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Question about safety (volcano) at Costa Rica Arenal area hotels?

Question about safety (volcano) at Costa Rica Arenal area hotels?

Nov 24th, 2003, 03:56 AM
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Question about safety (volcano) at Costa Rica Arenal area hotels?

I've read that certain Arenal area hotels are in what would be the direct path of any future volcanic eruption. Which hotels are these? Also, any recommendations for a nice place to stay for volcano viewing that would be protected should the unthinkable happen? I'm usually not so paranoid and would ordinarily just roll the dice, however, given last year's volcanic activity and the fact that my children will be with me, I'd rather play it safe.
Kennedy3 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2003, 07:15 AM
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I stayed at Los Lagos one night in early August, and it's about as close as you can get to the foot of the volcano. I was there with my wife, and two young daughters. The view of the volcano is great, but upon reading an article on the web a month later, I realized how close we actually were. Take a look at the following web-site, http://www.arenal.net/ , both Las Lagos and Tabacon hot springs are fairly close to the volcano, both had to be evacuated in early Sept. But it's a fairly stable volcano, I wouldn't fear it. I bet more people have been hurt on the road to the volcano than by the volcano itself. I wouldn't miss it, the hot springs, or the nearby Fortuna waterfall.
rsmury is offline  
Nov 24th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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Both Arenal Paraiso and Montana de Fuego are considered out of the danger zone. They are on the opposite side of the street which is where the line is pretty much drawn regarding volcano safety. Of course, if there is a really bad eruption, none of those places would be terribly good. Arenal is monitored around the clock and if there was going to be something very dangerous, you would be evacuated.
Suzie2 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2003, 04:44 AM
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Costa Rica Expeditions has a very detailed message on their website about the dangers of Arenal (www.costaricaexpeditions.com) You have to look for it though because I can't remember exactly where its located. This tour company refuses to take people to Tabacon Hot Springs and the are recommending another hot springs area. I don't know if I believe all their hype though because if it was really really dangerous wouldn't all the other companies refuse to take tourist there too? I think there maybe be some 'marketing' issues here.

I have a copy of the statement somewhere on my email at home if you can't find it on their website. It does mention specifically what hotels are in the volcanos path. Let me know if you need it. I will be staying at Montana de Fuego in January,not because I was afraid to be at Tabacon Resort, but because I didn't want to be surrounded by the tourist crowd visiting the hot springs.
katolb90 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 11:57 AM
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I just read in a guide book that if Arenal goes, guests at Tabacon would have maybe 2 minutes to get out of there! Not sure how accurate, but that doesnt sound too great.
koa is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 12:27 PM
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I think I remember reading that article (the web site has changed) from CRE. I also think I remember reading that it is the Hot Springs area that is in the danger zone. The actual hotel is across the street and therefore considered safer. Maybe someone who has stayed there can verify this?? I have only visited the hot springs but I thought we drove by the hotel when we were going beyond there and it was on the other side a little further down the road.
Suzie2 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 01:03 PM
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kennedy i came back about 2 weeks ago and had a great time in cr. my wife and I stayed 2 days at arenal paraiso and loved it. the volcano was very active with flowing lava late at night.they monitored the volcano the whole time we were there.there were also families there with small childern.hopefully this was a help to you.
KARLEARL is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:02 PM
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I was in Arenal last April/May and we stayed at Montana de Fuego - I do remember reading that it was out of the danger zone but quite honestly that's not why I picked it. It is a cute (but basic) hotel and has terrific views of the volcano - esp. while relaxing in the swimming pool ... The rooms are spread throughout the property in little cabins and there is a hiking trail right on the property. It is an easy drive (or cab ride) to the Arenal area hikes, La Fortuna waterfall, Tabacon, etc. I hope you get a little (but safe!) volcano action b/c it is very neat to see it erupt.
lakers is offline  
Dec 4th, 2003, 07:46 AM
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I have stayed at the Tabacon Hotel. The hotel portion of the resort is across the street and about 1/8 to 1/4 mile up the road from the hot springs themselves. For me, the one reason for doing so was to have the convenience & access to the hot springs. If you're choosing a place primarily for its' "volcano vantage viewpoint" I'd say that Tabacon is NOT necessarily the best place to do that. Yes, you can see Arenal, but honestly, I thought the view from Montana de Fuego was better --- ate lunch there one day and more recently, a friend of mine was in CR and actually stayed at that hotel. (He's a bigger Arenal junkie than myself). He gave their locale a thumbs up for volcano viewing.

