Arenal Costa Rica

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Volcanic Arenal Costa Rica

Arenal Costa Rica puts on a show almost every night--silent explosions that send mushroom-shaped clouds of ash into the sky, and thunderous explosions that hurl hot rocks a mile into the air! Rising almost 5,000 feet above sea level, this active and showy volcano has been continuously active since 1968 after being dormant for 400 years. Just a youngster at 4,000-years-old, Arenal is, nevertheless, a spectacular sight!

Perhaps nothing is as awe-inspiring as an erupting volcano spewing red-hot lava on a black night, perfect for Costa Rica family travel. Amazingly, horseback rides can take you right to the base of this fuming volcano. Of course, you'll stay on the eastern side of the volcano, because the lava flows down the northwestern slope. On the other hand, the best lava-watching spots are to the west of Arenal--but at a distance!

Hot Springs and Recreation

A very pleasant byproduct of volcanic activity is hot water that emerges from the earth. Tabacon Hot Springs is a nearby resort that is sure to relax you one way or another. Large and small pools formed by natural springs are set in lush gardens. The resort has hot tubs, water slides, and eight cold and hot swimming and lounging pools. If this doesn't do it, how about expert massages or mud masks to pamper your skin? For those who just can't bear to leave the warmth of the spring water, there's a swim-up bar!

Lake Arenal was created by Costa Ricans for recreational purposes. It is world-famous for being one of the fastest lakes for windsurfing. North of Arenal Costa Rica is Cano Negro, a wildlife refuge where roads and driving are fine during the dry season, but after the rains start, boats are the mode of transportation! This whole refuge is a major nesting site for aquatic birds, and serves the bird population as a way station. Definitely make the Arenal National Park adventure part of your exciting vacations in Costa Rica.

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