Birding in Costa Rica - A Review of the 2020 Species Count As another year of birding comes to an end at the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, we reflect on what has been a fruitful year for bird observations in Costa Rica despite the tumultuous events of 2020. At the Observatory Lodge 375 species were registered in 2020, placing it at the top of eBird’s Costa Rica birding hotspot list. Some of our favorite sightings from this year include the lanceolated monklet, white-flanked antwren, bay-breasted warbler, and willow flycatcher. We also enjoyed the presence of our new resident great potoo, [...]
Costa Rica – Entry Requirements During the COVID-19 Pandemic Are you planning a trip to Costa Rica during the COVID-19 pandemic? With 28 national parks, including the awe-inspiring Arenal Volcano National Park, and plenty of room for social distancing, Costa Rica is the ideal destination for a safe and relaxing vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, before you pack your bags it is important to read and understand the current entry requirements for arriving in Costa Rica. UPDATED 16 SEPTEMBER 2021 BASIC REQUIREMENTS 1. A valid passport 2. International insurance that covers medical expenses (at least US [...]
The Rainbow Trees of Arenal, Costa Rica By Shannon Farley Where in Costa Rica can you see trees the color of a rainbow? At Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa by the Arenal Volcano! Part of the award-winning sustainable hotel’s reforestation program includes colorful Rainbow Eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus deglupta). These unique trees with multi-hued bark thrive in very humid tropical forests, like at Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. The trees get their rainbow coloring from their outer bark which sheds several times a year to reveal a bright green inner layer. The bark then matures and darkens to [...]
About the Farm at Arenal Observatory Lodge Visitors to Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, next to the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, are always deeply impressed at the size of the famous Arenal hotel’s property – 870 acres! This lush green land of forest, rivers, waterfalls, and pastures holds an interesting history. Forty-three years ago when the Aspinall family of Costa Rica purchased the 870 acre farm, it was an abandoned cattle ranch. The Costa Rican Electrical Institute (ICE) was building the dam to create the Arenal Reservoir – one of the [...]
Ecological Blue Flag Award - Protected Natural Spaces At the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, we are pleased to announce that we have been awarded the Ecological Blue Flag (BAE) award for Protected Natural Spaces, obtaining the maximum rating of five stars. The Ecological Blue Flag is a distinction that is awarded annually which recognizes efforts in the pursuit of conservation and development in accordance with the protection of natural resources. The Protected Natural Spaces category recognizes the efforts made by the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa in the promotion and [...]
Energy Savings at the Arenal Observatory One thing many guests notice upon their arrival to the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is the lack of air conditioners, televisions, and refrigerators in their rooms. The absence of these amenities is not by coincidence. Deciding not to include these amenities in the rooms helps the Observatory Lodge in its mission to protect the biodiversity of the Costa Rican rainforest, and makes it one of the leaders in conservation initiatives in the La Fortuna region. Fortunately, the microclimate at the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa [...]
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa - One of the Most Interesting Webcams in the World The webcam at Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa was recently selected as one of the 25 Most Interesting Webcams of 2018. This webcam was selected by a panel of judges from thousands of nominees around the world. As a family-owned ecolodge, the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa has always dreamed of sharing the natural wonders of Costa Rica with the world. Through our partnership with EarthCam, we have been able to make this dream a reality. EarthCam is [...]
Planning how to best spend a two-night, three-day stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is no easy task. With a complimentary morning walk, two observation towers, a pool and jacuzzi, a variety of spa treatments, a historical museum, horseback riding tours, some of the best birding in the country, 7 miles (11 kilometers) of trails to explore across 870 acres (352 hectares) of property, and much more to offer, finding time for it all can seem an impossible task.
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.
As a part of our continued activities involving environmental education in the local community, the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa in coordination with SONATI (Sociedad y Naturaleza Internacional), carried out a class about the threats facing wildlife in Costa Rica at the nearby high school in El Castillo. The second part of the lesson consisted of a field trip to the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa trails, where students learned about the ecology of the tropical rainforest.