Best 17 Things To Do Near Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano
La Fortuna Waterfalls
Caño Negro Boat Ride
Arenal Ziplines
Arenal Volcano
arenal-slide-whitewater-rafting
La Fortuna Waterfalls
Caño Negro Boat Ride
Arenal Ziplines
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In north central Costa Rica near the town of La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano rises majestically above the lowland plains surrounding it. The area offers natural beauty, amazing wildlife, and plenty of outdoor activities for visitors. Volcanoes, waterfalls, ziplines and rappelling. Hanging bridges, hiking, and hot springs. So much to do, so little time! Use this dream book to help you plan your days and nights during your stay in the adventure capital of Costa Rica!

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Not far from La Fortuna, the Arenal Hanging Bridges comprise more than 10 suspended bridges connected by 5 kms of rainforest trails. Here, you observe flora and fauna from ground level to the treetops. A unique experience to learn about the complexity and beauty of the rainforest: on this three-hour visit, walk the trails and bridges and spy huge tropical palms and many varieties of heliconias, flowering gingers, and possibly howler monkeys, morpho butterflies, and colorful tropical birds like parrots, motmots, and toucans!

Highlights: The hanging gardens of the rainforest. Excellent birdwatching. Amazing lookouts to the volcano!
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, gear as needed.
Bring: Binoculars, walking shoes, water, insect repellent, sun block, raincoat, hat, and camera.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Hanging Bridges

Just 30 minutes from La Fortuna town, the only private nature reserve within the Arenal National Park boasts more than 20 kms of private trails in a tropical foothill rainforest and hosts an impressive 400 plus bird species. In addition, you may encounter wildlife such as Spider Monkeys, Howlers Monkeys, Coatis, Brocket Deer, Tamandua Anteaters and Peccaries. Unique to this area are two private suspension/canopy bridges, an impressive canopy tower, a beautiful waterfall, and a new Volcano visitors center with data and photos on the history of the Volcano. The trails are a hotspot for naturalists and hikers alike!

Highlights: Private trails and hanging bridges. Great wildlife. Secluded waterfall.
Unique vistas of the volcano and Lake Arenal. A state-of-the-art Volcano Museum.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees.
Bring: Binoculars, walking shoes, water, insect repellent, sunblock, raincoat, hat, and camera.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Hanging Bridges

Waterfall Canyoning & Rappelling

Arenal Waterfall Canyoning & Rappelling

This is an exhilarating 3-hour experience! Enjoy the opportunity to hike through tropical rainforest in the shadow of Arenal Volcano, which leads to a series of waterfalls in a pristine canyon. Here, rappel down four waterfalls and one canyon wall. Your guides will secure you into your safety harness and assist you as you descend through the enchanting gorges and lush rainforest.

Highlights: Impressive adventure and canyoning exploration in the rainforest. Remote and unique landscape. The most professional guides.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, and gear as needed.
Bring: Multi-sport sandals or tennis shoes, change of clothes and shoes, quick dry clothing.

Sarapiqui Whitewater Rafting

The Sarapiquí River descends from the central mountains into the Caribbean lowlands, passing through lush rainforests and farmlands. Just an hour away from La Fortuna, enjoy over 2 hours of rafting along a 15 km section of exciting white-water Class II-III rapid – a guaranteed fun experience! The rafts fit 4 to 6 passengers and a guide and are followed by safety kayakers. Lower sections of the river are suitable for families with young children, and an upper section of the river is ideal for those looking for more challenging rapids.

Highlights: Best Class III river near Arenal Volcano. Great for wildlife. A perfect combination of nature and adventure! Certified guides. Tropical fruit snacks.
Length: Full day with morning departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, lunch, gear as needed.
Bring: Shorts or swimming suits, sunscreen, walking shoes that can get wet or secure all-terrain sandals, change of clothing.

Sarapiqui Whitewater Rafting

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall

Catarata La Fortuna is a beautiful waterfall about 5 kms from the town of La Fortuna. At the base of the 70-meter-high waterfall, there is a “natural pool” where you can swim. Then, descend to the falls via 480 steps or a 20-minute trail. Just remember that you’ll need to hike back up! Recommended only for people in good physical condition.

Highlights: Proximity to La Fortuna. Beautiful scenery and majestic waterfalls. Support local community projects. And a swimming opportunity!
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees.
Bring: Swimming suit, towel, walking shoes or all-terrain sandals, bottle of water, insect repellent, sunblock, raincoat, hat, and camera.

