Arenal Volcano National Park is located in the province of Alajuela, the area is mortly known as Arenal because of the volcano, all throw the closest and most important town is La Fortuna, the national park is located about 7 kilometers west of this town.
How to get there:
There are to way to make it to Arenal from San Jose, both go the same way at the beginning, by the Interamericana Highway to Puntarenas, till the cross San Ramon- Zarcero, where either way make it to La Fortuna and both are about the same length with a similar tipe of road, up and down and a bit curvy, about 150 kilometers any of the ways. Going by Zarcero, there is a turn right going to Naranjo, this is the route 141 that makes it the Zarcero where there is a nice park with animal figures on the trees, then the road goes down to Cuidad Quesada from here the road goes flat and smooth to Arenel, actually the volcano is visible on clear day all the way down the mountain and from Ciudad Quesada.
The other way to make it to Arenal is by San Ramon town, there is a turn rigth to go by the town, passing this small city, there is the road to La Fortuna, passing by La Tigra and Chachagua.
The closest airport to Arenal Volcano area is in El Tanque, this is a small airport for local flies, it is located 10 kilometers from La Fortuna.
What to find in Arenal Volcano National Park:
This one top spot in Costa Rica, so all the area and the park have the best facilities for visitors, in the national park there all the facilities necessary as well as trails and a nice lookout point accesible witn the car. This is one of the closest a visitor can be to Arenal Volcano.
Description of Arenal Volcano National Park:
Arenal Volcano National Park was establish as it is know today in 1994 , protects an area or 12000 hectares with big importance for the country, it has become one of the most important touristic attractions in Costa Rica, not only because of the volcano also the forest and nature surrounding the park are attracting people to the area. The name of Arenal, actually meaning “sand pit” comes from the form of its lavas that break down forming sand that are deposited on the foot of the cone. It is also known as \"Pan de Azúcar\", \"Canaste\", \"Volcan Costa Rica\", \"Volcan Río Frío\" or \"Guatusos Peak\".
This protected area is higly important for Costa Rica as it provides most of the water that fills Arenal Lake, and this water is use to produce hydroelectric energy as well it is use to irrigate to lower dry land in Guanacaste area.
The forest around the park in one of the most beautiful examples of Tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, and the fact of been located in the Caribbean foothills of the country makes a perfect spot to seen some unique plants and wildlife of the area.
Arenal Volcano National Park have altitudes that goes from 575 meters above sea level to 1755 on the top of the mountain, of course all through the volcano is not having eruptions since 2010 it is forbidden to go to the top, this is like a great area for studding the succession of the forest in the tropical areas in volcanic areas, this because the last eruption was only few years ago.
Some of the our feature birds of the area are:
- Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
- Great Curassow (Crax rubra)
- Neotropical Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
- Great Egret (Ardea alba)
- King Vulture (Sarcoramphgus papa)
- Ornate Hawleagle (Spizaetus ornatus)
- Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)
- Black-crested Coquette (Lophornis helenae)
- Lattice-tailed Trogon (Trogon clathratus)
- Keel-billed Motmot (Electron carinatum)
- White-fronted Nunbird (Monosa morphoeus)
- Yellow-eared Toucanet (Selenidera spectabilis)
- Scaly-throated Leaftosser (Sclerurus guatemalensis)
- Brown-billed Scythebill (Campylorhampus pusillus)
- Immaculated Antbird (Myrmeciza imaculata)
- Dull-mantled Antbird (Myrmeciza laemosticta)
- Thicket Antpitta (Hylopezus dives)
- Lovely Cotinga (Cotinga amabilis)
- Bare-necked Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus glabicollis)
- White-ruffed Manakin (Corapipo altera)
- Song Wren (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus)
- Nightingale Wren (Microcerculus philomela)
- Red-Throated Ant-Tanager (Habia fuscicauda)
- Black and yellow Tanager (Chrysothlypis chrysomelas)
- Hepatic Tanager (Piranga flava)
- Rufous-winged Tanager (Tangara lavinia)
- Nicaraguan Seed-Finch (Oryzoborus nuttingi)
- Grayish Saltator (Saltator coerulescens)