Until recent years, Arenal Volcano was one of the most active volcanoes in the world! On this interesting nature hike we will venture to the base of the volcano to learn all about its fascinating history and surrounding wildlife.
Arenal Volcano blew its top so to speak in the deadly 1968 explosion. While it has not erupted since 1968, it still is considered active producing steam from its crater and plenty of hot thermal water feeding the hot springs. This sleeping giant could wake at any time!
The three hour hiking tour takes place along trails within a private reserve located at the base of the iconic volcano. With a little luck and cooperation from Mother Nature, your bilingual guide will point out some of the local residents including peccaries, toucans, parrots, sloths, monkeys, frogs, and more.
The hike itself involves steep climbs and can be muddy at times. It ends at a clearing directly in front of the volcano. Weather permitting you will have an excellent view of the mighty Arenal.
After the tour you will be driven back to your local area hotel.
The Natural History and Nature tour at Arenal Volcano is a fantastic option to acquire knowledge about the history of the volcano and be able to see some wildlife. This half day expedition includes entrance to the private reserve, transportation, fruits and a naturalist guide.
The Arenal Volcano Nature and History Tour is available from Arenal, Arenal Zone 2, and Arenal Zone 3
2 and up
Fantastic tour and very knowledgeable guide. Hike was a little more extreme than expected but our guide was patient and let us take breaks as needed on the way up.
We really enjoyed this tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable.
Great guide. Appreciate the fruit and drink he brought for after the hike.
Great knowledgeable guide. The hike is not easy, but definitely doable as our four kids (ages between 6 and 14) handled it fine. Very enjoyable and some great views of the volcano and Lake Arenal.
The tour was quite rushed, maybe because of the rain but there wasn't much opportunity to stop for pictures or look for wildlife, we just walked along the path following the guide.
This tour was very much a disappointment, but perhaps it was because my 81-year-old husband had great difficulty navigating the uneven, rocky, winding, wet paths. He was doing his best to keep up, but really found the walking difficult. I was constantly worried about him tripping, falling or getting lost from the group which was so far ahead of him. Unless you were very young or a veteran hiker, the trek was too long and not enjoyable. The tour guide could have provided us with more interesting and better information about the volcano. The end of the hike up provided some nice views, but unfortunately the cloud cover made the volcano impossible to see. There was also a lovely stretch of landscape on the way down to the parking lot. My disappointment with this tour comes from a personal level, and besides the lack of interesting facts about volcanoes, the tour might be appreciated by other tourists. And in all fairness, the description does warn prospective travellers of the steep nature of the hike.
Luis again- lots of info
Really enjoyed the hike and our guides
Guide was not very informed and the tour was not very memorable
Again this was alot of walking but we saw so much. There are some uneven areas so good walking shoes. Our guide had his PhD in Eco Environmental Systems and he was so knowledgeable of the area (he grew up nearby). He too was able to spot so many animals for us. It was a small group tour (just our family) and the transportation to and from and great.
This tour was truly our favorite experience. Anthony (our guide) was FANTASTIC!! His English was so good, his knowledge of the landscape, the agriculture and the wildlife was top rate. He really gave us a once in a lifetime experience!!!!
Very knowledgeable tour guide, great views of the volcano.
Royvin, our guide, was fabulous! He was thorough in answering our questions and was extremely spacious in sharing his time with us. His driver (Trino?) was super nice and also very giving of extra time for us.
He was very knowledgeable and nice
All around Excellent! Impressive in all respects and Guide was very knowledgeable and informative and took care to make sure all our questions were answered. Highly recommend!
Tour guide tried hard but lacked biological education.
The best tour ever!!! Guide Edson was simply the best.
In spit of heavy rain throughout the walk, we just loved this event. We quickly talked ourselves into "how else explore the rain forest if not in pouring rain". The guide was excellent and the nature beautiful.
Expected more than hike..
Randall was a wonderful - full of knowledge and engaging with the kids.
It was a little dull and I expected more.
Didn’t realize we weren’t going up very close to the volcano. Nice trail though that everyone could do. Guide took his time on our walk. Even had fresh pineapple for us. At the end he dropped us off in town! Great tour guide!
Guide had done this tour too many times. No enthusiasm.
Thought it would have been more in/around the volcano area, but understand now that this is not possible as its illegal to climb the volcano, but that's why marked slightly lower on meeting expectations, but a good tour overall!
