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12 of the best Costa Rica Volcano Tours 2024

Trying to find the best costa rica volcano tours i’ve compiled all the top picks for you.

Are you dreaming of exploring Costa Rica’s famous volcanoes but feeling unsure about which tour to choose? Costa Rica is home to some of the most amazing volcanoes in the world, each offering its own unique adventure.

From the active Arenal Volcano with its hot springs and lush rainforest to the stunning views from the Irazú Volcano, there’s a volcano tour for everyone.

Finding the right tour can seem a bit tricky with so many options out there. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for an exciting hike, a nature lover in search of breathtaking landscapes, or someone who just wants to learn more about these natural wonders, we’re here to help guide you.

Let’s dive into the world of Costa Rica volcano tours together and discover which one will make your trip unforgettable. Get ready to stand in awe of these giants and experience the power of nature like never before!

Table of Contents

My Top 3 Picks: best Costa Rica Volcano Tours in 2024

Arenal volcano in costa rica with a plume of smoke

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano Hike

  • Lunch included
  • Pick up & drop off

Crater of the Poas volcano in Costa Rica, Central America

Full Day Poas Volcano

  • Entrance Fees included

La Fortuna, Costa Rica. A view of stair leading to Rio Celeste in Costa Rica

3-in-1 Arenal Combo Tour

  • Lunch & snacks
  • National Park fees

12 of the best Costa Rica Volcano Tours

1. hanging bridges, la fortuna waterfall and arenal volcano hike.

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 9 hours | ✅ Book it!

Explore Costa Rica and embark on a thrilling adventure with a tour combining the three best activities into one unforgettable day. Explore the magnificent Arenal Volcano on an exciting hike, cross 16 hanging bridges, and take in the stunning natural beauty of La Fortuna Waterfall. 

This full-day expedition from La Fortuna is perfect for nature enthusiasts looking for adventure-filled hikes and refreshing swims amidst Costa Rica’s breathtaking landscapes. Enjoy the convenience of hotel pickup and drop-off, making this an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss.

“ Angelica was an amazing tour guide. She was fun, informative and pleasant. She was able to spot a lot of wild life including monkeys, colorful frogs and hogs. The experience itself was well worth the price. You got to visit the 3 main places people visit La fortuna for with admission to the parks included and a delicious lunch. I would recommend this tour to anyone who likes hiking and nature.” – Jocelyn_T

Explore the stunning beauty of Costa Rica with your tour that begins with a hotel pickup and a 30-minute drive to the 1968 Arenal Volcano Park. You’ll embark upon a 2.5-hour hike to the base of the Arenal Volcano, where you’ll witness the dry lava field from the 1968 eruption.

Next, your driver will take you to the La Fortuna Waterfall, where you’ll climb 500 steps to reach the waterfall’s base. You’ll have plenty of time to swim and enjoy the waterfall there. 

You’ll then spend approximately 2.5 hours hiking through a primary rainforest and crossing the Mistico Hanging Bridges, which consist of 16 hanging bridges. The hike is in a large forest, incomparable to the Volcano Trails, so make the most of it. Remember, it’s a rainforest, so be prepared for rain and bring your gear.

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 7:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Includes: Driver/guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off, Lunch, Bottled water

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2. Full Day Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Coffee Plantation Experience

Join one of the highly recommended Costa Rica Volcano tours, where you’ll journey to three extraordinary destinations exclusive to this region. Learn about Costa Rican coffee, and visit Poás Volcano, a rare gem among the nation’s five active volcanoes. 

You’ll also venture into the enchanting La Paz Waterfall Gardens, home to over 100 captivating species, including rescued sloths and vibrant hummingbirds. This trip ensures you see stunning landscapes and have opportunities to connect with Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife intimately.

“ Viewing the inside of an active volcano at Poas and the wildlife at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens were memorable experiences. Our tour host was very polite and informative. Highly recommend this excursion for anyone six years or older and physically fit.” – James_B

On this tour, you’ll be able to visit 3 of the most stunning areas you can visit during your stay in Costa Rica. First, you’ll travel to the Province of Alajuela to the  Coffee Land of San Isidro to learn about the history and essence of coffee production. 

Next, travel to Poás Volcano, one of the five active volcanoes in the country. You’ll hike to Botos Lagoon and trail around the volcano there.

You’ll then proceed to La Paz Waterfall Gardens Natural Park, where over a hundred rescued animal species live, including sloths, jaguars, toucans, and hummingbirds. Then, you’ll have a complimentary buffet lunch with over 35 food options. 

Finally, visit La Paz waterfalls, where you can take tons of photos from the various picturesque locations!

  • Start Time (and location): 7:30 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Includes: Lunch, Air-conditioned vehicle, Entrance Fee to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Guaranteed to skip the long queues, Professional guide with 30+ years experience, Hotel pick-up and drop-off and Parking Fees

La Fortuna, Costa Rica.  A view of stair leading to Rio Celeste in Costa Rica

3. 3-in-1 Arenal Combo Tour: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall & Volcano Hike

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 9 hours and 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

Do a lot of adventurous activities during this Arenal Costa Rica tour, where you’ll be visiting some of the most anticipated destinations in the country, all in one day. You’ll visit Arenal Volcano and Arenal Hanging Bridges, pass through Lake Arenal, and experience La Fortuna Waterfalls. 

Get to witness lava fields from former eruptions and immerse in the native wildlife as you trail around Arenal Volcano National Park. You’ll also experience a traditional lunch at a serene restaurant along the river. Throughout your exciting tour, you’ll also go on treks and hikes.

“Pedro was the best tour guide ever! He was very knowledgeable of all the sites and wildlife and he really made an effort to get to know everyone and point out things that were of interest to each person individually. Our driver Robin was also a great group lead. Totally recommend this tour.” – Frances_Z

If you have limited time in Arenal and want to tour some of its best places, I recommend you join this 3-in-1 day tour. There’s only a maximum of 10 people during your time, so you’ll avoid the big group hassles. 

Your first stop is at Arenal Volcano, where you’ll see the lava trails it left when it last erupted. Then, you’ll hike and cross along the hanging bridges to see and experience the rainforest from above.

The next stop will be at La Fortuna Waterfall, where you can swim, relax, and explore its gorgeous vicinity. There’s also a restaurant and observatory in the area where you can stay if you need to go hiking. 

After your exhausting excursion at the waterfall, you’ll head to La Familia Rodriguez to have a traditional lunch and recover your energy. Before heading back to explore the volcano, you can engage with the locals and have the opportunity to learn about the rich Costa Rican culture.

  • Duration: 9 hours and 30 minutes
  • Includes: Lunch, Snacks, Driver/guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off from Arenal/La Fortuna only, National Park fees, Air-conditioned vehicle

poas volcano in costa rica

4. Volcano-Waterfall and Hot Springs Combo ( Private)

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 8 to 10 hours | ✅ Book it!

In this private day tour in Costa Rica, you’ll have the chance to experience adventure and relaxation as you visit three iconic destinations in the country. You’ll experience the natural beauty of a tropical rainforest through a moderate hike while also enjoying the safety of observing volcanic activity from a distance. 

Take a refreshing dip in a natural swimming pool at the base of the stunning Oropendola Waterfall waterfall. Also, you can unwind in the rejuvenating volcanic mineral hot springs. 

Included in the tour is a buffet lunch and private transportation. You can also ask if you’d like to shop at the biggest souvenir shop in Costa Rica. 

“ Highly recommend this excursion. The activities are amazing and beautiful scenery. Having the private tour gives you flexibility for example our guide took us to a souvenir shop on the way back to the resort. Better prices and selection. Gabriel did an outstanding job pointing out various animals during the hike. This has to be the best tour out there….A perfect day!” – Steve_O

Your 10-hour journey begins as you get picked up at your hotel by a private and comfortable vehicle. This tour is private, so you can embark with as little as 2 of you in the group, which is excellent for couples who want privacy.  

Hike on secondary forest trails at Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja. You can watch birds in the area and witness volcanic steam vents and the bubbling mud around it. 

Your next stop is at Oropendola Waterfall, where you can swim in its refreshing natural pool, a great activity after your exhausting hike. After relaxing at the waterfall, you’ll now head on a buffet lunch to fill up before your next activity. 

Then, head on to Rio Negro Hot Springs for a stress-releasing bath a the volcanic mud and natural hot springs. You can stop by Liberia to shop for souvenirs on your way back. 

  • Duration: 8 to 10 hours
  • Includes: Private transportation, Lunch, All Fees and Taxes

Volcano Arenal next to the rainforest, Costa Rica Pacific, Nationalpark, great Landscape Panorama, Nice view, top shot

5. Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 14 hours | ✅ Book it!

Visit some of the best  Costa Rica destinations, like Arenal Volcano, La Paz Waterfall, and Arenal Hot Springs, in this 14-hour tour. Tour the famous attractions with your professional multilingual tour guide. 

View the rainforest from about as you take a zipline course. Learn about the places you’ll visit and witness the abundant wildlife in the area.  With all entrance fees and two meals included, this tour offers excellent value. Perfect for a short trip, this tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Costa Rica!

“ Our Tour guide Harlem/Harlum was amazing. He was very informative and made sure we didn’t feel rushed at the stops. I would highly recommend this tour. The views are amazing ..oh and we got lucky and was able to get a clear picture of the volcano which we were told doesn’t happen often. The tour is all day and worth every penny. The food we had for lunch and dinner was amazing at both locations not to mention the fresh juice.” – Tjuanathomas70

This is one of the highly-rated Arenal Volcano tours that take you up to 6 destinations in one day. As you drive along a scenic route to Arenal, stop by La Casa del Café for a quick informative briefing about coffee in Costa Rica. 

Then, proceed to La Paz Waterfall to admire and take social media-worthy pictures! Wander at the exotic bird gallery at Cinchona as you sip your Costa Rican coffee and indulge in traditional snacks. 

Have a 10-minute stop at the Iguanas Center to see the marvellous reptiles before heading to Go Adventure Arenal Park, where you’ll have an authentic Costa Rican lunch. After filling up, head to the Rainforest Jungles for a 150-foot-high zip-lining adventure along 9 cables. 

End the tour by sightseeing for a few hours at the serene Paradise Hot Springs and Gardens, where you can also soak in jacuzzis, waterfalls and lagoons. 

