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Volcán Arenal


There are few places in the world where you can get up close to an active volcano. During the day, eruptions occur so frequently that there’s a massive trail of smoke cascading across the sky. At night sparks fly as red lava gushes down the side of the mountain in an uncontrollable fury. The spectacle is absolutely breathtaking, making you wonder if it’s actually safe to be so near to all the fireworks.

The Arenal volcano is undoubtedly one very impressive sight to behold. The volcano stands over 1,600 meters (5,249 ft) in all its glory in a perfect conical shape. Arenal was actually thought to be dormant for several hundred years until a massive explosion in 1968 threw rocks and ash for miles, killed 84 people, and devastated the surrounding villages. Since then, it has been very much awake and is considered one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world.

Centrally located in the northern region of Costa Rica, nestled between Lake Arenal to the east and the town of La Fortuna to the west, Arenal is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country. The town of La Fortuna is small but has many shops, hotels, and restaurants to accommodate visitors. It’s incredible just to walk down the main street in town with the volcano dominating the backdrop, which is the scene on many postcards.

The activities around Arenal are plentiful, ranging from horseback riding to canopy tours to visiting a magnificent waterfall. There’s even a rope swing on the road heading south out of town. It’s a great place to take a plunge into a refreshingly cool swimming hole. If you want to get a closer view of the volcano, Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal has several trails leading to expansive vistas for capturing photos of the towering inferno. However, the most extraordinary luxury that Arenal has to offer are the thermal hot springs where you can relax in steaming pools while watching lava explode from the volcano’s mouth. There are several different hot springs to choose from, all providing a range of amenities.

A trip to the Arenal volcano is a must for anyone wishing to marvel over the explosive power of nature. It may not be off the beaten path, which means there’s a reason why so many people just have to see it.

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