Arenal Volcano Region – From Tavo Leon Customized Tours

Almost anyone who has been in contact with Costa Rica would have heard, at least, of the Arenal Volcano, the nearby town of La Fortuna, its magnificent biodiversity and incredible array of activities.

Arenal Volcano from the distance
Arenal Volcano from the distance

The Arenal Volcano has been known, not only because of its perfect conic shape and the long lasting legend of its last eruptive period, but also because of its magnificent rainforests, its fantastic hot springs, and a breathtaking array of different activities for all ages and possibilities.

Arenal Volcano Eruption. - Photo by Olga Sáenz

Please read on to find out all you want to know about the Arenal Volcano Region.

Last Eruptive Period of the Arenal Volcano

The Arenal Volcano used to be tremendously active, up until October 2010, and famous for its photoshopped fire on the sides. This incredible eruptive period created the original travel industry of the Arenal Volcano Region and its nearby town la Fortuna.

Before tourism arrived in 1988, the area was a prosperous beef and dairy cattle region. However even if it was very prosperous, it was very isolated, and quite remote.

When tourism started in the country, La Fortuna (the nearest town to the Arenal Volcano) was a tiny village with gravel roads. There was access to it thanks to the electric company and the Arenal Lake hydroelectric dam. Wherever there is a dam, there is a good road to it. That is almost a law on the infamous Costa Rican roads. It actually used to be that if there was a good road, there was a dam somewhere!

Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

So, anyway, La Fortuna was this small, untouched Arenal Volcano village that lied in the right place (thanks to its position, the violent eruptions of the Arenal Volcano never touched it) and had one old wooden hotel and one little four-table restaurant. As the Arenal Volcano was erupting an average of an explosion every twenty minutes, people began coming to see it. One day trips from San José to see the Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Volcano tours lasted about 12–14 hours. And it was merely, “Go, sit on a rock, wait until the Arenal Volcano erupts, and go back to San José.” That was it.

But then, one day, another restaurant opened and a hotel opened in La Fortuna near the Arenal Volcano, and little by little, the cattle farmers of the area began to turn their pastures into hotels and tourist attractions.

Little by little, but actually quite fast, the region of Arenal near the Arenal Volcano is filled with all sorts of activities, shaded by the thrill of a possible Arenal Volcano eruption at any time. And when it happened, tourists stopped doing whatever they were doing—waiting on a platform to go zip-lining, walking on a rainforest trail, or soaking in hot springs near the Arenal Volcano. Everyone would simply look up and be in awe of the power of nature in the perfect cone of the erupting Arenal Volcano.

Arenal Volcano 2004
Arenal Volcano 2004

Until one day in October 2010, the Arenal Volcano stopped. One last eruption, and that was it. It fell asleep. And it can be dormant for a few months or hundreds of years near La Fortuna. There is no way to know. But then, you simply had to stop and look around. Here we were; the main attraction was gone. However, the area itself around the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna has turned into one of the most fantastic places in Costa Rica!

Once the eruptions ended

While everyone was thinking of what to do while the Arenal Volcano erupted, the inhabitants of La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano, created this amazing natural adventure park with everything from extreme to soothing!

In the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna areas, you can find:

Hot Springs: At least five very attractive projects, from heavenly calmed to party, noise, and water slides.

Ziplines: If all the trees in the area were cut, there would be an enormous amount of entangled cables all over the place, as there are at least ten different canopy tours, from mild to extreme.

Rafting, from class III to class V.

Waterfall Rappelling or Canyoning: There are at least three different projects, all of them thrilling, safe, and in primary forests.

Horseback: This is an area of cowboys; horseback riding is like breathing!

Hanging Bridges: At least two projects with several high, wide, and safe hanging bridges in the canopy of the forest

Organic Touristic Farms: With an abundance of products in super fertile soils, the organic farms or the Arenal area are almost a compulsory visit if you want to see the cultural side of the region.

Spas: By dozens! Almost in every hotel and some in La Fortuna, this is one of the gifts of the area.

Rainforest Hikes: Also everywhere! The rainforest at Arenal is one of the most diverse in the country, and there are several protected primary forests.

Bird Watching: In the zone of Arenal, there are over 340 species of birds, from super colorful like the Passerine’s Tanager or the Keel-billed Toucan to the bizarre call of the Oropendola Montezuma.

Wildlife Sighting River Floating Tours Some of the rivers in the area have fantastic wildlife sightings and gorgeous landscapes. Worth the day if you are into mild, easy adventures.

Arenal Waterfall: the most beautiful and pristine waterfall in the midst of a primary rainforest. You have to go down hundreds of steps (and go back up to exit!) but the view and swimming in its pond are absolutely worth it!

There are many more activities to do in the area; the list is almost infinite! From paddle boarding and wind surfing in the lake to rainforest aerial trams and river tubing to pineapple and chocolate tours… However, we are listing some of the most popular.

Check them out with our travel consultants! It is truly an infinite and vigorous region!

This was published first at:

Saenz, O. (2024, April 5). Arenal Volcano. Tavo Leon – Customized Tours. https://tavoleon.com/arenal-volcano/

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