguanas at eye level resting on the top of numerous trees. Following this, arrive at the Town of La Fortuna, and enjoy a delicious Costa Rican lunch in a restaurant located at the base of the impressive Arenal Volcano. After lunch, visit various points around the volcano to take pictures of this amazing mountain on clear days. Next, participate in an indigenous presentation performed by native people from the Maleku Tribe, and learn about the native culture of Costa Ricans. Later, travel to the beautiful Paradise Hot Springs Resort and relax for a few hours in the multiple hot springs pools surrounded by lush tropical gardens. This hot springs facility is one of the best in the Arenal area and provides the perfect environment to relax in thermal mineral water pools, jacuzzis and cascading waterfalls. After this, go to a local typical restaurant to have a delicious Costa Rican dinner before you are taken back to your hotel in the San Jose area.

Other Sightseeing Options in Arenal Volcano National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Arenal Volcano National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Arenal Volcano National Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 870 reviews

Great tour, informative and helpful throughout the day and generally made an atmosphere of fun. strange situation with a different company trying to enforce payment to get to the waterfall which our tour guides said was illegal and immoral, a relatively new development with them which means you have to walk round a small island either on rocks or up the river to get to the waterfall but it's still accessible, and beautiful when you get there. the walks aren't for the faint of heart, bit difficult if you're not used to hiking, but we did it in our closed toed sandals so was all good. would recommend these sandals for the waterfall. the guides also went out of their way to find a sloth which we did in the end! the walk up the side of the volcano was pretty chill, great views and got lucky to see the peak. ended the day in what seemed to be fabricated hot springs, not so natural as we would have hoped but did the job. had a great day anyway so Pura Vida!

I have been telling everyone I know about this tour. The guide Mauricio was extremely educated about the plants and animals, was highly energetic and cared a lot that we were content with the activities. There are many moments that I will never forget, like when he got a fellow tourist to climb a tree and shake it so fresh guavas would fall for us. This tour involves a LOT of hiking. We did 19,000 steps. Some parts of the hikes are slippery. You HAVE to wear sneakers or hiking boots. Bring a granola bar and a banana. It’s a 10 hr trek and we had lunch halfway through. With that being said, the lunch was a huge plate and was delicious!

Long day but it was beautiful to see to see La Fortuna and the Volcano. Thank you Kenny for your wonderful sense of humor and helpful information. Thank you Carlo, our driver was safe and cautious as well as being a super nice person.

We had an amazing experience! Isaac was a great tour guide, very knowledgeable and shared great stories. The day is packed with tons of activities and is definitely a must do when in La Fortuna.

Hiking the volcano with a guide gave us a much better understanding of the plant life and history behind the area.