Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal
Lonely Planet review for Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal
Arenal was just another dormant volcano from about AD 1500 until 29 July 29 1968, when something snapped. Huge explosions triggered lava flows that destroyed three villages, killing about 80 people and 45,000 cattle. Although it occasionally quieted down for a few weeks or even months, Arenal produced menacing ash columns, massive explosions and streams of glowing molten rock almost daily from 1968 until it all quite abruptly ended in 2010.
Still, any obituary on the Arenal area is quite premature given the fact that the volcano has retained its picture-perfect conical shape despite the volcanic activity, and there is still plenty of forest on its lower slopes and in the nearby foothills.
While the molten night views are gone for now (one never knows what lies beneath or beyond), this mighty mountain is still worthy of your time. Though clouds may shroud her at any time, there are several beautiful trails to explore, and even if it does rain and there is a chill in the air, you are just a short drive away from hot springs.