One big benefit of living near Lake Arenal is adventure awaits out your back door. Spend the day hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park get a glimpse of one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes.
Though the lava flow ceased in October 2010, hikers from the four corners of the world still come to see the lava fields and marvel at 5,357 foot tall conical volcano. The park spans nearly 30,000 acres and housed with an even larger Arenal Conservation Area.
You won’t need a guide to take in the sites; the trails in Arenal Volcano National Park are easy to navigate, and with the exception of the lava pits, are on level ground, making this park a great option for bringing children and anyone with limited mobility.
Trails at Arenal Volcano National Park
The national park has four trails for hiking, for a total of five miles of adventure and shouldn’t take more than a few hours to complete.
- Heliconias Trail: This .62-mile trail begins at the rangers’ station and leads up to main lookout point. You’ll be able to see the lava flows from 1968 and 1992 on the Heliconias trail.
- Las Coldadas Trail: Las Coloadas is a 1.25-mile mostly flat walking trail that winds around the base of the volcano and offers hikers a view of the 1992 lava flows. This trail connects to the Las Tucanes Trail.
- Las Miradores: Only accessible from the park’s headquarters, the .74-mile long Las Miradores Trail will take you to a spectacular view of Lake Arenal. The 1968 and 1992 lava flows can also been seen on Las Miradores.
- Los Tucanes Trail: The Las Tucanes Trail links up with the Las Coladas trail to extend your hike another 1.86 miles through of dense forest. This trail is popular for those looking for wildlife in the park.
Spotting Wildlife in the Park
The best time to see animals in Arenal National Park is early in the morning. The park opens at 8:00 am, so if seeing wildlife is a top priority, get there when it opens. Check the canopy for spider and howler monkeys (link to previous article) and sloths.
Birdwatchers should keep their eyes open for parrots and parakeets, hummingbirds, motmots, trogons, and the elusive quetzal. Don’t be surprised if you see a pezote rooting around in the ground looking for food or a boa constrictor lounging in a tree.
One of the great advantages of hiking in Arenal is you can take the same trail multiple times and see different flora and fauna every time.
How to get to Arenal National Park
The park is located only a few miles from La Fortuna, so if you’re coming from there, hang a left at the brown sign for Arenal Volcano National Park. If you’re making the drive coming from Tilaran, make a right.
You’ll travel up a dirt road as you continue to follow signs to the park, which will be on your left. Arenal Volcano National Park is open seven days a week from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Currently the park entry fee is $10 USD per person, but if you have Costa Rican residency–and you must have your cedula with you–the price is around $2.25 USD.
Hiking In Arenal Volcano National Park.
Article/Property ID Number 5111
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