It was raining a bit but our guide was accommodating and informative about the volcano. The tour up the lava flow was a bit challenging but we enjoyed the view at the end. The guide took us into the forest on a hike and had many interesting stories about the wildlife and nature. Ecology is so important in Costa Rica.
Our guide was great. She knew a lot of stuff but there wasn't a lot too see.
Our guide and driver picked us up from the hotel. We went on the volcano hike first. It is a bit of a challenging hike but we knew that before we went. We brought extra water with us. My 13 and 10 year olds handled the hike very well. The nature hike was on a path that was not often traveled. There was a clear path but it was nice to feel like we were in a private part of the rain forest. We were able to see a few different animals and birds on this hike.
Our guide was very knowledgeable. We appreciated the nature walk and his incredible eye in spotting animals, and lending us his binoculars.
I learned alot about Arenal and the wildlife that I saw from the guide (Miguel?). I would definitely recommend this tour but I was surprised with how short it was!! I was back in my hotel before lunch!
Rained heavily but we still had a great time!
Very knowledgeable guide
Felix our guide was lovely. He was very informative. The driver was also nice and the fruit at the end was a lovely touch.
Our tour guide (Felix) was very knowledgeable about the history of the area as well as the plant life. The tour was the right amount of time. If only mother nature would have cooperated - no clear view of the volcano ;)
Walter was an awesome tour guide and was so genuine and taught us a lot about the history of the volcano and reminded us the importance in being kind to the environment- great to see the eco friendly attitude of the Costa Ricans!
Guide was very nice, however, he did speak fluent English. Because of this, we felt that we were his explanations were lacking.
was shorter than advertised, but we enjoyed the quiet of the rainforest on this private tour
Great tour and the clouds dissipated once we got to the top! Excellent!
Great guide, found a number of wonderful flora and fauna. We got some great photos.
Since this is a rough trail, those of us who have knee or hip problems had a tough time on the climb. Since there is no railing, people need to be aware that climbing irregular rocks may be a challenge. The guide was incredibly well prepared and knowledgeable. I probably would not recommend this for those with knee/hip issues.
Our guide was so knowledgeable and made every effort to answer our questions. He and the driver were friendly and interesting.
Everything was very interesting & well done.
My guide amaze me with his knowledge of the area and how Arenal has recovered after the eruption.
Guides English was not very good.
Felix was a great guide! His family lives in La Fortuna and lived there when the volcano erupted.
Carlos was a really great guide. Please use him as much as you can.
We liked the tour very much but could not complete the last part due to my falling and getting a sprained ankle.
Randell's knowledge again was fantastic, but specifically his knowledge and understanding of the history of Costa Rica was astounding and taught us a lot about how this country evolved
I have to comment on how grateful I am to our guide "Randell" and the tour company. Randell made arrangements to get a rescue team of a farmer and his mule from the next door El Silencio Farm and I was carried out to safety. Randell then proceeded to take me to a clinic and had me receive immediate care and his manager was also already there to make sure everything went well and everything was taken care of monetarily by there insurance company.
Please thank them from us- we are very grateful for their help in these times....Highly Recommendable company
Guide was super knowledgeable, but not very friendly or accommodating toward children. Not a good tour for kids.
We had a guide all to ourselves! He was very knowledgeable and friendly.
Best part about this was the driver. He was extremely kind about transportation.
Again we had a private tour. Danny was really informative about the history of the volcano.
Tour guide was very accomodating and knowledgeable.
This was an informative tour and the guide was friendly and helpful. We learned a lot and it was a great way to get our trip started.
We enjoyed the tour but our guide did not demonstrate a debth of knowlege on volcanos. That said, he was very nice, did a good job, and we enjoyed it.
The guide was really knowledgeable and showed us some really interesting things. We were treated to an absolutely stunning sunset, so we were very lucky
Nice to have a local guide who grew up there.
Excellent guide - very knowledgeable.
Our guide Danny Martinez made this hike even more enjoyable. He is knowledgeable and very nice in general. He saw we were fit and took us on an extra long hike per our request
It was a beautiful day and a nice hike, but unfortunately there wasn't much to see in terms of wildlife. Would have been useful to have known more about this sanctuary ahead of time because we may have planned additional hikes here.
The guide was wonderful and was very interested in what he taught us. For some reason, I guess I expected to feel more of the volcano. My fault.
Maybe it was just me, but was very hard to navigate, steps were very high. I would not do it again, but the guide was very courteous and knowledgeable.
