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Places of Interest


The Arenal Lake

The Arenal Lake was in the beginning a small lagoon but in 1973 the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity built a dam in the eastern part of the valley and within three years this became the biggest lake in Costa Rica with a surface of 88 square kilometers. In the southwest end of the lake there are wind turbines that supply water to Guanacaste and provide hydroelectricity to the region.

The lake is popular among sport fishers that can expect to catch rainbow bass or any other of the ten species of fish that now inhabit the lake.

Due to the strong winds, in especially the western end of the lake, it is also rated as the third best place in the world for windsurfing. Sailing is as well recommended and the best season is from December to April.


La Fortuna Waterfall

The most popular excursion in the area, after visits to Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake, is the waterfall of La Fortuna. The waterfall is reached by a 5,5 kilometer gravel road leading from the town. If you walk it will take you about an hour and the road goes through the idyllic agricultural countryside of the region. You can also visit the waterfall on horse or go there by car. From the lookout point you will have a good view of the 40-meter long and narrow waterfall and the bird watching is good. There is a steep trail leading to the base of the falls where you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the natural pool.


The Arenal Hanging Bridges

Walking on the Arenal Hanging Bridges is a great opportunity to come closer to the nature and get another perspective of the beautiful region of Arenal. There are eight fixed bridges at a length of between 8 and 22 meters and six hanging bridges varying between 48 and 98 meters, from where you will have a great view of both the Arenal Volcano and the lake. Within this 250-hectare property you will also find 3,1 kilometers of easy accessible trails that will take you through an exuberant primary rain forest.

Guided tours are organized and you can choose between natural history walk, early morning tour, which is of special interest for birdwatchers, or a night walk that will immerse you to the fascinating night world of interactive and diverse biology of a tropical rain forest.

At the premises there are also a restaurant and souvenir shop.

Admission: Open every day from 7 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.


La Casona Rio Fortuna

La Casona Rio Fortuna, an almost 100-year old, two storied wooden country estate and unique historic landmark in the Arenal area, located only 15 minutes from La Fortuna on the way to El Tanque, is surrounded by lush green farmland and offers a splendid view of the Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chato.

The main goal of Casona Rio Fortuna is to preserve local customs and traditions and to encourage a sustainable development of the rural surroundings. Here you can take part in activities such as horseback riding, trips in oxcarts, cooking classes etc.


Mirador Arenal Kioro

Located only 10 minutes from La Fortuna in a privileged position with a perfect view of the majestic Arenal Volcano, you will find Mirador Arenal Kioro.

The beauty of this place, accompanied by two streams of crystal clear water creates a peaceful environment for enjoying this natural phenomenon.

Here you will find private trails as well as an excellent restaurant.

Visitors can hike on the private trails or enjoy an excellent meal at the traditional restaurant that offers breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.


The Venado Caves

The Venado Caves are found in the village with the same name, about an hour by car from La Fortuna and north of the Arenal Volcano.

Water penetrating limestone rocks formed the caves many million years ago and the flow of water created cracks where sediment and other material were washed through. The openings grew bigger and finally they were transformed into a network of tunnels. Nowadays the caves consist of limestone rocks, stalactites, stalagmites and corals and has a total length of approximately 2,5 kilometer with 10 bigger quarters.

Four different species of bats and various types of spiders, adjusted to the total darkness, inhabit the caves.

Due to the presence of water and lack of sunshine the caves are moist and cold. During the rainy season and due to the precipitation that can fill the tunnels the access to the caves is prohibited for visitors. Flashlight and hard hat are provided by the entrance and hiking boots are recommended.


Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

The 10,000-hectare reserve of Caño Negro is considered one of the humid areas that have the most biological diversity in Costa Rica. There are trails and paths but the easiest way to access the reserve is by boat. Rio Frio (Cold River) flows through the wetland area and will during the wet season flood and become a lake of 800 hectares. In the dry season of January to April the river is not longer accessible by boat, in April it has almost disappeared but by the beginning of the rainy season in May it will start to fill up again.

The reserve is of special interest for birdwatchers and sport fishers. The best time for birding is January to March and you will have the possibility to see anhingas, roseate spoonbills, storks and ducks. The area also houses the biggest colony of olivaceous cormorant in Costa Rica and is a year round habit for resident wetland species.

Fishing is permitted between the 1 st of September to the 31 st of March and fishes to be found are snook, guapote, alligator gar, drum and huge tarpon.


Palo Verde National Park

The 20,000-hectare National Park of Palo Verde is located on the northeastern banks of the mouth of the River Tempisque. It is an important wetland area and consists of about 13 habitats including mangrove swamps, marshes, lagoons, grasslands and forests. 150 tree species have been identified and there are also a few low limestone hills from where you will have a good view of the park.

There are great differences between the seasons, during December to March the vegetation gets dry and the trees will loose their leaves while in the wet season a great part of the area is flooded.

Birdwatchers will have a good opportunity to spot any of the 300 species of birds that inhabit the park, including herons, storks, spoonbills, egrets, ibis and grebes as well as inland birds like scarlet macaws, great curassows, keel-billed toucans and parrots. The best months to observe migratory birds are September to March.


Peñas Blancas Wildlife Refuge

This 2400-hectare refuge, six kilometers northeast of the town Miramar, was created to protect plant species and the watershed of the rivers Ciruelas and Barranca. Peñas Blancas means white cliffs and the name indicates the whitish deposits that can be found in the river canyons. Those were formed million of years ago when unicellar algae with skeleton of silica, sunk to the bottom of the sea that by this time covered Central America, and built up deposits and transformed into chalk like stone.

The refuge is situated at an altitude of 600 to 1400 meters above sea level and is covered by dry forest on the lower levels, semi deciduous dry and moist forest in the middle elevations and premontane forest in the higher sections. Mammals that are likely to be found within the reserve are collared peccary, howler monkey, white-faced monkey, kinkajou, red brocket deer, raccoon and paca.



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