50 years ago today, on July 29, 1968, a large forested hill, known as Cerro Arenal, exploded ending its nearly 500-year slumber. The large eruption of rock, lava, and ash lasted three days, affecting more than 15 square kilometers and devastating the towns of Tabacón, Pueblo Nuevo, and San Luis. 87 people living in these areas tragically lost their lives.
For the following for decades, Arenal Volcano was considered one of the most active volcanoes in the world, frequently displaying its magnificent power. These spectacular eruptions occurred at an incredible frequency until October 2010.
Currently, the Arenal Volcano is in a passive state, emitting water vapor and volcanic gases from the top.
Located at the foot of the volcano, the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa was a first-hand witness to many of these spectacles of the last several decades. Today we remember not only the 40 years of lava lighting up the night sky but also the lives that were lost as a result of this natural phenomenon.