Arenal Volcano National Park

Written by Patricia Skinner
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The greatest attraction of the Arenal Volcano National Park is that the volcano is still active on a constant basis at a rate of around two eruptions per hour. Most of this activity is fairly minor, but every now and then Arenal puts on a spectacular display, which has been likened to fireworks. But volcanic activity is by no means all that Arenal has to offer.

The Views in Arenal Volcano National Park

The views throughout the Arenal Volcano National Park have to be seen to be believed. The volcanic cone of Arenal rises out of the surrounding rainforest to a height of 1633 meters. Traditionally, visitors amuse themselves with hiking, pampering at one of the luxury resorts situated within the park, or simply lounging and eating. Once night falls, all eyes turn towards the volcano to see what activity is in stall for the evening. Seeing a cap of red hot molten lava spreading around the top of the cone is not something unusual. Nearly every night there is a sight worth seeing on Arenal.

Although the Arenal Volcano National Park has become a lighthearted tourist attraction where visitors regard the volcanic activity as an amusement, locals know only too well that unexpected volcanic activity can be anything but amusing. Arenal lay dormant for many years until the area was shaken by an earthquake in 1968. A total of eighty-seven people perished as a result of the explosion that followed, and Arenal has been active ever since.

Although hiking in the Arenal Park is a very pleasant way of passing the time, it is important that visitors realize just how dangerous volcanic activity can be. Tourists have been killed by poisonous gases and burns when hiking on the upper slopes, so the advice is to keep to the recommended hiking trails in the park. You won't be stuck for ideas though. There are entrancing waterfalls, canopy tours, and even wonderfully relaxing thermal springs that you can visit.

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