Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal Tours and Tickets

730 reviews

A shimmering expanse of blue water stretching west of the active Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal is Costa Rica’s biggest lake and one of its most picturesque. Beyond its striking beauty, the human-made reservoir serves an important function as a hydroelectric dam, providing sustainable power for Costa Rican residents.

  • Guanacaste, 50306

Tours and Tickets to Experience Lake Arenal

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What are people saying about Lake Arenal

Andy_D, Aug 2023
Beautiful morning on the Lake with Jose
Brilliant morning on Lake Arenal with Jose! The paddle boarding was great fun, very easy and not overly physical so definitely achievable and don't be worried about it. Jose is an inspiring and remarkable man that I feel blessed to have met. Definitely would recommend
Hannah_C, Nov 2023
No sunset or volcano but still very enjoyable
It was very rainy and cloudy but the boat was covered so we didn't get wet. We saw a lot of birds including kingfishers and a scarlet macaw! Our guide was very knowledgeable at pointing them out. A nice experience.
Debbie_D, Nov 2023
Amazing trip
We had the most wonderful time with Jairo, Brian & John. Great views, great fishing and lots of laughs. Highly recommend them. Pura Vida
Jessica_S, Nov 2023
An amazing family day in the lake
This adventure was one of our favorites during our 2 weeks stay throughout Costa Rica. Finding tours that allowed us to include our 2yo toddler was proving complicated and then we came upon Jose’s SUP tour and we couldn’t have asked for a more accommodating, knowledgeable, and fun guide! SUP’ing over Lake Arenal allowed us to take in the most breathtaking views we would’ve otherwise missed. We shared stories, fruit, and coffee and left with not only a great new friend, but the most amazing memories with our daughter that we will cherish for many years. I highly recommend this for everyone!
Frequently Asked Questions
People Also Ask
Q:Do you need to go on a tour to visit Lake Arenal?
A:No, you don’t need to go on a tour to visit Lake Arenal and the surrounding national park, the Arenal Volcano National Park. It’s possible to visit independently, and many people do. Guided tours are best for wildlife spotting or visiting places where it would be easy to get lost independently, such as hiking in the national park.
Q:How can you cross Lake Arenal?
A:Some private boat transfers make crossing Lake Arenal possible rather than going around by road. Taking a combination of shuttle buses and ferries is a popular way of traveling between La Fortuna, on the northern side of the lake, and Monteverde, on the southern side, as it cuts about two hours of road travel off the journey.
Q:Is it safe to swim in Lake Arenal?
A:No, swimming in Lake Arenal is not advisable. While the water is clear and calm and watersports like kayaking and windsurfing are popular, there are crocodiles in the lake. While crocodiles aren’t known to have attacked anyone in Lake Arenal, humans have been attacked and even killed elsewhere in Costa Rica, so it’s wise to be cautious.
Q:Is Lake Arenal worth visiting?
A:Yes, Lake Arenal is definitely worth visiting. Costa Rica’s largest lake is surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains. The Arenal Volcano National Park lies to its east, and most tourists to the area focus on activities within the park, but Lake Arenal provides excellent views of its namesake mountain.
Q:How long do you need around Lake Arenal?
A:The ideal amount of time to spend in the Arenal area is three days. Visitors usually spend time in the Arenal Volcano National Park near Lake Arenal, west of the park. In three days, you can hike on the volcano, visit hot springs and waterfalls, kayak on Lake Arenal, and admire the volcano views from the lake.
Q:Are there crocodiles in Lake Arenal?
A:Yes, there are crocodiles in Lake Arenal, as there are in many places throughout Costa Rica. Lake Arenal was created in the 1970s as a source of hydroelectricity for Costa Rica, so the crocodiles may have either been accidentally (or even deliberately) released here or arrived through irrigation canals.