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Let me start by saying this is not a hike for those who aren’t in the best shape, older or have health issues. My girlfriend and I both have athletic builds, but I am in average shape, and we both found this trail difficult and tiring at times. There are sections where you need to use a rope to help you repell down or climb up the hillside, and it can be a little more hairy when the ground is slick and muddy from the rain. There is a lot of going up and down for the 6 miles you spend hiking through the forests around Arenal. With all that said it is truly a great experience. You can’t come to La Fortuna without experiencing the beauty of the forests around Mt. Arenal. If you’re lucky you’ll get to see some awesome wildlife like birds, snakes, insects, sloths and monkeys. Both Santiago and Daniel do an excellent job of explaining the ecosystem and the wildlife that inhabits it while also having fun with the group. After the main difficult hike you will hike to Arenal observatory and hotel to enjoy so cookies and coffee. Afterwards you stop by a small restaurant to get some to get some road beers before heading to the hot “springs”. The hot spring is actually the Tabacon River which is naturally warm from the geothermal activity of the volcano and is a popular spot for the locals. You spend about an hour here and enjoy some vodka Fresca shots from guys. For what you pay, the experience you get to enjoy with great guides, this is hands down a must tour for anyone who isn’t afraid to go out on an adventure and experience the beauty of the La Fortuna countryside.
Probably the highlight of our holiday. Emmanuel, our guide, was so good. He was very knowlegdable and his English was perfect. He was calm, friendly and patient with our mixed group of hikers : Saw a lot of forest and and animals. Wasnt too hot or humind in there, which was a bonus but had perfect conditions for a great Arenal view!
Sunset at the lodge was also really good, saw some toucans flying around. The sunset over the nearby lakes, which was beautiful. The hot springs were a perfect way to end our long day, didn't want to get out. Definitely could have stayed there all day! haha
The tour guides were very nice. However it said Climb Cerro Chato and see epic views, that didn't happen! The Costa Rican government won't allow anymore tourists to go there. Also, the trails can be very mudy and there are few ups and downs and if you're not prepared you will struggle and you will be exhausted in the end. But there was always a guide with the ones struggling at the back. But naturewise it's brilliant!
Eric was our guide and he was fantastic! Kind, funny and very knowledgeable! I highly recommend this adventure as you will likely experience many aspects of weather, adventure and hopefully wildlife! Great day and finishing off with drinks in the hot springs was perfect♥️Eric is the best!!
Excellent hike and guides. Really learned a lot about flora and fauna. Not extreme but moderate plus with steep ups and downs through jungle. Bring extra water, a small towel, and a bathing suit. One of the highlights was swimming beneath a waterfall. Lunch was fine. The warm volcanic river was fun. It was packed with people and sits beneath an overpass so adjust your expectations appropriately. We would definitely do it again.
This tour absolutely blew my expectations out of the water. 100 worth every penny and would recommend it as a must for anyone visiting La Fortuna. Both guides Marcus and Eric were awesome. They were both well prepared, knowledgeable about the area the animals and the ecology La Fortuna. They were also funny and made the experience as a whole much more enjoyable, two cool guys your would want wander through the forest with. The hike itself was amazing there were countless breathtaking views and it was a challenging hike which made it a lot of fun. There were steep inclines, traversing laid down trees, and some repelling down steep slopes. Our group was diverse in age and hiking experience and everyone made it through okay. It did not feel like we were on a common national park trail. It really felt like we were exploring new paths.
This hike is not a nature walk by any means... We loved every minute of it, but some of our group was unprepared for the magnitude of this hike... That being said, it was AMAZING! Our guide was very good at pointing out plants and animals along the way and the history of the region. The views were astounding and having lunch and taking a dip in the lagoon set in the crater of an extinct volcanoe was like a dream!