  • Duration: 14 hours
  • Includes: Transport by air-conditioned vehicle, Hotel pickup and drop-off (most San Jose area hotels), Professional Bilingual Guide, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee or Tea with local snacks, Entrance fees

Scenic view of Arenal Volcano in central Costa Rica at sunrise

6. Full day Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall and Hotsprings

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 11 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for Arenal Volcano tours from La Fortuna, this tour is worth trying. Embark on a journey to witness the natural splendour of the La Fortuna region.

Go on thrilling hikes through rainforests, explore the vast nature, and immerse yourself in the abundant wildlife. Go for a swim at the La Fortuna Waterfall and climb up the slopes of Arenal. 

Learn insightful things as your guide does a live commentary. This group is limited to 10 people, ensuring an intimate adventure.

“ Our family of five had a great time. Cristal was so friendly, knowledgeable and enjoyable as our tour guide. I highly recommend this tour for an action packed adventure capturing the highlights of La Fortuna.” – Lorraine_B

See the lush surroundings of La Fortuna and take a refreshing dip at its base. Ascend rocky trails to the highest viewpoint around Arenal, witnessing panoramic views of the volcano, lush jungles, valleys, and lava fields. 

Climb steep steps to a vast expanse of lava rocks and follow a trail to the highest viewpoint for breathtaking panoramic vistas from Mirador El Silencio. 

  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Includes: National Park fees, Beverages, Lunch, Local guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off (In la Fortuna area), Small-group tour (10 persons per group), Alcoholic Beverages, Hotspring resort fee

Scenic Arenal volcano in Costa Rica, Central America

7. Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs Combo Tour with Lunch & Dinner

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 14 to 15 hours | ✅ Book it!

This tour is perfect if you’re in Costa Rica for a limited time and want to tour some of the country’s best attractions. Explore Costa Rica’s iconic Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Paradise Hot Springs. 

A bilingual guide will accompany you and provide informative commentaries along the way. This tour package also includes lunch and dinner, so you won’t have to worry about anything!

“ What an amazing day! It was very long but full of fun and adventure! The waterfall was beautiful and the water was great for swimming. The only downside was the 500 stairs each way. Totally worth the work though! The volcano hike was great. Got to get up close and explore the rain forest. It rained some on us and clouds blocked a full view of the volcano but it was still amazing. Also, the hot springs…amazing! Differing temps for anyone’s preference. The bar had great drinks as well! Both meals we had were authentic and delicious!” – Chad_C

This tour includes a convenient hotel pickup and drop-off. You’ll pass by scenic roads on your way to Arenal. Your first stop is at La Fortuna Waterfall, where you have 2 hours to relax and swim in its relaxing waters. Then, proceed to hike over the large lava flow at Mirador El Silencio to witness one of the best views of Arenal Volcano. 

Another highlight of this tour is your visit to Paradise Hot Springs. There, you can unwind and release toxins from your body in the thermal mineral waters. 

  • Start Time (and location): 7:00 AM at your chosen pickup location
  • Duration: 14 to 15 hours
  • Includes: Air-conditioned vehicle, Hotel pickup and drop-off (most Jaco-Hermosa-Los Suenos area hotels), Professional bilingual guide, All Fees and Taxes, Lunch, Dinner

Landscape showing Costa Rica pastureland with Arenal Volcano in the background.

8. Arenal Volcano Experience Full-Day Tour from San Jose

Costa Rica is known for its national parks and lush natural resources. In this full-day tour, you explore the Arenal Volcano region effortlessly, departing from San Jose and taking scenic routes.

During the tour, you’ll also visit a coffee plantation and a stunning waterfall. Included in the tour is a professional guide and hotel pickup and drop-off. 

“ Our tour was fantastic! Juan did an amazing job sharing interesting information and history about every part of the trip. With all of the well-times stops it didn’t feel like we were on a bus ride forever which was really nice. Juan had a very good knowledge of how and where to find wildlife so we could see sloths and iguanas. The only down side was that we were unable to see the volcano due to inclement weather but this tour is definitely worth the money no matter what. We recommend this tour and hopefully you get Juan as your tour guide and you will have a blast!” – Michael_ H

If you love nature and want to see Costa Rica’s breathtaking natural landmarks, this tour is ideal. On your way to Arenal, you’ll go through an alternate route to pass by picturesque sights.

Your first stop is at La Casa del Café for a quick informative break before heading to a rejuvenating visit at La Paz Waterfall. After that, you’ll have time at Cinchona for a snack and coffee break before heading to Centro Turístico Las Iguanas. 

You will proceed to Go Adventure Arenal Park, where you can participate in a native presentation by the Maleku Tribe. Finally, spend the rest of your time at Paradise Hot Springs to unwind and refresh. 

  • Includes: Transport by air-conditioned vehicle, Hotel pickup and drop-off (most San Jose area hotels), Professional bilingual guide, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee or Tea with local snacks, Entrance Fees

Rio Celeste Waterfall and pond in Tenorio Volcano National Park, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

9. Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 12 hours | ✅ Book it!

Embark on an immersive adventure through the untamed volcanic landscapes of Rincon de la Vieja National Park on this full-day trekking expedition. Also, venture on a 3-hour jungle hike, where you can spot Howler monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, Toucans, and Coatis along the trail.

Experience the sights of steaming fumaroles, volcanic craters, and simmering mud pools before rejuvenating with a swim beneath the Oropendola Waterfall. Following an authentic Costa Rican, treat yourself to the ultimate relaxation with a soak in the therapeutic hot springs and volcanic mud baths at Rio Negro.

“ I had the pleasure of Ivan being my tour guide on our volcano hike, and he was amazing! Very knowledgeable and patient with our group, and well as making sure we got to see some wildlife and have a good time throughout our hike. Beautiful hike, the waterfall and hot springs were amazing too. Would definitely do it all over again!” – Rene_G

In this tour, you will explore Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja National Park with a bilingual naturalist guide. Start with a hike along the Las Pailas circular path that offers the best views of the Vieja volcano. 

You’ll also get close to Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity with over 300 bird species and diverse animals like armadillos, bays, iguanas, coatis, monkeys, and more. Witness volcanic marvels like bubbling mud pots and fumaroles during the tour.

Then, after the hike, take a refreshing dip in the pristine blue lagoon of Oropendola Waterfall. Afterwards, indulge in relaxation at the Rio Negro Hot Springs, surrounded by tropical dry forest and naturally heated by Rincón de la Vieja Volcano.

  • Start Time (and location): 6:30 AM at chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Bottled water, Lunch, Driver/guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off, Air-conditioned vehicle, National Park fees

La Fortuna, Costa Rica. A view of the blue waterfall Rio Celeste in Costa Rica

10. Combo La Fortuna Waterfall and Volcano Hike & Hotsprings

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 10 hours | ✅ Book it!

During this fully guided combo tour from La Fortuna, you will explore the lush rainforest and captivating waterfalls surrounding Arenal Volcano. This excursion generally includes nature walks, traversing hanging bridges, and immersing yourself in the indigenous culture of the Maleku Village. 

Along the journey, your knowledgeable guide will highlight wildlife encounters and reveal hidden spots to enjoy refreshing natural pools and soothing hot springs. This volcano tours Costa Rica is the best for those who love the outdoors. 

“ Isaac and Juan, our driver, took us on a beautiful hike and down to the hot springs. The mud mask was so soothing and even though the hike was a lot on me (I’m out of shape), I so appreciated their patience! 10/10!” – Tripadvisor Reviewer

Witness Costa Rica’s stunning natural landmarks in this full-day tour. Your guide accompanies you as you hike along the base of the famous Arenal Volcano.

Witness breathtaking views at the top after your hike, a moment you’ll enjoy after a tiring climb. After hiking and walking, relax at the natural hot springs and refreshing waters at La Paz Waterfall. 

  • Start Time (and location): 8:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Professional guide, Lunch, Hotel/port pickup and drop-off, Hotels around 6 kms from La Fortuna Downtown pick up, Alcoholic Beverages

Fumarole Activity at Pos Volcano Alajujela Costa Rica

11. Coffee Experience, Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 13 hours | ✅ Book it!

Venture on a day-long adventure that offers a perfect blend of nature exploration and coffee education in Costa Rica. This group tour departing from San Jose includes breakfast, lunch, and convenient hotel transfers.

Visit the renowned Doka Coffee Estate, where you’ll gain insights into the coffee production process, from the growth of the beans to the final cup. Venture to Poas Volcano National Park for a hike, then end your tour with a visit to the captivating La Paz Waterfall Garden to observe the region’s diverse flora and fauna.

Very cool experience being my first time in Costa Rica. Donald and Alejandro were very knowledgeable tour guides and kept us moving on schedule, but didn’t feel rushed. I was also picked up early and I appreciated that. Make sure you bring a rain coat. This is a tropical climate. They do an outstanding job for the time we spent with them so tip them well!” – Charles_S

This tour offers the best of both worlds: Coffee and nature. The tour begins with convenient pick-up times with a delicious breakfast at the Doka Coffee Estate, where visitors learn about coffee production and discover why Costa Rica produces some of the best coffee in the world. 

You will then visit Poas Volcano National Park, which provides breathtaking views of the main crater and a hike to Botos Lagoon. Finally, guests can explore lush rainforest trails at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, observe wildlife, and engage with educational animal exhibits.  

  • Start Time (and location): 6:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Air-conditioned vehicle, Entrance Fee to Poas Volcano National Park, Entrance Fee Doka Estate Coffee Plantation, Entrance Fee La Paz Waterfall Gardens, All Fees and Taxes, Operates with a minimum of two passengers

Arenal volcano in costa rica with a plume of smoke

12. Morning Volcano Hike, Lunch & Hot Springs River

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 6 hours | ✅ Book it!

This half-day tour to Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna offers a perfect blend of exploration and relaxation, with complimentary hotel pickup and drop-off from select locations. Venture into Costa Rica’s lush rainforest to uncover the Arenal Volcano on a half-day excursion

A local guide joins you as you trek through captivating lava formations, take a refreshing swim in a volcano-formed lake, and take a soothing bath in Tabacon River’s warm hot springs. Savour on a delectable Costa Rican lunch with the volcano as your backdrop, and immerse yourself in the rainforest’s beauty. 

