Looking for a great trail near San Carlos, Alajuela? AllTrails has 5 great hiking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Arenal Volcano National Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Big Canyon Park or Eaton Park. Ready for some activity? There are 3 moderate trails in San Carlos ranging from 2.3 to 3.8 miles and from 1,784 to 2,516 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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San Carlos, Alajuela Map
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hiking
11 days ago

We hiked here in February. There are a lot of steps. Going down wasn’t so bad, but coming up.... We hiked Cerro Chato the day before, so my legs had enough for two days after this! The water was cold, but the waterfall & scenery was so worth it!! A must do in the area!

Beautiful trail. Enjoyed the hike so much. Saw howler monkeys, various butterflies and a peacock. The top viewpoint makes for an incredible 360° view which includes Arenal volcano. I would also note that the restrooms are continually maintained and very clean.

If your a fit family, it’s an easy trail. Normal trail and very nice. If you are out of shape or touristy this might seem like a challenge but definitely doable. I would call this a proper hike.

Beautiful location, short and easy run. Lovely place, beautiful nature and animals.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Loved it!

Great views of the volcano. Easy well manicured trails. Saw some animals. .

Beautiful views of the volcano. We saw birds and butterflies. Very accessible hike.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

This is one of several trails around the base of Arenal. The others are located in the national park where you pay $15 USD per person. You also have to pay $15 USD per person to access these trails. There is an easy path to the lava field and a more difficult path along the lagoon then a steep incline up to the lava field. It’s a pretty good work out.

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

This is an amazing trail I have ever experienced. I complete this trail in May 2018. In the beginning you get to see sugar cane plants and beautiful flowers. As you walk through the forest it gets so dense with all the lengthy vines over the tree. You get to see lots of birds and mantled howler monkeys. Requires a hiking shoe as you may encounter rocks and unpaved trail. I had applied bug repellent as well. I could see few ants and flies on the way.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s 500 steps down to the waterfall and back up again but I highly recommend it. An absolutely stunning waterfall and one of the highlights of our Costa Rica trip. Take your time, there’s resting stops along the way. Enjoy the amazing sound and mist of the waterfall at the bottom.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

The trails are in good shape, lots of lava rock so wear sturdy shoes. We didn’t get to compete the trail due to time constraints and it getting dark but we enjoyed it. Parts have a moderate incline. The ticket booth will give you use of a walking stick which is helpful and I recommend taking it.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

This trail was awesome. We got there at 2:30p and had plenty of time to complete the loop with good light. The volcanic rocks lead to a view of the volcano—this is a great place to stop. Once you’re done, walk down the boat ramp looking decline to the left of the suspension bridge, head on down and enjoy cooling your feet in the river. You’ll have deserved it and it will make your walk back to the car super satisfying. We were the only ones on the trail, it was just what we were looking for.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful. I couldn’t stop looking around. I barely spoke to my friends. It was pretty crowded but everyone respected space for pictures and kept it moving!

hiking
over grown
3 months ago

Superb, the water in the river is crystal clear or can see the fish and swim. Many steps but worth it to see the waterfall and all its power.

We took this trail with a naturalist guide. Learning the history of the volcano and flora/fauna made the trail. The trail itself is well maintained. There is moderate elevation gain but it is doable if you are in reasonable physical shape.

hiking
4 months ago

STAIRS. Well shaded. Access to swim in the waterfall.

Super fun way to explore. It was incredible how dark the rain forest gets. We went at 3pm and hustled to get done by closing at 5:30. Amazing views and pretty technical over lava rocks. Recommend sturdy shoes and a rain jacket. Saw monkeys, lizards, frogs, and a million cool birds. So close to seeing the volcano but the clouds just didn’t want to cooperate fully.

beautiful

hiking
private property
rocky
5 months ago

Good trail through forest, around lake and over lava field.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Mostly shaded and terrain changes from lava rocks to shaded rainforest canopy. We had a 3 year old toddler with us, and he was in the Kelty most of the time as the trail is rocky with loose lava rocks. Great trail and highly recommended.

beautiful walk

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

Fun tropical forest experience with several hanging bridges to cross. Some wild life sighting... a good 2.5 hour loop hike at a good pace.

Less of a hike and more step challenge. There are 500 steps down and then back up again, don't let this discourage you because it's a beautiful waterfall. We also went through the butterfly area and orchid garden although there wasn't alot of the flowers out. You can choose to go swimming should the mood take you. I enjoyed it. Be aware that it is warm and humid but there are a few seats on the way back up should you need them. It cost $18 to get in and was worth every penny

I did the lava trail today (20/03/19) and was pleasantly surprise. The trail was well kept. Not to many people. There was alot of birds, particularly in the first section with the fruit trees. Obviously lots of leaf cutter ants. It was $15 entry and you had use of a stick which was handy. We initially wanted to do the walk with the forest but because of time constraints we plumped for the lava trail. We arrived at 1530 and the man at the entry advised that we needed to be back by 1730 due to light. Closing time is 1730. Its a beautiful walk

This is a great area to explore and it’s an awesome trail. The fee to enter the park is 4 dollars per person - don’t let that discourage you ! This is a must do trail in Costa Rica. Unfortunately I never got a clear view of the volcano due to weather but hiking through the forest and feeling the rain and warm wind on my face was incredibly refreshing. If questions you can ask through my Instagram acc @j.wwest

hiking
private property
6 months ago

The stands are in very good condition, except for small sections, there is space to rest, spectacular view and cataract

walking
7 months ago

Great walk through the forest. Multiple suspended bridges with good views.Recommend taking a guided tour to spot the wildlife and insight to the history of the area.

Moderate Trail, well maintained, easy to loop. Views are hit and miss with the Volcano.

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