Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica


Costa Rica, straddling the tectonic plates of the Pacific and Caribbean, boasts 110 volcanoes, five of which are still active. It is possible to visit many of the volcanoes, both up close and from afar. Experience smoking calderas, rich vegetation, pyroclastic displays and picture-perfect cones.

White Water Rafting, Arenal, Costa Rica
White Water Rafting, Arenal,


The most famous volcano of all is Arenal. Arenal has a picture-perfect cone and until recently, was one of the most active volcanoes in the world. However, activity has declined of late and Seismologists suggest that Arenal is resting. However, its popularity has put the town of La Fortuna on the map and the surrounding area has become a hotspot for adventure holidays in Costa Rica. White water rafting, hot springs, canopy walkways, wildlife hikes, horse-riding, hanging bridges and zip-lining are all available, as well as a broad choice of accommodation.

Lake botos, Poas volcano,Costa Rica
Poas Volcano, Costa Rica


Easily accessible from San Jose is Costa Rica’s largest and most active volcano; Poas. Almost a mile in diameter, the crater is the largest active crater in the world. Sulphuric pools bubble and geysers explode from deep within its belly. There are many hiking trails to explore and excellent bird watching can be had in the cloud forest that shrouds its slopes.

Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica
Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica


The tallest volcano in Costa Rica is Irazu. Standing proud at 3,432 metres, Irazu has several active craters. The smallest crater known as Diego de la Haya is a mineral-rich lake that transforms its colour from emerald-green to crimson-red.

Waterfall, Rio Celeste, Tenorio National Park, Costa Rica
Tenorio National Park, Costa Rica

Our Specialists' "Must Do"

A visit to Tenorio volcano and the surrounding national park is a great option to avoid the crowds. Located in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, Tenorio is a smooth cone that stands 1,916 metres high and is characterised by the enchanting forests and hot springs nearby. Rio Celeste is a typical example of the volcanic activity in the region and its turquoise waters are a sight to behold.

Where to Stay

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Keel-Billed Toucan, Costa Rica

Wildife of Tortuguero

Peacefully meander down the waterways of Tortuguero National Park by canoe, getting up close and personal with birdlife, colourful frogs and lizards, playful monkeys and sloths. You are surrounded by the warm Caribbean sea, where you can watch baby turtles taking their first steps towards the sea.

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Green sea turtle hatchling

Turtle Conservation

Visit Tortuguero, one of the world’s major nesting sites for Atlantic green turtles.

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Manta Ray off Cano Island

Snorkel Adventure

Snorkel with manta rays and turtles.

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Waterfall, Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica

Adventures in the Tree Canopy

Raft and zip line through the jungle canopy and abseil down waterfalls.

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Cheese board, farm to table, Senda Monteverde Hotel, Costa Rica

Cookery Class

Join a local family for a cooking class, extract juice from sugarcane, milk a cow and make cheese.

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Poas Volcano crater, Costa Rica

Volcano Adventure

Walk up to the ridge of the active Poas volcano for a peek into the steaming abyss of its caldera, the largest in the world.

Chocolate making course in Costa Rica

Chocolate Making

Discover how to make chocolate, from bean to bar.

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Arenal Volcano View, Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Walk inside Arenal Volcano

Take a fascinating walk into the lava fields of Arenal Volcano.

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Rincon de la Vieja hike

Hike Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

For the active, take a challenging hike to the summit of Rincon de la Vieja volcano.

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Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica

Explore the unique landscape

Witness first hand pyroclastic flows, geysers and mineral rich lakes.

Suggested Holiday Idea

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

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Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

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John Faithfull

Costa Rica is simply the best spot in Central America for nature lovers, and is always John’s top recommendation for those wishing to hike, swim, zip, raft, ride or float through outstanding scenery and rich biodiversity.

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