Map showing Arenal location

Best things to do in Arenal


The Arenal region is located in the province of Alajuela, the canton of San Carlos and the district of La Fortuna. It is home to some of Costa Rica’s most sought-after natural and scenic attractions revolving around the Arenal Volcano National Park and the fairytale town of La Fortuna. Due to the volcanic nature of the area, most of the businesses revolve around hot thermal springs, including glorious five-star resorts such as The Springs Resort & Spa, Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa, and Amor Arenal.


The Arenal region offers many exciting activities of all sorts – among the most popular is hiking, whether it’s up the mountain trail of the Arenal National Park or to the incomparable beauty of the La Fortuna Waterfall; if walking isn’t your thing, you can always go horseback riding, or on an ATV ride! If you’re a fan of water sports, kayaking or sport fishing in Lake Arenal may be just the thing for you, or even white water rafting in the Balsa River! As long as you have no fear of heights, the Sky Tram offers the most scenic views of the volcano and lake from way up above, or perhaps you’re looking for a little more action and would prefer the Sky Trek, zip lining your way across – the Montana de Fuego Canopy and Mistico Hanging Bridges are also great ways to enjoy nature from a height!


Aside from the Arenal Volcano National Park and its scenic lake, along with the magnificence of La Fortuna Waterfall to its east, hot thermal springs are the biggest attraction in the area, found all over the La Fortuna region including five-star resorts like The Springs Luxury Resort & Spa, where you can bask in the hot waters and relax! Three hours south is Monteverde known for its overwhelmingly green natural beauty and biodiversity where you can find total peace; if you love volcanoes, the Tenorio Volcano is two hours north, as well as the turquoise waters of the Rio Celeste; further up north by the Nicaraguan border is the Cano Negro area with a huge wildlife refuge where spotting crocodiles is basically a hobby!

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If Arenal is your primary destination (excluding Manuel Antonio and Monteverde), 4 to 5 days would be sufficient. Even with a shorter timeframe, you can still capture the highlights in as little as 3 days.

Arenal, located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, is renowned for its thermal pools, Arenal Volcano, and captivating waterfalls. The region also offers exceptional wildlife experiences and thrilling canopy tours.