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Checked in at the green lagoon to get passes, ten dollars per person. Had to go around the barb wire fence.
Challenging hike lots of climbing, took us 4h total at a fast pace. It rained the whole time and it became slippery on the way down. Worth the hike but dont expect the view in bad weather.

Like everything in Costa Rica, it is not free. $22 USD per person. Gorgeous. Fun. Smooth trails (well, well maintained—some areas are concrete grates). Also, if you go solo, be prepared to get stuck behind large tourist groups.

Great hike. Make sure you have good shoes because it will get slippery. Bring plenty of water.

great trail with tons of wildlife

awesome but hard trail. it gets more difficult step by step. as we started laid, the crater it self was filled with clouds.
paid 10$. no problem to enter national park.

Awesome hike! If you want to escape from the too easy, touristy hikes, do this one! It is a little hard but very fun. Bring proper shoes though.

The guard was not there today so we were able to hike all the way to the crater!! It was so foggy that we could not see to the other side, but awesome to say we swam in the crater of a volcano! You pay $10 per person at the hotel near Arenal Observatory then hike the Fortuna Observatory trail. You will cross to the illegal part of the hike once you go through the opening of the barbed wire. You can also start this hike from the La Fortuna waterfall which is $15 a person and a shorter hike I believe.

Muy bueno! Se pueden ver monos, perezosos y muchos otros animales

We had heard that Cerro Chato was closed but decided to give it a try we decided to go through Arenal Observatory Lodge, we were warned hiking Cerro Chato was illegal and would not give us information. But we found our way, unfortunately they have a guard at their property line to turn people back so we weren't able to go up. Seems like Cerro Chato is no longer an option in Arenal.

Wild hike!!

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely worth it,

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous hike if your in the area. Steady incline the whole way up but very doable. There's a part where the trail forks near the top with a sign that says private property. If you follow it back it will take you to an unfinished structure with some awesome views. Wonderful spot to watch the sunset. Overall a nice hike. Stay hydrated and enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful hike. A must see if you're in the area! Bring plenty of water, a couple snacks and some stuff to get wet in. The trail can be very muddy in parts so be mindful of that. Open toed shoes aren't recommended but you can get by if that's all you have. Be sure to bring some colones for the ticket purchase and if you can drive down to parking lot it will make the hike a lot easier. Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of steps up to the top, the fog was over the lake so I couldn't see it but it was a very fun trial really accessible from town about an hour each way

windy and dewy but fun to walk around in the forest much unlike the rest of costa rica

hiking
2 months ago

Such a beautiful and fun hike!! Hard to get to, my friends and I had to take a bus then a taxi to the foot of it. its very misty so take a rain jacket. I went in the pools even though they dont want you too bring a swimsuit. The pools are so amazing and beautiful and its worth the fun hike through the jungle. paths are well marked and take bugspray

hiking
2 months ago

We went August 2018, Spectacular waterfall!

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.

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 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.

This was a great mellow hike with so much to see.
When we arrived at the beach the snorkeling was perfect, clear water and tons of fish. Watch out for the raccoon looking animals and monkeys they will steal stuff out of bags:)

hiking
4 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!!

Trail was moderate basically a dirt road the whole way. It gets steep and in some parts if it has rained really muddy so wear hiking shoes if possible. I wore some track shoes so it got really slippery in some places. You will see some cattle and horses along the way, and some shots of the river. It gets pretty steep towards the end and your heart rate will get going. Then it opens up to the most amazing waterfall I have ever seen. Make sure you go to the top falls and explore behind the rocks! Pay the extra 3 dollars to park in the parking lot you will be glad you did trust me! Trail is four stars but the waterfall is 5 stars!

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.

Pura vida!

hiking
4 months ago

AWESOME hike to the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen! The hike is longer than the 2.5 miles one way that is advertised. More like 3. So six miles round trip. Very steep in parts but totally worth the hike. Definitely bring your for wheel drive car so you can drive down to the parking lot. It’s a steep muddy road and if you can’t drive down it you have to walk and that would add another 3 miles to your trip!! But this is a must see!!!

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.

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