Arenal Observatory Lodge
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Arenal Observatory Lodge

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Starting at $144 (USD) / night
Suggested Nights Stay: 3 Nights

Get up close and personal with a volcano when you book your tropical vacation at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa. With 45 rooms and two villas to accommodate you, this unique Costa Rican hotel offers the opportunity to experience the diversity and serenity of this paradise. You’ll never tired of the view!


White Hawk Villa at Arenal Observatory Lodge
White Hawk Villa at Arenal Observatory Lodge

With views of both the blue waters of the lake and the towering volcano, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is an ideal location for you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Costa Rica. Located near La Fortuna de San Carlos, this lodge is the hotel inside Arenal Volcano National Park; in fact, the site previously served as a scientific research station for the Smithsonian Institution. Now, this hotel can be your home away from home as you explore the surroundings and make your own adventure.

Because this lodge sits on 870 acres of rainforest, gardens, and pastures, guests can forget about the stress and business of the outside world. Despite its remote feeling, however, the hotel and spa offer many of the modern conveniences and luxuries of a full-service resort.

The restaurant on-site features both international and regional dishes using the freshest of local produce and seafood, and guests can also enjoy a tropical cocktail at the bar and lounge. During your stay, you can book a treatment at the Observatory Spa, relax by the pool, or pick up a keepsake from the souvenir shop to take home.

With two villas for large parties and 45 rooms in the lodge, guests can take in their own private view of the lake or volcano. The rooms are cooled naturally, thanks to the mountain breezes that are common at the elevation of over 2,100 feet above sea level. You won’t have the distractions of television to compete with the relaxation and beauty of this tropical paradise. The sounds of nature lull you to sleep and awaken you each day as you let your cares melt away.

Set your own pace at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa. With over 7 miles of trails for hiking horseback riding, mountain biking, and bird watching, you don’t ever need to venture past the property. However, you have plenty of ways broaden your horizons and create memories by stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Dip in the hot springs, tour the volcano, explore the caves, or boat along the river to see the beauty of Costa Rica from every angle and perspective. Your stay at the lodge will be unlike any other vacation you’ve ever had.

Key Features

Admiring Arenal Volcano from standard room terrace at Arenal Observatory Lodge
Admiring Arenal Volcano from standard room terrace at Arenal Observatory Lodge
  • Stunning views of Arenal Volcano
  • The closest hotel to Arenal Volcano.
  • Located inside the Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Free WiFi
  • Breakfast included
Starting at $144 (USD) / night
Suggested Nights Stay: 3 Nights


Beauty Salon
Family Friendly
Handicapped Accessible
Hotel near Volcano
Internet Available
Laundry Service
Restaurant On Site
Smoke Free Rooms
Telephone in Room
Wi-Fi Internet


Arenal Observatory Lodge: A true nature paradise
Discover, Explore, Relax


Smithsonian Room deck at Arenal Observatory Lodge
Smithsonian Room deck at Arenal Observatory Lodge

The rooms, suites, and villas at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa are roomy and comfortable, with screened doors and fans to allow the mountain air to keep you comfortable during your stay. While there is no television, you do have free Wi-Fi access during your stay.

Each room also has a private bathroom with hot water, a coffee maker, in-room safe, and furnishings that reflect the natural beauty of the property outside your door. Five of the rooms are wheelchair accessible for guests who need these accommodations. A complementary breakfast buffet is included during your stay.

Standard Room – These rooms feature two queen beds, a sitting area, and writing desk as well as a view of the volcano from the terrace.

Smithsonian Room – These spacious rooms are found in the main building or near the restaurant or pool. They have either two queens or kings, and five of these rooms are wheelchair accessible.

La Casona – This converted farmhouse is ideal for budget travelers. It offers five rooms, most of which have a queen-sized bed, and shared bathrooms and sitting area. The front porch has stunning views of the volcano and lake.

Junior Suite – These oversized rooms have a small living room with mini-fridge and a bedroom with two king-sized beds. They also have artisan paintings that depict the animals and plants of the region.

White Hawk Villa – This two-bedroom villa can accommodate up to eight people and is located a short walk or drive from the main lodge building. It has a fully equipped kitchen and living room in addition to a large balcony for viewing the lake and volcano.

Phil’s Villa – Named in memory of a long-time guest of the property, this modern two-story villa is also a short drive from the reception area of the hotel. It can sleep up to ten people with three bedrooms, each with its own bathroom.

Starting at $144 (USD) / night
Suggested Nights Stay: 3 Nights


Your stay at the lodge can be as peaceful or adventurous as you want it to be. The friendly bilingual staff can assist you with tour arrangements to explore the area around the hotel. Here are some of the many options available to you:

Nature PathsTrails on the property for walking, hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding.

WaterSpring-fed pool and Jacuzzi to relax in the sun and take a dip.

BirdwatchingBirding tour to sneak a peek at some of the over 500 species of birds that make their home in Costa Rica.

Morning Walk Led by a naturalist guide, around the property to see waterfalls, hanging bridges, and rainforests.

Mistico Hanging Bridges Discover nature from a new perspective at this popular park in Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano National Park Tour the Arenal Volcano to see the nearby lava field as well as the forests that surround the natural wonder.

Rafting Take a whitewater rafting tour on the Toro and Balsa Rivers and feel this popular activity.

Hot Springs Tour both Baldi and Eco-Termales parks and feel the energetic healing properties of the volcano inside your body.

Canopy Tour Zip line and Sky Trek tours for a view of the volcano from above the treetops.

Arenal Lake Canoeing and boating on Arenal Lake, Peñas Blancas River, or through Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.

Cave Tour Canyoning and Spelunking through the Venado Caves or the river canyons in the Arenal Volcano National Park.

Wildlife Tour Visit a butterfly garden at Arenal Eco-Zoo habitat and learn about the indigenous animal species.

Cacao Tour Visit Rainforest Chocolate tour to unlock the ancient secrets of chocolate and sample the local product.

Tours Offered

ATV Riding
Bird Watching
Family Friendly Tours
Horseback Riding
National Park / Reserve Tours
Night Hikes
Wildlife Viewing

Location & Map

Arenal Volcano & Northern Highlands Map
Arenal Volcano & Northern Highlands Map
Arenal Observatory Lodge is located 20 minutes drive from La Fortuna next to the Arenal Volcano


Prices Starting at $144 (USD) / night
Click the Check Rates button to see detailed pricing.
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Satellite Map of Arenal Observatory Lodge