“ Me and friends did the Volcano Tour in the morning departure, our guide was HANZ, just a young mind with a lot of knowledge to share with everyone, he connected with everyone in the group in the best of the ways, he took profesional pictures from all the members in the group, and the control he had over the group was just espectacular, we finish going to the hot river at the end of the tour, such an incredible ending for an amazing day… I will highly recommend to other travellers!!! Thanks for the day!” – Tripadvisor Reviewer

If you want to visit Costa Rica’s renowned natural tourist attractions but need more time, this 6-hour tour is perfect. You’ll go on a thrilling rainforest hike to ancient lava fields and dip in a stunning green lagoon with views of the magnificent Arenal Volcano.

After those thrilling activities, head to a ranch for a delicious Costa Rican feast to tease your taste buds. Cap off the day with a visit to a natural hot springs river where you can unwind; it’s a Costa Rican experience you won’t want to miss!

  • Start Time (and location): 10:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Includes: Lunch, Local guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)

FAQs About volcano tour costa rica

For a volcano tour in Costa Rica, it’s important to wear comfortable, sturdy hiking shoes or boots as the terrain can be uneven and sometimes slippery. Dress in layers, as the temperature can vary greatly depending on the altitude and time of day. A lightweight, waterproof jacket is also recommended, as weather can change quickly. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and bugs. Also, pack a water bottle to stay hydrated and a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

Yes, you can visit active volcanoes in Costa Rica, and it is generally safe when you go with a knowledgeable tour guide and follow safety guidelines. Arenal and Poás are popular active volcanoes that tourists can visit. Tour operators are well-informed about the current conditions of the volcanoes and will ensure your safety throughout the tour. Keep in mind that access to certain areas may be restricted depending on volcanic activity, so always listen to your guide and stay within designated areas.

The physical demand of a volcano tour in Costa Rica can vary widely depending on the specific volcano and the type of tour you choose. Some tours offer easy, leisurely walks that are suitable for most fitness levels, while others involve more strenuous hikes that require a good level of physical fitness. Be sure to check the tour description and communicate with the tour operator about your fitness level and any concerns you may have. There are volcano tours available for a wide range of abilities, so you can find one that’s comfortable for you.

Aerial view of Poas Volcano. Group of tourists looking at its crater while smoke comes out.

Final Thoughts: volcano tours in Costa Rica

As we come to the end of our journey through the best volcano tours in Costa Rica, it’s clear that these natural wonders offer an adventure unlike any other.

Whether you’ve decided to explore the mighty Arenal, the mysterious Irazú, or any of Costa Rica’s other majestic volcanoes, you’re in for an experience that will fill your trip with awe and excitement.

Remember, each volcano has its own story to tell, and there’s a tour out there that’s perfect for you, no matter your interests or fitness level. From leisurely walks with stunning views to challenging hikes that test your limits, you’re sure to find an adventure that suits your taste.

So, pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore the powerful beauty of Costa Rica’s volcanoes.

These tours are not just about seeing a natural wonder; they’re about immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of landscapes, wildlife, and culture that Costa Rica has to offer. Safe travels, and may your volcano tour be an unforgettable highlight of your Costa Rican adventure!

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Samantha King

Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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Arenal Volcano Tours

Arenal Volcano Tours

Arenal Volcano Tours - Costa Rica Tours

Arenal is a place that begs to be explored; rivers wind through bountiful rainforests, waterfalls crash amidst inspiring canyons, and hot springs gurgle up beneath the base of an impressive volcano. The Arenal tours we offer are varied and will help you to connect with this region of Costa Rica in any way you please.

If you're a nature lover, then you will enjoy hikes, horseback rides, walks along hanging bridges, and underground cave excursions. Fancy yourself the adventurous type? You can sign up for canopy tours, waterfall rappelling, mountain bike rides, rafting trips, and (of course) Arenal Volcano tours. Pretty much everyone will agree that a soak in one of the area’s geothermal hot springs is a near perfect ending to any day.

Some tours combine several of these activities into one action-packed, fun-filled day. Arenal, Costa Rica tours can accommodate people of all ages and abilities, both as individuals and groups, so everyone can share in the experience. Learn more

For ambitious travelers, this Arenal 4-in-1 tour is big on adventure. Go on a safari float, visit La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano end your day in a hot spring.

Arenal 4-in-1 Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

This Safari Float Tortilla Making Tour is all about authentic Costa Rica See the animals of the Peas Blancas River, and cook in the home of Doa Maras

Safari Float  Tortilla Making Arenal Tours

The Volcano Hike Hot Springs Tour takes you on a guide led trek through Arenal Volcano National Park Spot animals, enjoy a dip in a hot spring, and a meal

Volcano Hike Hot Springs  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Costa Rica Canyoning Tour near the Arenal Volcano Pure Trek a high quality adrenaline filled adventure for the whole family

Pure Trek Canyoning Costa Rica - Arenal Tours

A personalized adventure awaits you on this 3-in-1 tour choose from a hanging bridge or safari float, visit to La Fortuna Waterfall, and chocolate tour

Arenal 3-in-1 Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

If you go on vacations to collect new adventures, youll love this combination Costa Rica Rappelling Rafting Tour Includes waterfalls class 2 and 3 rapids

Rappelling  Rafting  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Sky Tram Sky Trek in the Arenal Volcano region of Costa Rica consist of a chairlift Canopy Tour facing the spectacular active volcano and Zip Lines over the Rainforest.

Sky Tram & Sky Trek Costa Rica Tour

Eco Termales Hot Springs - thermal pools heated by the active Arenal volcano in Costa Rica near La Fortuna

Eco Termales Hot Springs - Arenal Costa Rica

These Arenal 2-in-1 tours will have you combining safari floats with chocolate, hanging bridges with waterfalls, and more Your Costa Rican adventure awaits

Arenal 2-in-1 Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Explore more of Arenal on the La Pradera Arenal ATV Tour Ride across several towns outside of La Fortuna Theres safety instruction, so beginners are welcome

La Pradera Arenal ATV Tour - Arenal Costa Rica

Youve never experienced the forest like this Zip line through Costa Ricas jungles at top speeds on these exciting Arenal canopy tours Beginners welcome

Arenal Canopy - Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Make your Costa Rican vacation complete when you go on an Arenal Volcano hikeone of the nations most popular tours Enjoy nature see amazing wildlife

Arenal Volcano Hike  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

A full day of adventure awaits you on this Arenal Volcano one day tour Learn about the volcano, explore the surrounding forest, and soak in a hot spring

Arenal Volcano One-Day-Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Arenal volcano to Monteverde Costa Rica 3 ways, two great shortcuts by 4x4, boat, or by a horseback riding adventure

Arenal Volcano to Monteverde Costa Rica tours

Why choose between a scenic tour and adventure when you dont have to These ATV tours offer a thrilling way to experience the beauty of Arenal, Costa Rica

ATV Adventures  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

A friendly and affordable Costa Rica Hot Springs in a safer location than the more expensive Tabacon Hot Springs in Arenal Costa Rica

Baldi Hot Springs, Arenal Costa RIca

Getting from La Fortuna, Costa Rica to the Monteverde Cloud Forest can be a difficult trek Take a scenic shortcut across Lake Arenal on a taxi-boat-taxi trip

Taxi boat Taxi Arenal to Monteverde

Go on a wet and wild adventure as you navigate class 2 and 3 whitewater rapids on this Costa Rica Balsa River rafting tour

Balsa River Rafting  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

You have to be an early bird if you want to see the early birds Rise and shine for this 500 am Costa Rica birdwatching tour, and be rewarded by nature

Bird watching tour - Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

This adventurous tour will have you rafting over the class 2 and 3 whitewater rapids of Costa Ricas Balsa River Bonus Youll see some amazing wildlife

Costa Rica - Balsa River Rafting

Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, near the border of Nicaragua, is one of the hardest places in Costa Rica to get to independently, but worth joining a day tour for a visit

Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge - Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano National Park Tours in Costa Rica on the foothills of the most active volcano in Costa Rica Maps photo gallery

Arenal Volcano Guided Walk - Arenal Costa Rica Tours

Soar through the treetops on a zip line and bound over class 2 and 3 whitewater rapids on a canopy and rafting tour of Costa Ricas forests and Balsa River

Canopy & Rafting - Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

The Club Rio multi-adventure tour will have you exploring the best of Costa Rica when you hike, swim, enjoy lunch, and choose 2 of 5 exciting Arenal activities

Club Rio Multi Adventure  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

On this tasty tour, Chef Scott Alan will teach you traditional Costa Rican recipes whilst you enjoy an amazing view of Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfall

Cooking Class  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Cultour is an Arenal tour offering an authentic Costa Rica experience Learn about daily life in the small town of Zona Fulcafrom farming to schools

Cultour Authentic Costa Rica Experience Arenal Tours

The Don Tobias horse tour is an adventurous horseback ride through forests and fields with stunning views of the Arenal Volcano

Don Tobias Horseback Tour - Arenal Costa Rica

Learning is delicious when you go on Costa Ricas Don Juan Coffee Chocolate tour from farm to finished product, get to know all about coffee and cacao

Don Juan Costa Rica Coffee Chocolate Tour

Treat yourself to a little Costa Rican decadence when you learn how cacao goes from bean to bar on the Don Olivo Chocolate Tour

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

The Eco Terra Shuttle and Crocodiles Tour starts you off with a scenic view of Costa Ricas landscapes, then takes you on a safari float of the Tarcoles River

Eco Terra Shuttle and Crocodiles Tour

Did you know that 60 of Costa Ricas wildlife is most active at night The Ecocentro Danaus Night Tour will let you greet the countrys nocturnal creatures

Ecocentro Danaus Night Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Discover how sustainable meals are produced on this Costa Rican farm to table tour harvest ingredients, enjoy delicious food, and meet a family of sloths

Farm to table Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Enjoy all that nature has to offer on Arenal, Costa Ricas El Silencio Mirador Trails Hot Spring Tour Explore the forest and end your day with a warm soak

El Silencio Mirador Trails  Hot Springs - Arenal

Costa Ricas Ecocentro Danaus allows you to experience nature at your own pace when you take a self-guided tour and see plants and animals too numerous to name

Ecocentro Danaus  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Costa Ricas Ecoglide Canopy Tour offers you an adventure where youll take in amazing forest views as you soar from a series of platforms and zip line cables

Arenal Costa Rica - Ecoglide Canopy Tour

What is it really like to get a birds-eye view of Costa Ricas rainforests Youll find out on this Arenal hanging bridges and birdwatching tour

