There are so many options for Hiking in the Arenal area. Depending of course, on what level of activity you are used too. Below is a list of local hikes and their level of difficulty according to my own experience or estimation.
Our Private Rainforest Trail = Easy (105 Stairs)
This is a gentle hike, that goes down through the rain forest at Encantada Guesthouse to the Creek below.
Arenal Volcano National Park = Easy to Moderate.
This park is large and encompasses much of the original 1968 lava flow, a guide is available for a fee, but is not necessary. Note: Anywhere you have a guide, you will see things you did not even know were there!
Sky Walk = Easy to Moderate. It can also be combined with Tram & Ziplines and I will be glad to make a reservation for you!
This is an easy hike to do in sandals, that takes about 2 hours and includes several suspension bridges scattered through out the rain forest canopy. A good alternative if you don't want to do the Zips. Don't forget to take water and a poncho!
1968 Lava Hike = Easy to Moderate.
This park has several trails that lead into and around the Lava flow. Takes about 1-2 hours depending on the trail you take.
Cerro Chato = Difficult.
This hike takes you to the top of the ancient blown out volcano known as Cerro Chato. This mountain was Arenal's Mother. There is a beautiful lake in the crater at the top, but note this is a steep 6 hour hike. A guide is recommended and well worth the extra cost, but many young people do this hike on their own. Wear good waterproof shoes, Bring water and a Poncho.
Arenal Observatory Lodge = Easy
This hotel was once the official volcano observatory for the Smithsonian institute. It has awesome gardens and several easy trials. There is a modest entrance fee.
Arenal Hanging Bridges= Easy
This company is located across the Arenal Dam. The hike encompasses several Suspension Bridges and is easily done in sandals. (Not Flip Flops)
There are Several Hot Springs to choose from in the Arenal Area. Most are fed directly from the rivers near the Volcano.
Below is a List of the Most Popular sites and a general description!
Tabacon Hot Springs Resort
This the closest commercial operation, near our home. It is also the most Expensive! This is a 5 Star Luxury experience with acres of Lush Tropical Gardens and a nice restaurant. You can purchase your ticket with a meal, included or just use the facilities. The Hot Springs here are actually set within the flowing River. We suggest wearing some water socks or Teva type sandals, because the bottoms of these pools are rock & sand.
Los Lagos Hotel & Hot Springs
is our Favorite Place to go when we are in the mood for a good soak. This
resort has several pools of varying degrees in Temperature. It has a swim up bar
and a unique Hot water slide, as well as two very nice cold swimming pools with
water slides. Our favorite pool is at the top of the resort, it is hot on
one side and cold on the other, with a stunning view of the Arenal Volcano on a
clear day. Their Gardens are spectacular and there are animal exhibits on the
property, where you can see Butterflies, Poison Dart Frogs, & Crocodiles.
The price is very reasonable, even when adding a Lunch or Dinner option to the
Day pass. The food here is very good and they often offer an all you care to eat Buffet!
Baldi Hot Springs & Resort,
This is a very large operation that is very popular with Tour Bus Groups and Young Adults. There are many Hot Pools and acres of beautiful Tropical Gardens as well as a serious water slide ride. They Have a swim up bar but Drinks are very expensive. Discount tickets with a meal served in their new restaurant, can be purchased from tour operators in La Fortuna. The music is a little loud for our taste and they have a nice Hot pool with a cold pool in the center, near the top of the resort. There is also a new Hotel on site.
This is a the Free Hot Spring, that the local Ticos use. It is set in the river that runs under the Road to La Fortuna. It is also known as the Poor Man's Tabacon. There are no facilities here, and the pools are very shallow. Use caution here as the rocks can be slippery. Parking for this place, is very dicey and you must not leave any valuables in your car. This place is very popular after dark with the young adventurous types, who light candles and socialize, with wine flowing freely. A good alternative if you are traveling on a strict budget.
Eco Termales Hot Springs
This is a small family owned operation that has some very nice pools. It is a small place that has only 4-5 pools and sometimes reservations are required, especially during the High Season which is Dec-Apr. We have not been there for many years, but are told it is still a very nice place to go. Meals are served family style, if you purchase a combo ticket.
Other Hot Springs Options
There are several other options scattered along the road to La Fortuna: Kalambu, Paradise, Titoku, Las Termalitas, just to name a few . The Hot Springs experience varies as much as the price, but be aware the the Ticos are not fond of HOT water, so many of the cheaper springs have luke warm pools.
The La Fortuna Area has Several Zip Line Operations
Our Favorite is Sky, where you can do it all. They feature an Aerial Tram that takes you high into the rain forest,to a viewing platform where you can just hang out and enjoy the canopy, or hook up and Zip down 8 fantastic runs to the bottom. They also have a very nice Hike complete with Hanging Bridges. Sky is located very nearby and offers a very good price on Their Combo ticket.
We will be glad to help you arrange a booking! Just ask!