One of the most notable natural features of Costa Rica is the Arenal Volcano. This impressive volcano is located within the Arenal Volcano National Park. Although the volcano entered a resting phase in 2010 - which means its eruptions have stopped - it is still an impressive sight. This volcano protrudes from the horizon like an almost perfect cone creating a stunning landscape and is surrounded by tropical rainforest at its base, mainly primary forest. This park covers four different life zones and houses a huge amount of flora and fauna. In fact, almost 75% of the total of 900 bird species that have been identified in Costa Rica can be found here. The other creatures are lazy, white-faced capuchin monkeys, coatis, deer and snakes, including the parrot snake and the boa constrictor. The plants are very varied and include species such as mountain guava, laurel, cirrus trees, palm trees, orchids, heliconias, ferns and bromeliads. Next to the Arenal Volcano we can find another smaller and much older volcano, the Chato Volcano (Chato Hill). This volcano, which is located at a height of 1,140 m, has been inactive for about 3,500 years and has a crater that is full of blue water forming a beautiful lake. The park has several hiking trails and is open from 8 a.m. at 6 p.m.
La Fortuna is 6.4 km from the Arenal Volcano and 120 km from San José. If you drive from San José, it takes around 3 hours to get there. The city itself is small and cozy. Its location offers visitors easy access to the Arenal area and its services make your stay here enjoyable. There are hotels inside and outside the city, many of which are very close to the base of the volcano. La Fortuna houses good places to eat and buy food, and has a variety of banks, shops and bars. The activities within this area are endless, including rafting, waterfall rappelling, hiking, canopy tours, horseback riding, hot springs, canoeing, fishing and kite surfing. La Fortuna Waterfall, an impressive 70 m waterfall that falls into a misty pond, where you can swim, take photos and enjoy the scenery, is only 5 km south of La Fortuna and makes it a comfortable trip one day.