What is the difference between 'overall experience' and 'experience'!!! Our guide was very knowledgeable about both the volcano and the local flora and fauna.
Unfortunately due to the weather (low clouds and a bit of rain) we were unable to take the trail leading to the base area of the volcano. Instead enjoyed a hike on another trail through the surrounding area. Very knowledgeable guide (Danny) who shared with us the history of the region.
The tour was in a beautiful area. We saw quite a bit of wildlife and our guide was friendly and very knowledgable. The trail was very steep and would probably not be for everyone!
Loved our tour guide, he was very young, but very well versed. We saw an anteater! The scenery was beautiful. The hike was just perfect.
Excellent guide - so much enthusiasm that it was infectious - very knowledgeable and entertaining. Would have liked a bit more "wildlife" but that is not always a controllable feature.
History of the volcano well explained
the guide was very knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor. We had a fun time
What a day full! I learned so much and highly recommend this tour.
Dani our guide was great!!
Amazing guides. So knowledgeable, friendly and resourceful!
Danny is an AMAZING tour guide, super knowledgable and friendly. He was clearly passionate about nature and his study of it, kept us entertained and safe in the jungle and we enjoyed his company very much. Highly recommend him as a guide.
Much easier hike, with no physical challenge as expected. Also MUCH shorter than we wanted.
Our guide was very friendly and it was a pleasure going on the tour.
It was a much harder hike than we oldsters anticipated. We are in good shape, but we managed. I guess what dampened it for us (literally) was that it rained the whole time and we did not every get to see Arenal clearly. I know that is the breaks. The guide was superb!!
Cloudy. Could not see the Arenal volcano.
Our guide was great and knew the animals there and history quite well. Made it very fun.
One of the best tour experiences we've had anywhere, US, other countries, etc. Tour guide extremely knowledgable and personable.
This was our least favorite - it was ok, but looking back it was kind of boring and we wished we wouldn't have chosen something with more adventure. Our tour guide was great and an interesting few hours, but given the chance again, I'd pick a different 1/2 day adventure.
A bit rigorous for some of our family.
The guide was very nice and accommodating for the walking for my mother.
Did not see a lot, it could be due to the rain. A little disappointing.
Very knowledgeable guide, engaging with my son and deep appreciation for wildlife. Was unprepared for the hike in the dark.
Our guide was very good. He had a routine that involved the things we saw as hiked the trail. He was also very adaptable to help us locate the critters along the path.
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.
We ended up with a private tour this day and our guide was outstanding!!
It was pouring rain, so we couldn't do the whole hike, but our tour guide made it worth our time anyway by showing us tree frogs and a great view near the start of the hike. They stopped the car on the way back for us so we could take some great photos at sunset.
We loved this tour around the volcano as the guide was excellent with fascinating info about the natural history and local wildlife. Beautiful landscape too.
Awesome guide, very friendly and knowledgeable.
great guide and a nice time.
The weather (clouds) did not allow for the original hike, but we enjoyed the alternative.
A relaxed, relatively short walk near the volcano. Lovely scenery and great for an introduction to the arenal area. We did this walk on our first day in Costa Rica and it was a great way to start after our previous day of transit. I wouldn't say this is the most exciting of tours but it is a nice, easy starting point for in early in a trip.
Very knowledgeable guide. Enjoyed the hike very much.
Weather was an issue as it rained heavily before and towards the end of the tour so time was an issue. Would have liked to spend a little more time but (again no fault of tour). Guide (Royvin) was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the volcano/area and made the tour more interesting. Got incredible photos of red-eyed tree frogs and saw Howler monkeys/pit viper too.
This was a beautiful hike and the guide was more than patient with others in our group that were goofing off or lagging behind. It made for some great pictures and was a completely different terrain and view than anything we had seen on our trip.
Our guide as awesome. He really took his time with the group and was very knowledgeable.
This was great. Knowledgeable guide and very pleasant.
It was just the 3 of us on the tour, the guide was amazing. Totally knew his stuff and made a "learning" tour one of the best of the trip. He also suggested a local place for lunch and food was good and not expensive - Soda Resturant Viquez
Day was wonderful, Guide Roy, was very knowledgeable and has a super personality.
Our guide, Jose Danny, could not have been more wonderful. He has a genuine interest in, and knowledge of the region, and he engaged our curiosity and questions with respect and good humor.
The guides were fantastic!
