Introducing Arenal Route
If you’ve got your own wheels and a little time, take the road from Ciudad Quesada to the Arenal area – you are in for one beautiful ride. With the backdrop of Volcán Platanar, the road winding through this green, river-rich agrarian region passes through prosperous, quaint towns bright with bougainvillea. In front of you, if the weather cooperates, the resolute peak of Arenal will loom.
Past La Fortuna, the paved road (beware of potholes) hugs the north bank of Laguna de Arenal. On either side of the road, up the green slope and down on the lakeside, turnouts and driveways for lovely inns, kooky ersatz Austrian mini-villages, hip coffeehouses and eccentric galleries appear like pictures in a pop-up book. Scattered in between, you can’t help but notice the real-estate signs offering lots for sale, but the area is bucolic and not overdeveloped, and each stop feels far enough away from the next to offer a sense of isolation.
Heading back around the western edge of the lake, you’ll pass through the lakeside Nuevo Arenal and down to the pleasant mountain town of Tilarán before descending toward the Interamericana. Note that this route is also well served by public transportation.
Costa Rica Explorer
Costa Rica has as many microclimates as it does opportunities for active adventures, and this 2-week journey will bring you the best of both. There's a visit to a cloud forest, but for a bigger jolt, opt to rappel down waterfalls or fly across ziplines above the treetops. For the caffeine connoisseur, we visit a coffee co-op and learn how it gets from bean to your cup.
Costa Rica Volcanoes & Surf
Mountain bike along Lake Arenal with breathtaking volcanic views and catch a wave on this action-packed 9-day tour of Costa Rica. Get your adrenaline pumping with optional extreme sports like whitewater rafting, rappelling and ziplining through the lush jungle canopy.