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Hike up to Arenal crater lake

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Climb through primary forest to reach the lake at the summit of Cerro Chato volcano before heading down to the waterfall of La Fortuna.

Bursting out from the slope of Arenal, Cerro Chato is a volcanic cone lushly cloaked in dense vegetation and guarding a mesmerising lagoon within its long-extinct crater.

The steep hike up and leisurely walk down present you with a compendium of Costa Rica's natural beauty – ferns and vines drape across mossy branches that provide a home for monkeys and tropical birds, and the gushing flume of La Fortuna waterfall pours into a jungle-enveloped amphitheatre. On the descent, you'll have time for a dip in its refreshing plunge pool as a 70m stream of water crashes down metres away from you.

Activity Rating: easy

Costa Rica
Arenal and the north

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