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cathygreen Aug 5th, 2012 05:26 PM

arenal volcano?
we are planning a trip to costa rica/panama next February, and I am trying to figure out what parts of Costa Rica to visit. This is our first trip to these countries.

Can someone advise me as to the significance of the arenal volcano being dormant? Does it still make sense to visit this area, or should I substitute one of the other active volcanoes? I have been unable to get a sense of this from the reading that I have been doing. Thank you!

volcanogirl Aug 5th, 2012 06:56 PM

Arenal dominates the landscape and is a big conical volcano; it's very cool to see. It's not currently putting out any lava. We love the area for all of its natural beauty and adventure activities - totally worth going to, but if you're only going to see lava, then I'd give it a pass. Some of the things we like are the beautiful natural hot springs, the waterfall, the ziplines, white water rafting, and the Cano Negro tour.

harborgal Aug 6th, 2012 05:14 AM

It's absolutely beautiful there. I would definately go.

RAC Aug 7th, 2012 04:30 PM

It depends what your interests are.

There is no single place in Costa Rica that is a 'must-see' for anyone visiting for 5-10 days.

Arenal is more of a generalist location---it has some adventure, some wildlife, some rainforest, some hiking, but it doesn't excel in any particular areas. It (along with Manuel Antonio) does have the widest variety of lodging options.

The volcano is awesome to behold when the clouds lift. But, unless you're staying very close (like at the Observatory Lodge) cloud cover obscures views of it for hours if not days on end.

The other special feature Arenal has is the hot springs.

Skippyjo Aug 8th, 2012 09:13 AM

Arenal is lovely. You will hear rumbling and see large rocks tumbling down the mountain. Take a guided hike up the base to get a feel for how large the rocks are that were flung out of the volcano when it erupted (think minivan).

RAC Aug 8th, 2012 10:14 AM

Arenal is not currently spitting out rocks and rumbling. Has been dormant for past few years.

volcanogirl Aug 8th, 2012 10:40 AM

Skippy, that was the good old days. Arenal hasn't had any tumbling rocks for a while, since I think 2010.

vsd Aug 8th, 2012 12:33 PM

Arenal is beautiful. We stayed at Lost Iguana and had a beautiful room with a gorgeous view of the volcano. I would definitely go back there again.

volcanogirl Aug 8th, 2012 03:11 PM

The Lost Iguana is awesome!

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