Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

You came to Costa Rica to experience its rainforest, volcanoes, and nature. Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa 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 & Spa 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

Considered one of the best places to stay in the Arenal area, the historic Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa offers 48 comfortable hotel rooms in various buildings spread over the property, and two unique Costa Rican vacation home rentals. Five rooms are fully equipped for disabled travelers, with rooms, bathrooms, hallways, parking areas, and even the new swimming pool designed accordingly.

Enjoy delicious meals in our lodge restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows for gazing at the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal, and a huge observation deck just outside. Looking for a quick and healthy alternative to a full-service restaurant? The COATI Coffee & Smoothie Bar serves up a selection of locally inspired superfruit smoothies and Costa Rican coffee beverages to keep you energized throughout the day.

We are a sustainable eco-lodge with a rating of Four Leaves in the Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (CST) by the Costa Rican Tourism Board. Additionally, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa consistently wins TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence award every year and is a proud member of its Green Leaders program.

The Observatory Spa

Our Observatory Spa is located on the edge of the tropical rainforest. Professionally trained and certified masseuses utilize a variety of techniques and the very best locally and ethically produced skincare products to provide a rejuvenating and restorative wellness experience. Unwind and decompress amongst the sounds of nature and let us usher you into a level of relaxation beyond your imagination.

So Many Things to Do

Your stay with us at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa 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 ridingor 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 bird watching in Costa Rica, with more than 500 species of birds noted so far in our forest.

The Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is also home to one of the tallest freestanding observation towers in Costa Rica. At 28 meters tall, The Nest is uniquely located within the dense canopy of the tropical rainforest. After climbing the stairs to the top, guests will have an unparalleled view of Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal, and the surrounding landscape.

Don’t want to abandon your workout routine while on vacation? The Arenal Crossfit Challenge is our multisport, outdoor trail running circuit, the first of its kind in Costa Rica. This 8-kilometer (5-mile) course will challenge your physical endurance as you explore a variety of landscapes and terrain on foot stoping at our five outdoor exercise stations along the way.

During your stay don’t forget to visit the Observatory Visitor Center. Inside you will find our one-of-a-kind Observatory Museum where you can learn more about the natural history of Costa Rica and explore the rich past of the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa. Additionally, in the visitor center, you will find the staff at the COATI Coffee & Smoothie Bar serving up a selection of smoothie and coffee offerings.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is easily accessible from the nearby town of La Fortuna. Our lodge is well located to enjoy the many adventure tours in Arenal, such as zip lines, whitewater rafting, hot springs, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing on Lake Arenal, etc.

Facilities at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa