Cerro Chato Hiking Tour

Arenal Volcano’s “little big brother”, Cerro Chato Volcano, is a much older (38,000 years) dormant volcano located on the southeast side of the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa property. Cerro Chato’s rainforest-covered volcanic cone rises to 1,140 meters (3,740 ft), and has a blue-green lagoon filling the 500-meter-wide (1,640-foot) crater.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is the place to begin the Cerro Chato hiking tour. The trail climbs up Cerro Chato’s western flank through different types of  forest –rainforest, transition forest and finally cloud forest as you get close to the summit. The cloud forest at the top has very different wildlife, especially birds, like the Emerald Toucanet and Three-wattled Bellbird. At the top, the crater’s blue-green lagoon is perfect for photos, but swimming is inadvisable due to volcanic minerals in the water. The Cerro Chato hike is only recommended for hikers in good physical condition; the trail is steep and sometimes very muddy.

  • Guided tour departs from the lodge
  • Tour duration: 4 - 5 hours round-trip to the crater summit & back to the lodge