Lake Arenal

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Lake Arenal: Our most recommended tours and activities

Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

1. Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

Add a little adventure to your transportation needs between Monteverde and La Fortuna and avail of a transfer that includes an informative boat tour across Lake Arenal. Get spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and the cloud forests of Monteverde as you travel by van and boat. Choose from a morning or afternoon departure in either direction to suit your schedule, and relax in the knowledge that your luggage will be taken care of on every step of the journey. Depart La Fortuna and travel to Lake Arenal by van. Then, take a 30-minute boat ride to the town of Río Chiquito before continuing to Monteverde by van. For departures from Monteverde, travel to Lake Arenal by van. Cross Lake Arenal on an enlightening 30-minute boat ride to the earthen dam, and then continue to La Fortuna by van for drop off at your hotel.

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From La Fortuna: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding on Lake Arenal

2. From La Fortuna: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding on Lake Arenal

Experience the best way to explore beautiful Lake Arenal — go stand-up paddling and get amazing views of the colossal Arenal Volcano. You'll feel like you're walking on water as you cross the lake from one side to the next. This activity is perfect for all adventure enthusiasts, including beginning paddlers. Venture to Costa Rica's largest lake and hop on board a private boat. Meet your friendly captain while your adventurous guide provides you with all the necessary gear. As you embark on your journey out to the middle of Lake Arenal, you’ll be blown away by the natural beauty of Arenal Volcano. When you reach the middle of the lake, your guide will give you plenty of safety instructions and plunk your board into the water. Paddle out on your knees, and when you are ready, stand up, find your balance, and begin crossing the calm waters. About halfway through the tour, make a short stop on an island for amazing scenic views.  After 2.5 hours of paddling, finish your day at the new Pedal and Paddle Adventure store located in the small town of El Foforo on the other side of the lake. Change into dry clothes and fuel up with a refreshing and well-deserved snack before heading back to your hotel.

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Arenal Lake: Kayaking and Bird Watching Experience

3. Arenal Lake: Kayaking and Bird Watching Experience

Your Arenal Lake tour starts with a 25-minute drive from your hotel. Throughout the drive, your guide will provide you with a brief idea of the logistics of the tour. Before you start kayaking on the lake, your guide will give you a safety orientation talk and will teach you how to maneuver the kayaks. You will then begin your 2-hour journey kayaking on the lake. Stopping for a snack of fresh local fruit after paddling for 1.5-hours. Experience the inspiring beauty and tranquility as you glide across the mystic waters of the Arenal Lake, Costa Rica’s largest and most breathtaking lake. You can enjoy the spectacular views of the powerful Arenal Volcano. Paddling these calm waters will give you the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife that surrounds the lake such as monkeys, iguanas and a large number of tropical birds. The beauty and energy of this amazing Arenal Volcano will truly penetrate your soul.

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Arenal Forest: Bird Observation & Photography Tour

4. Arenal Forest: Bird Observation & Photography Tour

If you are a lover of birdsong and enjoy the beautiful colors of these feathered creatures, this tour and outing amongst nature is for you. Enjoy a gentle walk through the forest with the purposes of observing and photographing these incredible animals. The areas around the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal are fantastic for bird watchers. An expert bilingual naturalist and birdwatcher guide will help you find a wide variety of species such as toucans, parrots, orioles, colorful tanagers, parakeets and many more. Birds are most active early in the morning and in the late afternoon as the day cools into evening. For more experienced birdwatchers, you can focus on seeing Royal Flycatchers, White-Fronted Nun birds, Cinnamon Woodpeckers and other less commonly seen species.

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La Fortuna: Arenal Lake Airboat Combo Tours

5. La Fortuna: Arenal Lake Airboat Combo Tours

Feel the adrenaline pumping as you embark on an airboat tour across Lake Arenal. Spot the birds and other wildlife that inhabit the area and see the incredible Arenal Volcano from a unique viewpoint. Listen to the history and interesting facts about the lake from your expert guide. Hear the story of the original town of Arenal, which now lies abandoned at the bottom of the lake after it was expanded in 1979. Create your own ideal tour by adding a local activity from the list below: 2-hour Airboat Tour: Enjoy an airboat tour across Lake Arenal 4-hour Airboat and Biking Tour: after the airboat ride, take a 90-minute bike ride through the zone of “El Castillo”. Follow paths close to the lake admire the local nature. 9-hour Airboat, Horse Riding, Trekking, Local Farm, and Lunch Tour: after the airboat ride, go horseriding through the mountains to a traditional house. There you will enjoy a traditional lunch. After lunch, trek through the jungle to 2 beautiful waterfalls and stop to go swimming. Finally, visit a local farm and see animals such as cows. 9-hour Airboat, Trekking, Local Farm and Lunch Tour: after the airboat ride, go horseriding through the mountains to a traditional house. There you will enjoy a traditional lunch. Now that you’re energized, visit a local farm and go trekking through the jungle. Visit 2 beautiful waterfalls and stop to go swimming.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Arenal

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Arenal? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Arenal

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 14 reviews

We were picked up punctually at the next hotel on our Airbnb and dropped off in the center of Santa Elena, not far from the taxi rank. We used this tour because the travel time by bus / car was too long for us and would do it again. Unfortunately it rained heavily so that we couldn't enjoy the view at all.

Great way to experience Lake Arenal when on your way to Monteverde! Why take a boring old bus when you can cruise this beautiful lake!

Everything went well! The 3 drivers (taxis and boat) were on their business; very nice! I had a great time. Thanks!

Very well organised and efficient.

From Arenal Lake to Monteverde the roads are very 'uneven' but not the driver's fault. The views were stunning.

Wonderful day on Arenal lake trying the stand up paddling. Very nice guides.