Considered by many to be one of the most spectacular regions in the country, the Northern Lowlands and Arenal Volcano area are Costa Rica’s hottest tourist destinations. Prior to December 2010 the Arenal Volcano was one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world and it was a truly majestic sight, as it spewed molten rocks and ash from its summit on a daily basis. Today there are no lava eruptions, for now, but you can still see smoke / ash spew out of the top of the volcano and take in any of the many thermal hot springs surrounding this active volcano.
One of the best places to take in the Arenal Volcano’s awe-inspiring beauty is at La Fortuna
, a tiny town located near the foot of the volcano. The prefect place to kickback and enjoy the area’s superb beauty, La Fortuna is a touristy place that retains much of its original Tico charm. There are also many natural hot springs nearby as well as resorts where one can pamper themselves taking a long relaxing soak among beautiful tropical gardens.
Beautiful Hot Springs
Spoil yourself at the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort or at The Springs Resort Hot Springs
or at any of the surrounding spas in the area for an unbelievable time. And once nightfall sets in, you are treated to a glorious show as red lava rocks tumble down the side of the volcano. As the Arenal erupts so often, you can get surprisingly close to the volcano. However, do not attempt to climb it as the gases from the volcano are fatal.
For nature lovers, Arenal also offers numerous hiking trails near the volcano where one can see some stunning waterfalls, beautiful wildlife and even caves with rivers flowing through.
Across from the Arenal sits the sparkling Arenal Lake, a delight for sports fishermen and avid windsurf enthusiasts. One of the best places in the world to go windsurfing as the breeze here is very consistent, this lake transforms into a windsurfer’s paradise from December to April with an unbelievable view of the Arenal in the distance from the small town of Nuevo Arenal
. This lake is also home to many freshwater fish including the Rainbow bass locally known as guapote that can weight up to 4 kg.
Map of Arenal Volcano & Northern Lowlands
Other Things To Do
For nature lovers, the Arenal region also offers numerous hiking and trekking trails near the volcano where one can see some stunning waterfalls, gushing rivers, beautiful plant and wildlife and even caves with rivers flowing through them at the Venado Caves. Just north of this area lies the Caño Negro Nature Reserve
that is also definitely worth a visit. You can arrange a trip from either Nuevo Arenal
, which offer all day tours, where you board a bus and get transported to the river, from where you head downstream along with the guide to see a plethora of animals and birds, including monkeys, toucans, alligators, and much more.