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Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

The Basics

Low winds and a generally placid surface make Lake Arenal ideal for water sports such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, while sport fishing enthusiasts flock to its shores for rainbow bass and machaca fish. If you prefer not to get wet, join a boat tour that crosses the lake on a small ferry, or admire its expanse from land on a biking, hiking, or horseback riding tour through the rain forests and slopes of nearby Arenal Volcano National Park.

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Moonshine Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal
Moonshine Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal
$70.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Sunset cruise
Good food, great drinks, music, dancing. One of the crew sang really well for us! Gorgeous views of the volcano and sunset. Crew took photos of everyone. Fun!
Stephanie_E, Feb 2023

Recent reviews from experiences in Costa Rica

Great time on Lake Arenal
SharlaAnn_M, Jan 2023
Kayak or Paddleboard Tour in Lake Arenal- Transp not included
Leno was a great guide. We had a fantastic time paddleboarding Lake Arenal with him. His English was very good as was his paddleboarding skills. Our 2 teens especially had fun playing his balancing games.
Beverley_R, Mar 2023
Arenal COMBO Pedal and Paddle Lake Arenal
Estephan(Sorry if not correct spelling)was our tour guide and we had an amazing day. Mountain biking through the rainforest and across rivers was so much fun. He provided so much insight into the area. Making sure we were able to see the birds, monkeys and plants. The ride was doable for anyone who rides regularly. We went at a great pace to be able to enjoy the views. Paddle boarding was great, we stayed along the shore to see birds and wildlife. Thank you for the perfect day!
We appreciated that the...
Ral_S, Feb 2023
Biking Tour around Arenal Volcano and Lake
We appreciated that the tour guide and driver let us cycle more even after we had returned the bikes to the van for a pause.
Steve_T, Feb 2023
Moonshine Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal
What a great time! Mauricio was a great guide! Learned about the Volcano and other cool facts about the area. Got treated to some authentic Costa Rica food and drinks and saw a Cayman and bunch of different birds.
Fun day on the lake!
Cheryl_K, Jan 2023
Lake Arenal Sport Fishing
Our guides were FANTASTIC! They knew the places to go to get the most fish, and along the way told us about the volcano, flora, fauna and animals in the area.
Amazing views, great customer service!
Abeera_A, Jan 2023
Moonshine Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal
I booked this tour and had to change the date... their customer service was AMAZING and so helpful. The tour is SO Beautiful and probably in my top things I did on this trip. Marisio was so fantastic!!! He went out of his way to make this a great experience. He has fantastic energy and made great conversation. The views are beautiful and it is a great way to see the lake and volcano.
Best water sport tour EVER!!!
Ian_W, Nov 2022
Private Wakeboarding for Beginners at Lake Arenal
I L O V E water sports and this experience here became one of the best things we could have done in Arenal Lake. Marlon is the greatest when it comes to patience and explaining how to maneuver with the wakeboard. It was a perfect sunny day and we had so much fun that we even lose track of time. I HIGHLY recommend this tour!!
Great tour with a great guide!
Lisa_K, May 2022
La Fortuna: Pedal Board at Lake Arenal - 4 Hours tour
Wonderful being on Lake Arenal. The views were spectacular. The activity requires moderate exertion.
A pleasant ride
Emily_M, Jul 2022
Mountain Bike Lake Arenal and Volcano Backroads
Great trip. Guide was patient and helpful and brilliant at spotting wildlife. Interesting excursion into a local school! Unfortunately no river crossing!
Nice tour
June_d, Jul 2022
Kayak or Paddleboard Tour in Lake Arenal- Transp not included
It was a nice tour on the lake. Seemed a little short. The 2 hours went by so fast. But it was long enough for the kids.
Mountain biking lake Arenal
robsandyschmauk, Jul 2022
Mountain Bike Lake Arenal and Volcano Backroads
Definitely mountain biking! Was more than what we had expected but a lot of fun. Hills up and down and lots of rocks. 2 of our 4 bailed out on the way back since we were a little nervous mountain biking with the hills - we are very good bike riders - just not used to the terrain. Had a boat pick us up and met up with the rest of the group at the end. Guide - Santos - was great! Definitely recommended if you like mountain biking!
Pricey but do it!
Chris_E, Jun 2022
Lake Arenal Boat Tour & Baldi Hot Springs. Private Tour from San Jose
We had an amazing time. Highly recommend it. Jim was our driver and Alberto was our tour guide. Very knowledgeable and friendly. Thanks guys! Lastly, The Baldi Hotel/hot springs was everything it was hyped up to be.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Score a bird’s-eye view of the lake from the SkyTram gondola or the decks at the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa.

  • Pack sunscreen, insect repellent, water shoes, and a change of clothes if you plan to swim or kayak.

  • Amenities around the lake are limited, so bring all the food and water you need unless your tour includes a lunch stop.

  • Costa Rican roads are often unpaved and confusing for visiting drivers, but most tours include transport from La Fortuna hotels.

  • Transfer tours can get you from Monteverde to La Fortuna with a scenic pontoon boat ride across the lake.

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How to Get There

Lake Arenal is located to the west of Arenal Volcano National Park, about 10 miles (17 kilometers) from La Fortuna and 55 miles (90 kilometers) northwest of San José. A vehicle is needed to reach the lake, ideally one with 4WD. The shoreline is long, and many sections don't have pullouts, so a guided tour with transport is the best way to head straight for the views and boat launches without spending hours in the car.

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Trip ideas

When to Get There

The lake is beautiful any time of year, but be prepared for afternoon showers and occasional clouds blocking the view in the rainy season (May through November). If you visit in the dry season (December through April) when the lake levels are particularly low, you may catch sight of rooftops from a former town peeking above the surface of the human-made reservoir.

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Arenal Volcano National Park

Pair a visit to the lake with outdoor activities in one of Costa Rica's most popular natural playgrounds, located nearby. Swing by Arenal Volcano National Park to take part in adventures ranging from low-impact hiking trails and hanging bridges that crisscross the rain forest to volcano summit treks and adrenaline-pumping zipline courses.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Lake Arenal?
What else should I know about attractions in Costa Rica?