Hanging Bridges Birdwatching tour

This unique wet and wild adventure combines the comfort of a hot spring with the fun of a water parkIts Costa Ricas Kalambu Hot Spring Water Park

Kalumbu Hot Springs Water Park Arenal Volcano

Stunning views, island hopping, and wildlife observationthese are just a few of the things awaiting you on Costa Ricas Lake Arenal Kayaking Tour

Kayaking Lake Arenal  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

The horseback ride to La Fortuna Waterfall is an exciting way to explore Costa Rica Youll visit the Maleku Reserve and learn about indigenous culture

Horseback ride to La Fortuna Waterfall

Get the best view possible of Costa Ricas famed Arenal Volcano when you get up close on this guide led 3 hour history walk of Arenal Volcano

History Walk Arenal Volcano  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Costa Ricas Lake Arenal Kayaking Biking Tour offers you two exciting and active ways to take in the beauty and wildlife of Lake Arenal

Kayaking  Biking Lake Arenal Tours

The Los Perdidos Springs or Lost Springs are a part of the facilities at the Springs Resort and Spa

Los Perdidos Hot Springs - Arenal Costa Rica

A hot spring thats one hundred percent enjoyable with zero percent pretension Los Laureles offers affordable relaxation

Los Laureles Hot Springs - Arenal Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano tour - mountain bike in the country side of the most active volcano of Costa Rica Includes bike and professional guide

Arenal Volcano Tour - mountain bike Costa Rica

The Lost Hill Trek takes you through Costa Ricas Tilarn Mountain Range along the way, youll enjoy hot springs, rivers, and waterfalls

The Lost Hill Trek  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Knowledge and nature collide on this Natural History Hanging Bridges Walk through Costa Ricas Arenal Volcano rainforest see birds, monkeys, lizards, and more

Natural History Walk Arenal Hanging Bridges

Enjoy adventure and views when you take this tour of Costa Ricas La Forutna Waterfall Go for a cool dip after your hike, or enjoy sketching and taking photos

La Fortuna Waterfall  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Cacao is capable of way more than producing excellent chocolate Learn all about this fascinating plant on this Costa Rican Organic Chocolate Tour

Organic Chocolate Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Over 700 species of plants, 350 plus species of birds, 6 hanging bridges, 1 amazing adventurethis is Costa Ricas Mistico Park Hanging Bridges tour

Mistico Hanging Bridges  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Sail through the air on 2 km, 1 mi of cable when you go on a Paraiso Canopy Tour of the Costa Rican jungle

Canopy Tour Costa Rica on the Arenal Volcano

Wildlife protection takes on a new level of importance when you make friends with the animals of Costa Ricas Proyecto Asis Rescue Center Tour or volunteer

Proyecto Asis  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

See monkeys, caimans, sloths, birds, and more when you make your way down Costa Ricas Peas Blancas River on this Peas Blancas Safari Float

Peas Blancas Safari Float  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Adventure and chocolatewhats not to like The Pure Trek Chocolate Tour has you rappelling down waterfalls one minute and learning about cacao the next Wow

Pure Trek  Chocolate Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Take a 4x4 ride through the wilderness, and rappel from a series of waterfall canyons top height 60 m195 ft on this Costa Rican Pure Trek Canyoning Tour

Pure Trek Canyoning  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Relax and unwind in soothing waters that are geothermally heated by Arenal Volcano at Costa Ricas Paradise Hot Springs A dip is great for stress and skin

Paradise Hot Springs  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Spend a full-day exploring Costa Ricas Tenorio Volcano National Park, and enjoy the beauty of the incomparably blue Ro Celestea natural chemical reaction

Rio Celeste Volcano Hike - Tenorio Costa Rica

Expert guides will help you navigate class 3 and 4 rapids on this Costa Rica Sarapiqui River Rafting tour which includes an authentic Costa Rican lunch

Sarapiqui River Rafting  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Love the idea of spending the day in the sky Costa Ricas Sky Limit Tour is for you It includes the Sky Tram, zip lines, tightrope walk, and rappelling

Sky Limit  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

The Mistico Park Horseback Riding Tour lets you experience an Arenal Volcano trail thats only accessible by horse This tour is led by naturalist guides

Horseback riding through Mistico Park near Arenal, Costa Rica

This 2-in-1 Costa Rican tour is big on adventure Sky Trek Pure Trek will have you zip lining through the jungle and rappelling down waterfall canyons.

Sky Trek  Pure Trek   Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Whats a Sky Trek One of the most memorable tours you can take of Costa Ricas jungle, when you zip line across the canopy and canyons Beginners welcome

Sky Trek  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Explore Arenals ecosystem from a unique vantage point on this Costa Rican Sky Tram air gondola through the forest Visit animals in their home

Sky Tram  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

This fun tour lets you see one of Costa Rica's most popular animals, sloths. You'll see insects and frogs too. Bring your camera and binoculars

Sloth Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

The Spider Monkey Canyon tour starts with a short rappel, after this you will slide down a rope that takes you over a cliff After you landed at the bottom of the Spider Monkey Canyon, you will follow a trail and stamp through small streams After a while, you will reach a point where you can jump into the riverYou will get to explore the Arenal jungle from another point of view, walking over the canyon on the hanging bridge and zip liningthrough the trees

Spider Monkey Canyon  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

See a level of the forest usually restricted to animals and researchers when you go on this Sky Walk suspension bridge tour of Costa Ricas jungle canopy

Sky Walk  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

This Costa Rica Tortilla Making Cooking Class is great for the whole family Help turn crops youll use make two traditional dishes and the famed tortilla

Tortilla Making Cooking Class Arenal Tours

Welcome to luxury, and the gracious landscaping and tranquil waters of the Titoku Hot Springs 8 varying temperature pools guarantee 1 relaxing time

Titoku Hot Springs - Arenal Costa Rica

A Twilight Safari Float on the Peas Blancas River will help you spot sloths, bats, monkeys, caimans, and more before enjoying a traditional Costa Rican dinner

Twilight Safari Float  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Costa Ricas Venado Cave Tour is a cool adventure through 2,700 m almost 2 mi of caverns, stalactites, stalagmites, rivers, underground creatures, and more

Venado Caves - Arenal Volcano Tours Costa Rica

Its a 2-in-1 wet and wild adventure Rappel down 5 waterfalls, and careen over the whitewater rapids of Costa Ricas Balsa River Get your adrenaline fix

Waterfall Rappelling and Rafting Combo - Arenal Tours

Soar through the forest canopy and get splashed by class 2 and 3 Balsa River whitewater rapids on this Costa Rica Zip Line Rafting Adventure Tour

Zip line  Rafting Adventure - Arenal Tours

Feel good about treating yourself to a little indulgenceTabacn Hot Springs is a carbon-neutral eco-friendly resort the geothermal waters are good for skin

Tabacon Hot Springs  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Meet the animals of Costa Rica who only come out after sunset on an Arenal night hike through the El Silencio Nature Reserve

Arenal Night Hike  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Costa Rica has amazing amphibians, but some only come out after dark Meet frogs and other nocturnal animals on an Arenal Oasis Frog Watching Night Tour

Arenal Oasis Frog Watching Night Tour

The magic of Costa Ricas jungles is enhanced when you go on this Rainforest Chocolate Tour in the Arenal Volcano region Learn about cacao in a scenic setting

Rainforest Chocolate Tour  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Do you know where your food comes from You will after a tour of Campesino Farmwhich hosts crops, animals, herbal medicine, and exports sugar

Campesino  Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

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Arenal Sky Aerial Tram & Trek Zipline

Arenal Sky Aerial Tram & Trek Zipline

The Arenal Sky Aerial Tram & Trek Zipline tour starts with the Sky Aerial Tram, a high-tech cable-car that brings you to the highest point of the Arenal Reserve. With rainforest canopy and the Arenal volcano as your backdrop, you’ll have time for photos before receiving a safety briefing. This part of the tour is […]

Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Waterfall Hike

Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Waterfall Hike

The Arenal Hanging Bridges hike is a rainforest canopy experience through a private nature reserve with over 1500 acres of rainforest.  Traverse a trail connected by 8 fixed bridges and 6 hanging bridges with a naturalist guide to uncovering the magic of the rainforest and the importance of conservation.  Keep an eye out for tropical […]

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hike

Arenal Hanging Bridges ‘Early Birds’ Hike

This early morning tour is for those who wish to discover the magic of the rainforest just after sunrise. The Arenal Hanging Bridges is an ecotourism project of trails and bridges maintained for the observation and protection of nature. Explore the canopy of the rainforest with a professional ornithologist guide on a trail connected by […]

Slothies & Birds Nature Tour

‘Slothies & Birds’ Nature Tour

Sloths are one of Costa Rica’s most recognizable creatures, with tourists flocking to the area to observe them each year. Embark on a short hike through the secondary forest and try to find these gentle creatures! It is likely you will spot at least one sloth, try as they may blend in. Learn about the […]

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hike Tour

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hike

Hike across the Arenal Hanging Bridges with a naturalist guide for a perfect half-day Arenal tour. This ecotourism project of solid ground trails and state-of-the-art hanging bridges was designed for the observation and conservation of Costa Rica’s incredible nature. The reserve, with nearly 370 acres of rainforest, is home to countless species of amazing birds, […]

Pure Trek Waterfall Canyoning Tour

Pure Trek Waterfall Canyoning

Begin with a brief safety talk before gearing up and embarking on a short trek to the top of the first waterfall where you start your descent. There are five rappels, four of which are along waterfalls, and one dry rock face, ranging in height from 50 to 20 meters, and are all promise to […]

Pure Nature Rio Frio Safari Float Class I-II

Pure Nature Rio Frio Safari Float: Class I-II

This tour is for nature lovers who want to explore further away from the main Arenal tourist areas. You will transfer by ground approximately 1 ½ hours by ground to the Frío River, an important area for much of Costa Rica’s wildlife. Float down the river peacefully as you try to spot monkeys, sloths, iguanas, […]

Rio Balsa Whitewater Rafting Class II – III

Rio Balsa Whitewater Rafting: Class II – III

About 1 – 1.5 hours from the Arenal area is the Balsa River, a perfect spot for first-time and experienced paddlers to enjoy class II and class III rapids. The dynamic on this river is typical of most rivers in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica: consistent Class III rapids for the first half, and […]

