Arenal Volcano and National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is one of the treasures of any visit to Costa Rica and a must visit destination.
Arenal Volcano and National Park Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano and National Park Costa Rica
June 17, 2009 - PRLog -- A volcano is like a candle, one year the lava drips on one side, the next year it drips on the other.

The 12,016-hectare Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal lies within the 204,000-hectare Arenal Conservation Area, protecting eight of Costa Rica's 12 life zones and 16 protected reserves in the region between the Guanacaste and Tilarán mountain ranges, and including Lake Arenal.

The park has two volcanoes: Chato, whose collapsed crater contains an emerald lagoon surrounded by forest, and the perfectly conical Arenal and it is most directly accessed from La Fortuna, but is also easily accessed via Tilarán and the north shore of Lake Arenal.

Arenal Volcano has been constantly active since it woke up after 400 years in 1968, changing the area forever. One of the world's most active volcanos; Arenal produces huge ash columns, explosions and glowing red lava almost every day. A visit this Costa Rica is not complete without a stop at spectacular Arenal Volcano.

However, that it is often covered in clouds and getting to see an eruption is a matter of luck (the dawn hours are best, before the clouds roll in; seasonally, you stand a reasonable chance in dry season and less than favorable odds in rainy season).

Lava eruptions have been known to travel down the slopes of Arenal at over 65 miles per hour and can reach temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius. This lava makes this area a prime location for thermal springs and all of the delightful spa activities that accompany them, as well as creating the paths for world class waterfalls, such as the La Fortuna Waterfall that flows along an ancient volcanic flow. A plethora of trails exist all over the Arenal Volcano National Park and there are many tours and activities available to visitors.

Fascinating fauna and flora exist here in amazing quantities making this a prime location for viewing many many different species of both plants and animals. Among the principal fauna species are: pacas, deers, tapir, coatis, sloths, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, snakes and birds like quetzal, bellbird, and hummingbird. There are also over 850 identified birds that reside in the Arenal area.

The last major eruption of Mount Arenal Volcano was on the 29 July 1968, when it was awakened from its long sleep by a fateful earthquake. The massive explosion that resulted wiped out the villages of Tabacón and Pueblo Nuevo, whose entire populations perished. The area was declared as a National Park in 1994.

A must see for every Costa Rican tourist, Arenal now boasts one active and one dormant crater as well as an enormous man-made lake that has become world famous for both it’s exceptional wind-surfing and it’s amazing sport fishing.

There are many ways to enjoy the area surrounding the Arenal Volcano with tours for those who want to hike or to horseback ride.

The Arenal Volcano is one of the "Must-See" locations in Costa Rica, being that it is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Although you may see many daily eruptions, the national park surrounded the Arenal keeps you at a safe distance, where most hotels take advantage of their ringside views.

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