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Experiencing the Best of Arenal With Arenal Volcano Tours
Although you can walk around the Arenal area of #CostaRica by yourself, I would highly recommend doing as we did and going on a guided tour. As well as getting you #active on a hike, you can learn so much more about #nature from your guide and visit a Finca to appreciate local #culture too. Don't forget the hot springs at the end of the tour to soak up some #relaxation too!
There are so many activities to do in Arenal and La Fortuna that it can be difficult to narrow down which ones are the best to do. If you’re only in the area for a couple days, you can maximize your time by joining a combination tour where you visit multiple destinations and attractions.
Yeison and I have become big fans of doing combo tours so we signed up for an all day Arenal volcano tours with Jacamar Tours.
Arenal Volcano Tour
Canyoning in Arenal
Arenal Hot Springs
Why did we join a tour? Obviously, we could have easily done everything ourselves but we wanted a guide who could enrich our experience by spotting animals we normally wouldn’t and telling us information we wouldn’t know.
Arenal is such an expansive and important area in Costa Rica with great wildlife watching that we wanted to learn as much as we could about it, but we needed someone with sharp and knowledgeable eyes to point them out to us.
You can watch the video of our very fun day or read on below!
Arenal Volcano Tours
Eco-tourism is really popular nowadays and Costa Rica is one of the top countries in the world that promotes sustainability and conservation. Naturally, their tourism industry plays hand in hand with that.
Costa Rica is one of the top countries in the world that promotes sustainability
The hanging bridges near the main part of Arenal Lake sits on 600 acres of private land developed purely for eco-tourism.
16 static and hanging bridges were built to allow for more visibility of wildlife. It is an easy 3.1 km trail that goes all around the the forest but is the perfect length for visitors to see many animals and plants, learn about the geography and land of Costa Rica and enjoy the outdoors.
Our guide, Jairo has worked as a tour guide for 9 years and he has seen the transformation of the land, the town and the volcano first hand. He taught us how to listen for certain creatures and notice the intricate structure of the vegetation in the canopy.
The second to the last hanging bridge is 60 meters above the canopy floor and being that high up gives you sense of really being in the jungle. We got a nice view of the volcano and I saw the biggest and most beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen.
I saw the biggest and most beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen
La Fortuna waterfall
Next stop, La Fortuna waterfall. It is one of the treasures of this area and although the path down is pretty steep with 450 steps, it is completely worth it.
This waterfall lies at the bottom of the Cerro Chato dormant crater and drops about 75 meters into a bright emerald pool.
Downstream, there is a lovely pool that is much calmer if you want to stick your feet in. It’s not deep enough to go swimming but it’s a nice place to cool off and rest a bit after the walk down.
The hike back up can be a little difficult if you’re not used to steps but you can always take your time and rest.
Very close to the waterfall was the finca we were going to for lunch. This estate was created by the government for poorer families to build houses and grow crops on. They served us casados, a traditional Costa Rican dish with either chicken or beef and starfruit juice.
After our lunch, the owner gave us a small presentation of the different crops he grows such as pumpkins, a type of orange and one fruit that is poisonous but good for sinusitis. We pressed a sugar cane using a traditional machine, drank the juice and tried his cacique which is made at a nice ole 70% alcohol.
The National Park
It started raining during the beginning of our hike through Arenal Volcano national park but I didn’t mind. Multiple hiking trails exist in the park with one leading to an enormous tree. The one we went on led to the area where the eruption occurred.
This 3 km hike was also fairly easy and at the viewpoint, you get a good view of both the volcano and lake and you can see the lava rocks that have fallen. It was kind of cloudy but I bet on a nice clear day, the views on both sides must have been stunning.
The Baldi hot Springs
It got a bit chilly when we headed back and all I could think about was how good the hot springs were going to feel. Yeison and I got dropped off at Baldi hot springs, the largest hot spring facility in Arenal with 25 different natural pools of mineral water each with different temperatures and 3 waterslides!
All the pools have something different. One is a giant jaccuzi, one has waterfalls, another has lie down beds. They were all amazing. Going to the hot springs was such a relaxing way to wind down after long day.
All the pools have something different
You can watch a short clip of one of the waterslides here!
An Amazing day
The whole day was amazing and we learned so much from the tour. Having a guide makes you really appreciate everything you see and the places you visit. I highly recommend joining the Arenal Volcano Tours if you’re interested in seeing all the attractions with a guide and you’re short on time.
we learned so much from the tour
Our best tip? Bring a camera with a hefty zoom or bring a good zoom lens. You will see a ton of wildlife when hiking in the national park and hanging bridges so don’t miss any photo opportunities!
We also recommend bringing a pair of hiking sandals. This way if you go in rainy season and it rains, it won’t be as uncomfortable as wearing hiking shoes and socks. The hikes aren’t too vigorous so sandals are perfect. And if you go during dry season, your feet won’t feel stuffy and will have plenty of air to breathe.