Our tour guide was so accomplished we thought he surely had an advanced degree in biology or botany. He knew the history of the area and the volcano and every bird, plant and animal that we came across, not just their names but their scientific names. Amazing hike - especially since we had him all to ourselves.
Our guide was so excited about his job. He made it really fun for us. He took extra time and made sure we got great pictures!! Great experiance.
They could have explained the flora more - there were no discussions around the types of trees etc. so a large part of the walk was just quiet. But the guide was nice and polite etc.
Great guide who stopped off in the way so we could see a sloth and other wildlife . Great views of the volcano . Loved it
Our guide was awesome. Very knowledgeable and very personable. Arrived on time and went out of his way to ensure we saw and learned alot about the tour. Excellent value.
Well organised and informative.
Awesome guide - very knowledgeable
Bit of a ho hum short and simple walk. To be honest we expected to see more. The guide was a replacement for someone that day. Seemed knowledgeable enough but lacking maturity. Overall I could not recommend this tour.
Another wonderful guide.
Hike was very short, and there wasn't much to see
Our tour guide was fantastic. Well spoken and knowledgeable.
The guide/s were very knowledgeable and friendly.
Thought we would see more of the volcano I guess thought we would be closer .
Our tour guide explained a few things, but talked more about himself and movies he'd seen. He was very nice, but we didn't learn much. We got to the top of the mountain, but would never have known we were at a volcano.
Our tour with Carlos was the highlight of our 2 week vacation. He was a wealth of knowledge, fun to be around and truly loved what he was doing. Wish there were more animals but he found some things and took pictures on our camera so we brought home great memories.
Carlos was very knowledgeable, friendly and fun. He was an expert in photography and helped us take some great photographs.
Very good guide. Lots of information on the volcano and the flora and fauna. Would recommend this trip and the guide.
Wish we could have hiked higher on the mountain. Was a little slow going.
Really great tour guide
Nice guide, but I wanted more information and to see more.
The transport for this tour was a very old, moldy vehicle...
Fantastic - would recommend to others
Amazing breakfasts, staff were remarkable. Didn't even mind the rain.
This was a fun experience, and I would give it all 10s, but I want to distinguish this trek from the others that were even more exciting and fun. This one was fine, and the guide was fun, thoughtful and knowledgeable, but the other adventures were more exciting. Also the volcano remained shrouded in clouds the whole time we were there, but apparently that's really common.
Great history of Arenal, hector our guide was very knowledgeable and even took us to town for great local dinner.
Did not see many animals, but guide was nice and informative.
Our favorite tour, the tour guy was the BEST!!!
Carlos & Hector were very good and experienced guides
I did not take the tour to the top. It was getting toward dark and I didn't think I could make it up the last part. The guide was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. We were not totally prepared for hike. We neglected to read the suggested preparation like bringing rain gear, flash lights and hiking boots. The tour ended in the dark. Luckily some of our cell phones has flash lights so we could get down the mountain.
The guide really knew his history of the area, the plant life and allowed us to hike a bit in the dark.
We were unable to take the hike through the forest due to a severe thunder storm. The guide was very safety conscious. We had a very interesting bus tour instead. I learned much about the volcano from the guide.
We were lucky enough to have a guide who is an experienced and very knowledgeable birdwatcher. This was a perfect fit for us. He was outstanding. He showed us so many of the birds we were hoping to see in CR. terrific trip.
Tour was good .I was hoping to see a little more wild life, but I do understand
that you have no control over such things
Was expecting to get closer to the Volcano and to see more wild life. Also, it would have been nice to have the tour later in the day so that we would not have to wake up so early
Although they had our tour time incorrect, the company was able to fix it and work with Ecoglide to ensure we were able to do both excursions. Our guide was amazing and even took us on an extended tour so we could see the monkeys!
I thought we would be walking on the old lava, climbing boulders near the top of the volcano - it was just a nature walk at the base and we didn't see much. I wish we would have seen more of the actual volcano and rocks - we saw plenty of the rainforest later on.
Guide knew alot about plants.
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the area, wildlife, and history. I liked how there were only two families on the tour which made it very personable. The scenery was breathtaking!
Jason was the best guide we had on our trip. He was very nice, informative, knew history, plants, animals, etc.. There was a pretty steep climb & we saw lots of things. Great time!
It was a good tour. They stopped to show us stuff and we saw quite a bit.
