Arenal Volcano Hike | La Fortuna
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La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano Hike
3-Hour Nature Hike

Arenal Volcano Hike

Our low-impact, easy going nature walks to Arenal Volcano offer the perfect amount of adventure for outdoor activity lovers of all ages, shapes and sizes. Trek over hardened lava fields and hike through La Fortuna’s beautiful tropical rainforest in the shadow of Costa Rica’s most famous volcano.

Paradise Awaits

Your volcano tour begins with pick up from your La Fortuna hotel. The picturesque drive along rural roads offer views of Costa Rica’s gorgeous back-country. Gently rolling hills, spreading farms, and rugged mountains surround you on your journey. In the distance, Arenal Volcano looms larger as you approach. Depending on your tour selection, you will depart from one of the two divergent paths that can be found at the volcano’s base.

A morning tour of the volcano follows Arenal National Park’s lush nature trails. Afternoon tours offer a trek along the famous Arenal 1968 Trail. While both options offer incredible vistas and relaxing time spent in nature, there are slight differences to consider when deciding which tour you’d like to choose.

Arenal National Park Morning Tour

Along the foothills and the lower slopes of Arenal Volcano, a network of nature trails offer hikers a variety of natural terrains. Hardened lava-flows intersect with primary and secondary rainforest. Costa Rica’s famous tree frogs can be found on the trunks and branches of nearby trees, while tribes of howler monkeys whoop from the jungle canopy. Curious, large iguanas pose and scurry as you stroll by. During your hike, you will visit the shores of Lake Arenal, which offer bird lovers a chance to view colorful, tropical toucans, scarlet macaws and a wide range of other rare and indigenous birds.

These mostly flat trails are lush with exotic native plants. Pacaya palms, giant ferns and heliconia seem almost prehistoric as your guide identifies them for you and shares insightful local knowledge about the rainforest’s wide variety of flora and fauna. Tall, leafy trees, from balsas, to cedars stretch before the Tilaran Mountain Range, visible in the far distance. Stop and admire a famous ceiba tree, which at over 400 years of age survived Arenal’s fury in the eruption of 1968.

Arenal 1968 Trail Afternoon Tour

The Arenal 1968 Trail’s primary feature are its lava fields. The route was created during the volcano’s violent eruption of that year, when molten rivers of lava engulfed large tracts of secondary rainforest, creating spanning fields of lunar-like terrain in its wake. As resilient as ever, the local plants found their way through the ash and soot to spring new life throughout the hardened lava flows. Among the flows and the greenery, large boulders that were hurdled into the valley at the start of the eruption add their shapes to this fantastic volcanic landscape.

The Arenal 1968 trail is compromised of two intersecting trails. The 4.7km long Bosque 1968 trail loops through the lava fields, and wanders past a quaint local plantation where sugarcane and pineapples grow, eventually leading to a small lake called Lago Los Patos, (Duck Lake). At this quiet spot it is common to see tropical birds, wild turkeys and oropendolas. The 2.5km Lava Flow Trail begins in an open field that leads to dense rainforest as the incline grows steadily steeper. You arrive at a lookout point that offers spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and the shimmering lake below.

This Costa Rican volcano hike features the La Fortuna area’s best-known attraction and offers a nature walk you won’t soon forget.
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Tim R


We had a wonderful time with the volcano hike.