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (River Boat or Canoe)

This tour is one of our naturalist guides’ favorites for viewing river and rainforest wildlife! Located two hours away from La Fortuna, the Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge and Río Frío combine wetlands and riparian forests that are host to water birds, iguanas, caimans, monkeys, sloths, river turtles, and many forest bird species. Enjoy a 3-hour covered river boat safari or opt to canoe downriver and boat back up, in the
company of a naturalist guide who will point out wildlife and explain the area’s ecology.

Highlights: Unique wildlife boat or canoe tour on a tropical river. It is one of the best rivers in Costa Rica for finding wild animals.
Length: Full day with morning departures
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, lunch, gear as needed.
Bring: Binoculars, walking shoes or all-terrain sandals, sunblock, hat, and camera.

Caño Negro River Boat Tour

Peñas Blancas River Float Trip / Canoe Adventure

Peñas Blancas River Float Trip and Canoe Adventure

Just a 30-minute drive from la Fortuna, the lower section of the Peñas Blancas River is calm and ideal for a relaxing two-hour river float trip to admire the river and adjacent rainforest habitat. You will likely encounter iguanas, monkeys, river birds, basilisk lizards and other creatures of these tropical habitats. This is an ideal introduction to the wonders of the rainforest!

Highlights: Great for families and wildlife viewing. Expert naturalist guides.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, gear as needed.
Bring: Binoculars, all-terrain sandals, sunblock, hat, camera, and change of clothes.

Sky Tram/Skytrek Zip Line Canopy Tour

The Sky Trek Zipline and Tram is a thrilling zipline circuit that starts with guests riding an open-air gondola through the rain forest to an observation deck where you have spectacular views of the Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake. You will then begin zip lining for 2 hours through a system of 7 cables that gives visitors an exhilarating ride and an opportunity to enjoy the rain forest canopy with superb views. The longest cable is 760 meters, and the highest cable is 200 meters. This is a great and thrilling opportunity to enjoy the rainforest with beautiful views on platforms and zip lines among the trees.

Highlights: Some of the best views of the area. Ziplining in the rainforest canopy!
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, and gear as needed.
Bring: Walking shoes, sunblock, comfortable clothes, raincoat optional.

Sky Tram/Skytrek Zip Line Canopy Tour

Mundo Aventura Zip Line Canopy Tour

Mundo Aventura Zip Line Canopy Tour

Mundo Aventura offers two canopy tours. There is something for everyone! The Big Ama is a 3 1/2-hour tour with 12 zipline cables. The Ama Extreme is a 2-hour tour with 7 cables. Both tours combine a wagon ride, rainforest walking trails, amazing views of Cerro Chato, La Fortuna, and Espino Falls, a butterfly farm and a frog pond, and a visit to a Maleku Culture Rescue Center.

Highlights: Some of the best views of the area. Ziplining in the rainforest canopy!
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, and gear as needed.
Bring: Walking shoes, sunblock, comfortable clothes, raincoat optional.

Horseback Riding with Don Tobias

Enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour horseback ride on a private cattle farm along the slopes of the Volcano. You will pass through pristine creeks, lush primary forests, and pasture lands. Don’t mind the sheep, horses, and cattle you see along the way! Spectacular views of the volcano make beautiful pictures!

Highlights: Private access to remote farms near the Volcano. Amazing views and fantastic photo ops. Adventure experience. No crowds or cars.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, and gear as needed.
Bring: Long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, insect repellent, sunscreen and sunglasses, walking shoes (no sandals), and a camera.

Horseback Riding with Don Tobias

Arenal Volcano Hike & Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano Hike & Hot Springs

The two-hour/5 km Coladas Trail begins off the main road to the park entrance and crosses an open area before rapidly reverting to the forest in front of the west flank of Arenal Volcano. It leads to a blocky lava flow that crushed its way through the area in 1992. End your active day where the steaming waters of a nearby river tumble from the lava fields and cascade. Enjoy and relax at a thermal resort that boasts natural mineral pools and hot springs set in exotic gardens.

Highlights: Experience walking on lava rocks. Photo ops of fantastic lookouts. It is a great tour to look for birds and animals. Relaxing in world-class thermals!
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees.
Bring: Binoculars, walking shoes, a bottle of water, insect repellent, sunblock, raincoat, hat, camera, swimming suit, and sandals.

