Located in Costa Rica’s northern plains near the town of La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano in Alajuela Province has been active since 1968 with nearly continuous flows of hot blocky lava and occasional small eruptions.

The scenery of the surrounding area around this national park is a dramatic landscape of agricultural plains edging into lush rainforests that rise into a backdrop of mountains of ancient volcanic origin. Here cool, crystal-clear rivers tumble down forested mountain slopes forming picturesque waterfalls. Adding to the regional beauty is Arenal Lake, a long body of water bordered by a verdant pastoral landscape of farmlands on low mountains. Birding is spectacular in this region!

Visitors can also enjoy sighting a variety of wildlife such as parrots, 3 species of monkeys, coatimundis, sloths, toucans, colorful butterflies and more! While Arenal Volcano continues to be the area’s main attraction, the region offers many other attractions such as canyoning, rafting, hiking, mountain biking on back roads, nature photography, horseback riding, and to relax, volcanically heated hot springs! Many hotels are in the area offering a variety of accommodations.

Recommend Hotels

Arenal Observatory Lodge, Hotel Nayara, Hotel Manoa, Hotel Kioro, and Arenal Springs.

One Day Trips

Arenal Skytram SkyTrek, Arenal Hanging Bridges, Canyoning & Waterfall Rappelling, Caño Negro Tour.

Arenal Highlights

There are more than 400 birds recorded around the volcano lush rain forests and open areas, including: Olive Tanager, White-lined Tanager, Black and yellow Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Crimson-collared Tanager, Emerald Tanager, White Hawk, Ornate Hawk-Eagle and Laughing Falcon.

Among hummingbirds: Green Thorntail, Green Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Purple-crowned Fairy, Blue-chested Hummingbird, Blue-throated Goldentail, Black-crested Coquette.

Five species of toucans have been seen: Emeral Toucanet, Chesnut-mandibled Toucan, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari and Yellow-eared Toucanet.

Also found Keel-billed Motmot, Broad-billed Motmot and Rufous Motmot, White-necked Puffbird and White-fronted Nunbird.

Other animals that may be seen in their natural habitat are: Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider monkeys, Three-toed Sloth, Collared Peccaries, Brocket Deer, White-nosed Coati and Tamandua Anteater. Among reptiles and amphibians: Basilisk Lizard, Spectacled Caiman, Eyelash Viper, Central American Whip-tailed Lizard, Green Anole Lizard and Green Iguana.