Arenal Travel Guide

The power of a volcano

Welcome to Arenal, the most popular tourist spot in Costa Rica. With its main star, the majestic volcano, dominating the land, it is no surprise why so many are drawn to the area. The volcano was the most active volcano of Costa Rica until 2010 but never, less it still attracts many visitors. Probably because its captivating beauty and wilderness are intact and because the region offers so many different activities. From hikes around the national park, a beautiful waterfall, hot springs, bird watching to caving… Arenal has it all, and this informative guide will tell you more about it.

A Glimpse of Arenal Volcano from the Jungle, Costa Rica

What to see and do in Arenal

Arenal National Park

This beautiful park will allow you to hike the great trails, enjoy the diversity of wildlife, rest your eyes on the giant volcano, and sit down to revel in the lake vistas.

La Fortuna Waterfall

The country has many waterfalls, but the one in La Fortuna is something special. The lush jungle is its gorgeous backdrop and waits for you to take a refreshing swim in the beautiful emerald waters. It’s quite a walk to get there, but the fairy-tale beauty of it is worth it.

Hanging bridges

Man walking on a hanging bridge in Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Hop on of the bridges if you dare and get up close with the volcano’s crater. A memorable experience you definitely shouldn’t miss if your heart can take it. You can take a guided tour or do it on your own.

Relax in the hot springs

Because the best way to end a busy day is to relax in one of the many natural spas the area has thanks to the geothermal activity of a volcano. A perfect way to treat yourself!

Travel Costs


Being a popular tourist spot increases the prices. A dorm room costs anywhere between 10$ and 12$, and from 35$ to 80$ for a comfort of the private room. Some hostels offer free breakfast, and many have free WiFi. Staying in the campground will cost you between 5$ to 10$ per night. There are also some budget-friendly hotels available with prices starting around 35$ for a private room with a bathroom, or 42$. The price depends on the location of your stay. The closer you are to the park, the higher will be the prices. Same goes for the Airbnb options. Sharing your accommodation will cost you around 18$ per night and around 40$ if you have it all for yourself.

Food and drinks

The cheapest options are meals at sodas, starting at 3$. Other budget-friendly restaurants usually charge around 7$. A meal with a drink at a mid-range restaurant costs approximately 35$. Fast food chain restaurants charge around 7$ for their meals. Tap water is relatively safe to drink. Alcohol prices vary from 3$ for a pint of beer and 5$ for a glass of mixed drink.


Stick to public transportation in order to save money. The difference in price between buses and taxis is evident. The bus ticket from La Fortuna costs approximately 1,50$ while catching a ride with taxi costs roughly around 4$. La Fortuna is quite small, so you can get around on foot or rent a bike for about 6$ for half a day.


If you want to save some bucks, it’s best to avoid guided tours and plan your own. You can hike in the parks, go the waterfall, or relax in the beautiful hot springs. Birdwatching costs around 70$, so do the bungee jumping, while you can enjoy the wonderful surroundings of the national park for around 10$.

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