For one, the hike was cut short because of a sudden downpour of rain. The guide (Rinaldo?) was very nice and exceedingly knowledgeable. In fact, his knowledge really slowed down our hike. To much stopping with lengthy descriptions of the habitat and history. One stop was well over 20 mins., just standing and listening. I'm all for learning, but it dominated the experience. We actually didn't reach the summit where we can view the volcano and had to turn back because of the rain. If we could have kept the talk to a minimum, I believe we could have reached it no problem. Anyhow, the guide is really nice, just more hiking and less talking would have been better.
Nice hike, but couldn't see much due to cloud cover. Guide stopped too many times along the way so ran out of time to do more hiking. Saw some wild life, but not as much as expected.
Bad weather so couldn't see much but the guide (Jason) did a great job trying to find things for us to see and discuss. He made up for the bad weather
I would not consider this an "easy" hike just for future reference. It is not like scaling a mountain or anything but especially while raining trails were challenging. Easy for anyone in prime shape, but older out-of-shape persons would feel it moderate to challenging.
Our guide was wonderful. He took his time, took pictures of us, took pictures of snakes and frogs for us that we didn't quite want to get too close to. He was funny and very knowledgeable. A great experience.
This tour we enjoyed but would be one to skip if you had other to replace it with..
Great guide, gave us a birding tour, as well as two extra hours, as that was our main interest. I think it was Reynaldo.
We had so much fun on this tour and so much history was provided.
Guide was great, very informative and he found us monkeys. We would have like more hiking and a faster pace.
The guide was entertaining, knowledgeable, and we learned a lot about the volcano and the various plants on the trail. He made sure we got a picture of the red eyed frog at night.
Very interesting and information. The area is beautiful.
Very nice private hike. Slightly slower pace than what I would have liked. But very good.
Our tour guide was absolutely awesome. The black moss on the volcanic rocks was super cool!
The guide was wonderful! Very friendly and knowledgeable. There was a little bit of waiting around to get back to our hotel at the end, but not too bad.
Guide was fit and knowledgeable. The first hike offered and good but windy view of the volcano. The longer tour through the woods was very relaxing and enjoyable.
I expect to see more wildlife. The flowers and plants were amazing and our guide gave excellent explanations, but sometimes spent too much time talking about himself instead of the surroundings.
the tour guide was awesome he knew so much and even found termites to taste!
Did not have good luck with weather so did not get to hike close to volcano. Guide did a great job making it a nature tour instead.
Walking at the base of the volcano was not a worthwhile trip. I thought we would be walking up to the rim.
I loved this walk. Would do this again. Reynaldo was our tour guide and he was phenomenal. He show us everything from plants to animals and the region. I learned so much in this short walk. I would hire and recomend Reynaldo to everyone I know. I woudl rate this part of my trip a 20.
I would have liked a longer hike. I found that we spent a lot of time standing listening/talking. Although the guide was very knowledgeable and pleasant, I would have enjoyed a longer, more strenuous walk that covered more ground in addition to the history and information.
In spite of the tropical downpour the trip was well worth while. I have rarely experienced a harder rain.
The logistics were perfect. The tour was a little less than we thought. I had thought we'ld see more of the volcano but the planning of it was great and the guide was very friendly.
We could have easily done this on our own. Our guide Reynaldo was very enthusiastic, a pleasure to be with.
Your guide was amazing and knowledgable
Great adventure and the tour guide was so funny and knowledgeable....
Ronaldo was AMAZING! had a great time
Defeated by the uphill walk and disappointed that we actually didn't get to see anything of the volcano. Very informative.
Knowledgeable guide who obviously loved the history of the volcano. My husband, a former geology teacher, became part of the tour.
Unfortunately, our guide seemed quite young and inexperienced. A rather nice young man, but it felt like he needed more experience guiding.
rained too much to truly enjoy
The rainforest hike was spent mostly looking down so as not to trip. The trail was very rough. If there had been things to see in the canopy, we would have missed it. Disappointed since this was our first rainforest adventure.
The guide was great. We went in the pouring rain--not anyone's fault--we don't control the weather. So there wasn't a lot of wildlife. However, at the very start of the tour we were taken to a tree where we could see a sloth who was actually moving. The tour folks did everything they could to make this a good experience in the pouring rain. I would recommend this.
The guide knew his stuff, pointed out things we couldn't see.
It was a rainy afternoon, so we did not get to see any wildlife or a good view of the volcano.
We were the only two on this tour and we really enjoyed the tour, our guide and the views.
I thought we would see more of the volcano