Safari Float Jacamar

Peñas Blancas Safari Float: Class I-II

Quietly paddling along the Peñas Blancas River is a great chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest. Sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, numerous tropical birds, and monkeys all await you on this adventure! A professional bilingual guide will accompany you to share educational explanations of the plants and animals you encounter. Traveling down the river without […]

Arenal Volcano Hike Tour

Arenal Volcano Hike

Start your hike on a rainforest trail that crosses one of the volcano’s old lava flows from 1992. Thanks to the environment around the base of the volcano, you may also spot plants, and wildlife during the hike. Once you have reached the top of the lava flow, stop to enjoy a magnificent view of […]

Mountain Bike Arenal Lake to El Castillo Village

Mountain Bike Arenal Lake to El Castillo Village

Ride from Arenal Volcano National Park to Lake Arenal on flat gravel roads on this half-day tour. Along the way, you will travel through the small town of El Castillo before passing through pieces of lush rainforest. Here you might spot toucans, coatis, and monkeys. After a snack and some time to rest, you’ll have […]

Rio Celeste Waterfall Hike

Rio Celeste Waterfall Hike

You’ll depart early in the morning for a 1 ½ hour drive to the Tenorio National Park. Here you’ll begin the 5-mile hike (approximately 4 hours) through a tropical forest on paved stair pathways.  Along the way, observe the volcano vents emitting gases. The grand finale of this hike is the magnificent Rio Celeste Waterfall […]

Butterfly & Fauna Garden at Danaus Eco-Center

Butterfly & Fauna Garden at Danaus Eco-Center

Visit the Danaus Eco-Center, a biological reserve committed to environmental training and education, conservation programs, and sustainable production. Follow the nature center’s trails through the secondary forest for a chance to observe the local wildlife in its natural habitat. Don’t miss the butterfly breeding center, where Danaus reproduces nearly 30 different species of butterfly: it’s a […]

Arenal Night Walk Guided Tour

Arenal Night Walk

Explore the nature and wildlife of Arenal by night on this walkthrough Danaus Eco-Center. Discover nocturnal animals of the Arenal area in action, such as sloths, caimans, frogs, bats, butterflies, spiders, and more. An experienced naturalist guide will provide details and background about what you see and hear after dark. Minimum Age: 5 years Passenger […]

Stand Up Paddle Boarding on Lake Arenal

Stand Up Paddle Boarding on Lake Arenal

Spend the day mastering the art of stand-up paddleboarding on Arenal Lake. This tour (and full-body workout!) is suitable for all experience levels. Once you find your balance, you’ll paddle off to navigate the lake’s waters, with awesome volcano views from every angle. Minimum Age: 6 years Passenger Minimum: 2 Duration: half-day, departs in the […]

Arenal Volcano Kayaking

Arenal Lake Kayaking

Explore Costa Rica’s largest lake by kayak. As you paddle across the calm waters of Lake Arenal, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Arenal Volcano, and experience beautiful flora and fauna. Along the way, keep your eye out for the wildlife that surrounds the lake, including iguanas, monkeys, and birds. Minimum Age: 7 years […]

Venado Caves Guided Tour

Venado Caves Tour

Formed over 15 million years ago, the Venado Caves are the perfect stomping grounds for adventurous travelers. Carefully explore an underground labyrinth of chambers and passages, spotting stalactites, stalagmites, and other fascinating cave characteristics along the way.  Bats, spiders, and other wildlife can be spotted in the Venado Caves, so keep an eye out. Be […]

Coffee and Chocolate Tour

Coffee & Chocolate Tour

Explore Costa Rica’s agricultural culture and local traditions on this coffee tour just outside the La Fortuna area. The tour takes place on a farm, where you will learn about coffee production in Costa Rica, which plays a key role in the country’s history and economy. The farm is a model of sustainable agriculture where […]

Maleku Indigenous Cultural Tour

Maleku Indigenous Cultural Tour

Transfer about an hour to an Indigenous reservation in the Northern Plains of Costa Rica, where three Maleku communities live: El Sol, Tonjibe, and Margarita. Visit the Tonjibe community to meet a local family, who will share how they have adapted their lifestyle while keeping their traditions and cultures alive. The home materials you will […]

El Silencio and La Fortuna Waterfall Tour

El Silencio Horseback Riding & La Fortuna Waterfall

Ride along easy, pastoral trails that gradually ascend through local farmlands and discover a variety of ferns, bromeliads, and woodlands along the way. As you reach the Silencio Observation Point, you will have a chance to take in the views of the volcano and enjoy the scenery. After, visit La Fortuna Waterfall. Grab some photos of […]

Tropical Hands-on Cooking Class

Tropical Hands-on Cooking Class

This hands-on tropical cooking class introduces you to Costa Rican cooking with esteemed local chefs. During this fun afternoon, you will learn all about tropical cooking, ingredients, grilling, and even cocktails! Enjoy amazing views and a laid-back, “pura vida” atmosphere while you learn about food and prepare your meal. The class is great for beginners, […]

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THE 10 BEST Arenal Volcano National Park Tours & Excursions

Arenal volcano national park tours.

  • Sightseeing Tours
  • Walking Tours
  • Coffee & Tea Tours
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
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  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

volcano tour costa rica

1. Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs Full Day Tour

volcano tour costa rica

2. Waterfall Rappelling, Ziplining, Pool Jumping, Hiking with Lunch

volcano tour costa rica

3. La Fortuna Waterfall, Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano Combo Tour

volcano tour costa rica

4. Arenal 12 Zipline Cables Experience with La Fortuna Waterfall

volcano tour costa rica

5. North Fields Cafe: Craft Specialty Coffee and Chocolate Tour

volcano tour costa rica

6. Sky Adventures Park Zipline Course and Aerial Tram in Arenal Park

volcano tour costa rica

7. Upper Balsa River White Water Rafting Class 3/4 in Costa Rica

volcano tour costa rica

8. Balsa River White Water Rafting class 2/3 in Costa Rica

volcano tour costa rica

9. Mistico Park Hanging Bridges Guided Tour

volcano tour costa rica

10. Arenal Combo: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano Hike

volcano tour costa rica

11. La Fortuna's 3 Essentials Private Tour

volcano tour costa rica

12. Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner

volcano tour costa rica

13. Original Arenal ATV: Arenal Volcano Experience

volcano tour costa rica

14. Sloths Watching Tour through Sloth's Territory

volcano tour costa rica

15. ATV Guided Experience in La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano.

volcano tour costa rica

16. Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour From La Fortuna

volcano tour costa rica

17. Arenal Volcano Experience Full-Day Tour from San Jose

volcano tour costa rica

18. ATV tour in La Fortuna Costa Rica

volcano tour costa rica

19. AMA Extreme 7 Zipline Cables in Arenal above La Fortuna Waterfall

volcano tour costa rica

20. Arenal Volcano Horseback Riding

volcano tour costa rica

21. Arenal Volcano and Baldi Hot Springs Full Day Tour from San Jose

volcano tour costa rica

22. Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano, Waterfall, Hot Springs Full day

volcano tour costa rica

23. Wildlife Safari Float by Inflatable Raft in Peñas Blancas River

volcano tour costa rica

24. Pure Trek Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling Tour in La Fortuna

volcano tour costa rica

25. Horseback Riding around Arenal Volcano base

volcano tour costa rica

26. Night Walk Around The Arenal Volcano

volcano tour costa rica

27. Wildlife Boat Trip Caño Negro

volcano tour costa rica

28. Half Day Adventure from Arenal -2 tours in 1, 4 options to choose

volcano tour costa rica

29. Arenal Volcano Guided Hike

volcano tour costa rica

30. Rafting Class II-III and Zipline Tour from La Fortuna and Arenal

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  • Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs Full Day Tour
  • North Fields Cafe: Craft Specialty Coffee and Chocolate Tour
  • Sloths Watching Tour through Sloth's Territory
  • Sky Adventures Park Zipline Course and Aerial Tram in Arenal Park
  • Waterfall Rappelling, Ziplining, Pool Jumping, Hiking with Lunch
  • La Roca Canyoning
  • Rain Forest Explorers
  • Arenal Rides
  • Eden Chocolate Tour
  • Costa Rica Healing tours
  • La Fortuna Rafting
  • Canoa Aventura
  • Arenal Jungle Tours
  • Callidryas Tours
  • Seven Tours Costa Rica
  • Arenal River Tubing & Hiking
  • Centaura- Day Horseback Riding Tours
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  • Ecocentro Danaus
  • Green Vacations Costa Rica

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How To Experience The Best Costa Rica Volcanoes: Arenal, Poas, Rincon De La Vieja, Irazu, And Turrialba

Home » What To Do In Costa Rica » Volcanoes » How To Experience The Best Costa Rica Volcanoes: Arenal, Poas, Rincon De La Vieja, Irazu, And Turrialba

How To Experience The Best Costa Rica Volcanoes: Arenal, Poas, Rincon De La Vieja, Irazu, And Turrialba

Last updated on November 7th, 2023 at 02:57 pm GMT-6 (Costa Rica time)

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Written by Nikki Solano

Want to know our pick for the  BEST VOLCANO TO VISIT  in Costa Rica? It is featured on DIY Costa Rica !

Want to save money in costa rica, our sister site, pura vida eh inc., has  volcano tour discounts.  con mucho gusto (you’re welcome) and pura vida.

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Get the Costa Rica info you need by browsing our article's TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Costa Rica’s active volcanoes: Know this first

Costa rica volcano national parks, map of volcanoes in costa rica, ways to experience the arenal volcano, what’s not permitted at the arenal volcano, a rundown of the arenal volcano national park, ways to experience the poas volcano, what’s not permitted at the poas volcano, a rundown of the poas volcano national park, what’s not permitted at the rincon de la vieja volcano, a rundown of the rincon de la vieja national park, ways to experience the irazu volcano, a rundown of the irazu volcano national park, costa rica volcanoes: the turrialba volcano, which costa rica volcano is the best to visit.

First things first: rugged Costa Rica is ridden with volcanoes. Most don’t take the iconic shape of a cone, and none spew red-hot lava, so unsurprisingly, the majority are mistaken for mountains.

Even if you don’t realize it at the time, no matter where you travel in Costa Rica, you’ll likely drive around or be within eyeshot of a volcano during your trip. This anticlimactic experience probably isn’t enough to wow you, but don’t fret; there are Costa Rica volcano experiences that will. Continue reading below to learn about these experiences, specifically, ways to discover Costa Rica’s top five volcanoes⁠—Arenal, Poas, Rincon de la Vieja, Irazu, and Turrialba ⁠—each of which is currently active⁠.

