Explore the most popular trails in Alajuela with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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The most incredible hike I have have ever been on! Highly highly recommend. We used google maps to get us to the start of the trail, once we got to the gazebo the trail is very obvious from there to the top (we had to go under a barbed wire fence to find the trail at the start). At the top we had a hard time finding the trail down to the lake. Some hikers leaving the volcano pointed it out to us. It is steep, but if you’re fit it’s very worth it. We came out looking like we rolled around in mud (and at times on this trail we probably did). But one of our favorite days in CR by far. Enjoy!

Peaceful hike and probably the best view of volcano along with lava rocks.

Great hike for animal watching.

walking
23 days ago

Beautiful waterfalls and relaxing swim hole to the left .There's alot of fish that'll be swimming around you.

Stayed at the observatory lodge in February 2016. The facilities were really nice but what made it truly fantastic was the resort was located already in the Arenal Volcano National Park. Saw owls by night and toucans and amazing rainforest birds by day (mostly around sunrise). The trails around the property were really well maintained and very quiet for the most part (maybe timing of our visit). There were really cool hanging bridges to cross over through the rainforest, beautiful gardens, open prairies with crazy views of Arenal in the background sooo close by, and an awesome waterfall you could walk down to just off the trail. The observatory lodge trails are all easy to moderate. The trail to hike up Cerro Chato volcano was pretty difficult and muddy (quick elevation gain in a short distance) but the view up top of the lake in the middle was beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

The highlight of my trip!

Scenic, beautiful, and moderately challenging hike. Breathtaking beauty. Would only be better if you could swim!

Totally worth the money and the time!

A nice walk with some decent views of the volcano. Not sure if it would be worth the money back home, but on vacation, it’s a cheap activity that is gratifying.

A lot of steps down, but very nice place to take a dip and a beautiful waterfall reward.

Awesome views of the volcano and lake

Other than seeing a lot of lava rocks on the path and views of the volcano, this was a boring hike. I would not do again

Very muddy towards the summit. Currently, in these conditions I think this hike is in the hard category. It took us over three hours each way. Make sure you’re wearing good-gripped shoes!

walking
2 months ago

This short trail is honestly not worth the $15/person admission fee. I would have rated it three stars if it were not for the unbearable crowds. We got there right as the gates opened, but the trail was soon overrun with loud tour groups. We found that we were more likely to see interesting wildlife by simply walking along the side of the road. If you are an avid hiker and want to see an interesting volcanic area, I highly recommend Rincon over Arenal.

walking
3 months ago

Stairs down and up. Nothing too challenging.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy and leisurely. Recommend good shoes if you plan on going to the lava area (just a bunch of rocks).

hiking
3 months ago

Didn’t make it all the way. Torrential rain at the second barb wire caused us to turn back. Hiking boots and rain gear essential ( which we didn’t have). Do not recommend if rain in the forecast as trail becomes extremely slippery in that many parts of the trail are covered in small streams making transversing the barb wires downright dangerous. We’d try again with the right equipment. Overall great views. The government putting up the barb wires to discourage hikers is somewhat an oxymoron You’d think there would be more economic benefit by encouraging hikers vs discouraging.

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful at the waterfall.. but pretty commercialized ... lots of people and you can't get close to the waterfall.. color still amazing tho!

hiking
3 months ago

lots of fun!! there wasn't a good view when we went cause of the rain and fog.. but pretty epic day! there are 3 barbwire fences that you have to walk around while going up.. and when you get to the top.. theres a view to the right.. then follow the trail to the left to get down to the lake. we ran half of it.. so the whole hike to the lake and back took 1hr 45min

birding
3 months ago

Very straightforward trail with a great viewpoint of the Arenal Volcano. Most days have low visibility, so keep that in mind. Great wildlife viewing opportunities on the trail as well. Very beautiful!

Check before driving there as at the present time the National Park is closed for few months (some locals said it will be closed till April 2018 but the info is not verified)

One of my favorite hikes

hiking
4 months ago

One of a kind!

horseback riding
5 months ago

Took a horse back riding tour through the jungle (Awesome) to get to this trail (staircase) down to the waterfall.

hiking
5 months ago

Very easy hike. You'll get a nice view of the Volcano. at the top as well as the lava flow paths from the past (look more rocky than anything)

Easy and beautiful views

hiking
7 months ago

That was our first hike in Costa Rica and we enjoyed it very much. We hiked from the Lodge to the Laguna and the lush rainforest and abundant wildlife impressed us a lot. The laguna is beautiful.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice hile to a beatiful waterfall. Amazing blue water in the pool. Trail was good it rained of course which made the hike even more memorable. Not to strenuous but there is a series of steps to go down and up to get to the waterfall but worth every step.

awesome hike. challenging but beautiful. hiked on an overcast day but still offered beautiful views. trail can be muddy and slippery and at times requires use of your hands especially down to the lake at the top.

hiking
8 months ago

Fun hike to get a great view of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. The trail is very well maintained (it is actually raked frequently) and well marked. The Forest Trail is mostly covered, except when you approach the Lava Summit and observation point. The View Point has a Smoothie Stand if you're interested in a tasty, fresh fruit smoothie.

hiking
9 months ago

great hike!! very tough and steep on the way up, took about 2 hours at a fast pace. at the top we took a ridiculous steep downhill path to get to the lake ( there may be an easier way ), very muddy but the lake is worth it! make sure to go on a clear day, we wemt on cloudy day, couldnt see much.

Absolutely stunning. We left from the park visitor center side and had the entire trail practically to ourselves. We were in good physical shape, but relatively new to long, strenuous hikes. This is one of them, but the refreshing (and cold) dip at the end makes it worth it.

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