The Arenal Volcano was formed about 7,000 years ago from the now extinct and adjacent Chato Volcano. It was at first inactive, which is why its 1968 major eruption took the local community by surprise, burying 3 small villages and leaving 87 people dead. Nowadays, the mighty Arenal Volcano is still active, but its eruptions are much more contained and occur in some form nearly every day.
Surrounding lands are rich in natural hot spring waters, warmed by the volcano’s veins. Watch a swirl of smoke puff up from the perfect cone, or hot lava rocks bounce down the volcano’s sides, all from a safe distance while luxuriating in hot mineral spring water. It’s an experience everybody wants to enjoy!
Another major attraction in the Arenal Volcano area is the immense adjacent Arenal Lake. The lake was man-made after the 1968 eruption destroyed the “Old Arenal Town.” A dam was built and the area flooded over the old town site to create one of Costa Rica’s biggest hydro-electric plants. Arenal Lake is perfect for scenic boat trips, fishing, kayaking tours and other water sports, and is a world-renowned site for windsurfing.
The Arenal Volcano National Park also offers vast green areas perfect for bird watching, hiking, hanging bridges, canopy zip line tours, etc. Many wildlife species, such as the jaguar, have been sighted in the Arenal Volcano National Park.