We’ve always wanted to travel to Costa Rica and visit its famous Volcan Arenal. This is the best-known volcano in Costa Rica and coming here gives you the chance to see the unique natural formation up close. If we were was heading to Costa Rica on a activity holiday, this volcano would be first on our to do list.
Before you set about organising your expedition up the volcano, you might want to find out a bit about it. For a start, it covers 33 sq km and is situated just 7 km from the city of Fortuna in the northern part of the nation.
It is perhaps the main reason why people visit this region of Costa Rica, with the Northern Zone – as this area is called – boasting some of the country’s best natural sights, including lagoons, lakes, waterfalls and volcanoes. This really is a nature lover’s paradise – and sounds right up my street as a result!
The volcano is still active and there were constant explosions coming from it between 1968 and 2010. But for the last couple of years, activity has slowed down somewhat – a fact you may or may not be relieved to hear.
How to explore the volcano
As we said earlier, Volcan Arenal is one of the main reasons people come to the area, and this isn’t just so they can see the beautiful mountain in the distance. If we were was heading to Costa Rica on a activity holiday, this volcano would be first on our to do list. No, it’s so they can get really close to the volcano, so close in fact that they can stand on it.
The volcano is half covered in dried lava tracts as a result of the magma that has spewed from the earth. On the other half is lush rainforest, and this is a great place for holidaymakers to venture through and discover the flora and fauna of Costa Rica.
This is one of the most famous countries in the world for its abundant wildlife and exotic plants, so we’d definitely make the most of this and visit the forests of Arenal. One of the great things about exploring the volcano is that there is a huge list of activities you can take part in here.
We would first go hiking throughout the rainforest to see some of the tropical animal and plant species up close and to feel the volcanic earth beneath my feet. But after that, we might choose to try white water rafting, canyoning, horse riding or zip-lining through the forest – they all look extremely exciting, especially the canopy tours!
When opting for a walking tour, you don’t have to worry about trekking for hours on end in the sweltering heat, as there are short trails available. These take you through secondary forest – keep an eye out for monkeys, parrots and snakes! – and over lava fields. We’ve hiked over solid, cooled lava before, and just be warned, it can be very sharp and spiky so take good-quality boots with a thick sole.
You don’t have to worry about any sudden explosions though; the volcano has been quiet since 2010 and any trained guides will avoid taking you anywhere they deem too dangerous. So, you can be free to enjoy the experience and then you can tell friends and family at home all about that time you climbed a volcano!