Costa Rica: Arenal

My second visit to Arenal within a year. Arenal is a great area for all types of adventure activities but also offers a lot in terms of nature and wildlife.

aavtravel arenal volcano costa rica

The Arenal Volcano is spectacular and source of the hot springs which can be found on many hotel properties. Some of the best hot springs belong to the Tabacon Resort. Access can be purchased in form of a day pass if you are not staying at the hotel. I would recommend visiting in the evening when the crowds are gone. It is wonderful to dip in the natural hot springs, enjoy a drink, and relax below the volcano.

aavtravel arenal costa rica hot springs

Arenal’s main town, La Fortuna, is charming and offers a little bit of everything. Shopping, restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream… It is a great place to mingle with locals and soak in some Costa Rican culture.

Whilst in the area we visited several of the resort properties but stayed at the Arenal Kioro. This family run hotel sits closest to the volcano and all rooms boast spectacular views. They also offer a very nice, cascading hot spring area on site. We were personally welcomed by the owner, his son and grand-daughter which was very touching. This is the view from our room:

View from Arenal Kioro Resort

During my stays I had the opportunity to experience several activities. My personal highlight was the waterfall rappelling which was really exciting. The first rappel was down a straight wall of 168ft. Looking over the ledge was very taunting. As you go along you will rappel down more walls, sometimes in a waterfall, sometimes next to it. It was real fun and I can definitely recommend it. The hardest part probably was getting out of the canyon. It is a steep walk up the side cliffs in the middle of the rainforest. The guides made sure we were safe and took very good care of everybody.

Arenal area waterfall rappel

The Hanging Bridges are one of the area’s major attractions. A scenic walk in the middle of the rainforest, crossing different hanging bridges. We were accompanied by a guide who pointed out plants and wildlife. This area is great for snakes, birds, spiders, frogs, and also monkeys. I would classify the walk as moderate, however, there is a fairly steep finale.

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Penas Blancas River Float is a very relaxing activity with 6 people sharing a small boat. It’s a great activity to do with smaller children. You are likely to see birds, lezards, monkeys, and other wildlife, whilst floating down the river.

Arenal Penas Blanca River Float

From a vacation concierge standpoint I would recommend Arenal to anyone who wants to do plenty of adventure activities, see an impressive live volcano, and relax in hot springs. There are plenty of different resorts in this area and I would recommend trusting a specialist to help you choose the right one.

Posted by: Stefanie Pichonnat can be reached at 812-917-2149 or