Insider's Guide to Arenal Volcano National Park

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

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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 ... 

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3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2014

be advised: it's not a real climb to the volcano, and not 'real' hot springs! Still an unbelievable experience, but you're seeing volcano from a distance (rain forest = clouds!), and the 'hot-springs' is an artificial one, within a hotel's water park…

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Our guide Freddie was excellent and showed us a lot of information that we would not have known about while walking through the rain forest. If I had to say something negative about the trip though it would be that we did not need to stay at the hot springs park we were brought to for 2.5 hours. That was way too long. Otherwise really could have asked for a better trip.

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

3 star rating: Worth doing
June 2014

Our tour guide was very knowledgable. I expected the Hot Springs to be in a more natural setting instead of at a resort so I was a little disappointed.

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

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
June 2014

This tour had a bad start from the very beginning. We we're suppose to be picked up from our resort on Monday morning and no one showed up. When called they said they didn't receive our reservation even though we had the confirmation number and did call to reconfirm on Sunday. After a long rough argument they booked us on next day with some other tour. Did not see any volcano or anything close to it. We saw some mountains far away and was told that's the volcano but covered with clouds. Certainly not worth wasting money with this company. They don't deliver what they write on their website. Big disappointment.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2014

Our experience was great! Our tour guide Rainer was very knowledgeable and provided an exceptional tour. It was a clear day so we could see the volcano.

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

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2014

The description of the trip needs to be changed. The volcano hasn't been active in 5 years, so don't plan on seeing a fiery show of lava or even hear thunder of it because it hasn't happened. That was the first thing the Tour guide told us. VERY DISAPPOINTING!! They shouldn't still be advertising this on this website. The hot springs are very nice man made pools at a hotel and spa, so if you are thinking you will get to encounter the hot springs in the natural state, again you will be disappointed. The springs area is nice, but again the description of this trip is very WRONG! It was very cloudy the day we went so we couldn't even see the base of the volcano, but that wasn't anyones fault. Still had a great day. Just be ready for a very bumpy, very scary ride because the drivers are a little crazy behind the wheel.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

We took this tour with our nine year old. Our guide was Alfredo, he was amazing. We saw a lot of wildlife, we had time for pictures along the very mellow floating trip, the tour was just about 2hours with snacks at the load out point. We paddled the raft, but it was by no means onerous and make sure to have a waterproof bag for cameras. We had a tremendous time, saw amazing animals. This is the way to see the local flora and fauna - so much better in their natural habitat. Take only pictures, leave only footprints

Doing what: Peñas Blancas Safari Boat Tour in Arenal

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
March 2014

The promo is misleading. The drscription needs to be changed. I went for the hike and we barely walked an hour. Did not even do half the walk. The hot springs portion was too long. A little disappointed.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

It was a lovely, peaceful trip with beautiful scenrey, We saw lots of birds, monkeys, a sloth and sleeping bats! Our guide was pleasant, well informed and very helpful. The driver was equally friendly and helpful. All is all, a trip we will remember!

Doing what: Peñas Blancas Safari Boat Tour in Arenal

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

The tour was fantastic! Outer guide was extremely knowledgeable and pointed out so many animals that we would have otherwise have missed...including a baby eyelash viper!!

Doing what: Hanging Bridges Walking Tour in Arenal

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

January 29, 2014 Our guide was absolutely amazing and knowledgeable! We were a small group of four which allowed for more time having our questions answered. The bus to pick us up from our hotel arrived right on time. We even stopped to observe howler monkeys on our way to the hanging bridges. Overall, the best of all the tours we took on this trip.

Doing what: Hanging Bridges Walking Tour in Arenal

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2014

It was a very good tour. Only we didn't see a top of volcano. It was raining non stop. Everything else was good

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

We had the BEST guide he was very friendly and actually got out of the boat to stop us so he could show us while life. We got to see all kinds of animals and two dozen monkeys. This is a great trip to take.

Doing what: Peñas Blancas Safari Boat Tour in Arenal

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
October 2013

it was o, but could have been better if the guide would stop a few time for 30 seconds to let the guess take some pictures

Doing what: Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2013

The tour was great. The guides were knowledgeable and tried very hard to make nature cooperate with the tour. Our guide was funny, spoke English very well. However, the information on the website is incorrect as to the length of the tour. It would be help if at the end of the tour, the guides told us that if we enjoyed the trip, tips were accepted. We did not know this and our guide was a bit surly as we were leaving.

Doing what: Peñas Blancas Safari Boat Tour in Arenal

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