Explore the most popular Cities 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.

hiking
4 months ago

We went August 2018, Spectacular waterfall!

The longer loop was a good trek. It is easy to follow and passable for almost any skill level, including one on our group who had a hip replacement less than 6 months ago.

This was by far the hardest hike I have ever done, but it was so worth it. I recommend going in the water of the lagoon. The feeling of the ice cold water after the long hike was refreshing not to mention pretty exciting knowing we are in a volcanic lagoon!!

One of my all time favorites. We got here early in the morning during rainy season. Trek up was very difficult because of how slippery and muddy everything was, but the elements made it more enjoyable honestly. The views from the top were beautiful and then you take a pretty steep hike down to the crater. We got down to it, a lot of fog was rolling in and it made for a super eerie yet serene setting.

4 months ago

This hike was absolutely breath taking. One of the highlights of our trip.

hiking
5 months ago

Perfect combination of length, difficulty, scenery, beauty, wildlife.

hiking
5 months ago

Went hiking here because was ranked as the most challenging hike, best reviews in Costa Rica. So obviously this was my first choice. Prior to this my most difficult hikes were mount Wilson and Southern California and Half Dome with cables in Yosemite as day hikes. We got about a mile from our car and it started pouring and never stopped. In these conditions it’s pretty dangerous to say the least as you’re on your hands and knees basically crawling up the base of a stream as water is pouring down on you and you’re reaching for wet roots for an anchor. It’s basically insane. Was definitely an experience but It should be better mentioned to check the weather first. We had all the rain gear and it was still brutal. My companion also isn’t a regular hiker, I started hearing the “I’m done” at about the halfway point, which obviously turns you into a motivational speaker/life coach at the same time, adding to your problems. I knew we were done when about another .1 miles later I started hearing the token “just leave me behind!” Ha. So we turned back at about half way, I could have kept going but it was very dangerous.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked to the crater, took a dip (July 31st), and had amazing weather! We were lucky, as most hikes this time of year are fraught with rain. But I digress... here’s the nuts and bolts of the hike.
GETTING THERE: Park in the lot secured by a yellow gate (tell the gatekeeper you’re climbing Cerro Chato) and go into the “Reception” building. You’ll have to pay $10 a person to hike on the private land in order to get to the park. Once all paid up you’ll follow orange arrows on a road until it breaks off onto a muddy trail. Shortly thereafter you’ll walk around a giant “No Trespassing” sign and barbed wire fence to enter Volcán Arenal state land. This sounds weird, I know.
THE TRAIL: Now the steep starts. What was once a class 1 walk in the park is now a class 2 with hands necessary to climb up roots and mud canyons as you make your way to the rim. This isn’t awful, and actually a lot of fun. The only way I wouldn’t want to experience this is in an extreme rain storm (picture Dennis Nedry slipping on cascading water as a Dilophosaurus stalks him to his Jeep). Take your time... look at the forest, flowers, and leafcutter ants along the way. Fun fact, leafcutter ants can lift twenty times their body weight. Eat that Dwayne Johnson.
CRATER RIM: Once at the top you’ll reach a T intersection. Turn right and you’ll come to an incredible viewpoint of Arenal. From there you’ll find a small trail to your left that opens up and descends a class 3 route to the lake. Watch your footing, it’s steep! Once at the lake strip down, take a dip, and become a Mosasaurus snack. Honestly, no better way to go. ENJOY!!

Great swimming spot at the bottom. Very touristy but gorgeous. Beware, If there is a flash flood warning, they will have you get out of the water and move to the observation deck.

Great for families as it’s mostly flat but gets you into the forest seeing animals and waterfalls.

Nice steep excursion to this mountain lake. Likely to be socked in during the rainy season meaning you may glimpse the full lake only briefly if at all. Saw a coral snake on the ascent. It’s possible to connect to another Cerro Chato trail which originates at the Arenal observatory resort. Do this by heading left instead of right upon reaching the top.

Many stairs, lots of wildlife (saw toucans and monkeys) and a very nice waterfall. Price is OK.

Pura vida!

overall 4 stars. it should be labeled as easy. it took us 30 minutes to the tenorio or area where the rivers meet. we high tailed it to the top and stopped for pictures on the way down. completed this 7/7/18 after many days of rain. the waterfall was not blue because of the rain but where the rivers meet you could see the blue color. you dont need to rent the rain gear or the mud boots. I did it in tshirt and shoes and didnt end up very muddy.

