The Lodge


Observatory Lodge & Trails

You came to Costa Rica to experience its rainforest, volcanoes, and nature. Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails gives you unparalleled access to this extraordinary ecosystem. There are 870 acres on our property to explore, including 270 acres of natural primary rainforest with rivers and waterfalls, 400 acres of reforested land and tropical gardens, and 200 acres of pastureland. Our gardens and landscaping are extravagantly designed with colorful flowering plants, shrubs, and trees chosen to attract wildlife, like jewel-toned hummingbirds, brilliant butterflies, and exotic birds.

Unlike other hotels in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, we are the only hotel located within the Arenal Volcano National Park. When the national park was formed in November 1991, its boundaries encompassed our farm. No other hotel is as close to the Arenal Volcano, Cerro Chato, and Lake Arenal as we are. While on the property you can always feel the volcano’s commanding presence.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails was originally built in 1987 as a scientific research station for the world-famous Smithsonian Institution. After Arenal Volcano’s sudden and dramatic explosion into life in 1968, Smithsonian Institution scientists began frequenting the area and would camp on our family’s land because of its strategic location. We built cabins and a small hotel to take care of them and expanded over the years.

Our Lodge

Discover · Explore · Relax

Today, the historic Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails offers comfortable rooms in various buildings distributed throughout the property, as well as two beautiful vacation villas. Five rooms are completely designed for travelers with disabilities: the rooms, corridors, parking areas and even the pool have the corresponding accesses.

Enjoy meals in our “Observatory” Restaurant with large windows that allow a spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal where you will also find a beautiful viewpoint that is the meeting point for all visitors. Our Spa will help you relax in the middle of nature by offering treatments and body massages.

We are an eco-sustainable hotel certified with the “Certificate of Excellence” by TripAdvisor for several years.

So Many Things To Do

Your stay with us at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails includes daily complimentary walks in our gardens and the rainforest with our naturalist guides. On our 870-acre property, you can explore 11 kilometers (7 miles) of well-maintained trails – hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking. An 800-meter (0.5 mile) paved trail allows universal access to explore the gardens and rainforest. For the adventurous, experience our rugged River Trail through the primary rainforest. Additionally, Arenal Observatory Lodge is a hotspot for birdwatching in Costa Rica, with more than 500 species of birds noted so far in our forest.


Tours in the
Arenal Area

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails is easily accessible from the nearby city of La Fortuna. Because of our location you can enjoy the many adventure tours in Arenal such as: canopy, rapids, hot springs, kayaking, suspension bridges, fishing in Lake Arenal, etc.

“El Jilguero”

Enjoy our gastronomy in the Restaurant “El Jilguero” with large windows that allow a spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal where you will also find a beautiful viewpoint, a meeting point for all visitors.

Our Spa

Our Spa will help you relax in the middle of nature offering treatments and body massages.


at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails

Egg MedicalRestaurant “El Jilguero” & Bar “Cerro Chato”
COATI Coffee & Smoothie Bar
Direct view to Arenal Volcano
Spa Observatory
Pool & Jacuzzi
800mts of walking trail (Handicap Accesible)
+11 km of walking trails
Private entrance and 24/7 security
Egg MedicalObservation Tower “The Nest”
Arenal Crossfit Challenge
Beautiful Gardens and Observation Points
Hanging Bridges and Waterfalls
Bird List available at reception
Observatory Museum
Tourist Information