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Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal: Our most recommended tours and activities

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna on a guided hike. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Have a delicious lunch at a Maluku Indian village and trek through forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort with a drink. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

2. Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

Add a little adventure to your transportation needs between Monteverde and La Fortuna and avail of a transfer that includes an informative boat tour across Lake Arenal. Get spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and the cloud forests of Monteverde as you travel by van and boat. Choose from a morning or afternoon departure in either direction to suit your schedule, and relax in the knowledge that your luggage will be taken care of on every step of the journey. Depart La Fortuna and travel to Lake Arenal by van. Then, take a 30-minute boat ride to the town of Río Chiquito before continuing to Monteverde by van. For departures from Monteverde, travel to Lake Arenal by van. Cross Lake Arenal on an enlightening 30-minute boat ride to the earthen dam, and then continue to La Fortuna by van for drop off at your hotel.

Lake Arenal and Volcano Mountain Biking (Moderate)

3. Lake Arenal and Volcano Mountain Biking (Moderate)

Costa Rica has amazing natural features and the tranquil countryside is ideal for mountain biking in Costa Rica! You'll ride on trails that run through farmlands, close to the jungle and along the base of mountains and hills - this Arenal Volcano mountain bike tour helps you explore Costa Rica's diverse natural environment with the help of your knowledgeable Costa Rica bike guide. As you bike along Lake Arenal at the base of the Arenal Volcano, you'll pass rainforest, rural farmlands, and wildlife. You'll have the chance to see different kinds of monkeys, toucans, coatimundis and more! Make a stop along the way and have a nice snack while cooling off in a river or in Lake Arenal. You will bike on a gravel road connecting Lake Arenal to the Arenal Volcano National Park which stretches 8.3 miles each way. As you ride toward the Caño Negro river, in the small town of El Castillo, you'll be surrounded by lush rainforest. You'll be amazed by the friendliness of Costa Rican country folk, who are bound to smile and wave at you, as you pass by beautiful landscape. Then return to your hotel with unforgettable memories of this fun Arenal adventure tour!

Lake Arenal: Sunset Cruise with Moonshine

4. Lake Arenal: Sunset Cruise with Moonshine

Don't miss the opportunity to witness the sunset over Lake Arenal. After getting picked up from your hotel, head to the small town of El Fosforo. Here, board your cruise boat and cruise around the edges of the lake to spot kingfishers, egrets, herons and more. Discover quiet coves, amazing birdlife and great views of the Arenal Volcano, all while learning more about the area from your passionate guide. Then, sit back and admire the spectacular sunset over the lake and watch as the Arenal Volcano is illuminated by the night sky. Sip on some Costa Rican moonshine and munch on local snacks such as fresh chips and cheese as you witness this natural beauty. At the end of your tour, get dropped off back at your hotel.

Lake Arenal: Kayaking and Biking Combo Tour

5. Lake Arenal: Kayaking and Biking Combo Tour

Explore and discover Costa Rica by water and land with this combo tour of Lake Arenal. Enjoy the unique experience of mountain biking through lush forest and gliding across the mystic waters of the Arenal lake all while reveling in the extraordinary beauty of the Arenal Volcano.    First, enjoy a 2-hour kayak across Lake Arenal and its surrounding islands. Keep an eye out for local birds such as ospreys, kingfishers, and neotropic cormorants. You will also have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as howler monkeys, spider monkeys, white-nosed coatis and sloths. Once you are finished kayaking, relax lakeside and enjoy a light fruit and power bar picnic before setting out on your mountain biking adventure through natural paths, traditional Costa Rican neighborhoods and small rivers.

La Fortuna: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding on Lake Arenal

6. La Fortuna: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding on Lake Arenal

Experience the best way to explore beautiful Lake Arenal — go stand-up paddling and get amazing views of the colossal Arenal Volcano. You'll feel like you're walking on water as you cross the lake from one side to the next. This activity is perfect for all adventure enthusiasts, including beginning paddlers. Venture to Costa Rica's largest lake and hop on board a private boat. Meet your friendly captain while your adventurous guide provides you with all the necessary gear. As you embark on your journey out to the middle of Lake Arenal, you’ll be blown away by the natural beauty of Arenal Volcano. When you reach the middle of the lake, your guide will give you plenty of safety instructions and plunk your board into the water. Paddle out on your knees, and when you are ready, stand up, find your balance, and begin crossing the calm waters. About halfway through the tour, make a short stop on an island for amazing scenic views.  After 2.5 hours of paddling, finish your day at the new Pedal and Paddle Adventure store located in the small town of El Foforo on the other side of the lake. Change into dry clothes and fuel up with a refreshing and well-deserved snack before heading back to your hotel.

