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Best Arenal Volcano National Park entrances

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.