Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

Guanacaste, 50306

The Basics

Low winds and a generally placid surface make Lake Arenal ideal for water sports such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, while sport fishing enthusiasts flock to its shores for rainbow bass and machaca fish. If you prefer not to get wet, join a boat tour that crosses the lake on a small ferry, or admire its expanse from land on a biking, hiking, or horseback riding tour through the rain forests and slopes of nearby Arenal Volcano National Park.

Show all
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste
$205.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Walk through the Jungle and Soak in the Springs
Great tour!! Food was great, tour guide was amazing and the views were outstanding!! Warning: 2 mile walk through the rainforest involved
Zoe_S, May 2024

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Score a bird’s-eye view of the lake from the SkyTram gondola or the decks at the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa.

  • Pack sunscreen, insect repellent, water shoes, and a change of clothes if you plan to swim or kayak.

  • Amenities around the lake are limited, so bring all the food and water you need unless your tour includes a lunch stop.

  • Costa Rican roads are often unpaved and confusing for visiting drivers, but most tours include transport from La Fortuna hotels.

  • Transfer tours can get you from Monteverde to La Fortuna with a scenic pontoon boat ride across the lake.

Show all

How to Get There

Lake Arenal is located to the west of Arenal Volcano National Park, about 10 miles (17 kilometers) from La Fortuna and 55 miles (90 kilometers) northwest of San José. A vehicle is needed to reach the lake, ideally one with 4WD. The shoreline is long, and many sections don't have pullouts, so a guided tour with transport is the best way to head straight for the views and boat launches without spending hours in the car.

Show all

Trip ideas

When to Get There

The lake is beautiful any time of year, but be prepared for afternoon showers and occasional clouds blocking the view in the rainy season (May through November). If you visit in the dry season (December through April) when the lake levels are particularly low, you may catch sight of rooftops from a former town peeking above the surface of the human-made reservoir.

Show all

Arenal Volcano National Park

Pair a visit to the lake with outdoor activities in one of Costa Rica's most popular natural playgrounds, located nearby. Swing by Arenal Volcano National Park to take part in adventures ranging from low-impact hiking trails and hanging bridges that crisscross the rain forest to volcano summit treks and adrenaline-pumping zipline courses.

Show all
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Lake Arenal?
What else should I know about attractions in Costa Rica?
As well as visiting the Lake Arenal, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: