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
Costa Rica


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

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Nayara Tented Camp £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Tented Camps

Boasting plunge pools fed by natural hot springs, thoughtfully designed tents with eco-friendly touches, and a gourmet eatery with an expansive terrace, Nayara Tented Camp offers nature lovers a unique indoor-outdoor lodging experience within the confines of a National Park.

View Property

Amor Arenal £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Wellness and Spa

Tucked away on the edge of a canyon is Amor Arenal , a luxury rainforest lodge in the foothills of Arenal Volcano. Each of the spacious cabins is constructed with sleek tropical hardwood and has its own deck, warm spring plunge pool and spectacular views of the mighty Arenal volcano. There is also a strong focus on wellness and food with an all-organic menu and full spa services.

View Property

Origins Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Boutique

With just six rooms and a three-bedroom villa, Origins Lodge is an intimate property for those that wish to unwind and take in the far-reaching views across Guanacaste to Lake Nicaragua. The hotel sits amidst 45 acres with stables and has a fine dining restaurant producing gourmet creations by their Michelin-starred chef. Each room compromises of a king bed, en-suite bathroom and outside deck with a small plunge pool and a wood-fired burner.

View Property

Nayara Gardens £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Boutique

Nayara Gardens is located just outside the Arenal National Park, surrounded by tropical gardens and with beautiful views of the towering Arenal volcano. Each of the 50 bungalows and casitas is stylishly furnished and all with a private outdoor shower.

View Property

Nayara Springs £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Boutique

Nayara Springs is an exclusive boutique hotel located a few minutes away from Arenal Volcano National Park; home to one of the world’s highest concentration of tropical plants and wildlife. A place of natural beauty, Nayara Springs sits on an unspoiled mountain offering a cluster of 16 luxury villas surrounded by the lush vegetation of Costa Rica’s pristine rainforest.

View Property

Arenal Observatory Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

Perched on a ridge, Arenal Observatory Lodge is situated in a private nature reserve, less than two miles from Arenal volcano. It offers a safe vantage point from which to study the volcano and miles of trails on the doorstep to explore.

View Property


What do you really love doing? We’ll tailor your itinerary to suit you.

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.

See related content

Green sea turtle hatchling

Turtle Conservation

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

Holiday idea

Manta Ray off Cano Island

Snorkel Adventure

Snorkel with manta rays and turtles.

Suggested Holiday Idea

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Chocolate making course in Costa Rica

Chocolate Making

Discover how to make chocolate, from bean to bar.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Violaceous Trogon in Costa Rica

Go Bird Watching in Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

Opportunity to see a number of migratory birds in Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Views from Maquenque Eco Lodge

Take to the trees

Live in a tree house high above the lakes and rainforest at Maquenque Lodge

Suggested lodge

Caiman, Cano Negro Natural Lodge, Cano Negro, Costa Rica

Crocodile Central

Take a boat ride along the Rio Frio near the Nicaraguan border to see hundreds of crocodiles sunning themselves along the river bank.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Need Holiday Inspiration?
Browse our Costa Rica holiday ideas.

Our Costa Rica experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

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.

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.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

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.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Start planning your trip

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Review Contact Form


Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes