Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal

Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal (Alajuela Province)

This fascinating active volcano is famous for its daily eruptions and incredible light shows. The volcano was branded as dormant until the enormous eruption of 1968 which killed 78 people, ruined farmland and devastated several towns. Now Arenal volcano spews ash and bellows out smoke day and night. Clouds can often obscure the views, especially during the rainy season, however, with patience you should be able to see what all the fuss is about, especially on a night tour.

There are now many lodges and hotels cashing in on these natural fireworks and staying in one on the northern side will give you the best access to views of the volcano. It is always worth investigating Arenal's recent activity before booking however, as the lava flow can change direction quite suddenly, making the best views from a different angle.

In addition there are several different trails of varying difficulty that can be followed around the park. They will lead you through cloud and rainforests and along the Tilarán mountain range. The park has extremely rich biodiversity and you can find examples of more or less every type of animal known in Costa Rica in this park.