Arenal and Northern Lowlands
Arenal and Northern Lowlands
The main attraction of this region is the Arenal Volcano, which is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic volcanoes in the world. No longer one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica, this perfectly conical volcano is still a wonder to behold. The Arenal and northern lowlands region consists of Arenal Volcano, Fortuna, Tenorio, Bagaces, Caño Negro, and Boca Tapada.
La Fortuna is a great destination for those seeking Arenal Volcano, while one of the biggest attractions is Arenal Lake, which lies right at the feet of the volcano. Arenal also has some great action tours that thrill visitors, from ziplining and mountain biking to kite surfing and white water rafting. Of course, the area is also famous for its hot springs and spas, which allow maximum relaxation after a full day of adventure.
Flora and Fauna of Arenal and Northern Lowlands
The area around La Fortuna and Arenal is a mix of farmland and rainforest. The rainforest is home to an impressive amount of flora and fauna, including almost 75% of Costa Rica’s 850 bird species. Bordering the lake is the Arenal Volcano National Park, which features four microclimates and an astounding variety of biodiversity. You’ll have a great chance to see monkeys, sloths, coatis, deer, snakes, and hundreds more.
The average elevation of this region is 883 feet (269 meters).
Explore More About Arenal and Northern Lowlands
What to Do in this Region
- Hot springs
- Lake boat tours
- Horseback riding
- Kayaking & Stand up paddle
- Hanging bridge walks
- Nature walks
Types of Travelers Who'll Enjoy this Region
The Arenal region attracts travelers of all types and interests, including thrill seekers, birdwatchers, families, honeymooners, and those looking for nature, culture, or leisure and relaxation. Here are some of the main highlights and types of vacations people enjoy here.
History and Culture of the Arenal
The most violent eruption of the Arenal Volcano was in 1968; in the past, you could often see an orange glow reflecting on the clouds above the volcano, though it has been dormant since 2010. The lake, which has one of the most dramatic views of the volcano, used to be much smaller. In 1979, the hydroelectric dam was created, which tripled the size of Arenal Lake and covered up two towns previously moved to the Northeast of the lake.
Where is Arenal Located?
3 hours* from Juan Santamaria Airport (70 miles/114 km)
3.5 hours* from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (89 miles/143
*Times are approximate and dependent on time of day and other factors.
Here are some of the most well-known and beloved sights around Arenal Volcano
The Arenal Volcano: Located in a National Park, this resting stratovolcano is a stunning sight. It boasts a perfect conical shape and provides an impressive silhouette on the horizon, especially from many of the hotels in the area.
Arenal Volcano National Park: There are four microclimates within the primary rainforest, giving it an impressive variety of flora and fauna, including 75% of Costa Rica’s 850 bird species, boas, monkeys, sloths, and many more.
Arenal Lake: Costa Rica’s largest lake tripled in size due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam in 1979. It provides the perfect complement to Arenal Volcano and activities such as boat tours and bass fishing.