Danger Factor --- clearly, there is an element of danger no matter where you stay in close proximity ... let's face it, it's an active volcano. I have a photo of myself at the hot springs standing by a prominent sign that says "DANGER --- possible volcanic activity ... " Yes, the hotel is further out of the "direct" line of fire. However if there was another MAJOR eruption, you may have (at best?) a few more minutes to haul ass outta there. What kills is not the lava flow; more deadly is the pyroclastic flow (think photos of Mt. St. Helen's eruption) --- the gas, ash, rock blast out at a high rate of speed. Sept-5th eruption @ Arenal clocked flow at over 100 miles per hour; fortunately it didn't travel very far.

A bit of history (read more on the www.arenal.net website) --- 'On Monday July 29, 1968 the Arenal Volcano suddenly and violently erupted, blowing a hole out the side of the mountain killing 87 people and burying 3 small villages: Tabacón, Pueblo Nuevo & San Luís. Eruptions continued for several days and covered over 15 square kilometers with rocks, lava and ash. In total the eruptions affected more than 232 square kilometers by damaging crops, property, livestock and forests.'

That was 35 years ago! What you'd like to know is will there be another significant eruption any time soon? Possibly ... who knows? Arenal has still been rumbling, spewing out gas, lava, etc. I think the additional deaths which have occurred after the 'big blow of '68' are people who took risks and hiked closer to the action than was deemed safe. Although I have read articles that a couple American tourists were climbing in an area that was considered 'safe' ... SO .... as others have said, there are scientists monitoring & watching. It's kinda weird as you drive thru the town of La Fortuna. Going down the main street, the volcano looms large up ahead. I'm thinking to myself ... these folks are living with a VOLCANO in their backyard and no one seems bothered by it.

Bottom line --- would I have any reservations about returning to Arenal? Absolutely not. I hope to get back to CR sometime next year.

Tess_Durberville is offline  
Dec 4th, 2003, 10:47 AM
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While there is no question that some hotels are potentially endangered by an Arenal eruption, it is also extremely uncommon for such a volcano to erupt catastrophically without warning. You would expect some precursors, such as steam, ash, or more minor eruptions. If such a precursor were to occur, I would get out fast. Until something like that happens though, I would feel quite safe staying in Arenal hotels.
ALF is offline  
Dec 4th, 2003, 07:40 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful insight. I appreciate your comments. Kate
Kennedy3 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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And if you really want an expert opinion, I'd suggest a few volcano sites.

Volcano Links >>>

Volcano World >>>

Pictures of Arenal Volcano >>>

Volcano Watch -- satellite images of active volcanoes >>>

Tess_Durberville is offline  
Dec 12th, 2003, 04:13 PM
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We were in Arenal last summer with our children. We stayed at the Arenal Lodge. I would definitely stay there again. It is a beautiful, peaceful property with lovely large rooms. Also, they have a pool table and another game table for the kids. On the day it rained we were happy that there was something to keep the kids busy.

It is in a safe location--away from the path of the potential lava flow. If you choose to stay there do stay in the more expensive suites --They are up on a hill, with huge windows and overlook gorgeous grounds and the volcano in the distance. Arenal is an incredible experience--do not miss it. Personally, I would avoid Tabacon--not only because of safety issues but also because of the tourist "scene" there.
tino is offline  
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