Looking for a challenging hike through the rainforest and over an extinct volcano? Look no further! The Cerro Chato extreme hike is perfect for you.
Cerro Chato is often referred to as the older brother of Arenal Volcano. Located next to the impressive Arenal, Cerro Chato last erupted 3,500 years ago. The extinct volcano still has a distinct crater with a picture perfect emerald green colored crater lake.
The day starts off with a drive around the famous Arenal Volcano and then on to the backroads to the Arenal Observatory Lodge. From there the tour continues on foot across the grounds and fields of the lodge until you reach the base of Cerro Chato. This is a great time to catch your breath take a drink before hitting the extreme trail!
The hike up Cerro Chato is on a worn trail. The ascent on the mostly clay path is difficult as steps can be several feet high at times, there are many roots in the way and the trail is at a consistently high pitch.
As you climb, your guide will attempt to point out any wildlife along the way. But please do not confuse this with a nature hike! When you reach the top there is a clearing with an observation point to Arenal Volcano. On clear days the view is spectacular, but keep in mind clear days are few and far between in this region.
The climb down to the crater is nearly vertical and you should remember that what goes down must climb back up! Those that choose to go down to the crater will be rewarded with views across the beautiful green lagoon.
The hike down the other side of the extinct volcano is just as difficult. At the end of the forested area you will be rewarded with views across San Carlos and La Fortuna town as well as the neighboring mountains, Arenal Volcano and cattle fields. The trail continues until you reach the Green Lagoon Lodge. Following the hike you will be provided with lunch.
After the tour you will be returned to your La Fortuna hotel. In total this tour is expected to last 4 – 6 hours, though this can vary significantly based on group speed. The Cerro Chato tour should only be selected if you are in good physical condition and can maintain several hours of difficult uphill and downhill hiking in difficult terrain at a reasonable pace. In addition to round trip transfers and lunch this tour also includes the guide and entrance fees.
10 and up
Latitude: N 10° 26' 36.91"
Longitude: W 84° 41' 14.73"
It was hard work but rewarding
Jorge our guide was great!!
Our guide Joe was excellent. The hike was very challenging and we were proud of ourselves that we completed it. (Especially since we are both Senior Citizens.) We had brought sufficient water but didn't bring any energy bars or gels for a snack assuming that the guide would have something for us when we reached the summit. You should recommend that hikers take something or provide something for nutrition. The lunch at the end was wonderful but we were very hungry by that point. I think the description of the hike could have been in greater detail. After completing the hike down from the summit, we were surprised to learn we still had a half hour walk to the restaurant once we cleared the rainforest. It would have helped us if we'd known this advance. We assumed the transport would be there when we reached the grasslands below the volcano. This is an extremely challenging hike and requires a high level of fitness. Clients should be fully aware of this before they begin.
By far the best part of the trip.
Im a trail runner and this was my favorite adventure of the whole trip! Trail was awesome!
This is a fabulous hike! We got to see the rain forest and go up into the cloud forest. It was challenging and muddy but worth every minute. We enjoyed seeing La Fortuna waterfall at the end and a great lunch.
Our guide Richard was fantastic. This was an extreme hike and was much longer than anticipated (fine by me, maybe not by my partner!)
A great hike, Steven was a very good guide and informative. It was good exercise nothing one couldn't handle if you are in reasonable shape, though we had great weather and it was dry on the climb up side. We got rewarded with a good view of the center lake before the clouds rolled back in. A little muddy on the climb down but well worth it. I would climb it again
We struggled quite a bit on this hike due to the weather and just how steep it was at points. Unfortunately it rained really hard the whole time so we didn't get any awesome views, but the feeling of trekking through the rainforest on such a difficult trail was a very "real" experience that you wouldn't get from the other simple hikes on easy trails.
It Rained so much we could not enjoy the view of the lagoon from the top. Steven was a little quiet. Great Hike with a real challenge. Lunch was fantastic with the view of La Fortuna Falls.
The hike was challenging, which was what we were looking for. Guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and made sure to translate every single word. Only disappointment was that due to the clouds there was zero visibility at the two lookouts.
You made sure we understood the difficulty of this hike ahead of time. It was a very difficult hike, mostly due the condition of the trail than the steepness. Unfortunately we could not descend the lake due to the weather and trail conditions. More difficult going down with tired legs. A rain poncho was needed on this hike too. we were splattered with mud by the end. Overall a great experience!