Balsa Whitewater Rafting

Located 45 minutes away from La Fortuna, the Rio Balsa offers 10 kms of beautiful Class II-III whitewater action. Along the river, you can view birds, rainforest wildlife, and the majestic Arenal Volcano. This whitewater experience is great for beginners.

Highlights: Great for beginners. Perfect combination of rafting, nature, and adventure with certified guides.
Length: Full day with morning departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, lunch, gear as needed.
Bring: Shorts or swimsuit, sunscreen, walking shoes that can get wet or secure, all-terrain sandals, and a change of clothing.

Balsa Whitewater Rafting

Danaus Ecocenter

Danaus Ecocenter

This small biological reserve, 15 minutes east of the town of La Fortuna, is a model of conservation. Once open farmland, this reserve has been allowed to revert to forest and now teems with wildlife. A main 1.5- hour trail winds through the forest where visitors can see a number of the 154 bird species recorded here, including honey-creepers, euphonias, tanagers & toucans. Several slow-moving sloths and other curious creatures live here too.

Highlights: Butterfly Garden with colorful species. Great chances to see poison frogs, sloths, and many birds! A true conservation project. Maleku Indian handmade crafts.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees.
Bring: Binoculars, walking shoes, water, insect repellent, sunblock, raincoat, hat, and camera.

Sloth Territory

Arenal area is well known for its nature and wildlife, including the two different sloth species living in Costa Rica. During this 3-hour tour our primary goal is to find as many sloths as possible. On the search for these beautiful animals, our knowledgeable guide will drive you around la Fortuna’s beautiful spotting areas for more wildlife, such as toucans, poison dart frogs, hummingbirds, iguanas, and monkeys!

Highlights: Great chances to find the two species of sloths in the wild! Expert naturalist guides. Great experience for birdwatching. All hot spot sites for sloths are near La Fortuna.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees.
Bring: Binoculars, walking shoes, insect repellent, sunblock, raincoat, hat, and camera.

Sloth Territory

Fortuna Mountain Biking

Fortuna Mountain Biking

Bike along gently rolling and forested country roads in the shadow of the imposing Arenal. This tour offers scenic vistas of forests, mountains, and the Volcano and opportunities to see wildlife. You will cover about four hours by riding from 15 to 40 km along gravel roads. Refreshments and assistance vehicles are included, and your starting point is a 20-minute drive from La Fortuna.

Highlights: Biking along secluded secondary roads. Great opportunities to see wildlife and take in the rural countryside.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, equipment.
Bring: Tennis shoes, a swimming suit, shorts, sunblock, a camera, a hat, and sunglasses.

Arenal Volcano ATV Tour

Your adventure begins after a scenic short drive to a private farm close to Arenal Volcano National Park. Make sure you dress for success on this excursion by choosing clothing you can get dirty. It’s sure to be a wild 3-hour ride, and the rainforest trails are often muddy. After safety talk, you will have time to become comfortable on your 4 x 4 with a few practice runs. Once you’re ready, we roll out for a wild adventure through gorgeous Costa Rican rainforests, rolling foothills and lush backcountry.

Highlights: Explore little-known and muddy trails and roads in Arenal area. Ultimate adventure experience!
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, entrance fees, equipment.
Bring: Tennis shoes (no flip flops, sandals, or open-toed shoes), camera, sunscreen, comfortable clothing you can get dirty, raingear, insect repellent.
Restrictions: ATV drivers must be 16 or older with a valid driver’s license. No seniors over 65 and no children under 12 are allowed. Unlicensed participants and children under 16 must ride as passengers.

Arenal ATV Tour

Campesino Experience

Campesino Experience

Enjoy a taste of Costa Rica! Immersed in the warm and natural habitat facing the Arenal Volcano and surrounded by rivers and rainforests, we are welcomed to an organic orchard run by a local family. Here we will find, learn about, and taste some of the dozens of seasonal products growing in the healthy and fertile lands, typical of the nearby volcano. The highlight of this visit for all is at the end for the walk -when we enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch prepared by the owners – followed by a fresh cup of coffee and a tasty desert!

Highlights: Experience a beautiful piece of paradise owned by local farmers. Delicious home-cooked lunch! Great place to spy large iguanas, birds, and sloths.
Length: Half day with morning and afternoon departures.
Includes: Round trip transportation, local guide, traditional lunch.
Bring: Binoculars, walking shoes, bottle of water, insect repellent, sunblock, raincoat, hat, camera.