Dont listen to other posters, you can still hike this. Just finished going to the green lagoon at the top of cerro chato 7/9/18. It has rained several days in a row and it rained the entire hike but it was worth it. I did the salkantay in peru a month ago and although this cant compare in distance or altitude it was at times more intense. be prepared to slip and fall and use your hands to climb. I did not use a guide and had a friend who doesn't hike much and we made it to the lagoon in 1 hour and 50 minutes. most hikes I halve the time up on the way down but on this one it took us longer down. it is much more treacherous going down. some places they have ropes for you to lower yourself down. definitely do this hike. it's great. we had planned on going from the arenal observatory but right before you get there there is a parking lot with a big sign. the guy there will give you a map and only charges you $10 per person. he was very nice and will actually guide you to the top of arenal which is also closed.

hiking
6 months ago

If you like beautiful scenery on a hike, this is about as good as it gets. It only took us about 35 minutes to reach the waterfall so if you want a short trek you could always just stop there and head back. If you go a little farther, though, you can reach a look out point, a blue lagoon, and finally a point where two rivers combine to create the opaque sky blue color of the Rio Celeste. The hike is more challenging after the waterfall (uneven rocks, steeper and more mud) but it is definitely worth it. It was extremely muddy when we went in mid March so definitely wear hiking shoes you don't care about getting dirty. We wore waterproof hiking sandals (like Keens) and they were great. You can also rent galoshes at the base of the hike if you want. Finally, entrance to the hike cost $12/person and THEY CLOSE AT 2 PM so make sure you arrive before then (you can still hike after 2). Enjoy!

hiking
7 months ago

Very fun and very steep. At the top, we tried to follow the trail to the right, but it was a lot like bushwhacking and sliding down a mountain. (maybe we missed the trail?) The trail to the left was much more reasonable and led to a beach that we had all to ourselves. Hard work but worth it.

Awesome awesome waterfall amazing views excellent little hike up and down not too difficult but a little bit challenging on the way back

Water is beautiful the price is OK and people are fantastic highly recommend

7 months ago

Great hike. First step is to pay reception guy at Green Lodge. He will point you in the right direction. The first part of the hike is fairly civilized and then dives into the jungle for a potentially muddy jaunt up. Veer to the left anytime you see barbed wire and you should be able to just go around. Walk down to the crater is as treacherous as advertised. We found that using a walking stick as a third point of support helped a ton. Lagoon is gorgeous. You'll be exhausted when you get back but you won't regret it. Just make sure the forecast is dry and you have good shoes. Never boring, never monotonous. Loved this hike.

incredible! the lake so is senrene and peaceful. I recommend you to bring snacks and plenty of water. it took us about 2 hours to get to the summit and 1 hour to get back

7 months ago

This trail is challenging and liberating. It took us around 2 hours to get to the lake and a hour to get back to the car.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazingly beautiful waterfall. However the hike can be difficult since it gets muddy and slippery. Getting to the waterfall will make you go down and up over 100 stairs. Still worth it.

There is two path you can follow. The red one is the shorter ans the easier and leads you directly to the lava flow. The yellow is longer and a little more difficult and leads you to beautiful points of view. Both of the trails starts at the same point. Along the way you can see monkeys, lizards and many birds. Very nice trail. I suggest to save the panorama (where there is a little coffee shop) for the end. Can be slippery when raining.

hiking
8 months ago

Super easy, man made trail, no guide is needed.

The waterfall is breathtaking and extremely strong.

hiking
8 months ago

Super easy trail, it usually rains there so invest in the rental rain boots, it gets muddy. The trail is well maintained and the water absolutely breathtaking. I found the trail to be easy, anyone who walks regularly can do it.

Beautiful, tranquil, and a great workout if you’re spending time hiking the longer trails. I would actually say it’s more moderate than easy. If you only do the waterfall trail, it’s easy. If you go to La Ventana, across the suspension bridge, then out to the waterfall - you are climbing steps and it feels like you’re on a stair master for a good 40 minutes. It’s hard. We did a few trails and it came out to about 5.5 miles. We spent 2.5 hours and the reception told us that the trails we did normally take 3 hours. Bring water. The mosquitoes are minimal if any (here in May) but there are lots of bugs so bug spray is helpful. It’s mostly shades but there are a few spots you’re exposed to sun.
La Ventana (continental divide is not labeled anywhere on the deck, it’s pretty lack luster. Good view of the forest though. Also if you cross the suspension bridge then you don’t need to do another sky walk tour because it’s the same thing; walking on a bridge over the air plants. Very cool but if you’re looking to save money and see it all, come here and do 3-4 trails.

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
9 months ago

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

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