Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano History

Arenal Volcano is located north of Tilaran´s mountain range near La Fortuna Town, well known for our ancestors as Los Ahogados (1852),Volcán de Costa Rica(1854), Volcán del Río Frío (1861), Cerro Arenal o Pan de Azúcar (1896), Volcán de los Canastes o Volcán Pelón (1952); but its actual name is given by the fisical and chemical effects of lava disintegration that forms lytic and crystal sands.

The Arenal Volcano is 1,670 msnm (meters above sea level), and in the last 25 years it has become in one of the most touristic places in Costa Rica.

La Fortuna went from being a (cattle-dairy) farm town to a happy smiley place that receives thousands of tourists per year.

History says the Arenal Volcano spent between 400 and 500 years asleep, until the morning of July 29th 1968, when violently woke up, destroying Tabacón and Pueblo Nuevo small towns. Since 1968 until 2010 it kept a constant activity with lava flowing and gas eruptions. In August 23th 1993, an explosion caused the partial collapse of the cone that emptying the lava lagoon, the lava got to the populated area without causing serious damages.

Between 1995 and 2008 it was on and off for periods of time, but the activity decreased in 2010.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park was created in 1968 and it’s protected by law since 1991, it belongs to Arenal Conservation Area. The park is formed by the Arenal volcano and Cerro Chato and limits with Monteverde Cloud Forest. Its extension is 12.124 ha.

The Arenal Volcano has 4 craters, all with different measures, crater A 1,050 meters high (Explosion in July 1968), crater B 1,175 meters, crater C 1,460 m and crater D 1,633.


4 life zones, wet tropical forest, montane rainforest, lower montane rain, very humid montane forest. The park presents variety of flora and fauna.


Some of the animals you can find are paca, tapir, monkeys (whiteface, howler and spider), coati, sloth and jaguar.

Birds like hummingbirds, quetzals, parrots, parakeets, jays and toucans.


All kinds of trees and plants, such as cecropia, palms, heliconias, ferns, bromeliads, guayabo del monte, laurel, cocobolo, níspero, pelón.


The area of the Arenal Volcano is perfect for all kinds of activities, such as rafting, canyoning or water rappelling, canopy, horseback riding, atv´s, kayak. Hiking in Cerro Chato, río celeste, La Fortuna Waterfall, or just relax in the many hot springs around town.

La Fortuna

La Fortuna district was founded in 1932, is the number 7 of San Carlos. It´s located 45 km from Ciudad Quesada, 225 km2 and it’s population is 15.384.


Public education is free and mandatory, the economic activity has allowed the strengthening of its population that has seen in tourism a source of livelihood and personal growth for its inhabitants.


Tourism has become in the main source of income in the area, however its history of rich soil and farming, makes La Fortuna, a town that supports agriculture and cattle farms also as an important activity.


La Fortuna offers many kinds of facilities for people who want to stay pleasant and safe near to the Arenal Volcano; hotels with different amenities, typical or gourmet restaurants, bars, banking services, clinics, pharmacies, churches, gas stations, public or private transportation, airport (small planes only), grocery stores, government institutions and more.