Arenal is one of the places in Costa Rica that everyone hears about. It has a picture-perfect volcano, healthy rainforests, and a seemingly endless amount of hot springs. Depending on your interests and amount of available time, you can visit Arenal for a few days or a few weeks. The Arenal Volcano National Park provides a solid amount of hiking and Lake Arenal (which sits at the base of the volcano and is the largest lake in the country) can be enjoyed for a variety of fun purposes, including fishing, boating, kayaking and windsurfing. Feel like going up? Sign on for a zip-lining session or a take walk across the hanging bridges, both of which will place you smack dab in the middle of the forest canopy. There are, however, more relaxing and mellow ways to enjoy the Arenal area as well. As noted earlier, there is an abundance of hot springs that are naturally heated by the volcano’s geothermal activity. Most are a part of a hotel but many are available to the general public, with some even offering up warm/cold pools, water slides, and swim-up bars.
As one of the more popular destinations in the country, it’s not surprising that there is a wide range of accommodations. Some of the cheaper, more basic ones can be found within the small town of La Fortuna. Those that choose to stay here will have convenient access to the town’s amenities – including restaurants, bars, and shopping – and are a 20-minute drive from much of the area’s attractions. A large number of other hotels are scattered throughout the base of the Arenal Volcano. These are typically higher-end hotels, although there are economical options as well. Several are resorts that feature their own hot springs and swimming pool, hiking trails, restaurant and bar. As a general rule, most rooms in this area come equipped with a private hot water bathroom, air conditioning, and wireless internet.