Constructed in 2020, the Observatory Visitor Center at the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is a multipurpose space created for the enjoyment of both hotel guests and day visitors to the nature reserve and trails. Centrally located with ample parking, the Observatory Visitor Center is the perfect place to meet with your group prior to and following your exploration of the trails, waterfalls, hanging bridges, and observation towers contained within the Arenal Observatory´s nature reserve.
Upon entering the visitor center, you will find the COATI Coffee & Smoothie Bar. This is the ideal spot for those seeking a snack and refreshment following a hike through the property. Be sure to try one of our six superfruit smoothies, each recipe has been optimized to reenergize and refuel your bodies after strenuous activity.
Our staff member at COATI can help answer any questions you may have before embarking out onto our trail network. Orient yourself using our large wall-mounted map and download a digital copy for your phone using a QR code. With over 11 kilometers (7 miles) of trails in the nature reserve, make sure you have a plan of where you want to go first!
The Observatory Museum is located across the hall from the COATI Coffee & Smoothie Bar. The Observatory Museum is the only exhibition center in Costa Rica focused on the rich natural history of the Arenal area. Explore the various news articles, infographics, photos, maps, and videos to learn more about the property and surrounding area.
Additionally, two private meeting rooms are available for your groups. The first is ideal for smaller groups (< 6) and has an electric fireplace to keep you comfortable on those cooler evenings. The second meeting space is best for larger groups (> 6) and has space to accommodate your refreshments and audiovisual equipment. A private deck that looks over the forest is connected to the larger room and provides unique wildlife viewing opportunities from the convenience of your meeting space. Currently, both meeting rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The visitor center has high-speed wireless internet throughout the building and is a great location for remote workers and global nomads looking for a place from which to work. Ample electrical outlets will ensure you have no trouble finding a place to charge your devices while you work. Comfortable seating is plentiful and the visitor center’s large seating area overlooks the forest through large wall-to-wall windows.
The Observatory Visitor Center is also the start and finish line for the Arenal Crossfit Challenge. This 8-kilometer (5-mile) circuit is the perfect fitness test for those looking to escape the gym and get outside! Make sure to ask at the COATI Coffee & Smoothie Bar for more information.