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Costa Rica: Arenal and the north

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The pleasingly conical volcano Arenal rises from a skirt of thick forest and the waters of Lake Arenal. Once famous for its eruptions of molten lava, it erupts infrequently nowadays (nothing since 2010) The landscape here is ruggedly beautiful and comprises one of Costa Rica’s many conservation areas, protecting a territory of amazing biodiversity which contains half the known species of birds, mammals and reptiles in the country. It is also popular among adventure-activities enthusiasts, and visits are serviced in the formerly dozy town of La Fortuna. Cloud forest, waterfalls, caves and thermal pools – this is a diverse and captivating region.

Our holidays to Arenal and the north

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Self-drive Costa Rica: Coast to coast adventures

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Luxury adventures in Costa Rica

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Value Costa Rica: The essential highlights

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Costa Rica wildlife

Costa Rica Wildlife Discovery

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15 days from £3,866pp

Things to do in Arenal and the north

Hiking through trees to crater lake in Costa Rica

Hike up to Arenal crater lake

Horse ride

Horse riding to La Fortuna Falls


Sloth

Visit Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve

Waterfall abseil

Costa Rican waterfall abseiling

Our insider tips for Arenal and the north

Rafe Stone

Rafe Stone

Cocktail in hand, a dip in the waters at Eco-Thermales, on a farm between La Fortuna and the lake.  There are five free-flowing springs where the temperature reaches a dreamy  38-43°C. A great place for kids (without the cocktail).

Chris Parrott

Chris Parrott

Trekking on horse-back to the La Fortuna waterfall which plunges 70m through misty forest. It’s a gentle ride, with great views of the countryside.

Lina

Lina Fuller

Riding the aerial tram on the slopes of Cerro Chato, 4km from La Fortuna. You’ll swing through the trees for a breath-taking 1-2hrs, on the lookout for toucans and monkeys, with views of the omnipresent volcano.

What our experts say

For something a bit challenging try abseiling down a waterfall at Arenal. I did it land lived to tell the tale! There are 4 drops so you can chicken out (no one did).  On the 1st drop you rappel down alongside a waterfall and get a little spray preparing you for what’s to come. On the 2nd  you get a face full of water and a decent shower as you meet the waterfall, at which point you can bounce down the wall on the rocks. The third descent is a dry one: as you’ve already had some practice the guides encourage you to take big jumps. The 4th drop is the smallest, directly down a narrow channel of rocks through a waterfall. On to  no.5 by which time you’ll be  in the spirit of it and disappointed to be coming up to the last descent... 

Caroline Maber

Caroline Maber

Travel Consultants

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