Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
August 27, 2009
March 29, 2008
From journal Spring Break In Costa Rica
April 8, 2006
From journal Triple Threat: Costa Rica in 3 Parts
New Jersey, New Jersey
September 14, 2005
From journal Natural Beauty in Costa Rica
San Francisco, California
October 18, 2004
We left from the main lodge and drove down to the entrance of the park. We hiked about 45 minutes in thick rainforest along a heavily wooded path. The hike was very easy and level except for a couple of places you had to climb. All in all, it was not a strenuous hike.
At places along the route, the guide would point out a tree, bush, insect or other feature and give a detailed description of it. He also carried a spotting scope to point out features in the canopy.
After the 45-minute hike, we got to a clearing where the volcano could be viewed as well as the surrounding lake and landscape.
From journal Costa Rica Road Trip
by Ben the Grate
April 13, 2003
Few things will make as potent an impression on you as sitting at the foot of the volcano at night, watching molten lava and glowing boulders spew and explode from the peak of this perfect volcano, listening to the rumblings and crashings of the earth rebuilding itself.
The favorite activity in the area is, of course, the night watching. There are many places to do this.
The best watching place used to be at Los Lagos resort on the left side of the road, about 5kms north of the town of Fortuna. There are three small natural lakes on the flank of the volcano and this is as far up the volcano as you can safely get to watch at night. However, lava reached the shore of one of the lakes a few years back and the resort is very hesitant to allow people to watch from the lakes. You're still allowed to, but they'll charge you $10 for the privilege and give you STRICT instructions on where you can and cannot go.
Failing that option, head another few kilometers up the road to the Tabacon Resort. Here, for the hefty entrance charge of $20, you can sit in the soothing hot waters of the Tabacon (which flows steaming out of the volcano's base) while watching the volcano erupt. There are restaurants and bars here as well. (Please note that the smaller, cheaper Tabacon Resort area on the downstream side of the road does not have views of the eruptions.)
Failing that, keep driving up the road and turn left toward the Volcan Arena National Park onto a dirt road that is navigable by any car. A few kilometers down the road, you'll see a break in the large dirt mound on your left which provides a clear view of the entire volcano, base to summit. This place gets crowded late at night, so arrive by 5 or 6.
It's important to know that weather often thwarts viewing attempts. The summit is often shrouded in clouds. In the wet season (May-Nov), don't expect to witness an eruption. In the dry season (Dec-Apr), expect about a 50/50 chance. Perhaps you should plan on staying 3 or 4 days in the area to give you maximum chance to see one. There are plenty of other things in the immediate area to occupy your time.
The national park provides the only real hiking along the flanks of the volcano. On quiet days, lawbreakers climb to the summit crater (which is expressly forbidden). Please note that there have been a number of fatalities due to people hiking off established trails. There are active lava flows all over the volcano, which cannot be seen because of hard outer crusts that protect and insulate the lava below. The park is open 8am-3pm daily.
From journal Costa Rica 101
Rochester, New York
October 14, 2001
From journal Costa Rica's West Coast
New York, New York
February 3, 2001
But finally we arrived at Tabacon, where we were given lockers and immediately got into our swimsuits for some relaxation time in the hot springs. The grounds of this resort are lush and perfectly landscaped. There are many quiet corners where you can find a moment along even though there are usually many guests enjoying the hot springs. There are also pools scattered about with deck chairs, and bars tucked away with palm-frond rooftops. We had about three hours to enjoy the springs. I was there by myself, so after a while I wandered over to the bar, which is situated in one of the larger hot springs. At that moment I could not imagine anything better -- sitting on a barstool in a hot spring, drinking a nice cold beer, and eyeing the Arenal Volcano, which was beginning to show its lava as the sun went down. Indeed, the view of the volcano from this resort is near perfect. Then we had a fine and filling buffet dinner in the resort restaurant (you can also stay over night there in the hotel, call Tabacon at 506 228 8269 for more info.), all the while catching glimpses of trickles of lava. All in all, this day was the perfect introduction to Costa Rica and its natural graces.
From journal San Jose for Just a Day
by Travelin Fools
November 11, 2000
From journal Costa Rican Odyssey