Best Arenal Volcano National Park entrances

Undoubtedly one of the most popular tours for visitors coming to LA FORTUNA is the Arenal Volcano Tour, specifically its west side, where you can visit the ancient lava flows from past eruptions.
Arenal Volcano was during the 80’s – 90’s as well as the early 2000’s one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with impressive eruptions that could be seen daily, and which were especially attractive at night.
These eruptions have left large scars on the slope of the volcano, and can be seen most easily from the west side, where the volcano meets Lake Arenal.
Here, tourists can walk through ancient lava flows, which now, cooled, can be seen as curious rock formations.
Arenal Volcano National Park
The Arenal Volcano National Park (PNVA) was created on September 30, 1991.
This area is of great importance for the conservation of the local water regime, which guarantees the constant supply of water to the Arenal reservoir and nearby human settlements. It also considers the scenic beauty and volcanic activity, which are important tourist attractions for regional development, economic activity and the contribution to the national electrification system.
How to visit the Arenal Volcano lava flows ?
There are two main places to visit the lava flows. In both, tourists can enter on their own, or they can go on a guided tour.

Lava 1968 ( Private )
This extensive farm is located right next to the National Park, and its entrance is on the road to El Castillo, approximately 20 minutes from La Fortuna.
There are several trails that tourists can visit and hike, from flat parts to a site which is accessible after a 20 minute hike uphill.
There is also a lookout point and restrooms, as well as a basic service where people can have a cocktail or a soft drink.
Choose between two different trails of medium difficulty surrounded by the beautiful nature characteristic of Costa Rica.
Enter the uniqueness of the forest and discover the trails resulting from the lava eruption of the Arenal Volcano in 1986.
Finally, enjoy the beautiful landscape of La Fortuna de San Carlos, formed by the imposing Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake. The lookout point is the perfect spot to admire the beauty of a breathtaking panorama.
Open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. (Last admission 4:00 p.m.)

National Park
The National Park is also open to the public. It is located about 20 minutes on the way to La Fortuna, right next to Lava 1968. The trails in this section are flatter, and have a panoramic viewpoint similar to Lava 1968. Another aspect is that the basic services are simpler and not as splendid as in Lava 1968, due to the lack of budget as it is a public institution.
Opening hours:
Every day from 8 a. m. to 4 p. m.

Heliconias Trail: Covered with vegetation, it is 610 meters long, flat and narrow, and from there you can see the crater.
Coladas Trail: It is a flat trail of 1.7 km from where you can see the volcanic cone, Lake Arenal and the Tilarán mountain range.
El Ceibo Trail: It is relatively flat and is 2.3 km long. Here you can observe the large Ceiba pentandra tree.
Viewpoint to the volcanic cone: It is 1.5 km from the entrance control house and from there you can see the Arenal volcano.

Transportation to La Fortuna Costa Rica
One of the most important questions frequently asked by tourists visiting La Fortuna is transportation. How to get around La Fortuna? Is it better to rent a car to visit La Fortuna? Is it better to hire a private transportation service to La Fortuna? Can you visit La Fortuna by public bus?
These are just some of the questions frequently asked by visitors who want to travel to La Fortuna or want to find transportation from La Fortuna to another place.
Transportation from San Jose to La Fortuna
From San Jose, there are several forms of transportation. There is the public bus, which is the most economical of all. You can also rent a car in San Jose and drive yourself to La Fortuna. This is a smart way to travel, because of the freedom you receive, but it is also a more expensive form of transportation.
Additionally, there are semi-private transportation options, which consists of a regular service in air-conditioned minivans, in which only tourists traveling casually to the same destination travel, sharing the operating costs. This option is quite good, since you receive a good service and it is also more economical than renting a car.
The last transportation option is private transportation. This option is undoubtedly ideal, especially if you are traveling with 4 or more people, in which case you share the price of the transfer per person, while receiving quality service in an air-conditioned minivan with a chauffeur who does the tour. This option provides both the freedom to go at the pace you want, make strategic stops as desired and also at the same time you get enough rest and possibility to appreciate the scenery, as you do not have to concentrate on driving.

