Explore the most popular hiking 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.

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
15 days 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
1 month 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

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

1 month 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.

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
2 months ago

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

The waterfall is breathtaking and extremely strong.

hiking
2 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.

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
3 months 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
4 months 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
5 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
6 months ago

Stairs down and up. Nothing too challenging.

hiking
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 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
6 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!

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