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Top Hiking Trails in Arenal Volcano National Park

Top Hiking Trails in Arenal Volcano National Park

One of Costa Rica’s top hiking destinations, Arenal Volcano National Park offers a range of hiking trails that wind through wildlife-rich rainforest and old lava flows, all anchored by one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Here are your options for trails in and around the park.

 

Los Heliconias — 0.6 miles (1 kilometer)

The most popular of four marked trails within Arenal Volcano National Park, this short hike starts at the ranger station and leads to a lookout with spectacular views over the volcano, Lake Arenal, and lava flows from former eruptions. At under a mile, it’s an easy and quick option for kids and those with limited time or mobility. 


Las Coladas — 1.24 miles (2 kilometers)

Mostly flat and easy to navigate, this trail wraps around the base of Arenal Volcano and offers views of the southernmost lava fields—rocky remnants of the volcano’s last major eruption in 1992. Always use caution when crossing the lava beds, as the boulders can be slippery and sharp.

 

Los Tucanes — 1.86 miles (3 kilometers)

Picking up where the Las Coladas Trail ends, this scenic trek winds through secondary rainforest and additional lava beds. Along the way keep an eye out some of the hundreds of bird species found in the park, including the endangered and elusive quetzal.

 

Los Miradores — .75 miles (1.2 kilometers)

Starting at park headquarters, this leafy route takes you through the rain forest to the shores of Lake Arenal.

 

Cerro Chato

The lesser-known (and dormant) cone of Cerro Chato has two hiking trails that begin near the famous La Fortuna Waterfall, about two miles (3.2 kilometers) southeast of Arenal Volcano. More difficult, these trails are best suited for experienced hikers, but the view of an emerald green lagoon that fills the collapsed crater is well worth the extra effort.

 

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Anyone can pay about $15 for a day pass to access the trails at this private lodge, which include the strenuous Lava Trail and the Laguna Volcán Chato, leading to the Cerro Chato crater lake.

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10 Tours and Activities

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Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch and Arenal Volcano Hike

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch and Arenal Volcano Hike

star-5
509
Combine three adventurous activities in a single tour: a hike to Arental Volcano, visit to the Hanging Bridges, and exploration of La Fortuna Waterfall. This full-day tour from La Fortuna, perfect for nature lovers, includes hiking and swimming amidst Costa Rica's beautiful natural scenery. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$162.70
From
$162.70

Arenal Volcano Hike

Arenal Volcano Hike

star-4.5
42
Hike Arenal Volcano National Park with a guided tour from La Fortuna, and discover lava formations, lush forests, and thriving wildlife. Watch for the monkeys and sloths that live within the park’s protected zone as you walk along the active, western edge of the volcano, then take a rainforest trail to Arenal’s most recent lava flow. Enjoy views of Arenal Lake and the rugged volcanic landscape, catch a glimpse of glowing fresh lava, then finish your day with an optional stop at a thermal hot spring (entrance fee not included).
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$67.60
From
$67.60

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Private Tour

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Private Tour

star-5
5
Run through the rain forest or take it slow on a private hanging bridges tour in La Fortuna. Explore the rain forest at your own speed; your guide stays by your side and points out wildlife like sloths, monkeys, and tropical birds along the way. Plus, because hanging bridges are mostly flat, this tour is perfect for exploring the wild without overexerting yourself.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$118.98
From
$118.98

3-in-1 Arenal Combo Tour: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall & Volcano Hike

3-in-1 Arenal Combo Tour: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall & Volcano Hike

star-5
98
Spend a full day exploring Costa Rica’s notoriously active crater on this 3-in-1 Arenal combo adventure. Hike through the jungle surrounding Arenal Volcano on a series of nature trails and hanging bridges, and trek down to the base of La Fortuna Waterfall to appreciate the height and power of the cascade and swim in a natural pool. Finish with a majestic perspective as you explore the lava fields of former eruptions and look for native wildlife along the trails of Arenal Volcano National Park.
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  • 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$200.00
From
$200.00

2-in-1 Arenal Volcano Combo Tour: La Fortuna Waterfall and Volcano Hike

2-in-1 Arenal Volcano Combo Tour: La Fortuna Waterfall and Volcano Hike

star-5
58
Swim beneath a jungle waterfall and hike into Arenal Volcano National Park on a 7-hour, 2-in-1 combo tour that takes in the best of the region’s natural beauty and wildlife. Spot monkeys and bright tropical birds as you walk through the rainforest surrounding La Fortuna waterfall, then enjoy a leisurely Costa Rican lunch with locally grown coffee. Follow your guide along jagged lava flows and mountainside trails as you explore Arenal, learn the history of this iconic volcano, and earn stunning views of Arenal lake.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$155.00
From
$155.00

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Tour

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Tour

star-4.5
35
Explore a protected tropical rain forest on a half-day hanging bridges tour from La Fortuna, and hike a circuit that crosses a series of 15 bridges with extraordinary views of the jungle canopy. Watch for brilliant birds, monkeys, boars, and jewel-toned frogs as you follow your guide through the forest, and listen to the sounds of tropical birdsongs and trilling insects. Experience Costa Rica’s rich diversity and lush habitat in terrain that abuts the Arenal volcano, and discover a remarkable world hidden in thick rain forest canopy.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$88.62
From
$88.62

Arenal Volcano Hike

Arenal Volcano Hike

star-5
16
Hiking on Arenal Volcano is the best way to appreciate the volcano’s power and beauty alike. This guided tour takes you down a network of paths ranging from easy to difficult—talk to your guide to choose the path that’s right for you. No matter what you pick, your guide shares stories and information about the volcano throughout the hike and points out features like wildlife and dried lava flows that you might miss on your own.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$71.00
From
$71.00

Rio Celeste Waterfall Hike and Swimming at the River 9 people max

Rio Celeste Waterfall Hike and Swimming at the River 9 people max

star-5
3
Hike through the rain forest to the Rio Celeste during an active full-day tour in Tenorio Volcano National Park. Your guide leads you on the 4.5-mile (7-km) hike to the Rio Celeste, a river that is known for its powder-blue color, along with a towering waterfall and natural hot springs. Your tour includes pickup and drop-off from La Fortuna hotels.
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  • 5 hours
From
$141.54
From
$141.54

La Fortuna Waterfall Guide hike

La Fortuna Waterfall Guide hike

Hike to the base of the dazzling La Fortuna Waterfall, the most famous cascade in Costa Rica. This tour makes it easy to see the natural wonder, from hotel pickup and drop-off to a guide who escorts you safely down the steep steps to reach the base of the falls. Once there, enjoy free time to swim in natural pools or simply relax while soaking up views of the waterfall and the lush tropical surroundings.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.00
From
$68.00

Arenal Volcano Expedition from Arenal

Arenal Volcano Expedition from Arenal

Visit Arenal Volcano National Park in La Fortuna during this guided day tour. Learn about the history of the volcano, which had been believed to be dormant until it erupted in 1968, from your guide. The park is a popular attraction for bird lovers and includes one of the country's most elusive birds, the endangered resplendent quetzal. Plus, catch views of the volcano from Arenal Lake.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.00
From
$60.00