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The Arenal Volcano is one of the top ten most active volcanoes in the world and is the most active one in Costa Rica. It was dormant for more than 400 years until 1968 when it violently erupted. It literally blew off the western side! Today it is daily erupting, but in very small doses and has become one of the most interesting places to visit in Costa Rica. There are 3 to 20 lava flowing explosions daily sending ash plumes one kilometer above the volcano and boulders down its sides. Volcano specialists and enthusiasts have declared Arenal Volcano the third most perfect volcanic cone in the world.
Located in Arenal Volcano National Park near the town of La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano is one of the most popular attractions in Costa Rica. But the best part is that you can enjoy the nightly show while soaking in the surrounding naturally heated hot springs.
Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until 2010, and one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world. It has been studied by seismologists for many years. The volcano is located at the center of Arenal Volcano National Park in the northern zone of the country, 15 kilometres southwest of the La Fortuna district in San Carlos. Arenal Volcano area is an important watershed for the Arenal Lake Reservoir. The reservoir's water is used for hydroelectric power. It is also connected to the national system
Not only is this area famous for the volcano, it's also one of the best places to itch your adventurous bug bite and go nuts with all the amazing tours and activities in the area:
By car it is a 3-1/2 hour drive from San Jose, but the junctions are not very well marked, so bring a good map.
To get to La Fortuna, there are direct buses from San Jose or otherwise take a transfer in Ciudad Quesada (San Carlos). There are also buses from San Ramon. A local bus runs from Tilaran.
There is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from in the Arenal/La Fortuna area. Normally, the hotels all have fantastic meals and breakfasts are usually included in the price per night.
Arenal/La Fortuna area has a wide selection of hotels to choose from. You can stay in a budget rustic hotel/cabins for less than $25 or you can stay at a magnificent resort/spa for $400 a night. There are tons in between. The best choices however are hotels with hot springs. Since hot springs are a huge hit here, it's better if you stay where they are and save money on the tour.
The best hotels with Hot Springs in the area:
Popular hotels without springs:
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Arenal Volcano searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Arenal Volcano and areas nearby.
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