Overlooked by the Arenal Volcano, the swathes of cloud forest that cloak the highlands of Costa Rica are the ultimate adventurer’s playground. A biodiversity hotspot, the region packs in sensational wildlife, wonderful scenery and unforgettable adventures.
Standing over 1,600 metres, the Arenal volcano has a majestic presence that dominates the whole Arenal area. It sits within a photogenic region of lagoons, mountains and cloud forest that simply invites exploration.
Although you can’t climb the volcano itself, there are plenty of activities to be had in and around the Arenal Volcano National Park. You can walk along dizzying hanging bridges, explore the forests on horseback, go white rafting or whizz through the canopy on a zip wire. The Chato volcano, with its shimmering crater lagoon, is always worth a visit, whilst neighbouring Lake Arenal offers windsurfing, kayaking and fishing.
You’ll also find a staggering array of flora and fauna, including over 800 species of bird, hundreds of mammals, a profusion of butterflies and an abundance of tropical plants. In the Monteverde Cloud Forest, for example, you could spot coatis, monkeys, dazzling hummingbirds and, if you’re lucky, even rare species like the resplendent quetzal.
After a day’s exploration, there are numerous hot springs scattered around the area that provide the perfect remedy for tired muscles.