If you want to get outdoorsy and love wildlife and adventure, all the while being able to come back and relax at some of the nicest hotels in Costa Rica, Arenal is the perfect place to do it. This area is often referred to as the ‘adventure sports capital of Costa Rica’ due to the number of exhilarating day tours you can do in the Arenal area. This beautiful area also features the 33 sq mile Lake Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest lake, and is perfect spot for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and fishing for the famous rainbow bass.
Gracefully settled in the highlands of northern Costa Rican, the Arenal Volcano is one of the country’s most popular attractions. It’s conic shape is almost perfectly symmetrical, the thermal hot springs in the area are pure bliss, and the sheer amount of outdoor adventures that you can enjoy in the area is staggering.Below is a list of our favorite day tours in Arenal and the surrounding area:
Sport Fishing on Lake Arenal
Enjoy a day of fresh water fishing on the beautiful and scenic Lake Arenal. You’ll be fishing with the best local guide in the area, Tirsio, who is a master angler and has been fishing here for over 20 years. His 20 ft. professional bass boat comes complete with a 175 HP Mercury engine, trolling motor, swivel chair at the bow & stern, and all the fishing equipment you’ll need for the day (spinning/bait casting/fly rods). Lake Arenal is Costa Rica’s largest lake at 33 sq. miles so there is no shortage of good fishing spots for tilapia, machaca, and the famous rainbow bass (guapote). Whether you like to cast crank baits & poppers, troll the deep water for big rainbow bass, or go fly fishing this lake will entertain all types of anglers.
Includes: Half Day – All tackle, Snacks, Drinks, and bilingual guide. Full Day – Same as half day + lunch.
What to bring: Hat, sunglasses, sun screen, rain jacket, camera, cash for tip money
White Water Rafting – Class III-IV
The Sarapiquí River is one of Costa Rica’s most exciting rivers and provides the ideal rafting trip for adventurous paddlers. You’ll traverse more than 20 continuous, class-3-4 rapids over the course of more than 10kms through the lush, vibrant rainforest. Make your way through exciting rapids like “The Pipeline,” “The Terminator,” and “Dos Locos” and finish with a spread of delicious, fresh tropical fruit and typical Costa Rican lunch. Rafters should be 13 or older and in good physical condition. No prior rafting experience is needed, but participants should know how swim.
Includes: Round trip transportation, fun & professional guides who love their job, tropical fruit break, delicious home-cooked meal (beer & other beverages extra), warm towel and lots of adventure!
What to bring: Clothes to get wet in, change of clothes, secure shoes, cash for tips.
Arenal Hanging Bridges + Paradise Hot Springs
This is one of the best opportunities to get breathtaking views of the Arenal Volcano and get up close and personal with the lush Costa Rican rainforest. The Arenal Hanging Bridges are suspended over a gorgeous canyon in the middle of the rainforest and are surrounded by limitless flora and fauna. You’ll get as close as you could ever hope to the canopy of the rainforest along the 3 km hike.
After visiting the Hanging Bridges you will be transported to the beautiful Paradise Hot Springs where you can enjoy the soothing and natural healing thermal waters. Enjoy a buffet dinner then soak your muscles in their various pools and sip a cocktail at the swim up bar as a perfect night cap. Locker rooms and towels will be available for you.
Includes: Round trip transportation, bilingual guide, and entrances to Hanging Bridges and Paradise Hot springs, buffet dinner.
What to bring: Bug repellent, camera, binoculars, hiking boots or tennis shoes, rain jacket, hat, change of clothes.
Lost Canyon Adventure
Canyoneering, or waterfall rappelling, is Costa Rican’s up and coming adventure tour. Our canyoneering jungle course incorporates various activities including rappelling, climbing, hiking, jumping into pool and free falling! Canyoning in the Lost Canyon is much more than just a waterfall rappel – it’s a very active and physical sport where you use your whole body to make your way down a beautiful river canyon and hike through deep Costa Rica rainforest. You will finish your adventure with a 200-ft waterfall drop – you will be rappelling part of the way and then hear the guides shout “Let Go!” as you free fall under their watchful eye. Talk about adrenaline!
Includes: Transport to/from your hotel, fun & professional guides who love what they do, tropical fruit break, delicious home-cooked meal, towel & lots of adventure.
What to bring: Clothes to get wet in, change of clothes, secure shoes, cash for tips
Caño Negro Wildlife & Río Frío Safari
Enjoy a day in one of Costa Rica’s most remote and beautiful regions, the Cano Negro Wildlife Preserve. This reserve covers 24,620 acres and is home to some of the most exotic wildlife and best bird watching in the country. Keep your eyes open for sloths, monkeys, caiman, crocodiles and other species. You will enjoy this tour in a covered boat in an area of unsurpassed natural beauty along the Rio Frio while you guide educates you more about Cost Rican wildlife!
Includes: Round trip transportation, lunch, covered boat, bilingual naturalist guide.
What to Bring: Hat, sunglasses, sun lotion, bug spray, camera.
Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall & Indigenous Village
Enjoy one of the natural wonders of the Arenal Volcano region, the La Fortuna Waterfall. This tours starts with you horseback riding through the rain forest, stopping along the way to take pictures and give your horses a drink of water. Once you reach the La Fortuna Waterfall you can then hike down to the base of the fall and take a dip in the cool, rushing waters. When you’re ready, hike back up to the top of the La Fortuna Waterfall canyon to use the restrooms and change into your dry clothes.
On the way back to La Fortuna you will stop at a Maleku indigenous village to see how life was long before tourism ever arrived in Costa Rica. See how they live off the land, make drinks from local fruits, and have an opportunity to buy some of their artisan handiwork.
Includes: Horseback Riding to the Waterfalls, Equipment, Dinner and entrance fees.
What to Bring: Long pants for the horseback riding, hiking shoes/comfortable shoes for the hike down, swimsuit, camera, sun lotion, hat, sunglasses, cash for tips and souveniers.
Canopy Zip-Line Adventure
Strategically located near La Fortuna with stunning views of the Arenal Volcano, this is one of the fastest and safest zip-lines in Costa Rica. Enjoy this high octane tour as you enjoy 14 platform and 12 cables, the longest over 2,500 ft! The canopy zip-line tour is one of the signature tours in Costa Rica and is not to be missed!
Includes: Transportation to and from your hotel, all equipment, bilingual guides.
What to Bring: Sunblock, comfortable clothes, strap on sandals or tennis shoes.
Safari Float – Peñas Blancas
This amazing river is only 30 minutes from La Fortuna and is teaming with wildlife. You will be taken on a boat near the Arenal Volcano while your naturalist guide leads you to the entrance of the river where you will board an inflatable raft. You will have the opportunity to spot different species of monkeys, birds and animals alongside the Peñas Blancas River. You’ll then finish up your Safari Float with a fresh, tropical fruit break and return to your hotel.
Includes: Transportation, entrance fees, naturalist guide, snack after tour
What to bring: Sandals or tennis shoes, camera, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain jacket.
Caño Negro Sportfishing
Enjoy a day of sport fishing in one of the most remote and exotic locales in Costa Rica, Cano Negro. This reserve covers 24,620 acres and is home to some of the most exotic wildlife and best bird watching in the country, not to mention spectacular fishing. Fish with master angler Tirsio Hidalgo as you sight cast, troll, or fly fish for tarpon, snook, rainbow bass, and the prehistoric tropical gar. Top of the line bait casters, spinning rods, and fly fishing gear will be provided if you don’t have your own tackle.
What to bring: Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, rain jacket, cash for tips
Includes: Round trip transportation, lunch, boat, all fishing equipment, bilingual guide