Insider's Guide to Arenal Volcano National Park

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

Get the
Inside Scoop

Privacy Policy

The majestic gray cone of Costa Rica’s most famous volcano, Arenal, has the frustrating habit of veiling itself in thick clouds about 80% of the time. That’s why clever travelers plan to spend a few days in the region, patiently waiting for the ... 

Click here for more details

Viewing All 44 Reviews Add your review

Certified reviews by travelers like you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

By far one of the best tours I have even taken. The transportation bus was old and noisy and could not hear anything. The guide did not seem to care where you can hear him or not. On the way back the bus broke down. Luckily the driver was smart and able to fix it. Got back at 11 pm back to the hotel- too late for me.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2015

good volcano visit. Tabacon was fantastic

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
February 2015

This started out badly when the tour guides were late then we had to wait for other people from our hotel (rudeness is part of traveling, not the tour company). Get on the road and the guide immediately starts warning of CRs unpredictable weather which was a red flag for us. The guide gave a running commentary of CR which was a nice feature, we learned some nice info about CR as a whole. Had to stop along the way to pick up some other people from a zip line tour which wouldn't have been a problem except they weren't ready and our guide was hesitant to prod them along (the rudeness factor again). Finally get to the volcano/hot springs area and sit down to a hour long lunch after sitting for 4-1/2 hours to get there after we were told it would take about 3 hours. Lunch was very good but ate up more time than expected. Then back on the bus to a scenic outlook at a volcano we couldn't see as the weather had gotten horrible during lunch. Based on the Viator tour description we thought the volcano part of the tour would have been more than standing miles from the base. Finally to the hot springs after getting stuck at the scenic outlook in rain as our guide wouldn't run back to bus in the rain. Tabacon hot springs was the high point of the day, this place was amazing, theres enough hot springs pools to satisfy everyone and the towel service was excellent and the locker rooms and showers were very clean. The dinner provided was top notch but the service to get drinks was a bit slow. We felt rushed during dinner as the guide wanted to get on the road so that lasted less than an hour. Back on the bus and we stop at a bar halfway to use the restrooms and endure harsh stares from the locals, gross toilet facilities and a longer than expected stop for the same people we waited on at the zip line stop and still the guide seems like hes friends with them so wont prod them along. All in all, over 7 hours on a bus for 3 hours in the hot springs. Very misleading Viator.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2015

The guide picked us up at our hotel and we drove to the hanging bridges site. The bridges (some more fixed than others) gave a great view of the canopy. The guide pointed out many things that we would have missed (a viper snake coiled on a branch, the hollow trumpet tree, hummingbirds) and I don't think we would have appreciated the close view of the canopy nearly as much without him. His English and sense of humor were great. Please note that most "canopy" tours around Costa Rica are zip lines, and, while fun, don't focus on a view of the canopy. Bridge tours, on the other hand, do.

Doing what: Hanging Bridges Walking Tour in Arenal

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2015

Spent almost entire morning in a lame craft shop and then took us to a view point to see Volcano for 15 min. The best part of the tour is the hot spring in the resort Tabacon. The spring is awesome.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
January 2015

Torn Review...
There are pros and cons to everything and I understand visiting another country (2nd trip) animals are treated differently. As a paying customer and animal lover, I expect animals to be treated with the best treatment, especially hauling horses.
The ride was great. Our guide, was good until we headed back to the ranch. I noticed that some of the horses were missing their shoes on the way to the waterfall and I mentioned it.
His response: 'It's not my job!'. Are you kidding me?!
My response: 'how would you like walking on rocks, cobblestone, and rough terrain all day?'
His response: 'ehhh- it wouldn't bother me'.
Yeah right. I did not appreciate his response and more importantly how the animals are treated. Horses are an attraction of Costa Rica and help provide jobs for locals. Mis-treating animals infuriates, saddens, and makes me feel guilty for paying a company that does not take care of their animals.

On a positive, the waterfall was awesome-- an amazing creation. I would not recommend for anyone not in shape or with bad knees due to the .70 mile stair hike (I tracked the distance).

Overall, this was a great experience, but I would recommend another outlet with healthier horses.

Doing what: Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

superb ,profesional knowledge guía

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This was a great tour. The guide was very knowledgable on the volcano and its history. The hot springs resort is beautiful! Very relaxing!!!

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

Relaxing easy day. Tabacon is beautiful.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

A great day trip! Good transportation and guide. The food was excellent. Definitely do Tabacon Hot Springs!

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2014

The tour was good but the tour guide English was not very good. It actually made the time on the bus annoying at times. The time spent at Hot Springs was amazing but the trip was tiring I would like to suggest to spend the night in Fortuna spend a few more hours in the hot springs and head back the next day.

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2014

Beautiful area. As usual, couldn't see the peak of Arenal, but still very impressive. Hot springs at Tabacon also very relaxng, and both meals were very good. Long ride there and back, and the first bus had a problem with AC, so we had to switch buses. Good drivers. Good guide (Galvin?)

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

We loved the view of the volcano. We were able to take some awesome pictures. The TABACON Hot Springs was so worth it. This was the best hit springs I ever been to. We took our two kids and they loved it to. After working hard at work all year trust my husband and I needed this. It was greet!!!!

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

This tour was well worth the money. We saw beautiful scenery along the way and the volcano was magnificent. Our guide Hugo was very nice and knowledgeable. The hot springs were simply awesome. Great trip!!

Doing what: Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message