Each of the five Costa Rica volcanoes detailed below is located inside its eponymous national park: the Arenal Volcano National Park , the Poas Volcano National Park , the Rincon de la Vieja National Park , the Irazu Volcano National Park , and the Turrialba Volcano National Park . Each national park welcomes visitors, although the Turrialba Volcano National Park is often closed due to volcanic activity (see below for details). One of the national parks, the Poas Volcano National Park, requires visitors to have a reservation. While participation in volcano tours that take place at the various national parks is encouraged, some activities inside the parks (including hikes to the craters of the Arenal Volcano and the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano) are prohibited.

Without further ado, here’s what you should know about Costa Rica’s top five active volcanoes: the Arenal Volcano , the Poas Volcano , the Rincon De La Vieja Volcano , the Irazu Volcano , and the Turrialba Volcano .

We created the above map to showcase where each active Costa Rica volcano is located. Included on the map are the following sites (each of which we detail in this blog post):

  • Arenal Volcano (marked by a mountain icon)
  • Irazu Volcano (marked by a mountain icon)
  • Poas Volcano (marked by a mountain icon)
  • Rincon de la Vieja Volcano (marked by a mountain icon)
  • Turrialba Volcano (marked by a mountain icon)

Costa Rica Volcanoes: The Arenal Volcano

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For our full article about the Arenal Volcano National Park, don’t miss our related blog post: Why You Should (And Shouldn’t) Visit The Arenal Volcano National Park

The most visited and recognizable Costa Rica volcano is the Arenal Volcano. Though we were lucky enough to spend several years living at the base of this volcano back when it used to erupt on the regular (see our blog post Why You Should (And Shouldn’t) Visit The Arenal Volcano National Park for an account of what that was like), nowadays, only faint puffs of smoke escape its crater. Smack dab in the heart of Costa Rica’s epicenter of adventure (the town of La Fortuna; see our blog post Must-Know Info About La Fortuna Costa Rica From Longtime Residents for our La Fortuna city guide), the Arenal Volcano is the showstopping centerpiece atop the table of Costa Rica tourism. It’s also the best Costa Rica volcano to visit if you want to see and/or snap photos of an iconic, cone-shaped volcano. Though the most straightforward way to experience this particular Costa Rica volcano is to hike around its national park, there are actually countless ways you can experience the Arenal Volcano during time spent in touristy La Fortuna. Here are a few suggestions.

You can view the Arenal Volcano at a distance while:

  • Touring hanging bridges
  • Riding an aerial tram
  • Soaking in hot springs
  • Horseback riding
  • Bird-watching
  • Mountain biking
  • Riding an ATV
  • Kayaking or stand-up paddling on Arenal Lake
  • Strolling around downtown La Fortuna
  • Staying at an accommodation in the La Fortuna/Arenal area that provides volcano views
  • Crossing Arenal Lake (coming to or from Monteverde)

You can hike trails around the foothills of the Arenal Volcano at:

  • the Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Arenal 1968
  • El Silencio Mirador y Senderos
  • The Arenal Observatory Lodge

You can combine a guided volcano tour (i.e., a hiking tour around the foothills of the volcano) with the following guided experiences:

  • Waterfall visits
  • Hot spring visits
  • Zip-line tours
  • Hanging bridge tours
  • Horseback riding tours
  • Mountain biking tours
  • Safari float tours

Apart from the inclined trails that you’re welcome to hike around the volcano’s base, hikes on other trails that lead up the steep slopes of the Arenal Volcano are strictly prohibited. This means that it is not possible to arrive at and/or see the crater of the Arenal Volcano.

  • Experience type provided: volcano visit, educational walking/hiking tour
  • Location: west of downtown La Fortuna, on the road to the community of El Castillo
  • Sectors that are open to the public: two; the Main Sector and the Arenal Peninsula Sector
  • Operating hours:  8:00am to 4:00pm daily
  • Visit recommended for: individuals of all ages
  • Parking: free parking on-site
  • Bathrooms: free bathrooms on-site
  • Degree of physicality required to visit: low to moderate, depending on the trails that are hiked
  • Wheelchair access/suitable for the mobility impaired: no, but there’s a volcano viewpoint that can be accessed by car (no hike required)
  • On-site attractions: great bird-watching, multiple volcano viewpoints, Arenal Lake viewpoints, an observation tower, an opportunity to climb over lava rocks, an opportunity to view a giant Ceiba tree
The average Arenal Volcano experience: Since it isn’t possible to reach the crater of the Arenal Volcano, most Arenal Volcano tours stick to the volcano’s foothills where flat and hilly trails weave through forest and decades-old lava rocks roughen the landscape.

Costa Rica Volcanoes: The Poas Volcano

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For information about planning a visit to the Poas Volcano National Park , don’t miss our related blog post: How To Reserve The Poas Volcano National Park (Screenshots)

The Poas Volcano has long been one of the most popular Costa Rica volcanoes to visit, thanks in part to its proximity to the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) (a one-hour drive). What makes visits to this particular volcano tricky to coordinate, though, is the fact that reservations for the date and exact time you plan to visit are required (see our related blog post How To Reserve The Poas Volcano National Park (Screenshots) for information about the reservations process). If you aren’t opposed to following the reservation process and committing to an exact date and time for your visit, you’ll be able to experience the one and only way to currently visit the Poas Volcano, which is to walk the short, wheelchair-accessible trail that leads directly to the volcano’s active crater from just beyond the parking lot. If you do that, you’ll be rewarded with an opportunity to stand at the edge of the crater ⁠—a pretty incredible experience on clear, sunny days when the crater’s beautiful blue pool is visible.

Unfortunately, hiking trails inside the Poas Volcano National Park other than the main trail that leads to the main crater, including the forest trail to Lake Botos that we used to love to explore, are closed to the public.

  • Experience type provided:  volcano visit, educational walking tour
  • Location:  north of downtown Alajuela, near Poasito
  • Sectors that are open to the public:  one; the Main Sector
  • Operating hours:  7:00am to 2:00pm daily
  • Visit recommended for:  individuals of all ages, especially young children, seniors, and others who would prefer an easy walk
  • Parking:  paid parking on-site
  • Bathrooms:  free bathrooms on-site
  • Degree of physicality required to visit:  low
  • Wheelchair access/suitable for the mobility impaired:  yes
  • On-site attractions:  crater viewpoint, the educational display about volcanoes inside the park office
The average Poas Volcano experience: The accessible crater atop the Poas Volcano draws in crowds of sightseers. Poas Volcano tours involve driving up the volcano’s slopes and walking the short, paved trail that connects the parking lot and the crater.

Costa Rica Volcanoes: The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

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With each passing year, interest in visiting the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano increases, mirroring the growth in popularity of the adventure centers that dot the volcano’s foothills. Fortunately, this volcano still feels off the beaten path despite its path becoming more trodden, mainly because it sits at the end of a long road that cuts through a rural area, and is a 45-minute drive from the nearest city. Because tourism in the Rincon de la Vieja area is understated, this is the best Costa Rica volcano to visit if you want to couple your visit to a volcano with other adventure or nature tours but you’d rather not travel to a busy, highly sought-after destination like La Fortuna. Like visits to the Arenal Volcano near La Fortuna, though, the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano can be experienced in a few different ways. Here are some suggestions:

You can view the Rincon de la Vieja at a distance while:

  • Participating in adventure or nature tours run by adventure centers like Hacienda Guachipelin and Buena Vista del Rincon
  • Staying at an accommodation in the Rincon de la Vieja area that provides volcano views
  • Driving Highway 1 around the city of Liberia

You can hike trails around the foothills of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano at:

  • the Rincon de la Vieja National Park
  • Adventure centers like Hacienda Guachipelin and Buena Vista del Rincon

You can combine a guided tour of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park with the following guided experiences:

  • River tubing tours
  • Canyoning tours

The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano contains plenty of hidden treasures, including bubbling hot springs and mud pots, and smoking fumaroles . These attractions can be dangerous if you get too close, so you must stay behind the park’s guardrails and not go near the hazards. (Swimming in the hot springs is not permitted.). Also, although years ago it was permitted to hike to the top of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano, the trails that lead the way are currently closed to the public; access is strictly prohibited. This means that it is not currently possible to arrive at and/or see the crater of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.

  • Location: northeast of Liberia, in a remote location
  • Sectors that are open to the public: two; the Pailas Sector and the Santa Maria Sector
  • Operating hours:  7:30am to 5:00pm Tuesday to Sunday (the Rincon de la Vieja National Park is closed on Mondays)
  • Wheelchair access/suitable for the mobility impaired: only the first few meters of the principal trail in the Pailas Sector are paved
  • On-site attractions: waterfalls, good wildlife-watching; an opportunity to see a mini volcano (named Volcancito), hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots
The average Rincon de la Vieja Volcano experience: Since it isn’t possible to reach the crater of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, most Rincon de la Vieja Volcano tours stick to the volcano’s foothills where flat and hilly trails pass through forest and lead to fascinating attractions and a handful of waterfalls.

Costa Rica Volcanoes: The Irazu Volcano

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The Irazu Volcano is one of only two Costa Rica volcanoes that permit visitors to stand at the edge of a crater. (The other is the Poas Volcano.) This is the main reason to visit the Irazu Volcano⁠— Costa Rica’s tallest volcano, which sits 11,000+ feet above sea level (more than double the height of the majestic Arenal Volcano)⁠—to peer into its deep, daunting crater. Fortunately, unlike visits to the Poas Volcano, visits to the Irazu Volcano don’t require a reservation , making this volcano the best Costa Rica volcano to visit if you want to lay your eyes on a crater in a hassle-free way. Though there’s only one way to see the Irazu Volcano’s crater, there are actually two ways you can experience this volcano:

  • You can walk the short, wheelchair-accessible trail that leads directly to the volcano’s active crater from just beyond the parking lot
  • You can hike less-traveled nature trails elsewhere in the park, though you’ll need to drive to the off-site Prusia Sector for that
  • Location:  north of downtown Cartago, near Tierra Blanca
  • Sectors that are open to the public:  two; the Main Sector and the Prusia Sector
  • Operating hours:  8:00am to 3:30pm daily
  • Parking:  free parking on-site
  • On-site attractions:  crater viewpoint, nature trails
The average Irazu Volcano experience: The accessible crater atop the Irazu Volcano is the attraction’s best feature. Irazu Volcano tours involve driving up the volcano’s slopes and walking the short, paved trail that connects the parking lot and the crater.

volcano tour costa rica

GREAT NEWS! The Turrialba Volcano National Park has reopened following its closure due to volcanic activity. To avoid providing outdated information about the Turrialba Volcano National Park from visits before it closed and reopened, we’ve removed the majority of content from this section. We will be visiting the Turrialba Volcano National Park in the coming months to conduct new research, and after we do, we’ll update this section to share our findings. Pura vida, amigos! 🙂

When deciding for yourself which Costa Rica volcano is the best to visit, consider our answers below.

