Costa Rica Volcanoes
Arenal volcano spits lava on a regular basis and – on a clear night – puts on a terrific fireworks show for lucky visitors and residents of la Fortuna. Photo by Matthew Landry
Best Costa Rica Volcanoes
Arenal the morning after, seen from the nearest town, La Fortuna. Photo by WiDi
Arenal is the most shapely and lively of Costa Rica’s 300 volcanoes, acting as the centrepiece for La Fortuna’s tourist trade. Climbing is forbidden, but the live lava views can be spectacular. The dry season offers your best chance of the rare sight of magma flow or a mini-eruption.
The volcano’s base area is a fascinating mass of magma caves; the best route to the base is via a forested path from Tabacon Resort. There are hot springs and cold drinks not far away for pure hedonistic viewing.
La Fortuna town
La Fortuna (La Fortuna de San Carlos) offers plenty of tourist excursions and activities when Arenal volcano is not in entertainment mode. Hiking, biking, caving, visiting the Catarata de La Fortuna (a 70m waterfall) and slumping in beautifully designed natural hot pools, for a start.