Arenal Volcano Hiking Guide

The Arenal Volcano is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica, but how many of those visitors have actually hiked Arenal Volcano? Find the Ultimate Arenal Volcano Hiking Guide 2022 here!

The Arenal Volcano National Park is about a 3-hour drive from the San Jose International Airport.

The Arenal Volcano is still considered active, but the last eruption occurred in 2010, however when hiking the Arenal Volcano, you may experience smoke emitting from the top, and likely the warmth of the rocks!

When visiting Costa Rica you have to add some of the Arenal volcano hikes to your itinerary!
Want to learn more about things to do in Costa Rica? Here is a 4-Week Costa Rica Travel Itinerary for Adventurers!

Arenal Volcano Hiking Guide 2022

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is located 15 kilometers from Fortuna in the northwest part of Costa Rica. Arenal Volcano National Park is one of the most visited destinations in the Northern part of Costa Rica.

The Arenal Volcano National Park is 29,959 acres (12,124-hectare area) of diverse flora and fauna.

Arenal Volcano Site Seeing Costa Rica 4-week itinerary
Arenal Volcano, 2022

How to Get to the Arenal Volcano National Park

Directions from San Jose:

From San José, take the Inter-American Highway west to San Ramón. Then follow the highway north through Los Ángeles, La Tigra, and Chachagua to La Fortuna, then take Route 142 for 17 km to Tilarán. Once you’ve reached the Tourist Police Station, turn 2 km to the south.

Hours of Operations:

Every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Arenal Volcano National Park Tours

There are tons of Arenal Volcano National Park Tours you can book during your stay! La Fortuna is an Amazing area, and you can find more about the area in our Costa Rica 4-Week Itinerary!

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

Highlights:
  • See La Fortuna waterfall by trekking the nature trails
  • Visit an aboriginal village and have a traditional lunch
  • Hike over the lava fields from the 1968 eruption
  • Reach the best panoramic viewpoints in La Fortuna

San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

Highlights:
  • Enjoy a scenic ride through volcanoes, plantations, and jungles
  • Experience zip lining and rappelling in the rainforest
  • Observe wildlife, gorgeous waterfalls, and indigenous culture through a presentation
  • Relax in the Paradise Hot Springs at the base of Arenal Volcano

La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano, and Hanging Bridges Combo

Highlights:
  • Look for wildlife on a hike through the rainforest of Arenal Volcano
  • Swim in a natural pool at La Fortuna waterfall
  • Hike through the rainforest on a network of 15 suspension bridges

Arenal Volcano Hiking Guide

There are hiking trails for all experience levels that can give you stunning viewpoints of the Arenal volcano throughout La Fortuna and beyond!

Hiking to Arenal Volcano Summit

Hiking to the Summit of Arenal Volcano is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! It is adventurous, challenging, and risky! But is it legal?

Is Hiking Arenal Volcano Legal?

Technically, no… It is illegal. However, many locals will say yes, but only with a guide as it can be dangerous, and the trail can be hard to follow, especially in the dark!

You can find guides in La Fortuna that will lead you to the Volcano crater. Usually asking a local will help point you in the right direction of a guide! However, know that this is at your own risk!!

But imagine standing on an active volcano at 5357 feet (1633 meters) high…

Arenal Volcano Site Seeing Costa Rica 4-week itinerary

The Arenal Volcano Hike

Hiking to Arenal Volcano Summit is about a 6-8 hour day, and most of the guides take you up for sunrise, as that is usually before the clouds start to move in, however, when you’re that high up, there are no expectations of what the weather might bring in!

To catch the sunrise, you must start your journey around 1 or 2 AM, which can be quite intimidating hiking in the jungle in the middle of the night!!

The hike is about 8 miles (total) and 4500 feet of straight incline, but imagine listening to nothing but the soundscape of nature while wandering beneath the stars!

A very challenging hike, but so worth it, even if you don’t get the weather you were hoping for!

Arenal Volcano Site Seeing Costa Rica 4-week itinerary

During our climb, this was March 2022, it was windy at the top, slightly rainy, and very foggy, with no views at all. (It Felt like home!) But we sat for a while in this crevice that blocked the wind and the rain, where the rocks were warm/hot from the volcano, which felt amazing!

Arenal Volcano Site Seeing Costa Rica 4-week itinerary

Even though we didn’t have the sunrise we hoped for, being immersed in nature, hiking through untouched landscapes, the wildlife we saw and the lushness of the jungle was well worth it!

Arenal Volcano Site Seeing Costa Rica 4-week itinerary

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Alyx B

A Certified Yoga Instructor and wellness coach, who studied Environmental Sustainability and Animal Science. Lover of animals and tacos! And passionate about traveling, hiking, yoga, and the environment.

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