  • Which Costa Rica volcano is the closest to San Jose/Alajuela/the SJO Airport? The Poas Volcano, followed by the Irazu Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcano is the closest to the La Fortuna/Arenal area? The Arenal Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcano is the closest to the northern Pacific coast/Guanacaste/Liberia/LIR Airport? The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, followed by the Arenal Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcano provides the best volcano-viewing experience? The Arenal Volcano, if you want to see a cone-shaped volcano, or else the Poas Volcano or the Irazu Volcano, if you want to see a volcano’s crater.
  • Which Costa Rica volcanoes provide the best crater-viewing experiences? The Poas Volcano and the Irazu Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcano provides the best hiking experience? The Arenal Volcano, followed by the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcano provides the most rugged, off-the-beaten-path hiking experience? The Turrialba Volcano, when open to the public.
  • Which Costa Rica volcanoes are the easiest to walk/hike? The Poas Volcano and the Irazu Volcano have flat, paved trails. The Arenal Volcano and the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano have some easy forest trails in addition to moderate forest trails.
  • Which Costa Rica volcanoes provide challenging treks for more experienced hikers? The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and the Arenal Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcanoes are wheelchair accessible/best for the mobility-impaired? The Poas Volcano and the Irazu Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcano has hot springs within its national park? The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. (Swimming in the park’s hot springs is not permitted.)
  • Which Costa Rica volcanoes feed hot springs that sit off national park property but can be visited by members of the public for swimming/soaking purposes? The Arenal Volcano and the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
  • Which Costa Rica volcanoes are most often visited in combination with visits to nearby attractions? The Arenal Volcano, followed by the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Truly, though, visits to any of the five volcanoes described in this article can be combined with visits to nearby attractions.
  • Which Costa Rica volcano provides an opportunity to view lava? Currently, no Costa Rica volcanoes emit lava.

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you visited one of the above-mentioned Costa Rica volcanoes? Which one did you pick, and why?

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How To Experience The Best Costa Rica Volcanoes: Arenal, Poas, Rincon De La Vieja, Irazu, And Turrialba

Tagged:  adventure , alajuela , arenal , arenal volcano , cartago , costa rica , costa rica travel , costa rica travel tips , costa rica vacation , guanacaste , irazu volcano , la fortuna , poas volcano , rincon de la vieja , rincon de la vieja volcano , tourism , travel , travel tips , turrialba , turrialba volcano , vacation , volcano

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The comment section of this article has moved! If you have a question or comment about our article above or Costa Rica travel in general, please post it in our Questions and Answers Forum on DIY Costa Rica , our sister website, where you can also access our private Costa Rica recommendations, our Costa Rica Destination Tool, and our Costa Rica Recommendations Map. See you there, amigos! 🙂

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Great overview. I’ve only seen Poas and Irazu so far but I enjoyed both for different reasons

Hi mybeardandmypenguin!

Thanks so much! Poas and Irazu are the only two volcanoes (of the five discussed in our article) that welcome visitors to stand at their craters. The views are incredible! It’s great that you’ve had a chance to see both.

Pura vida! 🙂

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Great and thorough review! My mother and I are visiting Costa Rica in late May of this year, but we will be staying in La Fortuna. We are staying for seven days, so five full days and two half days. Do you think it’s possible to visit Arena, Poas, Irazu as well as the Paz Waterfall, Orosi Valley, and Lankester Gardens? Our biggest issue is we can’t find a tour company that will pickup from La Fortuna near the Arenal and go to these destinations.

Hi goddivaldi!

Quick question: Will you be flying into San Jose? If so, I’d recommend giving yourself a day at the start of your trip to tour the Irazu Volcano and the Orosi Valley. If you don’t mind departing from San Jose to Arenal the next day, you can combine that journey so you see the Poas Volcano and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens along the way. This means you’d spend the first day in the San Jose vicinity (touring Irazu and Orosi), spend the second day traveling from San Jose to La Fortuna (touring Poas and La Paz along the way), and then spend the next few days exploring in La Fortuna.

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Hello, I was that Volcán Rincón de la Vieja is closed due the activity, so it’s imposible to hiking. Do you know something about that? And the hikking to Turrialba there is any agency that could find the information or guide the hike?

Yes! The trails that lead to the craters at the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano are currently closed. But other trails inside the Rincon de la Vieja National Park are open and worth hiking. As for the Turrialba Volcano, this volcano’s national park keeps closing and opening, closing and opening, due to volcanic activity. It is currently closed to the public.

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Best Arenal Volcano tours

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Located 6km from La Fortuna , awe-inspiring Arenal Volcano is one of Costa Rica’s top natural attractions. Especially popular with travellers looking for high-octane experiences, the area is a stunning place to enjoy the likes of canopy zip-lining and canyoning, best followed by chilling out in one of several sublime hot springs. Are you planning to go here? Then read the 10 best Arenal Volcano tours.

Best Arenal Volcano tours and activities

#1 go ziplining through the jungle, #2 go extreme with white-water rafting, #3 take it next level with canyoning, #4 explore the beautiful waterfalls, #5 take a thrilling atv jungle tour, #6 relax in one of the hot springs, #7 take a hike around arenal lake, #8 coffee and chocolate tours, #9 go hiking, #10 explore local markets around arenal, tailor-made travel itineraries for costa rica, created by local experts.

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6 days  / from 1590 USD

Outdoor Fun and Beaches in Costa Rica

The perfect mix of jungle and beaches - visit La Fortuna with Arenal volcano and Fortuna waterfall. Afterwards, continue to Manuel Antonio with its national park and pristine beaches. Private transfers throughout ensure your comfort at all times.

Whether you prefer to get your kicks on dry land, or love taking to the water in truly exhilarating style, Arenal Volcano tours and activities are nothing but diverse, and rewarding with it.

Alongside volcano hikes, white-water rafting, and forest canopy tours, the region also has plenty to satisfy foodies and culture vultures. We're talking immersive coffee tasting tours, and exploring local markets.

To help plan your trip, read on to find out about the best Arenal Volcano tours and activities.

Keen on travelling to Costa Rica ? Perhaps our local experts can help you plan, or take a look at our itineraries .

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Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

If you have a head for heights and a hankering for adventure, taking a ziplining trip through the forest canopy is one of the best Arenal Volcano tours. There really is no more exhilarating way to experience Costa Rica’s breath-taking beauty. 

And the good news is, travellers to Costa Rica’s Arenal area are spoiled for choice. Many zipline operators offer a mix of practice cables for newbies and wires that run for kilometres.  

For example,  Go Adventure Arenal — La Fortuna’s original ziplining operation — has nine cables, along with a 40m abseiling experience, aerial tram and on-site horse-riding.    

Travelling with kids? Ecoglide Arenal Park , 3.5km west of La Fortuna, offers twelve cables, thirteen platforms and a Tarzan swing located in a park beneath the volcano. With a mini cable for practice, this place has all ages covered. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking to add some romance to your ziplining experience, Sky Adventures is one of the few places you can go ziplining at sunset. They also have an awe-inspiring aerial tram and hanging bridges (great for wildlife-watching), and a seven-cable canopy tour. 

For on-site canopy tours, you could consider staying in Hotel Los Lagos, 6km northwest of La Fortuna. The hotel’s  Canopy Los Cañone's  boasts a dozen cables and 13 platforms that cover almost 3km.  

Travel tip: fancy being exhilarated in Arenal without the hassle of planning? Our customisable  Tropical Costa Rica trip and our  Beaches and Volcanoes trip both include Arenal Volcano.

Canopy forest zipline ride © Shutterstock

Ziplining through the forest canopy is one of the best Arenal Volcano tours © Shutterstock

As with ziplining offerings, rafting trips around Arenal Volcano are available for various ability levels, which means you don’t have to be a hardcore white-water rafter to enjoy the region’s waterways. 

For a gentler introduction, canoe and kayak specialists  Canoa Aventura run full-day paddles in Caño Negro. Their "safari float” down the forest-fringed Río Peñas Blancas — by raft or kayak — is also fun and family-friendly.

If you're in the market for a more high-octane white-water rafting experience, you’ll find that in Arenal, too, courtesy of  Costa Rica Descents . Run by two brothers who got their white-water wings rafting in the Rockies, they offer La Fortuna’s only Class V outfitter.

If you’re fit, over 18, and have previously done Class IV rafting, you’ll love their adventurous Class V Balsa River trip.

With a challenging descent into a lush rainforest canyon, this full-day trip also includes a stop at El Salto — a natural water park replete with waterfalls, pools and a rope swing. From here, you’ll head to the yet-more challenging rapids of the Upper Balsa. 

Costa Rica Descents also run gentler family-oriented trips on the Class II–III Río Sarapiquí and Río Balsa.

RoughGuides info and inspo : read our full guide to visiting  Arenal Volcano , and our  Costa Rica travel tips .

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White-water rafting is a top Arenal Volcano tour for adrenaline junkies © Shutterstock

Combining rock-climbing, scrambling, abseiling and hiking, going canyoning is one of the most unique and unforgettable Arenal Volcano tours. 

As one of the longest-standing operators in the area, our experts recommend  Pure Trek Canyoning . Their half-day, expert-led canyoning tour will take you deep into the on-site canyon to tackle a series of waterfall rappels and rock climbs. The freefall “Monkey Drop” into a pool is an undeniable highlight. 

When you're not climbing, leaping or scrambling, keep an eye out for the likes of toucans, sloths and monkeys. This top Arenal Volcano tour offers wildlife and wild adventure in equal measure.

Alternatively, if you fancy combining rafting and canyoning on a full-day tour,  Desafío’s Mambo Combo Rappel and Raft excursion has you covered. 