Other important transportation routes are:

Transportation from La Fortuna to Monteverde.
Monteverde is usually the number 3 destination in chronological order, in the classic circuits of many tourists. Tortuguero is usually visited first, then La Fortuna, and as destination 3 Monteverde.
This beautiful place of cloud forests is located high in the Cordillera de Tilaran.
There is a very interesting and even adventurous transfer service called Jeep Boat Jeep, which includes a boat transfer first across Lake Arenal, near La Fortuna. Afterwards you continue with a Jeep or Minivan to Monteverde.
If this transfer is not desired, there is also the normal private transportation service, which departs from La Fortuna at the time of your choice, driving through beautiful scenery along the way until you arrive in Monteverde about three hours later.
Clearly those who have a rental car can easily make the trip by following a route map, or by using Google Maps or Waze.
Transportation from Tortuguero to La Fortuna
From Tortuguero, or rather from the Pavona Pier to La Fortuna is another very popular and important route, as many people combine Tortuguero first and then visit La Fortuna as destination number 2.
The ideal transfer from La Pavona to La Fortuna, assuming you do not have a rental car, is undoubtedly the private minivan service. This trip takes approximately 3 hours, departing from La Pavona and arriving in La Fortuna.

Transportation from the South Caribbean to La Fortuna
In the case of the South Caribbean (Puerto Viejo and Cahuita) to La Fortuna, there are several forms of transportation.
The rental car, which is obviously an ideal form of transportation if you wish to drive.
Additionally, there is a shuttle or shared mini van service, which leaves at specific times from Cahuita and Puerto Viejo to La Fortuna.
The third option, and which is ideal in case you do not want to drive but at the same time have the best quality of service (you decide the time of departure) is the private transportation in minivan.

Transportation from La Fortuna to Boca Tapada
In the case of Boca Tapada, in case you do not have a rental car, there are several ways of transportation.
The Shuttle service, which leaves every day with a minimum of 2 people and which provides both the trip from La Fortuna to Boca Tapada and from Boca Tapada to La Fortuna.
Additionally, there is the option of the private transfer, which is a private transportation service in an air-conditioned minivan that can leave at any time you wish.

Birdwatching in La Fortuna Costa Rica
For bird lovers, La Fortuna is a fascinating place. While it is true that La Fortuna is located in the plains of San Carlos, in the hot lowlands influenced by the Caribbean, it is also surrounded by rainforest-covered mountains that descend from the cloud forests of Monteverde.
This dramatic topography makes the abundance of species extremely high, combining sightings from diverse climatic zones, habitats and microclimates, resulting in a festival for birdwatchers.
Bird watching tours in La Fortuna
There are several eco-regions in the vicinity of La Fortuna, although if the hotel where you are staying is immersed in tropical nature, it is very likely that from the hotel itself you can see species of hummingbirds, toucans, parrots, different species of tanagers, honeycreepers and even ground birds, such as chickadees, guans and chachalacas.
However, the deeper you go into the virgin nature of the northern plains, especially in jungle areas, or exploring rivers, wetlands and lagoons, the more likely you are to see bird species.
Peñas Blancas Safari
This exciting kayak tour is one of the most popular tours we offer, and gives the client the opportunity to travel along a jungle river surrounded by tropical rainforest with large jungle trees, which are home to many species of birds, especially in the early morning or late afternoon hours. Additionally, it is an ideal tour to see other species of fauna, such as sloths, reptiles like snakes and iguanas, basilisks and river turtles among other species.
Birding tour in Caño Negro
The Caño Negro Refuge and its extensive wetlands, which are almost completely flooded during the rainy season, is one of the most important places to see birds in Costa Rica. Although it is not close to La Fortuna, the refuge can be reached in 90 minutes. Once there, it can be explored in several ways, from canoe tours, silent motor boat tours or the classic boat tour (Pantoon).
El Burrito Hike
The El Burrito hike is a hike that takes you to the top of a relatively high mountain, which is located to the east of Cerro Chato. Because there is a difference in altitude between the lower part and the summit, and therefore the weather is changeable, the number of birds is equally varied and interesting. In addition to that, you travel through diverse habitats and ecosystems, from forests, charrales to grasslands and open fields, which makes birding easier while being able to see species from the different habitats.