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.

From La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano & Hotsprings Afternoon Tour

3. From La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano & Hotsprings Afternoon Tour

On this nature adventure, you will see all the stunning beauty of the Arenal area. Right at the foot of the Arenal volcano, make your way into a beautiful park. Enjoy the most impressive primary rainforest where you can admire the huge trees and complex ecosystem that surrounds them. Leaving the forest, get to the lava fields. Here, follow a trail through the enormous black lava rocks that were deposited there by the massive 1968 eruption. The reward is definitely worth the effort. With the impressive Arenal looming over you, you really get an idea of the immensity of this now silent giant and the violent force with which it erupted. All along the way, your bilingual guide will tell you about the history, the ecosystem, and the wildlife you may encounter. After a coffee break, go on the way to get some well-deserved relaxation. End the tour at a small hot spring resort, here you can soak in the soothing hot water while enjoying a complimentary cocktail.

From La Fortuna/La Palma: Private Transfer to Tamarindo

4. From La Fortuna/La Palma: Private Transfer to Tamarindo

Enjoy a hassle-free ride from La Fortuna with this private transfer to Tamarindo Beach. Sit back in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle and marvel at the views from your car as you drive to your hotel. Meet your driver at your La Palma or La Fortuna accommodation's reception and begin your drive. Following a jungle road next to Arenal Lake, drive through a beautiful rainforest at the base of Arenal Volcano. Continue through the jungle before reaching the Pacific coast. As you drive, watch the landscape morph from a mysterious jungle to a relaxed beach vibe. At the halfway point, get out of the car to stretch your legs, purchase a snack, or use the bathroom. Jump back in the car and continue your journey, taking in the mesmerizing of the famous Arenal Volcano. Finish your trip at your hotel in Tamarindo.

Lake Arenal: Kayaking & Hanging Bridges

5. 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.

Lake Arenal: Kayaking and Biking Combo Tour

6. 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.

Lake Arenal and Volcano Mountain Biking (Moderate)

7. 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

8. 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.

From El Castillo: Lake Arenal Kayak & SUP Tour with Snacks

9. From El Castillo: Lake Arenal Kayak & SUP Tour with Snacks

You will learn how to do stand-up paddle boarding or kayak from bi-lingual and trained guides in the lake arenal while you enjoying the stunning views of the Arenal volcano. The tour begins with a 30-minute briefing in which you learn safety tips, paddling techniques, and do's/ dont´s in SUP and kayaking. Your guides are always giving you feedback along the tour. You'll paddle from 2 km to 5km depending on your proficiency level and preferences. You'll experience Arenal volcano and the tropical rainforest in a unique way! Enjoy the stunning views, and the challenging games guides will offer you to participate on. First part of the tour is upwind, and last part is downwind, you don´t even have to do a big effort to get back to the starting point! Once you're back, you'll receive a towel per person. You could request our professional photography service at the beginning of the tour for an extra charge, as well as a la carte lunch service for a few extra bucks! Don´t miss the opportunity to do the most popular water activity in La Fortuna.

Small-Group Arenal Volcano National Park and Lake Eco Tour

10. Small-Group Arenal Volcano National Park and Lake Eco Tour

Spend the day in the scenic wilderness of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park on a combined 4.5-hour walking tour and motorboat cruise, and look for the indigenous wildlife, such as aquatic birds on the shores of the lagoon, and collared peccary in the secondary rainforest. Following the 20-minute transfer to Arenal Lake Dam, board a motorboat to observe the rainforest, islands, aquatic birds, and some of the animals of the area from the water. If the skies are clear, this will be the ideal place to take breathtaking pictures of the volcano. Get a clear understanding of the economic benefits the dam provides for Costa Rica. After about 45 minutes, you will arrive at the National Park Peninsula, where tropical fruits will be waiting to refresh you. Then, hike for 1 kilometer while your guide points out the native wildlife and explains the lush flora. The return transfer vans will be waiting at the park’s observation point at the end of your walk, where you can enjoy a final breathtaking view of Arenal Volcano. Your guide will explain the geological formation and cycles of activity of the volcano.

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 534 reviews

Its a long day but totally worth it, our guide Eric was awesome and super knowledgeable. You could tell he really had a passion for nature and teaching others about it. Its not a very physically demanding day the only real uphill is going back up from the waterfall. I would highly recommend bringing water shoes. Overall it was a great day and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

Our tour was AWESOME!! The guide, Santiago, was EXCELLENT!! He was very informative, helpful and always looking after us. The whole experience was the perfect way to start our Costa Rica vacation. We did hiking, swam on the waterfall, visit an indigenous village, saw the volcano and ended in the hot springs all super!!

We had a great time on the lake. We got to see so much wild life ! Including monkeys, scarlet macaw, a great egret and a neo tropic cormorant. The kayaking it’s self is fun and relaxing. Our tour guide was so friendly and he was very knowledgeable about the area. Definitely recommend this activity!

I really enjoyed this long day!! We did a lot, we laughed a lot with our guide Franklin, we learned a lot, I definitley high recommend it!!

guide was amazing, prepare for a lot of walking but amazing views!