Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa rests in the heart of one of Costa Rica’s largest nature preserves – the Arenal Conservation Area. We are uniquely located within the Arenal Volcano National Park boundaries, where primary and secondary tropical rainforests grow in fertile volcanic soil, creating a rich habitat for birds, butterflies, mammals, reptiles, and insects. One of the more iconic sounds of the rainforest at Arenal Volcano is the howler monkeys that you can often hear in the early mornings or late afternoons.
An 11-kilometer (7-mile) network of well-marked and maintained trails crisscrosses our Arenal lodge property, ideal for hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking. These trails give you access to so much local natural beauty, and since they are inside our 870-acre property, you won’t run into crowds when out exploring. An 800-meter (0.5 mile) paved trail allows universal access to explore the gardens and rainforest, and gives excellent views of the Arenal Volcano. The paved trail also is perfect for a short night hike to immerse yourself in the exotic sounds and smells of the jungle after dark.
We recommend our daily free guided walk with our naturalist guide that departs from Reception every day at 8:30 a.m. and goes to the Danta River Waterfall. We also recommend walking our other trails early in the morning or in the afternoon for better wildlife viewing, for cooler weather, nice light and beautiful views of Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal and the rainforest. On our detailed trail map, which you can obtain from Hotel Reception, 7.5 kilometers (4.6 miles) of the trail network are color-coded into red, yellow, brown, blue, green, and orange to help you keep your bearings. Distances and landmarks also are given.