- Costa Rica
- 386 Hits
The Arenal Volcano National Park is found in the rugged Cordillera de Tilarán and is one of the top volcano viewing areas in the country. The main attraction in the park is the Arenal Volcano, reaching 1,633 meters. It looks just as one might imagine a volcano; a cone-shaped mountain with huge ash columns streaming from the crater.
Arenal was dormant from 1500 AD until a massive eruption on July 29, 1968, which killed 82 people and destroyed two villages. Since then, it has seen regular activity and, depending on the day or week, visitors can expect to see anything from a cloud of ash to glowing red lava flowing down the mountain.
The park is also known for its wide range of biodiversity with approximately half of all Costa Rican birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals represented somewhere within its boundaries.
The Arenal Observatory Lodge, originally a private observatory established in 1987, is the only lodge within the Arenal Volcano National Park boundaries. It is located on a macadamia nut farm on the south side of the volcano. From the lodge, there are excellent views of the volcano and Arenal Lake in the opposite direction. Numerous hiking trails are in the area, some of which lead to waterfalls, as well as old and recent lava flows.