Lake Arenal Kayaking Tour

7. Lake Arenal Kayaking Tour

Discover Central America’s second largest lake on this 2-hour kayaking tour of Lake Arenal. This trip gives you the best views of the Arenal Volcano and you’ll get to see the fantastic Costa Rican wildlife from your boat. Observe different species of birds such as flycatchers, kingfishers, great blue herons, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and toucans. This tour is ideal for any amateur or experienced birdwatcher. You may also hear howler monkeys calling from the rainforest. The rainforest ecosystem that encompasses Lake Arenal is hugely diverse. There are over 2000 species of plants, 300 types of bird, and 120 mammals including jaguars, tapirs, and quetzals. This tour is ideal for those who wish to see Costa Rica’s diverse flora and fauna.

Arenal Lake: Kayaking and Bird Watching Experience

8. Arenal Lake: Kayaking and Bird Watching Experience

Your Arenal Lake tour starts with a 25-minute drive from your hotel. Throughout the drive, your guide will provide you with a brief idea of the logistics of the tour. Before you start kayaking on the lake, your guide will give you a safety orientation talk and will teach you how to maneuver the kayaks. You will then begin your 2-hour journey kayaking on the lake. Stopping for a snack of fresh local fruit after paddling for 1.5-hours. Experience the inspiring beauty and tranquility as you glide across the mystic waters of the Arenal Lake, Costa Rica’s largest and most breathtaking lake. You can enjoy the spectacular views of the powerful Arenal Volcano. Paddling these calm waters will give you the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife that surrounds the lake such as monkeys, iguanas and a large number of tropical birds. The beauty and energy of this amazing Arenal Volcano will truly penetrate your soul.

La Fortuna: Arenal Lake Airboat Combo Tours

9. La Fortuna: Arenal Lake Airboat Combo Tours

Feel the adrenaline pumping as you embark on an airboat tour across Lake Arenal. Spot the birds and other wildlife that inhabit the area and see the incredible Arenal Volcano from a unique viewpoint. Listen to the history and interesting facts about the lake from your expert guide. Hear the story of the original town of Arenal, which now lies abandoned at the bottom of the lake after it was expanded in 1979. Create your own ideal tour by adding a local activity from the list below: 2-hour Airboat Tour: Enjoy an airboat tour across Lake Arenal 4-hour Airboat and Biking Tour: after the airboat ride, take a 90-minute bike ride through the zone of “El Castillo”. Follow paths close to the lake admire the local nature. 9-hour Airboat, Horse Riding, Trekking, Local Farm, and Lunch Tour: after the airboat ride, go horseriding through the mountains to a traditional house. There you will enjoy a traditional lunch. After lunch, trek through the jungle to 2 beautiful waterfalls and stop to go swimming. Finally, visit a local farm and see animals such as cows. 9-hour Airboat, Trekking, Local Farm and Lunch Tour: after the airboat ride, go horseriding through the mountains to a traditional house. There you will enjoy a traditional lunch. Now that you’re energized, visit a local farm and go trekking through the jungle. Visit 2 beautiful waterfalls and stop to go swimming.

Lake Arenal: Kayaking & Hanging Bridges

10. Lake Arenal: Kayaking & Hanging Bridges

Kayak on the lake Arenal while you enjoy stunning views of the Arenal Volcano and the Cerro Chato. Lake Arenal is a lake which is situated in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. It is currently the largest lake in Costa Rica at 85-square-kilometre. Its depth varies between 30 and 60 meters seasonally. Admire the Arenal Volcano while paddling through the lake. Afterward, hike the slopes of the Arenal Volcano which is surrounded by beautiful gardens, where you can observe, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, lots of birds, and various species of trees. Explore the forest's stunning vegetation, 2 viewing points, and labyrinth. Enjoy the rainforest while walking through Mistico Park, with 16 bridges (6 hanging and 10 stable). This experience allows you to hike in the heart of the rainforest.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Arenal

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Arenal? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Arenal

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 471 reviews

This tour was incredible!!! Worth every penny. Our guide, Isaac, was the best. You can tell he really loves his job, and he does everything he can to make the day fun! The hike to the waterfall isn't too bad since it is downhill, but hiking back up is quite strenuous. Also the hike up the lava fields is fairly strenuous too, but the those are the only parts of the trip that are extremely physical. The water at the waterfall was very cold, so keep that in mind, but it didn't stop any of us from getting in anyway :) Your shoes will get muddy so be prepared for that. I would also recommend 2 swimsuits because the waterfall and hot springs are at 2 different parts of the day and putting a wet swimsuit back on isn't fun haha. And don't forget water shoes! We forgot ours, and regretted it. The waterfall area has a lot of rocks, so it would have been much easier to move around with our feet protected. I would absolutely recommend doing this tour if you are going to be in La Fortuna!

This was a full day of exploring definitely worth the money. Jungle trek, water fall, lunch, tribe people and hot springs . They split the group into 2 which meant that those more able were able to explore harder trails which was a great idea too.

Fantastic experience! The most beautiful day trip I've taken. Enjoy the area and its inhabitants, with a guide who, with humor, knows how to transfer a lot of knowledge! Can recommend it to everyone.

It was an amazing trip with amazing guides. It was more strenuous hiking than anticipated however still amazing.

We were two friends from Germany and had a great day with Cristian, our tour guide, and the whole group.