Travelling with kids? Pure Trek Canyoning have special gloves, helmets and harnesses for children. They also employ a special technique to lower children safely — the guide remains in total control.

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Explore capuchin monkey territory on a canyoning trip in Arenal, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

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It’s true to say that the area around Arenal Volcano is blessed with an abundance of natural attractions, among them dozens of waterfalls that seem to be conjured from the pages of a picture book. 

Sitting pretty at the top of the waterfall tree is the dramatically sited La Catarata de La Fortuna (La Fortuna Waterfall), located 4km southwest of town. 

On arrival, a path leads from the ticket booth down to the base of the pools. It’s a 600m drop through lush rainforest, with the thin-but-forceful stream pushing through a narrow opening in the rockface. 

If you’d prefer to view the falls from a distance, a signposted mirador can be found 200m along the trail. This offers stunning views across the valley and its heavily forested floor to the finger of the cascade.  

However you opt to see La Fortuna waterfall, it’s best to wear waterproof shoes, and be aware that the paths can be slippery. 

Beyond visiting La Fortuna waterfall, hiking along the blue-hued Rio Celeste also rewards ramblers with views of an epic waterfall. You can swim here, too. 

More waterfall wonders await at the Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa . Just 15-minutes’ walk from reception, the Danta Waterfall is arguably the most impressive, and certainly the most visited. 

In addition, the grounds boast trails to three other waterfalls. Note, though, that two of these can only be seen during or after rainy periods, so check before setting off. 

Travel tip : love natural attractions? Discover the  best waterfalls in Costa Rica and read our guide to the best national parks in Costa Rica .

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La Fortuna waterfall, Arenal, Costa-Rica Shutterstock

When it comes to a fun, family-friendly way to see the area, going on a thrilling ATV jungle trip is one of the best Arenal Volcano tours. 

If that sounds like something you’d like to try, our experts recommend Jacamar Naturalist Tours' 2-hour ATV trip along a jungle trail that traverses rainforest and rivers. 

With opportunities to be wowed by Arenal’s near-perfect conical peak along the way, your tour guide will point out local wildlife en route to Maleku village, home to a group of indigenous people. 

Note you need to be over sixteen to drive your own ATV on this trip. Four+ year-olds can ride as passengers.  

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to focus your trip on the volcano, the two-hour  Original Arenal ATV Tour takes you totally off-road to the craters created by the 1968 eruption. 

Along the way, you’ll also see a remarkable river with volcanic mud, visit a viewpoint to observe Arenal Lake, and learn about local agriculture.

Mainly, though, you’ll be blown away by epic views while traversing extraordinary terrain. 

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Taking an ATV trip is one of the most exhilarating Arenal Volcano tours © Shutterstock

Due to the region’s volcanic activities, it’ll come as no surprise that the Arenal area is renowned for its natural hot springs.  

Several of them line the road from La Fortuna to Arenal, all set around a variety of pools fed by thermally heated underground streams. While the majority of agencies in town sell tickets and transportation to the springs, you can easily visit them independently.

In addition, some hotels have worked hot springs into their landscaped grounds, which are also open to non-guests (for a fee). 

Here’s our run-down of the best hot springs to visit around Arenal Volcano — take your pick from swanky complexes, to lesser-visited sites beloved by locals.

Balneario Tabacón

The glitziest of the main hot springs, and the destination for most tourists is Balneario Tabacón.

Fed by a magma-boiled underground thermal river, the water temperature here ranges from 27°C (80°F) to about 42°C (108°F).

The complex comprises fifteen mineral-rich pools, most of which are secluded among rich vegetation. Several are set beneath waterfalls, so you can position yourself under the cascades for a massage.

Tabacon Hot Springs River at Arenal Volcano, Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

Tabacón hot springs near Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

Baldi Hot Springs

While Baldi Hot Springs lacks the classy touches of its rival, it’s significantly cheaper and offers many of the same facilities as Tabacón. It's also more accessible for those without transport.

Baldi's delights include 25 steaming pools, among them Roman-style baths and waterfall-fed pools. Meanwhile, younger visitors will love the three waterslides.

Ecotermales Fortuna

Fronted by imposing wooden gates, the exclusive-looking Ecotermales Fortuna has five cascading thermal pools of varying temperatures set in idyllic forested surrounds. 

It’s stylishly low-key, and only 100 people are allowed in during any of the allotted times, so be sure to book ahead in high season.

Termales Los Laureles

Termales Los Laureles is the least expensive official hot springs in the Arenal area, and popular with Ticos. 

Four simple pools (one with slides) are set around a very ordinary garden, but the volcano views are sensational. Why not bring your own food and booze and make a night of it?

The Rough Guides to Costa Rica and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Rough Guide to Costa Rica

Travel tip:  discover more about the best hot springs near Arenal National Park .

Los Lagos Hotel in Arenal La Fortuna © Shutterstock

Los Lagos Hotel in Arenal has its own hot springs © Shutterstock

Many of the area’s activities unsurprisingly revolve around Arenal Lake. At 85 square km, this is Costa Rica’s largest lake, with a hydroelectric project at its western end a key driving force in the country’s admirable green energy policy. 

For most visitors, though, Arenal Lake means a different kind of energy. This is Costa Rica’s prime windsurfing and kitesufing site, with Tilarán, on the western side of the lake, being the focal point for activities.  

The wind peaks come between mid-December and February, so aim for the late-season months if you’re looking to learn. 

Fishing is another key activity on Arenal Lake, with many visitors hoping to hook the hard-fighting guapote.  Lake Arenal Fishing , for example, runs conventional fishing, fly-fishing and kayak-based fishing trips that last either five or seven hours.

Several operators run kayak tours and paddle-boarding excursions.  Arenal Kayaks come especially recommended for their variety of offerings. You can fish, watch birds, or explore coves and lagoons, all the while watching out for howler monkeys along the shoreline. 

For a sublimely scenic experience take a Sunset and Moonshine Cruise on Lake Arenal . Not only does this deliver dramatic views of the volcano in the shifting light, but you'll get to see an abundance of birdlife along the way.

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A couple paddling at the Arenal lake © Shutterstock

If you’re a fan of rich coffee and even richer chocolate, you won’t want to miss sampling the region’s most celebrated produce during your trip.

For foodies, it’s fair to say that visiting a coffee and/or cacao farm makes for a truly memorable Arenal Volcano tour experience.  

Such activities also offer a rewarding way to put some of your sustainable travel goals into practice. Most tours are run by small-scale farmers, which means your experience directly supports the local economy.

Many tours can be taken from La Fortuna. For example, family-run North Fields offer a shuttle service to their farm from La Fortuna hotels (four shuttles daily; book via  their site ). 

The tour itself involves a guide showing you round the farm explaining the whole bean-to-cup and bean-to-bar process. The trip wraps up with a fun tasting session — expect to be asked to work out which chocolate has the highest cocoa content.

A similar experience is offered on the  Don Olivo Chocolate Tour , which (unsurprisingly) has more of a chocolate focus.

That said, you’ll also learn about — and taste — coffee, sugar cane, fruits and vanilla. Oh, and you might just spot a few sloths along the way. 

Talking of sloths, to enjoy the best of both worlds (local wildlife and produce) at one fell swoop, Arenal Jungle Tours  run a trip that combines sloth observation with a coffee and chocolate experience.  

With a dedicated Sloth Watching Trail in the farm, this tour is sure to satisfy all ages.

Coffee plantation © Fotos593/Shutterstock

Coffee and chocolate tours around Arenal Volcano deliver big on culture and taste © Fotos593/Shutterstock

Hikers and walkers of all fitness levels will be pleased to learn that the Arenal Volcano region boasts trails to suit all kinds of travellers.  

These include everything from well-maintained, short accessible paths to fine viewing points, to otherworldly treks across terrain created by lava flow.

If you’re travelling with kids, need an accessible option, or want a rewarding introduction to the area, try the Peninsula Trail in Arenal Volcano National Park. A flat, 1.3 km path leads you to an observation tower overlooking the volcano.  

Given its ease, the Peninsula Trail is a pretty rewarding route, with plenty of wildlife likely to make an appearance along the way. Expect to see the likes of oropendolas and tanagers up in the trees, and agoutis scampering across the ground.

Keen to get closer to Arenal Volcano? You'll want to walk the Las Coladas trail — a 2km, mostly flat hike that leads to a 1992 lava flow (it's also known as the lava flow trail).

After passing through a canopy of towering cane, you’ll come to the first of two volcano observation areas. Climb the staircase for a prime viewing position before walking on the old lava flow and continuing to the second (even better) volcano viewing point.    

Travel tip : love getting active in the great outdoors? Read our guide to the best Arenal Volcano hikes , and discover Costa Rica's best hikes .

Hummingbird, Rara Avis Reserve, Costa Rica

Watch out for hummingbirds while enjoying hikes around Arenal, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

While in the Arenal Volcano area, don’t miss the chance to buy local produce and crafts at a market. 

Pretty much every Costa Rican community and town hosts a local Feria (Fair) or Feria del Agricultor (Agricultural Fair). Essentially, this is a farmers’ market that sees local producers sell their goods at a focal point in town.  

With Costa Rica being a top eco-tourism destination, many of these markets now also offer the likes of craft, pottery and jewellery.  

The La Fortuna Feria comes highly recommended for visitors to the Arenal Volcano area. It’s held from 7am-5pm on Mondays and Fridays in front of the bull running stadium by the football pitch. 

Elsewhere in the area, Cinco Esquinas Farmers’ Market is a friendly community-run affair, and a great place to pick up local organic produce and handicrafts.

Located just outside the village of Tilaran to the west of Arenal lake, it's held from 9am-1pm on the first and third Sunday of the month.

Travel tip: to make your trip all the tastier, read up on eating and drinking in Costa Rica .

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Gallo pinto is a typical Costa Rican dish to enjoy around Arenal Volcano © Shutterstock

Looking for more inspiration? Read up on the  best things to do in Costa Rica , and get yourself a copy of  The Rough Guide to Costa Rica .

Not keen on planning? Browse our customisable  Costa Rica itineraries , or talk to our  Costa Rica experts .

Header image: Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

Joanne Owen

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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    Now considered by many to be the adventure capital of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano is a great base for adventure touring including ziplines, hanging bridges, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, caving, fishing on Lake Arenal, and more. Read More. Arenal Sky Aerial Tram & Trek Zipline.

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