We already talked about the many wonders you’ll find in Costa Rica. Not only does it contain the happiest people in the world, but it’s also a paradise for any nature lover seeking to add some adventure to their trip. If you are one of these adventurists, there’s no way you can miss on the opportunity of visiting one of Costa Rica’s most mesmerizing natural wonders: the Arenal Volcano National Park.
This park was founded in 1991 and extends across a total area of 121.24 square kilometers. Because it forms part of a greater conservation area, it contains hundreds of natural attractions, including a lake, two volcanoes, and natural hot springs that lure tourist from all over the world looking to walk its scenic trails and to spot the wildlife that is unique to this region. Just to give you an idea of the biodiversity of the place, is this region you can detect more than 900 different bird species, plus a great variety of snakes, monkeys, and other mammals endemic to Tropical Latin America, like the jaguar, the lowland paca, de coati, and the sloth.
But the main attraction of this national park is mentioned on its name: the Arenal Volcano covers a surface of 33 square kilometers and can be spotted from almost any part in the park as well as from the towns surrounding the area.
The Arenal Volcano was thought to be inactive for a long time, until in 1968 it made its biggest and more damaging eruption, destroying the nearby towns of Tabacón y Pueblo Nuevo and killing more than 80 people. Since then its activity slowed down, and since October of 2010, it has remained inactive.
The Arenal Volcano is around 7500 years old, which is pretty young for this kind of formations, and 1,633 meters or 5357,612 tall. What makes it so distinctive compared to other volcanoes is its almost perfect conical contour with a steep profile, shaped like this thanks to the buildup of several layers of lava and volcanic ash. The word Arenal means ‘sandy’ in Spanish, and the name refers to how the lava has been turned into sand due to wind erosion and accumulated on the base of the mountain, giving our volcano the appearance of a giant sand hill.
But the Arenal Volcano is not the only one in this national park and shares the landscape with the smaller and older Chato Volcano, which has been inactive for the last 3500 years. The Chato Volcano offers excellent opportunities for everyone looking for a challenging but exciting hike up to its 500-meter wide crater containing the Cerro Chato Lagoon inside it.
Now you know the adventure that awaits you at the Arenal Volcano National Park. Just by arriving in La Fortuna, the colorful town known as the main gateway to the park, you’ll find yourself already surrounded by savanna and rainforest. When you see the Arenal Volcano guarding over the town, we promise you’ll want to stay here with us!
Ready to join us on our next adventure to the Arenal Volcano National Park? Check out what our complete tour includes and how you can book 7 full days of soft adventure in Costa Rica with Hamaca Tropical Tours!