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Arenal Observatory Lodge

Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Arenal Observatory Lodge was originally built as a research station for scientists of the Smithsonian Institute. It is the only lodge within Arenal National Park and is protected by a deep gorge created by the Agua Caliente River.

The lodge is surrounded by primary and secondary rainforest, waterfalls and rivers. There are 37 rooms spread across four buildings, with views either across Lake Arenal or the volcano and the stunning surrounding gardens. The infinity swimming pool and jacuzzi provide complete relaxation beneath a glass gazebo that frames the volcano's peak against a starry sky.

Please do bear in mind that this is a remote hotel and the road is often in bad repair making it a bumpy ride to and from the hotel.

Our rating: Medium

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Arenal Volcano tour ideas

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    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Arenal Hanging Bridges Natural History Tour
      Canopy Walkway, Arenal

      Arenal Hanging Bridges Natural History Tour

      Arenal Hanging Bridges Natural History Tour

      Follow the hanging bridges through the Arenal rainforest canopy and the walking trails along the forest floor to spot numerous bird, animal and plant species. Clearings and open spaces in the forest canopy offer a glimpse of the magnificent Arenal Volcano in the distance.

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    • Arenal Rainforest Sky Tram and Trek
      Aerial tram, Costa Rica

      Arenal Rainforest Sky Tram and Trek

      Arenal Rainforest Sky Tram and Trek

      Enjoy a peaceful gondola ride above the Arenal rainforest and take in the breathtaking views of the volcano and the still, blue lake. Choose to return back to your starting point the same way or via the Canopy Tour; an exhilarating zip line through the forest canopy.

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    • Arenal Volcano Hike
      Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica

      Arenal Volcano Hike

      Arenal Volcano Hike

      This easy and manageable hike will allow you to enjoy the most extraordinary view of the Arenal Volcano as you walk along the base of this marvellous 'Mountain of Fire'. See recent lava flows and rock formations and learn about the big eruption of 1968.

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    • Arenal Volcano National Park Tour
      Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica

      Arenal Volcano National Park Tour

      Arenal Volcano National Park Tour

      Embark on a journey of exploration through the beautiful Arenal Volcano National Park, spotting unique flora and fauna along the way and learning about the activity and history of the still-active Arenal Volcano.

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    • Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
      Red-eyed tree frog, Costa Rica

      Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

      Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

      The Cano Negro refuge itself is located 25 kilometres south of Los Chiles in the northern area of the Alajuela province, approximately a two hour drive from Arenal. It has been declared a site of international importance for the nesting of migratory birds and occupies an area of 9,969 hectares in the Río Frío Basin.

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    • Cerro Chato Hiking Excursion
      La Fortuna waterfall, Volcan Arenal

      Cerro Chato Hiking Excursion

      Cerro Chato Hiking Excursion

      Ascend through dense primary forest, which is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, to the summit of Cerro Chato - Arenal Volcano's 'older brother'. Finish this half day walk with a refreshing swim at La Fortuna Waterfall.

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    • Eco Termales Hot Springs
      Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica

      Eco Termales Hot Springs

      Eco Termales Hot Springs

      The Eco Termales hot springs are a beautiful sanctuary surrounded by nature. The smallest of the hot springs in the Arenal area, Eco Termales is perfect for privacy and relaxation.

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    • Half Day Quad Bike Tour
      Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

      Half Day Quad Bike Tour

      Half Day Quad Bike Tour

      This half-day quad bike tour combines adrenalin and adventure with incredible wildlife and tropical forest, all set within the shadow of the majestic Arenal Volcano.

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    • Lake Arenal Kayaking Excursion
      Crossing Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

      Lake Arenal Kayaking Excursion

      Lake Arenal Kayaking Excursion

      Take to the water of Lake Arenal in your own kayak and explore the shores to spot a multitude of different bird species, and perhaps hear the unmistakable call of a howler monkey.

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    • Peñas Blancas River Floating
      Three toed sloth near Arenal, Costa Rica

      Peñas Blancas River Floating

      Peñas Blancas River Floating

      Drift silently along the Peñas Blancas river, which winds through lush, verdant forest, and see a huge variety of wildlife including monkeys, sloths, iguanas, tortoises, crocodiles and several types of birds.

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